You are pretty awesome. I can say that as a certified authority on Archie Comics (there was only so much quality enrichment in small-town Indic 1980s). I have procured these comics in second sales, in bargain basement nooks, or crisp, first-hand copies at a corner bookstore when one Double Digest set me back by more than ten Tutti-Frutti ice cream units. Archie turned 75 last year btw, Happy Birthday to you, Carrot Top.
But to me, you, Forsythe Pendleton “Jughead” Jones the third, will always be the star of my first comic-book universe. You are that quintessential friend we all want yet need too. The fun that true friends can be, the rocks that they have to be and the perilous truths they must always tell.
The one we need…
The friend who gives Reggie a dressing down for being full of it, yet takes him out bowling the same day. The one who doesn’t judge Betty for being stupid-in-love with Archie, and is always around for a good cry in the end. Without having any romantic intentions, potential or otherwise. The friend who will call Ronnie for being the bitch she channels sometimes and revive her somnolent sense of righteousness, with just a passing quip.
He or she who always warns you that your idea is a terrible one, but still goes along for the ride and has the most fun. Will take your dogs for a walk and your children to the planetarium, on a Saturday. Most likely also to sit out every detention with you, while still effortlessly jesting with the Bee or Miss Grundy. When you want to go on a charity drive, she will go to every door that you missed, even the ones you did n’t know of. Also, Dilton was no nerd to Jughead, he was just his friend. It’s a good person whose friends are friends, and not labels.
…maybe the one we want
And it won’t all be Liam Neeson noiseless kick-assery. There will be enough tomfoolery to go around with this all-around amaze friend. Doodles about your worst fears will go up on bulletin-boards, both online and print. Every whimsy plan you make to join Golds Gym, yoga, pilates, meringue pie baking, ancient scriptures appreciation and didgeroodoo classes will be ridiculed brutally to your face, amidst large social gatherings. That said, for late evening classes, you will always call Jughead on the way back saying either that “this package is not working for me” or that “5 weeks is too long a commitment.” These are the people who always say “I told you so” but somehow never when it will rip your heart.
Also, they will not share the good grub with you because doughnuts and sundaes do not multiply when you give them away. On occasion, they will lament your taste in books and movies, and when that last argument about Chetan Bhagat’s tweets, books and screenplay goes down, there might be ugly tears.
And just for that
While Jughead has plenty weaknesses, such as an insatiable appetite for whatever you are eating or a general aversion towards the romantic of the matter, he be adorable through it all. Even Hot Dog knows that, and forgives his master for his many small transgressions.
The love for the truth, however unpleasant, successfully delivered in wry, pithy packets of nonchalance is trademark Juggy. The kind of friend you want your son or daughter to be. Take nothing seriously, unless it’s a food truck or your mother. And when its time, suit up and save Riverdale, asking for nothing in return. Quietly, one dipsy doodle at a time.
Can’t wait to get my hands on the Jughead 2.0 comics