Archie, not Panjabi

It looks like Jughead wont be the only cartoon character wearing a crown in Riverdale any more, there’s a desi (probably ABD) character in Archie’s world (via UB). I’m happy that the character looks and sounds like the others, hopefully he wont be Hajji to Archie’s Johnny Quest.

That said, I actually associate Archie more with India than America. I rarely saw Archie in the USA, but when I went to India there was always a stack of Archie comics in my relatives’ houses in Delhi. Since I often got bored hanging around while the adults caught up on years of news, I spent many hours reading the escapades of Archie, Betty, Veronica, Reggie and Jughead. Just writing this brings back that India paper smell, and all of a sudden I’m 10 again and in my parents’ country, with all the ambivalence that entails.

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p> Archie Comics certainly sees India as fertile ground:

What? No redheads or blondes?

The US-based comic giant Archie Comics Entertainment is firming up its India plans. It is gearing up to launch local language content in India, besides an animation series featuring its characters. The company is in talks with three Indian animation studios for the production of the series. [Link]

Although it will have some competition from local imitators who have planned a Bollywood Archie who looks like a younger SRK:

… in what looks to be India’s answer to Archie, a teenage lookalike of King Khan plays a regular college kid with two femme fatales (Betty and Veronica?) who bear a strong resemblance to Aishwarya Rai and Rani Mukherji. The story is appropriately titled The Naughty Lover. [Link]

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The ersatz Archie story is a year old, but I don’t know if they ever came out with “The Naughty Lover” or not. To the right is a comic from the same people, so it’s possible they just changed the name to the highly imaginative Bollywood.

Do you think that Raj Patel was added because of the expansion into India or just in response to America’s changing demographics? It’s a bit unusual in any case, given that Archie is perpetually stuck in America of the 1950s …

28 thoughts on “Archie, not Panjabi

  1. Is Archie still going strong? I thought he’d have settled down with Betty (sp?) by now with a few kids.

  2. Your welcome :) . It should be interesting to see what aspects of desi-ness are incorporated into Raj, if any.. Yup, Archies are huge back in India… but I bet nothing can beat Tinkle. It would be nice to see the readership stats of these two comic digests in India…

  3. Why does it have to be a Raj Patel? Why can’t it be Raja Ahmed or Raja Singh or even King D’Costa, fot that matter? I see shades of Saffron behind this..

  4. I thought he’d have settled down with Betty (sp?) by now with a few kids.

    In a made for TV movie, Archie was engaged to someone else, Veronica was divorced a bunch of times, Jughead was divorced with a kid, Betty’s a school teacher…

  5. Why does Raj have to have a uni-brow?

    that’s what you’re looking at? he’s doing a nose wheelie on one foot dude!

  6. Archie Comics was one of the few things that made those long hot humid afternoons at my grandmother’s house in Bombay bearable. We used to cross the street to the small lending library in Gandhi Market and get a bunch of Archies and TinTins, tear through them in an afternoon and go back for more the next day. Sometime I see Archie Comics by the checkout stand at the local Safeways, but it’s so much more common to see them in India then here………

  7. How brainy is Raj going to be? Will he be a whiz at math or computers or both?

  8. No, ACBD, Jughead is not gay. If I recall correctly, he had a girlfrriend from time to time..

  9. I always thought a unibrow was a Bong attribute (where something is appreciated, it survives) than a Patelish feature– maybe he’s half Bong? Or would that be too out-raj-ous? I read so many of these in India, I thought they meant Riverdale outside NYC when I came here.

  10. I am waiting for the Lemurian version of these comics with the popular Arvind, the “homely” Bharathi, the spoilt rich Varalakshmi, and the goofy Jagannathan. Of course, in order to maintain some semblance of realism, that big dumb lug Moose will need to be a Scythian import.

  11. Phantom # 14( The Ghost who walks…???)

    Jughead had an on -off relationship with Big Ethel if that’s who you mean

  12. geez, no offense to the Raj Patels of the world, but what a generic name.

    All the names are generic:

    Archie Comics is an American comic book publisher known for its many series featuring the fictional teenage Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, Reggie Mantle and Forsythe “Jughead” Jones characters created by Bob Montana. All characters were based on people he knew in Haverhill, Massachusetts. [Link]
  13. Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, Reggie Mantle and Forsythe “Jughead” Jones characters created by Bob Montana.

    judging from the recent trend in name-choosing, i think they should start switching those surnames to the characters’ first names of the characters – cooper, lodge, jones, mantle, montana.

    … in what looks to be India’s answer to Archie, a teenage lookalike of King Khan plays a regular college kid with two femme fatales (Betty and Veronica?) who bear a strong resemblance to Aishwarya Rai and Rani Mukherji. The story is appropriately titled The Naughty Lover.

    this just resembles kuch kuch hota hai, with kajol bumped off for TMBWITW

  14. Of course, in order to maintain some semblance of realism, that big dumb lug Moose will need to be a Scythian import.

    LMAO

  15. Ash isn’t taking Kajol’s part — notice the roles are reversed. Ash is “the sexy one” and Rani is “the dorky one” (because she’s holding a book and isn’t baring her midriff).

    Which means, theoretically, that SRK will start out falling for Ash but eventually realize that Rani is the one for him.

    However, it appears that neither of the women will be SRK’s girlfriend; that he actually has a third woman, an “Indian sports star,” and Ash and Rani are just in the comic for the “glamour factor”

    Check the news story here.

  16. I thought my cousins in India had an obsession with Archie. I didn’t know it was so popular! Thank God for it though – I was SO bored otherwise. I think I read the same Archie comic book, like, 50 times…the one that involved milkshakes, the jalopy, and Jughead lusting for burgers….

  17. Perhaps the popularity of Archie in the subcontinent had to do it being readable by both sexes; until the fairly recent increase in manga and independent comics in the US, most comics were superhero comics (read spandex and breasts that defied laws of biology and physics) and geared towards the adolescent male. Moreover Archie comics gave us, however stilted, a window into American suburban high school life; and that had its own appeal.

    Re: 11, 14, and 17

    Jughead certainly wasn’t gay; he didn’t particularly care for Big Ethel, but there were a few rare issues in which he did fall for one girl or another.

  18. I still buy double digests at safeway once every 3 weeks :) I end up with sackfuls of archie comics which I donate to some other eager follower. Even though I am fast approaching 3 decades of presence in this world, I love me some comics.

  19. The issue of Archie’s and Jughead’s sexuality was well documented in the movie Chasing Amy. Essentially there were two theories

    Hooper X postulated that Archie could not decide on Betty or Veronica because he was gay and involved with Jughead. “That’s why Jughead wore the crown, because he was the king of queen Archie’s world”

    Banky held the view that Archie was attempting to lure Betty and Veronica into a 3-way.

  20. the spoilt rich Varalakshmi

    Try Vallika, or even better, Varnika. But not shudder Varalakshmi.

  21. India paper smell… MMMMM… :)

    It is different, isn’t it? Anyone know why (am sure the reason is supremely prosaic, but anyway).