When Jughead mistakenly ends up on a date with Sabrina - yeah, the teenage witch, it would be an easy way out of writing him as asexual - and I half-suspected that the comics would go this way. But the thing is that Sabrina was originally hired as a talking burger - she dressed up as a huge burger - which sent Jughead into fits: he loves burgers in an almost sexual way, but ladies, meh. At first he just wants to talk to a giant burger, so when he asks Sabrina to do something, it's completely innocent. When she assumes it's a date, everyone gets excited: Jughead on a date! I think, on some level, they believe the magical properties of a vagina - any vag that gets all up into a burger costume - will 'fix' Jughead. Although I suspect this is shaded by me basically being told to just have sex, because I'll like it, and people assuming there's something wrong with me.
To be fair to the comic itself, it never comes out and says this with most of the characters. And it could be that they're simply excited that Jughead is showing interest of some kind of romantic sort towards anyone - or anything. (Again, he likes her best in her burger costume. In an elaborate fantasy in which they get married and have a child, she never takes off her costume and their baby is a baby burger.)
Jughead, afraid of insulting Sabrina, doesn't correct her - which means she assumes he has romantic, or at least sexual, interest in her and when he's nervous and has his friends crash his date to help him out, Sabrina gets angrier and angrier. And you really don't want to anger a witch. Archie, oblivious to the fact that Jughead is still asexual, but trying to help the only way he knows how tries to get them to kiss.
Still, Jughead works through his confusion and eventually apologies to Sabrina. Basically, he figures out he's not so much into ladies as talking burgers. It's pretty awesome that they stuck to this, and somehow found a way to explore alternatives to the asexual aspect without undermining him as a character, or saying there was something wrong with him. I personally really appreciated this because I know I've done the same thing: explored, hell, even denied, and it didn't make me any less wrong or different. It just meant I needed to try. (And I have a friend who saw Paula Poundstone, who is openly asexual and a comedian. Apparently she made a joke about trying sex every ten years to see if she changed and likes sex, and nope. My point just because you are something, there can be confusing times, times that you question, but only you can decide what you are. And because of that, I found this storyline realistic, honest, and I love that it didn't retract Jughead asexuality or change him to try and make him more palatable to the mainstream.)
I'm loving this so, so much.
Genre: Comedy / School / Adventure / Spin Off
Year Published: 2016
Year Read: 12/18/2016
Series: Jughead #1
Publisher: Archie Comics
After I had finished reading “Archie Volume One: The New Riverdale,” I figured that Archie Comics was going to do a reboot on one of their most beloved characters “Jughead!” So of course, I was on board with picking up the reboot of everyone’s favorite crazy and food obsessed weirdo in Chip Zdarsky’s take on “Jughead Volume One!”
What is this story about?
It is an ordinary day in Riverdale until Mr. Weatherbee, the principal of Riverdale High, is suddenly being replaced by a new principal named Mr. Stanger without any warning. At first, Jughead is not bothered by this new development, but when his favorite meal lasagna is being replaced by a nasty nutritious meal, Jughead (of course, being Jughead) panics and starts trying to find ways to bend the new strict rules so he could still do whatever he wants without getting in trouble. Later on however, Jughead soon realizes that the new principal Mr. Stanger has a hidden agenda under his sleeves that might involve brainwashing the student body into becoming the perfect school for spies.
Can Jughead stop this new principal from going through with his plans or is all this speculation about the new principal all just a part of Jughead’s overactive imagination?
Read this book to find out!
What I loved about this story:
Chip Zdarsky’s writing: I must admit that when I first heard about Jughead getting his own book for the Archie reboot, I was bit hesitant in trying this graphic novel out since Jughead is my most favorite character from the Archie Comics and I was afraid that this graphic novel would have messed up his character. Luckily, it turns out that Chip Zdarsky has written the character’s eccentric nature extremely well as this graphic novel is much wackier and more humorous than Mark Waid’s run on the main “Archie” series. I loved the way that Chip Zdarsky wrote Jughead’s overactive imaginations as helping Jughead solve his problems in real life as it made Jughead into such a comical and unique character in this new “Archie” universe. Also, Jughead’s constant reliance on his imaginations to solve his real life problems reminds me a bit of Nickelodeon/Disney’s “Doug” (although a much wackier version of “Doug”). I also like the fact that Chip Zdarsky made Jughead into a more determined character in this story as Jughead is shown as not being afraid to speak his mind about what he likes or dislikes about the new school system and tries to make things better for himself and his friends.
Erica Henderson’s artwork: Erica Henderson’s artwork is extremely humorous and fits the tone of this series nicely as the scenes of Jughead’s imaginations are drawn in exaggerated and creative fashion. I especially loved the scenes where Jughead imagines himself to be a superhero or a time traveler as those scenes are drawn somewhat more dramatically as it portrays Jughead trying to save the day from evil.
What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:
The reason why I took off half a star from the rating was because even though I do think that Erica Henderson’s artwork is humorous, I felt that the artwork made the characters too goofy looking and it was hard for me to really take the characters seriously at times. I actually kind of wish that the artists from Mark Waid’s “Archie” series actually took over for this graphic novel as we would have still gotten the humorous edge for this series with the artwork from the main “Archie” series.
Overall, “Jughead Volume One” is a truly entertaining read if you like reading fun loving and wacky comics and if you are a huge fan of Jughead Jones! I recommend this book for anyone who wants to read a wackier series spun off from Mark Waid’s “Archie” series!
Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog
I"m working through my paper comics because reading on the compute is a little too much for me right now.
This is as funny, charming, and full of friendship and warmth as the other issues. It's got a superhero fantasy in it, too, and I'm loving this character the more I read of this series.
Stanger, the new principal, is doing weird things - shutting down pops, seeming to turn the students into recruits for a spy agency, and when the crew goes to the school where he was principal prior to Riverdalle, well, they find out more than they wanted to know. Recruitment? Yes, but for the army.
And it kinda ends with those that revelation, then Pops going out of business. Jughead is distraught, so much so that he gives up and tells Stanger he wins. I hope he comes back stronger in the next issue!
Jughead gets expelled for bringing a knife to school, except he swears he has no idea how the knife got into his backpack. While his dad tries to get everything straightened out, Jughead passes the time by walking his dog and basically just hanging out. Cue the dream sequence (I'm guessing every issue is going to have one of these?).
This issue seemed much shorter than the previous ones, even though it was about the same length.
I liked that Jughead's dad automatically believed and supported him (while still punishing him by taking away his video games), although he maybe could have found a better way of demonstrating his support. I'm going to guess that Jughead got his deft rule-bending skills from his father. And speaking of those skills, I got a kick out of the bit with Jughead and his dog at the edge of the school grounds.
This particular issue slid into Jughead's usual dream sequence much more smoothly than the other ones. If the situation hadn't been
like something out of a cheesy spy movie
, it would have been easy to believe it really was a part of Jughead's reality. Unlike the other dream sequences, which helped him come up with solutions to his problems, this one just tried to put together some kind of explanation for his current situation. The results were creative, but I'm going to guess that, in reality, Mr. Stanger is more focused on increased academic rigor, modernization, and rigid discipline than on taking over the world.
I can't believe I only have one more issue left. I just checked the release dates of the previous issues and it looks like there's a little over a month's wait between each issue. The fourth one came out on February 10th, so after I finish it I'm going to have an annoying wait ahead of me for issue 5. Ugh.
This time around, the issue ended with two short classic Jughead comics. These were less annoying than the previous ones, but still hideously dated. The first one, in which Jughead conned Pop out of a bunch of hamburgers with a single penny, was probably the best out of all the classic Jughead comics included in these issues.
(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)