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Veronica #195

Posted: Monday, July 27, 2009
By: Penny Kenny

Dan Parent
Dan Parent, Jim Amash (i), Barry Grossman (c), Teresa Davidson (l)
Archie Comics
On a trip to Paris, Veronica encounters another Archie--an Archie who’s charming, romantic, and rather cute. When Riverdale Archie finds out, what will his reaction be?

With very little effort, “Archie or Archie?!” could be turned into a charming Disney Channel movie for tweens. The ending would have to be tweaked a bit as Dan Parent goes for laughs rather than romance, but the other elements are in place. There’s the young lovebirds separated by circumstance, the sophisticated other boy, the loyal other girl and, my favorite part, the meddling adults.

While Veronica and the two Archies are well-characterized, it’s the supporting players who steal the story. A helpful footnote informs readers that Lady Smith, a pivotal player in the plot, was introduced in earlier issues. While I’m not familiar with her, Parent makes her an instantly memorable and vivid personality in the few panels in which she appears. One can easily imagine her popping in and out of Veronica’s life, complicating it with various nephews and godsons.

Betty, while not getting a lot of page time, has some good scenes with Archie. With a minimum of lines, Parent establishes that she’s trying to protect Archie from heartbreak, but that she’s also more than willing to console him should said heart get dinged.

Mrs. Lodge has a charming bit, coming off as a woman who’s seen Sleepless in Seattle and A Love Affair a few too many times. This issue incorporates its Paris setting well, name-checking a few of the City of Lights’ more famous sites. It hearkens back to the Veronica series of the '80s, in which every issue the lovely heiress would find romance and adventure in a different country.

Though I’m not fond of Parent’s profiles--his women are just too snub-nosed--he gives the characters an attractive perkiness. His cover, however, is the real gem of the issue. Attractively sophisticated, it incorporates traditional melodramatic romance motifs such as tears, hearts, and the Eifel Tower, giving it the classic look of a '50s movie poster.

“Archie or Archie?!” is a delightful story that romantics of any age can enjoy.



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