Confession time: I’m a grown man and still read Archie comic books. Actually, this really isn’t much of a confession as the company’s line of comics appeals to a wide demographic. Readers of all ages enjoy the exploits of Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead, and the gang, thanks to highly accessible stories that are fun to read and amazing artwork from such legends as Dan DeCarlo, Stan Goldberg, and Harry Lucey.
In our upcoming Archie Comics & Comic Art Showcase sale, we’re offering a slew of original work from these and other artists, usually in the form of comic book pages. There are a number of other Archie collectibles in the sale as well, including some nifty merchandise.
Here are five lots from the auction that I find especially interesting:
1. Dan DeCarlo and Jim DeCarlo Josie and the Pussycats #102 Inside Front Cover Hostess Twinkies Ad “Peace and Quiet” Complete Story Original Art (1980)
Part of the fun of reading vintage comic books is checking out the hyperbolic ads: everything from Sea Monkeys to 100 Toy Soldiers to X-Ray Specs. My favorite is the various Hostess Snack Cake ads, which read like one-page bonus stories that invariably end with the processed sugary sweets saving the day. In this highly appealing ad, the bikinied duo Betty and Veronica use Twinkies Cakes to distract Archie and Jughead from noisily working on a car.
Most people associate the great Neal Adams with Marvel and DC heroes like the X-Men and Batman, but he got his start with Archie, working on Adventures of the Fly and Archie’s Joke Book Magazine. On the one-page story offered, Adams adapted his work to the Archie house style of the time, but there’s no doubting the quality on display, even at this early stage of his career. I’m a big hoops fan, so I especially like the “Basket Magic” strip.
As the Lead Video Game Cataloger here at Heritage Auctions, and as a big comics fan, I’m always intrigued by video game-related comic book covers. This charming work by Stan Goldberg depicts aliens playing “Space Invader,” the name of which is obviously inspired by the 1978 coin-op classic, Space Invaders. However, the game screen looks more like Atlantis for the Atari 2600. Regardless, it’s a neat image that I’d love to frame and hang up in my game room.
As much as I appreciate original art, autographs, movie props, and the like, some of my favorite collectibles are licensed items that were available on a retail level. In short, I love me some merch! This grouping of 24 collectibles is incredibly cool, featuring records, VHS tapes, sheet music, 8-track tapes, a poster, View-Master reels, and, perhaps most nostalgically, a trio of “Flexi-discs” that were cut out from the back of cereal boxes.
Many of the better Archie covers are not only well-drawn but also funny and filled with innuendo. This preliminary drawing by Bob Montana says a lot with just a few words and a striking image. Hiram Lodge is shown reading the paper in the background, exhibiting his usual disdain and distrust of Archie, who is getting ready to kiss Veronica. The text is referring to the kiss, of course, but older readers may, ahem, read more into it (so to speak).