World of Archie Double Digest Magazine 65
Archie’s digest and double digest books were always my favorite as a kid. They were much more durable than the regular comics, and obviously you got more bang for your buck. A normal staple in the digest is a new story to open, followed by a mix of classic Archie, new stories, puzzles, pinups, and a word game or two. There’s enough in there to keep most kids entertained for at least 10 minutes.
The gag cover for this issue sets the theme for the book. Jughead is shovelling snow for Pop Tate, which opens up to the first story ‘The Slip Up’, another classic Dan Parent gag story with Archie, Jughead, Veronica and Mr. Lodge. We open with Mr. Lodge slipping on an ice patch that Jughead created, resulting in a broken foot. Typical Archie hilarity ensues, followed by your typical Riverdale happy ending. Most of the stories that follow are winter themed, with a heavy emphasis on people slipping on ice. There’s also a good 5-6 golden age reprints of Wilbur, Suzie, and even Super Duck. As a kid the digests would sometimes have reprints, but nothing of this caliber. The only real problem I could see with these reprints, is young readers mixing up Wilbur’s Linda and Laurie for Betty and Veronica. I would also like to see Archie maybe put a little context before their golden age reprints. There’s no reason to not educate your readers about the other characters, when they were created, and which issues you’re pulling stories from.
As with any digest you’ll get a good variety of stories from a lot of talented people. If you’ve been thinking about starting a digest collection of your own, this is a good starting point. The price is a little daunting at $5 per book, but you really do get a lot for your money.