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CSBG Archive

Golden Age Christmas – Archie Learns the Dangers of Having Some Money to Spend Come Christmas Time

Welcome to the latest edition of Golden Age Christmas, where we will feature a different Golden Age Christmas comic book story every day from now until Christmas Eve!

Today we look at the trouble Archie Andrews can get into when he comes into some money around Christmas time.

In 1943’s Pep Comics #46, writer Ed Goggin, writer/penciler Harry Sahle and inker Virginia Drury told a fun tale about Christmas “cheer,” which also served as the first appearance of a major character in the Archie mythos.

Archie receives $50 from his grandfather. As you might imagine, $50 was a LOT of money for a teen in 1943. But right from the get go, his fortune was diminished…

I like that Archie is a good enough kid that he really doesn’t protest too much about the war bond.

However, “tragedy” occurs when the list is lost and found by the WORST person to find it…

As it turns out, though, Gabby STILL told everyone (what the hell, Gabby?!!?) so Betty, Veronica and Jughead are all looking forward to their expensive new presents (I bet Gabby even tried to tell Oscar!) and are surprised to find something different all together…

However, Archie’s friends aren’t bad people, either, so they of course understand…

What a swell tale. Although now I really, really hate this Gabby character.


So, when did Oscar die?

Archie was planning on buying Veronica a negligee? Did that word have a different meaning in 1943, or was Archie even more of a sly dog than we originally suspected?

So Betty gets a sweater, but Veronica rates a negligee? Archie, you dawg!

Ok, so according to the ever-accurate Wikipedia, a negligee wasn’t really considered erotic until after WWII, and was previously primarily just bedclothes. I might accept that, although I’d prefer to think Archie is buying Betty overly tight-fitting sweaters and Veronica lacy undergarments.

And of course, he’s also buying himself a sport jacket. Was he planning on wrapping it, putting it under the tree with a big “from Santa” tag, and then gleefully opening it in front of everyone? (My brother-in-law pulled a similar stunt one year. He’s not … popular.)

For the curious, $10 in 1943 would be equal to a little over $130 today.

Also, I might actually read Archie comics nowadays if he still looked vaguely creepy and occasionally homicidal.

So the doctor that Archie takes Gabby to is a hernia specialist?

I assume Gabby was killed off due to her big mouth? Loose lips sink ships and all that?

I didn’t realize that the Archie art looked like that back in the day, so when I saw the parody in early Mad with Wood art, I didn’t realize how quite on the nose Wood got the look. Damn.

I do believe that’s Doctor I. KLIPPEM, not I KUPPEM. But it is an easy mistake to make.

Did Archie comics have the credits in them often? I see the little sign at the end there with the credits, and that’s pretty neat. A lot of the Archies I’ve seen over the years seem to have no credits at all.

I was thrown by negligee too–thanks for clarifying Mark. So was Gabby the major character? I know Betty and Veronica were around before this.

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