I hear tell of a time in this nation when the biggest problem for high school teachers was kids chewing gum. Personally, I don’t remember that time. Personally, I think it’s total bullshit, a revisionist fable that conveniently shoves aside the real life experiences of lower income and minority neighborhoods. Personally.
Neither of which you’d find in Archie Comics. So this bit of news came as a shock on several levels:
One of the great constants in pop culture history has been Archie Comics. For decades, kids read Archie comics that were more or less the same as the ones their parents read. The characters always looked the same, the plots were always the same, and the jokes were as played out now as they were during the Eisenhower administration.
In an upcoming issue of Archie, the venerable comic book franchise go through a serious change. Miss Grundy, a teacher at Riverdale High, will die of cancer. The story is a continuation of a recent plot that saw Archie’s life split in two: in one world he is married to Betty, in the other world he’s with Veronica.
In recent issues, Ms. Grundy had recently become romantically involved with Riverdale’s portly principal Mr. Weatherbee. Sadly, Ms. Grundy will lose a battle with cancer, causing the normally care-free gang at Riverdale to think about their lives more deeply. –NowPublic.com
I read my share of Archie comics. My older brother would get his hands on them, and I’d browse until I got old enough to figure out what unfunny crap it was. Right about that same time I discovered something else: Betty and Veronica were stacked. (In enhancement era levels, of course.) From that point on, the only sane reason to read an Archie comic was to admire the artwork.
Today, the thought of Miss Grundy and Mr. Weatherbee having sex is as repellent as imagining grandpa teabagging grandma on their 50th anniversary. Back then, I couldn’t even have thought it at all.
As for that pesky thing we call Real Life, I promise you that public school teachers in the Eisenhower era did not look even remotely like teachers today. I had elementary school teachers from whom pit bulls fled in terror, and whose voices caused bleeding from the ears. The only difference between my third grade teacher and a 1957 Buick was the port holes and number of tires. One was nicknamed “Miss Medusa,” although I didn’t know why until years later. Another reportedly died of parvo.
Anyway, sorry to see your demise, Ms G. True, you were a repellent old fraud, good for making the comic book lives of teenagers crappier than they had to be, but that was your lot in life and your execution was admirable. Would be ironic if breast cancer is the culprit: for all that drooling we kids did over Archie Comics, your ta-tas aren’t the ones anybody ever thought about. Far from it, then and now.