When was the last time you read, or even thought about an Archie comic?
Do you remember the eternal struggle between Veronica and Betty for Archie’s affection?
How about Jughead’s remarkable ability to consume 20 hamburgers in a single panel? After 67 years of life in Riverdale High School, Archie and his entourage were finally paid their dues.
For more than nine years, the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA) has hosted countless exhibits in homage to the most renowned and iconic figures in the world of comics. From Nov. 19 to Feb. 28, the museum has dedicated much of its limited space to the long-running Archie series.
Located on 594 Broadway between Houston and Prince streets, the museum is crunched into a fourth floor suite of a nondescript building, which is easy to miss amid the chaos of crowds and window displays. Bright pink, orange and blue walls make up the interior of the MoCCA and upon entering one cannot help but embrace its cartoonish ambiance.
The Archie exhibit begins with a large portrait of the red-haired and freckled comic book character, who is lavishly dressed as 14th-century English ruler, King Henry VIII.
The exhibit takes the viewer on a chronological tour of the Archie series’ history starting from the 1940s to the present day. The walls are filled with original artwork and informative blurbs that detail how the creators of Archie have managed to appeal to readers of different generations
While the exhibit is informative, the knowledgeable staff can offer insight to broaden one’s appreciation for the art of the comic book. One staff member was eager to explain how the creators of Archie routinely addressed topical social issues. For example, Archie featured issues in the 1960s revolving around the Civil Rights Movement and in the 1990s, promoted environmentally conscious behavior.
Although the gallery can be equally entertaining for both comic book enthusiasts and casual passersby alike, the exhibit only has about enough material to last you 30-40 minutes. Consequently, be sure to wander into a nearby café to discuss your newfound Archie epiphanies to anyone in your general radius who is willing to listen.In addition to the galleries, the MoCCA hosts frequent seminars and educational courses by comic book professionals who have written and illustrated for interpretations of the Spiderman, Batman, and X-Men series.
Operation hours of the MoCCA are from 12-5 p.m. on Tuesday through Sunday.
NeoIntegrity: Comics Edition ExhibitMarch 12-May 30
Dash Shaw: Making the Abyss Artist TalkTuesday, May 25 at 7 p.m.
Ralph Bakhsi: The Streets ExhibitionFriday, March 19 at 6 p.m.