Writer: Fernando Ruiz
Pencils: Jeff Schultz*
Inks: Rich Koslowski*
Colors: Barry Grossman*
Letters: Jack Morelli*
Original Publication: Jughead’s Double Digest, No. 138
Cover Date: May, 2008
Shipping Date: February 27, 2008**
On-Sale DDC Date: March 5, 2008**
On-Sale Newsstand Date: March 18, 2008**
Length: 12 pages
*I’m posting an old review that I wrote in 2008, of a story in a digest that I no longer own. I didn’t make note of anyone other than the writer back then; the info comes from Grand Comics Database. However, it should be noted, according to the solicitation, Fernando Ruiz was credited for both script and art.
**according to solicitations
As before, this new story is the last in a digest that reprints a classic early issue – in this case, Jughead, No. 1 (1949). Let’s get into it.
One day in 2008, Jughead is walking Hot Dog in the park while playing a video game and listening to music on his MP3 player. He also has a cell phone. Two old men, sitting on a bench, comment negatively on Jughead’s gadgets. Jughead, distracted by his video game, accidentally lets go of Hot Dog’s leash. Hot Dog runs away. Jughead chases after him, calling him.
Jughead runs down Memory Lane and finds himself in the 1940s. He comments on the old cars and the “old school clothes”. He thinks they’re filming a period movie. Jughead hears Hot Dog and finds him with old Jughead. Old Jughead hopes for a dog just like Hot Dog, if he ever gets a dog. Jughead and old Jughead meet. They’re both surprised. Jughead recalls when Archie told him about his own trip down Memory Lane and thinks of going back up the street. Old Jughead asks Jughead about his “doohickeys”. Jughead shows off his video game on his “Game Kid“. Old Jughead is surprised at Jughead’s time commitment to the game and isn’t interested. Old Jughead walks away. Jughead chases after him and asked what he does for fun. Old Jughead shows him: they race soap box racers, play stickball, and roll barrel hoops. Jughead comments that that’s as low tech as it gets. Jughead thinks the games are all very simple but fun.
After a quick walk around town, both Jugheads go to the theater. Old Jughead is surprised that Jughead thinks a movie ticket costs ten bucks, and Jughead is surprised that it really costs only a quarter.
Three hours later, they exit the theater, and Jughead is amazed that they saw two whole films, a bunch of cartoons, and a serial. Old Jughead suggests grabbing some “chow” at Pop’s – if Jughead has a nickel for a burger. Jughead faints.
When he wakes up, old Jughead asks if he’s okay. Jughead says he was dreaming of five-cent burgers.
After a quick bite, Jughead mentions his love of everything about the 1940s: the food, jazz and swing music, and the “snazzy retro fashions”. Even his hat is in style here. Jughead decides to stay in the 1940s. Old Jughead approves of Jughead’s decision, saying he’ll “never have to waste four hours pushing buttons again”. Old Jughead suggests celebrating with penny candy and licorice whips. Jughead is excited but then sees a sign that says “You’re Really Keen With a Jellybean!”.
Jughead, Hot Dog, and old Jughead go to Memory Lane. Jughead says good-bye. Old Jughead makes Jughead promise that the Martians haven’t invaded the Earth in the future.
Back in the present, Jughead goes for a run on a sidewalk with Hot Dog while carrying Jellybean and rolling a barrel hoop. He comments that the 1940s didn’t have everything after all: no mom, no dad, and no Jellybean; in the present, Jughead has all of them and can still roll barrel hoops. That surprises an old man that sees him.
Did we really need another Memory Lane story? This story is even lamer than the previous one.
The anti-video game slant is annoying. Video games are a perfectly valid form of entertainment and can be just as fun – if not moreso – than soap box racing, stickball, and rolling barrel hoops.
Hot Dog disappears after the games and doesn’t re-appear until Jughead is ready to go back to the present. That’s pretty sloppy. Did Jughead just abandon him for a while?
Jughead is very ignorant of inflation and doesn’t realize prices were lower six decades ago.
Despite what the front cover would have you believe, old Archie doesn’t appear in this story (except in a flashback).
Finally, Jughead makes the decision to stay in the 1940s to have fun, completely forgetting his family – not to mention his friends. It takes an ad for jellybeans to remind him of his own sister. Up until then, he was prepared to give them up without a thought. He didn’t care for them and didn’t think of how his being gone would affect them. What a jerk.
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