When I was little, food shopping was a fun activity. There was a payoff. If I refrained from dunking sugary items into the cart, and the constellations were lined up just right to give us all a good mood, my parents would let me pick out an Archie comic for the week. Starry-eyed, I would dramatically reach for the little books on the tops of the towering magazine stands. Gum? No. Chocolate bars? No. Nothing was ever as tempting at the end of the hunt than holding Betty, Archie, Jughead, and Veronica in my grubby paws.
Flash forward to this past weekend when "Other Words: Literary Conference" in St. Augustine, Florida took place. A particular bunch of us MFAers answered the call for papers with a panel about comic books and creative writing.
I never read many American comic books. I lived and breathed Archie (and then later on, the Sonic the Hedgehog comics... by the same company, really) and only read Wonder Woman via a Christmas present of a collection of WW comic covers. Well... that's just the way it was. I knew that Archie and the gang would be making an appearance in my paper and it was just a matter of what it would be about.
"Behind the Trope: Love Triangles in American and Japanese Girl's Comics" was born.
I find love triangles ultimately exhausting and frustrating to read, so I attempted to overcome those feelings by thinking about what makes this device tick. Betty and Veronica helped me out in this matter, as well as studying one of Yu Watase's newer works, Alice 19th. Poor Archie. Kyo just might give him a run for his money.
I was half hoping for a Betty fans vs. Veronica fans brawl during Q and A, but nothing like that happened. Everyone was rather pleasant :)
I'll hold my tongue on the girl I rooted for over the years. That, I'm sure, would make an entirely different post.