December 1987: the latest issue of BETTY & VERONICA features an all-girl art gallery expedition in which Betty is queried as to her favorite artist... let's watch!
Like most of the rest of the Western world, Betty Cooper prefers the bold competent lines of Dan DeCarlo, one of America's finest cartoonists. Why, she even breaks the fourth wall and addresses the reader - while at the same time acknowledging her existence as a mere comic book character! It's a postmodern milestone for Archie Comics.... FOR NOW.
Let's flash forward sixteen years and check out BETTY & VERONICA DOUBLE DIGEST #116, which among other things features a reprint of this same exact story. Well, maybe not so exact...
In a retouching feat worthy of the great Stalinist purges, Dan DeCarlo has been expunged from the institutional memory of Archie Comics! The dynamics of history - well, that, and the lawsuit Dan whacked Archie with over "Josie & The Pussycats" - have forced his legacy down the memory hole. Now, instead of a tribute to one of the greats, we're presented with a tepid shout-out to the nameless drones who toil in Mamaroneck's comics workhouses. And that's just lame.
On the other hand, I gotta wonder how Archie agreed to publish the original version in the first place, and anyway, where's the Samm Schwartz or George Gladir props? Come on guys!
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