Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Chuck and Nancy

Archie comics first came out in 1941, at a time when the United States was very much a segregated country. It was only in 1947 that Jackie Robinson played his first baseball game as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers, and this game was around the time President Truman ordered the army to begin the process of desegregation.

So, looking back, it would not have been very odd for the readers at the time to see only light-skinned characters in Archie comics. Luckily though, Archie comics eventually ended their own segregation in the 1970s (I guess better late than never) by introducing a new character: Chuck Clayton.
Chuck is friends with the usual suspects i.e. the whole cast of Archie (everyone is friends with everyone...almost *cough cough Cheryl Blossom*) and is into sports (very good athlete) and is a cartoon enthusiast (that's what he does the most).

Nancy Woods was introduced in the late 1990s to the Archie gang. She remains the only black character in the comic besides Chuck (and the parents). Oh, and coincidentally, her and Chuck are a steady couple.

And so, while Archie broke the segregation barrier over 60 years ago, and since then have introduced a stream (though small) of characters from across the globe and of several nationalities, they still have a ways to go before they will truly be integrated. Perhaps Jughead and Kumi (origin: Japan) could become an item--I mean, with her good taste in food and Jughead's taste, they could get along quite well.

No comments:

Post a Comment