Archie’s mar­riage to Veron­ica in­cites dis­grun­tled reader to sell first is­sue for $38 837

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - AUCTIONS -

DAVE Lue­bke’s Archie Comics first is­sue sold for $38 837 (about R313 000) when Dal­las’ Her­itage Auc­tion Gal­leries of­fered it last we e k . He r i t a g e s p o ke s man Noah Fleisher said the buyer was a long-time Archie reader and col­lec­tor who did not want to be iden­ti­fied.

“Betty is it. Not Veron­ica,” said Lue­bke, whose comic store has more than 1 mil­lion comics in stock. “This is se­ri­ous.”

And, he said, 99 per­cent of his cus­tomers agree that perky, blonde Betty is the clear choice over shiny dark-haired Veron­ica in the seem­ingly nev­erend­ing love tri­an­gle.

“It’s amaz­ing how many sto­ries they’ve got out of this over the years,” said Barry San­doval, the di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions of the comics divi­sion at Her­itage.

The Archie Comics web­site shows Archie propos­ing to Veron­ica on bended knee on the cover of is­sue 600, which hit comic book stores on Wed­nes­day. That be­gins a sixis­sue story arc that takes place in the fu­ture – when the per­pet­ual high school­ers have grad­u­ated from col­lege, says Vic­tor Gore­lick, the ed­i­tor-in-chief of Archie Comics.

He said peo­ple all over the world are re­act­ing to Archie’s choice and “mostly every­one feels bad for Betty”.

For those heart­bro­ken by A rch i e ’s ch o i c e, G o re l i ck re­mains coy, ad­vis­ing: “I just tell them to stick with it. Read through it and you’ll see what hap­pens. A lot hap­pens.”

The Archie Comics web­site shows the pro­posal is­sue is fol­lowed by an is­sue with a cover fea­tur­ing the cou­ple at the al­tar, Veron­ica pro­claim­ing “I do!” and Archie say­ing “Do I ever!” In the next is­sue, twins are on the way.

Af­ter the six-is­sue story arc, the gang would re­turn to high school, Gore­lick said.

Tom Michael, a teen comics col­lec­tor of Wis­con­sin, has a feel­ing all might not be what it seems. “I have a feel­ing that the last is­sues will have him ask­ing Betty to marry him,” he said.

S a n d ova l , who s a i d Lue­bke’s is­sue was in ex­cel­lent con­di­tion, sus­pected Lue­bke’s rea­son for sell­ing might have a bit more to do with the money than anger. Lue­bke con­cedes that the eco­nomic down­turn was a fac­tor, but he said his out­rage on be­half of Betty is real. – Sapa-AP

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