I've written about Archie comics before - it seems every time I go searching for comic news they've got some new gimmick. (See my “jumping the shark” newspost, about Archie being killed off)
This time, they've added yet another character to the Archie comics line up in an effort to modernize Riverdale. Harper, who was in a car accident as a child, is the comic's first disabled ever character, according to news stories (although I remember this differently from old issues I had as a kid). She seemingly is only appearing in a single issue for now, but she is intended as a recurring character.
There's no question in my opinion as to whether representation of different kinds of people in fiction matters. Having spent my childhood poring over superhero comics in which the girl's job is usually to turn invisible and press a button or something, I remember being impressed and delighted by some of the badass female characters in The Spirit. Lady-people could be cool, too?!
My question is really whether this is just a gimmick, no different from Archie's marriages to both Betty and Veronica, or whether Archie comics is making a legitimate attempt to become more representative of the real world - and how useful that really is.
Harper about as three-dimensional as an Archie comic character gets, I think. Her defining trait is apparently her love for fashion. Does that mean she isn't a “token” character? I'm not sure.
What do you guys think - is it insulting when comics add token characters to their line up, or does it really make a difference? And what makes a token character anyways? Has the way certain groups of people were represented in comics affected you?
UPDATE on the images issue: according to Ozone he and JNP have managed to fix the problems we were having, so you can all go back to uploading and viewing your comics as normal. Sorry for the downtime with the images!
Have a comic milestone, a community project or some comic-related news that you'd like to see in a newspost? Send it to me via PQ or at hippievannews(at)gmail.com!
HippieVan at 12:00AM, July 11, 2014
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