Sunday, September 4, 2016


Today’s bloggy thing resumes my 136-part series on the comic books that hit the newsstands in the month of July 1963. That month was pivotal to my comic-book career because it was the month when Fantastic Four Annual #1 ignited my desire to write comics. 

Archie’s Rival Reggie was launched in 1949 and ran fourteen issues with the last of those issues dated August 1954. The numbering was continued when Reggie #15 [September 1963] was relaunched after an absence of nine years. The revival would only last four issues, but two later Reggie-helmed titles lasted longer. Reggie and Me would also continue the numbering from its predecessors and run 108 issues from August 1966 to September 1980. Reggie's Wise Guy Jokes would run 55 issues from August 1968 to September 1980. Poor Reggie. Both of his titles canceled in the same month. But, as you will see, Reggie should be used to things not going as he would like.

Reggie #15's cover is a redrawn version of the cover of Archie’s Rival Reggie #14. Here’s the earlier cover:

The Grand Comics Database doesn’t have contents or creator credits for Reggie #15. Today’s bloggy will help with the former, but, as someone who's not very good at identifying artists, I can’t tell you who drew either of these covers or the interior stories. Hopefully, on seeing the covers and the splash pages of the stories, some comics art detective will be able to name the artists. Thanks to Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928-1999, I can say that Samm Schwartz and Bill Vigoda contributed to this second run of Reggie.

I’ll apologize in advance for the awkward scanning of these pages. If my new scanner has a cropping function, I have not been able to find it. My previous scanner - rest in peace, old friend - made it easy to do that. I’m thinking I may have to shop for another new scanner very soon.

The writers of these stories? I may engage in a bit of speculation on that front. However, it will be just that...speculation...until someone more skilled at writers IDs confirms my guesses.

As always, I’m only going to discuss advertisements if I have not discussed them in earlier installments of this series. However, I will discuss any house ads.


“Playback” (6 pages) leads off the issue. Reggie is impressed by the sneaky way Veronica keeps Archie from knowing she’s going out on a date with Riverdale’s bad boy. So he tries the same tactic to take Midge on a date. Unfortunately, it was Moose who gave the idea to Veronica in the first place. Reggie ends up in a doctor’s office to the tune of two rolls of bandages.

Moose giving cheating advice to Veronica? In what world does that happen? This must be the Moose of Earth-3.

Get used to Reggie losing. This self-proclaimed “master prankster” finishes second in every conflict here. I’m wondering if that’s why the revival only lasted four issues. If a fan was buying Reggie on account of liking Reggie, he or see might not have been thrilled to see the character always get his ass handed to him.

We get two pages of fillers before the next Reggie story. The first has two half-page strips: Reggie in “Anchors Aweigh!” and Jughead in “Liquid Limit!” They are followed by “Hose Down!”, a full-page Li’l Jinx gag written and drawn by Joe Edwards.

In “Tropical Heat Rave” (6 pages), Reggie is tormenting Archie on the hottest day of the summer. He asks him if it’s hot enough for him, which people have been asking Archie all day. Recognizing an opportunity to bug Archie, Reggie manipulates first Jughead, then Betty and Veronica into asking Archie the same thing. The hilarity is of short duration for Reggie. When he tears his pants and asks Veronica to bring him something to cover up with, she returns with a full-length fur coat. When Archie sees Reggie, he asks his rival if it’s hot enough for him.

This could be a Frank Doyle story because of the masterful way that it builds to the punch line (panel). Anyone know for sure?

Next is a full-page house ad for Archie Giant Series Magazine #24, which features The World of Jughead. A quarter will get the comic book mailed to your house.

“Just an Idea” (5 pages) is a convoluted story. Reggie annoys the workman fixing some loose bricks on the school. Then, with Jughead erasing the blackboard, our title “hero” throws an eraser at Archie and frames Jughead for the deed. Miss Grundy sends Jughead outside to clean the erasers, which Archie’s pal does by pounding them on the wall. Mr. Weatherbee is not happy with the marks left on said wall. Reggie comes up with the idea of using a vacuum cleaner. He figures this will make him Weatherbee’s fair-haired boy. Except the workman sabotages the vacuum cleaner. Chalk dust all over the room. A water hose comes into play when the workman feigns thinking there is a fire. Reggie and the principal get soaked. The story concludes with Reggie pounding erasers on the wall. It’s not a bad story, but it needed better pacing and more pages.

No writer guess on this one. However, since Reggie kind of sort of buck teeth in this story, the artist isn’t the same artist as the previous two stories. It could be an Archie artist who was drawing the strip in the 1940s.

More fillers. Shrimpy appears in “On the Beam!” The one-page gag is drawn in a style similar to the Peanuts comic strip, but not in the same league as Charles Schulz’s remarkable creation.

That’s followed by “Frontier Medicine.” The one-page text story is all about the homemade cures and medicines created by the pioneers who settled and expanded the United States.

In the single-page “Misunderstood,” Reggie delivers a soliloquy on himself. I liked it so much I’m sharing it with you:

In “Teachers’ Fret” (5 pages), when Mr. Flutesnoot sits on a tack, he figures Reggie for the culprit. Send to the principal’s office, Reggie defends himself by explaining how the tack-on-the-chair gag isn’t close to the master prankster’s schemes. Reggie’s recitation of his clever past pranks is amusing, especially when, to further prove his “innocence” in the tack matter, he pranks Mr. Weatherbee. Twice. Reggie explains why these pranks work and seems to convince the principal. Weatherbee writes a note to Flutesnoot attesting to Reggie’s innocence. Except...

When Reggie gives the note to Flutesnoot, it’s blank. The teacher gives him a month’s detention. Cut to a grinning Weatherbee holding up a jar of disappearing ink. Reggie loses again.

This final story of the issue has crisp, funny dialogue. It builds to its punch line. I’m thinking Frank Doyle again.

Look for the next “July 1963" installment in the near future. Look for something else in tomorrow’s bloggy thing.

© 2016 Tony Isabella


  1. Several years ago, I read a bunch of old Archie comics from the '50s. As someone whose main exposure to Archie was in the '70s, I was pleasantly surprised by what a complex character Reggie was in the '50s.

  2. I always appreciate a good Earth Three joke.

  3. I always found Reggie so unlikable that I can't recall ever purchasing a single comic in which he was the lead.

  4. Thank you again Tony for posting these on your blog. I've got the info added to the GCD so once it is approved it will be public for everyone to see.

    FYI: The title of that first story is Playback not Payback if you want to fix that in your blog.

    And, it looks like almost all this issue was reprinted material, mostly from Archie Annual #13 from just a year or two earlier.