Today on ComicsAlliance, I use the upcoming Archie #608 to launch into a brief discussion of the history of interracial dating and non-white characters in Archie Comics.
It’s entirely possible that this is only of interest to me (and that I am, in fact, the only one who thinks about Archie this much), but there’s one thing that ended up being left out of the finished article, and that’s the double standard between boys and girls when it comes to interracial dating. Though there’ll never be a story where Archie marries anyone but Betty or Veronica, which I think has less to do with the fact that they’re white than with their status as the Classic Love Interests, he’s always seen hitting on other girls. He certainly had an interest in Kimiko, his new Japanese-American classmate, after all.
The boys, however–and as I said in the article, this plays into the classic racist fears of miscegenation leading to the dilution of racial purity–tend to “stick with their own kind,” as the old saying goes. I’m sure there are probably a few exceptions, but in the majority of the stories, it’s like an unspoken agreement at Riverdale High that Chuck needs to be with Nancy, Frankie Valdez needs to be paired with Maria, and… Well, other than Raj Patel, that’s pretty much all the male minority population, and he hasn’t had time to garner a love interest yet.
It’s a clear double-standard that sets up women as objects that need to be protected and men as conquerors, but the minute I start writing that, it becomes a Whole Big Thing, and Laura told me I’d already hit my mandatory Treatment of Women in Comics quota for this month. So please, enjoy the article, and I’ll keep obsessing over the comics that they keep next to Nutter Butters at Bi-Lo.