Archie Gets An Extreme Makeover

archie (old and new) of Archie Comics CBS

There are eye-opening changes coming for one of the most famous young people in America, and his friends, too: Archie and his comic book buddies, created in 1941.

Everybody read the Archie comics at some point in their life. In the '60s they had their own TV show, and in 1969, they even had the number one song, the bubble gum classic "Sugar Sugar." They kept it clean and wholesome, and the owner of Archie Comics says it worked.

"I think it's because Archie is the kid you would like your kid to really be like," Michael Silberkleit, chairman of Archie Comics, told CBS Saturday Early Show host Tracy Smith. "Riverdale is a place you would like to live if you could."

But for one story due out May 14, Archie is in for an overhaul — "Archie drawn in a slightly different fashion," according to Silberkleit. More angular features, tussled hair, muscular neck, dreamy eyes, but still with the trademark freckles.

Betty and Veronica are getting the most dramatic makeovers: long, voluptuous hair, softer features, but also their new fashions bare more skin that Riverdale High is used to. Low-riding jeans on Betty?

"They do look a little sluttier," Smith told Silberkleit.

"No, not sluttier," he said.

"Don't you think they look like they have a little less clothing on?"

"No, this is the way kids dress today!"

Some fans' reactions can be summed up in one syllable: eek!

Archie's creators have have calmed down angry readers by assuring them old Archie will never go away.

And neither will the age-old Archie dillemma: He's never been able to choose between Betty and Veronica — and no matter how they're drawn, that's not likely to change.

And Silberkleit's choice?

"Well, I kind of like Betty. I don't know, she's more like the girl next door. Veronica is the snooty girl who lives in a big house with all the servants and everybody. Betty's more down-to-earth, and is a better cook."
  • Marianne Goldstein

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