I came to these artists backwards. I've never hidden the fact that Jaime Hernandez of the comic Love and Rockets has been a primary influence. I think that's pretty obvious in any of the various Grey Legacy projects that Fred and I have done. Jaime has always talked about the influence of DeCarlo and Lucey and it took me awhile to really go back and look at what he was talking about. I'm glad I did.
And it's more than just the art. The stories I've been reading are great. The simple love triangle of Archie, Betty and Veronica lends itself to endless variation. The relationships and friendship among all of the characters is truly timeless. Many stories turn on a very simple punchline, some completely subvert traditional storytelling and cross the fourth wall into the surreal.
In the late 60's the Archies were a real band. Okay, they had actual humans playing the instruments and singing, but they were billed as The Archies. The song Sugar Sugar was the #1 pop song in America in 1969. There was this weird promotion where breakfast cereal boxes would have a playable record on the back of the box. The grooves of the record were actually embedded in the cardboard with some kind of plastic/vinyl. You could cut the record out and play it on your record player. I remember doing this with the Archies.
For the record, I'm neither a Betty or a Veronica. I completely understand Archie holding on to both of them.