Although the NBC Today Show featured a preview of Archie No. 616 – portraying Obama and Palin as opponents in a championship boxing match -- the comic was not available for sale until December, and is only now repored to be "selling fast" at comic book shops across the nation. “We got it at a North Bend comic shop just before Christmas, but it wasn’t really selling,” says Shaw, a longtime comic book collector who invests in the “art” subject that's featured in these popular “rag” books. However, Shaw said in a June 10 interview that this edition is now viewed as “valuable,” because former Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney "looks like the opponent for Obama, and not Sarah Palin.”
Also, Shaw's predicting a new comic with Romney vs. Palin. In fact, the Washington Post reported June 10 that “Conservatives4Palin.com, a blog run by some of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s more active supporters, posted an item charging that Romney is ‘simpatico’ with President Obama after he ‘totally bought into the man-made global warming hoax.’”
Obama and Palin “Archie” comic is viewed as both art and a top collectable
According to long-time comic book collector, Shaw, the reason why the Archie comic from 2010 is a hot property right now for collectors is (1) it’s popular (2) the cost is still about $3 per copy (3) since it’s a new comic, the condition is not a question (4) the rarity of the issue is growing since it features Plain running against Obama for president when Shaw notes that “it’s not likely.”
“If you read the political news, it’s Romney who will be the Republican nominee and not Plain. That’s why you’re seeing Palin attacking Romney now because she knows the nomination is slipping away,” says Shaw’s partner Beth who also notes the run on these Archie comics featuring the president fighting with Palin on them.
In fact, one comic book shop – that asked not to be mentioned – is now featuring the Archie comic with Obama and Palin on the cover – for upwards of $50 in “perfect condition.” Meanwhile, Shaw points to “comes that still can be had in North Bend, Eugene and Portland for the first issue price of about $3.
Archie comic’s focus on Obama and Palin in a “fight for America”
“The metaphoric battle between right and left” is how Archie Comics publisher Jon Goldwater described it to TODAYshow.com. “Especially with the superhero stuff. They’re wrapped in the American flag, but they’re going at it. And that’s what makes this country great. It’s a very brisk and vigorous debate.”
In another Archie comic, President Obama and former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin share a soda and seem to be enjoying each other's company. Shaw calls that cover "very strange, and also very collectable because Palin is toast now, and this will be one of those artifacts that people will look at 60 years from now and say 'what's the president doing having a soda with that strange lady?'"
According to the Today Show report, here’s a quick summary of the political currents that will roil Riverdale -- home of America’s favorite redheaded teen -- now that this two-part epic “Campaign Pain” has hits newsstands: “Archie is running for student president, and to give his campaign a boost, his zillionaire girlfriend Veronica calls in President Obama himself. In retaliation, Archie’s opponent, Reggie, calls on Sarah Palin for help.”
Also, the a review for this comic noted that “despite their wide philosophical differences, the president and the former Alaska governor find common ground at Riverdale’s Chok’lit Shoppe in Archie No. 616, as portrayed on the milkshake cover."
But Shaw notes how events soon take a different turn in the other edition "with Obama putting on the boxing gloves to knock Palin out."
Comics today mirror real life and such things as political drama
“It’s the other side of the coin,” Goldwater told TODAYshow.com. “They’re still debating and still battling metaphorically for the direction the country should be led. It’s all done in fun, but these are people who are passionate.
“People love it and the phones have been ringing off the hook,” he added. “It gives our artists a chance to spread their wings, and they love it too.”
The politically themed covers are just the latest step that Goldwater -- who was recently named Archie Comics CEO -- has taken to add a more modern flavor to comics that have chronicled wholesome high school high jinks since the early 1940s, reported the Today Show.
Meanwhile, a local North Bend artist Tracey points to the new Archie comics -- featuring the president and Palin -- as “high art because it evokes emotion.”
These Obama and Palin Archie comic books “seem to reflect our contemporary society, and I think everyone agrees that’s one of the goals of art,” she said.