I have been reading & enjoying Archie’s comics for over two decades now. I was introduced to them during my high school days by my cousin “Anand” who is now working in the USA. Those days (and even now in Indian Rupees) they were very expensive and not easily available in Chennai. The option was to rent them from book lending libraries and my favourite was Raviraj Lending Library in Usman Road (Opposite to first GRT Thanga Maligai), Chennai. Those days the membership was like Rs.25 or Rs.50 and even if you take half-a-dozen books for reading you paid, only a few rupees (which itself I got after a big fight with my mother). Even now, whenever I take my nephews to libraries like the Eloor lending library in North Boag Road, Chennai, I don’t fail to pick up few issues of Archie’s – I enjoy them the same way as I did two decades ago.
And whenever I travel to the USA and shop at say Safeway, I end up buying the latest issues of Archie’s. At $3 per issue, they are expensive but cheaper than a Starbucks coffee, right?. Last week when I was there I bought the Feb ’08 issue of Pals ‘n’ Gals double digest. What pleasantly surprised me was seeing the main character shown on the cover was of “Raj”, an Indian Student whose parents are Dr Ravi Patel and his wife Mrs Mona Patel – names different from the regular Anglican names. In this issue, Raj is shown to be a tech whiz who is directing a school film for fun.