Ep.1 Riverdale and Archie Comics

Kassidy’s Nerd Box is a podcast researched, written, and performed, by my 12 year old daughter and me (Andy, her dad). If you have kids with a nerdy edge to them (who also like a bit of humour in their geekiness) I think they will enjoy it. I think you will too.


Kassidy delves into her nerd box to talk about the history of Riverdale and Archie Comics and shares some interesting facts about the show.

Transcript of the “Brief History” section of the podcast.

Riverdale is a Netflix Original series based on the Archie Comics. The comics weren’t well known in England but were massive in America. It is as much of America’s cultural identity as The Beano is to England.

Archie Comics started nearly 80 years ago in 1939. It wasn’t always called Archie Comics. It started off as MLJ Magazines and mostly featured super hero characters. Archie’s first appearance wasn’t until 1941 in Pep Comics number 22.

The youth of America loved Archie and he soon started appearing alongside the super hero on the front page of the magazine. That super hero being The Shield. Interesting fact about The Shield quickly; The Shield is the reason Marvel’s Captain America has a round shield. When Captain America first appeared he had a triangular one but it was too similar to the shield used by MLJ’s The Shield so Marvel were forced to change Captain America’s shield to the now iconic circular shield. Did that make sense? I feel like I used to word “shield” too many times.

It wasn’t long before Archie’s popularity so overshadowed the hero that he was given the full front page and the company changed its name to Archie Comics.

In 2015 Archie Comics re-launched Archie for today’s generation. It was so successful they had to do a second print of the comics to keep up with demand.

The modern incarnation of Archie Comics has moved away slightly from the safe family friendly tone of its past. Including a Zombie comic called Afterlife with Archie and the very bloody Archie vs Predator crossover.

In 2017 Netflix released a TV adaptation of Archie called Riverdale. Riverdale being the name of the town where Archie lives.


Facts from the podcast.


So, Jughead has a famous hat. He wears it for most of the TV show, apart from when he’s in bed. Or naked. In the show it’s a woollen beanie that’s been cut up around the edges to look like a crown. Originally it was not a beanie. Or it was. Something got lost in translation along the way. It’s actually a fedora. Also known as a Whoopee Cap when worn the way Jughead wears it. Back in the 1920s it was common in America for all men to wear hats. Teenagers, and other people who think they are cool and unique, would turn the fedoras inside out and cut the brim into a jagged edge. They would then personalise them with badges and pints and whatnot. They called it the beanie. The trend to do this got forgotten to history but Jughead kept his on.


Riverdale and Pretty Little Liars were shot on the same set.

When we were watching Riverdale yesterday Kassidy noticed the school, Riverdale High, looked a lot like Rosewood High from Pretty Little Liars. She Googled it. Turns out I’m right. The shots from above the town are identical in both shows. Even the school looks like it was shot from the same angle.




A fact about the show creator, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Roberto is the Chief Creative Officer at Archie Comics and he’s the guy who adapted Archie for television. So, long before Roberto worked for Archie comics, back in 2003, he wrote a play called Archie’s Weird Fantasy, in which Archie comes out as gay. Archie Comics found about the play and issued a Cease and Desist order threating litigation. Meaning they would sue them if they went ahead with the show. The show did happen a few days later but under the name Weird Comic Book Fantasy with the characters’ names changed.

In 2012 Roberto Aguire-Sacasa went to a book signing for Archie Meets KISS where he met the current owner of Archie Comics, John Goldwater, and pitched the idea of an Archie/Glee crossover. Goldwater loved the idea and made it happen. By 2014 Roberto was Chief Creative Officer or Archie Comics having also pitched the Afterlife with Archie zombie comic.




The actor who plays Archie, K J Apa (his full name is Keneti James Fitzgerald Apa but he’s known as K J Apa), is from New Zealand and is half Samoan. His dad is a Matai (chief) of his village in Samoa. KJ has part of a sleeve tattoo to commemorate his father and his heritage and would like to get his whole body tattooed in Polynesian and Samoan designs.




Finally. Do you remember Sabrina the Teenage witch? Did you know that she is also an Archie Comics character?

She’s getting her very own spin-off show called The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

And she’s from Greendale which is a fictional town somewhere near to Riverdale.



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