Comic book character Archie Andrews dies this week. For fans of the iconic redhead, his death - taking a bullet intended for a gay friend - is a momentous finale of the Life With Archie series, which focused on Andrews and his friends as grown-ups.
In honour of this solemn occasion, here are 6 interesting facts about the wholesome lad from Riverdale.
1. Archie is 73 years old
Archie Comics was first known as MLJ Comics, derived from the first initials of partners Maurice Coyne, Louis Silberkleit and John Goldwater. The company began publishing in 1939, but Archie did not have its premiere until Pep Comics #22, published in December 1941.
Archie himself was inspired by a 1930s film character Andy Hardy, played by the late Mickey Rooney. Hardy was the boy-next-door who somehow drove beautiful girls crazy. Sounds familiar?
The Archie series, which follows the American teen's adventures alongside pals such as Jughead, Betty and Veronica, has sold two billion comics worldwide.
2. He married BOTH Betty and Veronica
In May 2009, word leaked that the eternal bachelor would marry Veronica Lodge, one of his longtime love interests. Then, in October that year, it was revealed in a stunning twist that Archie would also marry Betty Cooper. It drove fans wild. (SPOILER: How was that even possible? The storyline had two possible futures.)
3. An Archie TV movie was made in 1990 (No, really)
Archie and gang reunite as adults in this 1990 film Archie: To Riverdale And Back Again. It's worth a watch, even if just to see the gang and their favourite soda joint, Chock'lit Shoppe, in real life.
4. Archie, the zombie?
TODAY -- Afterlife With Archie #3 - second printing collector's cover is at your local comic shop! pic.twitter.com/QhzsWNwD2W
— AfterlifeWithArchie (@AfterlifeArchie) February 19, 2014
When the zombie apocalypse genre was all the rage, the 2013 comic Afterlife With Archie jumped on the bandwagon.
After a car (driven by Reggie, of course) kills Jughead's beloved pet Hot Dog, he asks Sabrina the Witch to bring the canine back to life, with disastrous consequences. Hot Dog turns into a zombie, and then kills Jughead. He in turn becomes a zombie and spreads the contagion to all of Riverdale.
5. Archie will live on, but as a teen
Yes, Archie's life will end as an adult, but not as a teen.
When news broke earlier this year about the death, a spokesman for the comics said the events in the flash-forward series will not affect Archie in the present-day series. His adventures and stories as a teenager will continue.
6. Much love remains for other old comics
— Astérix (@asterixofficiel) November 15, 2013
The Asterix series, which was created by illustrator Albert Uderzo and writer Rene Goscinny in 1959, is a bestseller in the comic book world, with 352 million copies sold worldwide and translations in more than 110 languages and dialects. In 2013, Asterix and his sidekick Obelix returned for a gag-filled adventure to ancient Scotland, in Asterix And The Picts.
Another popular comic book hero, Tintin, has been racking up steady sales among loyal Singapore fans for 30 years and counting, selling an average of 2,000 to 3,000 copies per title annually, according to a 2011 report. The 2011 Steven Speilberg film, The Adventures Of Tintin, also won Best Animated Feature at the Golden Globes.
SOURCES: THE BUSINESS TIMES, MY PAPER, MENTALFLOSS.COM