The iconic red-haired Archie, a comic book heartthrob with a perpetually hassled look and two girlfriends, will soon be dancing to Bollywood numbers in the book's Indian avatar published in Hindi and Malayalam. Seventy years after its birth in the US, 12 titles of the popular Archie comics will be published in 2011 by Variety Book Depot and distributed by EuroBooks, a leading publisher of children's books in India, a release by the publisher said late Monday.
Commenting on the launch of the book in Hindi and Malayalam, Jon Goldwater, co-CEO of Archie Comics, said: "Archie Comics have entertained fans for several generations. We wanted to give our fans in India something they could relate to. The move is to bring in some Indian flavour to the comic. It will be the same Archie, the same Veronica and Betty but with a 'desi' twist."
"Fans can now expect Archie and Veronica to dance to the popular Bollywood number 'Aakhon ki gustakhiyaa' or see the gang sing some popular songs like the college classic 'Purani jeans' and oldie 'Kankariya maar ke jagaya' as smart chicks walk past the brood," he added.
The company plans to launch 36 titles by 2012.
The 12 titles in the first phase will include seven titles of the Archie-Betty-Veronica marriage saga. The books have been planned in such a sequence that they will bring to an end the vexed love triangle between Archie, Betty and Veronica.
The remaining five titles will explore the world of Archie and his friends through their funny escapes. Each title will be priced at Rs.30.
The 12 titles in the launch include "Archie Marries Veronica: The Proposal", "Archie Marries Veronica: The Wedding", "Archie Marries Veronica: It's Twins", "Archie Marries Betty: Will You Marry Me?", "Archie Marries Betty: The Wedding", among others.
Archie made his first appearance Dec 22, 1941. Drawn by Bob Montana and written by Vic Bloom, publisher John Goldwater hoped the comic book would appeal to the fans of Andy Hardy movies starring Mickey Rooney.
Goldwater promoted Archie as America's newest boyfriend, "Archibald 'Chick' Andrews", modelled on a red-haired friend. He gave Archie two girlfriends, Betty and Veronica.
Eventually, Goldwater felt that Archie needed a good friend. And Jughead was born.
Over the years, Archie's gang grew and even changed with the times. In 2010, the publishers introduced the first gay character Kevin Keller in Archie comics.