Archie

One of the more interesting gum comics is "Archie and His Pals". While nearly everyone is familiar with Bazooka Joe and Fleer Funnies, Archie gum comics definitely come in under the radar for such a significant character. Few people are aware of their existence, including major Archie collectors. I think the main reason for this is due to the relatively short time frame they were available. They were issued with Blony bubble gum over a two year period, 1957 and 1958. Considering the shelf life of the product, they may have been available until 1960-61. Unlike the other popular characters, who were created specifically to spur gum sales, Archie must have been licensed for use. This wasn't the first time gum companies licensed characters to appear on their comics. Topps started with outside characters before creating their own, for example. Based on the professional look of the strips, I'm guessing they had originally been published as half-pagers in the various Archie comic books.

Blony bubble gum was owned by the Bowman Gum Company, known for their classic baseball card sets of the early 1950s. For various reasons, in 1956 Bowman sold the business and Blony brand name to Topps. If the Archie comics are similar in style and layout to Bazooka Joe comics ... it's because they were made by the same company! Completing a set of roughly 100 Archie comics will take time and patience.






Here's a sample of some of the comics:







Intro
Bazooka Joe
Fleer Funnies Pud and company
Tommy Swell Tommy and pals

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