When I was a kid, I was totally obsessed with Archie comics.
There was this comic book store on my way home from school and I'd always try to convince my mother to buy me the new comics. I still remember the excitement I felt when I had a brand new comic to read. Especially the double digest.
When I was about eight years old, I learned how to draw from Archie comics. I'd draw Veronica and Betty over and over. Essentially, they are the same, except if you're drawing Betty, you make her hair in a ponytail and you don't color it in. And Veronica usually looks a little angry.
(Drawn without peeking!)
Aside from the usual Archie comics, there were offshoots. Like, for example, there would be a Jughead comic, which would be the same basic comics, but all sort of revolving around Jughead. I remember there was also an Archie 3000 comic, which was supposed to take place in the year 3000. (Interestingly, Archie comic's idea of the year 3000 wasn't terribly different from Back to the Future's idea of the year 2015. One word: Hovercars.)
Even though my parents bought me the comics, they'd also kind of belittle me for reading them. I mean, couldn't I read more, I don't know, Baby-sitters Club and less comic books? It got to the point where I started to feel bad about reading them, so when I turned eleven, I gave them up cold turkey. No more Archie comics. The only residual was that I kind of liked redheaded guys for a while (till I dated one who really sucked).
Years later, when I was in medical school, I was at a friend's house and she had an Archie comic lying on her coffee table. I'd imagine this was how a former crack addict must feel if they gave up crack at age eleven, then walked into a friend's house and saw some crack lying on the coffee table. Anyway, my friend offered me the crack... er, Archie comic, and I read it, and just like that, I was hooked again.
It was even worse to be hooked on Archie comics at age 24 than it was at age 10. At 24, you can see how silly and repetitive all the storylines are, yet I still felt compelled to keep reading. And my boyfriend totally encouraged it by buying them for me.
Let me tell you, if it's embarrassing to be buying an Archie comic at age 10, it's mortifying at age 24. I had to pretend I was getting it for some imaginary child.
I was hooked for another year, then I finally quit again. I think I've finally got Archie out of my system, at least until he chooses between Betty and Veronica, because I've got to know how that ends up.