Archibald "Archie" Andrews, created in 1941 by Bob Montana, is a fictional character in an American comic book series published by Archie Comics, the long-running Archie Andrews radio series, a syndicated comic strip and animation — The Archie Show, a Saturday morning cartoon television series by Filmation, plus Archie's Weird Mysteries.
The stories of Little Archie are also published. As Little Archie, he had a dog named Spotty.
Archie is a typical small-town teenager. He studies at Riverdale High School, and he is also a lead singer of The Archies band. Generous, well-mannered, but clumsy, he is genuinely liked by many of his friends. As a normal teenager, Archie goes ga-ga over pretty girls, but both Veronica Lodge and Betty Cooper try to keep him in check. He is the center of the love triangle between Veronica and Betty. His best friend is Jughead Jones, who has been his friend since they were kids. He is an average athlete who always is second to his friend and 'enemy' Reggie Mantle, from whom he never hears the end of. Reggie is rich and conceited and contends with Archie for Veronica, with whom he shares an 'upper class' complex.
Archie often takes odd jobs to pay for his various projects and his dates. Archie is a good fellow, but he often acts clumsily, coming in conflict with Veronica's father Hiram Lodge and Riverdale High's principal, Waldo Weatherbee. As the lead singer of The Archies, Archie performs with Betty, Veronica, Reggie Mantle and Forsythe Pendleton "Jughead" Jones.
A number of stories have revealed the Andrews family's origins in Scotland, with "Andy Andrews" immigrating to the United States and befriending Moose Mason's Russian ancestor, who was immigrating at the same time. Archie has been depicted wearing the traditional kilt of his ancestors and playing bagpipes (but not very well).
In addition to having many hobbies, Archie is passionate about his car. For decades, he was shown driving a 1916 Ford Model T jalopy called "Betsy".In Archie double digest #192, it is said to be a model a. In a story where Archie tried to have his jalopy insured, he described it as being a "Ford, Chevy, Plymouth, Pierce-Arrow, Packard, DeSoto, Hudson..." The insurance agent originally thought Archie wanted to insure several cars, but then Archie explained that his jalopy was "a collection of replacement parts from several junkyards", with some parts of the car dating back to 1926. In the newer comics, he drives a car which is more contemporary in appearance, but still unreliable and prone to breakdowns.
Archie Digest 239, published in October 2007, contained a new story where Mr. Lodge owned a classic antique car that had a very strong resemblance to Archie's jalopy. In addition, the story had a character referred to as "Grandpa Andrews" who looked and dressed like Archie from the 1940s.
Bob Montana went to high school in Haverhill from 1936 to 1939, and his sketchbook, an illustrated diary of life in Haverhill, was the true origin of Archie and his friends. Montana's daughters once made pages from this sketchbook available online. Several real-life residents of Haverhill were drawn into Montana's creation, as was revealed when film critic Gerald Peary interviewed Haverhill's cartoon character prototypes for the Boston Globe in 1980.
Arnold Daggett was the model for Moose, and Skinny Linehan (Jughead). At a 1989 reunion of Montana's classmates, Daggett said that he recognized himself in one strip "where I was getting kicked out of class." Miss Grundy was inspired by school librarian Elizabeth Tuck, while Haverhill High School principal Earl McLeod was the basis for Mr. Weatherbee. Montana knew the Massachusetts' Brahmin political family, the Lodges, because he had once painted a mural for them; he combined that name with actress Veronica Lake to create the character of Veronica Lodge. Betty was based on Montana's girlfriend in New York.
After four years in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, Montana returned in 1946 to launch the Archie newspaper comic strip, which he drew until his death in 1975.
It is hard to decide which one Archie truly loves: Betty or Veronica. Because of his famous indecision between the girls, the term "Betty and Veronica syndrome" was coined. Archie says in many occasions and stories that he considers Betty to be his best friend, someone that he can confide in, and is more comfortable with her. But on other occasions, he likes going on a date with Betty. Even when Jughead asked him if he likes kissing Betty, Archie blushly answered yes. With Betty sporadically dating Jason Blossom and Adam Chisholm currently, he shows a tinge of jealousy. Archie also admitted on several occasions that whenever he wants to have his ego lifted up, he comes to Betty who will shower him with affection.
Archie also considers Veronica to be his girlfriend. Beautiful, stylish, and not to mention one of the richest girls in Riverdale, Veronica can easily manipulate him, and although he sometimes realizes it, he cannot do anything about it. Archie is always fighting for her affection, especially with other boys and his main rival, Reggie Mantle. Archie admits for some unexplained reason that Veronica can always take control over him. Sometimes he can be his own man, sometimes he can't (variants of this revelation exist as a result of differing writers).
Besides Betty and Veronica, another object of affection comes from another recently introduced character — a rich red-haired girl named Cheryl Blossom. At first, she was deemed too sexual and a bit promiscuous and she was taken out of the series. But when her character was realized to be popular, she was brought her back again, shown in Love Showdown issues.
Archie also dated Ginger Lopez un-officially every now and again.
Christopher Rich portrayed Archie with Lauren Holly as Betty and Karen Kopins as Veronica. As Archie and the gang prepare for their 15th high school reunion, their teenage years are only memories. Archie is an attorney engaged to image-conscious Pam, while Jughead (Sam Whipple) is a neurotic psychiatrist with a troublemaking son (dubbed "Jughead Junior" by Archie). An elementary school teacher and aspiring novelist, Betty is engaged to a jerk named Robert, who is jealous of Archie. Living in France, Veronica charters a Concorde to attend the reunion. She remains in love with Archie, who still has divided feelings for Betty and Veronica.
Moose Mason (Jeff Hochendoner) and Midge Klump (Debi Derryberry) are married chiropractors, while Big Ethel (Cindy Ambuehl) is a beautiful model. Having worked for Mr. Lodge (James Noble), Reggie (Gary Kroeger) owns several businesses. Reggie's plan to demolish Pop Tate's to gain extra space for his gym is contested in court by Archie. At the end, Archie breaks up with Pam, Jughead moves back to Riverdale to open a practice, and Betty plans to teach in Riverdale High. Veronica stays for a while before going back to Paris, and Reggie is forgiven. Panned by both fans and critics, and dubbed "Archie-something" by at least one critic, this pilot film was not picked up for a series run.
On the blogs on ArchieComics.com, there also is a Story Starter page where Archie Comics official bloggers write the beginning of an Archie (or Betty, Veronica, Jughead, etc...) story is listed and replaced once a week. Fans may write a story about the starter and post it on the blog for all to read. In a couple weeks, if the fan won because their story was the best, they are rewarded with either a comic subscription or a comic collector set. They may go on to become the grand prize winner and get their story published in an Archie comic book.
On April 4th 2003, Dad's Garage Theatre of Atlanta, was scheduled to debut a new play, Archie's Weird Fantasy, which depicted Riverdale's most famous resident coming out of the closet and moving to New York. The day before the play was scheduled to open, Archie Comics issued a cease and desist order threatening litigation if the play proceeded as written: "The play was to depict Archie and his pals from Riverdale growing up, coming out and facing censorship. 'Archie Comics' thought if Archie was portrayed as being gay, that would dilute and tarnish his image." For full report, see the "Archie satire lawsuit." However, a couple of Archie projects, Archie Sonic Comic, Knuckles the Echidna and Sonic X didn't had lawsuits due to popularity of SATam, AOSTH, Underground, X, and Sega's copyrights so people can write fanfics about them.