When comic book store owner Dave Luebke heard that after 67 years, the carrot-topped everyman of the comic world, Archie, was proposing to va-va-voomy rich girl Veronica instead of girl-next-door Betty, he decided to protest by selling his copy of the series' rare first issue. It fetched $38,837 at auction Friday.
"Betty is it. Not Veronica," said Luebke, whose Richmond, Va., store has more than 1 million comics in stock. "This is serious."
And, he said, 99% of his customers agree that perky, blond Betty is the clear choice over shiny dark-haired Veronica in the seemingly never-ending love triangle.
The Archie Comics website, www.archiecomics.com, shows Archie proposing to Veronica on bended knee on the cover of No. 600, which hits comic book stores Wednesday. That begins a six-issue story arc that takes place in the future -- when the perpetual high schoolers have graduated from college, said Victor Gorelick, editor-in-chief of Archie Comics.