Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Veronica in Canada

Few things are as exciting as being able to read about Veronica Lodge visiting your hometown.

This special edition comic was printed in February of 1991. I got my hands on a copy in university.

I am sad to say that Veronica's visit to my country is...problematic. There are some serious errors. I wouldn't say that it accurately portrays life in Canada.

Veronica is visiting her relative (cousin) Ginger Snap, who is from "the Canadian branch of the family."

The comic gets the best part over with first: The Maritimes. It flows east to west, and she visits every province and territory, which is impressive. They certainly chose some weird highlights, though.

First of all, is Canada known as the "Peaceable Kingdom?" So we see that Veronica has some ideas about Canada: mounties, geese, beavers and flags. Alberta and Newfoundland were able to spring for brochures with pictures on the cover. According to this comic, much of Canada looks just like Newfoundland in those lower panels: white terrain with various historic things standing alone. On to Nova Scotia! Represent!

The first panel: ouch. Ginger doesn't even defend Nova Scotia as not being a frozen wasteland. That hurts.

They only do one thing in Nova Scotia: go to the Fortress of Louisbourg. I've only done that once and it was a long time ago. If someone asked me to recommend one thing to do here, I don't know that that is what I would suggest.

That business about Hot Fungy is just plain false. I have never heard of Fungy. No one I know has heard of Fungy. I asked some Cape Bretoners about it to see if it's a regional thing. No dice. We usually call "deep dish blueberry pie" "deep dish blueberry pie." (Where did Ginger get that steaming piece of fungy anyway?From that startled fairy godmother character in pink? Is Nova Scotian currency a blank white piece of paper?)

Also, mushrooms are avant-garde cuisine, according to Veronica.

Later, on Prince Edward Island...

Shopping? On Prince Edward Island? On Sunday? In 1991? Good luck!

They continue their trip across Canada at a breakneck pace. They eat in a fine restaurant at the top of the CN Tower (which I am pretty sure doesn't exist. There's no restaurant there, is there? Anyone?). They do some dogsledding. They rock Carnaval in Quebec. They see some polar bears. Veronica gets hot for some mounties. I'm really not being biased in only showing panels from the Maritimes. The rest of the comic is boring. It becomes more and more generic the further west she goes.

Then there is this page, which is awesome:

It's not like I expected an Archie comic to be really good, and I guess you could learn a few boring facts from reading this. It's part of a larger series that has Veronica travelling to various countries. It's unlikely that you would see all of Canada in a few days, but there is a lot that is unlikey about Archie comics.

But that's for another day.


tiina said...

Sometimes the fashion in Archie comics is so rad. Ben was pointing out this artist to me who always draws the Archie kids in stylin' mod clothes. Betty and Veronica wear drop-waisted, hounds tooth dresses and Jughead wears, like, ascots and loafers. I love it.

steffi said...

and sometimes ronnie is just an isolated pair of red and yellow polka dotted boobies (see stage right). oh man, i've been there, ronnie. have i ever been there.

Anonymous said...

I like that Veronica mentions what a big country it is, but they still manage to see all the major provinces in...what, a few hours?

Still, that Ginger Snap is a stone fox.

PS--I gave you guys some props on my LJ (http://allthisearth2.livejournal.com/). That should get you...oh, about three or four new readers.

Keep up the good work,

rachelle said...

I like her incognito look with the hooded poncho, shades, umbrella and lobster claws.

Mike said...

So, yeah, there IS a restaurant at the top of the CN Tower. I've been there. It's insultingly expensive.

That, however, is not to say that this comic book is not the most ill-researched travelogue for Canada I've ever seen. It is. The only thing that could compare would be the Spider-Man give-away that came out in the early nineties where Spidey urged kids to stay off the H while he rode a bull at the Calgary Stampede. It's like when the Brady Bunch went to Hawaii and all they ran into were hula girls and witch doctors.

Good work, though.


Johnathan said...

Though that very expensive restaurant at the top of the CN Tower does have a really nice bathroom.

Anonymous said...

Whahaha never heard of fungy. Someone is pulling your leg, fungy (actualy it's fungi) as in fungus you know ;) Normaly used as: Eat my shorts or just eat my fungi. It's ment to be a discusting thing, got it....great LOL.

plok said...

Yup, we're known as the Peaceable Kingdom.

Though, you know...not often.

plok said...

And oh yeah, Louisburg...hmm. Well, it's not uninteresting, I guess...