May 24, 2011

Jughead and Sexuality: The Brain Campaign.

I hate those damned menaces to romance!
If you've ever watched Chasing Amy -- and if you're a geek you probably have -- then you've seen that scene where a gay guy tries to convince a guy of ambiguous sexuality that Archie comics are gay. He chooses Jughead as the main thrust of his argument -- clearly Jughead is the dom and Archie is his bitch.

Okay, that's utter bull crap, and the movie even admits it's utter bullcrap. Archie is, at its heart, a story about straight sexual relationships. Highly disturbing straight sexual relationships a lot of the time. Except... there's Jughead.

Jughead is a self-avowed "woman-hater". He has no interest in girls whatsoever. So, what is his sexuality then? Is he gay? Is he straight, but he just hasn't discovered women yet? Well, honestly... answering that question fairly is nearly impossible to do with Archie comics. You see, Archie comics aren't really into continuity like super hero comics. Rather, Archie characters are like actors cast in different roles according to the needs of the story.

Sometimes, Jughead loves the ladies. Sometimes he grudgingly accepts them. Sometimes he seems to have specific affection for Betty. And of course, sometimes he just out and out hates them. What this means is that to understand Jughead's sexuality you can't 'attack' it in a general argument. You have to assess it on a one-on-one basis.

Which brings us to Brain Campaign.

Unfortunately I'm not an expert on IDing Archie professionals, so I can't give you a guess at the writer or artist on this piece. But, boy... is it an epic story. It introduces a brand new character (I assume, she feels like a one-shot character, anyway), and literally looks right into Jughead's brain to teach you a little bit about his sexuality.

So to start off, let's say hello to Agent Heartbreaker.

Don't forget to click on these bad boys for bigger images.

Now I'm no expert here Agent Heartbreaker, but I don't think sucking off a dude who hasn't seen a woman in 22 years is that impressive. I think even Big Ethel could manage that one. Still, I think she seems to be winning over her audience.

Poor guy got Dis-mountied.

Despite myself I can't help thinking that Agent Hearbreaker is kinda hot. But man, she's a total bitch. Jilted the poor guy at the alter... and now she's doing home invasions?

Now we get to the really interesting part of the story. Let's see what's on Jughead's mind:

I love well-labelled brainwashing machines.

Okay... yeah. Not exactly unexpected. Jughead, despite being a teenager who should be so filled with hormones he can barely walk thinks about only one thing. Food. Specifically, hamburgers. Who was shocked by this? Not me.

That 5th panel should start a goddamn meme. Get on it, 4chan.

At this point I'm sure nearly everyone can guess the twist that's coming, so let's just get on with it, shall we?

Hahah! It's funny because now he has a crippling phobia!
Bang, there you have it. Jughead HATES girls and he LOVES hamburgers. Does this story really provide any answers about his sexuality? Well... not really. He might still like boning dudes, but he's using a love of food as a substitute. There's not much subtext here, which is one of the things that makes it such an amazing and striking story. Usually Archie stories have plenty of subtext.

The thrust of this story was an attempt by the girls to get Jughead to experience romance. It's kind of amazing, and if there is a subtext to be found it's about the girls of Riverdale and how they try to find romance for Juggie. They hire a special agent, one famed for destroying other men, who creeps into his house, scans his mind, kidnaps him and attempts to brainwash him.

This story might not actually give us any definitive answers about Jughead's sexuality -- but it sure tells us a lot about romance!

--Andrew S.
(Plus, I get the impression the girls of Riverdale would be Twilight fans.)


  1. It would be so much more interesting if Jughead was obsessed with hot dogs :)

    I can never forget that story where Archie and Jughead are SHARING an 18 inch hot dog.

  2. I think some people just like to titter about gayness and slash ship for their own amusement, and that may include some of the folks who actually worked at Archie. I am glad that when the company decided to include the subject they created a new character instead of doing it the bad fanfic way, by vandalizing Jughead.

    While it is apparently incomprehensible to some, there are people who don't give sexual pursuits that high a priority and consider the social aspects of dating to be a hassle. Schizoid types like that may marry if they find someone dependable and low-maintenance, but anything more dramatic would be stressful rather than exciting.

    I much prefer to take Jughead as a simplistic representative of that real but rarely represented minority.