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The Magic Continues

By Sabrina F Ahmed

Monday morning. Teenagers around the world grumble and groan as they stumble out of bed. At varying paces, depending on their eagerness (or lack thereof) to go to school, they get ready, and then race against the clock to get there before the final bell goes, and they're penalised. During school hours, there's the whole social drama of teachers vs. students in the classrooms, labs, and detention rooms, flavoured by the occasional romance of a new couple in the crowd, maybe some serious peer rivalry, and of course popularity contests. In other words, a normal scene taken out of a high-school setting in just about any part of the globe.

This is what John Goldwater probably envisioned when he came up with the concept of Archie and his gang, a comic series with which teenagers all over America could relate. When MLJ Magazines (jointly owned by Goldwater and his two partners) came into being in 1939, most comic book characters were either super heroes fighting off Axis forces, or little furry animals placed in the comics with an intention to amuse the reader. Then John Goldwater had a sudden brainstorm. Inspired by the popular Andy Hardy movies, starring Mickey Rooney, he decided to create a normal character, one with whom the young public could relate. Encouraged by his two partners, and utilising the creative talents of writer Vic Bloom and artist Bob Montana, MLJ Magazines published Goldwater's brainchild, "America's newest boyfriend" a.k.a Archie Andrews in issue #22 of Pep Comics, in December 1941.

Little did they realise that Archie would soon become a globally popular figure.

Often referred to as the all-American teenager, Archie Andrews has made his mark. Along with his friends "The Gang", consisting of the sweet do-gooder Betty Cooper, the lovable rich bitch Veronica Lodge, the egocentric Reggie Mantle, the lazy wise-guy Jughead Jones, and a host of others, the Riverdale crew have captured the hearts of millions world-wide, regarded fondly by kids and grown-ups alike.

So what is it about the world of Riverdale that makes it a candidate for a Dream Destination? Well, to begin with, the adventures that take place here are funny, pure and simple…each story is richly infused with good, clean, sometimes irresistibly corny humour. There's a lack of real evil …even the bad guys you might encounter are portrayed as more bumbling and stupid than evil. There is a strong sense of moral responsibility prevalent through most of the stories, discouraging drugs, racial and social prejudices, and promoting environmental awareness and team spirit.

The characters are real, believable, and unique. You can't help falling in love with them. The wacky relationships are amusing…especially the rivalries, including those between Betty and Veronica, and sometimes Cheryl Blossom, and Archie and Reggie; yet at the end of the day, in the face of adversaries, these people stick together and help each other through. Isn't that reason enough to adore them?

Those who've been following the Archie series carefully for some time will have noticed how the characters have evolved with time. They've matured a lot, and the change is quite noticeable if you compare an early comics digest magazine with a more recent one. Yet the unique essence of each character remains the same.

The characters are also cool because they're not stereotyped. Betty is not your usual 'dumb blonde'; next to Dilton Doiley, she's the smartest student in Riverdale High. Although her main role is that of a Good Samaritan who's always chasing her one true love, Archie Andrews, almost always in vain, to call her a 'goody-goody' would be very unfair. The ponytailed 'girl next door' has been devious on many occasions. Similarly, vain and snobbish Veronica Lodge has, on many an occasion, revealed a heart of gold. Other female characters like Ethel, Midge, and Nancy, to name a few, are all equally complex and thus entertaining. The same can be said of all the male characters the 'dumb jock' Moose Mason, the 'brain' Dilton Doiley, sports ace and comic-fan Chuck Clayton…all are people we can relate to.

Along with the Gang, Riverdale sports a couple of other cliques, such as Josie and the Pussycats, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and her crew, and occasionally, Cheryl Blossom. Each group is a barrel of laughs. Is it any wonder that the series is so popular?

Fun, amusing, exasperating, and yet lovable, these comics have been around for over half a century now, and the Archie fever seems to show no sign of stopping. The All-American Teen has turned out to be EveryTeen, and charmed his way into the hearts of millions of readers world-wide, spanning over three generations, and inspired both a cartoon series and a TV series, which makes Riverdale the ultimate Dream Destination.

Destination Futurma

By Dr. Freak

Existence in the present time is always boring; we always regret that we have lost our past and dream to be in a more pleasant future. We forget that the very moment that we call present is also passing away as past. Like most people I also like to be in the future, away from the monotony of life. I always dream for a better exciting future. So my dream destination is the future, in a more advanced world.

If Armageddon isn't occurring in the near future, then the future is going to be infinite. I don't think I'll enjoy a very distant future where robots rule over the world and people are living in different planets (mostly as slaves). My destination is the near future, may be in next decade, about the year 2020. So let's see what I can find in my dream destination:

Stuffs to check out:
Flying cars, household robots, genetically engineered human beings, the 'mighty' empire of the USA, the underwater cities, human colony in the moon (very unlikely). The museums of the extinct animals are going to be exciting to see, as you'll not find any birds or other animals alive around you. Don't be amazed to find gigantic domes of glass over the important cities; the atmosphere is going to be in deep coma by then. Also check out the shops that sell artificial body parts.

Things you may need:
An oxygen mask and 88% O2 filled cylinder, inhaler, UV proof sun-glass, UV protection cream. Make sure you don't have hypsiphobia (fear of height) or you may feel nausea at the 600th floor of the building. Take suitable medicine with you. If you want to wander into mother nature, take life-saving equipments with you.

See technology at its highest men have tamed nature at last. The space-scrapers (the extended version of sky-scrapers) will take your breath away. Comfort and ease can be found easily. Automated services and universal monetary unit will accelerate life. No need for visa the whole world will be under one government.

The pollution of the nature is so much that you can't survive any moment outside controlled environment. Most part of Earth will be like desert, lifeless. Birds and animals will quite extinct. Bangladesh will be a barren land, used as a dumping site of nuclear waste.

So, if you are like nature and natural stuffs, the destination isn't going to suite you. However its going to be a heaven for techno-freaks and gadget-maniacs. But the disater of nature is going to affect you much. If we don't take care, our future is going to be like hell, in hospitable for human life. My dream destination is a better future, not a barren wasteland. But under the present circumstances, our future is blank, our destination uncertain.


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