the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Neilochka vs. Archie

I knew one day I would get in trouble for something I wrote online.  I just didn’t expect it to be with… Archie Comics.   Why do I find this ironic?  Can’t I find a real nemesis, like some evil politician, or some big shot mommyblogger?  But Archie and Jughead?!

Today I received an email from Archie, Reggie, Betty, etc. (hereinafter referred to collectively as the “Archie Characters”)  — or rather their law firm — with an attached letter.  It was pretty serious-looking stuff, written by someone who went to law school, and addressed to:

Mr. Neil Kramer
Citizen of the Month

It was about one of my recent blog posts.

Dear Mr. Kramer:

We represent Archie Comic Publications (“ACP”)…

It has recently come to our attention that…

…throughout its existence ACP has taken great pains to maintain the image of its comic magazines as healthy entertainment for children and young adults…

…the fake trailer portrays Archie Characters as murderous agents and includes sexually explicit and violent themes and language…

… tarnishing Archie Comic Publication’s venerable reputation for wholesome entertainment.

Before you start burning your children’s copies of “Archie and Friends” over censorship, the issue seems to be resolved.  ACP was pretty fair about the whole thing, despite their initial hard-ass approach and threatening legal action.  They will not take legal action if I clearly state on the blog that my post is intended to be a parody and that Citizen of the Month is not affiliated or associated with Archie Comic Publications, Inc.

Got that?

Thank you, ACP.   I never had any intention to mock you.  In that previous post, I was actually making fun of what Hollywood would DO to you if they made Archie into a blockbuster movie.  While I appreciate your peace offering, and accept it, I’m still not convinced it is a good policy to send the lawyers against a blogger.  What if I were a teenager?  I would be freaking out that I would be arrested!  A regular ol’ email would have been just as effective.  At least in the beginning.

 I respect Archie Comics for wanting to protect their trademark, and for caring about their young readers.  I spent hours of my youth reading Archie comic books.   I never much cared for those bombastic DC and Marvel comics.  Boy, did I love those Archie comics!

This probably is not the right time to tell a few stories of what I used to do at night, under the covers in my bedroom, while reading Archie comics with my trusty flashlight on, and dreaming about Veronica and her “oh so rich pampered girl ways.”  Believe me, it was healthy entertainment.

This post is intended to be a parody.  Citizen of the Month is not affiliated or associated with Archie Comic Publications, Inc.


  1. Mr Lady


    I will cackle at you evily every time I click on your blog. I will point at my monitor and saw MwaHaHaHaHa! I will count to a predetermined number that I will not tell you in advance, and when I reach that number I will exclaim, “Ala Peanut Butter Sandwiches!” I will fart in your general direction and then I will taunt you a second time.

    You in?

  2. Matthew

    Dude, now you’re legit. I’ve never had douchebag lawyers contact me about MY blog before.

    You’ve got street cred now man.

  3. Backpacking Dad

    Parody is fair use of trademarked material; and you know what? SNL never has to mention on the air that they are doing a parody.

    It was assinine of them to come in hard, then let up to some seemingly reasonable terms that are still totally unwarranted.

    You didn’t have to say anything on your blog about the stuff being a parody

    (Backpacking Dad is not a trademark attorney, although he does know one, um, intimately, and all of his remarks are intended as parody, sarcasm, irony, humour, and pornography.)

  4. Neil

    Yeah, if I were smart, I would have just let them sue me. I would get more attention and I would become like Dooce.

    Instead, I cave in to the MAN. Exactly what Archie would have done. Damn Archie comic books and your nebbishy influence! I should have read The Fantastic Four instead!

  5. Dagny

    Yep, you gave into the Man. But right now all I can think about is where to pick up those fab outfits Betty and Veronica are wearing. Without the white pumps. Because I don’t do white pumps. Except on Halloween. Of course, first I must regain my flat stomach so folks won’t laugh at me.

  6. Pumpkin

    I love reading your posts. Seriously, your blog makes me laugh every day.

    You have a great sense of humor and take on life.

  7. Christine

    The threat of arrest/legal action probably wouldn’t scare a high school student. I’ve been teaching high school for 13 years now, and most of my kids wouldn’t be fazed at all. They more likely say “Oh, F*** them” or something along those lines. They like to come off so unaffected and blase’.

    I do not, nor have I ever, taught in an inner city school. I’m currently teaching at my alma mater, a school of 1600, many of whom still raise livestock/farm (and take classes for this). It’s a strange split – the farmers & good ol’ boys & girls, and the suburbanites.

    You ought to visit – it would give you some good stories I’m sure.

  8. better safe than sorry

    i think i’m in awe of the people that find you, who knew this was possible through a blog. kind of makes you wonder who else is reading, but not commenting.

  9. AnnieH

    It’s always the quiet ones you gotta worry about. Jughead is downright stealthy.

  10. Avitable

    Fuck that – it was clearly a parody and does not have to be labeled as such. What you should have done was post their letter in its entirety, and then write a mocking reply that you also post.

  11. Karl

    You’ve hit the big time when you’re threatened with legal action. I’m so jealous.

  12. natalie

    i am shocked that they cared that much. really. everyone knew it was a paraody, but i guess they feel the need to cover their ass..ets just in case something ever did come of it. amazing…

  13. Dingo

    But maybe they got so upset because it wasn’t parody! Maybe Archie and Friends are real and you were inadvertently exposing their naughty antics. I say dig a little deeper. Just what are they so afraid of, huh?

  14. Dingo

    I’m a moron and can’t get the coding right. I’m going to blame it on a lazy afternoon and several beers. More than several.

  15. Mr. Fabulous

    I hate you. All the beloved institutions I have fucked up over the years and I have never been called on it.

    My self-esteem is shot.

  16. Chag

    This is cool AND scary. You’re my new hero!

  17. V-Grrrl

    Veronica and her oh-so-rich pampered ways. Yeah, I hired a ghostwriter to post this comment.

  18. Kristabella

    Wow, you are so much calmer than me. I would have been screaming about GOING TO JAIL and would have spent a lot of time in the fetal position.

  19. Winter

    I’m with Fab and Karl… you’ve hit the big time if lawyers are sending you letters over a parody posted on your blog. Go you!

  20. brettdl

    Hey, you did the right thing. Lawyers cost a LOT even when you’re right.

    Ah, Veronica. The only reason I ever read an Archie Comic. There was something just so wrong about Betty.

    Was their a plot line? I don’t remember.

  21. melanie

    wow… dis-associated. eh?

    i hated high jr high and high school because of archie and the gang. Damn stereotypes muck up individuality anyway. BURN the comics!!!!

    whew. thanks for letting me vent. those pics are scary.

  22. Ginormous Boobs

    Wow, you are so popular, you’re attracting the lawyers now. That means your blog has INFLUENCE!!

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