Thanks to Karen, I have fresh Archie to analyze today!
Also, they scrapbook.
But Veronica, naturally, is so self-obsessed that she doesn’t get this at all, even though Gary and Gerald went to prom together and told everybody they were going “stag” and then didn’t dance with any girls at all for the entire night, even when they requested “that we get some happy hardcore going up in this soiree” – and turns her vitriol on Archie because subconsciously she hates herself and the way she dresses.
(This is another reason for her anger at Gerald and Gary; deep down, she resents them because they will not go clothes shopping with her. Despite being wealthier than Midas, Veronica does not have much clothes sense, which explains why she is wearing a trashy pink halter top and yellow cutoffs in this strip, and why routinely she wears either tasteless, flashy outfits that detract from her natural good looks or her misguided and frankly pathetic attempts to ape Betty’s classic all-American-teenaged-girl look.)
That is the delicious irony of the strip: Veronica thinks she is making a witty and cutting observation, knocking Archie down to size, when in fact she is unknowing reaffirming the power of his heterosexuality through her attempted evil words.
Archie, in turn, is so blown away both by Veronica’s malice and by the backwards nature of her accidental compliment that his head twists around like he is Linda Blair in The Exorcist.
And that is what happens in this strip.