My daughter is nearly eleven years-old. About a month ago, we were visiting my in-laws and, while there, my mother-in-law gave her a comic book she'd found around the house and that she thought my daughter might like. It was an Archie-related title and my daughter really enjoyed it, so much so that she's been picking up additional titles whenever we're out and, since these things are available literally everywhere, she's amassed quite the collection in short order.
After my daughter had finished the first book, the one my mother-in-law gave her, she started talking excitedly about it and spoke to my wife and I as if she didn't think we'd know what Archie comics were since they were "old." We had a good chuckle about this and explained to her that Archie comics have been around a very long time (the first appearance of Archie Andrews was in 1941 -- nearly 70 years ago) and that most adults read them at one time or another in their lives.
My daughter was a bit surprised by this, since the issue her grandmother had given her was "so old." In point of fact, the issue in question was published sometime in the mid-90s, which I guess is old if you were only born in 2000. As it turns out, though, my daughter didn't think the comic was "so old" because it had been published more than a decade ago; she thought it was old because it didn't look like any of the comics she'd seen on the newsstands or in bookstores nowadays. Regardless, she wasn't criticizing the comic for its appearance or its content. As I said, she loved it, as evidenced by her desire to purchase many more. It was purely a comment about its appearance and she lacked the esthetic vocabulary necessary to articulate her reaction more precisely.
What's interesting is that my daughter, my wife, and I were able to meaningfully converse with one another about Archie comics, despite the fact that my daughter only just discovered them, my wife hadn't read them in years, and everything I knew about them I mostly picked up by osmosis, having been around girls who read them when I was a kid. Looking through the new issues my daughter's been buying, I noticed that each issue contains quite a few reprints of much older comics, but, because the art style of Archie has remained more or less the same over the decades (with a few slight changes here and there, owing to popular fashions), stories published in 1960 don't look that different than stories published in 2010. More importantly, the content of those stories is virtually unchanged: Betty Cooper is still sweet, Veronica Lodge is still spoiled, and Archie Andrews is still inexplicably a babe magnet.
I have no idea if Archie Comics is a successful publisher. On some level, they must be since they're still in business after all these years, but my definition of "successful" is probably not a good gauge of these things. Still, it's interesting to consider, in light of my discussion yesterday, the possibility of a world where RPGs -- or indeed any kind of pop entertainment -- didn't warp and twist unrecognizably with the passing of the years so that children and parents (and even grandparents) could discuss them without having to explain an absurd level of changes and alterations to one another ("Oh, no, Batman's not Bruce Wayne anymore; Bruce is dead."). It's a wonderfully refreshing thing and, while the Eternal Now of Riverdale isn't necessarily a model to be emulated in all creative endeavors, it's nevertheless a solid option and one that I find increasingly attractive. Go figure.