Archie Price Variants, Canadian Newsstand Edition, U.K. Pence

Archie Canadian/Pence Price Variants and the Betty’s Diary #36 Mystery

By Benjamin Nobel, January 9, 2019

Hi everyone! My fellow price guide collaborators and I are hoping to expand our guide’s “coverage universe” in the future to include other publishers beyond Marvel & DC; and another publisher that produced plenty of Canadian Price Variants was Archie. This post is to share some interesting Archie variant research from Bill Alexander (by the way if you’ve not yet read Bill’s market report from this year’s guide, you should check it out!).

Archie did quite a lot of quirky & cool things with their variants that you don’t see with other publishers. For example in one particularly surprising instance they produced both single-price newsstand and single-price direct edition Canadian price variants of certain TMNT Adventures issues! And here’s something else they did that’s very interesting: check out the below pair of pictures, for Archie’s 6/1987 Betty and Veronica #1, and spot what they did in the cover price boxes:

Betty and Veronica #1, 6/1987. Left: regular 75¢ cover price copy; Right: 95¢/40p cover price variant.

Betty and Veronica #1, 6/1987. Left: regular 75¢ cover price copy; Right: 95¢/40p cover price variant.

Their Canadian price variant — at right — isn’t single price but rather it also has a 40p price as well! [40p means 40 pence, the price in the UK; click here to learn more about understanding pence cover prices]. Since the “main” cover price is 95¢, we would still call this a Canadian Price Variant… but it has a special distinction of also having been distributed in the U.K. in addition to Canada!

So, this variant is a member of a fascinating “class” of Archie Type 1A variants with dual instead of single cover prices! Bill Alexander has put together a list of Archie issues with such dual Canada/U.K. pricing and I’ll share his research in a moment… but first, I think you’ll be interested to hear about the as-yet-unsolved Betty’s Diary #36 Mystery (and maybe even help us solve it!).

To introduce you to the mystery, take a look at the below direct edition examples for Betty’s Diary #34-38, with the CAN cover prices pointed out in the text along the top…

One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn't belong....

One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn’t belong….

These examples all have the main US $1.00 cover price in large font at the top of the price box, then a Canadian small-print price, and lastly a 75p UK pence price; and the CAN price is $1.20 across all of them except for Betty’s Diary #36 (9/1990) which is $1.25! Let’s see a close-up of the #36 price box, shall we?

bettys-diary-36-close-up

Bill researched to see what the indicia page for #36 shows the pricing should be in Canada for this issue number, and found that it says $1.20 (not $1.25):

bettys-diary-36-indicia

Was Archie doing test marketing to gauge reaction to a nickel price increase? Did they conduct this test just with their direct edition batch, or, on Canadian newsstands as well? What will the cover price be on the Canadian price variant for this issue? Will it be $1.25 or $1.20? We have yet to spot the variant in the wild (these are all extremely tough to find, but especially the later issues as more sales volume shifted to the direct edition channel and the variants were newsstand exclusives), nor are we able to locate a picture of the variant online anywhere. If any readers have the variant for Betty’s Diary #36, please let us know and help us solve this intriguing mystery!

Bill’s Dual Canadian/Pence Archie List

Phase 1 Archie Comics Type 1A 95c/40p Cover Price Variants 5/87-11/87:

Archie #347-353
Archie Giant Series Magazine #569-578
Archie’s Pals N Gals #187-193
Betty and Me #157-162
Betty and Veronica (2nd Series) #1-6
Betty’s Diary #8-13
Everything’s Archie #129-132
Jughead (2nd Series) #1-2
Katy Keene Special #21-23
Laugh Comics (2nd Series) #1-3
Life with Archie #260-263
New Archies #1

Phase 2 Archie Comics Type 1A $1.20/75p Cover Price Variants 3/90-3/92:

Adventures of Bayou Billy #4 (An “Archie Adventure Series” test market $1.20/75p issue, the only one done as far as I can tell)
Archie #375-397
Archie Giant Series Magazine #608-630
Archie 3000 #7-16
Archie’s Pals N Gals #213-224
Archie’s RC Racers #4-10
Betty and Me #181-197
Betty and Veronica (2nd Series) #28-49
Betty’s Diary #32-40
Dilton’s Strange Science #5
Everything’s Archie #148-157
Explorers of The Unknown #1-6
Falculty Funnies #4-5
Jughead (2nd Series) #17-30
Jughead’s Diner #1-7
Jughead’s Pal Hot Dog #2-5
Jughead’s Police Time #1-6
Kooshkins #1-3
Laugh Comics (2nd Series) #20-29
Life with Archie #277-286
New Archies #22
Riverdale High #1-8
Veronica #7-19

Archie Digest Comics Type 1A $1.65/ £1.25 Cover Price Variants 3/90-3/92:

Archie Andrews Where Are You? #67-79
Archie Annual Digest #58-59
Archie Comics Digest #101-113
Archie’s Story and Game #14-22
Betty and Veronica Annual Digest Magazine #3-6
Betty and Veronica Digest #41-53
Jughead Jones Comic Digest #62-74
Jughead with Archie Digest #97-109
Katy Keene Comics Digest Magazine #9-10
Laugh Comics Digest #87-99
Little Archie Comics Digest Magazine #41-48
New Archies Digest Magazine #9-14

Dual Canadian/Pence Archie Example Pictures

Phase 1 Archie Comics Type 1A 95c/40p Cover Price Variant Examples:

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Phase 2 Archie Comics Type 1A $1.20/75p Cover Price Variant Examples:

From the Betty’s Diary series, although we’ve yet to find the #36 variant, we did find the below #34; here are all three versions so you can see them side-by-side (click to enlarge) — direct edition, US newsstand edition, and the Type 1A Canadian/pence price variant:

And here are some other “Phase 2” price variant examples:

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Archie Digest Comics Type 1A $1.65/ £1.25 Cover Price Variant Examples:

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Happy Collecting! 🙂

Happy Collecting, everyone! Do let us know if you have the Betty’s Diary #36 variant and can solve the mystery for us of what cover price they gave it! And thanks again to Bill Alexander for sharing his Archie research and scans! 🙂

– Ben

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2 thoughts on “Archie Canadian/Pence Price Variants and the Betty’s Diary #36 Mystery

  1. Get Marwood & I says:

    I agree, a great piece of research. Well done Bill! As I said in our PM exchange, it’s great that people like you take the time to produce these findings. I know myself it takes a lot of time and patience to hunt down and document variants like these, especially for the publishers beyond Marvel and DC. In the name of obscure variant research, I salute you! 🙂

    Like

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