The Battle for a Comic-Book Empire That Archie Built

The entry vestibule at Archie Comic Publications here is a glass portal to childhood innocence, sunny summer days and endless nostalgia: The back end of a vintage white Cadillac, circa 1948, with its killer shark-fin fenders and leather interior intact, has been retrofitted to function as a sofa. Two salvaged audio hookups from an extinct drive-in movie theater complete the Memory Lane montage. Framed posters of Archie, the gullible Riverdale High School redhead, and his equally colorful entourage invigorate the walls.

But to gain access to the company’s administrative offices, you must pass through a reminder of its troubled present: double-locked doors and security cameras primarily installed to keep out a designated intruder, the company’s co-chief executive, Nancy Silberkleit, who since January has been under court order to stay away from Archie.

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