Tandy Computer Whiz Kids “vol 2 #2”
Radio Shack/Archie Comics Publications (July, 1991)
“Safeguarding The Environment” & “Archie And The History Of Electronics”
WRITER: Mike Pellowski
PENCILER: Howard Bender
INKER: Jon D’Agostino
COLORIST/PRODUCTION: Barry Grossman
LETTERER: Bill Yoshida
EDITOR: Victor Gorelick
In the main story, Alec and Shanna are teaching their friend Jeff about the benefits of recycling. Learning of a dumping area by the lake, the kids all pitch in to clean it up with the rest of the class, but the trio catch illegal dumpers, and use Alec’s camcorder to film them at a different site. With the hard evidence, the dumpers are brought to justice and the authorities clean up both sites.
What they got right: The art has seriously improved in this new format. The kids show their smarts in uncovering the illegal operation. It’s no terrorist or supervillain fighting but it works.
What they got wrong: Look, I’m actually pro-recycling and anti-littering but I do question some of the “facts”. For example the comic claims all the landfills will be filled to capacity by the year 2020. Well, I’m in 2023 and apparently we figured something out. I’m not going to go over every piece of information because I’m not an environmental expert and this was the early 1990s. Things change and adapt, and we learn more. However, this is a comic about kids using Tandy computer to fight crime, or at least it was. The only thing the computer is used for is tracking how much money Alec and Shanna are getting from recycling cans, while once again the camcorder is the tool for justice. They should call this the Tandy Camcorder Whiz Kids at this point. Also, Ms. Wilson is now Mrs. Wilson and Detective Shaw’s replacement finally gets named, Detective Smith. I miss Jack Shaw.
After some activity pages, we get a story with Archie and friends. It’s just a story about them going to an electronics museum to learn about the history of electronics. Not even computers. We don’t get more than a brief mention of them, which is just odd given that, once again, this is the Tandy Computer Whiz Kids. We do however get a promotion for granola, which is apparently Archie’s favorite food. Okay.
My review sounds harsher than it sounds. The two stories are okay and getting a double-sized comic for free with activities would have been cool for kids back then. It’s just I miss the computer talk, the dangerous criminals, and the superheroes. This is just an environmental PSA and I came for blatant Tandy computer promotion. All we get is the camcorder.