Minorities in cartoons: Toni Topaz

This week’s minorities in cartoons entry is Toni Topaz, a supporting character in Archie Comics.

Toni‘s first appearance was in “Jughead Double Digest” #176 (February 2012). Writer Tom DeFalco and artist Ron Frenz created Toni.

Background

Toni’s an African-American girl whose signature look is her pink hair and preference for purple clothing. Her first appearance states she attends Riverdale High’s rival, Central High School.

Similar to Kevin Keller and Jughead, she also possesses a voracious appetite, which she put to use in a cupcake eating contest that Jughead entered. However, Jughead was forced to forfeit after needing to find his missing preschool aged sister, Jellybean. Since then, Toni’s been hoping to challenge Jughead at a rematch.

Toni’s made at least one other major appearance, in “Archie” #654 (May 2014). There, Toni took part in a speed dating day held at the Chocklit Shoppe. She met and had a short conversation with Jughead, who (per his dislike of dating/romance) was only there for the buffet Pop Tate’s serving.

Toni’s also made it into the 2015 Archie reboot. In the rebooted series, Toni shows some musical talent, as well as some interest in boys (in “Archie” (vol. 2) #11) and girls (in “Archie” (vol. 2) #17).

Despite her few in-story appearances, Toni (like Trev Smith) has made a rather large number of appearances on Archie comics covers, promotional materials, etc. Her distinctive appearance probably makes her a popular choice for such, though hopefully she’ll get more than just cameos in the future.

Other media

Toni will appear in season two of the live-action CW series “Riverdale.” Actress Vanessa Morgan will play Toni.

(Updated 7/25/17)

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