Comics – It’s Friendship

Writer: Frank Doyle*
Pencils: Dan DeCarlo Jr.*
Inks: Jim DeCarlo*
Colors: Barry Grossman*
Letters: Bill Yoshida*
Original Publication: Archie, No. 325
Cover Date: September, 1983
Length: 5 pages

*I don’t have the original issue and am reviewing this story from the digital version of Archie’s Love Showdown Special, No. 1 (1994), which is, confusingly, called “Love Showdown, Chapter 5”. I don’t know if anything was censored or otherwise altered for this reprint. The story might originally be uncredited. The credits come from Grand Comics Database (citing Archie 75th Anniversary Digest, No. 9) and may or may not be accurate.

Cheryl is driving along when she comes across Archie and Betty, the latter of which is picking flowers from a bush on someone’s lawn. So I guess this is Betty’s house (or, at least, I hope it is). What’s weird is Cheryl is standing in her convertible. Is she driving like that, or could she just not wait to get out of her car before standing up straight? Anyway, Cheryl makes fun of “Little Mary Sunshine” and offers herself to Archie as the “spice” alternative to Betty’s “sugar”. Betty asks Cheryl why she has such as mean mouth (note: Betty’s flowers disappear for the rest of the story after this panel with no explanation). Cheryl says “Why, bless my soul, honey chil’!” That…sounds really weird. One thing that I absolutely do not imagine Cheryl being is Southern. Oh, and it seems Cheryl started the trend of wearing yoga pants, judging by the prominence of her very shapely ass.

Anyway, Cheryl keeps piling on the “insults” of Betty being sweet, pissing her off. Y’know, Cheryl’s going on about it wrong, but she does have a point: Betty is a bit too unrealistically sweet and caring at times. Anyway, Archie suggests he and Betty leave, but Betty refuses, because she wants to insult Cheryl, which pisses her off. Oh, we learn the full name of Cheryl’s school is the Pembrooke Academy for Young Ladies and Gentlemen. After hearing some of Betty’s insults, Archie thinks she (or both she and Cheryl) is nuts.

Archie yells at them to shut the fuck up. Cheryl tells Archie to shut the fuck up and makes an awesome E.R.A. joke. After Cheryl yells at Archie some more, Betty yells at Cheryl. Cheryl insults her. Archie screams at both of them that they’re being childish. He asks them if they’ve ever considered being friends. Cheryl is open to it.

Betty is surprised at that. Cheryl re-affirms it to “sweetums”, but she’s open to it only because she doesn’t consider Betty to be competition. Betty’s stunned at that. Archie “tries” to “stick up” for Betty by admitting Betty doesn’t turn him on all of the time. Betty flips her shit and suggests Archie not try to help. Archie is, of course, clueless as to why she’s angry. Cheryl continues on about Betty’s qualities, adding she’s dull.

Cheryl and Betty get into a pissing contest over who can be more “entertaining” at a movie. Hmmm, why don’t the two of you go out on a date together and put it to the test? Cheryl gets in a funny insult: “You’re about as entertaining as a shot of novocaine!” Archie’s like “Fuck this shit” and goes to Pop’s to complain to Jughead about women.

This story is pretty cute, although it’s pretty similar to an earlier one. Friendship between Betty and Cheryl will have to wait.

This story was reprinted as a flashback within the “Love & War” story in Archie’s Love Showdown Special, No. 1, in 1994.


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Author: markmooreauthor

I love watching anime and superhero movies, and I love playing video games. I also write fan fiction and original fiction.

3 thoughts on “Comics – It’s Friendship”

  1. re: “Why, bless my soul, honey chil’!” That…sounds really weird.

    On the other hand, that sounds “really Frank Doyle”. Doyle had this inclination to interject these little colloquialisms in a story, regardless of whether it sounded character-appropriate or not, or even like something that any teenager in general would ever say. So what you have to do in this instance, is imagine that Cheryl has seen this before somewhere in some old movie or TV show, and is clowning around, putting on a dialect and trying to be funny. Maybe Doyle got it from the old Warner Brothers cartoons, where a lot of that type of stuff came out of the mouths of Bugs Bunny and other characters.

    But let this be a notice… the next time you’re reading an Archie story, and you see some weird dialect or expression that doesn’t seem germane for teenagers, just assume that they’re goofing on something that they’ve heard — and I bet dollars to donuts if you check the credits, it’s Doyle putting the words in their mouths. Although occasionally, George Gladir might put something like that in, too. But 90% of the time, it’s Frank Doyle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The one that Doyle used a lot that really got me thinking about this is… (and this has appeared in at least a dozen or so Frank Doyle stories, and always sticks out like a sore thumb)… The ungrammatical usage of the verb “do”, and in juxtaposition to its opposite, “don’t”. It sticks out because none of the Archie regulars (except sometimes Moose Mason) uses ungrammatical English, unless they’re using whatever slang expressions were current at the time of the story’s publication. The basic form of this thing goes something like “He DO, don’t he?”, with some variations. You’ve probably seen this one somewhere if you’ve read a lot of older Archie stories. None of the later writers (those whose careers began after the relaunch of BETTY AND VERONICA and JUGHEAD with new #1 issues in the late 1980s) ever use this, and of the earlier writers, it’s mainly Frank Doyle (although he used it so often, that George Gladir wound up using it in at least few stories). Variations include something like “He DO (fill in whatever in the story the character is commenting on), don’t he?”, and sometimes the person hearing this will offer an agreeing statement like “Oh, he DO, he do!” or “That he do.” (I guess it could also be “she” instead of “he”, but I can’t recall an instance where that was actually the case.) I don’t have any one specific story in mind, so I can’t describe an exact example or tell you what story to look at to find it, if you don’t know what I’m referring to. I’m not exactly sure where Doyle got this from, but it’s like some old comedy routine (maybe it’s from some old time radio show, or even as far back as vaudeville). Not only don’t the Archie characters talk that way normally, but even if there were a teenager who spoke ungrammatically, you can’t imagine any teenager speaking that way, so it really sticks out.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I recently got the PEP Digital #45: The Best of Cheryl Blossom collection and have been skimming through it. I noticed a censored line in this story compared to the version that appeared as a flashback within “Love & War” in Archie’s Love Showdown Special, No. 1.

    In that flashback reprint (going by the digital edition released as “Love Showdown, Chapter 5” in 2012), Archie says “Lots of guys like wholesome girls like Betty, who don’t turn them on all the time!”

    In the PEP Digital reprint, released in 2013, Archie says “Lots of guys like wholesome girls like Betty, who are plain and boring all the time!”


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