Writer: Bill Golliher
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inks: Jim Amash
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: Betty and Veronica Jumbo Comics (Double Digest Magazine), No. 281
On-Sale Date: February 26, 2020
Betty leaves the Riverdale Public Library, carrying some books, and greets Veronica and Archie, who are outside. Archie and Ronnie are immediately interested in what Betty checked out. They’re confused when they find out that Betty checked out a bunch of children’s books about a dog named Fido. They’ve got an American Lit book report coming up, and Archie guesses these aren’t for it. Betty explains she’s volunteering with the reading program at the elementary school and plans to read these books with the kids. Ronnie’s shocked that Betty would read books to kids on purpose.
Betty finds it very fulfilling, and Archie says it’s a great thing that she’s doing. He’s impressed. Ronnie says she could do that, too, so Betty invites her to join her there tomorrow during their free period. Ronnie’s looking forward to it and trusts she has some books at home instead of checking them out of the library.
The next day, Ronnie arrives at the elementary school, and Betty introduces her to her (Betty’s) reading partner (Jackson) and Ronnie’s reading partner, Eleanor. Ronnie’s eager for them to read, but Eleanor doesn’t think reading will be fun.
Jackson does good on his book (Fido Takes an Uber), so Betty compliments him, excuses herself, and goes to check on Ronnie. She’s shocked to find out that Ronnie and Eleanor are reading Summer Love, one of Ronnie’s favorite romance novels (and now also Eleanor’s). Eleanor is eager to get back to it.
Betty says this erotic stuff is inappropriate for kids. Ronnie wanted something that’d hold her own interest. All that she has are romance novels, so she’ll have to get an age-appropriate book.
Before we move on, I need to point out a very sloppy art error. The initial cover art seen on Summer Love is immediately switched over to another novel titled Passion Place (and reversed), and Summer Love gets new artwork. Also, the background color on Summer Love changes from orange to gold. Oh, Ronnie also brought a third novel, Untamed. Amusingly, this isn’t the first story that I’ve reviewed where a blonde everygirl takes issue with her raven-haired rich friend’s interest in erotica.
Anyway, Betty hands Ronnie a copy of Fido Drives a Car, calling the books “quite clever” and not as “boring” as when they were kids. Eleanor is upset over the lack of hot action, so Betty gives up and goes back to her table.
After the reading session, Betty asks Ronnie how it went. Ronnie says Eleanor enjoyed the Fido book (even though she’s holding a different one). Ronnie admits it was clever. Betty is hopeful that Ronnie will volunteer again. Ronnie waits until they leave the school to say yes (as I’ve mentioned before on this blog, this is a recurring problem in comics, where a short conversation is unrealistically stretched over multiple locations). Ronnie goes to the library to pick up a few more Fido books – not to read to Eleanor next week but rather for her own private enjoyment. She’s hooked (the book that she’s now holding has a different cover). She just wishes it had some hot action. Betty’s like “What the fuck?”
Overall, this was a cute story. But how hard is it to maintain continuity from one panel to another on the same page?
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