Writer: Dan Parent
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inking: Rudy Lapick
Coloring: Barry Grossman
Lettering: Mindy Eisman
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom Special, No. 4
Cover Date: 1996
Length: 21 pages (including 11 pages of reprints)
*Although I have the original issue, I’m reviewing this story from the PEP Digital #45: The Best of Cheryl Blossom e-book, since this is one of the few issues of any Cheryl Blossom series for which there’s no digital edition. The credits come from Grand Comics Database. The digital edition has the credits: Parent/Doyle/Goldberg/Lapick/Yoshida/Grossman, seemingly combining the credits of the new story and the 1980s reprint but leaving out Eisman. I don’t know how the credits appear in the physical printed story.
There’s a credits page before the story. I’m not going to open up my physical copy to look at it, but Grand Comics Database seems to indicate it has a concert theme.
Jason and Cheryl see an Archies poster pinned or nailed on the brick(!) wall of a building. The Archies are performing in the “big parade” on “Riverdale Day”, presumably some kind of holiday that’s given no further explanation. Cheryl thinks it sounds boring. Cheryl then points out that the Archies are performing (as if that’s not the first fucking thing that they noticed, what with the band’s photo taking up so much space). Cheryl and Jason have a laugh over it. Incidentally, the poster photo of the Archies seems to be inspired by their appearance on The Archie Show, what with the inclusion of Hot Dog:
Thankfully, Hot Dog is not conducting them here.
Cheryl points out that their local TV channel (channel 6) is covering the event, and “the whole state” will see it. So Riverdale’s shitty local station is broadcast statewide? Is that the case in any state in real life? Anyway, Jason is shocked.
Cheryl says the Archies will be seen by “hundreds of thousands” of people. Jason says it could make them famous. Jason wants to stop them from performing. Cheryl shoots that down, saying they’re “outnumbered on this one”. Who is she counting, and what point is she trying to make? Anyway, Cheryl wants to join the Archies.
At the next band practice, at Archie’s house, Veronica refuses to let Cheryl join. Cheryl takes off her coat, revealing a music-themed dress that she had designed for the occasion. Archie and Reggie get boners, and Archie (I guess; it’s unclear) suggests letting her try out.
Betty is upset at the situation but then agrees to let Cheryl demonstrate her talent. Ronnie is upset, but Betty whispers to her to trust her on this. Cheryl suggests they start playing, and she’ll join in somewhere. They start playing “Jingle Jangle“, because they have nothing new and must resort, yet again, to 1960s bubblegum pop. Cheryl grabs Betty’s tambourine from her “girlfriend” (hey, she said it, and who am I to argue?) to shake it, and she somehow manages to drive her fist through it…and punch Ronnie in the nose. How? And why isn’t Ronnie playing her keyboard? Anyway, Ronnie’s pissed. Cheryl apologizes and picks up a microphone to sing backup, but she somehow trips over “wires” (chords) on the floor…
…and collides with Jughead (after flying over his drum set and completely changing position in midair). Cheryl wants to try drumming. Jason (who’s suddenly here) encourages it. Cheryl looks cute with her tongue sticking out. Anyway, a drumstick flies out of Cheryl’s hand and hits Fred on the head. As Mary takes her husband away, she gives Cheryl a death stare. Ronnie and Archie are pissed at Cheryl. Ronnie refuses to let Cheryl join the band, which shocks her. Um, why the fuck is Cheryl suddenly an Archie-level klutz? It’s totally out of character.
Anyway, Cheryl and Jason leave. Cheryl’s upset. Jason reminds her of “the last time” that they “got involved with their band”.
The next 11 pages are a reprint of the 1980s story, “The Governor’s Gig“, presented as a flashback from Jason’s perspective (perhaps with some contributions from Cheryl), despite the fact that they’re absent for large portions of it (although I guess the band could have filled them in at some point). It seems to me that “Snob Hill Sextette” would have been a better fit as a flashback here. Using “The Governor’s Gig” is also problematic, because the Archies had already been seen by the entire state and become famous in that story, making the parade situation in this story feel like a step down in comparison.
Anyway, back home, Jason suggests giving up this battle. Clifford is off to the “Riverdale Day” meeting. Cheryl’s upset that her dad is “in on that fiasco”. Penelope says Clifford is one of the creators of the event. Clifford adds he’s also the main financial backer. Jason and Cheryl realize this means they’re “in”. They do a celebratory dance, leaving their dad confused and concerned.
Cheryl and Jason go over to Archie’s house and blackmail their way into the band. Ronnie demands proof. Cheryl shows her a flier, which instantly convinces her (I’m not doubting the flier is genuine). The event is sponsored by “Mr. Blossom and the Corporation to Preserve Riverdale”. Betty calls them out on the blackmail, vaguely threatening to let their dad know. Cheryl tells her to keep her mouth shut if they want to stay in the parade. Um, Cheryl is a horrible strategist.
Archie agrees but allows Cheryl to just sing backup. Jason declares himself to be their new manager. Jughead protests, but Archie tells Jughead to allow it, because everything’s taken care of, anyway. Cheryl wants to practice. Ronnie gives Jason a to-do list, including submitting a design for a balloon float. Ronnie explains there’s going to be a balloon of the Archies behind them. Um, how far away is Riverdale Day, and why (despite Archie’s assertion to the contrary) hasn’t this shit already been taken care of? Anyway, Jason doesn’t even attempt to hide the fact that he crumples up the old list and writes a new one (using a notepad and pen that he pulls out of his ass).
On the day of the big parade, everyone’s excited. Betty compliments Cheryl, saying she’s surprised at how cooperative that she’s been. Cheryl says she can be a team player, but she’s secretly planning something for showtime, which is…now. They start performing “Jingle Jangle” in front of a huge crowd. Ronnie’s surprised that Cheryl’s taking the lead. Archie realizes none of their instruments or mikes are hooked up. Cheryl is the only one being heard. This is what you assholes get for not checking your gear before you start playing. Hmm, Cheryl’s not singing “Jingle Jangle”, despite the “Sha! La! La! La!” from the band earlier. Maybe it actually is a new song. The crowd hates Cheryl’s voice. This should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone involved.
The crowd boos her. Cheryl presents “the Cheryl float” (really just a giant balloon of her), much to the band’s shock. Archie demands to know where the Archies balloon is. Cheryl says it’s stuck behind hers. So they had it made, anyway? And how could the band not notice the Cheryl balloon earlier? Ronnie and Betty come at Cheryl to beat the shit out of her, so Cheryl escapes by climbing her balloon, palming her giant, shapely ass cheeks.
Cheryl sits on her balloon’s right shoulder and welcomes everyone to her parade. The crowd pelts her with shit. Cheryl accidentally punctures the balloon with her fingernails. Reggie and Betty have a laugh over it. As the Cheryl balloon deflates (revealing the Archies balloon behind it), Cheryl references The Wizard of Oz. Clifford is pissed at the $30,000 bill that he got for the balloon (so I guess this story occurs over quite a long time), but Cheryl is chill enough to make a joke about it.
This story is pretty fun, but it seems like a rehash.
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