The Tonight Show – Peanuts (Riverdale Parody)

Peanuts-00-posterWriters: bunch for the episode as a whole; no telling who wrote this sketch in particular
Director: Dave Diomedi
Upload Date: Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Length: 5:46

I have no doubt that Jimmy Fallon is a huge nerd. He got most of the Saved by the Bell gang back together to record a new mini-episode, he did a California Dreams reunion, and he got Alicia Keys to perform a healtfelt piano rendition of the Gummi Bears theme song. Somehow, though, this one slipped by me.

Fallon decided to do a parody of Riverdale (which was in its second season) by doing a Riverdale-style take on Peanuts, the long-running comic strip (which spawned television specials, theatrical films, and a stage musical).

Here’s the incomplete cast, courtesy of IMDb:

Jimmy FallonCharlie Brown
Lianna NielsenLucy van Pelt
Steve HigginsPig-Pen
Quest LoveFranklin

You can watch the parody here (it’s up to you if you wanna watch it before or after the review):

Let’s get into it:

Peanuts-01-town-1Peanuts-02-town-2Peanuts-03-town-3Peanuts-04-town-4Peanuts-05-town-5The story begins like the first episode with the shots of the town and the typical Jughead-style narration.

Peanuts-06-SchroederThen Schroeder urgently informs some random students that Charlie’s gonna kick the football.

Peanuts-07-Charlie-shoesPeanuts-08-CharlieCharlie asks Lucy if she’s gonna take the football away.

Peanuts-09-Lucy-footballPeanuts-10-LucyLucy tells Charlie that he’ll have to trust her.

Peanuts-11-SnoopySnoopy barks a warning.

Peanuts-12-CharlieCharlie insists he’s got this.

Peanuts-13-Lucy-CharliePeanuts-14-Charlie-groundShe never changes, and he never learns.

Peanuts-15-Lucy-phoneShe takes a picture of him to post on Instagram.

Peanuts-16-Charlie-picturePeanuts-17-gangPeppermint Patty and Marcie arrive, upset. Charlie asks what’s wrong. Patty says it’s Linus.

Peanuts-18-Marcie-Patty-patch-1Peanuts-19-Marcie-Patty-patch-2Patty and Marcie had gone to the pumpkin patch to wait for the Great Pumpkin

Peanuts-20-Linus…but found Linus Van Pelt, “cold, alone, and anything but great”. Yeah, dumbass went out to the pumpkin patch and froze to death.

Charlie’s reaction? “Good grief.”

Peanuts-21-titlePeanuts-22-gangLucy can’t believe her “idiot brother” is dead. Charlie tries to assure Lucy that he has a plan.

Peanuts-23-Marcie-PattyPatty asks if he has a video of the killer. Marcie asks if he has online forensic evidence.

Peanuts-24-gangNope. He wrote a song about it. He plays a stupid club song on his laptop, consisting of the words: “Linus is dead, and we’re all really sad.”

Peanuts-25-SchroederYep, that’s about my reaction, too. Of course, in addition, I have to question when Charlie composed this song.

Marcie gives a half-assed attempt at a compliment, and Charlie seemingly sees right through it.

Peanuts-26-Schroeder-Lucy-CharlieSchroeder hopes Charlie isn’t going to perform it at the Fall Formal, but Charlie thanks him for the “great idea”.

Peanuts-27-Pig-PenPeanuts-28-gangPig-Pen shows up and greets the “buttholes” with an insult and a cloud of dust.

Pig-Pen asks if the “skidmarks” are crying about “that loser, Linus”. He calls the dead kid gross and then proceeds to play with boogers and have bowel movements in front of everyone.

Then Pig-Pen tells Chuck that Ms. Othmeyer (not sure about the spelling) wants to see him; she says it’s “super-urge”.

Dramatic music plays. Charlie goes into the school. The bell rings.

Peanuts-29-schoolPeanuts-30-teacher-CharlieSo now they parody a scene from the second episode. Charlie and his teacher had a fling over the summer, and he tries to say it’s wrong. Hilariously, the teacher sounds like a trombone, like the adults (mostly) sound in the various Peanuts specials and films. They were in the pumpkin patch when Linus was killed, and Charlie insists they have to tell someone. The teacher trombones at him a bit, and Charlie gets turned on.

Peanuts-31-Lucy-shockedLucy walks in on them and is shocked. She runs off, and he gives chase.

Peanuts-32-Lucy-CharlieLucy confronts him about it – but only because her brother’s dead. So Lucy is like a cross between Jughead and Cheryl here.

Peanuts-33-Lucy-Charlie-2Lucy heard everything. He has her back up. She confronts him again and demands he tell everyone the truth.

Peanuts-34-Lucy-Charlie-3When Lucy says they’re sixteen years old, Charlie looks directly at the audience and doesn’t exactly do the best job of convincing us.

Lucy doesn’t have time for this shit. She tells him to have fun at his “stupid dance” and leaves. Charlie punches a locker in frustration.

Peanuts-35-nice-sceneryPeanuts-36-Charlie-FranklinAfter school, Franklin meets up with Charlie. A depressed Charlie tries playing his stupid song for Franklin, who immediately shuts that shit off.

Peanuts-37-Charlie-Franklin-2Franklin says moping won’t bring Linus back, and he’s gotta keep living his life. Charlie thanks him, and they head to the Fall Formal to put on their show.

Peanuts-38-FranklinFranklin wonders why he’s the only black person in this town.

Peanuts-39-school-nightPeanuts-40-disco-ballPeanuts-41-Charlie-stageAt the dance, everyone is having a great time. Charlie gets on the stage and mentions how “it’s been a rough eight hours”.

Peanuts-42-LucyLucy silently encourages him.

As he goes down to meet her, he tells the crowd that they don’t know who killed Linus, but he swears they won’t stop until they find out who did it.

Peanuts-43-Charlie-LucyAs long as they’ve got each other (and his music), he thinks they’re gonna be okay. He then suggests they “turn things up a notch”. He signals to Schroeder.

Peanuts-44-Schroeder-pianoSchroeder starts playing “Linus and Lucy”, the familiar piano music from the animated specials:

Peanuts-45-dancingPeanuts-46-Charlie-dancingPeanuts-47-Pig-Pen-FranklinPeanuts-48-Charlie-Lucy-dancingEveryone rocks out. The narrator informs us that they danced all through the night, trying their best to regain the innocence that they had lost, but things would never be the same, because, under the surface, this town was “nuts”.

Then these assholes show up:

Peanuts-49-gangPeanuts-50-gang-WTF“What the fuck?”

Peanuts-51-dancing-2Betty asks what they’re doing.

Peanuts-52-gang-CherylCheryl asks “Is that, like, dancing?”

Peanuts-53-dancing-3Veronica finds it very “weird”.

Archie finds it “so crazy” and asks the others if they wanna hear the song that he just wrote about it.

Peanuts-54-gang-Jughead-laughsCole Sprouse briefly breaks character.

Peanuts-55-gang-ArchieThen they’re like “Fuck no!”

Peanuts-56-gang-leavesPeanuts-57-title-2So this was pretty hilarious. A Riverdale take on Peanuts? Genius. The cameos from the gang at the end were icing on the cake.

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Comics – Movie Madness

Cheryl-Blossom-GH-2
Writer: Bill Golliher
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inking: Rudy Lapick
Lettering: Bill Yoshida
Coloring: Barry Grossman
Editor: Victor Gorelick
Editor-in-Chief: Richard Goldwater
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom (Goes to Hollywood*), No. 2
Cover Date: January, 1997
Length: 21 pages

*The first two Cheryl Blossom miniseries that preceded her ongoing series were simply named Cheryl Blossom, but they have unofficial names. Things get more complicated here. This third miniseries is called Cheryl goes Hollywood on the front covers and Cheryl Blossom (Goes Hollywood) in the indicia. Additionally, it has been referred to as Cheryl Blossom Goes Hollywood by fans, but it’s listed on Amazon as Cheryl Blossom: Goes to Hollywood (which makes no sense, considering, as we’ll soon see, Cheryl doesn’t actually go to Hollywood).

Although I have the original issue, I’m reviewing this story from the digital edition.

Part 1

There’s a brief text recap of the previous issue.

Cheryl walks into Jason’s room (we know this, because there’s a convenient sign on the wall that reads “Jason’s room”) and finds his video camera. She wants to get rid of the alleged embarrassing footage of herself (which she hasn’t actually seen and which Jason really had no way of recording). She picks it up, setting off his security system.

Guard dogs somehow open the closet door and come out. Cheryl runs away. Oblivious, Penelope is happy to see Cheryl “taking Jason’s new pets for a walk”. Cheryl climbs onto the chandelier (her “only hope”) but drops the camera, which Jason is conveniently waiting to catch.

Jason brings a ladder over for her, and she climbs down. They banter for a while. It boils down to Jason using the tape as an “insurance policy” to make sure there’s nothing embarrassing to him in Cheryl’s film (not that Jason had ever been indicated to be part of Cheryl’s film). Apparently, one scene in the film involved Cheryl pushing her hesitant bungee-jumping grandmother off a cliff.

Cheryl leaves to edit her documentary. Jason warns her to stay away from his.

Cheryl purchased a bunch of state-of-the-art equipment to edit the film with the Tarantino knockoff. Why not just edit it at his facilities? He’s working for you, anyway. Anyway, Cheryl wants to “make Jurassic Park and Star Wars look like cheap home movies”. Good luck with that.

A few weeks later, Veronica walks into Pop’s and asks if anyone’s seen Cheryl. Jughead tells her. Betty is honestly excited and can’t wait to see their movie debuts, seemingly not caring that Cheryl’s gonna make them look like idiots. When Jughead mentions the Tarantino knockoff and Cheryl’s budget, Betty suddenly gets upset and asks how Cheryl can invest so much in an ego trip. Ronnie’s like “It’s Cheryl, bitch.”

Reggie just wants to see himself on the big screen. Someone (possibly Reggie) talks about how Cheryl’s film will be worth a fortune. Someone else (possibly Archie, although he hasn’t been in this scene until now) agrees. Gah, the continuity in this scene is horrible. We start out with Ronnie (coming in), Betty (near the table), Jughead (at the table), and Dilton (at the table). On the next page, we’ve suddenly got Reggie and Jughead at the counter, and Jughead’s wearing a completely different shirt. Then we’ve got a silhouette shot of (I’m guessing) Betty and Reggie at the table, Archie near the table, and Jughead at the counter. Ronnie and Dilton have gone missing. It’s a mess. Dilton didn’t even contribute to the conversation, so why have him here in the first place?

Anyway, at a nearby table, two stereotypical idiotic sleazeballs named Frankie and Shorty have overheard Reggie’s remark. Frankie wants to steal Cheryl’s film and hold it for ransom.

Meanwhile, outside Cheryl’s, Cheryl pays the SFX artists for the “special defects”. A film canister suddenly appears in her hand (they didn’t hand it to her; in fact, they explicitly walk away while she’s empty-handed). Cheryl holds the canister up high and loudly announces Cheryl Blossom The Documentary to the world – or at least her neighbors. Frankie runs by and grabs the film out of her hands. Cheryl starts crying and demands the Tarantino knockoff go after them, but this is all too “weird” for him, so he’s going back to “quiet ol’ Hollywood”. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Part 2

On…another day (or else everyone decided to change clothes), Archie, Reggie, Betty, Jughead, and Dilton have gotten the message that Cheryl left at the Chocklit Shoppe (ah, the days before widespread cell phone use) and rushed right over. Okay, this is sloppy beyond belief. It’s obviously meant to be the same day (it would make no sense otherwise), so why is everyone wearing different clothes? At first, Cheryl was the only one that I noticed: a white-and-blue sailor fuku in Part 1 and a blue dress in Part 2; however, everyone has been the victim of shitty continuity. Anyway, Cheryl wants her “dear friends” to hold her, so Archie hugs her. Cheryl recounts what happened between sobs and then just breaks down.

Wait. Are we expected to believe that is the only copy of the film? Wouldn’t there be at least a workprint somewhere? And what about all of the raw footage? Combine that with the edit sheets, and the film could be reconstructed.

Later, in Cheryl’s house, Archie vows to Cheryl that they’ll get her film back. Suddenly, a stone with a note wrapped around it crashes through a window and hits Archie right in the fucking face. Dilton reads the ransom note while Betty checks on Archie. The ransom is $1,000,000. Cheryl wants to call the police, but a second stone (hitting Archie in the head) warns against it.

Ronnie spots Frankie and Shorty hiding in the bushes, and Cheryl identifies them as the thieves. Archie’s seen them in Pop’s before. Archie hops outside to take a shortcut through the trellis and will meet the gang downstairs. Cheryl gives Archie Jason’s walkie talkie (why does she have it?) to keep in touch. The thieves’ van stalls out for a while, allowing Archie to hop on the bumper and cling to the back. Jason overheard the commotion and offers to drive the rest of the gang.

Archie relays to Cheryl (who’s at home) that they just turned on Front Street, and he guesses they’re heading for the waterfront. Jason (I guess) says they’re right behind him. While Cheryl listens on the scanner, she makes a phone call.

The thieves have arrived at the waterfront and want to get into their hideout. Archie confronts Frankie. Frankie bonks Archie on the head with the film canister. The others arrives. Frankie threatens to drop the film in the water.

Dilton confronts him, so Frankie throws the film (instead of just dropping it). Suddenly, Cheryl swoops in, hanging from a helicopter, and rescues the “tape” (which seems to be two film canisters). As she detaches from the line, lands on the ground, and strips for the cameras (the film canisters disappear in all of this), Cheryl explains what she did, which includes calling the press. Yup, she did this for publicity.

Part 3

Okay, I count news crews from at least four TV stations: channels 3, 5, 6, and 8. These can’t all be local, town-owned stations, but how could they arrive here in time otherwise? And would they really come to interview some teen heiress about rescuing her own film from thieves? It’s like…who fucking cares?

And…what the fuck? Everyone except Cheryl has changed clothes again! Reggie’s shirt even changes within the same scene!

Anywway, per Cheryl’s interview, she’s going to premiere her film at the film festival held by a Robert Redford knockoff in…Canned, Turkey. Ha. Betty just assumes they’re all going and is excited over a trip to Turkey. Because, when I think of places that I wanna visit, Turkey is at the top of the list. Anyway, Cheryl says her plane will be leaving from Riverdale Airport tomorrow afternoon (she gets no more specific than that) and tells the press to be there to cover it. Riverdale Airport?!

After the press leaves, Betty again assumes they’re all going. Cheryl’s upset and says they’re not fucking going. Betty says they thought they would be, since they’re the “stars”. Um, no, only you thought you’d be going, Betty. Cheryl says it’ll be “too confusing” having everyone there and says they can see it when she gets back. Jason’s suddenly holding his camera for whatever reason. Ronnie’s pissed, but Cheryl threatens to leave her out of the sequel. Cheryl regains the film canisters and leaves with Jason in a completely different car than Jason was driving in Part 2. Betty is hellbent on going to Turkey. We learn Riverdale apparently is large enough to have a crosstown bus.

Ronnie, with “a little convincing with Daddy”, offers to get them to Turkey. Um, why are you now seeking Daddy’s permission, Ronnie? You do remember you and Betty going to Paris just to prevent Cheryl and Archie from fucking, don’t you?

The next day, at the airport, Cheryl hams it up for the crowd (and the news crews and the TV audience) After Cheryl’s plane takes off, Ronnie orders her own pilots to follow it.

Soon, on her own plane, Cheryl is surprised to find out that Jason’s on board. Um, how could she possibly miss that? Anyway, he’s still got his stupid camera and is getting footage of “dear sister” for his “little project”. Just knock the fucking camera to the floor and smash it to pieces.

Jason overheard Cheryl’s supporting cast is on its way. Cheryl’s pissed but then realizes they won’t be allowed in, anyway. Still, she has a plan.

Later, at the airport in Turkey (they flew on the Lodges’ private plane; why are they at a commercial airport?), Betty’s positively orgasmic. Ronnie wonders where Cheryl is, assuming she made the same nonsensical landing choice that they did. Betty spots “Cheryl” getting in a cab, but it’s just her pilot, Captain Thomas, in a wig. The gang hails another cab and are in hot pursuit. Why not just go directly to the festival? Anyway, Thomas calls Cheryl, who tells him to get them as lost as he can.

The gang follows “Cheryl” onto a train, but then the conductor asks them for their tickets (as all conductors do). He somehow identifies them as Americans. Ronnie says she and Betty are the new lounge entertainment (taking a cue from a sign but not accounting for the actual lounge entertainment), and Dilton, Archie, Reggie, and Jughead are the new dishwashers. The guys are like “What the fuck, bitch?!” Thomas relays everything to Cheryl.

Part 4

Cheryl (who has changed clothes) gets a big laugh over it. She instructs Thomas to get plenty of film footage for her. Jason (who has also changed clothes) wants to check out the film festival.

In the train’s kitchen, Reggie’s pissed at Ronnie and seemingly threatens to punch her. Ronnie apologizes, saying they were under pressure. Way to blame it on your bestie. That was all you, Ronnie.

Soon, Betty and Ronnie squeeze themselves into the gowns for the usual entertainers. Speaking of the usual entertainers, where are they? Did Betty and Veronica clobber them, strip them naked, and stuff them in a closet or something?

They go out. Ronnie wasn’t counting on them having to play the instruments themselves. Ronnie goes and sits in front of the piano, and Betty picks up the microphone. Betty asks if Ronnie knows “any native songs of Turkey” for whatever reason. Ronnie recalls her fifth grade piano lessons and plays “Turkey in the Straw“. Betty facepalms.

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Archie gets on Reggie’s case for refusing to wash dishes with the “losers”, which soon escalates to a food fight, much to Dilton’s delight.

Meanwhile, the audience has gotten tired of Ronnie and Betty repeatedly performing “Turkey in the Straw” (they did it nine times). If only these bitches were in a band or something. Anyway, they wrap it up and take bows, ripping the backs of their stolen gowns. They cover their asses in embarrassment. They’re lucky that their boobs didn’t pop out. Anyway, Thomas has gotten it all on film.

Back in the kitchen, a server (or whoever) has opened the door, and one of Reggie’s thrown dishes flies outside, hitting a passenger. A food fight starts among the passengers, because that would totally happen.

Amidst the chaos, Betty spots “Cheryl”, who Ronnie tackles. Thomas explains. Someone (not the conductor) throws the “crazy Americans” off the train.

Meanwhile, Cheryl and Jason arrive at the festival. Cheryl meets the Redford knockoff, who has no idea who she is. She introduces himself, and he recognizes her from the story that’s been “all over the papers”. Seriously? He kisses her on the hand.

Cheryl gets a call from Thomas, who informs her that the gang just got kicked off the train (somehow, he didn’t). He also mentions the “great footage” that he got. Cheryl wants Thomas to send the footage to her right away, hoping to edit it in before tomorrow evening’s premiere. This is impossible on so many levels. Sure, you can do that easily in the digital age but not back in 1996. Cheryl declares “I’m going to make my movie the best in the world, no matter how much it might embarrass them!” Jason is happy to have gotten footage of her saying her “best line”. Somehow, this doesn’t make Cheryl suspicious.

Archie asks a goatherder for directions to the film festival, confusing him. The end. A caption hypes the “unbelievable conclusion” next month.

So…this story was all over the place. If it had ended a little after the halfway point, it would have been fine (albeit still pretty flimsy), but this feels like two separate issues squished together. Riverdale is made to seem to be about the size of a big city, there’s no concept of how films are actually made, once again characters go halfway around the world just to interfere with Cheryl, and there are more art errors than I’ve ever seen in a single issue.

The following info comes from Grand Comics Database: After the story is a page of fan art (from Brenda Ferguson (Alberta, Canada), Nicole Laney (Honolulu, HI), Julie Leibach (Gainesville, FL), and Jennifer Delacruz (Ann Arbor, MI)), a 1-page illustration (supposedly by Dan Parent) titled “Cheryl’s Hollywood Hot Teen Looks”, a 2-page “Dear Cheryl” letters column (also including a messageboard and fan art (from Stephanie Stewart (Independence, KS) and Tessa Barrett (Nova Scotia, Canada))) by Sara Algase, and a half-page Editor’s Notebook by Victor Gorelick. None of this extra stuff is included in the digital edition, which is a shame.

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Comics – Season of the Witch

BV-Friends-Digest-285Writer: Dan Parent
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inks: Bob Smith
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: Betty and Veronica Best Friends Jumbo Comics Digest, No. 285
On-Sale Date: October 14, 2020
Length: 5

So here’s some backstory. When the plague hit, the comic book industry had its ass kicked. Diamond stopped shipping comics. DC went its own way. The Big Two drastically reduced their output. Nerdrage was unleashed. Prophecies of doom were foretold. Shitslinging commenced.

Even Archie Comics was affected. Vampironica: New Blood just barely concluded in time. The third issue of Sabrina the Teenage Witch: Something Wicked didn’t come out until nearly five months after the second issue, and the series still hasn’t concluded. Archie #713 didn’t come out until over four months after #712, finally completing the “Archie and Katy Keene” arc, and there’s been no new issue (nor announcement of one) since then. Over at Dynamite, the final two issues of the Red Sonja and Vampirella Meet Betty and Veronica crossover didn’t come out until four months after the previous issue. Back at Archie, four novels and two original graphic novels, unaffected by the ass-reaming that the comic shops were taking, came out, but those are stories for later.

Over at the digests, new stories were suspended. In fact, not counting a noncanon fairy tale story in #281, this story that I’m reviewing today is the first new story in this digest series since this one (and, yes, it is the same series, even though it was unnecessarily renamed with #282). This is actually the first new classic-style story since June 3.

Let’s get into it.

Archie and Jughead are hanging out at Pop’s. Veronica and Betty come in, having just hit up some antique shops in town. So…Pop’s isn’t “in town”? Whatever. What Ronnie really means is she shopped, and Betty watched, because her broke ass can’t afford antiques. Honestly, I’m surprised that Ronnie has an interest in antiques at all, considering the market is pretty much dead.

Anyway, Ronnie shows off an antique locket that she bought. Inside is a really old picture of a woman. Jughead says the woman is a witch, Old Lady Brentlock; she’s a legendary witch that lived in Riverdale years ago. Ronnie thinks Jughead’s cray-cray, but Jughead warns Ronnie is “unlocking a Pandora’s box of trouble”.

Ronnie asks Betty if she’s heard of the witch. Betty gets a funny response in: “No! But I’m not in the know on the witches of Riverdale past!” Jughead takes a picture of the locket and, as he’s leaving, advises Ronnie to put the locket away. Ronnie and Betty wonder if Jughead’s fucking with her or not.

Soon, Ronnie and Betty meet Jughead outside somewhere. Why? Anyway, Ronnie couldn’t find anything about that witch online. Jughead claims he found a curse attached to the “ancient” locket: possession by Brentlock’s spirit. He shows her a picture of the locket. Convinced, Ronnie gives the locket to Jughead to dispose of. He agrees and says she can thank him in burgers later.

A few days later, on Halloween, Betty and Ronnie show up at Jughead’s house to pick up Jellybean for trick-or-treating (which isn’t a thing anymore, at least not in the traditional sense). Gladys tells them that Jellybean is so excited and sends her out – along with her costume in a bag.

At Ronnie’s house, Ronnie has dressed up as the Bride of Frankenstein, and Betty has dressed up as a Supergirl knockoff (the shield has a B instead of an S). Ronnie and Betty banter for a bit, during which Ronnie manages to insult Betty and piss her off. Ronnie call for Jellybean, so they can see her costume. Jellybean is dressed as a witch, but Ronnie is concerned about the look in her eyes. Betty frantically points out that Jellybean’s wearing the locket.

Ronnie freaks out and asks how she got it. Betty guesses she must have taken it from Jughead. Ronnie tells Jellybean to stop and tells her that she’s possessed. She calls to Betty for help, but Betty runs away. Betty’s like “Fuck you, you’re on your own!” Ronnie tells the “traitor” that she’ll remember this. Ronnie, for no discernable reason, suddenly bursts into hysterics, deathly afraid of this little girl (possessed or not). Ronnie begs Jellybean to spare her life, saying she’s “too young and pretty to die”. As it turns out, though, it was all a trick, and Jellybean, Jughead, and even Betty were all in on it. Wait, Betty was in on it? How? Why? When did she get in on it? Ronnie angrily says she would have thought better of her. Betty make a lame pun. The end.

This story was fairly mediocre. Jughead seemed to randomly come up with this “witch” story, triggered solely by the picture in the locket that Ronnie showed off, solely to dick with Ronnie. Ronnie falls for it way too easily. It’s not even explained how, why, or when Betty got in on the act.

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Comics – She Ought to Be in Pictures!

Cheryl-Blossom-GH-1
Writers: Dan Parent
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inking: Rudy Lapick
Lettering: Bill Yoshida
Coloring: Barry Grossman
Editor: Victor Gorelick
Editor-in-Chief: Richard Goldwater
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom (Goes to Hollywood*), No. 1
Cover Date: December, 1996
Length: 21 pages

I’m sorry that there hasn’t been a review in a while. My mother died on the morning of September 17, and things had been hectic here.

*The first two Cheryl Blossom miniseries that preceded her ongoing series were simply named Cheryl Blossom, but they have unofficial names. Things get more complicated here. This third miniseries is called Cheryl goes Hollywood on the front covers and Cheryl Blossom (Goes Hollywood) in the indicia. Additionally, it has been referred to as Cheryl Blossom Goes Hollywood by fans, but it’s listed on Amazon as Cheryl Blossom: Goes to Hollywood (which makes no sense, considering, as we’ll soon see, Cheryl doesn’t actually go to Hollywood).

Although I have the original issue, I’m reviewing this story from the digital edition.

Before I get into reviewing the issue, though, I want to address something. Usually, when a storyline spans multiple issues, I review the entire storyline in one post to have the story all in one place. I didn’t do that for the first two miniseries, because I underestimated just how connected that they’d be (I’d assumed the individual parts would be only loosely thematically related). I believe that’ll be the case here as well, but I’m going to continue to review the parts separately to be consistent with my reviews of the first two miniseries. Besides, the stories in the individual issues have different titles, indicating they’re meant to mostly be able to stand on their own.

Part One

Cheryl and Priscilla are hanging out outside somewhere. Two random girls arrive and heap praise. Cheryl assumes it’s for herself and is flattered. These girls (who know Cheryl) are actually talking to a random black girl named Brenda. Cheryl’s pissed and wonders what’s so great about her. Priscilla is surprised that Cheryl didn’t hear and informs her that Brenda won an award.

Cheryl jokes about Brenda winning the “Worst Hairstyle of 1996” award. It’s fairly rare that an actual then-current year is mentioned in Archie Comics. It immediately dates the story. For the record, assuming the gang are now incoming seniors, Cheryl’s current birth year is 2003.

Anyway, Brenda won the “Golden Reel” Award (not sure why that’s in quotes). As Priscilla explains, all young aspiring filmmakers send in their films to a contest; the winner gets $10,000 and a contract to produce a short film. Cheryl claims to be bored and asks why “they all” (meaning the two random girls) are flocking to Brenda. Priscilla says Brenda can make her friends famous movie stars. I seriously doubt that. Brenda herself is just some girl that made a good enough film to get a contract to produce a short film; she’s basically a nobody that’s been given a shot at something small. Anyway, Cheryl says it’s pathetic, walks off, and says she’s glad that she doesn’t need that kind of “phoney” notoriety. Priscilla walks off, dismissive of Cheryl.

The next day, at the mall, Priscilla comes across Brenda, who’s shopping. Priscilla asks her if she’s spending all of her prize money. Um, I guess it’s not meant to go toward her new short film. Anyway, Cheryl bought all of this stuff for her. Priscilla is suspicious and rags on Cheryl. Cheryl plays innocent and treats her “sis” to lunch. Priscilla observes Cheryl’s trying to buy some fame. Cheryl calls Brenda her best friend, but Brenda accuses Cheryl of being after a part in her next movie.

Cheryl lets loose the hysterics, and Brenda apologizes. They go to the food court. Brenda wants to eat at a cheap place, but Cheryl wants to eat in a fancy restaurant (yeah, in the mall’s food court), supposedly for the ambiance.

As Brenda sits down, she finds the restaurant “okay”. Cheryl excuses herself to use the restroom. She changes into an elegant, sleeveless, glittery blue dress. She’s paid Hank, the pianist (in this upscale, mall-based restaurant), to play while she sings her musical number. Brenda is surprised, and Cheryl reveals she’s auditioning in case Brenda makes her next movie a musical. Brenda’s angry. Cheryl lies on the piano and starts singing. The guests aren’t impressed by the “choking” sounds.

Cheryl sings “Theme from New York, New York“, embarrassing Brenda and shattering a customer’s glass. A customer warns Cheryl to not stand on the piano, correctly predicting she’s gonna trip on her microphone’s cord. (Cheryl was holding a cordless microphone in all previous panels.) Cheryl somehow falls into the lobster tank (when she’d actually fall to the floor at most), which doesn’t have a lid on it.

Part 2

Cheryl gets out of the lobster tank and demands to know why no one saved her. A guy blatantly says they’re too busy laughing. Brenda tells Cheryl that she’s just not a performer. Cheryl says she doesn’t need her and leaves.

Cheryl walks along the sidewalk, wet. Um, I guess she’s walking home? Does that mean Brenda drove her to the mall? Anyway, she’s still wet and gets odd looks. Priscilla makes fun of her and is confused as to why Cheryl is seeking stardom, when she’s rich (which should be enough). “Anybody can have money”, so Cheryl is bored with it. She wants to be “on every magazine cover”. Even Prevention and AARP? Anyway, Priscilla tells Cheryl to go out there and make it happen. Cheryl takes the trade paper that Priscilla is reading.

Cheryl reads about an upcoming annual film festival, but Priscilla thinks it’s way out of Cheryl’s league. Cheryl decides to use her “financial resources” and make herself a star, producing, directing, and starring in her own film. Priscilla is doubtful.

Soon, at home, Cheryl watches TV as she tries to think of a starring vehicle for herself. Doing an action movie would make her “second fiddle” to special effects. A period piece would mean wearing “dull conservative clothes”, which she could never do. A rom-com would mean co-starring with someone prettier than her. Is Cheryl not confident in her looks? One movie on TV inspires her to do a film where a strong lady takes charge and molds young minds. She goes into the garage and gets into her sports car to drive into town and bankroll her venture. Um, shouldn’t she sit down and write a script first or something?

Cheryl says she’s driving “to Riverdale” as she passes a “Welcome to Riverdale” sign. But she’d said she’s driving “into town”. So I guess Pembrooke isn’t a town in and of itself, just an upscale community outside Riverdale’s city limits? I don’t know. Cheryl is suddenly inspired to do a documentary, which “always win awards”, and she’ll look like a “heroine”. Cheryl stops outside Pop’s and addresses the “poor slovenly citizens of Riverdale” (Archie, Betty, and Veronica). She announces they’re gonna make a movie, which confuses them.

Part 3

In Pop’s, presumably on another day (they’re all wearing different clothes), Ronnie asks Cheryl what makes her think they’d want to be in her stupid film. Cheryl has others speak for her. She promised Jughead unlimited eats, Archie unlimited dates, Pop a fee for using his place, and Dilton that she wouldn’t humiliate him publicly for one month.

Ronnie says she’s rich and can’t be bought. Cheryl introduces Ronnie to her director, a Brad Pitt knock-off. As Cheryl predicted, Ronnie gets a lady-boner and suddenly wants to be in the movie.

Cheryl is bored filming the documentary, because nothing interesting is happening in Riverdale. Just give it a while, Cheryl. Rather than do the sensible thing (make the documentary about her helping communities and individual people while also having some fun on the side), Cheryl decides to “save” Jughead from a “falling” ladder. She just ends up getting them covered in paint.

Later (on another day, I guess), Cheryl shoves Betty and Ronnie into the river in order to “save” the “drowning” girls. Betty points out that this water’s not even deep. Ronnie calls Cheryl a con artist. Cheryl gets a large stick and has the girls grab it. Ronnie and Betty do as told, pulling Cheryl into the river. Ronnie and Betty yuck it up.

Cheryl demands Brad turn off the camera. When he refuses, she fires him, which doesn’t bother him at all.

On another day, at Pop’s, Cheryl has taken over as director of the documentary. She’s hired a Quentin Tarantino knock-off as her new writer. She hands the scripts for Cheryl: The Movie to the gang. Archie is confused over there being scripts for a documentary.

Part 4

Note: there’s a headshot of a winking Cheryl next to her logo at the beginning of this part, and she has green eyes, whereas she has blue eyes in the rest of the issue.

On another day, Betty is frightened to see a fire, even though it’s clearly a fake building that’s on fire, and someone is recording it with a camera. Archie has to point this out to her. Jughead is upset and, oddly, says he’d be out of here if not for Pop’s getting a fee. I’d think his unlimited eats would be a bigger motivator. Cheryl calls action, and two actors behind the set ham it up for the camera. There’s a major error here. There are now bushes suddenly in front of the building. This is on the same page.

Cheryl somehow manages to strip naked and throw on a sexy firefighter get-up in a few seconds (rather than already having it on beforehand). She then “saves the day” to much cheering and adoration. Ronnie’s about to vomit.

The next day, at school, they’re having a rehearsal. Why here? Are they doing this after school, and it’s just convenient to have everyone already in the same building? Anyway, Betty is surprised at the “crazy lines” in the script. Cheryl says, if she’s not comfortable, she doesn’t have to do it, but she wants her to try.

Basically, according to the script, Ronnie is dumb, Archie has a criminal record, Betty has acne, and Jughead’s just an unspecified failure. So Cheryl’s doing a Dangerous Minds knock-off film, playing the “savior” teacher that turned a bunch of “hoodlums” into prime students through her “tough love”, caring, and 185 I.Q. (sure). Ronnie’s pissed.

Cheryl is off to work with “needy orphans”. Ronnie and Jughead quit. Cheryl reveals a hidden camera (behind a wall mirror). So she got (or didn’t get) footage of them reading their scripts. She considers this to be putting one over on the “suckers”. They chase Cheryl out of the school. Outside, Priscilla and a random Pembrooke student (who looks kind of like Jason but is too short to be him) make fun of Cheryl.

Cheryl hides in bushes. Then the real Jason (who happens to be in the area) saves Cheryl. They ride off. Cheryl asks him why he’d save her. He says “Blood is thicker than water, sis!” Cheryl is happy about how she “duped” the gang. Jason pulls out a video camera and claims he got all of the blunders on film…somefuckinghow. Cheryl is shocked and worried. Um, just grab the camera and expose the film.

This story is pretty fun, but Cheryl is going about trying to make a movie all wrong. It’s frustrating to watch her be this short-sighted and naive.

The following info comes from Grand Comics Database: After the story is a 1-page illustration by Dan Parent, Rudy Lapick, and Barry Grossman titled “Cheryl Hollywood Style”. This fashion page is not included in the digital edition, which is a shame.

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Comics – Take This Job and Love It!


Writers: Parent/Golliher
Pencils: DeCarlo/Parent
Inking: Henry Scarpelli
Lettering: Bill Yoshida
Coloring: Barry Grossman
Editor: Victor Gorelick
Editor-in-Chief: Richard Goldwater
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom (Get a Job*), No. 3
Cover Date: September, 1996
Length: 21 pages

*The various Cheryl Blossom miniseries that preceded her ongoing series were simply named Cheryl Blossom, but they have unofficial names. This second miniseries has been referred to as Cheryl Blossom: Gets a Job, but it’s listed on Amazon as Cheryl Blossom: Get a Job.

Although I have the original issue, I’m reviewing this story from the digital edition.

Part 1

Cheryl is in Mr. Lodge’s office, relaxing by leaning back in his chair and resting her feet on his desk. She’s happy with the situation, especially Veronica being pissed. Mr. Lodge comes in and screams at her to get the fuck out of his chair. She does and calls him Hiram. He insists it’s “Mr. Lodge”.

He has her run an errand for him: take a set of blueprints to his home in advance of a meeting that he’s gonna have with an executive there. Mr. Lodge will be delayed, but he wants the executive to be able to study the blueprints before he gets there. Cheryl heads off, hoping to run into Veronica, who can’t kick her out.

Cheryl arrives at Lodge Manor. Smithers lets her in and lets her know the conference room is the third room on her left. Cheryl doesn’t get even that far, since Ronnie has Archie over and is talking shit about Cheryl to him.

Ronnie believes Cheryl wormed her way into the company (which, of course, is not what happened). Cheryl listens in on Ronnie’s hysterics and finds it hilarious. A maid comes by, so Cheryl hides behind a large vase. Then the geography gets fucked up. Cheryl and the vase were clearly in the hallway outside the room, but now they’re suddenly inside the room, and Cheryl’s stuck there with no way to get out without being seen. That is so fucking sloppy.

An hour later, Hiram arrives in the conference room and greets a pissed Mr. Drysdale. Hiram is shocked that the blueprints haven’t arrived and claims they should have been here “hours ago”, despite only one hour passing.

Cheryl finally decides to make a break for it after throwing one of her tubes of lipstick to distract Ronnie and Archie. And…the vase was just inside the doorway. Cheryl could have just crawled away at any time, and they never would have noticed her!

Cheryl accidentally left the blueprints in the room and tries disguising her voice to trick Ronnie and Archie. Before it can go further, though, Hiram spots Cheryl and demands to know what the fuck’s going on. Cheryl bullshits. Ronnie finds the blueprints. Cheryl explains.

Ronnie bursts into tears again, accusing Cheryl of eavesdropping. Hiram’s pissed at Cheryl. Cheryl begs him for one more chance. Hiram considers it, but then Ronnie, threatening to cry until September, demands he fire Cheryl, so he does. Cheryl storms off, upset. Ronnie’s pleased.

At the employment office, Ms. Flanders is enjoying the “peaceful” day, unaware of Cheryl’s approach.

Part 2

Cheryl walks in. Ms. Flanders freaks out. They exchange some banter.

Cheryl eagerly accepts the one job available – until she learns it’s pizza delivery. She cries but then reluctantly accepts it to prove a point to Jason and avoid his insults.

Soon, Cheryl’s on the job and can’t help insulting the pizza as she’s tasked with delivering a stack to Armondo’s Menswear.

While driving the pizza van (the business is called Pizza Shack), Cheryl gets hungry and helps herself to some pepperoni. Realizing she fucked up the pizzas, she decides to “mush things around”.

She delivers the pizzas, but they’re fucked up, disgusting the manager. Cheryl gets a lady-boner for the customers.

Cheryl ends up giving the customers fashion advice, impressing the manager.

The manager and another employee offer her a commission job, and she gladly accepts.

Part 3

By the next day, Cheryl really excels at her job (her looks certainly help), impressing the manager. She makes the company a lot of money and gets a funny joke in.

The manager sends Cheryl to try to sell something to a browsing customer. Cheryl is shocked to discover it’s Jason. She takes a few insults from him.

Jason talks up his job at the brokerage firm again. They argue for a bit. Jason watches Cheryl flatter a fat customer and do a great job at selling, which disgusts him and makes him go back to his office.

The manager has to take a package to the post office. Cheryl volunteers to take it, so she can get some fresh air and do a little advertising. Since they’re in a lull, he allows it. On her way out, Cheryl collides with an incoming customer. She excuses herself. He flirts with her. She makes a note to hurry back and sell him a few suits.

On her way to the post office, Cheryl hands out business cards (even to kids) and causes traffic jams and near-accidents.

At the post office, while waiting in line, Cheryl sees the customer that she’d bumped into on a wanted poster. He’s “the Gentleman Bandit”. It might be a poor artistic choice, but Cheryl seems happy when she sees it.

Part 4

Cheryl rushes back to the store to let the guys know but puts on a grin once she enters to avoid tipping the bandit off. The manager and other employee leave for lunch. Cheryl’s worried about being left alone.

Cheryl winks at the manager, but he misinterprets it and tells her where the eye drops are. The guys leave. Cheryl decides to call the police but is so nervous that she can’t remember the number for 911. Ha. The bandit comes up from behind and freaks her the fuck out. He wants Cheryl to show him some suits.

Cheryl’s so nervous that she accidentally makes a bunch of criminal-related puns. The bandit goes into the fitting room.

Cheryl blocks the door with a bunch of stuff and then calls the police.

The manager and the other employee arrive just in time for a cop to explain how Cheryl “just captured one of the country’s most wanted criminals”. Cheryl’s pleased.

The next morning, at breakfast, Clifford heaps praise on Cheryl. Cheryl thanks him. Jason’s upset. Cheryl gives her dad a check for the $3,000 down payment on her new car.

Clifford’s shocked and asks her about it. Cheryl reveals it’s reward money.

Later in the day, Cheryl’s gotten her new blue sports car. She thanks her dad and kisses him. She takes the keys and leaves for work. Her mom is pleasantly surprised. That soon turns to shock as Cheryl reveals she’s going to the post office, having decided to become a bounty hunter and live off rewards. She gets in her car and tears off. Penelope faints, and Clifford catches her.

This story is pretty funny. The ending is pretty dumb, though. Cheryl’s giving up a job that she’s genuinely really good at to…do what, exactly? Check out the wanted posters at the post office and then hope she runs into the criminals? Does she plan to somehow track them down?

The following info comes from Grand Comics Database: After the story are a page of fan art and a “Last Dance Crossword” featuring Cheryl and Archie. None of this extra stuff is included in the digital edition, which is a shame.

Anyway, this was a fun miniseries, and it apparently did well enough that a new one started just three months later. We’ll get to that next.

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Comics – Goodbye, Snob…Hello Job!


Writers: Bill Golliher
Pencils: Dan DeCarlo / Dan Parent
Inking: Henry Scarpelli
Lettering: Bill Yoshida
Coloring: Barry Grossman
Editor: Victor Gorelick
Editor-in-Chief: Richard Goldwater
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom (Get a Job*), No. 2
Cover Date: August, 1996
Length: 21 pages

*The various Cheryl Blossom miniseries that preceded her ongoing series were simply named Cheryl Blossom, but they have unofficial names. This second miniseries has been referred to as Cheryl Blossom: Gets a Job, but it’s listed on Amazon as Cheryl Blossom: Get a Job.

Although I have the original issue, I’m reviewing this story from the digital edition.

Part One

A blurb lets us know the setup of this miniseries (in case we didn’t read the first issue, I guess). Cheryl is back at the employment agency. The employee (who is now identified as Ms. Flanders) finds Cheryl a position at Kiddieland Preschool. Cheryl thinks of children as brats, and she has no previous experience with children – other than being one herself “for several years!!” That’s pretty funny.

None of the other fast food places in the area want Cheryl after all of the trouble at Taco Time. Cheryl is stunned but then guesses she’ll “be molding and shaping little minds”. Ms. Flanders sends up a prayer to whichever deity might be listening. She gives Cheryl the address for the preschool.

The next day, Cheryl arrives at Kiddleland Day Care. What’s with businesses in this miniseries suddenly changing their names? Anyway, it makes a positive first impression on Cheryl. Wait, she waited until the next day to visit? I doubt they’d hire her over the phone, so is she an employee yet or not? Anyway, a little girl is crying, so Cheryl decides to help her. The girl complains three boys took a toy…dog on a rolling chair(?) away from her.

One of the boys claims the girl’s been hogging the toy all morning, and the teacher said they should share. Cheryl snatches the toy from another boy and returns it to the girl, because she’s a girl, and girls have infinite playtime with toys. The girl is happy, but the three boys cry. The woman in charge of the place comes out, correctly guesses Cheryl’s identity(?!), and says she’ll be in charge of these children. Cheryl asks what to do with them. The woman suggests playing games, reading, and teaching them colors(?). Cheryl suggests teaching them how to invest their savings in a no load mutual fund.

Later, Cheryl’s reading a story about a gingerbread man to a slightly different group of kids, but she gives up on it, because it’s boring. She tells them a slightly fictionalized version of her pursuit of getting a little sports car. The kids start crying, and so does Cheryl. The woman tells Cheryl to chill the fuck out. Wait, they’re now suddenly inside? Well, whatever. The woman suggests a game with colors. Cheryl takes the suggestion and comes up with a fashion game.

It’s not a hit, so Cheryl tries snack time: caviar and imported crackers. Because letting a new employee bring her own food to feed the children is totally legal. The kids get sick. Cheryl takes them outside to “play another round of Why I’m Better Than You”.

That afternoon, by the time that the parents arrive, Cheryl has caused much damage to the kids’ minds.

The next morning, Cheryl arrives at Kiddieland, and the woman (now identified as Mrs. Gleason) lets her know of complaints from all of the parents yesterday. She lets Cheryl go. Cheryl is upset, because she was preparing the kids for life. Mrs. Gleason wishes Cheryl good luck in finding another job. Cheryl lets her know about the cool preschool makeovers that the kids are now gonna miss out on. It’s probably for the best that Cheryl got fired; that place seems like a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Soon, Cheryl arrives at the employment agency and finds Ms. Flanders hiding under her desk.

Part Two

Ms. Flanders sends Cheryl to the Riverdale Zoo. A blond guy comes out and greets her. He’s Hank Thompson, the zoo director. Cheryl refuses to shake hands, because she doesn’t know who he was shaking paws with last. He takes her to the Primate House, where their monkeys and apes live. Cheryl gets a funny joke in. He gives her a broom and the water hose and leaves her. Cheryl starts sweeping but is annoyed at the animals’ sounds.

She teases the animals. One of them throws a banana peel in her face. Cheryl recognizes the voices of “those townies, Betty and Veronica”. She hides just as they come into the Primate House. Unfortunately, she hides in the gorilla cage, ignoring the warning on the door. Why isn’t the door locked?

Betty had convinced Ronnie to come to the zoo. Ronnie and Betty compare a red orangutan to Cheryl, enraging her. A gorilla comes up behind Cheryl, and she runs out of the cage, right past Betty and Ronnie.

Ronnie thinks she recognized Cheryl, but Betty wants to get the fuck out. The gorilla frees the apes. Cheryl runs out of the zoo, and so do everyone else upon seeing the apes.

Later (the next day, I guess), Cheryl is back at the employment agency. Ms. Flanders is reading the story (“Apes Terrorize City!”) on the front page of the Riverdale Star. She’s got such a headache that she’s wearing a cold compress and drinking dissolving medicinal tablets. Oblivious, Cheryl happily asks if she has “another job me” [sic]. She’s so excited that she’s skipping entire words! Ms. Flanders suggests “something in the great outdoors”. Cheryl agrees, saying her tan could use some work.

Part Three

It turns out that Cheryl’s new job is holding up a “SLOW” sign for traffic as the Riverdale Highway Department does work on a street downtown. Her boss is kinda sexist. Cheryl complains about the “disgusting” coveralls, but her boss, doing the all-important work of coffee and donuts, says it’s regulation. Cheryl decides to bend the regulations “just a little”.

The next day, a surprised Cheryl greets Ms. Flanders, who has come to witness Cheryl’s second day on the same job. Cheryl’s boss roughly slaps Cheryl on the back. Asshole. He also mentions Ms. Flanders had called Cheryl incompetent, which upsets Cheryl a bit. Seeing the sun come out, Cheryl strips down to a fluorescent bikini, shocking her boss and Ms. Flanders. Cheryl’s reasoning is the bikini is “still bright”, so it should still meet regulations.

Within seconds, a major, multi-vehicle accident has occurred. Somehow, Cheryl isn’t killed. She just kinda brushes it off and asks for sunblock. Ms. Flanders is actually amused by the whole thing.

On TV 5 KRN, a reporter in News Chopper Five reports on the tie-up that has brought traffic to a standstill on the Riverdale Expressway. They go in to get a closer look at the accident. So much to unpack here. First, Riverdale’s TV station usually is called something like WRIV. Any stations with call signs that start with a K are located west of the Mississippi River. Second, Riverdale has an expressway? The implied size of Riverdale varies by story, but having a TV station with its own news crew, a developed downtown area, and an expressway really makes it seem like Riverdale is a decent-sized city, not a little town.

At the Blossom estate, Clifford and Jason just happen to be watching the news and are shocked to see Cheryl, who’s somehow allowed to continue directing traffic in her bikini. Jason’s upset about Cheryl “embarrassing the family” and suggests his dad just give Cheryl the three grand for her sports car. Penelope seems to agree. Clifford thinks about it but then refuses, saying Cheryl has to earn the car money herself, which is the opposite of his position at the end of the previous issue. This is apparently all so Cheryl can learn responsibility.

Back downtown, Cheryl’s worried that she’s unemployed again. So is Ms. Flanders, who’s thrilled when her boss, citing union rules, gives Cheryl another chance. He tells Cheryl that the bikini has to go. This should come as no surprise: Cheryl’s all for that and starts to unfasten her top. Ms. Flanders then clarifies: Cheryl has to wear the coveralls again. That’s pretty damn funny.

The next morning, Cheryl arrives, driving a blue car. It’s pouring rain. Cheryl pleads with her boss, but she still has to work. She gets one of those stupid sleeveless rain coverings that does nothing, and she doesn’t get an umbrella. Cheryl gets soaked, especially when passing cars splash water on her. She starts sneezing. She’s completely miserable, having reached her lowest point, and is starting to wonder if this is worth it. I can so totally relate to Cheryl right now. Working in the pouring rain is absolute misery. Cheryl is pleasantly surprised to see an approaching blue sports car; it’s in just the color that she’s saving for.

Part Four

The sports car stops. To Cheryl’s surprise, Jason is in it, out for a test drive. He brags about the money that he’s making at the brokerage firm. Cheryl’s upset and warns him against buying the car that she wants. Um, I’m sure the dealer can get her another one. Jason ran some figures and tells Cheryl that, assuming she keeps this job, she’ll have enough money in six months. Cheryl is surprised.

Jason then tears off, splashing Cheryl with water and knocking her backward into a ditch (despite the fact that an earlier panel showed a street with vehicles behind her), where she lands in water. Cheryl’s pissed at Jason and vows to stick with her job. Her boss checks on her. She’s fine and thanks him. He then fires her for nearly getting injured through no fault of her own. I’m sure Cheryl could sue the department for wrongful termination.

On another morning, Cheryl arrives at the table for breakfast. Her mom asks her if she’s going back to the employment agency today. Cheryl has given up on Ms. Flanders and also has decided to stay away for the woman’s mental well-being. Jason mentions the Classified section of the newspaper and then teases Cheryl. Penelope angrily tells him to knock that shit off and give his sister the fucking paper. Cheryl searches the ads and then finds one for a personal assistant to run errands for a top executive; no previous experience is required. Clifford nervously asks if it’s for one of his companies. Cheryl says the address doesn’t look familiar. Clifford breathes a sigh of relief.

Later, Cheryl arrives at the office building. The receptionist has her fill out an application, and she shows her up to the top floor. A man arrives, and Cheryl mistakes him for the head honcho. He reads her application and makes the connection to Clifford Blossom. Cheryl outright asks him if it’ll help her get the job. He says her father is one of their boss’ biggest competitors. He doesn’t know if he should hire her. Cheryl starts crying and calls herself a failure. He asks why. She explains. He tries to calm her down.

He takes her to the boss’ office. When she walks in, it turns out that her new boss is Hiram Lodge. They’re shocked to see each other. Um, what? How could she not know the name of the business that she was applying at? Even if it wasn’t mentioned in the newspaper ad, the name has to be on the building, and she’d filled out the application. Anyway, Hiram gets a call that his daughter’s on the way up. Hiram is nervously curious about Ronnie’s reaction. Ronnie walks in to borrow something and is surprised to see Cheryl. Hiram introduces Cheryl as his new personal assistant. Ronnie faints and falls to the floor. Cheryl looks at Ronnie’s unconscious body, amused.

This story is pretty funny. Not much else to say.

The following info comes from Grand Comics Database: After the story are a 1-page illustration by Rex W. Lindsey titled “The Scarlett Starlett”, a 2-page “Dear Cheryl” advice column by Sara Algase, and a page of fan art. None of this extra stuff is included in the digital edition, which is a shame.

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Comics – The Big Yak Flack!

Cheryl-Blossom-Special-4
Writer: Bill Golliher
Pencils: Bill Golliher
Inking: Rudy Lapick
Coloring: Barry Grossman
Lettering: Mindy Eisman
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom Special, No. 4
Cover Date: 1996
Length: 18 pages (including 10 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: Golliher/Goldberg/Lapick/Yoshida/Grossman, seemingly combining the credits of the new story and the 1980s reprint (the latter of which GCDb doesn’t have credits for) but leaving out Eisman. I don’t know how the credits appear in the physical printed story.

Cheryl walks into Pop’s. She has an upside-down “u” nose in this story instead of her usual triangle nose. Anyway, Archie and Betty are happy to see Cheryl, but Veronica isn’t. Cheryl greets her “little townie friends” and asks what they’re talking about. Ronnie explains Pop is sponsoring a recipe contest to put a new item on his menu. Betty adds they’re entering. Archie, smug asshole that he is, says he’s going to be a judge, like that makes him some hot shit. Cheryl sees Jughead making something behind the counter and asks if he’s entering the contest, adding he knows his food.

Jughead says he can’t be a judge, because he plans to win. He then promptly fucks up whatever he was cooking, causing an explosion, startling Cheryl. Cheryl then plans to win the contest herself. Ronnie and Betty are amused. Betty gets in a dig at Cheryl’s supposed lack of cooking skills. Cheryl claims to know “the best recipe in the world”, angering Ronnie. Cheryl then lightly flirts with Archie, angering Betty. Cheryl leaves to cook. Betty gets in another dig before Cheryl’s out the door.

At home, Jason is shocked to hear what Cheryl did. We learn she didn’t learn to boil water until she was fifteen. Cheryl needs Jason’s help, but Jason doesn’t know anything about cooking. Cheryl wants Jason’s help with “this computer thingy”. Um, I seriously doubt, in 1996, Cheryl wouldn’t have already taken computer classes at school. Hell, by that point, I’d already taken two years of Computer Programming, and I’d learned how to get on the Internet. Granted, these were Macs, and they sucked ass (“There is not enough memory to open the hard drive.”), but the classes were being taught. Anyway, Cheryl is smart enough to want to search for the tastiest recipe on the Internet. She also wants to get one “from the most remote corner of the world”, which seems highly unnecessary, but whatever. After some discussion of who Cheryl’s up against, Cheryl brings up an incident from the past.

The next 10 pages are a reprint of the 1980s story, “The Great All-American Pembrooke-Riverdale Food-Eating Contest!“, presented as a flashback from Cheryl’s perspective. I assume Jane filled her in on some of the stuff at some point.

Cheryl tells Jason to tell “the head butler” to hire a few extra chefs to try out the new recipes, since she isn’t going to prepare them herself.

The chefs prepare various dishes, which Cheryl and Jason taste. Cheryl mentions one more recipe that she wanted, but “he” doesn’t give it out. Jason asks about it.

According to Cheryl’s research, the tastiest dish in the world is yak stew made by a Tibetan monk, but he isn’t online and hasn’t shared his recipe with anyone. Jason is disgusted. Clifford overhears and regales Cheryl with his tale of trekking through Tibet and stopping at a monk’s house for a meal, which turned out to be the best thing that he ever tasted, but he refused to give Clifford the recipe. Cheryl decides to fly to Tibet to convince the monk.

In Tibet, Cheryl’s guide leads her to the monk’s house, which can only be described as a TARDIS outhouse. Cheryl knocks. The monk answers. Cheryl asks for the recipe. The monk lets her in but doesn’t reply. Her guide explains the monk has taken a vow of silence for the last twenty years. Cheryl is incredulous, not imagining going twenty minutes without talking; she started when she was a year old and hasn’t stopped since.

As the hours pass, Cheryl talks the monk’s ears off about shit (as he prays to maintain control). He finally has enough of her yapping and screams out in frustration – in English. Well, isn’t that convenient?

He gives her a cup of stew to go and shoves her out the door. Cheryl wants the recipe, but her guide advises her to not push it, lest the monk break his non-violence vow. Cheryl waves goodbye to the monk, who’s still pissed.

On the plane, Cheryl decides she’ll get one of her dad’s scientists to analyze the contents of the cup, and “the secret yak stew recipe will be [hers]!”

The day before the contest, Cheryl’s in the kitchen with a chef. She has all of the ingredients that she needs: carrots, herbs, sprouts, and one medium-sized yak (which the chef holds still with one hand while clutching an axe with the other hand). The yak seems nervous as it chews on greenery.

On the big day, at Pop’s (by the way, Archie and Moose are two of the judges), Pop announces the clear winner: Cheryl’s yak stew. Betty is surprised (even though the dishes should have already been announced by this point) and asks Cheryl about it. Pop shakes Cheryl’s hand and congratulates her, but he doesn’t know where he’ll get the yak to put this on the menu. Then why’d you even accept her entry, asshole?! Cheryl tells him that she substituted with hamburger, because she “couldn’t whack the yak”. Rather than be relieved on multiple fronts, Pop is aghast. Ronnie tells Cheryl that substituting is against the rules, pointing out the fine print. Cheryl had no idea. Pop says the new winner is Jughead Jones’ Chili Surprise. Jughead rubs salt in Cheryl’s wounds by declaring it’s “real chili”. Cheryl complains to Jason about the townies beating her on a technical error. Jughead gets in front of a microphone and gives his acceptance speech. Jason makes a stupid pun. Cheryl threatens physical violence if Jason doesn’t shut the fuck up. Jason tells his sister to look on the bright side: she got a new pet out of the deal.

Outside Pop’s, where Cheryl had tied the yak to the fire hydrant (um, I guess she brought him along to use for a potential photo op), the yak has yanked the fire hydrant out of the sidewalk (causing water to gush everywhere) and gone across the street to munch bush.

This story was pretty funny, but Cheryl losing was bullshit. No substitutions on a recipe of their own choosing? What in the actual fuck? Also, does the winner of the contest actually get anything?

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Comics – Don’t Rain On My Parade!

Cheryl-Blossom-Special-4
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:

Archie-Show-16-band-3Thankfully, 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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Comics – The Governor’s Gig

AaRH-90
Writer: Frank Doyle*
Pencils: Stan Goldberg*
Inks: Stan Goldberg*
Colors: Barry Grossman*
Letters: Bill Yoshida*
Original Publication: Archie at Riverdale High, No. 90
Cover Date: February, 1983
Length: 11 pages

*I don’t have the original issue and am reviewing this story from the PEP Digital #45: The Best of Cheryl Blossom e-book (where it appears as a flashback within the 1996 story, “Don’t Rain on My Parade!”, from Cheryl Blossom Special, No. 4, which is one of the few issues of any Cheryl Blossom series for which there’s no digital edition). The story might originally be uncredited. The credits come from Grand Comics Database and may or may not be accurate.

Jason and Cheryl are in Jason’s sports car. Jason notices the Archies’ van parked outside a place called Star Rehearsal Hall and makes fun of them. Cheryl calls them “semi-literates”. Archie comes out with his gear. Jason insults him. Jughead comes out and gets in a sharp comeback. Jason continues insulting Archie.

Betty loads gear in the van and gets in a not-so-sharp comeback. Cheryl wants to leave. Jughead gets in a joke. Jason tears off. Betty, Jughead, and Archie breathe in his exhaust and cough. Archie seems to indicate Pembrooke Academy is relatively new.

As they arrive at Pembrooke Academy, Jason bashes “townies”, but Cheryl admits some of them are sort of cute in a low-class way.

They pass by a room, and Jason asks a guy named Birdie Birdwell how his new job heading up the entertainment committee is going. He says “Jolly fine, Jason!” He’s British, I’m guessing.

He has “a line” on a “smashing group” for their next dance. Cheryl’s excited. Jason asks for their name. Birdie reveals it’s the Archies, which makes Jason flip his shit. He tries to dissuade Birdie, but Birdie knows all about his personal gripe. It seems the Archies are popular with the rest of the Pembrooke crowd. After more nagging from Jason, Birdie leaves.

Jason and Cheryl leave the room. Jason keeps complaining. Cheryl gets in a hilarious dry zinger (which I won’t spoil). Then Jason realizes Birdie didn’t say he hired them yet, so Jason wants to stop it. Cheryl’s for it, and they have a bit of playful banter.

Archie, Veronica, Reggie, and Betty are just hanging out at Archie’s house, “all set for a gig” but lacking one. Jason calls, pretending to be “the governor’s aide” at “the state capital”. He invites the Archies to play the governor’s ball on Saturday night. Archie accepts, somehow not recognizing Jason’s voice nor questioning or verifying any of this. Ronnie thinks it’s a wrong number. Reggie wonders who recommended them. After Jason hangs up, he and Cheryl yuck it up. Oh, and it “doesn’t pay to incur the wrath of Jason Blossom”. Wrath? All that they did was insult him after he insulted them.

Jason continues to laugh over it. Cheryl hopes Betty and Veronica will think less of Archie after this. Birdie walks by, ready to call the Archies and hire them for the dance. Jason, unable to contain his laughter, encourages it. Cheryl says they’ll enjoy them. Birdie is confused.

On Friday night (I guess), the band’s packing their van for an overnight trip. Jughead exposits they’re 200 miles from “the state capital” and never went that far for a gig before. Assuming Riverdale is supposed to be in the Northeast (which most fans usually believe it is), this one sentence eliminates Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont. That leaves Maine, Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania. There are plenty of hints in the comics that Riverdale is in New York, and Riverdale has even gotten in on it by name-dropping Rockland County.

Anyway, Ronnie says this gig could make their reputation, and Betty says they might even be on television. OMG, television! An audience of people sitting at home and watching you perform! How awesome is that?! Yeah, this story is so ’80s.

Jason and Cheryl are sitting in Jason’s sports car, watching them leave. Somehow, they were unnoticed. They laugh. Cheryl guesses the band will guess Jason set them up. Jason hopes they do. Jason guesses they might pay for food and lodging, if they don’t “sack out” in the van. There’s probably gonna be at least two full fill-ups of gas, too. Cheryl calls them “pretentious peasants”.

On the road, Archie admits to Ronnie that he’s nervous “but not scared”. He says they’re good.

On Saturday, at the “capitol”, someone informs the governor that they have no music for the ball tonight. The leader of the high society group that they hired was too much of a snob for his men, and they all quit. That’s pretty funny. With the ball only hours away, the governor is upset. The guy that gave him the news offers to play the harmonica.

Miss Brown (some assistant, I guess) arrives to inform them of the Archies’ arrival. The governor goes out to the Archies (who are waiting outside his office) and asks them to play. They take ten minutes to set up and then play. The governor’s impressed, claiming they saved his life. The guy shows them to the ballroom, and they follow, not taking their gear.

At Pembrooke’s party, Birdie tells Jason and Cheryl that he found out why he couldn’t get hold of the Archies. He takes them to a TV and shows them the Archies playing the governor’s ball. Jason is shocked, and so is Cheryl. Birdie says they’ll be in “so much demand” after this. Cheryl is upset at Jason, who’s upset with himself.

This story was pretty funny – if a bit too contrived.

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Comics – The Great All-American Pembrooke-Riverdale Food-Eating Contest!

AaRH-97
Writer: ?*
Pencils: ?*
Inks: ?*
Colors: ?*
Letters: ?*
Original Publication: Archie at Riverdale High, No. 97
Cover Date: June, 1984
Length: 10 pages

*I don’t have the original issue and am reviewing this story from the PEP Digital #45: The Best of Cheryl Blossom e-book (where it appears as a flashback within the 1996 story, “The Big Yak Flack!”, from Cheryl Blossom Special, No. 4, which is one of the few issues of any Cheryl Blossom series for which there’s no digital edition). The story might originally be uncredited. Grand Comics Database doesn’t have credits for this story.

For everyone’s sanity, I’ve kept the title of this post short. This story’s title is one of the wordiest and most inconsistent that I’ve ever seen.

The Great All-American Pembrooke-Riverdale Food-Eating Contest! Munchie Mania! Part 1

Out on a sidewalk, downtown, Jason, Cheryl, Archie, Jughead, Betty, and Dilton are gathered. Jason’s sick of the notion of Riverdale being great, and he declares his school challenges Archie’s to a contest. He allows Archie to pick any game and promises Pembrooke will beat them. Jason is thinking of only hoity-toity sports, but Archie surprises “Jase” by picking a food-eating contest. This surprises Betty and Dilton, but Jughead seems okay with it.

Archie introduces Jughead “The Man” Jones, their “champion, all-time food eater”. Jason and Cheryl are upset. Cheryl actually growls! Who actually does that in real life? Anyway, Jason takes issue with “food eating” being a sport, but Dilton points out that Jason used the words “contest” and “game”, not “sport”. Jason tells him to shut the fuck up, calls this a “con job”, and sets the contest for a week from today. He still says Pembrooke will win.

Jason and Cheryl get into Cheryl’s yellow sports car and drive off. Cheryl’s upset at Jason and points out Jughead’s eating ability. Jason wants to rig the contest in their favor. Cheryl knows exactly what to do.

The night before the contest, a cute girl named Jane Dough shows up at Jughead’s house. Gladys, Jughead’s mom, lets her in, impressed with her manners. Jughead’s eating a sub sandwich and ice cream while watching TV. Jane introduces herself as Jughead’s competition tomorrow. She wants to make peace. Jughead advises her against going through with the contest for her sake. Jane takes him out for a movie and dinner – her treat. Oh, and a “quick snack” first. Jason and Cheryl are watching from behind a tree. Cheryl’s plan is to have her friend Jane force-feed Jughead so much food that he can’t out-eat them tomorrow. Jason’s impressed.

Shortly, at “the local burger palace” (a fast-food place, not Pop’s), Jason and Cheryl have tailed Jane and Jughead here at Cheryl’s insistence. Cheryl had given Jane her allowance for a week, and she wants to be sure that Jane spends every penny on Jughead.

Inside, Jughead orders an insane amount of food while the startled employee is bringing him…what I guess is what he’d initially ordered before Jane told him to order whatever.

Soon, Jughead’s stuffed, but Jane guesses he’ll get his appetite back at the movies.

Jason and Cheryl follow Jane and Jughead to the Riverdale Bijou. I wonder if this brings back bad memories for Jason.

Inside, Jughead orders an insane amount of food at the candy counter. Despite being unspecific with some of the quantities, the cashier is able to give him an exact total.

Jane and Jughead have gone to see “a classic sci-fi picture”, The Creature That Drank Lake Eerie. Halfway through the movie, though, Jughead’s out of food, and his stomach’s rumbling, so Jane suggests they leave and go to dinner, claiming she’s seen this movie a dozen times. Jughead readily agrees. Cheryl gets down and has Jason do the same, because it would “ruin everything” if Jughead…sees them at the movies.

Outside, Cheryl’s pissed that there’s a ticket on her car, because Jason left it in a no parking zone. Two questions: Why didn’t Cheryl notice this earlier? And why’s Jason driving Cheryl’s car? Anyway, Jason tells her to hurry the fuck up and get in, because Jane and Jughead are leaving.

The Great All-American Pembrooke-Riverdale Food Eating Contest! …And in This Corner, Jughead Jones! Chapter Two

Jason and Cheryl follow Jane and Jughead to “one of Riverdale’s poshest restaurants”. Cheryl hopes Jane knows what she’s doing with her money. She doesn’t. If Jane was smart, she would have cut out the movie tickets, overpriced theater snacks, and fancy restaurant and stuck with fast food, where Cheryl would get more bang for her buck.

Anyway, Jason and Cheryl go inside El Swanko, and Jason’s worried that they won’t let them in without reservations. Cheryl’s got it covered, though, slipping the maitre d some cash. Where’d she get that? I thought she’d given her entire week’s allowance to Jane. Anyway, Jughead is doing lobster, steak, and imported seltzer water, items that Spanish-themed restaurants are known to serve. Jane’s worried that Cheryl’s gonna kill her, because she’s spent most of her money, and Jughead’s still going strong.

Jane finally suggests a cheaper place, and Jughead agrees. Cheryl shoves Jason’s face into a bowl of soup to “hide” him, but she remains visible. Somehow, it gets all over his suit as well. Cheryl offers to buy him a whole new wardrobe.

Jason and Cheryl follow Jane and Jughead to a greasy spoon diner. Cheryl declines to follow them inside, since she’s nearly broke, and decides they can watch everything from her car. How does Cheryl have any cash at all? I find it hard to believe she’s the type that would save cash from a previous week. Did she withdraw this money from her bank account?

Anyway, Jane and Jughead go in for $10 all-you-can-eat spaghetti. Much later, the chef throws them out for cleaning out the kitchen. Jughead’s had more than enough and says it’s been a wonderful “date”. Jane’s pleased with herself. Cheryl (who suddenly has an upside-down “u” nose for one panel) is excited, and so is Jason, who predicts a Pembrooke victory. They’ve got a flat tire, though, so Cheryl flags down a police wrecker.

It turns out that Jason had parked in a fire zone (which neither Jason nor Cheryl had noticed during that entire time…somehow), so the cops tow Cheryl’s car. Y’know, Cheryl could have lied and said they had no choice but to stop in the fire zone, because of the flat tire. Anyway, Cheryl’s pissed, saying she never should’ve let Jason drive her car in the first place. Why did Cheryl let Jason drive her car? Is he better at keeping up with people or something?

Anyway, early the following day, in…a park (I guess), a huge crowd has gathered to watch this stupid contest. Cheryl informs Jughead that Jane “can’t make it”. Jason introduces the real competitor her replacement, Jane’s cousin, “Two Ton Tommy”. Tommy growls. Jughead makes fun of Tommy’s weight (specifically, his stomach). Y’know, not everyone with an overeating problem has as great a metabolism as you, asshole. Anyway, the referee fires the gun, and Tommy and Jughead start chowing down the food on the table. How do they keep track of whose food is whose and how much that each of them has eaten? Anyway, Cheryl cheers on Tommy, and Reggie (who’s suddenly in this story) cheers on Jughead.

Tommy eventually concedes. Betty cheers Jughead’s victory. Jughead tells her to shut the fuck up, because he’s “on a roll”. Cheryl asks Jughead why he “quit” eating in the middle of his date. Jughead says it was to discipline himself, comparing himself to an athlete. This is all bullshit. Jughead didn’t quit and didn’t discipline himself. He’d gotten thrown out for eating all of the food in the place! Anyway, Jughead tells Cheryl that last night was only a “practice run” for today. He has Cheryl thank Jane for her “expert coaching”; otherwise, he couldn’t have won. Cheryl and Jason argue with each other. Archie guesses they lost more than their school’s reputation.

This story was okay, but it couldn’t keep track of a basic plot point, and Reggie’s sudden appearance at the end was kind of jarring.

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