Comics – Radio Daze

Writer: Dan Parent
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inking: Jon D’Agostino
Lettering: Bill Yoshida
Coloring: Barry Grossman
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom, No. 4
Cover Date: August, 1997
Length: 11 pages

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

Cheryl is driving her sports car and is stuck in rush hour traffic. She’s going crazy, both from the traffic and from the traffic reports on the radio stating the obvious. She switches stations and comes across a knockoff of Howard Stern. She hates him but decides to listen to his show out of curiosity.

He says a bunch of misogynistic stuff, shocking her and pissing her off. His guest is a knockoff of Pamela Anderson, who Cheryl loves. Cheryl gets pissed again when he asks her why she’s not wearing a bikini. Amusingly, she says “I’m an actress, not a Baywatch model!” He talks shit about her. Cheryl picks up her car phone (which really just looks like a cell phone), calls the station, and demands to speak to the asshole. Sensing something “good” will come of this, the guy working the switchboard puts her through.

Cheryl lets the asshole have it – and also sticks up for the Pamela knockoff. He plays his behavior off as “teasing”. Somehow, he knows she’s calling from a car phone. She lets him know who she is, but he doesn’t give a shit and hangs up, which pisses her off. She calls up again.

He honks a horn into his microphone, which scares her. Pissed, she parks her car and runs in high heels to the station, which, um, well, you’re a trooper, Cheryl. Actually, the station is identified as WCAX, which is presented in this story as a talk radio station. Anyway, Cheryl intends to “seek revenge”.

Cheryl enters the station, blows past everyone, and enters the recording studio. The Stern knockoff guesses who she is.

Cheryl demands he treat female celebrities with respect. He calls her “kinda cute”. She detects a wig and pulls it off his head. She laughs about it. He says no one can see. She pulls her camera (which I guess she just carries around with her) out of her purse, takes a picture of him, and runs away. He demands someone get her. He chases her through the building. The Pamela knockoff thinks Cheryl will escape. By the way, it’s interesting that, after playing a “tool girl” in the previous story, Cheryl now meets the original tool girl. Also, there’s a black female cohost, who is completely made up for this story.

The listeners love Cheryl and flood the station’s switchboard.

Soon, back at home (I guess traffic was no longer a problem), Cheryl gets a call from the station, offering her her own radio show. She takes, like, one second to think about it and then enthusiastically agrees. Penelope comes by to ask her something.

We don’t find out what that is, though. However, a caption lets us know Cheryl’s parents agree to let their daughter give it a try.

Unfortunately, Cheryl is oblivious to a heartbroken, lonely caller’s economic situation and suggests a tropical vacation – and getting a higher-paying job.

Then a guy named “Jake” calls, but it’s just Jason pulling a prank by belching. He plans to inundate her with calls.

Somehow not recognizing her own brother’s voice, Jason pranks Cheryl again, honking a horn into the phone. The Stern knockoff, listening in, loves it. Cheryl is upset that Roth, the guy operating the switchboard, isn’t doing a good job screening the calls. Roth apologizes and says Jason is “so convincing”. Cheryl screens the next call, which is supposedly from Jane, a retired schoolteacher with a problem. Believing it’s Jason again, Cheryl takes the call and puts “Jane” on the air.

“Jane” is very lonely and asks for advice on how to meet new people. Cheryl calls her a loser, tells her to stop whining and feeling sorry for herself, and honks a horn into her microphone. She also calls the woman (who’s a real caller) “Jason”. When Roth informs her that it was a real caller, Cheryl’s worried. He informs her that the switchboard is suddenly flooded with negative phone calls. Rather than take responsibility and offer an on-air apology, Cheryl leaves, because she can’t handle this.

Cheryl runs past the mob outside the station, who chant “Down with Cheryl!” Keep in mind that it’s been less than a minute since the call ended.

Later (probably on another day, since Cheryl’s wearing different clothes), Cheryl sees an exclusive interview on a knockoff of A Current Affair, which was off the air at the time, with the “old lady” that she’d honked. Cheryl calls Mr. Reynolds, one of her producers, to resign. He informs her that they’ve already replaced her with a “new media darling”. Cheryl slams the phone down in anger. She informs Jason and blames him. Jason tunes into the station to find out who she’s replaced with. It’s Jane, hosting her new show, Radio Chat With Jane. Also, to add insult to injury (even though the listeners can’t see it), Jane’s granny sweater is covered with blossoms.

This story was myopic. A lot more could have been done with Cheryl hosting her own radio show. This deserved to be an issue-length story. As it is, it’s rushed. Also, if Cheryl had just apologized and explained why she’d acted as she had (and it’s not like there’s a lack of on-air evidence that she was being pranked), then she’d still have a job. But she seems to not be able to handle any amount of conflict.

A “Cheryl’s on the Air!” fashion page sits between the two parts of this story. A 2-page “Dear Cheryl” letters column by Sara Algase follows the story.


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Comics – Home Un-Improvement

Writer: Dan Parent
Pencils: Dan DeCarlo
Inking: Jon D’Agostino
Lettering: Bill Yoshida
Coloring: Barry Grossman
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom, No. 3
Cover Date: June, 1997
Length: 21 pages

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

Part 1

There’s a very brief recap of “Join the Club”. More like an explanation of the setting, really.

At Club Blossom, Cheryl is excited upon reading a letter from a band called Hurling Nuggets (I can’t tell if this is a parody of anything) in which they agree to perform at Club Blossom. Why is Club Blossom in quotes? Well, whatever. Louella doesn’t know how to react, but Cheryl assures her that Hurling Nuggets is hot shit.

Unfortunately, Cheryl had already agreed to all of their stage requirements, including a giant spaceship. She goes to call the contractors, but Louella stops her (and scares the shit out of her), says it’s not in their budget, says they can’t run to her dad for money, and says they can use only “appropriate” funds. Louella says the band will have to either perform as is or go elsewhere. Cheryl fumes.

Later, Cheryl’s watching a knockoff of This Old House. Jason comes by to make fun of her for her plans being shot down. Cheryl tells him to shut the fuck up. She’s watching the show for inspiration. The show is hosted by a Bob Vila knockoff, even though he hadn’t hosted for 8 years by this point. Cheryl gets the idea to have the show do the work. Jason is skeptical, but Cheryl is confident. She says the place needs other work done, too. As if on cue, Jason pulls a door knob right off a door. Ha.

The next day, the TV crew arrives. I’m pretty sure it takes far longer than that for them to agree to and start on a project, but this is excused by Cheryl’s fame. Bob says they saw all of Cheryl’s publicity stunts and names knockoffs of Hard Copy, A Current Affair (which had been off the air since August 30 of the previous year), and Inside Edition. A footnote refers the reader to the first two issues of the ongoing series “plus other back issues, too!” A lighting guy says Cheryl is “a publicist’s dream”. They’re hoping Cheryl’s “magic” can boost them out of their ratings dip. They agreed to do all of the work for free – on the condition that Cheryl is their “tool girl”. Yeah, as if you couldn’t tell already, this story was inspired by Home Improvement. Jason wants to help. Bob tells him to stay out of his “genius” sister’s way.

Clifford comes to Club Blossom. He’s impressed with Cheryl’s “very resourceful idea”. Bob starts off the show and introduces Cheryl, who’s wearing a skimpy outfit. The TV crew gets boners. Clifford is mildly scandalized (but seems unusually happy). Bob wants to tear down a railing and asks Cheryl for a crowbar.

Unfortunately, Cheryl loses her grip and drops it on his foot, possibly breaking his toe. Cheryl apologizes. Bob’s assistant, Hank, will sand some boards. Hank, who has a boner, asks Cheryl for help. Cheryl goes to get the sandpaper. Hank stares at Cheryl’s ass, walks into a sawhorse, and injures himself. Jason volunteers to sub for him (I think he just wants to get on camera), but Clifford sends in Archie instead.

Part 2

Archie runs over. Clifford tells Archie that he will be Bob and Cheryl’s assistant on this show. Jason questions the wisdom of this. Clifford’s still got a man-crush on Archie. Bob wants some lumber moved.

Archie roughly whacks Cheryl in the ass with it and knocks her to the floor. She yells at him. He apologizes to “sweets”. Jason has a good laugh. Bob has Archie unroll some insulation, and Archie somehow manages to whack Cheryl in the ass with it.

Cheryl angrily asks Archie if he slapped her on the ass. He says it was the insulation. She grabs it from him and whacks him in the ass with it. Bob gives Archie a staple gun for the insulation, and Archie somehow manages to staple Cheryl to the wall (off her feet at that). Cheryl yells at the “goober” and demands he get her down. Bob tells Clifford that he needs someone more skilled than Archie. Jason offers to help. Clifford won’t let him on TV. However, Jason meant…

…Betty, who’s a wiz at carpentry. Cheryl isn’t pleased and would rather have Archie back. Apparently, the show is filmed instead of taped, which is odd for a show like this. Anyway, Betty knows what to do regarding installing a window, and Cheryl seems upset that…Betty’s smarter than her? I guess?

Anyway, the window is installed. Betty, Jason, and Clifford are pleased. Cheryl isn’t. They take a break. Archie compliments Betty on her knowledge. Cheryl invites Archie to have a soda with her.

Archie agrees. Betty’s upset over being ditched, and Bob asks Betty to build the next set for them to work on. Cheryl’s pleased that Betty’s occupied.

The next day, Jason hates the loud sounds of carpentry. Cheryl is unconcerned, since it’ll look great in the end. Did Cheryl just compliment Betty? Anyway, Jason’s concerned that it’s keeping the guests awake. Right on cue, a guest complains. The Clumpitts come over and complain as well, since they can’t get any sleep either. Cheryl’s surprised that…loud noises bother people? Maybe?

Part 3

The Clumpitts demand to know what the fuck is going on. Cheryl insults them, slams the door in their faces, and then gives them an explanation. The Clumpitts are suspicious.

Back in their treehouse, they use their “trusty” telescope to spy on the people at Club Blossom. The son and dad spy a cutie in room 28 and get boners.

Back at Club Blossom, Jason is upset. It seems he had brought Betty on in the hope of having some time with her, but the crew is using her full time. He also seems to be upset that Cheryl and Archie are rekindling their romance.

Soon, Bob says they’re ready to film the next sequence. Cheryl excuses herself from “sugarlips”. Jason arrives with Hank, who’s better now. Hank wants Cheryl to keep her distance. Asshole, don’t blame the girl for your lust-filled daze.

Betty gets permission from Bob to leave, and she hooks up with Archie. Cheryl is shaken.

Soon, Bob announces the completion of the expansion. Cheryl goes off to look for Betty and Archie and finds them in the spaceship. Jason demands Archie come down, since he works for them.

In the treehouse, the Clumpitts see the spaceship and believe aliens have landed – or the Blossoms are the aliens. For fuck’s sake…

Anyway, there’s a single light bulb in the treehouse, so it seems they do have electricity…somehow. Instead of calling the F.B.I. right away, they’re gonna investigate.

Back at Club Blossom, Cheryl takes Archie away, supposedly to work. Jason takes Betty to Pop Tate’s for a soda. Louella informs Cheryl that their “guests” have arrived. Cheryl guesses they’re the Hurling Nuggets. One of the members guesses Cheryl is “Sharon Flowers”.

Cheryl angrily corrects her, but the woman doesn’t give a shit. Cheryl informs them that they’re just finishing up the set for the show. The woman orders Cheryl to take them to their room and gives her a long list of the items that they’re requiring. Cheryl asks for their thoughts on the spaceship and reaches for a rope to lower it. Bob warns her against pulling the rope, because it’s not ready, but it’s too late. The spaceship falls toward the stage. Cheryl calls out a warning. The spaceship lands on Bob. Cheryl nervously makes an insensitive joke. Bob angrily asks her if she has insurance.

Part 4

The big night arrives. The place is packed. Cheryl is with the band up by the spaceship. She explains she’ll announce them as soon as the spaceship lands and the door opens. The bitch woman from earlier reminds Cheryl that the band will then come out and wants to make sure Cheryl’s got it. Um, what? That’s self-explanatory. It seems to me that what Cheryl was telling them was more important. Cheryl realizes they forgot to attach the front door to the spaceship since she injured Bob. Um, what? The spaceship had to repositioned after the accident; how did they overlook the door? Anyway, Cheryl wants one of them to help her nail the hinges on, but the bitch (who’s a guitarist in the band) refuses.

With only two minutes left to showtime, Cheryl calls Archie up to help her. Cheryl goes into the spaceship with the band (to check the work from the inside, I guess) and initially thanks Archie, but the dumbass has accidentally nailed the door to the spaceship and trapped her inside. Cheryl is pissed. Archie’s scared when the ship starts moving, but Cheryl (I guess) informs him that it’s pre-programmed to do that.

Cheryl pounds on the door and demands to be let out. The male guitarist tells her to calm down. The band reeks, since they don’t bathe (in order to conserve water) and apparently don’t fight their bad breath. As the spaceship lands, someone inside orders the smoke and fireworks to be set off. Jason decides to do the announcing, but the Clumpitts storm the stage. The son has a baseball bat. Cheryl is happy that they’re being rescued but, once the Clumpitts bust open the door, decides to stay. The dad informs…someone that they’re here to save…someone from “those ugly aliens”. Who? And is Cheryl not the alien anymore?

Oh, wait, yes, she is, seeing as how the redneck dad is manhandling her. Oh, wait. As he stuffs her in a giant sack (seriously), he talks of de-programming her. So she’s a victim of the aliens? There’s no use in trying to figure out the mind of a hillbilly. Anyway, as the dad and mom run off with Cheryl, an audience member finds it cool. Archie (dumbass that he is) left his tools on the stage (when?). The Clumpitts trip, and Cheryl flies free of the sack. Some members of the audience catch her. Others laugh. A quick-thinking Cheryl passes it off as part of the show. The band starts playing. The Clumpitts are put off by the loud music and just give up and leave.

Later (same night? I don’t know, but Cheryl’s wearing the same outfit), Louella informs Clifford and Cheryl that, with all of the damage from the show, they need more work done. Cheryl says the TV show has agreed to film more shows here. Clifford guesses they like what Cheryl did for the ratings. Cheryl confirms it but says she’s taking a breather. Betty’s hanging around (for some reason; maybe she attended the concert?), and Cheryl wants Archie away from her. Clifford asks Cheryl who the tool girl is going to be. Cheryl presents Jason, who’s wearing a skimpy outfit and introduces himself as the new “tool guy”. So Jason finally got his wish of being on the show. Cheryl’s happy for him. Betty seems amused but doesn’t think the world’s ready for another Blossom.

This story was pretty funny, but the Clumpitts seriously need to go. They’re nothing but annoying. Cheryl should call the police and have them charged with attempted kidnapping.


Between Parts 1 and 2 is a page of Cheryl fan art with entries from Karen Reno of Rolla, Missouri; Demy Potter of Big Rapids, Michigan; Ashlea Weston of Hartland, Michigan; Sally B. of Victoria, Australia; and Desara Thomas of Ontario, Canada.

Between Parts 2 and 3 is a 1-page Cheryl illustration titled “Celebrity Looks”. Cheryl narrates it, calling herself a trendsetter but also sharing her celebrity fashion influences, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Alanis Morissette, and Drew Barrymore.

Also between Parts 2 and 3 is a 2-page “Dear Cheryl” letters column by Sara Algase.

According to GCDb, all of the extras are included in the digital edition, but we must consider the possibility that the GCDb contributors use the digital editions when typing up the contents.


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Comics – Snowbored

Writer: Holly G! (Holly Golightly)*
Pencils: Holly G!*
Inking: John Lowe*
Lettering: Bill Yoshida*
Coloring: Barry Grossman*
Editor: Victor Gorelick
Editor-in-Chief: Richard Goldwater
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom, No. 28
Cover Date: January, 2000
Length: 5 pages

*Only the lead story in the issue is credited. I assume the credits apply to all of the stories. The digest reprint seems to agree, even though it doesn’t credit a colorist.

So here’s some odd backstory for you. I had originally planned to review this story back in December of 2018, between my reviews of “Holi-Daze” (the Christmas story) and “Kiss of the Century” (the New Year story). Indeed, that’s where this story sits in the issue. However, when I got to it (remember, even though I have the physical issue, I’m doing these reviews primarily using the digital editions), I noticed it was only 3 pages long. Perplexed, I checked Grand Comics Database. It listed a length of 3 pages. I didn’t know what to think, so I moved on.

Well, recently, I saw the physical edition of World of Betty and Veronica Jumbo Comics Digest #1 at the store and decided to check it out after work. It replaces B&V Friends Double/Jumbo Digest, which ended in November of 2020. It has a pretty good mix of stories, and I was pleasantly surprised to see a decent amount of Cheryl content – including this story. It was 5 pages long. I bought the digest.

So now, before sitting down to write this review, I decided to check my physical copy of Cheryl Blossom #28, which I bought back in 1999. The missing pages are in there. So it’s just the digital edition that’s missing the pages, and whoever’s editing GCDb is simply using the digital edition of these issues as reference instead of the physical edition.

Anyway, let’s get to the story:

The gang’s on a snowboarding trip. Veronica’s upset that Cheryl’s on the slopes. Archie and Reggie have boners for her. Betty is concerned that she and Ronnie are never going to get the boys’ attention now. Ronnie says she’s not giving in that easy and walks off, surprising Betty. Cheryl’s snowboard is white and covered with purple blossoms.

Ronnie asks Archie to teach her how to snowboard. He seems into it. Betty thinks Ronnie is a genius with boys. But then Archie just tells Ronnie to watch Cheryl, who’s “the best snowboarder on the slopes” (and, yes, she does seem skilled, which makes sense, considering she’s a good skateboarder). Cheryl asks Archie what he thinks of her new moves. Archie responds with this gem: “Cheryl! All your moves are poetry!” Ronnie’s pissed.

Cheryl engages in some minor trash talk toward Ronnie. Ronnie says she’s just learning how to snowboard. Cheryl suggests she go to the beginner hill while she takes “expert care” of Archie. Ronnie is pissed but then gets “a beast of an idea that will freeze Cheryl’s assets”. She takes out her cell phone and calls Smithers. Betty is impressed with Cheryl’s snowboarding and calls her good. Ronnie teases retribution, confusing Betty.

Soon, Smithers delivers an abominable snowman costume. Betty is surprised and unimpressed. Ronnie expects Betty to wear it and scare Cheryl away, and Betty will get “first dibs on Archie” in return. Betty seems embarrassed to be doing this for Archie.

When Cheryl snowboards by, Ronnie sends a reluctant, costumed Betty out to scare her. Betty approaches Cheryl and unleashes a mighty roar, but then Cheryl unleashes an even mightier scream, which causes an avalanche. Cheryl abandons her snowboard and runs away.

Betty is happy that that was only a “mini avalanche”, and she’s only lightly covered with snow. Ronnie helps her to her feet. Betty takes off her mask and happily asks if they got rid of Cheryl. Ronnie guesses they scared her into the ski lodge and suggests checking it out.

At the ski lodge, sitting on a couch in front of a roaring fire, her shoes kicked off, and with hot beverages nearby, Cheryl has told Archie and Reggie what happened. Archie calls her brave. Reggie praises her “quick thinking” in causing the avalanche. It isn’t clear if she presented it to them this way or if they drew their own conclusions, but she’s pleased and doesn’t contradict them. Betty is pissed at Ronnie for moving “Cheryl’s little boy party from mountain side to fireside”.

This story is okay, but Betty’s really not being a good friend to Cheryl, whose biggest crimes in this story are…being attractive and…being a good snowboarder. Also, what’s with the title? No one in this story was bored.


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Comics – The Challenge

World-of-BV-Digest-1Writer: Jamie Rotante
Pencils: Bill Galvan
Inks: Ben Galvan
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: World of Betty and Veronica Jumbo Comics Digest, No. 1
On-Sale Date: January 6, 2021
Length: 10

The new year starts off with a brand-new digest. Cool. It’s not like Archie Comics has much else going on right now, what with Archie being on hiatus or cancelled since July and Sabrina the Teenage Witch: Something Wicked waiting to fart out its last issue. So I’m glad that there’s a new digest. And that it’s a female-led digest. And that it’s kicking off with a brand-new 10-page story. Let’s get into it.

Someone is watching a video of Veronica and Betty dancing on her phone. Someone is incredulous that it has over 10,000 views.

It turns out that Ronnie and Betty are watching it on Ronnie’s phone while sitting in a booth at Pop’s. And Jughead’s the one that’s incredulous. Ronnie asks why. Jughead says it’s just them doing dances. Not just dances, Jug! They also swap clothes during the dance, which is totally not an art error! Anyway, Betty says they also have informative videos on current issues. And memes! Pop loves “those me-me things”. Jughead trash-talks “you kids nowadays” and modern technology but then takes off in excitement when he discovers a hotspot for a Pokemon Go knockoff game (which, yes, I do recall reading about in a previous issue somewhere, so points for continuity) in the parking lot. Ha.

Ronnie’s like “Fuck him” and fishes for compliments from Archie. Archie begrudgingly approves but lets her know they spend so much time on the videos that they never go on dates anymore. Ronnie is excited when she learns a BTS knockoff group is hosting a challenge: whoever has the most creative video on a TikTok knockoff wins a grand prize: the band will play in their hometown. Despite Ronnie whispering this, Ethel, Midge, and Toni are sitting in the booth behind her (despite Archie sitting there just two panels earlier) and overhear. Everyone leaves in a rush to make their videos.

Pop wonders where the fuck they went. Archie doesn’t know that but mentions what he overheard. An excited Ms. Beazley takes off running. Haha, because she’s an old hag that’s somehow interested in a K-Pop boy band. Pop asks more, so Archie explains. Reggie overhears and gets an idea.

Soon, at Riverdale High School, Reggie walks in and interrupts Betty and Veronica’s dance practice in the gym. He tells them to get inventive, or they’ll lose. Ronnie asks why the fuck they should listen to him. Reggie pulls out his phone, brings up his TikTik knockoff account, and reveals he’s…some kind of monster character that’s apparently “one of the most popular…accounts ever!” Yeah, no, but that’s what they’re going with in this story, so let’s continue. Reggie promises the girls that they’ll win this challenge, if they listen to him. He says they’ll need to “film” a few practice videos first.

Reggie records Ronnie, Betty, Midge, Ethel, and Toni exercising on treadmills, two on each; Toni herself doesn’t appear to be on a treadmill; Ethel falls off. Reggie gets Archie and Jughead involved, so he can get a video of their dogs, Vegas and Hot Dog, stacking cans. Reggie sees Betty doing a fairly impressive skateboarding stunt on a ramp and records it. Reggie then has Archie try; Archie crashes spectacularly, which Reggie loves, but he still wants something better and bigger.

Meanwhile on the band’s tour bus, their manager (or whoever) has found the winning video, and it’s…Ronnie and Betty’s dance video from earlier. The band’s impressed. One of them asks where they’re headed to perform. The manager says “Riverdale, USA”. One of them asks where Riverdale is, but the scene cuts away before the manager can answer. Fuck you, story. Numerous clues in the comics (as well as a license plate in Life With Archie: The Married Life) have placed Riverdale in New York. Stop trying to pretend Riverdale “could be anywhere”.

On another day, Reggie has seemingly called all of Riverdale outside somewhere and again promises they’ll win the challenge. Ronnie calls him out on “filming” and posting all of their most embarrassing moments. Betty questions whether he really is the person behind that popular, made-up account. He admits he isn’t and cites his vanity. Reggie wants them to participate in a video and has Dilton explain. A giant cylinder has been filled halfway with “a few” (understatement) gallons of orange soda. Soon, everyone in town will drop in their open packs of a Mentos knockoff candy, and it will create a “stellar surprise”. This seems like a variant on the Diet Coke and Mentos eruption. Betty asks if it’s dangerous. Dilton says no; they’re going for the longest ongoing stream, not the largest by volume; they just have to be careful and not have everyone do it at the same time.

But then Reggie tells everyone to do it at the same time, and there’s a huge explosion of orange soda, covering everyone. The band takes that moment to arrive in town. Oh, look, it seems Classic Archieverse Riverdale has the same basic “Welcome to Riverdale, the Town with Pep!” welcome sign from Riverdale. Everyone’s pissed at Reggie, but then the band arrives. They’re impressed with the “welcome”. They get on the roof of their tour bus and invite Betty and Veronica, who are suddenly completely spotless (not to mention fresh and full of life), up to join them as they perform their songs. Reggie tries to take credit. Jughead records a video of the girls dancing with the band in the hope of getting 10,000 views.

This story was okay. It’s a nice attempt at trying to keep up with current trends.


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Comics – Snow Way Out

Writer: Dan Parent
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inking: Jon D’Agostino
Lettering: Bill Yoshida*
Coloring: Barry Grossman*
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom, No. 9
Cover Date: February, 1998
Length: 5 pages

*These roles aren’t credited in this story; I assume the credits from the lead story apply here.

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

At Club Blossom, Louella watches the snow fall hard outside. The doorbell rings. Cheryl wonders who could be out here in this weather. She answers the door. It’s Archie. He’s delivering stuff for Hanson’s Sporting Goods Store, but the roads are getting slippery, and he thought he could seek shelter at her inn. Jason finds this convenient. Cheryl lets Archie stay a bit.

Cheryl and Archie play two games of Monopoly (and eat popcorn) in front of a roaring fire. Two games are her limit, so she decides to send him off. But then a cop arrives and informs her that all of the roads are closed, and no one is to leave; it’s very dangerous. Cheryl’s shocked, but Archie’s more than okay with it. I don’t get why Cheryl’s upset; she has the perfect excuse to take Archie upstairs for some hot fucking. Some guests are inconvenienced. The officer apologizes as he leaves. Cheryl suggests they watch some TV on the large screen in the den to pass the time.

Unfortunately for the guests, Cheryl submits them to hours of home movies and media coverage of herself. The only movies that she has to watch are “a couple” that she made starring herself. Huh, I guess she made another movie after Cheryl: A Life. Cheryl suggests singing Christmas carols and decides to go first; she has Jason film her.

An hour later, Cheryl has turned off the guests by hogging the spotlight. Even Jason unfavorably compares her to Liza Minnelli. Desperate to keep the guests around, Cheryl suggests they play charades. She has them stumped for an hour (the answer was her). A guest asks Archie what sort of sporting goods that he was transporting.

It’s winter stuff like skis and sleds. They use the equipment to escape from Cheryl (which Cheryl suspects). A worried Archie hopes the guests plan on paying for all of this.

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

After the story is a 2-page “Dear Cheryl” letters column by Sara Algase.


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Comics – Inn Big Trouble!

Writer: Dan Parent
Pencils: Dan DeCarlo
Inking: Jon D’Agostino
Lettering: Bill Yoshida
Coloring: Barry Grossman
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom, No. 2
Cover Date: May, 1997
Length: 21 pages

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

Part 1

Jason has replaced a picture of Cheryl over the fireplace at the club with a “more distinguished” picture of him, so she takes it and smashes it over his fucking head. He has dozens more.

Cheryl chases after Jason. Louella tells them to knock that shit off. Apparently, they’ve been fighting ever since they inherited this “inn”. Wait, inn? It’s a country club. But they keep referring to it as an inn in this story. It seems we’ve got a bit of revisionism going on. Anyway, Louella hands them a stack of books to put away in the lounge. Jason carries them, but one catches Cheryl’s interest: Pembrooke History; it describes the history of the inn.

The inn was opened over 150 years ago by Elmyra Willowbrook. She mysteriously vanished (some say murdered by ruthless competitors). Almost every proprietor of the inn since has reported supernatural events; many say it’s the ghost of “Elmira” Willowbrook. That’s nice: they use two spellings of the woman’s name in two adjacent panels. Anyway, Cheryl and Jason laugh it off, but then Jason gets the idea to prank Cheryl and scare her off, so he can run the inn with Betty. Yeah, wishful thinking, Jason.

Soon, Cheryl has put her picture back over the fireplace, but then it starts shaking and spinning. A shrieking voice yells “Get out!” Cheryl runs away. Of course, it’s just Jason’s doing; he got a guy named Stan (a “great special effects whiz”) to help him. Cheryl goes to tell Louella, but then there’s just a “lovely” still life painting over the fireplace, so a surprised Cheryl drops it, guessing she’s been working too hard. She decides to get her club ready for the show tomorrow night.

That night, at House of Cheryl, Priscilla is pleasantly surprised that a band called Roadkill is performing (I can’t tell if this is supposed to be parodying an actual band). Wait, the show was supposed to be “tomorrow night”. They can’t even keep details straight from one panel to another? Anyway, Cheryl sends the band out on stage, and then the ghost of Elmyra/Elmira shows up and warns Cheryl to get out of her inn before it’s “too late”. Cheryl is freaked the fuck out.

Cheryl dares to ask for proof, so Jason unleashes special effects. Cheryl runs out onto the stage and calls for help. She trips and falls into the crowd, who mistake it for moshing and clap for her. They love her.

Part 2

The next day (I guess), Cheryl recounts what happened to Priscilla. Why she waited this long instead of just telling her right after the show, I have no idea. Suddenly, three hillbillies show up, looking for the ghost. It’s the club’s neighbors, the Clumpitts. They tried to buy them out, but they wouldn’t move. They live in an old tree house with no lights and no power. Cheryl says it’s “really weird”.

Cheryl tells the Clumpitts to get the fuck out, but Louella admonishes her for it. Cheryl answers a knock at the door and instantly gets a lady boner for their new guest: a Brad Pitt knockoff. Cheryl calls him a “teen heartthrob”, but Pitt was 33 at the time. Brad has brought his (very elderly) father with him, because it’s his turn to watch him this week. Cheryl guesses he must’ve been 75 when he became a father (but doesn’t say it out loud). Brad’s dad claims to be an actor, too (he wasn’t in real life), but Cheryl’s “never seen silent movies”. Brutal.

Cheryl offers to help Brad’s dad to his room (just to get in Brad’s good graces). Archie (who Clifford has hired, because he’s a “good influence” on Cheryl) is watching from the kitchen while washing dishes and gets jealous. Jason gets on his case about his lack of productivity.

Soon, Brad asks Cheryl to get his dad some milk and cookies and keep him company. Cheryl agrees to do it but then just tosses them to the old man. He asks her to get him his medicine. Cheryl complains.

Back in the kitchen, Archie sees Brad “hitting on every girl here” and gets pissed. Archie jumps to the conclusion that Brad is using Cheryl to care for his “doddering” old father.

Doors slam shut, confusing Cheryl. The ghost appears again. Cheryl feels “trapped”, even though she’s in a hallway, so she jumps into an old laundry chute. She has fun sliding down it.

When Cheryl exits the chute, she inadvertently kicks Brad’s dad in the ass with both feet. Ouch. Cheryl apologizes but says a ghost is after her. Brad’s dad thought he felt a strange presence and suggests holding a seance (he then has to explain to Cheryl what it is). He says they need a medium (and has to explain that, too). Louella, who’s nearby, overhears and says she’s a psychic. She claims to have worked for The Psychic Friends Hot Line. Brad’s dad says they’ll have a seance tomorrow night. Cheryl ponders what to wear.

Part 3

Later, Archie overhears Jason talking to Stan about his trickery. Jason wants to plan something good for the seance tomorrow night. Archie decides he needs to tell Cheryl (and wants to score some points with her).

When he lets Cheryl know, she’s enraged. He expects a reward. Cheryl puts that off for now and needs Archie’s help. She tells him the plan.

At the seance (which is on the following night, I guess, even though Cheryl, Jason, and Brad’s dad are all still dressed the same), the Clumpitts interrupt. They came to watch (and even brought popcorn). Cheryl’s upset but allows them to stay as long as they sit down and shut up. Louella tries to summon “Elmyra”. The “ghost” appears. Jason is happy regarding Stan’s work. Also, Stan is Jason’s “bosom buddy”.

Elmyra disses Cheryl, but then a competing Elmyra arrives, praises Cheryl, and exposes Jason (even getting him to confess, stop his bullshit, and do all of Cheryl’s work for the next two weeks). Cheryl loves it. It’s all Archie (and a holographic projector) with a voice changer, of course. Archie’s still dressed in the same clothes as before.

Archie then has Elmyra expose how Brad’s been using Cheryl, so he can whore himself out to the ladies. Cheryl’s pissed, which initially scares Brad, but Brad really doesn’t give a shit. “Elmyra” praises Cheryl again and say she has a date with Abraham Lincoln. Cheryl advises Elmyra against a “dutch treat” and tells her to make him pay (she’ll change her view on this eventually).

Cheryl adjourns the seance. One of the Clumpitts says that was better than a rerun of Hee Haw. Brad takes his dad and leaves. Cheryl gets in a parting shot. Cheryl praises Archie. Louella is surprised and scared that she can conjure the dead. Cheryl starts to show her appreciation toward Archie.

Part 4

A few weeks later, in the kitchen, Jason’s doing the dishes, and Cheryl’s reading a gossip rag. She’s shocked to learn Brad and his dad are starring in a new TV show based on a haunted inn run by two incompetent teens. The teens disappear in the pilot episode.

Jason’s surprised. Cheryl’s pissed but admits they can’t legally do anything. She wants to generate a little publicity. She also admits she and Archie pranked Jason. He’s pissed.

Cheryl calls in during Brad’s appearance on a knockoff of Larry King Live and reveals where he got the idea for his show from. A nervous and then angry Brad leaves the studio.

Cheryl gives interviews everywhere (including on Sally), which pisses off Brad. Cheryl had faxed a list of her demands, and his dad advises they give in.

Three of the demands are filming their show at Club Blossom, giving Cheryl a small part, and giving them free advertising during the show.

As filming begins, Cheryl mugs for the camera in a skimpy outfit, ruining takes. Suddenly, they hear shrieks. Brad’s scared. Cheryl wonders if it’s part of the show. The statue of Elmyra outside is glowing. Cheryl starts to be scared. Brad decides to go outside and investigate.

There’s a “Get Out” message written in a mound of dirt. Brad and the crew get the fuck out. Cheryl and Jason blame each other for the prank. Realizing they both wanted the publicity from the show, they freak out at the thought of the place really being haunted.

Nah, it was the Clumpitts. They didn’t want the cameras and people around. They watch with satisfaction from their tree house.

This story was pretty funny, but the ending makes no sense. How could these hillbillies, who don’t even use electricity, pull off a prank like this?


Between Parts 1 and 2 is a page of Cheryl fan art with entries from Whitney Egerton of Oro Valley, Arizona; Jessica Mix of Whiteriver, Arizona; Belinda Dagaas of Plymouth, Indiana; and Jaselyn Logan of Alberta, Canada.

Between Parts 2 and 3 is a 2-page “Dear Cheryl” letters column (plus “You know your boyfriend’s bad news when”) by Sara Algase.

Between Parts 3 and 4 is a 1-page Cheryl illustration titled “Cheryl’s Ready for Spring”.

According to GCDb, all of the extras are included in the digital edition, but we must consider the possibility that the GCDb contributors use the digital editions when typing up the contents.


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Comics – Join the Club

Writer: Dan Parent
Pencils: Dan DeCarlo
Inking: Jon D’Agostino
Lettering: Bill Yoshida
Coloring: Barry Grossman
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom, No. 1
Cover Date: April, 1997
Length: 21 pages

After her triumphant return to Riverdale near the end of 1994, from 1995 to 1996, Cheryl Blossom was given a Special miniseries followed by three more miniseries. Those thirteen issues must have done well enough, because Archie Comics saw fit to give Cheryl her own ongoing series, premiering just two months after her latest miniseries ended.

I got into this series with issue #20 (which came out in the last days of 1998) and faithfully followed it to its conclusion at issue #37. Despite the fact that I won the entire run (plus the Special issues, miniseries, and various other Cheryl-related issues) in an eBay auction in 2012, I have never taken any of the issues out of their packaging to read them, preferring to keep them in a tote.

My point is, until we reach issue #20, I likely have never read these stories before (unless I read them as reprints in digests), so this should be a fun experience.

I have one more observation before we get into the story. Remember how, in the final issue of the last miniseries, Cheryl stated she was 16? Well, that wreaks havoc on continuity. If Cheryl was 16 in the final month of 1996, then she was likely born in 1980 (or, at the earliest, December of 1979) – at the very earliest. It also means Cheryl would have gotten her driver’s license no earlier than December of 1995 – at the very earliest. That means, at the very least, Love Showdown, Love & War, the first two Special issues, and the first miniseries (Summertime Fun) came out before “current Cheryl” could drive. Obviously, older stories falling outside the current “window” is constant in Archie Comics, but stories fall out that much quicker when the characters are made too young.

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

Part 1

Penelope gets a call and informs Cheryl that their “dear” Aunt Melinda has died. Wait, she was an aunt to both Penelope and Cheryl? How does that work? Anyway, Cheryl is distraught and bursts into tears as she makes claims about their closeness. Penelope points out that Cheryl never met her, because Melinda lived overseas most of her life.

As the Blossom family leaves Shady Glenn Funeral Home, Clifford expresses his disapproval of Cheryl’s choice of funeral attire: a low-cut, sleeveless gold dress with white stars (it reveals plenty of cleavage). Penelope also (silently) disapproves.

They get in a limousine to go to attend the reading of the will. Cheryl is excited at the prospect of “getting stuff”. Penelope angrily tells her to show some respect. Jason makes fun of Cheryl for dressing sexy, and he can fuck right off. Cheryl tries to…strangle him, I guess. Clifford tells them to cut that shit out.

At the reading of the will, “Frank Blossom” (Melinda’s “favorite”) and “his wife” get $1,500,000. Wait, Frank Blossom? I don’t recall offhand if Clifford had been named yet up to this point, but apparently his name is Frank in this story. I’m still gonna call him Clifford, though. Anyway, the audience gets a good laugh out of Melinda’s certainty that Cheryl and Jason are “as loving and caring as Frank”. Cheryl shushes them and tells them to show some respect.

Anyway, Melinda left them the old Millbrook Country Club and its property. Cheryl and Jason are excited at the thought of making a lot of money.

The next day, though, Clifford wants them to sell the country club and use the money for their future. Jason and Cheryl, upset, argue this could be their future. Cheryl starts talking about gaining skills to cooperate, grow, and mature. I’m not sure if she’s serious about that, but she convinces her dad. However, he’ll be “supervising closely”. Cheryl wants to go check out the place, and Clifford comes with them.

The place is a wreck. Cheryl asks (more like assumes) her dad will renovate it. He agrees but says they’ll pay him back. They’re shocked. He says their goal will be to pay him back when the club opens. Cheryl is upset at the “catch”. Clifford’s like “Welcome to the business world, motherfuckers.”

Several weeks later, Clifford is impressed that the place is really coming together. Cheryl says her Rock N’ Roll club (apparently one section of the club) is “really dynamite”. She says they’ll attract all kinds of talent to perform in this club. She’s primarily thinking of performing here herself, though.

Clifford introduces a tall, buff woman named Louella McGruff. Jason is initially scared of her. Cheryl asks her dad if Louella is applying for a bouncer job. Louella “playfully” slaps Cheryl on the back really hard. That’s fucking rude. Clifford says Louella is going to supervise the club. Jason takes issue with this. Cheryl isn’t pleased either. Clifford says they’ll run the club under the supervision of Ms. McGruff, who has years of business management experience – and will watch over them for him. Cheryl had thought he’d leave her and Jason alone here.

Sometime later, Jason and Cheryl get into an argument, because Cheryl had put up a forty-foot mural of her face to counteract the “homely” bronze sculpture (seemingly of Jason playing a guitar). Louella tells them to shut the fuck up. Jason kisses up to her. A worker comes in and leads them outside to the sign for the country club. Jason is surprised that the sign reads “Club Cheryl”. Louella angrily asks who authorized it. Cheryl says she did. Louella orders the sign taken away and tells Cheryl that they make decisions together. Jason agrees. Cheryl is pissed.

Part 2

Louella reveals the “much more diplomatic” sign above the club’s doors: “Club Blossom”. Cheryl reluctantly accepts it. Louella says their grand opening is next week, and they’ve got to get out and really promote the place. She’s hired an advertising agency to help them out. Cheryl goes off to promote the club her way.

Cheryl does a media blitz, which includes a Club Blossom blimp releasing flyers made to look like blossoms, a TV commercial with Cheryl for the club, and Cheryl posing for the photogs while wearing a shirt advertising the club. Louella is impressed but also can’t explain Cheryl’s ability to attract attention.

During an interview with channel 3 in which Cheryl talks about getting headliners at the club, she’s pressed on names. She sees a billboard advertising a singer named (I’m not joking) Sydney Skank and suggests maybe her. The reporter takes it as a certainty and passes it along to the rest of the media. A nervous Cheryl corrects him.

It makes the papers, though, and enrages a very pregnant Madonna knockoff. She insists on appearing at Club Blossom and upstaging her “rival”. Her husband (Madonna was divorced at the time) and personal trainer, a beefcake named Jose, takes issue with this, but she shuts him up.

Jose is pissed. Madonna’s assistant (whose hair is now a lighter shade of brown) objects as well, but Madonna tells her to get her booked.

Cheryl is excited and “honored” when she gets the news and tells the assistant to fax her a list of Madonna’s demands, which she soon regrets. Cheryl learns (probably from one of the papers) that Madonna thinks Sydney Skank is going to be here and doesn’t want to disappoint her by telling her otherwise.

On opening day, Cheryl is excited about the chain reaction. Word’s gotten out about their celebrity status. Knockoffs of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman want to stay in their guest suite. Jason says a Friends knockoff series is filming nearby, and they need lodging for the cast and crew.

Jason says their rooms are booked full. Cheryl hopes they can attract people to the rock club, golf course, and other areas. Louella is pleased. Cheryl thinks about her true motivation for not telling Madonna the truth (getting the ball rolling) but figures she won’t mind once she’s here. Cheryl wonders out loud about Madonna performing a song or two with her. Jason yells at her that she can’t sing. Cheryl says neither can Madonna. The rock club is called House of Cheryl. Madonna shows up suddenly and immediately insults the place. Cheryl’s happy to see her, anyway.

Part 3

Cheryl reveals to Madonna that Sydney Skank won’t be here due to “other commitments”. Madonna tries to leave, but Cheryl reminds her of her signed contract.

Cheryl also brings up the possibility of discussing on TV how Madonna “betrayed” her fans. Madonna reluctantly agrees to stay. Besides, she’s too bloated.

On opening day (wait, I thought it already was), Cheryl is excited to see the cast of the Friends knockoff series, but it turns out that they’re assholes that argue with each other. Jason spots Tom and Nicole (who’s much taller). Tom’s wearing a “rug” on his head; Cheryl can see the seam.

Veronica shows up, and Cheryl demands some fucking answers. Ronnie explains Clifford invited Hiram. Betty arrives. A surprised (but not angry) Cheryl asks what she’s doing here. Jason explains Betty’s his date for the evening. He actually did this to piss Cheryl off but forces Cheryl to agree Cheryl and Betty admire each other. Cheryl is pleased to see Archie with her dad (who invited him).

Clifford’s still hoping Archie will be a good influence on Cheryl, so Hiram decides they need to talk. Cheryl excuses herself from Archie to talk with a Matt LeBlanc knockoff. Apparently, Joey’s her favorite. Louella spoils Cheryl’s chances of getting celebrity cock, though; the maids are sick, so she and Cheryl have to pitch in. She gives Cheryl a stack of towels to carry upstairs. Cheryl is upset. Louella’s like “Welcome to the real world, bitch.” Cheryl angrily asks her how Jason is helping.

He’s sponging Madonna’s head. Of course. Cheryl overhears Tom and Nicole arguing. Nicole accuses him of looking at a Jennifer Aniston knockoff and throws a vase at him as he runs away. Cheryl has a laugh over it.

Later, at the club (as opposed to where?), Madonna, indicating her contract, tells Cheryl that she’s performing solo (Jason had brought up Cheryl’s duet plans). Cheryl chases after him and threatens to beat the shit out of him.

Part 4

Clifford (who’s hanging out with Archie, Betty, and Ronnie in the audience) is amazed that the place is packed. Betty happily admits Cheryl throws a good party.

Backstage, Madonna is ready to go on and warns Cheryl against interfering. Cheryl’s angry. Suddenly, Madonna goes into labor. Cheryl worries about the show but then decides the show (namely, her) must go on. Cheryl asks Madonna for the location of her husband. He’s “off on a fat burning session with Oprah”. Cheryl calls 911, but Madonna seems to try to talk her out of it.

Cheryl goes out to perform in Madonna’s place. Ronnie can’t stand Cheryl’s singing. Cheryl sings a funny knockoff of “Like a Virgin”. However, Madonna’s screams make Cheryl leave the stage and see to her. Madonna insults Cheryl’s “lousy” singing and, oh, yeah, the baby’s coming right fucking now. Cheryl doesn’t know anything about babies. Madonna screams at her to find someone fast. Cheryl finds a doctor in the audience and offers him a free steak dinner, if he does a good job.

Cheryl tries to continue her performance despite Madonna’s backstage screams. At one point, it seems like Cheryl is, oddly, singing “Take Me Home Tonight”, which…is not a Madonna song.

Anyway, the delivery is successful. Cheryl comes backstage to tell them to keep it down. Madonna shows off her girl. Cheryl snatches the baby from her to show her off to the audience – and also take credit for the delivery, which pisses off the doctor.

The audience gives a standing ovation – except Ronnie, who recognizes this isn’t for Cheryl.

Sometime later, back home, Cheryl is excited about all of the publicity that they’ve gotten. They’re in the tabloids and on TV. The club is booked for months. Everybody wants to see where Madonna’s baby was born. Cheryl notices the Madonna knockoff is on a Hard Copy knockoff. Madonna passes on the title of “Queen of Self-Promotion” to Cheryl, much to the latter’s excitement. Jason rolls his eyes.

This story was pretty funny. The series is off to a good start. It looks like they decided to stick to the issue-length stories at the beginning. Obviously, that will change.


Between Parts 1 and 2 are a combination ad/PSA for Jimmy Dean meat products and United Cerebral Palsey featuring Jughead and a page of Cheryl fan art with entries from Melissa of Jakarta, Indonesia; Laura Madson of Virginia Beach, Virginia; Alana Gentner of Norristown, Pennsylvania; Jennifer Ritz of Wildwood Crest, New Jersey; Stella Yoo of Los Angeles, California; and Irene Pensacola of Antioch, California.

Between Parts 2 and 3 is a 2-page “Dear Cheryl” letters column (plus “Things NOT to say to your boyfriends’s mother. (if you want to date him again)”) by Sara Algase.

Between Parts 3 and 4 is a half-page Editor’s Notebook by Victor Gorelick.

After the story is a 1-page Cheryl illustration (by Rex W. Lindsey) titled “Indoor Winter-Wear” with fashion ideas submitted by Allie of New Mexico; Emily Ferguson of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada; and Jessica Balzola of Pembroke Pines, Florida.

There’s also a Sabrina ad or two in there somewhere – along with other ads.

With the exceptions of the PSA, Editor’s Notebook, and ad(s), all of the extras are included in the digital edition, surprisingly enough.


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Comics – Hollywood or Bust

Writer: Dan Parent*
Pencils: Dan Parent*
Inking: Rudy Lapick*
Lettering: Bill Yoshida*
Coloring: Barry Grossman*
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom (Goes to Hollywood**), No. 3
Cover Date: February, 1997
Length: 21 pages

*The credits come from Grand Comics Database, because, oddly, the digital version omits them. The first page is obviously cropped, but I assume that’s mostly the indicia that’s missing. Perhaps the credits were accidentally cropped out, too.

**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.

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

Chapter 1

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

Cheryl is dressed up in a beautiful, strapless, blue-and-black gown. She fishes for a compliment from Jason.

He says she seems so smug, which she has no problem with. She’s confident. According to Captain Thomas, the “Riverdale simpletons” were stuck on some farm (how does he know this?), hours from here, but the premiere’s in an hour. Jason is shocked and is apparently just now realizing the full extent of Cheryl’s plan. She doesn’t want them to steal her limelight, and Jason adds she doesn’t want them to see how bad that she’s made them look in the film (which she agrees with).

Soon, Cheryl arrives at the film festival and is starstruck by knockoffs of Alicia Silverstone, Jack Nicholson, and Meryl Streep and what appears to be the assbaby of Keanu Reeves and Mel Gibson. A reporter wants to ask Cheryl a question, which she gladly agrees to. The problem is the question is “Who are you?”, which sets her off. She angrily lets him know about her documentary, Cheryl: A Life.

Cheryl drones on (she’s sixteen in this story), but the reporter leaves, angering her. The fashion photographers start taking pictures of her, which pleases her, but then she’s warned to get out of the way. Veronica, riding a mule, runs into her.

Cheryl, upset, asks how they got here. Betty explains a farmer led them here by mule. So many things wrong with that. Mules travel 2.5 miles per hour, which a human can do. There is no way that they’d make it in time. Also, they’d never be allowed on the red carpet. If they pulled this shit, they’d be arrested – or maybe even shot. Oh, and the gang tied up and gagged Captain Thomas and brought him along (kidnapping), despite the fact that the previous issue explicitly showed only the teens being thrown off the train, whereas Captain Thomas stayed on board and reported to Cheryl. Also, his physical appearance has completely changed from the previous issue, going from a mostly-bald, dark-haired, mustached man to a younger blond. Cheryl gets upset at the gang (and a mule) posing for a photo.

Cheryl goes to find her seat. She got the gang passes, too (just in case they came), but the seats are in the balcony (they don’t mind).

Cheryl is bored by the films (including The Wonderful World of Bread). Finally, her film is introduced. Betty and Ronnie wait in anticipation (Ronnie’s expectations are low).

Chapter 2

As the film starts, Betty calls Cheryl out on her ego for her 30-second credit. Ronnie’s pissed that the rest of them don’t get proper credits. Cheryl immediately starts lying, claiming to have lower-middle-class origins. Jason points out that their dad was a millionaire at 19.

Cheryl takes credit for her dad’s success (when she was 10). She claims to have founded (and worked at) a soup kitchen. She pushes the image of Riverdale as a crime-ridden ghetto. Archie is a “simple lad”. The two “shameful bimbos” are Betty “Peroxide” Cooper and Veronica “Nose Job” Lodge.

Cheryl passes off Ronnie’s gypsy Halloween outfit as an example of her typical clothes. She somehow got a camera into Betty’s bedroom and filmed her as she was having difficulty after her jeans shrank, giving the impression that she’d gained weight (falling over doesn’t help her image). She dubbed in a much louder belch for Jughead. She passes the “poor lad” Reggie’s egotism off as loneliness. For the classroom scene, Cheryl dubbed in other voices, praising her.

Two-and-a-half hours later, people are falling asleep (this is during the patriotic portion near the end of the film). The audience is impatient – or laughing. The film finally ends.

Oh, but then there’s a quick tag at the end where Cheryl gives her address (unseen) and phone number (555-3607; no area code) for acting or modeling jobs. She “humbly” thanks them and then signs off with the “That’s All Folks!” logo from the old Looney Tunes shorts. Jason wants to take a break in the lobby, but Cheryl rushes toward the paparazzi. She then gets hit in the head with a bucket of popcorn by one of her “friends” from Riverdale. They want her ass on a pike.

Chapter 3

As the rest of the gang chases Cheryl, Jason tapes it. A random guy that claims to “produce a show back in the States” takes an interest in him.

Cheryl makes it back to her hotel room. She looks forward to tomorrow, when she can “bask in the glow” when reviews of her film come out.

Yeah, no, it gets trashed. Cheryl’s upset. She gets scared when the gang shows up, but Archie says they come in peace.

Betty says the reviews focused on Cheryl, not them, so it’s okay. Betty asks Cheryl if she sees what it’s like to be humiliated. Cheryl begrudgingly says she does. Suddenly, the press barges in, and Cheryl quickly bullshits that she was doing a “mock documentary”, a “parody”. They buy it, and she gets them to follow her around and take pictures as she shops for clothes. The others are incredulous. Cheryl believes bad press is better than no press.

A few days later, at the airport, the press sees Cheryl off as she boards her plane, praising her as “Canned’s answer to Jerry Lewis”. For her part, Cheryl says she’s “like a voluptuous Lucille Ball”. Cheryl waves and says goodbye to her many fans and friends that have come to see her off. Ronnie’s pissed that they got no recognition out of this at all. Um, did they ever even ask to be interviewed? Anyway, Archie just wants the whole ordeal to end.

On the plane, Jason’s being cryptic about the fame that awaits Cheryl at home (and also briefly changes shirts).

At the Riverdale Airport (which is a full-sized airport, by the way, not just for small planes), Cheryl is surprised to find two “brats” pointing and laughing at her. It turns out that Jason had sent a tape of her to an America’s Funniest Home Videos knockoff, and it aired last night. Cheryl is shocked by this, even though she really shouldn’t be.

Chapter 4

Back home (and after changing her jacket), Cheryl learns what Jason did and is furious. He says they won last night’s show and get to be back for the final competition. Cheryl doesn’t want to, but Jason says the show is seen by 25,000,000 viewers.

Cheryl changes her mind, silently noting she’s got a few tricks up her sleeve.

So now the miniseries tries to justify its title in its last 3.5 pages by having Cheryl actually go to Hollywood…to sit through an AFHV taping. Jason’s here, too. Keep in mind that this would be at the end of the season, so it’s probably months later. Anyway, Cheryl shudders to watch the outtakes of her movie. The “funny” stuff consists of a close-up of Cheryl eating caviar during a break, Ronnie and Betty pulling Cheryl into the water, and Cheryl spraying herself with the firehose (which didn’t happen).

The host then announces Cheryl has a surprise, which surprises Jason. Cheryl reveals, as soon as she knew Jason was following her with a video camera, she had someone follow him. This is the first that we’ve heard of this.

Anyway, highlights include Jason trying to tape a girl but then falling down a hill and a girl barfing on Jason. The audience votes. Cheryl’s barf video wins (which isn’t fair, because this is a last-minute entry in the finals, but whatever). Jason is pissed and tries to take the trophy from Cheryl, so she assaults him on television. Jason concedes. Cheryl makes a pun based on her last name. The end.

So…this story was okay, I guess. The entire storyline as a whole was pretty meh. You know how this would be done in 2020? Cheryl rents some equipment, gets the gang to star in a movie with her, uploads it to YouTube, goes viral for the wrong reasons, and watches as those sweet, sweet royalties are deposited into her bank account. The end.

The following info comes from Grand Comics Database: After the story is a PSA (drawn by Dan DeCarlo) titled “Food for Thought”, a page of fan art (from Stephanie Curran (San Francisco, CA), Le Myat Tun (Langon, Myanmar), Sylvia Smasal (La Mesa, CA), Dorothy Becks (San Francisco, CA), Trina Witt (Marion, SD), and Anna Chenoweth (Windsor, CA)), a 2-page “Dear Cheryl” letters column (also including Cheryl’s Love Tips) by Sara Algase, a half-page Editor’s Notebook by Victor Gorelick, and a 1-page Cheryl illustration (by Dan Parent and Rudy Lapick) titled “Stars of the 90’s”. None of this extra stuff is included in the digital edition, which is a shame.

So that’s the last of Cheryl’s miniseries. I guess it did well enough, because it led to Cheryl getting her very own ongoing series. Stay tuned for that.


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Comics – Movie Madness

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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