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.
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.
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.
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.
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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