Comics – Fast and Loose

Archie's-Girls-Betty-and-Veronica-322.jpg
Writer: Frank Doyle*
Pencils: Dan DeCarlo*
Inks: Jimmy DeCarlo*
Colors: Barry Grossman*
Letters: Bill Yoshida*
Original Publication: Archie’s Girls Betty and Veronica, No. 322
Cover Date: February, 1983
Length: 6 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. The story might originally be uncredited. The credits come from Grand Comics Database and may or may not be accurate. The indexer note at GCDb states: “When reprinted in Betty and Veronica Double Digest Magazine (Archie, 1987 series) #233, Rudy Lapick is credited as the inker.”

I’m sorry that this is a bit late.

Before I get into the actual story, here’s an unfounded rumor about the issue as a whole, courtesy of GCDb: “Betty and Veronica half-naked on the cover, the story titles “Fast and Loose,” “Heavy Date,” and “Moanin’ Low,” and Cheryl Blossom’s aggressive sexuality have led Archie fans to speculate that “something” happened “between the lines” of this issue.”

Betty and Cheryl are walking along and come across Archie and Reggie. Betty introduces Cheryl to them, stating she and Jason go to Pembrooke Academy. Cheryl lets the guys call her Cher. Reggie, ever the smartass, asks “Share what?” Cheryl immediately whores herself out to him. Betty laughs it off, calling her “a great kidder”, but Cheryl lets Betty know she’s serious.

Cheryl then throws herself at Archie, and he misinterprets her advancements as wanting to join their band, The Archies. Cheryl has a “What the fuck?” moment but then resumes her seduction, readily admitting she’s a slut. Archie gets really nervous. Betty calmly observes the situation and says Cheryl is “too rich for poor Archie’s blood”. Reggie agrees. Betty eventually has enough of this and leaves. Reggie follows her, saying Cheryl shows bad taste. Betty calls her a fast woman and adds she knows, from experience, Cheryl is dealing with a “slo-o-ow man”. Laughing, Reggie agrees.

Cheryl tries to get behind Archie, probably to do things to his ass. Veronica comes by and interrupts them, pissed. Archie’s nervous as fuck and makes the introductions. Veronica and Cheryl oddly exchange some cowgirl-like banter (despite years of the old radio show and the Filmation cartoons, Veronica is not Southern; she’s from New York or Boston; Cheryl, also, doesn’t strike me as Southern). Veronica claims Archie as her boyfriend and drags him off.

Jason shows up, so Cheryl calls Archie and “Bonnie” back. Veronica angrily corrects her. Cheryl doesn’t give a shit and makes the introductions. Jason flirts with Veronica, and she likes it, but it pisses Archie off, and he yells at her. Veronica walks off with Jason.

Cheryl wants Archie to show her the “interesting sights” (meaning his dick and ass) and starts their “dandy little sightseeing tour” by making out with him.

Jughead walks over to Betty, and they both talk about how Cheryl is a “mankiller”. Betty’s afraid that Cheryl’s going to make a fool out of Archie, which, according to Jughead, is not too hard to do.

Betty asks Jughead if he has the magic pin that makes him irresistible to women (yeah, that was a thing back then; just go with it). He has it in his pocket and puts it on his hat, ready to save Archie from “a fate worse than death”. Surprised, Betty says it’s “not that bad” (because, y’know, hot chick trying to fuck you is better than death).

Jughead walks over and asks Archie to introduce “the tasty dish”. Cheryl immediately gets a lady boner for Jughead and ignores “Red”. Cheryl walks off with Jughead, questioning her sanity and claiming he really turns her on. Archie tells Betty that they need to figure out how to save Ronnie from Jason, but Betty doesn’t give a shit about that, since she has what she wants.

So this story is pretty risque but also pretty funny. After already knowing (for however long) Betty, Veronica, and Jughead, Cheryl is introduced to Archie and Reggie in this story. I love that Cheryl shamelessly flaunts her sexuality and doesn’t try to hide it by being modest in any way. The only thing that I hate about this story is the stupid magic pin.

This story was reprinted as a flashback within the “Love & War” story in Archie’s Love Showdown Special, No. 1, in late 1994. It was the immediate sequel to the famous “Love Showdown” storyline that reintroduced Cheryl to Riverdale (and readers).

Tune in next Wednesday!

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Author: markmooreauthor

I love watching anime and superhero movies, and I love playing video games. I also write fan fiction and original fiction.

16 thoughts on “Comics – Fast and Loose”

  1. I like to think of Archie’s Love Showdown Special #1 as “Cheryl Blossom Special #0”, since it follows the same format of 48 pages, part new story/part reprint. Were any alterations made to the reprinted stories in those Specials? I’m also curious if any of the early Cheryl stories from the 1980s were left out and NOT reprinted in those Specials, and whether “The Best of Cheryl Blossom” digital exclusive collection contains any of the not-reprinted stories. I figure you’d know if anyone would.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As I noted in my review of “Color Coded”, the line “we’ll fool around” was removed from Cheryl’s dialogue in the CB Special reprint (even though it had been reprinted, unaltered, in a digest in 1990). I don’t know of any other alterations (even though I have all of the Specials and, in fact, every issue of every miniseries and the entire run of her solo title), mostly because I actually don’t have any of the original issues with Cheryl’s 1980s appearances.

      “The Best of Cheryl Blossom” lacks a table of contents, so I don’t know exactly what’s in it. I might splurge on it one of these days. Judging by the free preview on Amazon, though, there seems to be no rhyme or reason to it. It starts off with “Fast and Loose” and then goes right to the much more recent “Who is Cheryl Blossom?” from the 2000s.

      I’m sure there were plenty of 1980s Cheryl stories not reprinted in the Specials. Last night, after I posted this review, I decided to start a list of all 1980s Cheryl appearances. I went through each issue of Archie, Archie’s Girls Betty and Veronica, Jughead, and Archie Giant Series Magazine at Grand Comics Database, and I made a chronological list of every story and fashion page. It came out to 81 pages total, only 70 of which were Cheryl material (the other 11 pages were from two Jason-only stories). That’s shockingly little material, but I know for a fact that the list is incomplete, because it’s missing a two-parter called “The Governor’s Gig” or “The Governor’s Ball” that I’ve read in digests, but I haven’t come across it at GCDb (not even by doing a story title search). There are plenty of issues that are only partially indexed (or not indexed at all), so it’s possible that that story (and more) appeared in those issues (Archie Giant Series Magazine, in particular, is woefully under-indexed). Furthermore, looking at the cover dates, Cheryl was around for a much shorter time than I thought: cover dates October of 1982 to February of 1984, which likely translates to roughly August of 1982 to December of 1983. So…she was around for only 16 months before they quietly dropped her.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay, I kind of took it for granted if you were reviewing the story from the Best of Cheryl digital exclusive that you must own it. I know I HAD that list of Cheryl stories from the 80s at one time, which is why I knew there weren’t that many pages total. And it seems like someone’s updated the GCDb listings since I last checked, when not all of Cheryl’s Specials had been indexed (“The Govenor’s Gig” was reprinted as a flashback sequence of the new story in Special #4). Doing the ballpark math on this, it seems like they could easily have squeezed 70 pages of Cheryl reprints into the five 48-Page Giant Specials. The list might be on my other computer, or on a flash drive I use to back up various data I want to save. I’ll let you know when I have time to look for it.

    I don’t have any documented proof, but I’m fairly certain Cheryl came into existence as a knee-jerk reaction on ACP’s part (probably discussed in some editorial meeting) to the discovery of Larry Welz’ underground comic CHERRY POPTART #1 (which ACP sent Welz a legal cease-and-desist letter, with regard to the backup feature, “Vampironica”, which was later pulled from subsequent reprintings of issue #1). The timing of CHERRY (later printings dropped the last name due to threating letters from Kellogg’s) in 1982 is a little too coincidental when you consider that Archie Comic Publications was cancelling titles, and creating virtually NO new characters at that time. But ACP might have been surprised a market existed for something like that, so they decided to try goosing sales in the direct market by introducing Cheryl Blossom. I suspect the relatively brief initial run of the character might have been because of a backlash of parental reaction. They also swiped the Vampironica name and trademarked it themselves (as if CHERYL isn;t close enough to CHERRY), even if it took them 25+ years to do it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m trying to collate that data on Cheryl’s appearances from Oct 1982 to June 1985… I have a list of 31 appearances/stories. 3 of those are 1-page fashion features. At least 4 instances appear to be more “Jason stories” than Cheryl stories. There are 6 issues for which I have no data (story titles and page lengths). Those are:

      Archie Giant Series (B&V SPECTACULAR) #520 [June 1983]
      Archie at Riverdale High #92 [Aug. 1983]
      Everything’s Archie #107 [Sept. 1983]
      Archie at Riverdale High #96 [ Apr. 1984]
      Archie at Riverdale High #101 [Feb. 1985]
      Archie at Riverdale High #103 [Jun. 1985]

      I suspect at least the remaining Archie at Riverdale High stories are Jason-centric again, as that title tended towards more drama than comedy, and two of the four Jason stories I HAVE identified are from that title (the others appear in Archie’s Girls Betty and Veronica #324, and Life With Archie #238), and quite possibly the appearance from Everything’s Archie #107, as well. That leaves AGS #520 as the mystery.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I also have a complete contents listing for The Best of Cheryl Blossom DE collection (including source of all the reprints). Archie’s Love Showdown Special and Cheryl Blossom Specials #1-4 account for 72 pages of reprinted stories from 1982-84, and there are a few more in TBoCB. That leaves the half-dozen unidentified appearances I mentioned, plus about a half-dozen stories reprinted in various places elsewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Here are my updated stats:

      *28 entries totaling 149-151 pages
      of those:
      *2 are Jason stories totaling 11 pages
      *2 are cover appearances
      *5 are fashion pages

      That leaves 19 Cheryl stories totaling 131-133 pages.

      I can’t find the original appearances of “The Governor’s Gig” or “The Great All-American Pembrooke-Riverdale Food-Eating Contest! Munchie Mania!”.

      I count 83-85 pages of reprints in the Specials.

      Where’d you get the contents listing of TBoCB, and may I have it?

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  4. What’s the page count on those two stories? That was the only thing I couldn’t find, so I guessed (11 pages, split into 2 parts?)

    Sure. It would be easier to email it. I put all the data I have so far (still need to cross-check a few things at GCDb) into a MS Excel spreadsheet. If that’s NG I can cut&paste it, but it won’t look pretty. Just give me a day or two to double-check a few resources.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Okay, I just redid the addition on those reprints in the Specials, and you’re right, it’s 83-85 pages (unless I’m wrong on the page count of those two last stories reprinted in CB Special #4).

    Those two stories are from Archie at Riverdale High #90 (“Governor’s Gig”) and #97 (“… Munchie Mania!”).
    A@RH #98 has “5 Ring Circus” (5p) and #99 has “But in the Long Run” (10p, plus 1 “Cheryl’s California Fashions” page) — but both of those stories seem more focused on Jason than Cheryl. AFAICT, Cheryl is IN those stories, but how big a part she has… (?) Plot synopsis indicates Jason as the main instigator in both.

    The only one I could confirm where Jason appears without Cheryl at all is “Aroma of Influence” (5p) from AGB&V 324, unless you’re also thinking of “Off With the Old” from LWA #238 (not sure if Cheryl has a small part in that one). What’s the other Jason-but-no-Cheryl story you counted?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Updated the data on my 1980s Cheryl listing:
    I’ve now got a list of 38 appearances (not including covers); 6 of those are fashion pages, and 12 are Jason stories in which Cheryl either does not appear at all, or appears in only 1 to 5 panels. Eliminating all those, that leaves only 20 “core” Cheryl stories from Oct ’82 through Jun ’85:

    Dare to Be Bare
    Barely Friendly
    Snob Hill
    The Virtuous Villain
    Pool Your Talents
    Snob Hill Sextette
    The Governor’s Gig
    Fast and Loose
    Which Is Rich
    It’s Friendship
    Fall Guys
    Bottoms Up
    It Seams Sew Sad
    Color Coded
    Glow Worm
    Fallen Woman
    Hot Stuff
    The Great All-American Pembrooke-Riverdale Food-Eating Contest! Munchie Mania!
    But In the Long Run
    Divide and Conquer

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In my list, I’m counting the stories that Cheryl is in, regardless of how much. I make note when stories have only Jason.

      What are the sources of Bottom’s Up, It Seams So Sad, Fallen Woman, and Divide and Conquer? Those are the only ones not on my list.

      Like

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