Writer: Dan Parent
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inking: Jon D’Agostino
Lettering: Bill Yoshida
Coloring: Barry Grossman
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom, No. 13
Cover Date: June, 1998
Length: 11 pages
I’m sorry that this is a bit late.
Outside Riverdale High School (I guess), Betty gives up on something. Cheryl overhears and makes a joke, upsetting Betty. This starts up a conversation. Betty is having trouble getting sponsors for their annual “Riverdale High Cherry Blossom Festival”. Businesses in town usually support the festival, but this year everybody seems to have financial woes. Cheryl suggests finding a rich donor, but Betty says the rules state the festival is to be funded by local businesses. Cheryl offers to help, saying she can be quite persuasive. Betty asks Cheryl why she wants to help them. Cheryl admits she just likes collecting money from people.
Cheryl goes and asks businesses around town and also makes calls, but no one’s interested in funding the festival.
Cheryl goes to see her dad, asking if he owns “that mini-mall in Riverdale” (so Pembrooke is a separate town in this story). Clifford says Cheryl owns it; he put it in her name years ago for tax purposes, but she can’t touch it until she’s 21. Cheryl goes and threatens the tenants with expulsion “in a couple of years” unless they pony up the cash for the festival.
At school (yeah, Cheryl’s attending Riverdale High during this time), Cheryl tells Betty that she got all of her sponsorship money for her “little festival”. When Betty asks how, Cheryl says “Just a little persuasion!” Cheryl claims “the sponsors” required her to organize the event and give it “the Blossom touch”. Veronica overhears and nearly flips her shit, but Betty calms her down and gives Cheryl a to-do list. Cheryl says she’ll get right on it. Archie eagerly offers to help, but Veronica pulls Archie into service of herself and Betty. Archie’s ticked. Veronica volunteers Dilton to help Cheryl. Dilton facepalms. Cheryl has her “assistant” follow her.
On another day, Betty asks Cheryl if she ordered the flowers for the parade float. Cheryl says she “altered the design a bit” and unveils the float, which is devoted to her. Betty and Veronica are shocked. Cheryl feels she deserves “a little recognition” due to creating “quite a sensation” since she started at Riverdale High. (Oddly, Cheryl goes from calm and smiling in one panel to screaming in the next.) Betty talks Veronica into letting Cheryl have her float, saying it’s too late to change it.
On another day, Betty (angrily, for some reason) tells Cheryl to pick up the posters from the printer. Cheryl goes to get them. The posters for “The Riverdale Cheryl Blossom Festival!” promise “fun!”, “food!”, and “Cheryl!” Cheryl justifies it to herself by noting the similarity of “Cheryl Blossom” and “Cherry Blossom”. This makes me wish for a story in which Cheryl takes Japanese for her foreign language class and chooses “Sakura” as her Japanese name.
Veronica and Betty see the posters (and billboard!) around town and get pissed. Despite that, Betty still wonders how it happened. They go to confront Cheryl.
On another day, in the student council’s office, Betty excitedly announces they got some last-minute funding from the Riverdale Business Association, meaning they can have their Cherry Blossom Festival. Veronica promptly fires Cheryl and tells her to forget about her festival. Cheryl wants to have it, anyway, citing the work that went into it. Veronica is looking forward to seeing Cheryl make a fool of herself.
On the big day, Cheryl is having her festival “across the street” (from the high school, I guess). Veronica thinks their festival is kicking ass, but she and Betty notice a lack of boys, and Betty decides to head over to Cheryl’s festival.
Veronica and Betty see Archie, Reggie, and other guys waiting in line at Cheryl’s kissing booth for free kisses. Betty finds it “absurd” (even though it’s actually a smart idea) and asks Jughead how Cheryl lured him here. Free food, of course (there’s even “Cheryl Corn”!). Okay, that idea’s not so smart; Cheryl needs to charge for something in order to make money; maybe there’s a high admission price?
Betty and Veronica check out the attractions: Cheryl’s Funhouse of Beauty, the Glamorous Cheryl Coaster, the Cheryl-Go-Round, and ten shows daily of “The Life of Cheryl Blossom”. Apparently, it’s all free; I seriously hope Cheryl charged admission, but the story seems to insinuate she’s taking a loss on all of this just to have the more popular festival. As a side note, just because a lot of the attractions are self-indulgent doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not enjoyable. There’s a funhouse, a roller coaster, a merry-go-round, a Ferris wheel, food, candy, and kisses. Just saying.
Anyway, Dilton offers to help Veronica and Betty compete. Veronica’s surprised Dilton’s still helping Cheryl, and Dilton blames Veronica for it, despite the fact that he could have, y’know, quit. Dilton wants to sabotage an event at tonight’s fireworks display, where Cheryl will be lowered via crane onto her float.
Later, back at their own festival, Betty tells Veronica that the girls that showed up basically saved their asses. Dilton calls Veronica on a walkie-talkie and tells the girls to get ready.
That night, at Cheryl’s festival, Cheryl is standing on a platform and introduced as “the Queen of Riverdale”. This is too much, “even for” Archie.
Dilton has Hank, the crane operator, swing Cheryl wildly back and forth. Okay, dudes, no, you don’t attempt to murder someone for providing entertainment, even if it is self-indulgent. Reggie’s enjoying seeing Cheryl in peril. Cheryl is dumped over the dunk tank at the Cherry Blossom Festival, but she grabs hold of the plank and remains dry. Veronica throws a ball and hits the target, dunking Cheryl. Betty and Veronica are amused.
This story is okay. Cheryl was obviously wrong in making the festival all about her, but, other than that, she did actually organize a seemingly fun festival. It wasn’t worth putting her life in danger just to put an early end to her festival, so the guys would go over to the other festival (at least, I think that was the rationale).
The story is followed by “Cheryl’s Fashions Through the Years!”, a page on which Cheryl models 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s clothes.
Tune in next Wednesday!