Comics – Beach Blanket Blossom

Writers: Dan Parent (Parts 1 and 2) and Bill Golliher (Parts 3 and 4)
Pencils: Dan DeCarlo and Dan Parent
Inking: Rudy Lapick
Lettering: Bill Yoshida
Coloring: Barry Grossman
Editor: Victor Gorelick
Editor-in-Chief: Richard Goldwater
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom (Summertime Fun*), No. 3
Cover Date: November, 1995
Length: 21 pages

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

*The various Cheryl Blossom miniseries that preceded her ongoing series were simply named Cheryl Blossom, but they have unofficial names. This first miniseries has been referred to as Cheryl Blossom: Summer Fun, but it’s listed on Amazon as Cheryl Blossom: Summertime Fun.

Before we start the review, I’d like to make note of something: the digital editions of these comics consist of scans of pages of the physical issues, taken, seemingly, from whatever copies that they could find. For example, in this issue, there’s a visible fold in the cover image, various pages are at slight angles, and the images from the reverse pages are sometimes visible.

This story is not to be confused with the 2011 story, “Beach Blanket Bash-Up“, or the 2017 story, “Beach Party Blossom“.

Part 1

On Pembrooke’s beach, Cheryl and Archie are having a great time playing in the water (which Cheryl still feels the need to belittle a bit, even though she loves it). Cheryl starts insinuating about wanting to fuck, and the two of them start kissing.

Ronnie “accidentally” hits Cheryl in the head with a volleyball, “still new” at it. Cheryl demands to know how the fuck Ronnie got on the beach. Cedric invited her; they’re on a date. Cheryl accuses Cedric of just trying to piss her off. Ronnie has Cedric buy her a soda. Archie gets jealous, and Cheryl warns him against it. Archie claims it’s “just indigestion”. Cheryl obviously doesn’t buy it, but she’s satisfied.

Soon, Betty contacts Ronnie via walkie-talkie. Ronnie reports about how Archie’s keeping an eye on her, much to “Red’s” annoyance. She says all of this while sitting near Cedric, who doesn’t seem to care. Cedric compliments Ronnie on the lunch that she brought. She says she’s “quite a good cook” but secretly reveals Betty prepared it. Cedric asks about dessert, so Ronnie has Cedric rest his head on her thigh, and she feeds him grapes to piss Archie off (it works).

Cheryl has an idea but has to yell at Archie to follow her. She’s spotted a worker in a bulldozer, hauling sand on the cliff right above Ronnie and Cedric. She and Archie go up there, and she pays the worker $100 to dump the sand off the edge of the cliff to “clean a spot for [her] blanket”. She gets in and rides along with him (an art error has them swap places for one panel).

Once Ronnie and Cedric are covered in sand, Cheryl has a good laugh at their expense. Ronnie vows vengeance against…Archie. The worker yells at Cheryl, but she has him take her “back”. To where? Anyway, the bulldozer starts acting up, and the guy claims it’s because Cheryl spilled his soda on the control panel (which we didn’t see).

The “computer-operated” bulldozer short-circuits. They head toward the water and apparently don’t think to just open the doors and jump out. Archie runs out to help Cheryl, not that she needs it. Ronnie and Cedric have a laugh at “the Three Stooges”. Cheryl angrily goes to dry herself off. Ronnie says she’ll see her at the luau tonight. Cheryl confirms her attendance and then has to deal with the rather angry bulldozer operator.

Part 2

That evening, Cheryl and Archie arrive at the beach for the luau. Archie finds it cool and says he’s never been to a luau before. Cheryl’s lucky to be here, because she had to spend a whole week’s allowance replacing that bulldozer. They come across Ronnie and Cedric, and Cheryl and Ronnie engage in some trash talk.

A guy walks by and announces it’s time for the hula contest. Cheryl and Ronnie each brought a grass skirt, so they enter the contest. They start off slow, but Cheryl has an arrangement with the drummer, Sid, for him to speed up. Archie and Cedric (who’s now suddenly wearing a shirt) get boners.

Cheryl tells Sid to drum faster, so Ronnie will be tired out. Cheryl eventually butt-bumps Ronnie. Ronnie falls over and twists her ankle. Betty (who’s suddenly in the contest now) butt-bumps Cheryl.

Ronnie praises being “saved by Betty”. Cheryl asks Betty how she got here. Jason’s her escort. Cheryl’s pissed at Jason, but he doesn’t care. Priscilla breaks it up. Cheryl waves and greets her. Priscilla calls this “battle” ridiculous. She wants to keep the beach for the Pembrooke crowd. Ronnie and Betty protest.

Cheryl suggests a competition to “settle this once and for all”. Priscilla isn’t sure but then sees a jet ski and suggests a race. Priscilla expels the townies for now. Archie and Cheryl are melodramatic about it. Ronnie rolls her eyes and compares them to Rhett and Scarlett. Ronnie and Priscilla argue over where to have the race (which will be tomorrow at noon). Then Archie and Jason start arguing (I guess about Betty), and Betty starts yelling at Cheryl, who’s amused by it.

Part 3

The next day, Archie and Cheryl are continuing their melodramatic shit, irritating everyone else. Only a nearby bird loves this.

Priscilla comes over to Cheryl, concerned about her (even though she was pissed a moment earlier). It was all an act on Cheryl’s part: she knows Archie’s a klutz and doesn’t want him on their side (why would it even be a possibility that he’d be on their side?), but she has to make it look convincing. Ronnie angrily lays out the plan: race across the bay from Pembrooke’s beach to Riverdale’s beach. Cheryl adds the losers get banned from the winners’ beach. Cheryl points out to Betty that her team is short one person and brings up the possibility of a forfeit.

Unfortunately, Reggie (their jet ski expert) ain’t coming. He got a chance to be a judge in the Miss Riverdale Beach Contest (which none of the four pretty girls in this scene entered, apparently), so he gave Jughead $20 to fill in for him. Cheryl suggests Ronnie concede. Ronnie refuses, having faith in Jughead (which is odd). Priscilla gets an instant lady-boner for Jughead and suggests fucking after the race. Cedric tells her to cool the fuck down, but Priscilla is in heat, even as Jughead burps.

So the racing partners are Cedric/Priscilla and Jason/Cheryl for Pembrooke and Jughead/Betty and Archie/Ronnie for Riverdale. They get on their jet skis. Betty wishes the other team luck, which Cheryl thinks is a “crack”. Someone on the dock waves a flag and yells go, but Jason and Cedric pull out before that. Ronnie and Archie are pissed. Betty is nervous over Jughead’s ability to drive a jet ski (it’s his first time).

Jason and Cheryl hit Archie and Ronnie with water from squirt guns. Ronnie returns fire with a “water cannon”, hitting Jason. The water washes out Jason’s contact lenses, and he can’t see. I’m willing to bet this is the first and only time that Jason’s been said to wear contacts.

Part 4

Jason goes the wrong way, heading toward Archie and Ronnie. Archie gives his own jet ski too much gas too quick, and it stalls out. Everyone jumps into the water. Cheryl is pissed at Jason.

Jason and Archie yell at each other. Cedric is confident in his ability to beat Jughead, who still can’t drive. In fact, he’s overconfident. He has Priscilla take the wheel, gets into the water with his surfboard, and does some “skurfing”. Cedric insults Jason. Cheryl is pissed at Cedric and Priscilla for showing off instead of just winning the fucking race. Meanwhile, Jughead’s heading out to sea.

Suddenly, though, Betty says she’ll make Jughead “the biggest steak dinner” that he’s “ever seen” if they win. Jughead’s suddenly great at jet-skiing, because that makes perfect sense. Cedric gets back on his jet ski, insulting Jughead, which Priscilla yells at him for. Ronnie’s confused by Jughead’s sudden proficiency (as we all should be). Priscilla flirts with (supposedly?) Jughead, but Betty thinks Priscilla is flirting with her and gives a somewhat confused “Uh…hi!” in response. That’s pretty damn funny. Priscilla continues flirting with Jughead, and it makes him think of Ethel, which is really unfair; I doubt anyone would be repulsed by Priscilla. Notably, Betty looks kind of…disappointed?

A bit more flirting from Priscilla causes Jughead to really take off, which is unrealistic. I seriously doubt 1) Jughead wasn’t already punching it, and 2) a jet ski could even go that fast. Anyway, Cedric’s pissed at Priscilla, and Jughead and Betty win the race for Riverdale. Um, why did each driver have a partner? They really didn’t contribute anything.

Anyway, once everyone arrives at Riverdale’s beach (at which there’s no sign of a beauty contest being held), Jason admits the Riverdale gang won. Cheryl says they’ll gather up their stuff and never return, despite the fact that they started the race at Pembrooke’s beach, so their stuff shouldn’t even be over here in the first place. Betty invites the Pembrooke gang to visit whenever they want.

Ronnie adds as long as it’s vice-versa. Cheryl and Priscilla are okay with that, considering their love interests (Jughead’s still nervous about Priscilla). Betty tearfully talks about the end of class struggle and the hope of a gangbang with the Blossom twins and so on, but Cheryl advises her to lower her expectations, and even Ronnie’s amused by Betty’s dreams. Cheryl wants some sweet loving from Archie, Priscilla chases after a nervous Jughead, Jason’s angry, and Betty is confused over whether they won or lost.

This story is pretty fun. Priscilla’s sudden attraction to Jughead makes zero sense, though, except in a “Here’s Ethel 2.0” kind of way, which also makes zero sense.

Speaking of Priscilla, I need to address some long-standing confusion on my part, which has made its way into my reviews. Apparently, Bunny and Priscilla are the same person. If you read about either character appearing in any of my reviews, be aware of the following: it’s the same girl; she was called Bunny in the 1980s but has been called Priscilla from 1995 onward (with one exception, but that’s possibly because they hadn’t made the switch to Priscilla quite yet). I can only assume “Bunny” is Priscilla’s old nickname, which she no longer uses. Bunny/Priscilla looks the same in all appearances, leading to my confusion. This story that I’m reviewing right now is the first one in which she’s explicitly identified as Priscilla (I read both this story and the previous one back-to-back, hence how I was able to identify her as Priscilla in my previous review). So, yes, the “Bunny-like friend” that I mentioned in my review of “Whose Beach is It, Anyway?” (which also mentions Priscilla) is, in fact, Priscilla. The story just wasn’t specific on which girl was Priscilla and which girl was Becky. Okay, so that’s all cleared up…except for why she was renamed at all.

So the first Cheryl Blossom miniseries ends…kind of. Between parts 3 and 4 of the story is a 2-page Cheryl story called “Stuck With You”. That’s so weird that they’d stick it there, but I guess they wanted to end the issue on the “big” story – with the Riverdale and Pembrooke gangs achieving some level of mutual tolerance. I’ll review the 2-pager next.

Author: markmooreauthor

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

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