Writers: Frank Doyle*
Pencils: Dan DeCarlo*
Inks: Alison Flood*
Colors: Barry Grossman*
Letters: Bill Yoshida*
Original Publication: Betty and Veronica, No. 88
Cover Date: June, 1995
Length: 5 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 credits come from Grand Comics Database and may or may not be accurate. The indexer note at GCDb states: “When this story is reprinted in B&V Friends Double Digest (Archie, 2011 series) #231, Rudy Lapick is credited as the inker.”
Y’know, let’s talk about that. The same thing happened with a reprint of “Fast and Loose“, meaning Lapick was now credited as the inker in place of someone else (in that instance, Jimmy DeCarlo). It might make sense in that case, since that story was probably from before Archie Comics started crediting the creators. However, this story is from 1995, by which time everyone was being credited in new stories. There’s really no excuse for a credit to change between an original printing and a reprint.
I have a theory, though. Even though GCDb doesn’t list one, there might be an earlier digest reprint of this story, coming from a time when only the new stories in the digests were credited (the credits on the older stories, if there were any, were removed). When Archie Comics started putting credits on all of the stories in the digests (often incorrectly, since I doubt they’ve kept detailed records over the decades), rather than rescan the story, they likely just added new credits and got the inker wrong.
Digests and reprints within them are a weird thing. Dialogue and even artwork can be altered, sometimes in the name of “protecting the children” or “not offending uptight soccer moms” and other times for no reason at all. I once had a Betty and Veronica story in both the original pamphlet and a digest, the difference between the two being Ronnie’s car had a roof in one and was a convertible in the other. I’m not even fucking kidding. Makes zero sense.
I try to make notes of story alternations in reprints in these reviews whenever possible, but I might not notice one until much later, so I’ll address them in the comments. For this reason, it’s a good idea to sign up to be notified of new comments on these posts. Head over to my review of “It’s Friendship” to read about an alteration that I’d just found.
Anyway, finally, on to the story. As a guess, this story likely occurs around the time of “Life’s A Circus” (Cheryl Blossom Special, No. 2) but definitely before “Hot Fun in the Summertime!” (Cheryl Blossom: Summertime Fun, No. 1).
Betty and Veronica are walking along a sidewalk. Betty is feeling sick and wonders about it. Ronnie is feeling the same and guesses something must be going around. Betty guesses they both must have been in contact with something that didn’t agree with them. Ronnie says or someone. They both suddenly realize they’d been in contact with Cheryl.
Ronnie recalls the “tiff” that they had with her yesterday (but provides no details). Betty says Cheryl could make anybody sick and is sure (without any evidence) Cheryl gave them something. Ronnie cracks a joke. Cheryl shows up and addresses “the Bobbsey Twins“. Um, interesting comparison. Betty and Ronnie are scared of Cheryl, and Ronnie even loses her grip on her grammar. Betty accuses Cheryl (without evidence) of making them sick. Cheryl disputes that and says they’ve always been sick. Ronnie accuses Cheryl as well. Cheryl accuses Ronnie, saying Jason mentioned he liked Ronnie and was up all night, barfing. Cheryl laughs at her own joke. Ronnie calls her a liar.
Jason shows up to “brighten up” their day. Ronnie picks up a stick and throws it at him, pissed. Cheryl is amused. Jason runs away, asking Cheryl what she said to her. Ronnie and Betty walk off. Ronnie’s still pissed and randomly starts talking about Cheryl horning in on Archie. Betty says they’ve just got to work to get him back again. Why did this story suddenly become about Archie for no fucking reason? Anyway, Ronnie has a “brilliant idea” and wonders if anyone is using the “cooking room” at school. Cooking room? You mean the Home Ec room? Betty is horrified that Ronnie is talking about her “Chocolate Chiperoos”. As they (happen to be?) walking past the school, Ronnie runs toward it, declaring “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!” I have no idea if Ronnie’s Chocolate Chiperoos made an appearance in a previous story, but Betty knows they’re horrible. As she puts it, “I’ve sampled her cookies! First you eat ’em, then you toss ’em!”
At Riverdale High, in the “cooking room”, Ronnie’s hard at work on her cookies (and making a mess) to win back her “little redheaded rascal”. Ugh. Who let her in to use the school’s equipment to make cookies during non-school hours? And why’d she have to go to the school? Couldn’t she make these cookies at home? Anyway, she burns the cookies in the oven, and Ms. Grundy notices the smoke and talks to her about it (way too calmly). Ms. Grundy is well aware of Ronnie’s (apparently infamous) Chocolate Chiperoos. She notes they’re “a bit smokey”. Ronnie explains: “A bit of smoke enhances the delicate flavor, Ms. Grundy!” As Ms. Grundy leaves (without chewing Ronnie out or making her clean up her mess), she gives a funny comeback: “Sure! Like a two-by-four upside the head enhances a headache!” Ronnie finds Archie in the hallway. Why’s he at school? If this is during school hours, then why weren’t Ronnie and Betty at school earlier? Anyway, Archie’s already familiar with Ronnie’s Chocolate Chiperoos and is scared. Archie decides to “save them for later” and runs off. Ronnie says he’s “very clever”. She’s not that bright, is she? Also, why has no one let her know her cookies suck ass? Before we move on, I’ll note one of Ronnie’s oven mitts (which must belong to the school) has a blossom on it.
Archie walks out of the school, holding the baking sheet of cookies, and wonders where to dump them without Ron finding out. Um, how about any random trash can in school? Or shove them in your pockets and dump them somewhere around town? Anyway, Cheryl’s waiting outside and greets her “lover”. Cheryl sees the cookies and wants Archie to share them. He panics and refuses. She’s offended: “No? You say no to Cheryl Blossom? What can you be thinking of?” Frightened, he gives her the cookies and walks off. She’s apparently okay with this, I guess, but the scene just ends abruptly.
Back at Blossom Manor, Cheryl is sitting on her bed, feeling queasy. As Jason walks in, Cheryl admits “those stupid girls were right for a change”. She then admits “Germs are carried by contact!” No shit! That still doesn’t mean Cheryl got Betty and Veronica sick, though. Anyway, Jason asks Cheryl who she contacted. Cheryl lets out a burp and asks Jason if Archie makes her sick. Jason’s distracted by the cookies and asks her if he can have the last couple, citing the “delicate, smokey scent”. I’m not sure if he actually likes Ronnie or if Cheryl made that up, but a love of smokey cookies is one thing that they have in common, anyway. The number of cookies on the baking sheet changes from panel to panel, but why did Cheryl eat so many? Or any at all? Did she not realize something was off about them?
This story was pretty average. Not much else to say.