Comics – It’s All an Act

Writer: Mike Pellowski
Pencils: Bob Bolling*
Inks: Jim Amash*
Colors: ?*
Letters: ?*
Original Publication: Betty and Veronica Comics Digest Magazine, No. 181
Cover Dates: March, 2008
Shipping Dates: January 16, 2008**
On-Sale DDC Dates: January 23, 2008**
On-Sale Newsstand Dates: February 5, 2008**
Length: 6 pages

*I’m posting an old review that I wrote in 2008, of a story in a digest that I no longer own. I didn’t make note of anyone other than the writer back then; the info comes from Grand Comics Database’s entry for the reprint in B&V Friends Double Digest Magazine, No. 231 (cover-dated March of 2013).

**according to solicitations

Veronica is trying out for the school play opposite Archie, but Mr. Morgan criticizes her lack of passion and emotion and tells her to express her rage. Mr. Morgan says her acting is non-existent. Veronica compares her acting style to that of TV stars. Mr. Morgan says she’ll get booed. Veronica says her father is “the richest man in Riverdale”; he’ll be in the audience, and no one would dare boo her in front of him. Mr. Morgan preaches some more about acting. Betty says he’s right and reminds Veronica that she took this class (Drama) to learn how to act. Veronica thinks she took this class, because Mr. Morgan is cute. Mr. Morgan encourages Veronica. Veronica and Archie try the scene again, but Veronica’s acting is just as non-existent as earlier, upsetting Mr. Morgan, who ends rehearsal for the day and leaves Archie, Reggie, Veronica, and Betty standing on the stage. Veronica is upset at Archie, but Archie reminds her that he’s not even in this class and only volunteered to help her with her scene (he doesn’t even have any lines). Betty tells Veronica to not blame Archie. Betty says Veronica has to work on this; her acting could be a lot better. Veronica believes her acting is perfect, and she’s a natural thespian.

On “Scene Night”, Betty and Reggie perform their scene and receive applause from the audience. Betty gets praise from Jughead, and Reggie gets a backhanded compliment from Jughead for his believability as a scoundrel (he doesn’t seem upset by it). Mr. Morgan says Veronica is next and asks if she’s ready. Veronica says Archie isn’t here. She called his cell, but he doesn’t answer. She can’t go on without him. Mr. Morgan says he’ll fill in for Archie and tells Veronica to break a leg. Veronica says she wants to break Archie’s neck.

Meanwhile, in the hallway, Archie runs toward the stage door. He had car trouble.

Betty stops Mr. Morgan from going on-stage when she sees Archie run on-stage. Veronica yells at Archie. Archie is nervous. Mr. Morgan loves Veronica’s performance, despite Betty pointing out that those aren’t the lines. Mr. Morgan declares, tonight, a star is born. Betty whispers to Reggie to not tell Mr. Morgan, but Veronica isn’t acting. Veronica’s rage frightens Archie.

This is a typical Veronica-is-dillusional story. She’s so full of herself in this story and learns absolutely nothing. She comes off as one-dimensional.

I do like Veronica’s description of TV stars’ acting, though. It often does sound like they (to quote Mr. Morgan regarding Veronica’s acting) “just spit out words at an audience like” they’re “reading lines off of a cue card”.

Judging by the sign in the auditorium, these are “try outs” for the school play. If Veronica is so bad, why does she have the part? The dialogue indicates she definitely will be performing on Scene Night.

Scene Night is a weird name for the annual performance of a school play.

Betty points out Veronica’s faults to her and tells her that she has to do better. Good for Betty.

I guess Reggie is so delighted by the applause (whether it’s directed at him, Betty, or both doesn’t seem to matter) that he doesn’t care about Jughead’s comment.

A seeming problem with this story is Archie said he isn’t in the class and only volunteered to help Veronica with her scene, yet he’s part of the cast on Scene Night. We could take Archie’s wording to mean he volunteered to stand opposite Veronica in her scene, even though he’s not in Drama class, and Mr. Morgan agreed to it. That works. It could have been made clearer, though.

Wow, Veronica has some pretty violent inclinations in this issue. If you recall, in the lead story, Veronica wanted to “deck” Archie. Here, Veronica wants to break Archie’s neck. I’m all for violence against Archie. More, please.

Does Mr. Morgan believe Veronica is acting in the final scene? If so, he’s pretty dumb.

Overall, this is a fun story, but Veronica comes off as a one-note character.

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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