Comics – Hollywood or Bust

Writer: Dan Parent*
Pencils: Dan Parent*
Inking: Rudy Lapick*
Lettering: Bill Yoshida*
Coloring: Barry Grossman*
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom (Goes to Hollywood**), No. 3
Cover Date: February, 1997
Length: 21 pages

*The credits come from Grand Comics Database, because, oddly, the digital version omits them. The first page is obviously cropped, but I assume that’s mostly the indicia that’s missing. Perhaps the credits were accidentally cropped out, too.

**The first two Cheryl Blossom miniseries that preceded her ongoing series were simply named Cheryl Blossom, but they have unofficial names. Things get more complicated here. This third miniseries is called Cheryl goes Hollywood on the front covers and Cheryl Blossom (Goes Hollywood) in the indicia. Additionally, it has been referred to as Cheryl Blossom Goes Hollywood by fans, but it’s listed on Amazon as Cheryl Blossom: Goes to Hollywood.

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

Chapter 1

There’s a brief text recap of the previous issue.

Cheryl is dressed up in a beautiful, strapless, blue-and-black gown. She fishes for a compliment from Jason.

He says she seems so smug, which she has no problem with. She’s confident. According to Captain Thomas, the “Riverdale simpletons” were stuck on some farm (how does he know this?), hours from here, but the premiere’s in an hour. Jason is shocked and is apparently just now realizing the full extent of Cheryl’s plan. She doesn’t want them to steal her limelight, and Jason adds she doesn’t want them to see how bad that she’s made them look in the film (which she agrees with).

Soon, Cheryl arrives at the film festival and is starstruck by knockoffs of Alicia Silverstone, Jack Nicholson, and Meryl Streep and what appears to be the assbaby of Keanu Reeves and Mel Gibson. A reporter wants to ask Cheryl a question, which she gladly agrees to. The problem is the question is “Who are you?”, which sets her off. She angrily lets him know about her documentary, Cheryl: A Life.

Cheryl drones on (she’s sixteen in this story), but the reporter leaves, angering her. The fashion photographers start taking pictures of her, which pleases her, but then she’s warned to get out of the way. Veronica, riding a mule, runs into her.

Cheryl, upset, asks how they got here. Betty explains a farmer led them here by mule. So many things wrong with that. Mules travel 2.5 miles per hour, which a human can do. There is no way that they’d make it in time. Also, they’d never be allowed on the red carpet. If they pulled this shit, they’d be arrested – or maybe even shot. Oh, and the gang tied up and gagged Captain Thomas and brought him along (kidnapping), despite the fact that the previous issue explicitly showed only the teens being thrown off the train, whereas Captain Thomas stayed on board and reported to Cheryl. Also, his physical appearance has completely changed from the previous issue, going from a mostly-bald, dark-haired, mustached man to a younger blond. Cheryl gets upset at the gang (and a mule) posing for a photo.

Cheryl goes to find her seat. She got the gang passes, too (just in case they came), but the seats are in the balcony (they don’t mind).

Cheryl is bored by the films (including The Wonderful World of Bread). Finally, her film is introduced. Betty and Ronnie wait in anticipation (Ronnie’s expectations are low).

Chapter 2

As the film starts, Betty calls Cheryl out on her ego for her 30-second credit. Ronnie’s pissed that the rest of them don’t get proper credits. Cheryl immediately starts lying, claiming to have lower-middle-class origins. Jason points out that their dad was a millionaire at 19.

Cheryl takes credit for her dad’s success (when she was 10). She claims to have founded (and worked at) a soup kitchen. She pushes the image of Riverdale as a crime-ridden ghetto. Archie is a “simple lad”. The two “shameful bimbos” are Betty “Peroxide” Cooper and Veronica “Nose Job” Lodge.

Cheryl passes off Ronnie’s gypsy Halloween outfit as an example of her typical clothes. She somehow got a camera into Betty’s bedroom and filmed her as she was having difficulty after her jeans shrank, giving the impression that she’d gained weight (falling over doesn’t help her image). She dubbed in a much louder belch for Jughead. She passes the “poor lad” Reggie’s egotism off as loneliness. For the classroom scene, Cheryl dubbed in other voices, praising her.

Two-and-a-half hours later, people are falling asleep (this is during the patriotic portion near the end of the film). The audience is impatient – or laughing. The film finally ends.

Oh, but then there’s a quick tag at the end where Cheryl gives her address (unseen) and phone number (555-3607; no area code) for acting or modeling jobs. She “humbly” thanks them and then signs off with the “That’s All Folks!” logo from the old Looney Tunes shorts. Jason wants to take a break in the lobby, but Cheryl rushes toward the paparazzi. She then gets hit in the head with a bucket of popcorn by one of her “friends” from Riverdale. They want her ass on a pike.

Chapter 3

As the rest of the gang chases Cheryl, Jason tapes it. A random guy that claims to “produce a show back in the States” takes an interest in him.

Cheryl makes it back to her hotel room. She looks forward to tomorrow, when she can “bask in the glow” when reviews of her film come out.

Yeah, no, it gets trashed. Cheryl’s upset. She gets scared when the gang shows up, but Archie says they come in peace.

Betty says the reviews focused on Cheryl, not them, so it’s okay. Betty asks Cheryl if she sees what it’s like to be humiliated. Cheryl begrudgingly says she does. Suddenly, the press barges in, and Cheryl quickly bullshits that she was doing a “mock documentary”, a “parody”. They buy it, and she gets them to follow her around and take pictures as she shops for clothes. The others are incredulous. Cheryl believes bad press is better than no press.

A few days later, at the airport, the press sees Cheryl off as she boards her plane, praising her as “Canned’s answer to Jerry Lewis”. For her part, Cheryl says she’s “like a voluptuous Lucille Ball”. Cheryl waves and says goodbye to her many fans and friends that have come to see her off. Ronnie’s pissed that they got no recognition out of this at all. Um, did they ever even ask to be interviewed? Anyway, Archie just wants the whole ordeal to end.

On the plane, Jason’s being cryptic about the fame that awaits Cheryl at home (and also briefly changes shirts).

At the Riverdale Airport (which is a full-sized airport, by the way, not just for small planes), Cheryl is surprised to find two “brats” pointing and laughing at her. It turns out that Jason had sent a tape of her to an America’s Funniest Home Videos knockoff, and it aired last night. Cheryl is shocked by this, even though she really shouldn’t be.

Chapter 4

Back home (and after changing her jacket), Cheryl learns what Jason did and is furious. He says they won last night’s show and get to be back for the final competition. Cheryl doesn’t want to, but Jason says the show is seen by 25,000,000 viewers.

Cheryl changes her mind, silently noting she’s got a few tricks up her sleeve.

So now the miniseries tries to justify its title in its last 3.5 pages by having Cheryl actually go to Hollywood…to sit through an AFHV taping. Jason’s here, too. Keep in mind that this would be at the end of the season, so it’s probably months later. Anyway, Cheryl shudders to watch the outtakes of her movie. The “funny” stuff consists of a close-up of Cheryl eating caviar during a break, Ronnie and Betty pulling Cheryl into the water, and Cheryl spraying herself with the firehose (which didn’t happen).

The host then announces Cheryl has a surprise, which surprises Jason. Cheryl reveals, as soon as she knew Jason was following her with a video camera, she had someone follow him. This is the first that we’ve heard of this.

Anyway, highlights include Jason trying to tape a girl but then falling down a hill and a girl barfing on Jason. The audience votes. Cheryl’s barf video wins (which isn’t fair, because this is a last-minute entry in the finals, but whatever). Jason is pissed and tries to take the trophy from Cheryl, so she assaults him on television. Jason concedes. Cheryl makes a pun based on her last name. The end.

So…this story was okay, I guess. The entire storyline as a whole was pretty meh. You know how this would be done in 2020? Cheryl rents some equipment, gets the gang to star in a movie with her, uploads it to YouTube, goes viral for the wrong reasons, and watches as those sweet, sweet royalties are deposited into her bank account. The end.

The following info comes from Grand Comics Database: After the story is a PSA (drawn by Dan DeCarlo) titled “Food for Thought”, a page of fan art (from Stephanie Curran (San Francisco, CA), Le Myat Tun (Langon, Myanmar), Sylvia Smasal (La Mesa, CA), Dorothy Becks (San Francisco, CA), Trina Witt (Marion, SD), and Anna Chenoweth (Windsor, CA)), a 2-page “Dear Cheryl” letters column (also including Cheryl’s Love Tips) by Sara Algase, a half-page Editor’s Notebook by Victor Gorelick, and a 1-page Cheryl illustration (by Dan Parent and Rudy Lapick) titled “Stars of the 90’s”. None of this extra stuff is included in the digital edition, which is a shame.

So that’s the last of Cheryl’s miniseries. I guess it did well enough, because it led to Cheryl getting her very own ongoing series. Stay tuned for that.

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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