Comics – Stop The Presses

Cheryl-Blossom-12
Writer: Dan Parent
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inking: Jon D’Agostino
Coloring: Barry Grossman
Lettering: Bill Yoshida
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom, No. 12
Cover Date: May, 1998
Length: 11 pages

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

At Riverdale High, Ms. Grundy stops Cheryl in the hall and tells her that she’s been at Riverdale High for a month now. Cheryl (who’s dressed for an awards show, not for attending a podunk public high school) wonders why the fuck Ms. Grundy is reminding her. Ms. Grundy gets an evil grin and tells Cheryl that she needs to take on at least one school activity. Oh, fuck no! Can schools really force you to participate in non-educational shit? I never signed up for anything, and I’m damn glad that I didn’t. Cheryl tells Grundy that she’s not interested in any of them, but Grundy says she has to try something.

Getting a smug grin, Grundy declares she has “assigned” Cheryl to be co-editor of the school paper. So this wrinkled old cunt isn’t even getting Cheryl a choice of what to try? And she’s giving her such a big position? Fuck this bitch. Cheryl doesn’t wanna work on the “dull thing”, but Grundy literally pushes Cheryl to the paper’s office door and tells her that she’ll be assisting Betty, the editor. I’m pretty sure Cheryl could get Grundy fired for this. Cheryl reluctantly goes in and greets Betty. Betty might or might not be happy to have Cheryl here, but she’s all smiles. She assigns Cheryl to cover various school functions (and has a ready-made list). Um, Cheryl is the co-editor, not a reporter. Her job should be to work with Betty on assigning articles to others and then proofreading their work and working on the layout. Cheryl thinks the shit on the list is, well, shit and questions who wants to read this. She suggests going after some sizzle and scandal.

Betty tells her that this is a school paper, not a celebrity scandal sheet. Cheryl is upset. Betty tells her to do her best and assigns Dilton as her photographer.

They cover the annual craft and bake sale, and Cheryl manages to insult it while asking questions. Oh, a recurring “joke” in this story is Cheryl constantly getting Dilton’s name wrong.

They cover the science club meeting and Home Ec. Follies (the local talentless show). Cheryl insults both.

Later, in Pembrooke, Cheryl shows her write-ups and Dilton’s photos (why does she have those?) to Bunny and Cedric. They all agree it’s shit.

Cedric has an idea to Photoshop the pics (without actually saying “Photoshop”) and tells Cheryl to snap lots of pics of her schoolmates. Cheryl agrees.

On another day, Cheryl takes pics of Mr. Weatherbee napping in his office (somehow, the flash on her camera doesn’t wake him), slams Jughead’s locker door on him while he’s eating lasagna and then takes a pic of the result, drops marbles on the floor for Veronica to trip over and then takes a pic of her fall, and then does the same for Archie and a random girl. No one except Jughead seems to acknowledge her presence.

On another day, Cheryl turns in her final article to Betty. Betty thanks her and compliments her. She reminds Cheryl to bring this to their printer on Wednesday. Cheryl agrees but silently notes she’ll make a few alterations.

At Cedric’s house, Cheryl watches in amusement as Cedric alters the pics and creates tabloid-like headlines.

On Wednesday, Betty gives Cheryl the disc for the printer. Cheryl replaces it with a disc that she got from Cedric. Wait. Are these files really so big that they must be burned to a disc? Wouldn’t it be a lot more efficient for Betty to e-mail the files to the printer? And Riverdale High has enough of a budget for a CD burner in 1998?

A week later, someone drops off the papers from the printer. Betty is pissed at Cheryl for her changes, including changing the paper’s name from The Blue and Gold to The Riverdale High Inquisitor and putting a large welcome to herself on the front page.

Ms. Grundy, Mr. Weatherbee, Jughead, and Ronnie are shocked/pissed, and so is Betty for…a doctored photo of herself lusting after Archie. At issue is the fact that Archie has been digitally altered to look like Elvis during his fat period. Mr. Weatherbee comes in and blames Betty. Betty blames Cheryl. Cheryl wants them to admit it’s pretty funny. Suddenly, all of her targets arrive in the office, pissed, and Cheryl nervously admits maybe it’s not funny.

On another day, Cheryl can’t believe Betty’s not kicking her off the paper. I’m pretty sure Betty doesn’t have the authority. What’s more amazing is neither Ms. Grundy nor Mr. Weatherbee kicked Cheryl off the paper. Betty wants to take a pic of Cheryl for the paper, and Cheryl happily poses. Betty hands Dilton the pic of Cheryl and a pic of a boot.

The next month, Betty shows Cheryl the latest issue of the paper. On it is a Photoshopped pic of Cheryl with the headline: “Cheryl Puts Foot in Mouth!” and “Messes Around with Previous Issue!” Betty and Dilton are amused, proving they’re just as immature as Cheryl.

This story was aggravating, and I’m pretty sure most of this shit wouldn’t actually happen in real life. For example, the printer would have alerted Riverdale High to the questionable content on the disc before printing off a bunch of copies. The story likely wouldn’t even happen today – at least not in this form. Cheryl would likely just do her shitty job (if she doesn’t get out of it by raising a stink) and post altered pics of her schoolmates on her blog or something (if she thought it was even worth the effort).

Extras

Between Parts I and 2 are a page of Cheryl fan art (with contributions from Heather Eldridge of Rockport, Massachusetts; Tegan Swansom of Alberta, Canada; Bryn Pritchard of Boulder, Colorado; and Katelin Voight of Creston, British Columbia).

After the story is a 1-page Cheryl illustration titled “Cheryl Blossom Headline Fashions!”.

Oh, speaking of Photoshopped images, here’s one that someone made for me of this issue’s cover back on March 28, 2009, exactly 13 years and 1 day ago. Enjoy:

Cheryl-Blossom-12-altered

Author: markmooreauthor

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: