Comics – Cheryl Mania

Cheryl-Blossom-17
Writer: Dan Parent
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inking: Jon D’Agostino
Coloring: Barry Grossman
Lettering: Bill Yoshida
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom, No. 17
Cover Date: November, 1998
Length: 11 pages

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

Just like in the previous issue, the full title of this story has “Part 3” attached to it, and the two parts of the story in this issue are labelled “Chapter 5” and “Chapter 6”, respectively. Cheryl spends the first page recapping the lead stories from the previous two issues. This storyline is referred to as a “summertime saga”, which is…pushing it.

Cheryl and Archie are walking along the beach and are surprised to discover people wearing T-shirts with their faces on them. Cheryl takes most of the credit for their popularity. They’re suddenly swarmed by fans begging them for autographs. I’m surprised that this hasn’t happened earlier. Why now, all of a sudden?

Veronica and Betty are angry when one of Cheryl’s fans insults them. Then a different fan says they love them, and Cheryl accuses her of being fickle. I’m almost certain that this was an art error, and the fan was supposed to be the same girl in each panel. Anyway, girls get into an argument.

At the network, the producer and the network owner (Mr. Grates, who we’ve never seen before) are watching the show and thrilled. Their ratings and ad revenues have gone through the roof.

There’s then a time-lapse montage “through the next few weeks”. The show’s a hit. The girls (especially Cheryl) are on the covers of all of the teen magazines and all of the major magazines and newspapers. Cheryl has been branded the “It” Girl. Their fashions and hairstyles are hits in shopping malls across America. Some dork even got an Archie haircut.

Despite an audience of millions, some viewers are unsatisfied: the stars’ parents. This sudden concern for their children’s welfare is…sudden. What’s the difference between the show weeks earlier and the show now?

The Riverdale parents will be keeping their kids away from Pembrooke Beach for a while, although…don’t those kids have contracts, the same as Cheryl? How can their parents keep them away? Clifford didn’t anticipate this drama when he let the beach go public. Oh, really? Where have you been, sir? Hiram reminds him that the kids go back to school soon, which the network owner somehow forgot about. Fucking seriously?!

A bored Cheryl updates her audience on what happened. Without the Riverdale crowd around, the Pembrooke “chaps” are playing croquet.

At the network, Mr. Grates is pissed. The producer suggests “one big back-to-school party” as a goodbye to America. The parents of the Riverdale crowd are on board. Cheryl informs her producer that her “friends” can make the final party. Oh, they’re your friends, are they, Cheryl? Anyway, why is Cheryl informing the producer? Don’t these adults that actually run the show know what’s going on before the teens?

At Cheryl’s goodbye party, everyone’s having a great time. The producer has a Cheryl knockoff/replacement named Charlene Rosebud (yes, really) make an announcement (while Cheryl and Ronnie are having a petty argument) about her new replacement series for Cheryl’s Beach Bash. Cheryl gets pissed and leaves.

The show is called Charlene’s Beach Bash, which further pisses Cheryl off. It’s a soap opera that rips off the storyline (such as it was) from her reality show. There are even knockoffs of Archie, Betty, and Ronnie. Cheryl talks with her dad about it, and he hopes she learned some kind of lesson about having her life exploited for ratings. Oh, Jason was loving the new knockoff series until a knockoff of himself appeared. Cheryl laughs at the nerdy portrayal.

The caption in the final panel says: “Next issue: Get ready for big changes when Cheryl goes back to school!”

This story was okay, but things got wrapped up way too fast after that time-lapse montage. They didn’t have to end the beach house storyline so quickly. There’s still a half-issue left that they could have used.

Extras

In the middle of the story, there is a 1-page Cheryl illustration titled “Cheryl’s Classic Summer Style”.

After the story are a 1-page Cheryl illustration titled “Cheryl’s Reader Hairstyles” (with five illustrated entries and a bunch of honorable mentions) and a 1-page Sabrina story titled “Book ‘Em!”.

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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