Comics – Peer Pressure

Writer: Frank Doyle
Pencils: Dan DeCarlo
Inks: Jimmy DeCarlo
Colors: Barry Grossman
Letters: Bill Yoshida
Original Publication: Archie’s Girls Betty and Veronica, No. 327
Cover Date: December, 1983
Length: 6 pages

I’m reviewing this story from the digital edition, which came out on August 17, 2022.

The story opens with a melodramatic paragraph about the effects of peer pressure, “the ever-insistent evil”.

Jason, Veronica, and Betty are hanging around downtown. Jason is surprised that the girls have never been to “BOB”, which he describes as “the playground of the western world”. He claims everybody goes to “BOB”. And, yes, “BOB” is in quotes in the story. Ronnie claims she’s been to BOB, because she’s been “everywhere worth going”. An angry Betty describes BOB as “Slime City” and “the sleaze center of the state”.

Jason calls Betty naive. Ronnie says Betty doesn’t like that kind of excitement. Jason tells Ronnie that she’s a nothing if she hasn’t been to “BOB”. Ronnie says “Well, I know that, f’ Heaven’s sake!” I guess the Filmation cartoons were still fresh in people’s minds at the time, hence Ronnie’s Southern accent. Ronnie fucks up by saying she’s never met Bob while there. Jason bursts out laughing and repeats it to three random dudes.

They start laughing. Ronnie demands to know what the fuck’s going on. Jason explains there is no Bob; it’s just initials; it stands for “Bucket of Blood”. The place is so wild that anything goes; fights are going on all of the time. Ronnie feels intimidated. As the girls walk away to lots of laughter, Jason tells them to live a little and drop in some night.

Betty figures out that Ronnie was lying and has never been there. Such a smartie, this one. Ronnie was trying to keep up her image of “a girl who’s been everywhere and seen everything”. Betty is grossed out by the name “Bucket of Blood”. There’s a cute gag where a dude driving past them whistles at them, and an old lady walking the other way imagines herself punching him in the face. Anyway, much to Betty’s shock, she and Ronnie are going to BOB tonight. The laughter got to Ronnie, and she wants to keep herself and Betty from being considered wimps. Betty surprisingly agrees but says her parents will kill them if they ever find out.

That night, Ronnie picks Betty up, and they drive to the “den of iniquity”. Ronnie drives under an overpass, and I guess they’re heading out to the country – or at least to the very outskirts of town.

BOB is at the end of a dirt road, near a large hill or mountain. It’s a gray building with a red roof (and chimney) and BOB in red letters on top. The “O” is lopsided. The windows are cracked, and a guy is being thrown out the front door as they arrive. An outhouse serves as the restroom. Betty says it doesn’t exactly look like a church social. Ronnie says they’ll stay long enough to be seen, then they’ll split. My question is why they got so dressed up, especially after hearing Jason’s description of the place. Anyway, soon after they’re out of the car, two sleazy guys manhandle them. A nervous Betty claims their dates are meeting them here, but one of the guys claims they’re their dates.

The girls try to fight them off. Fortunately for them, a cop arrives at that very moment. One of the guys refers to him as “ol’ Smokey the Sneak”. Smokey bashes the two guys’ heads into each other and sends Ronnie and Betty on their way.

As they drive back to town, Betty reminds Ronnie of the time that “they” called them chicken, because they wouldn’t spend the night in the haunted house (hey, this issue would have come out around October). Ronnie says they lived through that, and they’ll live through this. She adds it’s “dumb, dumb, dumb” to cave in to peer pressure.

This story was really something. I love the idea of some kind of seedy, rough bar/hangout having the reputation of being the place to go in Riverdale. I just wish we could have seen the inside of it and seen some fights. Oh, well, that’s what fanfics are for, I guess.

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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