Comics – Crocodile Rock

Cheryl-Blossom-33
Writer: Holly G! (Holly Golightly)
Pencils: Holly G!
Inking: Jim Amash
Lettering: Bill Yoshida
Coloring: Stephanie Vozzo
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom, No. 33
Cover Date: August, 2000
Length: 11 pages

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

Another issue, another personnel change. Jim Amash takes over on inks, and Stephanie Vozzo is the new colorist.

Cheryl, Archie, Betty, Veronica, Reggie, and Jughead are flying to Australia. The pilot announces their arrival. Everyone is excited. Betty and Ronnie have lady-boners for Australian guys. Reggie and Archie have boners for Australian girls. Jughead is excited for the food and imagines shrimp on a barbie. Between that and three “G’day, mates” on the first page, I anticipate this story will heavily play up stereotypes.

After they exit the plane, Archie awkwardly exposits by way of thanking Cheryl for taking a break from editing her teenzine, Fresh, and deciding to manage their band. This isn’t a reference to anything; we’re just now learning Cheryl has “decided” to become the manager of The Archies. No further information is given. Anyway, they’re in Darwin. Ronnie talks shit about Cheryl’s management skills, but Archie sticks up for Cheryl and flirts with her, which makes her giggle. Ronnie continues talking shit about Cheryl, but Cheryl (who has aquamarine eyes in this story) dismisses Ronnie’s “petty jealousy”.

Betty cheers Cheryl on. Reggie asks Cheryl where their gig is. Cheryl says the Outback. Jughead gets the wrong idea. Reggie buys and shows off a hat, and Archie refers to him as “Crocodile Dummy“. Cheryl spots their guide, which is news to Betty.

Their guide is a knockoff of the Crocodile Hunter. Ronnie and Betty recognize him and get lady-boners. Cheryl explains he’s going to take them through the Outback to their gig location, and it’s being filmed for a “Crocodile Rock” special for his series. He uses a bunch of Australian slang, confusing Ronnie, but Betty “came prepared” with a book called Aussie Slang, and Holly provides numerous footnotes.

By nighttime, Ronnie is impatient. They stop to camp for the night. More slang (confusing Ronnie) and footnotes. Archie and Betty pitch a tent. Cheryl says they’re camping here tonight, and then they’re off to “Ayer’s Rock” [sic] for their gig. Ronnie’s pissed. Their guide shows her a skink, which freaks her out.

Cheryl makes fun of her, but then cawing scares all three girls. Ronnie and Betty grab hold of Cheryl in fright. It’s just a kookaburra, though. Reggie and Archie sit by the fire. Archie’s roasting a sausage and says the girls are overreacting. Reggie says something just grabbed his new hat. As Cheryl hears more wilflife sounds, she apologizes to her friends, saying maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all.

The next morning, the Croc opens the girls’ tent and wakes Betty and Cheryl. They’re tired and irritated (they didn’t get much sleep) but get out and have something to drink. Where’s Ronnie? Cheryl asks the Croc if there’s nothing that frightens him. He says they’re one thing and gives a few characteristics, and Cheryl’s imagination scares her. As they pack up, Archie discovers a kangaroo has Reggie’s hat.

Reggie chases the kangaroo, and the others change their clothes in the meantime. I don’t know about the others, but Cheryl and Betty have now each worn three sets of clothes in 24 hours or less. Are they sweating a lot? Anyway, Cheryl yells at Reggie to come the fuck on, or they’ll be late for their gig. She offers to buy Reggie a hundred hats.

On the road, Cheryl asks the Croc about the animal that scares him. Before he can reply, he spots a crocodile caught in a dingo fence and brings the van to a screeching halt. They get out. He goes over and frees/wrestles the crocodile, and Betty and Cheryl get lady-boners. Reggie thinks he’s “off his nut”. Cheryl suddenly has bright blue eyes.

That afternoon, they arrive at Uluru. Ronnie is somehow surprised and angry, even though Cheryl had explained it to her last night. They have to get up there on camels. One of them spits on Reggie’s face.

Cheryl jokes to Reggie about him wearing “Cam-el #5“. Ha. As they get closer, Cheryl realizes this is going to be “cool after all”. Was she secretly in doubt about all of this? Her eyes revert to aquamarine. She mentions the “camera gal”, who we’ve seen in only one panel on page 3. Where is she? Isn’t she supposed to be documenting their adventure? Anyway, Cheryl says every newscast and paper in the world will cover it. Seriously? Every news outlet in the world is gonna cover an American teen garage band performing in the Australian Outback? Anyway, the Croc spots his feared animal and declares they must turn back. Ronnie can’t look. Cheryl doesn’t believe it.

He warns her to not go near it. Cheryl reaches into a tree to get it and can’t believe he’s afraid of…a koala “bear” (they’re not actually bears). Cheryl takes the koala in her arms. Betty loves the koala and shivers. Cheryl spouts a bunch of Aussie slang at the Croc (footnotes are provided), and then The Archies rock on Ayers Rock. The Croc cuddles with the koala. The kangaroo shows up wearing Reggie’s hat and surprises him. I’d be surprised, too, if a kangaroo managed to cover the same distance as a van. Anyway, Cheryl joins the band on the rock, even though she doesn’t seem to contribute to the performance, and there’s no sign of an audience or news crews of any kind. The end.

This story was okay, but, as predicted, it fell into stereotypes. Cheryl managing The Archies is an interesting idea. I feel it could have been done better, though.

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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