Comics – Phantom of the Funhouse

Writer: Holly G! (Holly Golightly)
Pencils: Holly G!
Inking: Jim Amash
Lettering: Bill Yoshida
Coloring: Stephanie Vozzo
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom, No. 35
Cover Date: October, 2000
Length: 11 pages

Although I have the original issue, I’m reviewing this story from the digital edition. This is the final issue that’s available in digital format as of this writing.

Cheryl, Betty, Jason, Archie, and Veronica are at the beach (which beach isn’t clear). Betty is excited over finding “another interesting shell”, but Cheryl (whose eyes switch between blue and aquamarine in this story) is sarcastic about it. Apparently, they’re here shell collecting, but Cheryl isn’t interested in it unless they find pearls.

Cheryl says there’s no adventure in shell collecting. Jason asks her what she has in mind. She says something exciting. He spots an abandoned funhouse by the water, which excites her. Have they never noticed this before?

Jason wants to check it out. Archie makes note of the “Keep Out!” sign, but Cheryl and Jason try to pressure him into it. He gets pissed and gives in. Ronnie convinces Betty to go along with it, because…they can’t talk the others out of it. Solid reasoning. Jason, helping Betty down the hill, says they’ll have “lots of fun”. You know what kind of “fun” that he has in mind. Betty notes it’s getting kinda dark. The sun is setting.

Cheryl tells Betty to stop complaining and live a little, which irritates Betty. Betty tells Cheryl that there’s nothing wrong with being careful. Cheryl says there’s nothing fun about it either. Jason picks Betty up and carries her. The gang enters the funhouse by walking on the tongue of the scary monster whose face is on the front.

In the funhouse’s control room, a mysterious person wearing a cape watches the “foolish brave souls” on monitors and laughs evilly (while broadcasting it to the gang and scaring Betty).

It’s dark, but then Cheryl leads them into a hall of mirrors.

Betty likes her “weird” look, but Cheryl’s ready to move on to the next room.

The mysterious person has prepared a “trap” for his “little mice”.

The gang goes into a big empty room. The door slams shut, and the lights go out. Betty complains to Jason.

Ronnie cries. Cheryl tells her to shut the fuck up. Ronnie yells at her. The mysterious person turns on the lights and has them fall through holes in the floor. This is incredibly fucking sloppy. Not only is everyone standing precisely on top of the holes, but the lips covering the holes are removed and fall behind the holes – while the teens are standing above the holes! This makes no sense!

They fall through tubes and land in chairs, which turn and then take them on a ride. The continuity of who’s sitting where is utterly horrible from one panel to the next. It gets worse when Ronnie asks where the chairs are going, the mysterious person answers while Betty is on his monitor, and then Cheryl tries to calm Betty down.

Chery is amused by the “cheesy” creatures at first but is then scared by a giant spider. Archie points the way out, and Cheryl is the first to leave. The tunnel makes them tumble.

They’re dumped out, dazed. Cheryl feels sick. Betty says at least they’re out. Archie points out the exit. Betty and Cheryl hug each other warmly and speak in sync as lovers do. Betty admits to Cheryl that the experience was fun. Interestingly, these two panels seem to indicate Cheryl is taller than Betty. Anyway, the designer of the funhouse (an old man) arrives and thanks Betty. Cheryl’s angry, but Betty again says it was fun – and without “all that virtual reality and computer stuff”.

The designer explains this funhouse was very popular with the kids long ago, but then a big company bought the property and closed it down (but apparently did absolutely nothing else with it, including cutting the power). Then they opened a video arcade down the beach. Without the funhouse, they had no competition. Righteous anger (and visions of money) burns within Cheryl, and she decides to call the bank. Archie notes “that ‘look'” in Cheryl’s eyes to Betty, and Betty bets Cheryl buys the funhouse. Doesn’t Cheryl have to be 18 to do that? Not that I’m complaining; I’m just pointing it out, because she apparently went from 16 to 18 in two issues.

Sure enough, on the opening night, the funhouse (on the newly-named Blossom Boardwalk) is a hit, and the designer thanks Cheryl. Apparently, Cheryl had told Ronnie that she’d be “thrilled”. The designer says Cheryl “even made the entrance scarier”. The monster’s face has been replaced with Ronnie’s face, looking scary and baring sharp teeth. Ronnie’s pissed, and Cheryl laughs. There are also tents and a Ferris wheel on the sandy beach (or possibly where the water is supposed to be).

This story was okay, I guess, but the logic was shaky. I loved the Betty/Cheryl friendship moments, 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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