Comics – A Winter’s Tail

Writer: Holly G! (Holly Golightly)*
Pencils: Holly G!*
Inking: Jim Amash*
Lettering: Bill Yoshida*
Coloring: Stephanie Vozzo*
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom, No. 37
Cover Date: March, 2001
Length: 6 pages

*Only the lead story in the issue is credited. I assume the credits apply to all of the stories.

As of this writing, this issue is not available digitally, although the story itself probably is, due to reprints in more recent digests. For this review, I’m looking at my original copy of this issue that I bought in 2000.

So here we are at long last: the final story in the final issue of Cheryl Blossom. Well, let’s get into it:

Cheryl (who has blue eyes in this story) and Sugar are at Pop’s, sitting at the counter (Sugar is in Cheryl’s lap) Cheryl orders hot chocolate for herself and a chicken soup for her “little Sugar”. Cheryl had set her blue purse on the stool to her right (around the corner). It has a drawing of Cheryl on it, and her eyes are green there. Jughead, sitting to Cheryl’s left, takes issue with the double standard regarding Sugar, since Hot Dog has to wait outside for a doggy bag.

Pop explains how, last time, Hot Dog got into the storage room and ate hot dogs – which were kept in a cardboard box. Ew. Cheryl says her “little Sugar” is a very well-behaved pedigree dog. Jughead calls Sugar a “dust bunny”, which both Cheryl and Sugar are shocked by. Cheryl says Sugar is the purest of Pomeranians, and Poms are known as “the little sled dogs with big hearts”. Jughead says that “puff ball” couldn’t pull a rollerskate.

Cheryl stands up and says her Sugar can beat his “walking carpet” any day, sled racing. Jughead agrees to it and sets a sled competition for next Sunday.

At some point, Cheryl, Sugar, and Dilton meet outside. Dilton had designed and built a sled called Sugar Express. Cheryl questions Dilton about the sled design, because she wants Sugar to win this fair and square. Cheryl calls Dilton a genius and kisses him on the forehead, then she tells Sugar that they’ll start training. Sugar gives Cheryl an affirmative “Yip!”

Cheryl and Sugar run, jump rope, and do stretching exercises together to get in tip-top shape. Jughead watches TV and consumes junk food while Hot Dog sleeps. Cheryl and Sugar eat good balanced meals of fruits, veggies, and protein. Jughead and Hot Dog pig out on junk food.

On Saturday night, while they’re getting massages, Cheryl tells Sugar that they’re in the best shape ever and decides they’ll get to bed early.

At Jughead’s, confident of their “easy win” tomorrow, Jughead decides he and Hot Dog will “celebrate early” by watching four videos (including a knockoff of The Matrix) and eating hot dogs with the works.

On the morning of the race, a large crowd (their loyalties roughly evenly divided) has gathered to watch the sled competition. Archie wishes Cheryl good luck. Cheryl thanks him and criticizes Jughead for being late. Veronica tells Jughead to kick Cheryl’s ass. Jughead and Cheryl get on their respective sleds and talk shit to each other. Hot Dog yawns. Sugar gives him an angry “Yip!” Oh, Cheryl and Sugar are wearing matching white helmets with a blossom on them, which is cute. The race starts. Cheryl has Sugar go. Jughead stays put, much to Ronnie’s distress, because it’s “too easy”. He’ll “let Cheryl feel like she has a chance”, so “she does not lose so badly”.

Jughead finally has Hot Dog go, but he struggles. Jughead regrets eating “4 dozen frankfurters” last night. Cheryl excitedly spots the finish line and tells her “sweetie” to go, because they’re winning. Jughead, somehow close behind, spots a “wiener stand” (operated by Pop) and says he’ll buy Hot Dog ten, if they win. By the way, Grand Comics Database doesn’t indicate Betty is in this story, but she can clearly be seen next to the hot dog stand, which is next to the finish line. Anyway, Hot Dog excitedly heads for the stand too early. Cheryl and Sugar cross the finish line and are announced as the winners. Cheryl is ecstatic. She gets a trophy (which Sugar also touches) and tells “Juggie” to look on the bright side: if it was a wiener-eating contest, Hot Dog would be “top dog”. Jughead, sitting on the ground, is upset. A pissed Pop screams at Jughead, because Hot Dog is eating his hot dogs.

This story was very nice on its own, but I’m going to provide some context that will make it even better. I don’t know about overall sales from all sources, but, at least in the direct market (meaning North American comic book shops), Cheryl Blossom routinely outsold Jughead (the sole exception being Jughead #100 in October of 1997), all of the way to the end. Jughead’s only other wins over Cheryl were Jughead’s Double Digest #67 in February of 2000 and #70 in July of 2000. So it’s supremely satisfying to see Cheryl kick Jughead’s ass one more time in this story, ending her series on a massive high note.

And so concludes Cheryl Blossom, but it’s not the end of Cheryl Blossom herself, of course. There are plenty more stories to review. Also, I intend to do a series recap, so look forward to that.


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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