Comics – Distress Over a Dress

Writer: Kathleen Webb
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inks: Jim Amash
Colors: Barry Grossman
Letters: Teresa Davidson
Original Publication: Veronica, No. 179
Cover Date: May, 2007
Length: 5 pages

I’m reviewing the digital edition as reprinted in the Betty and Veronica: $hopping $pree! collection.

In Mr. Lodge’s study, he flips his shit over Veronica’s “atrocious” exclusive designer bills. Stunned, Ronnie counters with her designer helping to keep her “reputation as a trend setter” alive. Hiram says he also helps keep his (Hiram’s) bank balance in the red (I trust this is an exaggeration). Ronnie whines. Hiram apologizes but says Ronnie will have to return to buying her clothes in the shops. Ronnie storms out, pissed.

Ronnie goes and sits on a couch somewhere. She has a cute white cat, who joins her. Ronnie stews and talks about the thrill of being a “unique fashion diva”. Then she quickly gets over it, grabs her purse, and goes out to the waiting limo to go to the malls.

At the mall, Ronnie goes to shop at a high-end store. She buys a retro dress for next week’s “Fashion Flashback” day at school. After Ronnie leaves, the manager has an assistant move the last remaining dress of its kind to the reduced rack and mark it down 40% to make room for new stock coming tomorrow.

The next day, Betty comes to shop at the same high-end store (even she doesn’t know why). She notes Ronnie shopped here before getting her clothes made by the designer. Betty spots the clearance rack and is delighted. She picks out the same dress that Ronnie did.

Even Kathleen Webb acknowledges the predictable outcome, but let’s keep going. At Riverdale High, on “Fashion Flashback” day (why is that in quotes?), various random girls are having a great time.

One girl loves Ronnie’s dress, and another girl points out Betty’s. Ronnie is stunned. Betty says she “should have known”. Crying, Ronnie asks her how she could afford it. Betty says it was marked down. Ronnie remembers there was one left on the rack. Midge and Tomoko show up, wearing the same dress. Midge angrily says there were more when it first showed up. Um, how did Midge and Tomoko afford the dress? It wasn’t on clearance then. Betty is stunned. Midge asks Ronnie about her “copy cat look”. Ronnie’s pissed, feels ill, and goes home. Amused, Betty says it must be a “fashion bug”. Archie randomly shows up for one panel and does nothing.

At home, Ronnie throws off her dress in anger but then has an idea.

A few days later, in Mr. Lodge’s study (I guess), he’s pissed at Ronnie for buying out the junior department of every single store in the mall. Apparently, he got the bills, despite the fact that it’s way too early for those charges to show up on mailed bills. Ronnie explains she’s trying to keep her exclusive look.

Later, Betty learns Ronnie’s back to having a designer make her clothes. Ronnie says “Mumsy” convinced Hiram that it would be cheaper. They sit on the couch. Betty says it leaves clothes in the stores for the rest of them to buy. Angry, Ronnie says she wasn’t buying any of the ugly clothes.

This story is pretty fun. Typical Veronica.

Comics – Whose Beach is It, Anyway?

Writer: Dan Parent
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inks: Rich Koslowski
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: Archie’s Summer Splash!, No. 1
On-Sale Date: May 1, 2010
Cover Date: May, 2010
Length: 22 pages

This issue came out for Free Comic Book Day. I’m reviewing the digital edition, which removes the ads.

Archie, Betty, and Jughead arrive at the beach. Archie’s carrying a surfboard, Betty’s carrying a basket of food, and Jughead’s carrying a beach towel or blanket. Betty’s looking forward to “three months of nothing but fun in the sun”. Um, I hope you’re wearing tons of sunscreen. Archie reminds her that they have some work to do.

Betty’s confused. Archie reminds her that The Archies are part of the Zowie-palooza tour, and immediately Archie Comics shows it’s behind the times (the festival has been based in Chicago’s Grant Park since 2005). Anyway, Betty considers that to be more fun than work. Jughead says they have to be on top of their game, because they’ll be performing with a lot of top groups. Betty complains about the heaviness of her basket. How much food did she pack? Anyway, Cheryl rides by in a car (driven by her boyfriend, George), yells a warning, and throws something.

Cheryl hits Betty and Jughead with a water balloon. Betty’s like “What the fuck?!” Cheryl just wanted to say hi to her “townie friends”. Jughead angrily tells her to go back to Pembrooke. Cheryl agrees to. George admonishes her for being “pretty childish”. She says he’s no fun and calls picking on the Riverdale townies her “pastime”. She hugs him and leans close. He finds her “nutty” but also “irresistable”, so it’s all good.

They arrive at Pembrooke Beach. Cheryl says they share the same coastline, but their beach is so much prettier than Riverdale’s. They get out of the car. George spots Jason, which disappoints Cheryl. George adds Jason’s got some friends with him. Cheryl is pissed about the “Riverdale creeps” (Ginger and Veronica). She tells them that it’s a private beach. Jason tells her to calm the fuck down, saying he invited them as his guests. Cheryl guesses he does this shit just to piss her off. He asks her if it worked.

She says yes, which pleases him. She tells them to stay out of her way. Ronnie asks George what he sees in Cheryl. George is at a loss for words. Cheryl screams at him to hurry the fuck up. Ronnie looks on sadly.

Soon, George and Cheryl are sitting on their blanket. Suddenly, an evacuation order sounds over the loudspeaker. Cheryl asks a beach patrol officer what’s going on. He explains there’s an oil spill. She asks how long it will take to clean up. He’s not sure.

Later (presumably on the next day), at home, Cheryl is disappointed to read in the newspaper that it’s going to take three months to clean their beach, noting it’s the whole summer. A cruise ship accidentally left a huge spill. George is upset, too, and asks where they’re gonna spend the summer. Cheryl gets an idea.

Of course, Cheryl, George, and Jason show up on Riverdale’s beach. Cheryl happily greets her “friends”, surprising Betty, worrying Archie, and angering Ronnie (who insults her).

Ronnie tells Jason and George that they can stay but tells Cheryl to leave. Cheryl hugs Ronnie and reminds her that they’re all friends now. I’d like to think this is a reference to “Friendly Fire“, but it’s more likely a reference to the more recent storyline that had introduced George to the comics and paired him with Cheryl. Ronnie accuses Cheryl of just wanting to use their beach (which is true) and adds she won’t let them on her beach unless Jason steps in. Ronnie tells Cheryl to get the fuck out and threatens her friends to not invite her. Archie points out that there’s not much that they can do, because this is a public beach. Ronnie’s angry, but Cheryl is happy. Betty happily adds Pembrooke Beach is private. Cheryl does a happy dance, which pisses off Ronnie.

Later, Cheryl, Jason, and George are relaxing on the beach (and, it should be noted, not causing any trouble whatsoever). Suddenly, Cheryl asks what the “noise” is. Jason says The Archies are rehearsing in the amphitheater, where the concert will be happening. Cheryl, suddenly filled with visions of stars, wants to be in the concert, but Jason points out that she can’t sing. George adds she can’t dance or play any instrument either. Cheryl’s a bit upset – and also missing her navel in this panel, which is just weird.

Jason happily says everybody loves The Archies. Cheryl asks why, not seeing the appeal. Jason says they’re good and have a lot of fans. Having a plan, Cheryl takes out her cell phone and calls her friends, Priscilla and Becky. I…guess they’re her schoolmates at Pembrooke Academy, but I don’t recognize them.

Later (seemingly on another day), a crowd (including Ethel, Ginger, Chuck, and Nancy) has gathered to watch The Archies sit on some rocks and perform an acoustic version of “Sugar, Sugar“. The crowd loves it. For fuck’s sake, this dopey pop song was already 41 years old at the time, and Archie Comics was still trying to present it as something cool (if it was ever considered cool in the first place). Couldn’t Dan Parent have come up with a new song title? Also, Betty’s still stuck with her fucking tambourine, despite the fact that I recall seeing at least one story where she played guitar in The Archies, and she’s been shown to be a good guitar player in other stories.

Nancy says they’re gonna do them proud at the concert. Really, though, I can’t see “Sugar, Sugar” holding its own against the likes of…*looks up 2010 in American music*…Lana Del Ray, Jennifer Rush, Christina Aguilera, Sarah McLachlan, Sia, Miley Cyrus, Paramore, Sheryl Crow, Lady Gaga, and Katy Perry.

Later, all of them having completely changed clothes, Archie decides they need a break. Betty, having changed her hairstyle to pigtails (this is her third hairstyle this summer), points out that Chuck and Nancy are hitting the surf. Archie decides to join them, and Betty and Veronica join in, so they rush toward the water…without surfboards.

Several days later, Ronnie is suddenly woken from her nap on her beach towel by a “horrible sound”. Betty says it sounds like a whale being tortured. Jughead says it sounded like a tin shed exploding. Um, interesting comparisons.

Ronnie points to a stage (not the one in the amphitheater) and says Cheryl is attempting to sing. Archie is shocked and worried. Cheryl, rocking a ponytail just like her bestie (but not affecting her hair length in the slightest), says she’s formed a new girl group, Blossom. She and her friends are dressed in sleeveless green dresses (with a yellow blossom at chest level on each) and thigh-high, high-heeled, white boots. The stage has a green backdrop with yellow blossoms, and there’s a nearby green banner with “Blossom” in yellow planted nearby on the beach. One of Cheryl’s friends actually looks like Bunny from earlier stories. Anyway, Cheryl declares they’ll “never be the same”. Betty agrees with her, though not in a complimentary way. Ronnie thinks her ears are bleeding.

Anyway, Archie says they’re awful and asks if they can’t hear themselves. Jughead laughs at the “unintentional comedy act”. At the end of the song, Cheryl fishes for a compliment.

Everyone (including Jason) laughs at them, which pisses Cheryl off. The Bunny-like friend admits they stink and points out that they’ve been at this for only three days. The other friend says the only thing that sounds good is the backing track. Cheryl says she doesn’t think it was that bad. The Bunny-like friend points out the approach of the beach patrol (which seems to cover both beaches). The officer is checking to make sure a crime isn’t being committed. Thinking it’s a joke, Cheryl angrily tells him that they just need a little more practice.

The next day, The Archies are practicing in the amphitheater. Archie compliments Betty and Ronnie’s voices and is glad that they (the boys) are “letting” the girls take the lead on a couple songs. Sexist fucking asshole. Betty and Ronnie are happy and start singing again, but they’re interrupted by Blossom. Jughead insults Cheryl’s band. Ronnie and Betty are upset, too, but Archie says Cheryl has every right to practice.

The next day, Cheryl promotes her band on the beach with a “Get Ready for Blossom” billboard, a plane pulling a “‘Blossom’ is Coming!!” banner (why’s the band’s name in quotes?), and two people flying Blossom handgliders. Jason is upset at Cheryl for “defaming” their name. One of the people flying the handgliders is George, who warns Betty and Archie before crashing.

Ronnie yells at Cheryl, so Cheryl yells at George. George and Cheryl get into an argument. Betty points out that Cheryl is an attention hog. Reggie says she could really mess up the concert. Betty says they can do only so much. Ronnie says they need to go to a private location.

Some time later, presumably on another day, Archie walks into Pop’s and shows off their new flyers. Betty and Ronnie love them. Betty notices their first night of the show (Saturday, no date or time listed) is on Harbor Island. Ronnie needlessly says that’s down by the harbor. Betty is confused, because she thought it was “here” at the beach amphitheater. Archie explains their promoter changed their venue to avoid Cheryl, and they’re notifying the ticket holders. Ronnie is relieved. Archie says they have to act like nothing’s changed, so Cheryl doesn’t find out.

At the beach on some day, Betty and Ronnie are nice to Cheryl. Betty even compliments Cheryl’s singing. This pisses Cheryl off. Ronnie and Betty do a really bad job of pretending they’ll be in the amphitheater. This makes Cheryl suspicious.

Later, Cheryl finds one of the flyers on her amplifier and is surprised at the venue change. Cheryl decides her band will get there early on Saturday night.

On the big night, at the beach, Betty is surprised by the gathering crowd, and Archie and Jason explain they tricked Cheryl. Jason left the flyer for Cheryl. They also kept the girls in the dark, I guess counting on them being horrible actors. Ronnie says they’re brilliant. Ronnie’s looking forward to seeing the look on Cheryl’s face, despite the fact that they’ll be in different places. As Betty, Ronnie, and Archie leave, Jason wishes them good luck. Why were they at the beach, anyway, if the girls thought the venue had changed?

Cheryl, her bandmates, and George take a boat to Harbor Island. They set up on the pier and start practicing. Cheryl anticipates the crowd filtering in soon. George thinks he must really care for Cheryl to sit through this.

Back at the concert, after The Black-Eyed Susans, The Archies play “Bang-Shang-A-Lang”, which, if you’ll recall, is about dogs fucking. Jason wonders how “Blossom” is doing, and what’s with this story sometimes putting the name of Cheryl’s band in quotes?

Back on Harbor Island, everyone except Cheryl is miserable, but Cheryl is stubborn and keeps them performing, believing the crowd will show up.

Between Part One and Part Two, there’s a 2-page “Archie’s Summer Splash Quiz!” with trivia questions. On page 1, Cheryl has her arm around Archie; on page 2, Ronnie and Betty look on angrily.

Between pages 17 and 18 (in Part Two), there are two fashion pages: Summer Splash Fashions for the Girls! (featuring Cheryl, Ronnie, and Betty, with Nancy and Ginger reduced to floating heads) and Summer Splash Fashions for the Guys! (Archie, Jughead, Chuck, and Reggie).

This story is pretty fun, but Cheryl is made out to be stupid for not realizing she’s been tricked. Also, did she not check online to confirm the information on the flyer that had mysteriously been left for her?

Comics – The Dating Analysis

Archie-Double-Digest-306Writer: Francis Bonnet
Pencils: Bill Galvan
Inks: Ben Galvan
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: Archie Comics Double Digest, No. 306
On-Sale Date: January 22, 2020
Length: 5

At Riverdale High School, Archie and Veronica discuss their date for tonight. Ronnie decides to hurry home to find something to wear. Dilton comes by, observing this, and tells Archie that he doesn’t know how he’s “constantly going out on dates with so many different girls”, while Dilton has trouble even talking to them. He asks how Archie became so “knowledgeable” in the field of dating. Archie, full of himself, claims to be a “dating expert”, citing “many years of practice”. Dilton asks permission to come along with Archie on some of his dates and observe him in the hope of learning from him.

Archie agrees and actually gets in a funny line: “Follow my example and pretty soon you’ll be as broke from dating as I am!” Happy, Dilton promises he won’t get in the way.

Date #1: Veronica Lodge

Later, after Archie has (presumably) gone home and changed clothes, he’s driving to Ronnie’s, and Dilton’s riding in the back seat. Archie explains Ronnie loves fish, so he’s taking her to a seafood restaurant tonight. He tells Dilton that it’s always important to be observant and know what your date likes to eat.

When they arrive, Ronnie happily greets Archie but is surprised at Dilton’s presence. Rather than explain it, Archie explains to Dilton the importance of being a gentleman and holding the car door open for your date. He then slams the door on Ronnie’s ass, knocking her into the car, because he’s an unobservant dumbass. He gets in the car, fastens his seatbelt, and apologizes. She’s upset when she learns of their destination, because she fucking hates seafood (and always has) and points out that Archie knows it. He’s dumbfounded. Dilton’s taking notes on his laptop, trying to rationalize this within the confines of “Archie is a dating genius”.

Date #2: Betty Cooper

The next night, Archie picks up Betty and tells Dilton that the shit that went down last night with Ronnie was just a fluke. Dilton seems to buy this. Betty comes outside, greets Archie, and is surprised at Dilton’s presence. As Archie holds the car door open for Betty, he explains. He manages to not slam the door on Betty’s ass (as Dilton points out to Betty) – and instead slams it on his own thumb…somehow.

At the restaurant, Archie brings up something that he forgot to mention yesterday: holding the chair out for your date. To demonstrate, he holds Betty’s chair out too far, and Betty falls to the floor, landing on her ass and crying out in pain. Archie apologizes to Betty and offers to help her up, much to her delight(?!).

Somehow, though, Archie manages to knock over the chair and do…something to the table that causes the tablecloth, (empty) plates, utensils, and (filled) glasses to fall to the floor, despite the fact that they’d just been seated, so the table should be empty. Dilton asks Archie if he should still be taking notes.

Date #3: Cheryl Blossom

The next night, as they’re driving, Cheryl is upset about Dilton’s presence. After some banter (Cheryl really doesn’t wanna hear Dilton), Archie gets out of the car, opens an umbrella (it’s raining), and opens the door for Cheryl. Archie tells Dilton of the importance of keeping your date from getting wet. He then splashes through a puddle and gets her left leg wet. Cheryl is upset.

Archie apologizes to her and tries to dry her leg with a handkerchief, but he hits her in the head with the umbrella, and then a car drives by and gets them both wet. Archie’s still holding out hope, but Cheryl destroys it and declares the date is over. She heads to his car. Art goof: the roof of Archie’s car changes color on this date from blue to white to red. Oh, yeah, Dilton concludes he knows more about dating that Archie, so he must dedicate many more years of research to dating. Yeah, it makes no sense. Whatever. The end.

This was an okay story, but, if these are examples of a typical date with Archie, how does he manage to get any dates anymore? Word would spread around school that his dates are disastrous!

Comics – The Case of the Walk-Away Shoes

Betty-and-Veronica-Double-Digest-Magazine-279Writer: Ian Flynn
Pencils: Jeff Shultz
Inks: Jim Amash
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: Betty and Veronica Jumbo Comics (Double Digest Magazine), No. 279
On-Sale Date: December 11, 2019
Length: 5

Sam Hill has shown up at Lodge Manor and is in Veronica’s bedroom, because Ronnie wanted to see him. Betty’s here, too, hanging out on Ronnie’s bed. Ronnie references her dad hiring him. Ronnie brings up a photo of limited-edition custom-fitted Miranda’s. Her pair has gone missing. She orders Sam to find them. Sam declines to take the case. Betty points out that the shoes cost more than his car, cites her knowledge of the town, and offers to help him. Without waiting for a response, Betty gets all touchy-feely with Sam and declares “Detectives Cooper and Hill are on the case!”

On their way to Blossom Manor (Betty gives Sam directions), Sam asks Betty if she borrowed the shoes and forget to tell her “bestie”. Betty says they’re not her style. Betty suspects Cheryl (due to similar tastes and a “reason” to steal from Ronnie). They arrive. Once Cheryl comes out, and they question her (which is skipped over), Cheryl is incredulous. Sam is tactful, but Betty theorizes Cheryl did it to spite Ronnie. Cheryl admits that might be fun but says it’s “far more fun” to just buy even better shoes and show her up. Confronted with this logic, Betty frowns in anger at her. As they leave, Sam asks Betty if she buys Cheryl’s story. Betty does, saying Cheryl is petty but not subtle. Sam suggests the motive was profit and asks who in town would think to fence stolen shoes.

They go to Pop’s and question Reggie (which is skipped over). He’s incredulous and tells “Betts” that he’s hurt. Sam finds a tag on Reggie’s jacket and accuses him of shoplifting. Reggie says, if he sold premium clothes, he wouldn’t be eating at this “dive”. For bad-mouthing his “buddy” Pop’s cooking, Sam threatens to punch Reggie (Pop sees this but doesn’t seem to care). Reggie’s even more surprised. Betty tells Sam to chill the fuck out and points out that, if he had money, Reggie would be blowing it all over town, because he lives to live it up. Sam’s down to “one last lead”.

They go to Sole-Full Needs, the high-end shoe store where Veronica bought her shoes. Betty is astonished at the prices, noting she’s seen car parts less expensive. Has she never been shopping with Ronnie before? Anyway, Sam theorizes someone at the store stole Ronnie’s shoes, hoping Ronnie would buy another pair here. The owner (or whoever) shows up, having checked their records. Ronnie bought only one pair of the Miranda’s Sweet Summer Dream Collection. He’s amazed that Ronnie, ordering so many shoes per day, can keep track of what she has. Betty and Sam have a eureka moment.

Later, at Lodge Manor’s Shoe Repository, Smithers retrieves the box for Ronnie, apologizing for accidentally filing them under the new Miriam’s collection instead of the new Miranda’s. Ronnie’s upset at him, but he just rolls his eyes. Ronnie praises Sam. Sam praises Betty, even though she didn’t really contribute much. She thanks him, anyway. Betty asks Ronnie what the special occasion for the shoes is. Ronnie says it’s just a Sunday drive, and she already has a different outfit picked out. She tosses the shoe box to Betty and just fucking leaves. Betty tells Sam that Ronnie’s the real crook for stealing their time. Smithers is amused. Sam gives a zinger.

So, um, yeah, Ronnie just totally wasted their time. I think Betty could use some time away from her.

Comics – The Case of the Triple Cross

BV-Friends-Digest-276.jpgWriter: Ian Flynn
Pencils: Jeff Shultz
Inks: Bob Smith
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: B&V Friends Jumbo Comics Digest, No. 276
On-Sale Date: December 4, 2019
Length: 5

We begin a new year of reviews as we begin all things: with Cheryl Blossom.

This is a bit unusual: it’s a Sam Hill story. Who in Sam Hill is Sam Hill, you ask? He’s a rather obscure private detective character that debuted in 1950 and had a short-lived comic series. He’s so obscure that Wikipedia doesn’t even list him in its list of Archie characters. I had to look elsewhere for info. Apparently, he had a bit of a revival in 2015, and they now wanna give him his own TV series. Okay.

So I don’t know how frequently (if ever) Sam interacted with the Riverdale gang before this story, but here it goes.

So the story starts off with Sam doing the stereotypical hard-boiled narration. He’s come to Riverdale, because Mr. Lodge, the “richest man in Riverdale”, wants to hire him. Sam doesn’t seem to think much of Mr. Lodge’s intellect. Anyway, Sam shows up in Mr. Lodge’s office. Hiram needs him to investigate Veronica. Sam looks at a photo of Ronnie and makes a creepy joke, which angers Hiram. Hiram grounded Ronnie for seeing Archie but suspects she’s sneaking off to see him. He wants evidence.

Sam tails Ronnie as she zooms off from Lodge Manor, her tires losing contact with the road. I guess she’s been taking driving lessons from Betty. But it seems she gets stuck in traffic, because this is Riverdale.

Sam follows Ronnie to Pop’s and discovers she’s actually meeting with her “lady-in-waiting”, Betty. Ronnie’s not happy with Betty, accusing her of stealing Archie from her for today. Betty says the same thing about her. That’s why she asked Ronnie to come down here in person: it proves neither of them are with him. Betty suggests confronting him at the same time. Ronnie has an oddly-worded response: “Oh. Oh, yes. I will drive.” Sam’s hanging out at the counter and might or might not have ordered anything, but Pop doesn’t seem to mind.

Ronnie and Betty confront Archie at a table outside a bistro. He’s nervous. Betty reveals they compared notes. Ronnie adds they saw him tagged online with “her”. We then see who Archie’s sitting with: Cheryl Motherfucking Blossom. Apparently, Cheryl had told Archie that the cover stories were foolproof. Cheryl doesn’t give a shit and just leaves, stiffing Archie with the check.

Sam gets a pic of Archie and Cheryl with his phone and then leaves the “crime scene” before it gets “grizzlier”.

Back at Lodge Manor, Sam presents Mr. Lodge with the evidence and also takes it upon himself to say Ronnie definitely isn’t seeing Archie (despite Ronnie’s earlier dialogue at Pop’s indicating she was). Ecstatic, Mr. Lodge exclaims “Christmas came early!” and has Smithers write Sam a check for double his fee.

So…was the whole point of this story “Cheryl gets Archie beaten up”?

Comics – Jingles’ New Job

Archie-and-Me-Digest-23Writer: Bill Golliher
Pencils: Jeff Shultz
Inks: Bob Smith
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: Archie and Me Comics Digest, No. 23
On-Sale Date: November 27, 2019
Length: 5 pages

Archie’s sitting on his bed, playing an acoustic guitar. Suddenly, Jingles the Elf bamfs in, holding a suitcase. If you don’t know who Jingles is, he’s one of Santa’s elves in the Archieverse, and he often shows up in Christmas stories. He has kinda gold hair and a beard (but no mustache) and wears mostly green (but also red leggings). Anyway, he’s leaving the elf business and is moving to Riverdale for a fresh start. He figures he’ll crash with Archie for a few months until he gets his own place. Archie gets up and puts on his jacket, wanting Jingles to come over to Pop’s with him for “an emergency meeting with the gang”.

At Pop’s, Betty admonishes Jingles for quitting his job before lining up another one. Jingles is unconcerned. Reggie cracks a joke about Jingles’ height, so Jingles bamfs him onto the roof. Reggie calls out for help. Veronica says it’s almost Christmas and asks Jingles about Santa needing him. Betty asks about the other elves and Sugarplum Fairy (another recurring Christmas character). Jingles figures they don’t appreciate him and is like “Fuck ’em!”

Betty questions Jingles about his job skills, which is making toys. Ronnie says that leaves him with a limited number of job options. Not having learned his lesson, Reggie is back (how?) with “another zinger”. Jingles tries to zap him to the North Pole, but his powers aren’t working, much to Reggie’s relief. Sugarplum bamfs in, and Jughead, Betty, and Archie are happy to see her. Sugarplum also has gold hair and is dressed in green and red.

Sugarplum explains his powers are gone, because his elf status was revoked when he quit (it just took a while to kick in). Jingles is shocked (although he shouldn’t be) and says he can’t function in the real world without his magic. Sabrina (who’s visible for one fucking panel) says “Speaks for yourselves!” and winks really hard, which confuses Reggie. Jughead and Ronnie basically tell Jingles to get a year-round job. Sugarplum tells him to save for his retirement, which he’ll be responsible for.

Apparently, at the North Pole, there are old elves’ homes with all-you-can-eat dessert buffets and reindeer races to bet on. Jingles asks Sugarplum if his old job is still available. She texts Santa, who says yes and gives Jingles his wanted “cost of elving” increase. Jingles wants his powers restored before they leave. Sugarplum grants it (because she can just do that?), confused. Jingles bamfs Reggie away. As Sugarplum and Jingles leave, Betty, Archie, and Ronnie wish them a Merry Christmas. Jughead asks about Reggie.

Reggie’s back up on the roof and calls out for help. A nearby bird is confused. Of note, Pop’s is across the street from WRVL, a radio or TV station. In real life, WRVL is a Contemporary Christian radio station in Virginia.

This story was pretty cute. Of note, Pop Tate was standing behind the counter and watching all of this while going about his business of cleaning glasses, seemingly not finding it at all unusual that the gang’s hanging with an elf and a fairy.

Comics – It’s the Thoughtlessness That Counts

World-of-Archie-Digest-94.jpgWriter: Francis Bonnet
Pencils: Bill Galvan
Inks: Ben Galvan
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: World of Archie Double Digest, No. 94
On-Sale Date: November 20, 2019
Length: 5 pages

Archie arrives home and is happy to see the gifts that he ordered online for everyone finally arrived, which he exposits to his dog, Vegas. He keeps talking to Vegas as he brings the gifts into the living room, and we learn, in typical Archie fashion, he waited until yesterday to order everything. How fucking lazy can you get?

Archie lets Vegas (who gives him puppy-dog eyes) distract him while he wraps and labels the presents. He loads the presents in a sack, puts on “the proper attire” (Santa caps for him and Vegas), and heads to Veronica’s house.

Veronica’s happy to see Archie, who wishes her a Merry Christmas. She soon becomes upset, though, when she unwraps a gold bracelet that reads “BETTY”. He tries to explain, but she throws that shit in his face and slams the door. Archie blames Vegas.

Archie drives up to Betty’s house just as she’s checking the mail. She’s happy to see him. He gives her a completely different, still-wrapped present and is shocked when she flips her shit and throws the gold “CHERYL” bracelet in his face. He tries to explain, but she goes into her house and slams the door. Archie guesses he “must have somehow mislabeled Betty’s gift, too”. What? Yes, that was abundantly clear back at Ronnie’s. What I think he means is he mislabeled Cheryl’s gift, too. The bigger question, though, is: Why the fuck didn’t Archie sit in his car and spend some time straightening out the gifts before heading to Betty’s?! Also, why the fuck did he give her a completely different gift?! Whatever, Archie gives up on Christmas.

In her bedroom, Betty’s lying on her bed and video-chatting with Veronica on her cell phone regarding Archie’s fuckery. Somehow, the girls convince themselves that it’s all okay, and Ronnie even suggests making peace with Archie and getting him “his own special gift” She has Betty meet her at the mall in twenty minutes.

Back at Archie’s, Archie’s sitting on the couch with Vegas in his lap (the only loving that he’s getting). There’s a knock at the door. Archie is surprised to find Betty and Veronica outside. They explain and present him with a “REGGIE” shirt, which he finds “absolutely perfect”.

This story was pretty meh. Archie fucked up twice. It’s not “just Archie being Archie” as Ronnie claims. He’s an inconsiderate fuckwad that doesn’t even try to correct his own mistakes.