Writer: Dan Parent
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inking: Jon D’Agostino
Lettering: Bill Yoshida
Coloring: Barry Grossman
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom, No. 19
Cover Date: February, 1999
Length: 11 pages
Although I have the original issue, I’m reviewing this story from the digital edition.
This issue marks a special occasion. Well, two, actually, but I’ll save the other one for the end of the review. As of this issue, I have now read every story in Cheryl’s solo series, because I first started reading the series with issue #20 back when it was new. So none of the stories after this issue will be new to me. It’s been years since I’ve read most of them, though, so I look forward to rediscovering them.
At the Fresh office, Cheryl is wearing an…interesting purple and pink outfit. There are pink blossoms on her purple shirt, and she’s wearing a purple vest, pink pants or leggings, and purple knee-high boots. A caption informs us that her hairstyle and outfit are by Kim Lee of Providence, Rhode Island. A woman calls the outfit “stunning”. Cheryl mentions the designer (not Kim Lee) and says it’s going to be shown in the next issue of Fresh.
The woman (who’s not one of the two that hired Cheryl) says Cheryl is doing a great job as “teen editor” of their magazine. I thought her position was called “junior editor”. Well, whatever. She asks if Cheryl has ideas for their first winter issue. Um, isn’t it a little late by this point? Regardless, Cheryl does: a ski vacation setting to show off the “tons of new winter outfits”. The woman loves it and asks Cheryl if she has any ideas where. Cheryl says Mt. Paradise. Her family owns a huge “lodge” there, but Cheryl would rather call it a resort, because the word “lodge” rubs her the wrong way. The woman decides to get the models together. Cheryl decides to get her “help” together.
As Cheryl leaves the office, she exposits how she’ll try to get Archie (but not “bubble heads” Betty and Veronica) to help her. Next month is Archie’s birthday, so Cheryl decides to throw him a little “party”. Oh, I can imagine what kind of party. Anyway, it’s worth noting Archie Comics once “established” Archie’s birthday as December 7 on its website, though that might have been well after this story was written.
Soon, at Riverdale High, Veronica and Betty discover invitations from Cheryl in their lockers. They’ve been invited to a surprise birthday bash for Archie at the Blossom Skating Rink in Pembrooke. The Blossoms own a skating rink? Well, okay, whatever. Ronnie’s pissed and asks about the party that she was planning for him (which she actually wasn’t). Veronica’s dress in this scene is by Amy Nolan of Saddle River, New Jersey. Ronnie wants to confront Cheryl.
Archie arrives. Ronnie’s about to spoil the surprise but then decides not to. Betty compliments her for it. Ronnie says it’s for Archie, and Betty adds Cheryl did think to invite them. Ronnie guesses Cheryl will try her best to upstage them. Betty agrees, seemingly amused.
Later (at Cheryl’s place, I guess, or maybe the inn; I can’t tell), Betty, Ronnie, Jughead, and Reggie are gathered. Cheryl goes over the plan: they will all gather at the skating rink; Cheryl will pick up Archie at his house, and she’ll pretend she had to stop by to pick up her skates or something (Ronnie looks offended at this for some reason); when they enter, the gang will all yell “Surprise!” Ronnie gets sassy with Cheryl.
On the day of the party, Cheryl leaves the mansion in a hurry and accidentally leaves behind written instructions to fly to their lodge on Mr. Paradise sitting on a table. Jason takes immediate notice of this nondescript piece of paper and reads it out of curiosity. He thinks Cheryl’s got a little scheme up her sleeve. In a callback to “That’s My Mama!“, Jason says he’s not one to interfere but then questions it.
At the Blossom Skating Rink, Ethel, Moose, Dilton, Betty, and Ronnie are waiting. The first three weren’t even shown to be attending the meeting previously. Anyway, Ethel notes they’re “unusually late”, but then Betty hears something.
They (including Jughead, who’s here as well) yell “Surprise!” It’s just Jason, though. He informs them that Cheryl and Archie are up on the roof, which also serves as a heliport. Well…that’s convenient. Jason has a laugh at their expense. Everyone goes to the roof, but the helicopter is airborne already. Cheryl yells bye to everyone. Ronnie is pissed at Cheryl and demands Archie tell them where they’re going. Archie says he doesn’t know; Cheryl didn’t tell him. Cheryl tells him that he’ll see soon enough. Y’know, I find it hard to believe any of them could hear each other over the sound of the chopper.
Well after landing, as Cheryl and Archie are walking along outside, Archie realizes Cheryl brought him to Mt. Paradise with lots of models. Cheryl wants him to help her out with the shoot. Why is the shoot occurring in the next month after the first scene? Is Fresh not a monthly publication?
Back at the skating rink, Ronnie demands Jason tell them where they went. Jason doesn’t know if he wants to tell. Betty flirts with him, and Jason immediately gives up the location. Wait, were they seriously just standing around in the skating rink during the entire helicopter ride?
Ronnie wants to track them. Jason wants to help. Ronnie wants to make a couple phone calls first. She calls Archie and Cheryl’s parents, who are pissed to learn what their kids are doing. Clifford tells Fred that they’ll meet them at their house and fly them up there.
At Mr. Paradise, Archie is checking out the supermodels. Well, technically, he’s telling Cheryl to look at them, and…she is, seemingly with a smile on her face. Keep in mind that this is years before Riverdale made Cheryl gay.
They’re shocked and freaked out to see their parents, Betty, Ronnie, and Jason arrive. Trapped, they do the only logical thing: make a getaway on a toboggan. Cheryl warns some supermodels to get out of the way but then crashes through them and happily exclaims “Supermodel explosions!” Haha, because injuring and possibly killing people is funny. The photographers keep shooting, because it’s “crazy, but funny” and “a change of pace, at least”. Well, alrighty.
The others catch up on their own toboggans. They escape on a single pair of skis (Archie holds on tight to Cheryl). Cheryl says it’s hard to steer with all of this weight. Archie yells at supermodels to run. Cheryl crashes through them. Some people have a laugh at that. In the time that it took to ski down a hill, Clifford somehow arrived on a snowmobile. Cheryl’s parents make her stay in her room for the next month.
Weeks later, Cheryl comes up to Ronnie and Betty on a sidewalk and shows them the new issue of Fresh. I guess she’s been let out of her room. Anyway, Betty and Ronnie are happy to see of all the “crazy antics” from Mt. Paradise are in the issue. Cheryl also included images of Ronnie and Betty, which she altered to make them look fat. This pisses them off, and they chase after her. Cheryl happily runs away.
This story was pretty dumb. How could Cheryl carelessly leave flying instructions lying around? And it’s awfully convenient for Jason to find them. And why would the pilot need written instructions to fly to a property that the Blossoms own? The pilot would likely have the coordinates on file already. Was it instructions as in permission? Some kind of formality? If so, how did Cheryl get it? Did she forge it? She seemingly never knew she didn’t have it on her, and the pilot clearly didn’t need it, so it just comes off as a lazy way for Jason to guess Cheryl’s plan.
Oh, yeah, the other special occasion? We’re now halfway through the series. This is the exact middle issue of the Cheryl Blossom ongoing series, and we’re halfway through the issue. *blows streamer*
In the middle of the story is a 1-page Cheryl illustration titled “Cheryl’s Holiday Reader Fashions!” (with entries from Alisha Johns of Greenville, South Carolina; Laurie Davis of Provo, Utah; Lynn Sampson of Ontario, Canada; Barb Anders of Ashboro, North Carolina; and Tammy Smith of Salem, Massachusetts).
After the story is a 1-page Archie story titled “Holidaze”.