Betty & Veronica Double Digest #158: Irresponsible Cheerleading

You’d think Riverdale, being a relatively good-sized town, would be able to field a cheerleading squad of more than four girls.

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Nope, it’s only it’s only Veronica, Betty, Ethel, and Nancy. Where’s Midge? That’s definitely Ethel, because of the Pebbles-looking ponytail on top of her head, visible in other panels. Since when is she a cheerleader?

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The teachers like them, though, especially Veronica, who’s forgotten the bottom half of her outfit. Then for one and only one panel, they pick up a token, Tomoko, the new Japanese girl.

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After Ms. Grundy flashes back to her days as cheerleader (no, really, although then they only had three girls on the squad), the boys stop by, feeling down. Ethel conveniently makes herself scarce, since her match doesn’t play on the same team as the other guys.

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But the weirdest part about all of this is the opening panel.

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Just how is Ethel supporting Betty and helping support Nancy with nothing but her outstretched arms?


15 Responses to “Betty & Veronica Double Digest #158: Irresponsible Cheerleading”

  1. Paul Sizer Says:

    No no no, Johanna. You must step back from the “physics” of cheerleading and embrace the “essence” of the cheer. Yes, THAT is what “Bring It On” taught me… THAT and that there are very complex politics in the world of cheering. And snark. Good Lord, the snark…

  2. Johanna Says:

    Essence allows anti-gravity powers? Cool! I love Bring It On, though. Great fun.

  3. Nat Gertler Says:

    I think that with Archie comics you have to avoid questions like “Since when is [Ethel] a cheerleader?”, since the answer is apt to come back “since 1958″, and that just opens up a whole ‘nother can o’ worms…

  4. James Schee Says:

    Given Ethel’s past show of strength, this showing doesn’t surprise me as she’s obviously a mutant. (hey the Punisher guested once after all! so Archie may be part of the Marvel U.)

    Midge is obviously off giving Moose his own personal “cheer,” hence the first cheer line of “HEY! HEY! HO!”

    Yes, I know, I’ll go sit in the corner now.

  5. Johanna Says:

    Nat: hee hee. True enough. I guess my point with Ethel should be that the publisher seems so interested in being nice and avoiding negativity that they’ve erased everything that made the characters distinctive — like Ethel being funny-looking and definitely not the cheerleader type.

    James: I think you’re on to something with this theory! The mutant one, not the other.

  6. Nat Gertler Says:

    Oh. agreed. I think the move toward a girl-friendly Jughead, an acceptable Ethel, a dyslexic Moose, and so forth has all done much damage to the work.

  7. Glimpses of Big Ethel » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] those wondering why I thought it was so odd that Ethel was a cheerleader in the Archie titles now, here’s what she used to look like, back when she was Big […]

  8. Tim O'Shea Says:

    When did Nancy get introduced to the series? A quick search reveals Pep Comics #309 (1978)

    At least she’s included now. I still miss Franklin from Peanuts (who appeared on the scene in 1968).

    And Nancy’s boyfriend, Chuck? Apparently introduced in the early 1970s…

  9. justine Says:

    what is the best archie comics?

  10. Carrie Says:

    I love that panel where Nancy is black from the waist up but has Caucasian legs.

  11. Danny Says:

    *sigh*

    I miss Usenet.

  12. Johanna Says:

    Me too, but what brought that on?

  13. Hsifeng Says:

    Johanna Says:

    “I guess my point with Ethel should be that the publisher seems so interested in being nice and avoiding negativity that they’ve erased everything that made the characters distinctive — like Ethel being funny-looking and definitely not the cheerleader type.”

    That reminds me of Wigu Adventures, July 25, 2002 (isn’t it great when webcomics have searchable text? :) ):

    “Are you telling me that cheerleaders aren’t popular?”

    “Well, like… we’re more popular than those kids who raise ostriches. Maybe like thirty years ago, cheerleaders were popular… nowadays, only total dorks would be so openly enthusiastic about school spirit…”

  14. Hsifeng Says:

    Thanks for fixing my broken HTML! :)

  15. Archie Issues Reprinting Stories — Another Business Choice to Cut Costs? » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] The second one, “Cheering Section”, is an unlabeled reprint. I knew this because I made fun of it four years ago. (The opening image is physically impossible.) I don’t know the original […]




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