I really don't know why Archie Comics rejected this homespun little comics script. It only went on for four issues, featured metaphysics and murder, and demolished a fundamental part of the Archie universe.
On the other hand, we worked (ahem) darned hard on this thing, and consider it one of the finest stories that either of us have ever been involved with. So, needless to say, we'd like to share. And since Archie Comics would certainly sue us if we distributed it as anything but fanfic, you get it for free. (Yeah, we know you're all broken up about that.)
Legal whatevers: this story is fan-made, fan-distributed, and fan-read, and is not permitted to be sold in any way. In addition, the story is written with satiric intent. Archie, Betty, and all related trademarks belong solely to Archie Comics Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.
A QUICK CRASH COURSE IN ARCHIE COMICS
Most people know the basic five: Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead, Reggie. If you really need a refresher course, Archie Comics has helpfully provided one at http://archiecomics.com/archie/allabout.html.
Secondary characters include (deep breath):
„h Cheryl Blossom, who's a lot like Veronica squared, more beautiful and more spoiled. (Note: some writers have begun to soften Cheryl in the last couple of years¡K a trend we disapprove of strongly!)
„h Jason Blossom, Cheryl's equally spoiled brother (with an interest in Betty)
„h Moose, the dumb jock
„h Midge, his girlfriend (with a side interest in Reggie)
„h Dilton, a scrawny egghead inventor (and Moose's best friend)
„h Sabrina, the teenage witch (and her aunts, Zelma and Helga)
„h Svenson, the janitor
„h Chuck, an athlete and comics artist, and his pert girlfriend, Nancy
And then there are the bit players, whom we included because frankly, we're obsessed:
„h Miss Grundy, a firecracker of an English teacher
„h Mr. Weatherbee, the principal
„h Big Ethel, a sweet, if hideous, girl with a doomed crush on Jughead
„h Trula Twyst, the only girl to ever match wits with Jughead and win „h Bingo Wilkins (a very Archie-like character), his weightlifter girlfriend, Samantha, his dog, Rebel, and his Reggie-like nemesis, Tough Teddy
„h Josie and the Pussycats (Valerie and Melody) and their entourage, Alex, Alexandra, and Alan http://archiecomics.com/josie/allabout.html), and Josie's sarcastic buddy, Pepper
„h Jughead's dog, Hot Dog
„h The Mighty Crusaders: A bunch of almost interchangeable superheroes¡K
We didn't have room for Miss Beasly, Professor Flutensnoot, Leroy, Katy Keene, or Sonic the Hedgehog.
HOW TO READ THIS COMICS SCRIPT
The panel descriptions are numbered, one to a panel, and the dialogue for each panel comes underneath it. When dialogue is in double parentheses, it's a thought balloon.
1. Costello is looking more and more frustrated as he cross-examines Abbott.
Costello: Who's playing first?
Abbott: That's right.
Costello: When you pay off the first baseman every month, who gets the money?
Abbott: Every dollar of it.
2. Costello looks right at us, the readers. Abbott prompts him.
Costello: ((I got this funny feeling that I'm being watched.))
Abbott: It's your line.
Got it? No? Too bad! We're starting¡K
BOOK ONE: "LIVING YOUNG"
PART ONE: "BETTY VS. THE WORLD"
1. Betty walks out of her front yard, through her hip-height picket fence, and onto the sidewalk, sun streaming into her hair, happy as a clam. The architecture looks like Suburban Utopia, all of it beautiful, simple one-family dwellings. But it¡¦s nothing like "Pleasantville." Oh no. This is totally different. Betty wears grungy work clothes.
Betty: ((I heard everything Dad wanted to say at breakfast. "It¡¦s a beautiful day, Betty. Why you going to waste it working for free?"))
2. Betty surveys the world around her and finds that it is good. We view Riverdale from behind her, looking almost directly into the sun, but we don¡¦t go blind, because this is Archie Comics.
Betty: ((He doesn¡¦t understand. Helping out old Mr. Svenson makes me feel good.)) Betty: ((I¡¦m selfish.))
3. Close up on Betty as she marches on, completely contented with herself.
Betty: ((It is a beautiful day...))
Betty: ((...and nothing¡¦s going to spoil it for me.))
1. As Betty walks up, she sees Veronica thrusting money into Reggie¡¦s face. Reggie smugly refuses.
Veronica: One hundred!
Veronica: Two hundred!
Veronica: Will you take a check?
2. Betty continues to watch as Reggie looks nastier, and Veronica increasingly desperate.
Reggie: Youuu said, "What kind of hairstylist hack gives a special certificate for a free appointment?"
Veronica: But¡V that was before I knew it was Chaz Charleston!
Betty: ((Should I step in?))
3. Veronica¡¦s expression shifts to a calculating smile.
Veronica: Besides, Reggie... it¡¦s not like you need any old "stylist to the stars." You¡¦re perfect the way you are.
4. Betty walks off as Reggie makes a feeble attempt to resist Veronica¡¦s flattery.
Reggie: Okay¡V point, but¡V
Veronica: And if you used styling mousse on those roguish locks... the girls couldn¡¦t run their fingers through them... like this.
5. Betty walking, still smiling, though her hands are in her pockets and her eyes seem a bit sadder.
Betty: ((Sigh... that¡¦s Ronnie. Wish I could love her as well as she loves herself.))
Off-panel voice 1: Hold still, loverboy!
Off-panel voice 2: No! Eeyech!
6. Betty is now downright shocked as Cheryl wrestles onto Jughead and stamps him with the kind of stamp they use for library books.
Cheryl: No male-- I wouldn¡¦t call you man-- no male says he¡¦d rather kiss a glacier than me--
1. Betty tears Cheryl off Juggie. (Sorry, catfight fans, one panel will have to satisfy you-- for now.)
Betty: Don¡¦t you understand the word "no?"
2. Betty stares Cheryl down, Betty furious, Cheryl smug.
Cheryl: Why, Betty... why are you slumming in Peasantville? Oh, that¡¦s right... you live here.
Betty: Cheryl, you¡¦re the ugliest person I¡¦ve ever met. What did Juggie do to you?
3. Cheryl leaves, admiring her handiwork from over her shoulder. Jughead finally realizes he¡¦s covered in lip-prints. His eyes become tiny pinpricks. Archie is running in fast from the other direction, but he's looking at Betty, not Jughead. In the middle of it all, Betty whirls.
Cheryl: This worm keeps lying about his attraction to me. But now everyone will see the truth for themselves.
Archie: Betty! Betty, I¡¦m sorry!
4. Jughead hides behind Betty, but peeks over her as Archie comes up to her. Archie looks apologetic.
Archie: I... I can¡¦t take you to the movies after the gym like we planned
Betty: Oh, that¡¦s o¡V
5. Our point of view is behind Betty¡¦s shoulder for this panel, so we get a view of Archie¡¦s sheepish face and Jughead, frantically looking for an exit. But we don¡¦t see Betty¡¦s face.
Archie: I... um... Ronnie got me this hair appointment this afternoon... and you know how Ronnie gives you a present that she wants you to have for her sake...?
1. Betty marches off, shoulders square, chin out, and eyes closed, exposing Jughead to Archie¡¦s view.
Jughead: BETTY NO!
Betty: Fine. Go ahead.
Betty: I¡¦m not mad.
2. Archie¡¦s head swivels between the departing Betty and the manic Jughead, who¡¦s still protesting wildly.
Archie: Well... um... good...
Jughead: I DIDN¡¦T DO IT!
3. Betty walks away, completely dejected, with big gray clouds over her.
Betty: ((When? When will I learn?))
Betty: ((Veronica wants him.))
Betty: ((Veronica gets what she wants.))
Betty: ((So Veronica gets him.))
4. Close up on Betty¡¦s depressed face. Her thought balloons are now gray, sort of merging with the clouds.
Betty: ((When...)) ((will...)) ((I...)) ((learn?))
5. Betty BANGs open the door to the gymnasium, where Svenson is mopping. He greets her enthusiastically.
Svenson: Betty! Come in! I¡¦m yoost cleanin¡¦ avay der sveat of champions!
Betty: Mr. Svenson. Good to see you.
Betty: ((You¡¦re the only man who keeps all his dates with me.))
6. Svenson points to the far wall. Betty, her hands in her pockets, doesn¡¦t have much enthusiasm left.
Svenson: Yoost get a few more towels from der ladies¡¦ room. Betty: Sure. Betty: ((If I¡¦m going to be an old maid, why not start wiping floors now?))
1. Betty pushes open the door to the "maintenance" room beside the restrooms.
Caption: Most accidents occur while we¡¦re too preoccupied to notice which door we¡¦re going through.
2. As she comes inside, she trips over a chair and falls flat on her face.
Caption: But the way Betty¡¦s feeling right now, she¡¦d probably rather we didn¡¦t point that out. So forget it.
3. Betty yells at the ceiling, oblivious to what she¡¦s landed right in front of...
Betty: Next time I say, "It¡¦s a beautiful day, nothing¡¦s going to ruin it," you don¡¦t have to WORK to prove me wrong! Okay? Oka--
4. And then she sees it. It¡¦s an Archie comic, a "Betty and Veronica," featuring Betty and Ron in a home economics class. Betty has made a Mary-Tyler-Moore-style dress out of plaid fabric, and Veronica is showing off a bikini made from a few of Betty¡¦s scraps. (Yes, this is an actual Dan DeCarlo cover.)
Betty: What? But-- but that-- that¡¦s--
5. Betty pages through the first story, looking puzzled.
6. Betty keeps paging through the second, looking even more puzzled but also blushing slightly.
7. On the third, Betty covers her mouth slightly, stifling a giggle.
1. Betty¡¦s face in profile, before a swimming collection of Archie panels that show Veronica getting the better of her again and again.
Betty: ((Who knows me this well? And why would they draw these¡K and then hide them in Svenson¡¦s office?))
2. Betty sneaks out the maintenance door, holding the comic like a rolled-up newspaper. She glances nervously behind her.
Archie (off-panel): ...thanks for letting her go today, Mr. Svenson.
Svenson (off-panel): She¡¦s goot girl. Deserves rest. Deserves play.
3. As Betty hurries around a corner, Archie and Svenson approach from the other end of the hall, not quite in time to see Betty leave.
Archie: Jug and I had a little... misunderstanding... after Betty left... and after I fished him out of the river, he asked me why I¡¦d gotten so jealous over her...
4. Svenson and Archie open the ladies¡¦ room door to see no Betty. But Svenson isn¡¦t looking at the ladies¡¦ room... he¡¦s looking at the maintenance room, door still ajar.
Archie: And when I didn¡¦t have an answer, I thought¡V
Svenson: Whoop! Gone!
5. Archie looks typically worried, but not as worried as Svenson.
Archie: That¡¦s not like her. I hope she¡¦s okay.
Svenson (whispering): I hope ve¡¦re all okay.
Svenson (whispering): Er...
Svenson (whispering): "De end."
PART TWO: "MYSTERY DATE"
1. Betty lies supine on her simple single bed, reading Archie comics. Her hair pours back onto the bed in all directions. On a nearby table, we see a half-finished dress: Betty¡¦s latest sewing project. It¡¦s plaid, wraparound, and would leave a lot of Betty¡¦s figure to the imagination. A "Josie and the Pussycats" poster lines one wall. She hasn¡¦t changed clothes since Part One.
Betty: ((Whoever wrote these¡K they seem to like me better than anyone else. I know it sounds egotistical¡K but I look at them and feel¡K special.))
2. Betty reading a panel of "Betty." The effect is weird¡V Betty¡¦s face looks huge compared to the people in the panel, and her thumb is on Veronica¡¦s shirt. (We have this panel on file: it shows Archie walking off with Veronica while Betty opens her mouth in shock. "Heck no," Archie is saying. "I wouldn¡¦t be caught dead with that loony! Let¡¦s go, Veronica.")
Betty: ((If I drew that, I¡¦d be a little bit fairer to Archie¡K I mean, he¡¦s a lot more sensitive than that¡K))
Betty: (Some of the time.))
Betty: ((Most of the time.))
3. Betty has put the comic book on her chest and is looking out over it, in profile.
Betty: ((What kind of guy likes a girl enough to draw pages and pages of her¡K but never even asks her out to the movies?))
1. Flashback panel: Reggie flexes his bicep for Cheryl¡¦s benefit. Cheryl is far from impressed¡K but as Moose and Midge pass by, Midge looks over her shoulder at Reg.
Caption: "Not Reggie. He¡¦s too¡K outgoing. And Moose and Svenson don¡¦t have the talent."
2. Betty is sitting at her "study table," writing in a notebook by lamplight, wearing reading glasses.
Betty: ((Dilton does... maybe he¡¦s invented a comics-making computer¡K no, Dilton doesn¡¦t hide a successful experiment.))
3. We see the notebook paper she¡¦s writing on. She¡¦s written a list of names in nearly flawless cursive. Here they are:
All crossed-out names are crossed out in the notebook, too... and Betty¡¦s pencil is wavering over "Archie."
Betty: ((Archie can write, and he could draw¡K if he really applied himself¡K))
Betty: ((Sigh¡K get your head out of the clouds, girl¡K))
4. Flashback: Betty is out for the evening with Veronica and Midge at the Blossoms¡¦ restaurant. Jason is pouring Betty¡¦s drink and bending over to her a good deal closer than necessary as he does so, to all three girls¡¦ chagrin.
Caption: "This would have to be somebody I hadn¡¦t noticed liking me¡K though that does rule out Jason Blossom, thank goodness.
5. Flashback: Chuck bent over the drawing board, working on a large shot of some superheroic male torso (with a big, Roman "V" on its chest). Nancy stands behind him, making some wry comment.
Caption: "I¡¦d¡K rather not think of Chuck. I don¡¦t want to think he¡¦s looking at me while he¡¦s got Nancy. But the only other suspect is¡K"
6. Betty cracks up while her thought balloon shows a sketching Jughead and his thought balloon shows Betty against a backdrop of hearts.
Betty: AH HA HA HA HA HAAA!
1. Betty sinks onto the table, overcome with laughter, as her thought balloon imagines herself in a wedding dress, feeding a tuxedo-clad Jughead a hamburger while he feeds her some wedding cake. If there is any leftover space in this panel, fill it with laugh sound effects.
Betty: HEE HEE HA HA That¡¦s the stuhooHOO HOO HA HA HA!
2. Flashback: Jughead looking over his shoulder from Betty¡¦s perspective.
Jughead: I hate girls, okay? I hate ¡¦em! It makes my life simpler!
3. Betty¡¦s recovering herself, and wipes a tear of laughter from her eye.
Betty: ((Boy, I remember that day. He wouldn¡¦t even talk to anyone but me.))
4. Flashback: Pop Tate¡¦s, where Betty pushes food at a disconsolate Jughead.
Betty: But you¡¦re going to have a baby sister, and that makes it messy. Besides, you¡¦ve already broken that rule with me¡K haven¡¦t you?
5. Small panel: Betty turns slowly, almost afraid of her own thoughts.
Betty: ((I¡¦m not thinking seriously about this, am I?))
6. Flashback: Jughead actually picks at his fries.
Jughead: Veronica and Cheryl represent everything I hate about girls. You don¡¦t. Sometimes.
Betty: Oh, stop. I¡¦ll get all misty.
Jughead: Don¡¦t you dare!
7. We look over Betty¡¦s shoulder and see an Archie comic from a distance: 12 panels in two facing 2 X 3 grids. No lines are decipherable, only panel borders, and each panel is monochromatic.
Betty: ((It¡¦s stupid. It¡¦s nuts!))
Betty: ((But¡K I¡¦ve got to know for sure.))
1. Establishing shot. Jughead and Betty are in Bourgair¡¦s, an extremely formal restaurant that serves only burgers. Jughead, of course, has eaten heartily: he¡¦s on his third plate. They are being served by a Japanese waiter with a manner like Jeeves¡¦s. Both Jug and Betty are in formal wear, and Betty has elected to go strapless. (Looking back on this script, I think it¡¦s fair to say that never again in my life will I write so many tuxedos in such a short space.)
Waiter: For sir¡¦s fourth course, would sir like the zucchini burger? The vegetarian burger? The burger soup?
Jughead: Since (gnomm) she¡¦s paying (gulp) I¡¦ll go easy tonight (gnoff) and just get the burger chocolate mousse for dessert.
Waiter: And you, madame?
Betty: Water, thanks.
2. Jughead and Betty trade smiles, but Betty¡¦s smile is a little strained. Jughead wipes the edge of his mouth.
Jughead: Did you see how grateful the head waiter was when you brought me in here? I thought he was gonna kiss you!
Betty: Hahahaha¡K ha.
3. Betty steeples her fingers and grits her teeth, resolved to get down to it.
Betty: Jug¡K would you like to make a habit of this?
Jughead: What, eating?
Betty: No. You¡K and me.
Jughead: Now, what did Miss Grundy tell us about putting verbs in our sentences?
4. Now Betty is starting to get annoyed... but Jughead picks up on it, and waves his hand for peace.
Jughead: Okay, sorry. But I¡¦m a just-spit-it-out kind of guy. Talk to me.
5. Now suddenly on the spot again, Betty falters a bit, stirring her water with a toothpick. Alert readers will probably notice Svenson coming up behind her in a waiter¡¦s uniform. Yet he still holds his broom.
Betty: You¡¦ve told me you don¡¦t think of me as "girly." What¡K do you think of me?
1. The waiter puts another plate and glass in front of Jughead. The chocolate burger on it is held together by toothpicks, and the toothpicks have impaled cherries. Whipped cream tops off the bun. The drink is white and contains a straw. Jughead looks down at it while answering Betty. Betty smiles ruefully.
Jughead: I think you¡¦re about the best pal a guy could have.
Betty: Awww. You sound like Archie.
2. Jughead explains how he sees Betty, wolfing down the burger as he does so. Concealed from Jughead¡¦s view, but not from ours, Betty has the "Betty" comic under the table.
Jughead: Don¡¦t (chomp) sell that short. When guys (glump) like Archie (blorsh) get old enough to know something, (onch) they go for guys like you. (Brup.)
3. Svenson brings a hand down onto Betty¡¦s shoulder. She turns and gasps. Svenson looks deeply concerned (which he is).
Svenson: Dere you are!
Svenson: I had come get you. De boy, he needs you! B
etty: ¡KArchie? ¡KOmigosh¡K
4. Jughead has already risen from the table, his burger unfinished and forgotten. Svenson looks at him nervously.
Jughead: Is he hurt?
Jughead: Well, you can tell us on the way.
Svenson: No! De¡K I need to take yust Betty¡K
5. Svenson looks from Betty to Jughead, sweat beginning to run down his forehead. Betty looks puzzled, but not yet suspicious. Jughead just has time to glimpse what Betty is holding¡K
Betty: How did you get a waiter¡¦s uniform?
Jughead: That¡¦s not important, Betts. Arch is in...
6. Svenson swishes the broom through the air, and where he swishes, the panel goes solid white. Even Betty and Jughead, closer to the reader than Svenson, get partially whited out.
Jughead (this balloon is partially whited out too): HEY!
Svenson (this balloon is not): "ZE END!"
PART THREE: "THE JANITOR"
1. Betty and Svenson, still dressed as they were in Part Two, stand before an absolutely MASSIVE pair of oaken doors, about three times Svenson¡¦s height, with brass doorknobs about the level of his head. Even these doors are indoors, and neither Betty nor we have any idea what building we¡¦re in. Svenson is flabbergasted: he fully expected to have left Betty behind with that last swing of the brush.
Svenson: Vas ist los? Ach, you couldn¡¦t haff¡V
Svenson: I mean¡K
Svenson: Yumpin¡¦ yiminy! Vhere are ve?
Betty: Nice try.
2. Betty stands in a martial arts pose by the doorknob, which seems to have a cartoon replica of Archie¡¦s head in its molding.
Betty: I may not know where I am, how I got here, what¡¦s up with your accent, or what you did with the real Svenson¡K
Betty: But I know kidnapping when I see it.
3. Svenson points his finger in the air, angry.
Betty: I also know tae kwon do.
Svenson: Fine! You vant ze truth? You¡¦re not even real!
4. Small panel: The door begins to swing open...
Betty: Bite your tongue! I¡¦m all real! Nice girls don¡¦t get those operations!
Svenson: (Sigh) I see ze only vay I can tell you zis¡K
Svenson ushers Betty into a room of wonder and delight-- a complete library of Archie comics, with special issues on display, and including special memorabilia: the Jughead Ring Toss Game, the set of 120 trading cards, Burger King Happy Meals (Archie in red jalopy), the "Sugar, Sugar" record from the real-life Archies, and more.
Svenson: ¡Kis to show you.
Betty: my G¡K Gha¡K
For this entire page, Betty is paging through various Archie comics while Svenson goes on and on. Betty acts completely oblivious to Svenson, and Svenson acts completely oblivious to Betty¡¦s obliviousness.
1. Betty steps through the collection, eyes wide.
Betty: Jughead couldn¡¦t have drawn all these...
Svenson: For about sixty years now, you haff been a character in zese four-color comics...
2. Betty starts flipping through a "Betty and Veronica" from the early 70s.
Betty: Why is Ronnie wearing a miniskirt...?
Svenson: Ze writers haff tried to keep your life as "real" as possible, but ze readers¡K
3. Svenson looks at a wall composed of Archie #1 (the first appearance of Archie) and several "updates" and "homages" to that first cover from subsequent decades.
Betty: I wasn¡¦t born in 1973! How... how...
Svenson: ¡KZe readers like to see ze same zing over und over.
4. Betty looks closely at the Archie #1, closely enough to see the date.
Betty: 1942?? But... that¡¦s me! That¡¦s my face... that¡¦s how I stand...
Betty: Well, I don¡¦t say "hubba hubba¡K"
Svenson: So zey¡¦ve kept you sixteen for about fifty-nine years.
5. Betty leafs through last month¡¦s Archie Double Digest, whatever that happens to be.
Betty: Who¡¦s "Dan Parent?" Who¡¦s "Dan DeCarlo?" What¡¦s with all the "Dans?"
Svenson: It vasn¡¦t easy. Zey started by making a vorld vhere nothing changed...
6. Betty¡¦s picked up another one already. (We get the impression she¡¦s going through them faster and faster.) This one has Archie and friends still in their 1940s clothes with a 1953 publication date.
Betty: Ugh! What happened to Juggie¡¦s nose in this one?
Svenson: But ze readers complained zat you vere still vearing headscarves in ze 1950s.
1. Betty and Svenson are viewed at some distance, dwarfed by a foreground "Archie for President in ¡¦68" poster.
Betty: Wait a minute! This story has Archie joining the Foreign Legion!
Svenson: So zey brought me in. I am a janitor¡K I never lied about zat.
2. Betty pores feverishly over another yellowed volume. Svenson spreads his arms wide, going for that grandeur that Carl Sagan achieved so effortlessly with "Cosmos."
Betty: But in the next story¡K he¡¦s right back in Riverdale. What happened?
Svenson: But I¡¦m a janitor for ze entire Archie comics universe.
3. Betty points to a rendition of herself as "Super Teen." Basically, she¡¦s wearing a one-piece outfit that¡¦s a leotard on top and a miniskirt on bottom, plus boots and cape. For reference, see Jeff Rovin¡¦s Encyclopedia of Superheroes.
Betty: When was this fashionable?
Svenson: Ve let a few changes slip through ze cracks, so zat you can be using e-mail instead of telegrams.
4. Betty squats on the floor, a small pile of comics on either side of her.
Betty: The sixties weren¡¦t like this! Dad¡¦s told me stories...
Svenson: But if any story changes ze wrong zings, I come in, say "Ze End¡K" und sveep it clean.
5. Betty¡¦s finger on a story from the 1940s where she makes a very catty remark. (If this seems vague, it¡¦s because nearly all the stories from the 1940s have Betty making some very catty remark.)
Betty: Gosh, these 1940s stories sure have me acting... like a jerk.
Svenson: Und no vun even remembers!¡K
6. Close on Betty, who¡¦s putting quite a strain on her brain.
Betty: No... that¡¦s not the word for it... it¡¦s like my name.. starts with "B," ends with "Y"... Why can¡¦t I think of the word?
Svenson: ...Until now. Until you.
1. Svenson looks down at Betty, who¡¦s immersed in her reading and sitting on her own legs.
Svenson: I¡¦m guessing it¡¦s because you saw zat Archie comic... it¡¦s ze first step to full self-avareness.
2. Outside the doors, his back against the wall, Jughead listens quietly.
Svenson: That¡¦s vhy I had to get it back before Jughead saw it... uzzervise, our problem vould be tvice as bad. But it¡¦s bad enuff.
3. Svenson¡¦s shadow begins to fall over Betty, who looks neither at him nor at her comic but out into space, as some of the things he¡¦s been saying finally hit her.
Svenson: It¡¦s not like I could sveep you avay. Vell, I could, but I¡¦d get fired. You¡¦re our most popular character!
4. More of Svenson¡¦s shadow falls over Betty as she finally looks up at him.
Betty: What... what have you... been saying?
Svenson: Luckily, I zought of a solution.
5. Svenson raises his broom high, knocking it into one shelf full of comics.
Svenson: In ze real universe, a crack on ze head leads to brain damage. But in ze Archie universe, it just causes amnesia...
6. In the background, we see Jughead running toward the scene¡K too late. Svenson¡¦s broom cleaves reality once again, even as he brings it down on Betty¡¦s noggin, knocking her unconscious.
Svenson: ZE END!
PART FOUR: "THE QUICK FIX-UP"
1. Int. Betty¡¦s bedroom -- morning. She wakes with a start, jumping forward in bed. She¡¦s wearing flannel pajamas. Her room is like it was when we saw it before.
2. Betty rests her head on her knees and her hands on her head.
Betty: (gasp) (gasp) (gasp)
Betty: ((What a weird dream... and now I¡¦ve got a killer headache.))
3. Close-up on Betty, still leaning her head forward. She¡¦s no longer panicked, but still rattled.
Betty: ((A world with no past and no future. Sounds like one of Dilton¡¦s science-fiction books... and a darned spooky one, too.))
This entire page is composed of flashback and flashforward panels. Just so you know.
1. Archie, Betty, Ronnie, Juggie, and Reggie sit around a table at Pop Tate¡¦s, talking and laughing and having a fine old time.
Caption: "I mean, it¡¦s not like I don¡¦t enjoy things the way they are. I know how to have fun.
2. Betty and Midge as cheerleaders, yelling encouragement to Moose and Archie as they charge down the field. Betty jumps higher than Midge, but Moose (no surprise) is charging a lot faster than Archie.
Caption: "Veronica might say some of my favorite things are ¡¥degrading,¡¦ but I enjoy them, and that¡¦s what¡¦s important.
3. Li¡¦l Archie, Li¡¦l Betty, and Li¡¦l Jughead building a fort. Actually, Li¡¦l Archie and Li¡¦l Betty are doing most of the building, while Li¡¦l Jughead stockades it with candy bars.
Caption: "But it¡¦s the past that ties me to my friends. We¡¦ve shared so many moments¡K
4. A scene from last year: Betty comforts a crying Big Ethel.
Caption: "Good and bad moments¡K I know I can count on the guys, and I know they count on me¡K
5. Scenes from a wedding: Archie and Betty marching down the aisle. We can clearly see that the two of them are older, though they still make quite the handsome couple. Archie¡¦s in an extremely formal and conservative tuxedo, and Betty¡¦s dress is very modest and traditional.
Caption: "And because of that, I can share my future with them¡K my future, my dreams¡K
6. Betty looks over to her bridesmaids. In the background are Ethel, Polly Cooper, and Midge... and in the midground is Veronica, maid of honor, who has added some glitter to her traditional bridesmaid¡¦s dress. But the two regard each other with none of the old rivalry, only sisterly love. (Once again, draw the characters as young adults.)
Caption: "¡Kand my greatest hope."
Betty (whispering): Veronica¡VI hope you¡V
Veronica (whispering): I know. And I do.
1. Small panel: Betty looks serene as she contemplates this.
2. This "thought balloon" panel shows Svenson erasing the last page¡¦s last panel.
3. Small panel: Betty looks nonplussed as she contemplates this.
4. Betty¡¦s thought balloon contains Svenson, and Betty glares at it behind her.
Betty: ((Maybe that dream meant something. I don¡¦t usually remember my dreams...))
Svenson: No vun even remembers!
5. Betty uses a scissors to cut at the hem of her sewing project.
Betty: ((Maybe it¡¦s time I made a few changes.))
6. Four people in this establishing shot at Pop Tate¡¦s. Moose is heading for the door, but looking over his shoulder at Midge. She waves at him and gives him her sweetest smile. Pop Tate appears to have all his attention focused on polishing glasses. In the background comes Betty, who has not only cut her plaid dress to (gasp!) just above the ankles, but has given herself a serious "curl makeover." She looks bold, confident.
Midge: I¡¦ll leave a message. Check your answering machine.
Moose: D¡¦okay, Midge, but whut if it answers me an I don¡¦ know the question?
Midge: You¡¦ll figure it out, sweetie... I know you can!
Pop Tate: ((No, she doesn¡¦t.))
Betty: ((And why should all my changes be selfish ones?))
1. Betty, seen from behind, steps up to Midge. Midge has a faraway, depressed look in her eyes.
Midge: Um¡K hey. Have we met?
Betty: Hi, Midge.
2. All at once Midge recognizes Betty. A new hairstyle really is a novel event in Riverdale. Betty inspects one of her own curls as if to say, "What, this old mop?"
Midge: Betty! You¡VYou¡VYou changed your hair!
Betty: Yeah, well¡K sometimes you¡¦ve got to ride the ragged edge of danger.
3. Small panel with a bluish, amorphous shape. Midge¡¦s faraway look is back, worse than before, and little cartoon bubbles of depression settle around her head.
Midge: (Sigh)¡K yeah¡K
4. Betty wears a knowing, rueful smile, and Midge turns to her accusatorily.
Betty: I know that look.
Midge: I was not thinking about Reggie!
Betty: Oh. Well¡K good.
5. As Midge goes on, Betty steeples her fingers, rests her head on them, and listens with what appears to be perfect sincerity. In the background, Pop Tate rolls his eyes.
Midge: Reggie is wild and dangerous!
Midge: And I¡¦m very lucky to have Moose to protect me from those¡K those dangerous things!
Betty: Oh yeah.
6. Close on Reggie, who looks incredulous.
Reggie: She said she wanted to go out with me?
7. Betty and Reggie are walking to class. Betty holds her books in front of her chest, Reggie under his arm.
Betty: ¡KReggie, there¡¦s no way I can answer that without explaining women to you¡K and that could take weeks. But she wants to go out with you.
Reggie: What about Moose?
1. During school now: Moose and Betty are sitting in adjacent desks in Ms. Grundy¡¦s class.
Moose: D¡¦uh, thanks for volunteerin¡¦ to tutor me, Betty. But whut¡¦ll Midge think?
Betty: I¡¦m sure you¡¦ll explain it to her.
2. After school now: Betty holds an unfolded map in front of her for Reggie¡¦s benefit.
Betty: We can¡¦t have anybody seeing you who might tell Moose. I picked out this restaurant on the far side of Pembrooke, way past Club Blossom.
3. Betty¡¦s stern look completely fails to intimidate Reggie, whose leer is more evil than Dirk Dastardly¡¦s.
Betty: And I don¡¦t have to tell you, Reginald J. Mantle, be a gentleman.
Reggie: You¡¦re right, Betts. You don¡¦t have to tell me.
4. In Midge¡¦s house now. Betty holds up the same map for Midge¡¦s benefit. Now it¡¦s Betty who has the sly look. Midge is smiling and cringing at the same time¡K it¡¦s hard to tell whether she¡¦s excited or terrified.
Betty: You¡¦ll drive all the way out¡K where no one can see¡K no one can hear¡K
Midge: Ooo¡K but what if¡K he tries something?
Betty: Just mace him.
5. Midge¡¦s eyes fall on one of her prized possessions: a childlike crayon drawing of her, titled "Midj" and signed "By Moose."
Midge: This feels¡K wrong, Betty.
Betty: What¡¦s wrong is, you keep seeing Moose when you¡¦re not sure you prefer him to Reggie. You need to make sure.
6. Betty smiles as if nothing in the world is wrong. Meanwhile, her thought balloon shows a smug Svenson reveling in his own power, and herself screeching into his face.
Betty (outside thought balloon): And have some fun! Make this a night to remember!
Svenson: No vun even remembers!¡K
Betty (inside thought balloon, with spiked speech balloon): SHUT UP!
1. Midge and Reggie, riding in Reggie¡¦s sports car. Midge has had a very nice time and is feeling mellow. Reggie, otherwise known as "Mr. Slick," is looking Midge up and down when he really should be watching the road.
Caption: Five miles from Riverdale...
Reggie: Nice dinner.
Reggie: Nice movie.
Reggie: Nice night.
Reggie: Nice lips.
2. Bird¡¦s-eye view as the car stalls out.
Midge: Mm¡K hm?
SFX: KLUNK NGHHH NGHHH NGHHH
Reggie: Oh, for¡K We¡¦re out of gas!
Midge: Oh, come on! What do you think this is, the fifties?
3. Midge folds her arms and crosses her legs, assuming the "Ice Princess Position."
Midge: If you were going to take advantage of me...
Midge: Um... Not that I approve of that...
Midge: You could at least do it with that Reggie Mantle Style!
Reggie: No! We are out of gas! Betty and her maps¡K
4. Midge¡¦s expression is softening, very quickly. In fact, she almost looks ready for a kiss. As Reggie looks at her and hesitates, two manifestations of his conscience appear on his shoulders: a tiny devil-Reggie on his left¡K and a tiny devil-Reggie on his right.
Midge: Oh. Well... That¡¦s a little more original...
Devil Reggie (left): Wimp! What¡¦s the matter, milksop? Don¡¦t you like her?
Reggie: ((But¡K I like her too much to¡K))
Devil Reggie (right): Hey! She wants you! Get with it!
5. Small panel: Reggie covers his face and practically runs out the door, right into the path of a "classic" VW Bug.
Reggie: Um I better go walk to a filling station¡K
6. Moose and Betty are reading "Eros and Psyche" together as the answering machine flashes red. Moose is thrilled at having figured something out. Betty is not thrilled. She can already guess the evening did not go as planned.
Machine: ...after the beep.
Moose: So that¡¦s whut an answerin¡¦ machine does!
Machine: Moose, this is Midge. Pick up the phone.
7. Moose clenches the phone to his ear. Betty buries her face in her hand.
Moose: He did whut? I¡¦ll put that guy in a body cast!
Machine: He¡¦s already in a body cast, Moose.
Moose: That guy ruins everything!
Caption: The End
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