by Unknown on Thursday, October 07, 2010

Mystery #25: Kristy and the Middle School Vandal

Love the mystery (it stars eighth grade badass Cary Retlin, who refers to the babysitters as the "BSCPD"*), am scared and confused about the cover.
Things that are wrong with this cover:
1. Kristy! What happened to your adorable face? Who are you?
2. Cary Retlin's giant teal t-shirt.
3. Pink. sleeveless. mock. turtleneck.
4. Jessi's proportions. Also her face.
5. Purple lockers?
6. Mary Anne's orthopedic sandals.
7. No tagline. Apparently middle school vandalism is such a serious subject that the editors couldn't bear to take away from the power of the illustration.

I'm sure there's more here, but if I stare at this thing any longer my brain might melt. It's like looking at the sun, or a bad trip, or staring at the sun during a bad trip. Powerful stuff, man.

"On Claudia, with the long black hair, dark eyes, and creamy skin, every look is a great one. [Preach it, girl.] Today she was wearing pink jellies, white ankle socks with pink hearts around the edges, and majorly baggy white overalls, cut off just below the knee, over a tie-dyed pink, green, and yellow T-shirt with the sleeves rolled up. She had a ring on every finger and one on each thumb, including a heart-shaped mood ring, a ring with a little bell on it, a ring that looked like a cat winding around her finger [see also: silver leopard], a baby ring with her birthstone in it, and a ring she'd made herself out of clay and beads. Her hair was pulled back into three braids, which were tied together at the bottom with a pink and green ribbon. She had on her peace symbol earrings, too, and a button that said 'Jerry Garcia Lives' in black script against a tie-dyed background that matched her T-shirt. She'd made the button herself in art class."

This look reads very Christeric (okay, maybe not the ankle socks or the braids) and I love it. I had to dig in her archives until I found this outfit, which I at one point had bookmarked as "CLAUDIA WOULD". I mean, right?

"One of Stacey's best colors is black - a New York City thing, I guess - and today she was wearing black leggings, side-zippered flat black ankle boots with pointed toes, a silver-threaded T-shirt dress that stopped at mid-thigh, and heart earrings. Her fluffy blonde hair was pulled back with a twisted black and silver headband."

Well, I guess I can't complain too much about this.
So I'll move on.

"Cary was wearing my watch when I saw him at school the next morning - my watch and his watch, both on the same arm. It was a look Claudia might sport, I thought wryly."

Kristy underestimates herself, I think. She's got an eye for this sort of thing!

What Not To Wear, Stacey and Claudia Edition:
"Stacey wrinkled her nose. 'I don't know. But someone should tell him grunge is old news. Look at those jeans.'

'I like the jeans,' said Claudia. 'But the shirt has got to go - or at least, go with something else.'"


* Way funnier than any joke Abby's ever made. Sorry girl.


Yeah, Stacey's outfit (::gasp!::) actually doesn't seem that bad.

Can I pretty please have a favor, though? For such fug-awesome covers could you make a click-through to a larger version of the image? That would rock my world.

by Kate on 1:28 PM. #

I always kind of thought Cary Retlin was a hottie when I was reading this. I always sort of wanted Kristy to dump Bart and get together with him. I'm telling you, there was chemistry with those two...

by fantasylover12001 on 2:19 PM. #

I know I'm going to feel silly when I get the answer, but what does BSCPD stand for?

by danajeri on 4:13 PM. #

I love how the book says GRUNGE is over, but Claudia's wearing JELLIES? Totally different decades.

by Cari on 4:46 PM. #

This comment has been removed by the author.

by erin on 4:51 PM. #

What is it with Claudia and the 3 braids? She does that a LOT.

Not that there's anything wrong with it, it just seems an interesting look to keep repeating...

by Erin on 5:14 PM. #

I love Claud's outfit. I think I need heart socks now.

I also had no idea Claud was a Jerry Garcia fan. I wonder what music she'd be into now?

by Sewing Pixie on 6:17 PM. #

No wonder Mary Anne needs the orthopedic sandals - she looks like she has club feet. They definitely had the B squad of illustrators on this one.

by Shelley on 7:24 PM. #

I had no idea there were 25 mysteries...I definitely didn't get this far!

Since when is Claudia a Grateful Dead fan?

People wore socks with jellies?

Totally agree with above comment that they had the B-squad of illustrators here!

by Anne-Marie on 8:26 PM. #

LOL @ the orthopedic sandals. And that is a friggen enormous blue shirt. Like a Jenny Craig "after" shot. See? Look how baggy it is?

by winstonegbert on 6:28 AM. #

I'm afraid my high school had purple lockers. Our colours were purple and gold. It was truly eye-searing.

by The Apprentice on 7:07 PM. #

You know, I never noticed that the lockers were purple. Kristy looks like she got a huge whiff of horse manure. And those outfits! Clash city! Cary kinda looks like a gangsta wannabe. Hey, maybe he could take Logan's place in the Badd Boyz?

by SweetSapphire83 on 7:52 PM. #

Uh Mary Anne? Purple, yellow, and orange do not go together, especially when they're ugly shades of those colors...

by The_Mistletoe289 on 9:06 PM. #

Just wanted to say that your blog completely rocks my world. When I bought the entire babysitter's club collection off craigslist and picked it up in a mall parking lot at the age of 26, people thought I was crazy. Glad to see there are others out there like me.
PS. A Claudia doll came with the books, did I win the lottery or something?

by Cook like Chelle on 12:07 PM. #

O Boy, I've got a lot of short-overalls to illustrate, don't I >.<?

by E N T R O P I F I C U S on 8:45 PM. #

I am horrified by Jessi's shoes. And I don't think that prank is all that bad...

by Carolynne Keenan on 11:15 AM. #

@fantasylover12001 Agreed! As a tween I was convinced if I lived in Sbrook (and was a member of the BSC, natch) Cary would be my BF. Love the bad boys... (or as bad as it gets in Stoneybrook CT)

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