…Durn Near KILLED ‘EM!

Link to today’s strip.

Again, it sure seems to me that someone who has come to “check out” Bull would be listening to Bull talk about his, um, er *cough* “successes” rather than go on and on and on and on about some play.  It makes me think that this DUI guy stepped on a few too many toes, so they sent him to Westview to see what his future could look like if he doesn’t start shaping up.

Look at Dolt’s expression in panel two, and contrast it with his expression in panel two of Tuesday’s strip.  The sunny helpful face has been replaced by one creased with worry.   The penny is beginning to drop.   You know, those guys who said, “Good luck, and don’t come back!” weren’t really smiling.

Maybe I can grab one of these tackling dummies and bring it back to DUI, and say, Guys, meet Bull Bushka! and everyone will laugh and I’ll be okay.  He glances between the two.  The tackling dummy certainly is smarter and has a better personality…

I have to say, for a strip that specializes in being unbelievably boring, Tom Batiuk has really outdone himself this week…and we’re not over yet, not for the week and I’m sure not for the arc.    After all, nothing resembling a “point” has reared its ugly head.  All of which I’m sure will lead to Bull being tempted to go to the big city, but deciding to stay in Westview because of a poorly-worded platitude he smirks out to someone.  Les, probably.

Oh…I forgot today’s word-play.  How could I have forgotten that?  It’s…certainly there, isn’t it.  It reminds me of a dumb joke whose punchline makes up today’s title.  Other than that, it’s another Crankshaft reject.

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PUNishment Park

Link to today’s strip.

According to panel two, it sure looks like Dolt McMoron has crapped his pants magnificently.  I suspect he is either reacting badly to the horror he is witnessing on the field (what Bull calls “athletics”) or he’s making a sincere attempt to blend in on his Westview visit.  I don’t know why he’s going on and on about elementary coaching…I thought he was the one interested in Bull’s abilities, but I guess no one in this strip really knows how to yield the floor once they get on a roll.

What I’m more concerned about is the pun used here.  I’m not a user of puns by nature, but isn’t this cheating?  I looked at that pun for a while and it didn’t click, because I was going, “Payton Mann?  Payton Manners?” before I remembered that his actual name was Payton Manning.

So, punsters…can you do that?  Base a pun on only half a name?  I mean, it seems to me that it would be okay if Les was talking about German literature and he said, “There are a lot of Thomas Mannerisms,” or, conversely, if Dopey Pete said 80’s TV had a lot of “Michael Mannerisms.”   Both of those name-puns look “okay” to me, as puns, because both of those use the full names.   Terrible as they are, they sound “legit” (as much as any pun can).

But based on today’s terrible, terrible offering, it sure sounds like if I wanted to make a joke about sports on the Moon, and I said the number one event was “Neil Armwrestling,” that that’s just fine (as a pun, remember).  Or say there’s a drawing of Funky tossing spices onto a pizza and saying “I call this my Barack Oregano.”   Both of those sound like cheating to me.

So, I really feel there should be a penalty flag here.  Of course, stepping back a bit from the pun edge, the content of this strip is so nothing that a penalty seems almost cruel, like getting a speeding ticket for going 31 in a 30 mile zone.   (Or, perhaps better, going 29 in a 30 mile zone.)

In other words, another desperate attempt by yours truly to find something to say about this strip, four days into this dull arc, falls flat.  Time to hand it over to the pros.  Have at it, snarkers!

 

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Like Grandfather, Like Grandson

Link to today’s strip.

Well, one mystery has been solved.  Dolt McMoron’s clearly a relative of Crankshaft.  A grandson, no doubt, and he’s inherited his granddad’s inability to use language.   I wonder if he’ll knock over some mailboxes in his SUV when he leaves?  Or kill people?  That could be entertaining so the outlook is not sunny for the Westview nine this day.

As for the actual content of this strip, for the most part I look at this and when I look in the mirror I see Bull’s expression in panel two papered over my own, like some kind of horrible vampire-mask.  That kind of dull-witted non-interest depicted there, and felt here, sure makes it hard to wake up.  I mean, write.  But, credit where it’s due, that knob in panel two is really well drawn.  Honestly–it’s realistic enough to be recognizable, but also nicely abstract.   I think today’s offering would have been way better if it was just drawing after drawing of that blackboard knob…because the rest of it….zzz

…zzzzzzzz *SNAH!!* I”M AWAKE!

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One Letter Away From “Dull”

 

Link to today’s strip.

My memory’s not what it used to be, but I seem to recall a comic strip called “Specks” which was just that–two specks holding a conversation ending in a punchline.  (The more I try to remember this strip, the more certain I get that the author was Vera Alldid.  Probably not, though…)

Anyway, Tom Batiuk sure could have used the “Specks” artist on today’s episode.  Look at those giant toilet-clogs of verbiage.   You don’t need drawings at all, and Batiuk’s attempts to provide them aren’t helping.  Notice that in all that overflow, Dolt McMoron still hasn’t been given a name.  Other than the one I gave him yesterday, that is.

I’m sure Bull’s post-punchline bit, it’s probably supposed to make us curious…is Bull serious?  Is he being sarcastic?   Well, folks, I’m betting Bull is stupid, and since this is Westview and Funky Winkerbean, the betting is good that the simplest, dullest explanation is the actual fact.

As for that punchline, it’s scary to imagine the kind of person who would laugh at that.  It’s even scarier to imagine that that person has escaped from the asylum, and might be prowling the streets of your town right now.

 

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D.U.H.H.

Link to today’s strip.

Greetings, folks, BChasm back in the slammer.    You might notice there’s actually a teeny, tiny bit of humor in today’s episode.   (Oh, our visiting character isn’t named in the strip, so I’m going to call him Dolt McMoron just for reference.)

Well, Dolt’s school is called “Diversity University Ironton,” which has got to be a hard way to introduce yourself.  But notice on his shirt!  Here’s the teeny, tiny humor!  Get ready…see, the initials of his awkward institution spell out “D.U.I.”!  As in “Driving under the influence.”  Which is, as well all know, Bull’s shtick–he’s always drinking, carousing, partying without bounds, even during school hours–all while driving.  His antics disrupt Les’ class (remember those 85 pizzas?  Ha!), and his flatulence has been known to clear out the faculty lounge for a day-and-a-half!  Ha ha ha.

Wait a minute.  Actually, come to think of it, that isn’t Bull’s shtick.  Bull’s shtick is to yell at his players from the sidelines in a futile attempt to make them win a game.   (Heck, even with that magic-arm guy from last year–Jakov or whatever his name was–the team only managed to lose slightly better.)

But apparently, Ironton wants people like Bull.  The whole idea that Bull has no responsibility for his team’s losses is par for the course in the Funkyverse.  It’s those damned kids.  It’s always those damned kids. 

(By the way, how hard could it be to come up with a better name if you want to use the DUI acronym?  Dacron University of Indiana.  That took three seconds.)

 

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Nothing Works Out If You Don’t Let It

Link To Today’s Strip

Good ol’ Cayla, always the affable doormat. “Oh, you’re spending the entire summer living large in an all-expenses paid five star Hollywood hotel suite and dining with movie stars? And I’m not invited? OK, whatevs, I’ll keep some lemonade on ice for you honey!”. Married folks everywhere are reading this and thinking, “uh yeah right, Tom, seems plausible”.

And then he returns home to inform her that the whole thing was for nothing. No big TV bucks, no fame, no future in the business, not so much as an autographed Mason Jarr 8×10 glossy. Nothing. But that’s our Cayla, always content with whatever scraps Les deigns to toss her way. She is, after all, a mere substitute who knows her place, which is directly behind the Lisa shrine with feather-duster in hand.

Look at Dickface in that last panel…(urge to kill rising rapidly). Har-dee-har har. Only Tombat could tell a story that takes years to unfold, have absolutely nothing happen then pretend it’s a delightful happy ending. Look at that moronic grin on his stupid face. Look at Cayla purring away in bliss…blech, just nauseating. And does anyone remember the part of the story where Les heroically fought for “credit”? I sure don’t. TB could have skipped this entire arc and just had Les reject the offer and it would have ended exactly the same way. What a sorry display. Thank God it appears to finally be over, hopefully he’s reached his Les quota for 2014.

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Le Chat Stupide

Link To Today’s Strip

Yeah, that Hollywood sure is crazy all right. This arc was a perfect example. What a wacky place, like how they changed the cancer screenplay so that Lisa lived, the way they wrote an adopted son into the script, the way they go to restaurants…man, the zaniness is just overwhelming in Hollywood, just totally nutty. No wonder Thelma (who, like Mason, only gets to have a personality at the END of the story) is seeing an imaginary cat that Les talks to when he’s agonizing over writing about his dead wife. Very clever, Author Guy, very clever.

And all this time it’s been that damned cat that’s made Les the single most objectionable character in the history of ever. I see. Perhaps Batom needs to slow down with the seasonal craft beers until AFTER he finishes one of these mega-long arcs. What’s another ten minutes, right?

But seriously, if this is indeed the end of the epically annoying screenplay arc, talk about ending with a resounding thud. You can almost hear the sad trombone after panel three….”whaaaa-waaaa”. TB’s the master of the anticlimax, it’s like he wants to just get it over with as much as his readers do. What a dreary display.

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