Ring the bell! Today's strip is funny. Implausible, sure, but it's a comic strip (sorry, DSH John). I like how little Robo-Goat is actually screaming in the clutches of Big Walnut Tech's menacing, mechanical monster. And in panel two, for once, Batiuk makes "tell-don't-show" actually work, as the boys follow Robo-Goat's trajectory, presumably through a window or wall. I'd have added a "crash" sound effect in P2, but we shall lay aside the snark hammer for today.
(Today's post title is kind of a stretch. Did anyone get it?)
Yeah, anytime Cody expects things to go his way, count on the opposite outcome. "Robo-Goat" stands ready for battle; unfortunately, arch-rival Big Walnut Tech has brought along the Iron Giant. I kind of like the overhead perspective in today's strip, but the shadow-within-a-shadow in panel 2 doesn't work too well.
America’s breakfast tables are treated to a hilarious Sunday FW recurring theme: laying somebody to rest. You may be asking yourself ‘I don’t get it, what’s the joke here?’ Is it the fact our esteemed author unearthed this guy out of the FW character graveyard for the sole purpose of killing him? No. Keep in mind that against all odds this square-jawed, hat wearing, hero-to-nobody managed to never win a game and somehow kept his job. Sure he could have been satisfied with being the biggest statistical anomaly in all of high school sports, but that wasn't enough. In true Westview fashion, this guy couldn't win at losing. For a coach who spent decades charged with the task of motivating young men to succeed on the field (and presumably, in life), it sure seemed like his focus was more on being Ohio's own Casey Stengel…and less on teaching the likes of Bull how one actually cleans somebody's clock. It didn’t seem to matter who won; rather, coach Strapp preached ‘he who loses last, laughs best.’ The ultimate punchline of Coach Strapp’s life seems to be on the surviving residents of Westview; for his losing legacy doesn’t need to be memorialized with an annual death march. They're living the Strapp legacy each and every day.
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I've read this "gag" over and over and, maybe because my senses have been dulled by holiday revelry, I just do not get the punchline. "Four pencils and an eraser" equals five…there's five on a side, right? So they're all tall except for one short player (the "eraser")? But the one player Bull singles out, "number nine, their center", is especially tall. Wouldn't that make them four erasers and a pencil? Or one Number 2 pencil and four of those pencils you keep score with at mini golf? And there are only five of them? No subs? Doesn't "number nine, their center" have a name? I know there are at least a couple of you who know basketball. Please enlighten me.
This game is historic for another reason: judging from the lighting/coloring of today's strip, this is the first high school football game played on the ocean floor. This is the most action-packed strip in awhile! Let's break it down:
- Panel one features not one but two disembodied heads!
- That's some gang-tackle in panel two: the Big Walnut Tech kid's head is at a very uncomfortable-looking angle. I'll give props where due, though: it's pretty well-drawn, even if a piling on like that is probably illegal in high school football. Number 32 still looks shaken up in the next panel as time runs out.
- Wow. Bull looks…he looks happy. Don't know why he's sticking his thumb in his chest…it wasn't his ass out there on the field. But hey, good for Bull. Good for the Consensus-Building Scapegoats. Something positive happened in this comic strip today. Mark the date well, snarkers. Mark it well.