I wonder how many years he’s been waiting to finally find an excuse to use that gag? Well done, BanTom, well done. And what’s the deal with that tiny dining room table? That whole town is overrun with leaves every year but there isn’t a single table leaf to be had. Go figure.
And what the hell is up with Mason’s rapidly-receding hairline? I thought he’s supposed to be some sort of Hollywood pretty-boy, so what’s with the enormous forehead? Come on, Batom, the guy’s only been in town for like a day, the effects wouldn’t be hitting him THAT quickly. He kind of looks a little like Andrew Jackson there in panel one IMO.
Their reaction to Mason’s joke is actually totally logical if you think about it. They sit there stunned upon hearing Mason’s joke because let’s face it, how many actual jokes do these people hear? It’s like if you visited some long-lost indigenous tribe in some remote rainforest and showed them your smart phone. They just can’t comprehend it fully, there’s nothing to compare it with. Then they burst into laughter as if his joke was the funniest thing they’ve ever heard, which it very well could be. And Les is totally devastated as he realizes his dumb puns and stupid bits of wordplay will now be held to a whole different standard. So the whole thing is pretty plausible IMO. In a way, Mason Jarr is their new god. Now all he needs to do is get his hands on the holy scrolls aka Holly’s SJ collection and he’ll rule that town.
Ugh. Someone needs to confiscate Summer’s thesaurus. “Pachyderm in the parlor”…yikes almighty that’s just awful. Not even a big-headed kid as lame as Summer could utter anything that dumb in “real life”. Then perhaps Les could suggest a drug test for Keisha, who’s obviously been dipping into her mom’s Xanax or Thorazine stash, although I can’t really fault her for that if it is indeed the case.
Most importantly, though, someone needs to tell Mason to pay more attention while climbing those bannister-free stairs, because he appears to be a second away from taking a pretty bad spill. And you DO NOT want to get sick and/or injured in THAT town, trust me. That Taj Moore-hal is a death trap as it is, just ask Lisa. Yeah, I know she’s dead but still, she’ll probably be around shortly. Which reminds me, whatever you do there Mason, do NOT open the second door on the right because if the breeze blows out the candles on Les’ Lisa shrine, you won’t survive the night.
And, after an absolutely mind-bending two week pause, the big Mason Jarr/Starbuck Jones arc is back. Surprisingly the arc picks up with Mason actually arriving. I assumed we’d probably get a few more weeks of Dickface and Co. babbling about it, then another two week “wow, driving to the airport is awful” sub-arc before he finally showed, but Bantom must have been feeling revitalized after all that crossover action. This is like warp speed for a FW arc.
TB is really holding firm with the “ancient shopworn old TV sitcom tropes” theme of this arc, isn’t he? The Moore ladies are all aflutter as Mason politely pretends to undress them with his starry eyes as Les looks on disdainfully as usual, disgusted once again with everyone’s complete inability to be as cool as he is around his Hollywood hotshot pal. Keisha appears to be in the throes of a convulsion while Summer is overwhelmed by being in the presence of a strong male figure for the first time in her young life. As far as Cayla goes, it’s about what I expected from her, minus the lemonade. What a strong group of believable female characters.
Today’s strip, at first glance, seems to show Les, head aflame in the purifying fire of just desserts. But no, they’re just burning their Yuletide tree out in the field. That practice makes my Californian instincts turn to rage, and calls to mind Johnny Cash’s infamous “buzzards” incident. Then I remembered that Ohio used to burn its rivers(for decades), and it all seemed to make more sense.
The picture of the Cuyahoga River on fire that ended up in Time Magazine a month later – a truly arresting image showing flames leaping up from the water, completely engulfing a ship – was actually from a much more serious fire in November 1952. No picture of the ’69 river fire is known to exist.—Cleveland Historical
My live-in expert on all things Ohio tells me that residents of Buckeye Lake toss their trees into the water’s edge. This encourages the growth of algae, which attracts fish, which makes for easy fishing in the springtime. By the next winter, the tree will have completely decomposed. That seems awfully green for the midwest, but it’s a damn sight greener than just lighting it on fire and smirking at it.
Given how Cayla usually reacts to news from Les, I’ve corrected the dialog in panel 3.
To be fair to Mr. Cash’s memory, the part about roasting 49 California condors appears to be apocryphal. ↩
Speaking of uniquely Cleveland things, thanks to @Nathan Obral (yesterthread) for pointing out that the Lost reference had extra meaning for those in the Cleveland TV market. ↩
In today’s yawner, Bantom awkwardly works in a cultural reference that is astoundingly timely by his standards. I’ve never seen Lost, but its last first-run episode aired on May 23, 2010. At the time Bantom put this strip to bed, that reference was only 3½ years old. That qualifies as “ripped from the headlines” for this creaky old oeuvre.
In today’s strip, Mason “Hollywood” Jarr thanks St. Les the Righteous Smirker for some as-yet unspecified “help.” Les’s speech balloon in panel 3 is too small to contain the text I expected: “Mason Jarr, the movie actor who was meant to portray me, Les Moore, whose one true wife died of cancer, but then couldn’t, because kill fee, and took the job of portraying Starbuck Jones in the coming Starbuck Jones film adaptation, in which Mason Jarr appears.”
Back in panel 1, with its rakish split-screen motif, Mason’s poolside phone chat illustrates why California is so much better than Ohio. Mason’s illustrator, however, has failed to pick up on recent trends in portraying action heroes. Here I’m thinking of Chris Pratt’s transformation from amiable schlub to rock-hard stud. Mason, in contrast, looks positively couchey-potatoey, gooey-wooey.
All I would have to do to become an action star is move a mere ¼ inch from reality, without logging any gym time, if this awesome guy is any proof.