The comix site’s not cooperating once again; looks like we will have to wait until midnight Eastern time to be repelled by Friday’s strip.
In which the actress who nearly threw herself off the top of the Hollywood sign—over nothing— advises Les about managing the madness.
More of Batty’s trademark exposition repetition in today’s strip. Monday’s and Tuesday’s panels showed these two driving up to a building clearly marked Hollywoodland Studios. Today Les reminds us verbally, and anyone whose interest is piqued (doubtful) enough to zoom in on that little shingle under the LISA’S STORY sign will see the studio name yet again. Ponderous, man, @#$% ponderous. Anyway, panel 2 is the first time we’ve seen a happy expression on Les since back in April when he and Cindy reminisced about their chaste New Years Eve.
I know that among our loyal readership, there are a number of you who have some working familiarity with the entertainment business. Help me out here: I’ve heard of a “closed set,” but…the lot is closed? The parking lot? “They’re shooting Lisa’s Story today.” Shooting? Already? I wasn’t aware that casting, or any other aspect of this production, was even finalized. And here comes the star of this movie they’re shooting, and he can’t get on the lot because the security guard does not know who he is. Is he wearing those shades because he’s blind? And Mason, to his credit I guess, instead of throwing a movie star shit fit, sits there pouting like a douche.
I haven’t even looked at today’s strip, dear snarkers. I’m sitting outside by the firepit with my family. Catch up with ya later!
Balancing humor with sensitivity to tell stories we need to hear…Some of the stories can be told over a cup of coffee, while others require a full-on Roman feast.
Amazon blurb for The Complete Funky Winkerbean, Volume 9, 1996-1998
Shit. We’re back in “Hollywoodland.” Why is Mason so hellbent on casting Marianne Winters as Lisa Moore? For that matter, why is making this movie so important to him? What’s behind his strategy to get Les on board with casting Marianne by inviting other actresses to read for her role? It’s not enough for Tom Batiuk to reprise and rehash the whole Les Goes to Hollywood thing, but this time Les is even pissier and all Mason does is fly him back and forth to the coast, take him to lunch at the Chateau Marmot, and kowtow to his every whine. Stop lathering Les’ ass for God’s sake, Jarre!
After a six day stretch of Montoni’s pizza ‘n’ coffee with a side of band candy, Batiuk serves up a palate cleanser in the form of a sideway Sunday Atomik Komix kover. These Sunday treats typically consist of artwork by Batiuk’s comics buddies (this one’s the third or so from “America’s [and northeast Ohio’s] Thom Zahler” and colorist Rob Ro). Batiuk’s contibution, if there’s any, is what our Epicus Doomus dubbed a “reality bubble”: a little vignette of one or more FW characters doing or saying something that provides context for perplexed Sunday-only print readers of Funky Winkerbean.
“Reality bubbles” in most cases are inserted at the bottom of the vertical frame, almost as an afterthought. Today’s bubble in at the upper right hand corner, and is so large it renders the comic’s title as “KY KERBEAN” (what a silly name for a comic strip). All this real estate so that Batiuk can throw shade at Trump, with a jab vague enough that he could write it a year in advance and folks would still smirk knowingly like Ruby is smirking here. As for the Wayback Wendy cover itself? It pretty much gives away the resolution of the story, doesn’t it? Looks like successfully delivers the speech (written on an envelope, natch) to Honest Abe in time not to disrupt history.
Will ya get a load of Dinkle’s friend’s wife? Talk about “hair in a color that only yarn comes in“! “Busy Harry” Dinkle has taken a break from writing books that no one reads, and has squeezed into his old uniform to conduct the annual July 4 concert. Sadly, the music ensemble from Bedside Manor has been decimated by Covid-19, leaving only Mort Winkerbean on trombone and some new guy on sousaphone who, judging from all the notes above him, is really wailing. It is here in the park that this guy casually informs his wife of his decision not to retire.
Miscellany: Does anyone else see Act I Les and Lisa in the audience? Has the time pool opened up again?
In a universe where a book (graphic novel, whatever) by a teacher from Ohio about his wife’s breast cancer battle has ’em lining up in bookstores from coast to coast…what’s not to believe about an Ohio high school band director publishing a 17-volume autobiography? “Keeping busy these days” indeed: between his “Dinkle Diaries” and the epic Claude Barlow bio, where does Harry find the time to go down to the school and pester the living shit out of Becky?
On Wednesday I Photoshopped a gag panel of Dinkle talking about “reading a book in the morning” and holding up a copy of Lisa’s Story. But Batuik doesn’t need me to cross-promote his books…there’s another publishing franchise that just this year published its ninth volume: The Complete Funky Winkerbean. Each volume contains three years of strips, and we’re up to 1996-1998. At this rate, “only eight more” volumes would take us through 2022. Perhaps Dinkle’s friend—dammit, we still don’t know his name—isn’t the only one contemplating retirement? Don’t let us down, Tom.
If their mutual friend is now “selling band candy full time” then he’s not really retired, is he? But to Dinkle, this sounds like “living the dream.” Maybe John Thompson will be flown out to Belgium, or get a candy bar named after him, too. Someone who’s not living the dream is Adeela. When H-1B issues prevented her from leveraging her architecture degree, her fellow grad Wally installed her as Montoni’s day manager. This, of course, was merely a ploy to get the services of an architect at slightly above minimum wage. Only a matter of time before Adeels, like Khan before her, decides that life in war-torn Iraquistan beats being a Westview lifer.
Just three days into my turn to “make the donuts” around here and I’m ready to throw up my hands…or just throw up. What the hell is today’s strip about, aside from padding this pointless arc out to six, maybe seven days? “Read a book in the morning”? Please tell me he’s not talking about taking a dump. I suppose a retired person has opportunity to read just about whenever they feel like it. What about “in the morning” makes Harry cock his head like that and raise his eyebrows? Where is joke?