The good news is we can all boot up our Packard Bells and our MS Paints and join Bernie out in Tinseltown, where we’ll be paid handsomely for our rudimentary green screen skills (citation needed). Here’s a blank Bernie to start with:
Today’s strip FINALLY gets to the point, if indirectly and dishonestly. Despite his protesting, Crazy doesn’t really want to be hip… He’s not sad that he doesn’t have the time or energy to keep up with what’s popular on the radio Spotify these days, he’s sad that listening to new music would require a modicum of effort from him. He’s sad because he has decided he wouldn’t enjoy listening to anything new even though he hasn’t even tried.
In short, he’s sad that what’s “hip” doesn’t conform to what he already likes.
Well if that isn’t this comic strip in a nutshell…
Hip hip hip hip hip
Today's strip more of the same
It just never ends
Chipmunks to Springsteen
Crazy's music tastes cover
Only now Crazy?
How hip did you feel during
The last 40 years?!
"You can become hip,
Just listen to new music"
- Captain Funkvious
Funky's bald advice
Somehow smartest thing in years
In this comic strip
Crazy's, not so much
Listening to this
No wonder no customers
Are at Montoni's
Make it stop make it
Stop make it stop make it stop
Make it stop oh please
If today’s strip is to be believed, Crazy Harry is completely unaware of a genre of music that has been a major force in popular music for three-and-a-half decades now, and is arguably well into its second decade as the dominant genre of music in the United States. Where has Crazy been? Living under a rock (booooooooo!) since the Reagan administration?
Funky lives up to his name for once, brimming with mildly more modern musical knowledge than Crazy, the Act I gang’s resident music fan and audiophile dating back even to his early appearances. I guess he’s now not only channeling NASCAR legend Mark Martin’s haircut but also Martin’s unexpected rap music fandom.
OK, I’ll start positive today. Here’s something I like about today’s strip, Ayers uses bubble panel borders correctly, to denote a memory of dream sequence. Yeah, that doesn’t sound like much, but coming from TB’s pencil for decades it meant “present day in-strip setting change”, a maddening misinterpretation of longstanding comic art language.
And now, for everything else…
A pizza spinning on your turntable used to be a sort of shorthand for “cool”, in that it signified you were someone cool enough to have just a had a party wild and “crazy” enough that some nut tried to play a pizza and everyone was having too much “fun” to notice (see this well-known scene from Sixteen Candles, for example). However, a pizza spinning on your turntable when you are alone in your own room with your headphones on is not “cool”. Silly, whimsical, weird, crazy? Sure… but not cool. One could even describe Crazy’s memory as rather sad, given the contrast between him listening to his pizza alone in his room compared to the sight of a pizza on a turntable signifying a really good time shared by friends.
I’m sure Epicus Doomus is happy to not be blogging about old men having boring conversations for the first time in months weeks (tip of the Funky felt-tip to you for your endurance), but neither I (billytheskink, hello there) nor the readers are going to be so lucky. Nope, today’s strip offers a change of venue but not of subject, old men just won’t stop blandly contemplating the decline of themselves and their worlds… and our venue may well shift back to last week’s graveyard by the end of the week if Crazy can’t name that tune in 12 notes.
Yep, Crazy’s a goner. Dang, and I had Frd Fairgood in the death pool.
Bernie is already graduating? Alas, we hardly knew him. This generation of Act III WHS students made even less of an impact than Owen and Cody did. At least they, you know, did stuff sometimes.
Why would Bernie need actual photos for his Instagram page? I mean I’m no Insta-whiz or anything, but it’s not like you have to mail your photos in. Thus the gag makes no sense and fails on every possible level. Which sounds about right.
And on that note, I’m passing off to Billytheskink, our Senior Funkstorian. No spoilers, but man, 2022 just keeps getting weirder. At this rate, it’ll devolve into total surrealism by September at the latest.
It wasn’t enough for Dick Facey to merrily prance and frolic on Mary Sue Sweetwater’s grave. Now, as sort of a coup de grâce to mark another triumph over another old high school foil, he takes a shot at his “best friend”, reminding him that he might keel over and die at any given moment. I have to admit, I kind of like Funky’s “what a dick” semi-smirk in panel three, as it’s actually an appropriate facial expression there. I imagine it’s similar to the face Ayers makes when BatHam tells him what he’s putting in the word balloons.
I studied this one for a while, trying to figure out what the smug bearded jerk’s massive word balloons were supposed to mean. “Suspend his disbelief” in what? Life? Death? Funerals? Roulette? The continued existence of Bob Dylan? Then, after some really annoying pondering, it started to make sense, sort of, in a roundabout and stupid way. I believe that what Les means here is that he refuses to acknowledge that he’s getting old and will die relatively soon, choosing instead to willfully ignore this harsh reality. Which is really out of character for Les when you think about it, as the guy’s entire identity is based around death. Unfortunately though, not his.
Anyhow, this is what happens when BatYam tries to out-clever himself. Everything devolves into a weird, half-assed mess where you end up wasting valuable minutes trying to figure out what the hell is going on. He could have simply said “I try not to think about it” and saved all kinds of word balloon space, but he’d have just wasted it anyway. God I hate Les so much, curse all you people who say “I’d even prefer a Les arc over this”. Never, ever wish for that, it’s bad mojo.