Wait Til Next Year

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Well, given how he spent sixty years doing absolutely nothing, I can definitely see how sitting behind a big table while other people talked probably WAS the most “grueling” thing he’s ever done. The bar is set pretty low there, after all. Once again we see that Marianne’s retcon from “buxom box office-bursting sexpot” to “haplessly naive innocent waif” is complete, as she continues to oooh and ahhh over basic movie promotion duties. All in all it’s a typical FW “blow off”-type strip featuring the usual gang of idiots grinning idiotically, as if I expected anything else.

Well, as thrilling as Comic-Con was, it’s time for me to step aside and hand things off to billytheskink who’ll no doubt get some REALLY compelling FW material to work with…as if. Just remember, as bad as whatever just happened was there’s always something worse right around the corner.

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Take My Sanity! All Of It!

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Yay! Comic book geeks are SO STUPID…amirite? It’s all about the Benjamins…or in this case, the Washingtons and Lincolns. The Cartoon Conan-led Q&A session appears to be over, thank God, as we’re finally at long last almost at the point where the characters will begin to discuss the possibility of the SJ movie eventually someday being released, eventually. And I, like all FW readers, am SO STOKED to hear the various characters talking about how great the unseen movie was before they return to filming more and more and more of them, over and over and over again. Yay!

I’ve always marveled at the way BatNom always includes just a touch of cynical disdain toward everything he loves. Writing and marching bands are torture, comic book collectors are weirdos, Comic-Con is packed with oddballs, Montoni’s pizza isn’t very good, the band box never works and so on. Like today, he can’t just wrap up the SJ Q&A panel on a solid upbeat exciting note, he had to take the time to remind everyone that at the end of the day it’s merely all about money. It’s like he just can’t help himself, there always HAS to be another shoe involved, it always HAS to end on a downbeat note. Sure, it’s just a dumb failed gag in a dumb failed comic strip but still, it’s so predictable and weird.

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Probing The Depths Of “Huh?”

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Like your comic strips overflowing with oddly-worded nonsensical babble? Well then, today is your lucky day, because we have that. The same film that drops everything and re-writes the entire script every time someone involved with it happens across some old coot or random piece of junk actually has a fully-fleshed out and complex back story behind it, a back story Mason committed to memory after holing up at Holly’s house three or four years ago and reading the entire SJ collection, which has since been sold to finance Cory’s wedding plans, which are apparently in the same place as Frankie’s food truck and Becky’s mom. Got that? Consider yourself briefed. If Batiuk really wanted to shock his readers he’d wrap up every dangling plot thread in one six day arc just jam-packed full of huge word balloons, but that would mean the next few years of FW would consist of the characters just aimlessly standing around doing nothing. In other words, it’d be indistinguishable from how it is right now.

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A Kiss Before Sighing

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Blech. Is it just me or does Marianne change a little bit every single day? If Harry waited on line for a week to see Marianne, doesn’t that mean the room is packed with lots of other fans who likewise waited in line? What about THEIR feelings, huh? Does Harry’s wife ( I think her name is The Donnanator or something) know her husband blew off work for a week to meet a nineteen year old girl? And now that I think about it, his wife was also somewhat “boyish” back when he first met her…perhaps it’s just his “type”. Doesn’t make it funny, though.

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Flirty Marianne & Lazy Harry

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Well, yesterday’s somewhat pleasant strip was, of course, just an anomaly. Crazy Harry waited on line for a week to meet a boyish nineteen year old girl? What’s up with John’s brutally fractured syntax? Why doesn’t he just wake Harry up, was it really necessary to humiliate him that way? I mean if Harry is the guy who waited on line for a week to meet Marianne, John is the guy who waited with the guy who waited on line, which isn’t “better” at all.

Then again, if Comic-Con is even half as dull as FW makes it out to be I’d probably be sleeping through it too. This Q&A session is more like a Q&(zzzzz) session, amirite? Look at the crowd, laughing in delight as the creepy old weirdo misses out on what very well might have been the last true “highlight” of his otherwise wretched life because his “friend” doesn’t have brains enough to elbow-nudge the guy or something. What a pal.

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My Stan Lee Sense Is Tingling

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This one is surprisingly not so bad at all, as Batom takes a good-hearted swipe at Stan Lee’s always gratuitous cameos in the various Marvel films. An actual humorous gag in a FW strip is always so jarring, you can’t help but wonder how it got through lack-of-quality control. I haven’t mildly chuckled like this since the old classic Act II arc where Les got his foot stuck in the lawn mower. Good for YOU Tom, like the old song says: one of out three hundred and sixty five ain’t bad. That’s a .003 average, by the way, down slightly from last year’s .0031.

Coming next week: the interminable Stan Lee cameo continues as the comic book legend helps The Gang unload boxes of comic books from the trunk of Crazy’s car. Meanwhile Pete and Boy Lisa toil over the second “sizzle reel” and wonder aloud about what is must have been like to create sizzle reels back in the 1950s. In Sunday’s strip Stan Lee agrees to appear in the new sizzle reel that will be debuting at Westview-Con later this year, thus completing the comic book circle of life.

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The Cure For The Common Qualms

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As regular FW readers know, the only “artist” who ever does anything for the sake of artistic expression is Les Moore, everyone else in the “entertainment business” is an amoral money-grubbing weasel. What the f*ck is Cartoon Conan babbling about here? “Take over” the “large franchise”? What? Who’d he “take it over” from? How can it already be a large franchise when the first one hasn’t even been released yet? Why can’t ANYONE in this stupid f*cking comic strip EVER just ask a normal question?

The funniest thing in this one is Cliff in panel one, inexplicably doddering around for no reason. What is he doing, is he pushing the chair in or pulling it out and if so, why? It’s such a needless-yet-fascinating detail.

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