I Shall Be Released

On behalf of myself and my family: sincerest thanks to each and every one of you for all the wonderful comments and emails I received regarding the passing of my sister.

Batiuk continues to stretch the “happy dance” gag, which might have been acceptable as a one-off, to ever-more-absurd lengths. John produces a release form for the boys to sign if they insist on staying to witness Crazy Harry’s routine.  Give TB credit today for “writing what he knows”; he certainly has experience with legal documents. Of course, since Cody, Owen, and Little Blue Riding Hoodie are minors, it’s doubtful their signatures would be legally binding. And what the hell could be so “soul-scarring” about this spectacle unless it indeed involves Harry getting naked?

25 Comments

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25 responses to “I Shall Be Released

  1. Merry Pookster

    I remember an old public service commercial showing an egg (This is your Brain)…then it’s cracked onto a hot skillet (This is your brain on drugs).
    Today’s strip in evidence of Batyucks brain on drugs.
    But if you’re going to do drugs…at least get a prescription;
    Cholinesterase inhibitors (Aricept, Exelon, Razadyne, Cognex) and memantine (Namenda) both treat the cognitive symptoms (memory loss, confusion, and problems with thinking and reasoning) of Alzheimer’s disease.

  2. BeckoningChasm

    I said this yesterday, but it still stands: Tom Batiuk has gone way beyond Ed Wood level incompetence and shot right past Michael Bay level incoherence into YouTube level dumbassness. If dumbassness isn’t a real word, I’m going to petition Webster’s and use this strip as my evidence.

  3. S. P. Charles

    Gotta wonder whether Kid Hoodie is going to turn out to be a girl. Unexplained people wearing hoods or motorcycle helmets ALWAYS seem to turn out to be females.

    Actually, didn’t Batiuk pull this gag with Harry’s wife or somebody?

  4. BeckoningChasm

    I can’t help but imagine that if we ever see Crazy Harry’s Happy Dance, it’ll look an awful lot like Mr L.F. Dibley’s “Finian’s Rainbow” starring the Man from the Off Licence.

  5. DOlz

    If it hadn’t been for TB’s cease and desist attempt on you I might never have found this blog, so a tip of the keyboard and thanks TB.

  6. Epicus Doomus

    This is pretty weird. See, I was expecting this arc to be typically Act III. Today Harry would have suddenly realized he can’t possibly afford to buy a new comic book on his paltry comic book shop assistant’s salary and would sadly hand the book back to DSH while lamenting the state of everything while exchanging wry smirks and so forth. But instead he surprisingly took it in a decidedly Act I direction, complete with unrealistic satirical gag strictly for the sake of “wackiness”. Very interesting…not funny, but interesting.

    Is it possible that the online snarking/criticism/mockery finally got to him a bit? Because it’s impossible to not notice there’s been a real shift in tone with this strip lately. Is it accidental? Just boredom? Or is it more calculated than that? I guess we’ll see. Of course he could kick off a two month Lisa retrospective next week and render the whole thing moot, but I can’t help but wonder if this “lighter” FW is a deliberate move or not.

  7. S. P. Charles

    Epicus, is this really “lighter”? I find Harry’s infantile behavior kind of pathetic.

  8. O.B. Dan

    Hey, I think I found “Where’s Waldo”…he’s in today’s pathetic strip.

  9. Beanie Wanker

    Wow. Great job milking a non-funny un-joke that started out as an obvious figure of speech. By the way, Sicko Batfuck, minors can’t sign legal documents. Just like man-children like Dead Skunk Head can’t do what HE does with minors.

  10. bayoustu

    “Soul-Scarring Images” might as well be the name of this strip…

  11. Helskor

    @S.P.- Donna was originally Donald, the kid in Act I who wore a motorcycle helmet while playing arcade games in Montoni’s. When it came time to marry off Harry in Act II, Batiuk pulled the string and hamfistedly changed his sex (Donald’s, not Batiuk’s) .

  12. bobanero

    Only in the Funkiverse can an expression of joy be considered soul-scarring.

  13. billytheskink

    All I really take from this storyline is that Crazy’s “happy dance” is not spontaneous in any way, but rather, a premeditated event purposely intended to scar those who view it. Frightening.

  14. Duane

    Read the fine print boys…

  15. Epicus Doomus

    S. P. Charles: Pathetic? Oh yeah, no doubt about that. Add “sad” and “sorry” to that list as well. But think about it, other than the “Rainy Day Cayla” arc a few months back, Batts has been playing things for laughs far more than he usually does. Even Harry losing his job was played for giggles instead of the usual “1/4 inch” pathos. Les leaving the Lisa pic on Kilimanjaro was about as morbid as FW got all year and that’s practically nothing on the FW scale of grimness. Maybe it’s a new mix of meds, maybe it’s the constant online criticism but whatever it is he’s holding back on the “life sucks then you die” stuff for some reason. Only time will tell whether it’s deliberate or just a phase.

  16. Do these wavers also apply to anything that happens in DSH’s “special back room”?

  17. BeckoningChasm

    I don’t know, this just seems slip-shod. It was only a few weeks ago that Harry was going through his books and deciding to discard a large portion of those that had meaning for him. For him to start collecting again just makes it seem as if Tom Batiuk isn’t reading his own work anymore.

    Unless, as suggested, this is how John is paying Harry. When I was in college, I worked a few hours in a record store attached to a sandwich shop. I was paid in albums, which was fine with me. But then, I didn’t have house payments, car payments, children, or credit cards. And I liked records.

  18. John

    Epicus: Remember, Tom cued readers in on his blog that Lisa’s Story III -is- in the works AND on the way. I assume he’s saving all the forced gloom and death up for that arc.

  19. John

    You also seem to have blocked out arcs like “Cory joins the army, which means he will DIE” strips, John sharing his involuntary celibacy with bystanders, several “Papa Winkerbean is so sad” strips, the “Roberta is EVIL” stuff and random stuff like “County Fairs remind people of DEATH.”

  20. It seems like Batiuk suddenly decides to get a character from Point A to Point B, but always takes the most convoluted, implausible path to get them there. Witness the hoops that the storyline had to go through (failed levy, raffle, etc.) to get Les to Kilimanjaro…and I think we’re seeing it again with Harry in the comics shop. Batiuk decided that he wanted Harry to work in the comic shop…possibly so that he could give John someone to talk to without seeming like a predator.

    A more plausible path to get Harry from Point A to Point B: Harry isn’t laid off, but retires with a pension. He doesn’t have to sell off his beloved books, but he needs something to occupy his time. Harry and John happen to be at Montoni’s at the same time; John complains that he needs help at the Komix Korner, but he can’t afford to pay anybody at full salary. Harry overhears this and accepts the offer. Harry’s happy because he gets to do something he loves, John’s happy because he’s a cheapskate. It’s a win-win situation…but then, “win-win” doesn’t appear to be in the Batiuktionary.

  21. Epicus Doomus

    John: Well, we ALL kind of block that shit out here and there, don’t we? For the sake of sanity and all. But compared to recent years 2012 was practically a stroll through the non-Lisa’s bench park. No Lisa “visitations”, hardly ANY cancer mentions, no car crashes, comas, amputations. Now I’m not suggesting he’s completely shifted the strip towards the shores of “funny”, just that perhaps he’s eased up on the needless pathos a bit for reasons unclear.

    I did indeed miss mention of another Lisa’s Story…and that sounds like something that could very well make up for the recent lack of pathos/cringe-inducing misery in spades.

  22. S. P. Charles

    You know, given how obsessed with comics Batiuk is (though he seems to know surprisingly little about them, considering), how did we overlook the possibility of his using the greatest comic book cliche of all: Lisa comes back to life!

  23. Rusty

    How does he regurgitate a Lisa’s Story III? In the strip or is it a compilation? Bizarre.

  24. Beanie Wanker

    @Erich – Whoa. Slow down! What you came up with regarding fitting Lazy Harry into the comics business sounds like it came from the mind of a sane, thoughtful, well-adjusted, logical, creative writer. Anything from BatYuck will be just the opposite – and totally twisted.

    This whole arc is a major ass-pull (material pulled at random from up one’s ass, donchaknow). Apparently, when Lazy Harry is near-orgasmic with happiness, there is an actual dance he compulsively performs, and it’s disturbing to see. Dead Skunk Boy knows about it and has seen it, so it’s fair to assume his other friends (Goatee, Funkwad, Bullcrap, et al) know about it too.

    So why don’t we?

    All these years, and this has never come up? How could that be? Apparently it’s no small matter.

    Then again, Fishstick Annie was a championship winning basketball coach, and we never knew that either. Oh wait, this is all called “writing,” right?

  25. Duane

    Perhaps Crazy Harry will have a coronary; nobody has died in a while.