Greetings, fellow snarkers–tis I, BChasm, the guy who makes Les Moore look pithy and insightful, so let’s get to today’s offering before I get punched in the heart!
When Fearless Leader and I discussed this new arc, he offered that Tom Batiuk had totally forgotten how to draw Jim Kablichnik. I felt compelled to disagree, mentioning that Kablichnik taught science, and thus would probably be delighted that the arts-and-other-crap were being cut, thus allowing him to perhaps steal a desk to go with his new chair.
No, I had the idea that the greybeard above was actually a brand new character being introduced. Yes, with no last name, a first name already claimed by another teacher, no reference to prior appearances, and a character design that says that Jim Kablichnik, Les Moore and Crazy Harry fell into the Brundle telepod while holding hands and smiling into each others eyes.
Now, there is an argument that this is Kablichnik, now wearing glasses and a full beard, although the case is purely Batiukian. Check the “Jim” in the panel three word balloon. Note the amount of white space surrounding it. Tell me there isn’t enough room in there to name this fellow “Nathanial” or “Millicent” or “Wolverine” for crying out loud. So it may actually be Jim, meaning Tom Batiuk’s laziness (consistent character look, or handing out names) approaches legendary levels.
If it is a new character, an art teacher, those of you with long memories might recall that the Westview art teacher we’ve seen before was far, far less hirsute than this fellow, but not to worry–if this guy’s a brand new character, he’ll be gone before we can arrange a suitable memorial tribute. Probably in less than a week. The other fellow only got one panel, as I recall, before disappearing forever into “Funky Winkerbean characters I like, or at least don’t hate.”
As for the content of today’s jape (aimed at illustrating the problems of young people in a sensitive way, I’ll remind you), I might almost consider this “humorous,” since the sheer number of departments being cut (including lunch, for Pete’s sake) might be evidence of exaggeration for satirical effect…except that I think none of those words I just used have any meaning in Tom Batiuk’s world.