Your Difference May Vary

Today’s strip

Bull decided NOW would be a good time to start making a difference? Oh well, I guess those kids he “educated” over the course of the last twenty (or whatever) years were just plain f*cked, eh? What a totally preposterous and embarrassingly lazy way to end this pointless and incredibly stupid arc. It’s just an amazingly dumb thing for the Bull character to say, especially when you consider that he’s done the “reformed former bully who learned to care” bit with Bull a dozen times at a minimum through the years. Just laughably poor, shabby, lazy and witless.

So what did we actually learn this week? One, if you’re a weirdo, a giant wuss or any combination thereof, keep the camera rolling when bullies attack. Two, if you’re a bully, check for cameras BEFORE the shakedown. Three, TomBat still has the remarkable ability to throw a random Les drawing in there once in a while that makes me hate the character even more, which shouldn’t be possible. Look at that face in panel three, the smugness oozing from every pixel with the leaves fluttering around his repulsive head as he smirks at his inferior, simplistic yet lovable old pal in that condescendingly annoying way of his. What a dick.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

18 responses to “Your Difference May Vary

  1. The Stupidmeter is now at 16 (on a scale of 1 to 10). Instead of having Wedgeman swearing his vengeance against Chullo Boy, we have Bull and Les jawboning and Bull saying a punchless punchline. And this will be as far as it will probably get, since next week’s strips are probably going to be Halloween-themed. Just when you think this strip can’t get any worse. It does.

  2. Of course that’s the end of it. No retaliation, no repercussions…because the Saintly Boomers have spoken and The Kids These Days (who Lord knows can’t be expected to contribute to the sollutions to their own problems, except in a peripheral manner) must abide by their will.

    (I’m not saying that teachers can’t or shouldn’t step up to stop bullying, but Batiuk makes the resolution so painless just for the sake of glorifying his adult characters that it’s insulting. See also: Principal Nate’s “school handbook” defense.)


    Wow, Bull really has made a difference! Without the positive influence of team sports activities, Wedgeman is now free join a vicious street gang to become a more effective menace to society!

    Now instead of being able to keep watch over Wedgeman, you now, won’t be able to see The Crips, teach Wedgeman how to perform a Columbian Necktie on Les Moore. Unless that was your plan all along…..

  4. Rusty

    Batiuk will do a 2 week arc just so he can force a bad pun “One Wedgeman at a time” that he has been dying to use for a year.

  5. Guest Page Turner Author

    I don’t get the joke.

  6. Wow, look at that dialogue in panel one. Tom Batiuk is the master of the awkward exposition. Obviously he never says this stuff out loud when he writes it, to see how it sounds. Of course–why spoil the magic?

    It would have been much more interesting to have Wedgeman do some kind of penance–work with bullied kids after school or something, so he could gain perspective. Naturally, those three magic words–much more interesting–doomed any such storyline.

    By the way, has there ever been a drawing of Les where one’s primal, instinctive reaction isn’t to punch his face in? The only one I can recall is when TFH gave him a shave. He looked like a slightly dim but normal guy then. Every other time…I bet the Les face is one of those universal things, where every culture on Earth has the same reaction (must punch in face). Maybe that could lead to greater cross-cultural understanding, and hence world peace?

    Nah. Just more punching.

  7. Wait– hasn’t Tombat been teaching us for the last 30 years that bullying is hilarious!?

  8. Epicus Doomus

    I really enjoyed this arc, from the sadly missed opportunity of the dumb premise to the horribly botched execution of the story itself. The highlight was probably Owen taking three entire panels to ASK to see the principal, or possibly the “big reveal” regarding Alex’s bathroom regularity issues and her treatment thereof. The clear lowlight (aside from the entire arc itself) was obviously Les’ inexplicable appearance but you already knew that. Seriously though, why the f*ck does he DO that? Throwing Les into the mix to deliver a wildly redundant recap was just so completely unnecessary and a little cruel, too.

  9. Saturnino

    “Batiuk will do a 2 week arc just so he can force a bad pun”

    Meanwhile, in CRANKSHAFT, “completed” arcs that could have led to something just lead to more stupid arcs, the latest of which seems to be a setup to get Ed into a care facility………………….

    Wooop, wooop, wooop………………

  10. Helskor

    @ED, I’m grateful for every appearance Les makes these days. It’s similar to when you know you’re about to get piles and hope that at least they’ll be the itchy kind (Les) rather than the merely painful ones (the rest of the cast).

  11. bad wolf

    This lesson might have worked if it was the week before the Jarod arc… but then Wedgeman wouldn’t have been on the team to bully Jarod.

    My bad, no way to make this work.

  12. bobanero

    Wedgeman should have been suspended or expelled and possibly brought up on legal charges. Suspension from the football team would be a secondary punishment. And the punishment would not be meted out by the coach during practice (as evidenced by wedgeman being in uniform), but would happen in Principal Nate’s office with Bull, Wedgeman, and possibly Chullo-head and Alex present.

  13. So Les trudged all the way to the athletic field to deliver an awkward recap? Why was Bull even there? The field is vacant. The punch line is as flaccid as over-cooked flaccid stuff. The encounter is inexplicable except as an opportunity for Les to be portrayed once again as a Moai.

  14. Charles

    And this is the payoff. The half-assedness of this arc was in service of Bull congratulating himself on how great he is. The details are virtually irrelevant. What’s important is that afterward Bull can feel good and superior.

    I mean, seriously, look at Les’s comment in Panel 1. “Bullying someone”. “Someone“. No one cares who the victim was, because the victim doesn’t matter. What matters is that one of our heroes made a stand and is wonderful for doing so.

    You know what would be really heroic? If these doofuses actually got a little proactive about combating bullying. But they’re not going to do that, because that would rob them of future heroism for which they could congratulate themselves when they respond to yet another bullying attempt a few months from now.

    One request though, TB: could you make the coda something other than Les coming up to Bull to congratulate him on his bold stand? You’ve done that twice now and while I recognize that it’s futile to request that you not repeat this arc note-for-note in another six months, maybe you can shuffle the characters involved for once. After all, it’s not as if Bull bullied Les back in the before-time, so it’s not as if this has any irony or something.


    BTW, when did Owen grow a pair? We never ever seem him do anything to stop Wedgeman’s bullying. Never. So Owen discovers the dark magic of an Iphone.

  16. Jeffcoat Wayne

    For bullying “someone”. Way to show your commitment to “the cause”, Batiuk. Judging by the available white space in the word balloon, I’m guessing he tried to get away with putting “some random nerd” in the first draft.

  17. Professor Fate

    Epic – Well done! What’s really amazing is that Bull’s expression fits your words better than it does the actual strip. come for strip stay for the snark. again thank you.