A Game-Laming Arc

Link To Today’s Strip

I told ya, a big box of f*cking comic books. Any military folks out there care to tell us what would happen if you were deployed in Afghanistan and requested emergency “celebrity coming to my mom’s house to read comic books” leave? I’m guessing the answer would somehow involve push-ups, lots of potatoes and/or mops, if not an involuntary psych hold.

Then there’s the art, where Cory is twelve, Holly has Crankshaft’s schnozz and the backgrounds are blank and sort of surreal looking. What, is drawing the Winkerbean’s living room just too challenging or something? The guy draws thousands of bricks but can’t manage a lamp and a table? And Holly’s deranged comic book collecting fantasy dialog is overshadowed by the Corporal’s cruel jibe about her obesity. I thought he’d outgrown that sort of thing, although she did have it coming after all that “platinum key” bullshit she started spewing. Call it a draw there.

But the really noteworthy thing here is that Holly has apparently already given Cory the SJ collection “off-screen”, so to speak. That’s right, after a year of premise-flogging and idiotic comic book collecting fantasies, the Great Author totally blew off the big emotional climax and premise-resolving scene of his own story. It’s laughably inept “storytelling” at its worst, the intelligence-murdering work of the laziest madman ever set loose on the funny pages. There’s no need to ever “expose” him as a hack with a total disregard for his (assumed) readers, it’s all right there on the freaking page.

I was going to say that someone should tell Mason that it’s a SJ movie, not a SJ collecting movie. But (shudder) what if it IS a SJ collecting movie? You know, where Mason plays a demented SJ collector forced to navigate the seedy comic book collecting underground and so on. While I seriously doubt BanTom would go that far, I definitely wouldn’t bet against it because you just never know with FW.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

26 responses to “A Game-Laming Arc

  1. Nathan Obral

    Some days I am so tempted to drive down to the Medina gazebo and hang a giant banner that says “Tom Batiuk Sucks – and Lisa Lives!”

    This is one of those days.

  2. SpacemanSpiff85

    I like comic books more than probably 99% of the population. But I hadn’t heard any of the terminology Batiuk uses in these strips, like platinum key. He keeps talking about how great the stories are, but all his characters seem to care about is having the comics. You’d think Holly would be talking about what an exciting story it is, or how well written it is, but no. Platinum key is all that matters to her.

  3. Nathan Obral

    It’s breathtaking to see just how much Batom® is slowly losing the ability to draw outright while obsessing about a stupid fake comic book series that only matters to him and him alone.

    I’ve been joking here and elsewhere that Batom® could be in the early onset of Frank Bolle Syndrome. But seeing yet another installment where a character’s face is literally melting on-panel, there may actually be something that’s seriously afflicting That Funky Felt Tip.

  4. Nathan Obral

    @SpacemanSpiff85: “He keeps talking about how great the stories are, but all his characters seem to care about is having the comics.”

    That would require Batom® to actually come up with some sort of wide-ranging mythology around Starbuck Jones so it doesn’t sound like a cheap and lazy ripoff of practically every Silver Age comic book ever printed.

    And I don’t think he ever has. Nor has he ever considered it.

  5. What happened to Cory? Was his brain damaged in Afghanistan? Is he taking medicinal marijuana to ease the pain?

  6. MJ

    So Holly spends a year completing this collection for her son, and Batiuk completely skips the part where she surprises him with it? Even after having the kid come home for Christmas and everything?

    I guess the time and effort she put into such a thoughtful gesture was all secondary to the true purpose of that story arc: her conversion into a “true and noble” comic book lover.

  7. Epicus Doomus

    So the only real explanation is that in BanTom’s mind this IS a resolution for the SJ mega-arc of 2014. It wasn’t about Cory at all, it was actually all about this moment, today, where Holly hilariously dazzles her unimpressed son and a stranger with her arcane and useless SJ knowledge. Pam and Jeff, the Geek, Pete, the Chiseler, Comic-Con, Fat Tony’s death, ashcans, all of it was leading up to this climactic scene and that pathetic punchline. While the rest of the universe either scratches their heads or points and laughs, BanTom leans back all self-satisfy-ed-ly and says “YES, key issues and a character with a hilarious name. It’s all come full circle!”.

  8. DOlz

    @SpacemanSpiff85, I haven’t collected comics for about ten years now. I got tired of the constant retcons, forced crossovers, and multiple variant covers to take advantage of OCD collectors. Well, I figured I’ll Google this “platinum key” and find out what it means. After looking thru fifteen pages of results with nothing about comics I gave up. So as you pointed out, either TB pulled the term out of his ass or he wants his audience to feel like the unwashed masses while the comic book intelligentsia look down on them. I suspect the answer is both.

  9. SpacemanSpiff85

    @DOlz: I just like certain authors and books, really. I like the ones that are well written and good to read. I could care less about collecting them. The ones I really like I tend to buy in paperback collections so I can actually read them. I can’t really imagine that I’d enjoy them more if instead I drove from store to store across my state buying mint condition copies, like Batiuk seems to recommend.

  10. I think we all liked Cory better back when he was the strip’s designated Angry Misunderstood Teenage Boy character. At least he had some life in him in those days. Now he’s just blah. Like a flat soda.

    Once again, this “English” makes no sense!! And way to insult your possible non-comic-book-reader fans by not explaining, at least a little, what these whacky terms mean.

  11. Personally, I think that we should have seen this coming when he decided that the best way to head off a dispute with a syndicate was to have John Darling My Father Who Was Murdered murdered. Getting away with an arbitrary and stupid ending emboldened him to believe that he could write any absurdity and make it happen.

    This is why I’d have preferred the previously-posited “Cory dies with a funny book in his hand” conclusion to this emotionless, unsatisfying non-payoff that, in hindsight, was the only logical ending.

  12. Nathan Obral

    This strip is so self-absorbed, it can double as a Maxi Pad.

  13. Nathan Obral

    @Epicus Doomus: ‘While the rest of the universe either scratches their heads or points and laughs, BanTom leans back all self-satisfy-ed-ly and says “YES, key issues and a character with a hilarious name. It’s all come full circle!”.’

    If that really is the case, then someone, anyone, needs to intervene and force Batom® to get treatment for whatever disorder he is suffering from.

    And I don’t say that lightly. He really needs therapy.

  14. Chyron HR

    Marvel Cinematic Universe: Family-friendly action-comedies
    DC Cinematic Universe: Grim and super-serious
    Batom Cinematic Universe: IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PLATINUM KEYS, BABY!

  15. DOlz

    @SpacemanSpiff85, I agree about reading to enjoy. The first two reasons I mentioned were why I stopped reading comics. When the companies keep changing the story lines because its easier rewrite old stories than come up with new ones until the continuity is a FWing mess, I just won’t invest my time in them. That and the magic reset button at the end of stories just drive me up the wall.

    One of the reasons I really enjoy Jim Butcher’s “Dresden Files” is that he keeps a solid continuity and if something happened to a character it doesn’t just “go away” in the next book. The series is fifteen books strong so far and at the end of each book I can’t wait for the next (Jim, please use Alan Dean Foster as a writing role model not George R. R. Martin). The sixth book in the series, “Blood Rites”, had my favorite opening hook of any book I’ve ever read. “The building was on fire and it wasn’t my fault.”


  16. As low as my expectations for FW have become, I still feel seriously robbed that TB didn’t follow through with the presentation of the comic collection to Cory. It’s almost as if Cory just failed to notice that the box under his bed (which, by the way, would NOT fit under his bed) suddenly contained a complete collection. The only thing that TB seems to feel important to show is how Holly made the transformation from clueless blonde housewife to insufferable comic geek, which is honestly the least interesting aspect of the whole arc.

  17. Epicus Doomus

    bobanero: I just cannot believe he opted to totally skip the big emotional climax of his own freaking story like that. It boggles the mind that ANYONE could just ignore the moment the ENTIRE STORY was based around.

  18. Epicus: I don’t know, that seems to be the entire thrust of the strip these days. I mean, why have Dick Tracy appear in your comic and then not have him do anything related to his abilities at all? Any idiot with two arms and two legs can deliver boxes of comic books. Although, I have to admit, not any idiot can deliver those comics using an official police vehicle.

  19. Hadda Mae Kapupe

    Remember, this is the same “author” who abruptly cut away from the Goatee Boy/Crayola wedding trainwreck so that Frd Frgddd could take Mr and Mrs Blondie Smirkenstein on a tour of Da Hood in his little clown car. *

    Unseen third panel: Holly gets a glazed look in her eye and says “Must… molest… little boys…” while Skunkhead sits behind a curtain working an elaborate control panel with lots of blinking lights, buttons, and levers.

    (* – I always thought the Les/Cayla wedding arc seemed to end abruptly because it originally included some mega-maudlin Saint Lisa visitation that was cut between the time it was written and the episode was to be printed. If you recall, almost everybody was predicting a major Dead Lisa appearance and ridiculing the idea. Wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Batyuck pulled it all out and shoved the car tour in its place.)

  20. Spacemanspiff85

    I also just realized that Holly is referring to a story arc happening in a single issue. I don’t think that’s possible at all.

  21. Epicus Doomus

    BC: If he took a year’s worth of strips, cut them all up into individual panels, threw them up in the air and put them back together totally randomly, it’d probably make just as much sense as it does now and maybe even more. It’s almost as if he’s daring someone to notice and, after no one does, it just emboldens him to push it even further and further into absurdity.

  22. Jimmy

    My only entertainment from this strip these days comes from the SOSF banner. I try to take guesses about where the arc is going. Judging by Funky’s expression in this week’s panel, here’s my dialogue:

    “Yeah, I was hoping to retire in the next few years, get out of town and enjoy life a little, but now I’m stuck in this deathtrap of a business and town because my wife spent $50,000 on some funny books that are pretty much useless.

    “I’m hoping for a major coronary soon, to be honest with you.”

  23. Charles

    “But the really noteworthy thing here is that Holly has apparently already given Cory the SJ collection “off-screen”, so to speak.”

    See, here’s where you guys are wrong. She never gave them to Cory at all. She decided to keep them herself. It all fits right in with the fact that she has been treating them and still treats them today as if they’re hers.

  24. Hadda Mae Kapupe

    Battyboy’s War on Backgrounds rages on. All black! All lavender! Aw heck, who cares? Details – SCHMEETAILS! It’s the COMIC BOOKS that matter. Oh, wait. As you can see, the really hard core comic book wankers don’t call them “comic books.” They’re just “books.” Well, excuuuuse ME.

    And of course she’s read them all, and has them memorized and cataloged in her pudgy little head. Snff… snff… Holly’s not a fat, failed MOM anymore! She’s evolved! She’s GROWN! She’s an official, certified comic book wanker, and is now free to not bathe, get odd colored two-tone hair, wear sweaty hats, and hang out with teenagers.Well done, Holly!

  25. Yeah, but the whole point of it was that Holly was doing this to complete, I quote, “my son’s collection” to make up for the years of neglect or something, I think. But anyway, she said “my son’s” as in CORY’S. Not hers! Even though she bought some of them, they belong to Cory! Plain and simple.

    So @Charles, is that really what’s going on here? She decided NOT to give him the comics after all??? I can’t even begin to believe this! (*Tears hair*)