Failing Up

No doubt TB means to suggest that a “Netbusters” movie is barely a notch above “straight to cell phone.”

Me, two days ago

OK, I stand corrected: they are equivalent. For once, Batiuk seems to have achieved synchronicity between seemingly divergent plotlines, and the results are just as implausible as you’d expect. Pete, who sat practically mute as his editors shitcanned him, vents at length to his Skype wife Darin (these guys are too cutting edge to just talk over the phone; anyway, Pete’s panel 3 air quotes would be lost in translation).

The Hollywood writers don’t know how to handle superheroes…” This has to be the most howlingly funny and asinine thing that TB has written in years. Comic book adaptions continue to be among the biggest-grossing movies year after year, and probably not on the strength of the writing. Mason Jarr the movie star, because he has just so much clout in this town, decides that the answer is to “bring in some fresh talent” from the comical books. This of course spells opportunity for Pete Reynaldo, freshly chewed up and spit out by New York, whose epic struggles vs. deadlines should play just fine with the studio.

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23 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

23 responses to “Failing Up

  1. DOlz

    Take that Chris Nolan!

  2. Pete Rossito’s expression in panel five is great. Looks like he’s about to transform into the Hulk, but this being the Funkyverse, it’s probably more like The Exasperating Mope.

  3. Epicus Doomus

    Props to those of you who saw this coming, I thought it was WAY too involved for FW. But that’s Batiuk for ya, always full of surprises. Really stupid and boring surprises.

    So finally things are coming into focus here. It’s not comic book writers or publishers, nor is it comic book movies and the actors in those comic book movies. And it’s not these kids today either. No, the REAL problem is that no one “gets” superheroes at all, aside from a handful of weirdos in a small fictional Ohio town. Color me schooled.

    Seriously though, watching his various fantasy worlds colliding and merging into one super-mega fantasy world is either too hilarious or scary for words. The funniest part will probably be after the Starbuck Jones movie finally hits the screen and we discover that alas, it sucks too.

  4. SpacemanSpiff85

    So, less than a year ago this guy didn’t have the nerves to do a table read for the part of Les Moore, but now he’s able to tell the writers they’re not doing the movie properly and can bring in new writers? All on the strength of “I was almost Les Moore, but then the real Les Moore decided the movie I was supposed to star in sucked so he used the kill fee and that somehow ended it?”? Makes about as much sense as anything else in this strip.
    But really, these new comics are a big hit, and yet the editors are killing off the characters already? After what, a day? And how does Pete know any of this if he was fired?

  5. “They wanted to get some hack named Joss Whedon to punch up the script, but what does he know about comic book movies?”

  6. Epicus Doomus

    Evil Corporate Overlords: “So what do you think about our Starbuck Jones script, Mr. Reynoso?”

    Pete: “Sigh. Grrrrrrr! Too upbeat! Not tragic enough!”

    Evil Corporate Overlords: “He’s perfect! Now let’s undermine him!!!”

  7. Let me apologize in advance for this…I’d been consuming mass quantities, uh, and, well…

  8. What really irritates me is not the eminently foreseeable future in which the Lord Of The Late goes Hollywood because Batiuk decided that people who get superheroes actually don’t because Avengers isn’t a live action version of the super-freaking implausible nonsense that had Loki racing around turning things into candy just for larks. What really irritates me is that he actually thinks that he’s got people fooled despite telegraphing his punches.

  9. HAnzMFG

    Yeah, what’s up with those dumb Hollywood hacks? They obviously can’t appreciate a classic, cool character like “The Amazing Mister Sponge.”

  10. Nathan Obral

    The Russo Brothers did a darn good job with the second Captain America movie. Which, BTW, they filmed in Cleveland… to such success that they confirmed on March 31 of last year that the third CA movie will be filmed in Cleveland as well.

    Maybe that’s Batom®’s grudge here: simple jealousy over two local brothers done good who helped funnel a boatload of money into the Cleveland economy.

    What a brittle, petty man.

  11. Nathan Obral

    That title panel – with an Aquaman stand-in clutching a gigantic kitchen sponge – is one of the sorriest things I’ve ever seen.

    Batiuk undermines his straw-man argument with that panel alone. If that’s the best possible original creation he can come up with, then he should just sit down and quit his cranky old man routine.

  12. Saturnino

    ” probably more like The Exasperating Mope”

    I think the word is “annoying.”

  13. @Nathan Orbal: This must mean that his next trick will be somehow related to the Price Is Right and how Drew Carey allegedly messed it up.

    Also, I have to agree with the whole “THIS is what Pete is wetting himself about? Super Spongebob?” thing being totally pathetic. We’re thus engaged in having to watch an embittered old fool flail away at straw men and lose horribly.

  14. Rusty

    Cindy is thinking that she flew out to California to escape all the middle-aged men discussing comic books.

  15. Nathan Obral

    @bigd1992: I stand corrected… given that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is such a sprawling, massive billion dollar franchise helmed by quite a few major movie writers and directors, it’s easy to lose track of where the movies are being filmed at.

    I still hold out hope for the much-needed reboot of “Howard the Duck” (which actually DOES take place in Cleveland). George Lucas’ infamous attempt at handling that comic is probably the only real time that a Hollywood writer/director has improperly handled the comic book source material.

    And lest we forget Russell T. Davies and Stephen Spielberg’s very respectful treatment of Tintin a few years back. Moreover, Spielberg and Lucas borrowed liberally from the Carl Banks’ Scrooge McDuck comics when developing Indiana Jones (which became a tail-wagging-the-dog scenario when Spielberg worked on Tintin).

    The more you really think about it, the more nonsensical Batom®’s overall straw man argument becomes.

  16. Gyre

    Let’s remember everyone, always follow exactly what the writer tells us is good or bad. For example, it’s a good thing to bring a former comic book writer who just got fired to write scripts for a big movie, something he’s never done before in his life. However, it is very bad to have a script writer write comic books.

    And remember guys, no one has any idea why Pete was fired. For all they know he punched one of his editors during an argument.

  17. Old Man Miggle

    Admit it, Mopey Pete. That “straight to cellphone” movie won an Emmy, didn’t it?

  18. Epicus Doomus

    Beckoning: simply awesome!

  19. Charles


    Silly art fail in the splash panel. The Sponge-based superhero’s shield isn’t absorbing the ray blasts. It’s deflecting them. You had one job, Batiuk…

    I’ll also just restate my earlier post. The suggested storyline is so absurd it’s insulting. The producers aren’t going to go to the lead actor to get recommendations for script doctors, (although I bet Pete will be writing the entire script, rather than editing an already existing one, making the whole thing even sillier) and in the extreme situation where they do so, they’re not going to accept the suggestion when it turns out to be a rank amateur who just got his ass fired from a crappy comic book company. There are literally thousands of people, many of whom the producers would already know, who could do the job better than Mopey and his bevy of psychoses.

  20. PaulCHebert

    Les Moore is going to write a superhero movie for Mason Jarr. May God have mercy on our souls.

  21. John

    2014’s biggest hit was based on an obscure super-hero team book started in 2008. It made so much even Disney is nonplussed.

    The most streamed (and most pirated) original live action show on Netflix this year is based on a super-hero comic.

    Like -HELL- Hollywood doesn’t get super-heroes. I can be convincingly argued that these days, Hollywood gets them FAR better than Marvel or DC’s comic book branches do, whose sales are on the downward slope.