Darin To Be Stupid

In today’s installment, Darin has his recent life choice validated by a guy who is the antithesis of every person ever depicted in a Coffee Achiever commercial.
And… that’s it. Frankly, I’m surprised Crazy’s dream career arc is aimed as high as it is.

All this talk of storyboarding, however, has reminded me how much Act III Crazy looks like the late Jim Mateer. Mateer was TB’s high school art teacher and an accomplished artist in his own right. He had a week-long appearance in FW back in 2006, painting several lovely murals on Montoni’s walls, murals that appear to now sit under 3 and a half coats of Sherwin-Williams’ Urban Putty.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

23 responses to “Darin To Be Stupid

  1. Harry has gone on quite a journey as a character–from someone who cherished his childhood memories to basically an imbecile.

    Anyone know why Pete (in the mast head on the right) is in the Red Lodge?

  2. Epicus Doomus

    This is the epitome of a Boy Lisa arc. He’s merely repeating already-established information and interacting with a character who has nothing whatsoever to do with anything. Darin’s middle name has to be “Filler”.

    The “career arc” actually goes: Big City MBA to pizza guy to Hollywood story-boarder (?). But whatever, those old strips don’t really count anymore continuity-wise, am I right?

  3. Gyre

    Just a random thing that occurred to me. With the decision that the time travel plot was a dream Les was having, that means that he was dreaming all that stuff that the younger and older Crazy’s were saying about comic books. Which means he knows about comic books too, at least enough to talk about Stan Lee and criticize modern ones.

    Is there a single god damned character in Westview that doesn’t think old comics are the height of art?

  4. SpacemanSpiff85

    I’m starting to wonder if Batiuk’s trying to do some subliminal stuff here. He keeps having his characters talk about how great comics are, and how cartooning is the pinnacle of human achievement, and he hopes that his readers transfer all that to himself and end up thinking he’s amazing.
    Of course for that to work he’d need to have readers.

  5. I’m mildly surprised that Montoni’s Green Pitcher hasn’t shown up yet.

    Batiuk has no need to fill in details on Montoni’s actual operation… like the mural, the solid gold jukebox, the band box, actual customers… because that would take effort. Just scribble what he can onto the Wacom tablet and thrown in a blue tint in Photoshop for the Sunday panels.

  6. They say “write what you know,” and Batiuk apparently doesn’t know much beyond comics. At least he found his niche.

  7. “…that exists to be shattered.”

  8. billytheskink

    Is Crazy wearing one of his old uniform shirts, with the USPS patches torn off?

    The things true fans do to save up for $75 coffee table collections of Tarzan comic strips…

  9. A thought occurs. Big Frankie ALSO lives in Los Angeles. This means that Boy Lisa will possibly run into him and have to endure his horrible and evil lies about how Les is a weedy dimwit who, if given foreknowledge of Lisa’s death, would do nothing and whine about how people want him to decide things.

  10. DOlz

    @Paul Jones, Better yet Frankie and his friend are the producers for the S̶p̶o̶n̶g̶e̶ ̶B̶o̶b̶ Amazing Sponge Movie. Hilarity ensues. Oh I’m sorry, I meant whining and self-righteous indignation.

  11. @DOlz: Either way, we’re in for piteous wailing about a cruel, evil and heartless outside world that doesn’t value shitty, boring funny books that are a dismal stretch of asspulls, sitting in a depressing pizza parlor eating horrible food while listening to washed-up old soaks bleat about their glory days and wasting Friday nights watching an incompetent dumbass blame his long-suffering players for his own failings as a coach, man, husband, father and multi-cellular carbon-based life form.

  12. So, you’ve been hired to do storyboards for a movie that was in post-production three months ago? This Starbuck Jones arc is arguably even less coherent than the time-travel arc.

  13. Jon I Am

    If, by “dream career arc” you mean ‘complete bullshit’, then yep – I agree with you there, Crazy.

  14. Today’s official FW blog update.

    I became fascinated with the idea of taking what was considered to be a low art form and creating something of substance within those confines, of trying to take what others considered junk and turning it into something more…

    From the introduction to The Complete Funky Winkerbean, Volume One

  15. Charles

    Two things.

    This story leads us to believe that Darrin’s been hired as an independent contractor for the Starbuck Jones movie, not that he’s been hired by a studio on a permanent basis. So dumbass is moving his whole family out to Los Angeles for a job that’s going to last a month. It’d be like my father moving us from Philly to San Francisco when he had one of his multi-week Silicon Valley business trips. Admittedly, it’s just the kind of short-sighted, stupid career decision Darrin’s been shown making ever since he came back following the leap ahead. So I guess it makes some sense, at least, if not the sense that Batiuk thinks it does.

    Second, he’s been hired because he drew some comic strips for the school newspaper when he was in high school. A multi-million dollar production finds that to be sufficient accomplishment to hire someone on. It’s as if Beyonce hires you as her lyricist sight-unseen because you got a couple poems published in your high school’s literary magazine when you were in tenth grade.

  16. billytheskink


    “what was considered to be a low art form” Really?
    Maybe Kelly, Capp, and Schultz weren’t put on the same level as Caravaggio, but when TB was growing up newspaper comics were enjoyed by unfathomable numbers of people, and many earned high praise from their era’s and even today’s cultural kingmakers.

    TB’s disdain for his own medium really shines through in his work, though.

  17. @billytheskink: Not to mention his ignorance. Why, he can’t even get Gorilla Grodd’s name right.

  18. Hey, if the Storyboard thing doesn’t work out, there’s always California Pizza Kitchen.

  19. Epicus Doomus

    IMO it’s more like FW was considered a “second rate” strip, not the art form itself. He wanted attention and he got that attention via his “realistic” premises, however he never had the nerve to take them anywhere daring (the “Lisa Dies” arc being the main exception).

  20. Gyre

    Being daring really isn’t what makes writing good though, it’s how you handle a story.

    Let’s look at this recent one for example. We’ll assume that it has to have time traveling past selves and it being a dream Les was having. Personally I think that it probably was a last minute decision to have that, but whatever.

    Why not have Les sitting down and talking with his younger self for a while, basically his dream version of everything he hoped he’d have when he was an adult. Adult Les could go over what he’s gotten, what he’s lost, and how he’d evaluate his life. Admissions that maybe he could have handled some things a lot better than he did, and that he’s probably never going to win a Hugo or a Pulitzer or even get on Oprah’s Book Club, but he’s gotten some things published, he’s had a chance to fall in love twice and receive love and had a chance to watch his children shine even brighter. The dream and arc can end with both versions concluding that it was hard, but worth it.

    I write nonfiction, not fiction and my writing is reports on specific topics of interest. But it seems to me that Tom Batiuk can fit in a good story even with all his padding, when he tries. Some of that anniversary with Cayla was good even though I thought a lot of it wasn’t. The start of Holly’s effort to track down Starbuck Jones was a nice idea. The point is that he actually can do better, what’s been seen recently isn’t the limit of his abilities.

  21. SpacemanSpiff85

    I have a strong feeling that the person who told Batiuk comics were low art is the same “stuck up” blonde cheerleader Cindy is based on.