Link to today’s strip.

Well, this raises a few questions.  What “disruption” is Darin talking about?  When Jessica says they’ll “catch up” with him, does that mean a later flight?  Or is she not going to California with him?  Is she aware that Funky is preparing to rent the apartment out from under her?  Not that her situation merits a single thought from anyone, since she’s a female–and we all know how important they are in this strip.  Still, it would have been nice to see some of this “disruption” rather than that damned wentletrap Les waving his operculum around the last couple of days.  I guess we get the fun of guessing what the “disruption” was.

  1. Lost Skyler’s Batman-themed diapers.
  2. Frankie showed up again, asked for a “cup a coffee.”  None could be found.
  3. Someone’s father was murdered.

What do you want to bet we’ll never know?

I dunno about the rest of you, but I find Darin such an unbelievably boring character–who at the same time, manages to be insufferable–that it’s hard to find anything to say about him.  To the best of my (admittedly not very extensive) knowledge, he has accomplished nothing of note in the strip.  Yeah, there’s the Pizza App, but that has had zero impact, other than as the butt of several jokes.   He’s like a gangly, angular construct of ambulatory meat.

At least the other characters have interests, even if those interests are nothing more than comic books.   At least that’s something.  Darin seems to exist in a shell where he’s nothing more than the sacred essence of Lisa.  I guess, in the viewpoint of some, that’s all you need to be to be considered worthy of attention–you’re somehow under Lisa’s shadow.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

21 responses to “Punchcraft

  1. SpacemanSpiff85

    I bet the disruption is Mopey Pete only has enough room in his apartment for Darin to stay with him.

  2. 1966tvbatman

    And we care because… ?

  3. The Defender

    I like this transition to a new storyline. It’s time to shift focus to characters we don’t get to see nearly enough of. A few more comic strips and Darin won’t seem quite so ‘boring’ any more.

  4. bad wolf

    According to my estimates Darin is pushing forty with a wife he met in high school, a child, a job you wouldn’t expect to exceed minimum wage, an MBA, and yes the Pizza App. (The last is a real thing from Luigi’s Pizza as well, so no points for imagination to TB.) Although it looks like Summer also peaked in high school so maybe this is just a thing with Lisa’s genes.

    While i kinda understand a story about a guy getting a second chance to live his dream, this one reminds me of the days when i was able to attend San Diego Comic Con and Wondercon, and there would be a line of guys to have the pros at DC or Marvel look at their portfolio with the hope that they’d find work in the field. I guess i gave up on my artistic dreams long before some of them, as i found the sight of forty-something guys with a portfolio hoping to make it finally surrounded by teenagers to be more than a little sad.

  5. Epicus Doomus

    BC: As far as I can remember, Darin was one of Act II’s “new generation” of WHS students and appeared in the usual high school themed arcs like Owen does now. Then he suddenly became Lisa’s bio-son. Then, several years after Act III began he suddenly re-appeared at Les’ door after being let go from his Big City MBA job because this economy (smirk).

    As a longtime Batiuk observer, my theory is that he brought Darin and Jessica back with only two very specific arcs in mind. Those being the Frankie mega-arc and the Plantman/Barbie John Darling arc, of course. Skyler was just an excuse to re-tell the Lisa teen pregnancy story yet again. So what I’m saying here is that he brought these characters back just to use them to once again wallow in the old stories he so reveres and nothing more. He doesn’t even know what to do with them otherwise, as witnessed by how Darin usually disappears halfway through his own arcs.

    But anyhow, that chat with Les really paid off as Boy Lisa convinced HIS wife to stay home while he frolics about in Hollywood too. I mean what possible reason could there be to leave Jessica in Westview? Maybe he has one last John Darling arc up his sleeve, as it has been a while.

  6. I love how Darin is parting from his infant (toddler? Damned if I can remember) son with nothing more than a casual handshake, which is totally the way a normal father acts on embarking on a long absence from his family.

    Credit where it’s due, though–Batiuk did remember to have Jessica and Darin’s bland farewells take place outside the security checkpoint. Some comic strip writers still haven’t clued into the fact that saying goodbye at the gate has not been a thing for at least a couple decades.

  7. I appreciate the idea of “shifting focus to characters we don’t see enough of.” The question is whether or not Batiuk will live up to the potential of that idea. I don’t think he’s had a very good track record in that department, but we all have our own opinions.

    I appreciate the Defender’s post; it’s a reasonable dissent, stated without venom. It’s nice to disagree in an agreeable manner.

  8. Epicus Doomus

    SpacemanSpiff85: That definitely makes a lot of sense. Pete & Darin, the team back together in the ol’ bachelor pad and etc. I don’t mean “sense” like we define it, of course.

    Coming later this year: after living it up wife-free in Hollywood, Boy Lisa breaks up with Jessica and files for divorce. With no place left to go, she ends up staying with Wally and Rachel in their apartment, which pays dividends as Wally turns out to be a great cook. The one catch, though, is that Wally has to pretend he’s gay whenever the landlord (the morally uptight Mr. Winkerbean) comes around.

  9. Rusty

    So Durrwood will be batchin’ it in LA?

    His most useful purpose so far has been mocking Mopey Pete during their Skype dates. Batiuk also needed him to ride around with Pam and Jeff to see their old neighborhood. That’s something, I guess.

  10. @The Defender – may the road you travel lead you to the palace of wonders.

  11. Spacemanspiff85

    You think Pete and Darin will still only converse via Skype, even when they’re in the same room? That would actually be funny.

  12. This post gets to something I never realized, but now makes a lot of sense– Darin is indeed boring, but he (like Les, Skunkhead, and occasionally Funky) is an author avatar. In this case, an avatar of a younger Tom Batiuk, noted in today’s strip by the opportunity to write movies or something related to comic books. He’s (less) insufferable, but not obviously so because he hasn’t accomplished anything that would go to his head yet. But even as he leaves his wife and child at the airport to go scribble Starbuck Jones on an easel in awful Los Angeles, we see that he too is leaving the loved ones in his life as merely a prop, like Les does for Lisa, et al., for the ultimate, greatest dream of all–comic books. Cancer, tragedy, and death be damned, Darin will someday be Les.

  13. No good can come of this.

  14. The irritating jerk in me thinks that Batiuk fears the idea of women thinking for themselves and not passively okaying every stupid and pathetic thing one of his author avatars does. Someone has a lot of issues about a mother who told him that comics are gaudy and useless trash while being a teacher is a worthy and respectable calling….despite young people not being content to let a clueless and smug bore hold forth unopposed.

  15. Guest Page Turner Author

    Obviously something is missing.

    He went from breaking a pencil one day, to having some sort of unseen disruption at the airport the next.

    The plan was for him to go to Los Angeles with the wife and kid, right? Why is he suddenly going by himself?

    It’s all just so painfully stupidly executed.

  16. bigd1992

    Jess is fine with this, as she’s moving to Cleveland to be with the lawyer she met on Ashley Madison

  17. billytheskink

    The “disruption” that Darin refers to is the one that will occur in the space-time continuum when he uses the time pool to go to his true new job as the carnie who cheats Crankshaft and his other daughter out of a teddy bear back in the sepia era.

    This, I believe, was a critical moment in Chris Crankshaft’s life. It was when she first realized that life is cruel and unfair, and, more importantly, when she realized that north-central Ohio is a place that must be escaped and never returned to… even if that means requiring your unstable octogenarian father to travel to all the way to New York City when you want to see him.

  18. So, Durwood has been dreaming of becoming a Hollywood storyboard artist? That’s why he pursued an MBA and went crawling back to work at a pizzeria when his job didn’t work out? So pursuing your dream consists of basically sitting on your ass until you get an inexplicable job referral from your friend, who himself got an inexplicable job referral from the girlfriend of the star.

  19. Professor Fate

    @Guest Page Turner Author
    I suspect that at least some of this would have been answered in the previous days strip, no not the one we saw but the one that was there originally before The Author remembered (or someone pointed out to him) that he’d forgotten to have Boy St Lisa say good bye to the people who raised him and dashed off yesterday’s nothing burger of a strip.


    Durwood’s son shakes hands like he’s running for Congress or something.

  21. @billytheskink – wow, that Crankshaft thing is a perfect Batiukian work. I have no idea how Saturday’s strip will wrap it up, but it only has two possible endings–

    1. The kid gets nothing, thus learning that life is a series of dreary disappointments, one after the other.
    2. The carnie guy relents, and gives the kid a teddy bear. The child thus learns that everything in life is simply handed to you.

    I have to hand it to Tom Batiuk for that one.