He’s been spending a lot of time in the past, Batiuk has, dating to this past spring when Les got yoked into being reunion chairman. The reunion committee meetings reacquainted us with Junebug and Barry Balederman, and set the stage for a Lisa tribute. The reunion itself of course was the setting for the time pool silliness, in which the Act I cast were trotted out to meet their present-day counterparts (uh, sorry Lisa!). We’ve had a couple Sophmoric Sightings sightings. And speaking of sightings, we saw Les sharing the park bench again with Lisa’s ghost. And speaking of Lisa, we’ve once again dragged out those damned VHS tapes , this time to bake ’em and digitize ’em and preserve ’em for. Ever.

Along the way, Batiuk has of late altered his visual shorthand: the flashback scenes retain their photo album corners but are in full color instead of washed out sepia. Like the central triptych of today’s strip, which offers a perfectly passable gag and which for all we know is a redraw of a published strip from that era. Compare and contrast Coach Jockstrap’s humorous, deadpan style with that of his protege Coach Bushka, who harangues his players with Crankshaftian malaprops.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

15 responses to “Pant-a-losers

  1. Epicus Doomus

    It is a pretty decent gag, until we come back to “the present” and everything gets ruined again. That deadpan style was the funniest thing about pre-Lisa Act I IMO, beats the living hell out of his current insistence on making sure that every single freaking punchline centers around wry wordplay too.

    Batom is unique in his ability to move on from something (sometimes with grave finality too) and wallow in nostalgia for it at the same time. The football team wins now, yet he still wants to do those “boy does our team suck” gags too. Thank God for those photo album corner thingies, eh?

  2. Optimism–the kiss of death in Westview. (Of course, so is pessimism. Death does a lot of kissing.)

  3. SpacemanSpiff85

    It looks like watching the Lisa tapes has turned the rest of Crazy’s hair white.

  4. ComicTrek

    I don’t ever want to see anything from that middle finger–I mean, “time pool” arc again. See what happens when you finally expect something amazing out of this strip? Disgraceful.

    Okay, why the stilted, sluggish jabbering about pants? Today’s strip has officially convinced me that everyone, even the late coach, has definitely had a stroke. All we need now is confirmation.

  5. This is what we get when no one cares enough to stop a man who’s running on empty: a serviceable joke about how the opposition are better turned into a reminder of how everyone in Westview is senile owing to eating terrible pizza.

  6. Not only does Tom Batiuk hate social networking and blogs (because they bring attention to the fact he’s an incompetent writer) he also seems to have a vehement hatred for Just For Men®.

  7. TB’s drawing irritates me almost as much as Smirky McPunchable. Why has Bushka morphed into Jabba the Hut in the last panel?

  8. Rusty Shackleford

    At least the bricks are back…and I like the highly polished floor inside Montonis coffee shop…er, pizza shop.

  9. bayoustu

    Wait! Bull’s old coach was Crankshaft (Note the nose/cap combo in panel 4)??! Boy, between driving a bus, learning how to read, AND coaching the high school football team, that hateful old reprobate sure was busy!

  10. “Beat the pants off of people.” Yeah, as opposed to puppets or elves.

  11. Content aside (it’s actually not awful, for a Sunday standalone strip), this is inexcusably sloppy drawing. Downright lazy, in fact. I know, I know, it’s shocking, I say – shocking! (1) Crazy’s brown hair is suddenly white just like his beard… maybe he came across that sex tape that Lisa and Les filmed? (2) in panel 1 Bull’s shirt is solid blue, but in panel 2 it suddenly displays a school emblem. (3) in panel 1 Funky’s apron is solid red, but in the final panel it has a large Montoni’s design. And I’m almost tempted to say that Bull gained about 30 pounds between the first and last panels but I’ll choose to overlook that for now in the interest of perspective. As a writer, I once had an editor who told me, “Show me a writer who claims he never needs an editor’s second set of eyes, and I’ll show you someone who’s not a real writer.” One imagines the same could be said of a comic strip creator. Any editor with half a brain and an up to date eyeglass prescription would have spotted all of the above right off the bat(ty).

  12. Their pants are literally bigger than yours, today. Soon, however, you will be old and fat, and your pants will be so huge that the sizes don’t even exist back here in the 1970s. I know it’s the 1970s because the entire universe is surrounded by four black, angular voids. Not to worry, though; the universe will give you cancer soon enough. Now get out there and fight!The Jack Stropp Speeches, KSU Ba(n)tom Press, ©2022

  13. @Fred Blurt

    (1) Crazy’s brown hair is suddenly white just like his beard… maybe he came across that sex tape that Lisa and Les filmed?

    I’ll **gasp!** give Batiuk a pass on that, as he colors the Sunday strips himself through Manga Studio. King Features staffers color the daily strips separately and without his input.

    This is actually the case with most other comic strips; the daily Dick Tracy strips look quite different in GoComics and ComicsKingdom (via as each site colors them internally. And they are all radically different from the Sunday panels that Team Tracy colors directly.

    The other examples, including Bull’s odd metamorphosis from the Family Circus‘ Billy in panel #3 to Jabba the Hut in panel #7, have merit.

  14. Rusty Shackleford

    Bull is a metaphor for Batty. Bull produced a losing team year after year but still kept his job. Batty produces crappy strips year after year yet still keeps his job.

  15. The Dreamer

    This means the Westview Scape Goats are going to win the conference this year and Bull is going to get the college football coaching offer he almost got last year. Bull will get to leave Westview and go coach the lowly Kent State Golden Flashes, so he can still make strip now and then. This sets up in a year or two, Summer Moore– by then playing summers in the WNBA– coming back to Westview to join the faculty as the new coach of the girls basketball team. At about the same time that her father Les is promoted from head of the English department to Principal. It is pre-ordained.

    Together principal Les and coach Summer then lobby for Westview to be re-named in honor of the sainted Lisa (this even though she didn’t go to Westview) Lisa’s Legacy High Schoo. It is pre-ordained. 🙂