The sixty four dollar question

OK, so today’s strip is the one that reveals Cindy’s real reason for visiting Westview and Montoni’s with Mason, she desperately wants to convince him not to move to Westview once they’ve married. It’s not a bad strategy, after all, what better argument against moving to Westview is there than the current state of Westview lifers Funky and Holly?

Mason is a strange bird though (not just visually), and I guess is supposed to have developed some bizarre affinity for Westview when he visited back in February to read Holly’s collection of Starbuck Jones comics. In fact, his relationship with the town has been far more romantic than his relationship with Cindy ever has.

This looks like an uphill battle, but if Funky and Holly aren’t enough, Cindy can lay down the fact that Roger Miller’s “This Town” was written about Westview.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

21 responses to “The sixty four dollar question

  1. Rusty Shackleford

    The weather and job prospects for Hollywood types is so much better in Norteast Ohio.

    WTF Batty?

    I guess Cindy just wants to be a big (old and cancerous) fish in a little town again?

  2. Frank Bolton

    You know, I used to think that you guys were just being needlessly sarcastic about Batiuk’s obsession with making Westview the center of the universe despite having nothing going on in it other than pizza, comics, and the reaction-formation of has-been/never-was Boomers wallowing in resentment, nostalgia, and smug.

    But no. Turns out that the sarcasm didn’t go far enough. WTF, Batiuk?

  3. Epicus Doomus

    Frank Bolton: I’ve occasionally wondered about that too and I came to the same conclusion you did. Nope, not nearly enough.

    I mean this whole Mason Jarr thing was pretty stupid from the get-go but come on, you can’t write garbage like this and expect to be taken seriously by anyone. He’s either a Hollywood actor or a regular at that shitty pizza place but he cannot be both. Same with the town itself, does it suck or doesn’t it? Make up your damn mind, man.

  4. Whether it’s intentional or not (one really never knows given that the Funky/Crankshaft universe contains two characters of opposite gender sharing the name Rocky Rhodes), Mason Jarr disclosed that he attended Optimism High which is either the same school or a school with the same name as the one that complained that Bull ran up the score on earleir in the fall. That could make him an Ahia native as well. I’m preparing for a story line in which Cindy and Mason eschew Hollywood and return to their Norrteastern Ahia roots. Mason could manage the Comix Corner for DSH since he will now be an expert on all things Starbuck Jones.

  5. billytheskink

    Cindy sure can pick ’em, can’t she?

    First she marries Funky, whose refusal to leave Montoni’s and Westview and follow her to New York was a key reason for their divorce. Now she’s marrying Mason, who wants to drag her right back to Westview for reasons even Funky cannot fathom. Yes, the same town she just escaped from for the SECOND TIME (for her new job at buddyblog) only six months ago…

  6. SpacemanSpiff85

    Just wait until tomorrow when Mason reveals that Les has invited them to move into his house.
    I say that jokingly, but now that I think about it I can seriously picture Les sitting on that porch swing telling a worshipfully silent Cayla “In high school, nobody wanted to be with me. Look at me now, I’m living with the head cheerleader and the sexiest man in all Hollywood.”.

  7. This is perplexing. Batiuk seems to want to portray Westview as this idyllic haven of the good old-fashioned values too often lost in the fast-paced modern world, yet it is constantly shown to be a dying town with few viable businesses, a terrible education system and residents aged well beyond their years. Does he really not see how the two are incompatible, or does he just forget what he’s trying to convey?

  8. Rusty

    So another middle-aged childless couple can come back and take their place amongst the regular cast of characters.

  9. Tune in tomorrow when he delivers a cloying speech about how he wants no part of the evil world full of phonies that is Hollywood. Nope, it’s a dying Rust Belt town full of gloomy no-hopers for him.

  10. Rusty Shackleford

    Yeah, there are no phonies in Westview! Just real, down home types.

  11. Clearly, Mason is doing on-site research for a _Gasland_- type movie. Either that, or he has early onset dementia. Or he’s just planning to eventually murder Cindy for insurance money and hiding out in Westview.

  12. A HREF


    Don’t be ridiculous. They will live in the apartment above Montoni’s, of course. Of course they will.

  13. Tomorrow, Mason will say that he likes this small town of Westview and wants to give something back. So he will open a “theater company” there so he can put on plays and such and open up the cultural wasteland of Northern Ohio.
    In fairness to Mason (not TB) California is a very expensive place to live when you’re unemployed like Mason (and most actors) most of the time. Funky will offer employment and Les will offer lodging and everybody will be happy again.

    Reminds me of the Simon and Garfunkel tune: “My Little Town.” – Nothing but the dead and dying in my little town.

  14. Inexplicable, as ever. Yesterday: BT1 (tell, don’t show). He’ll teleport Les from Africa and back just to christen an automobile, but he won’t show us a wedding proposal.

    You could append panel 3 (Funky and Holly exclaiming “Why?” in unison) to every strip.


    What is he going to live and work in Montoni”s? I have no problem with living in a small town. But, you know where else you can find small towns?? CALIFORNIA!!! There are extremely lovely small towns in Napa and other parts of the norther region. Places that have a smaller cancer rate than Westview!!

  16. Hannibal's Lectern

    I notice he says he wants to move to Westview only AFTER he marries Cindy. Maybe there’s something in his bi-ness that we haven’t yet been exposed to, something so hideous and perverse that even the Babylon called “Hollywood” would have to run him out of town on a rail, leaving Westview as the only place in the nation where he would be accepted.

  17. Okay, I’m confused. When Cindy got fired and returned to Westview, it was the worst thing that ever happened to her, other than her birth. Now she can’t wait to move back.

    The reason she moved out to California in the first place was to be with Mason. Mason is already in California. .

    As for Mason, he may not be a Hollywood a-lister, but he’s got enough of a career that he’s starring in a blockbuster summer comic book movie made-for-cable low-budget project. He’s got a career that seems to have some momentum. And he’s just going to give all that up?

    I have to echo Funky here: Why?

  18. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    I think Battui just saw Officer and a Gentleman. Basically, Mason Jar is saying he’s quitting the movie biz. That is, unless it’s possible to be in movies and commute from some dumpy town in Ohio, which I doubt. Cindy asks WTF Jarhead is going to do after he quits showbiz. He tells her he’ll get a job working the grill at Montoni’s, and they’ll live in a cozy apartment upstairs. Cindy will be extremely disappointed, and tell him SHE wants to be married to a Hollywood Movie Actor! She wants to live in SoCal! She doesn’t want the Ohio equivalent of an “Okie from Muskogee,” because she can get that right here! She tearfully breaks off the engagement.

    Mason Jar is later found in a deceased state after stringing himself up in the Westview Motel “Frankie Suite” bathroom. Funky smirks as…

    … the curtain falls.

  19. @BC – As I recall, Cindy didn’t actually get fired and return to Westview, she got demoted and moved to Cleveland – she just continued to inexplicably constantly show up at Montoni’s for no reason at all.

    Anyway, in the context of this week’s strips so far, last week is looking like Pulitzer prize material.

  20. Charles

    I think what ended up happening is that once Batiuk introduced Mason Jarr (clearly a throwaway name that he probably had no intention of assigning to a major character) he decided he liked the potential of writing stories around him. If you look at the last few years of this strip you’ll see that most of the sequences are the same every year depending on the season (ie. Band turkeys in November, Bull is a dunderhead in football season, Bull is an idiot savant in Girls basketball season, etc) and I bet Batiuk thought that introducing a world-famous actor into it would make it more interesting. Too bad he didn’t realize that the reason why nothing’s interesting is because he doesn’t have the imagination or initiative to make something interesting. I think this is probably the reason why Mason went from being introduced as the guy who didn’t get cast as Starbuck Jones to inexplicably being cast as Starbuck Jones, causing him to leave his current project in a way that would damage his career.

    Now, with Mason, Batiuk can write about Hollywood and comic books and comic book movies, which he clearly wants to write about rather than the same 24 identical storylines he usually wrote every year. He’d rather write about Pete Roofennoofengoofen getting screwed as a screenwriter, and Dorkin getting screwed as a storyboard artist, than write yet another sequence of Owen getting busted for plagiarism, or those awful voters voting down another funding increase for the school which somehow doesn’t tangibly affect anyone working for the school.

    Also showing Batiuk’s appalling lack of imagination is the apparent reality that Mason has no life outside of what Cindy and Les have seen. Batiuk never created a backstory for him, but is such a slipshod writer that he doesn’t realize that this is what he’s done. There’s no sense that Mason had a life and had things that were important to him until he met Cindy. There’s never been a moment where they did something he wanted to do, or where his own life and preferences affected what he and Cindy were doing. It’s as if I started dating Jennifer Lawrence and absolutely nothing about my current life changed beyond Jennifer Lawrence hanging around when I did my normal thing. You come over to my Super Bowl party, and hey, there’s Jennifer Lawrence putting out the salsa. You’re talking to me at the fitness center like we always do after we’re finished working out, and there’s Jennifer Lawrence pulling up into the parking lot to pick me up. She gave everything up to date me. I didn’t sacrifice a thing.

    I suppose that’s better than if it had been the story I think Batiuk wanted to write but came to that realization too late. Try to imagine how awful this would be if instead of Cindy, it was Les, and there’s the Funkyworld version of Scarlett Johansson giving up her acting career to move in with Les and keep his house for him.

  21. The Dreamer

    good points. Batiuk doesn’t follow up on storylines. For instance its December and I’m still waiting to find out if Westview’s football team, which is super great this season and was running up the score on hapless opponents, actually lost a game or won the state playoffs. But thats another forgotten storyline. I thought Westview was going to win the Ohio state football title and Bull was going to get named football coach at Kewt State or Notre Dame or somethiung…Oh well