Meanwhile, In Another Circle of Hell…

Link to today’s strip

Greetings, folks, BChasm back for another round in the chair.  Let’s see if we can get it to spin!

So, The New Darin and Cindy (looking very close to her “appearance-complaints” in panel one) are leaving Westview, returning to the glamour of Hollywood.  Ah Hollywood, where Cindy works at a company that seems like someone’s thinly-veiled YouTube channel, and The New Darin stars in made-for-TV fare that is invariably cancelled.   Can’t you just smell the stardom?

As a coda, we get Pete and The Old Darin facing the reality of every town in the Funkyverse–the fact that there is no escape from the horror that pervades every moment of life.  There are always those Philistines who refuse to see genuine art for its value, and instead look to crassly commercialize it by sinking black, oozing claws into it until it starts laying deadly golden eggs.   Golden eggs full of poison gas.

Kinda looks like The Old Darin has cut off his arm, there, though I’m sure that’s just an unfortunate colorist’s choice.   On the other hand, the carefully crafted punchline is really stupid–“changes to the changes” are still changes to the script, “changes to the script” being something that absolutely every movie, TV-movie, and TV series goes through every single time one is made.

In fact, there are so many revisions to a given script that those new pages are printed on different colored paper so that everyone can know exactly where they should be “on the page.”  It’s been this way for decades…though usually this happens either during rehearsals (to iron out difficult lines, or block stage business) or on the set (a location isn’t available, an actor quits, a character is dropped, etc).  Neither of which can be the case because 1) the damned star of the movie is swooning around in Ohio, and 2) so far as we know, there is no script yet.  And they’re not going to send our a crew to do second unit stuff until they’ve got something like a completed script.

Which brings me to a greater question–apparently at Cable Movie Entertainment, they hold script meetings where revisions are discussed.  Why in the Hell don’t they invite the screenwriter to these meetings?  Why are changes to the script a complete surprise to him?  He was hired, after all, because as a comic book writer he has some expertise in the field–why wouldn’t he be at these meetings?   He’s not unavailable or living in some distant city–he’s just down the hall.  It makes no sense to exclude him, in fact it seems to piss him off quite a bit.

Pete should be at all these meetings.  He should know about all the revisions, be able to contribute, and–more importantly–he should be able to shape those revisions, if he’s smart.  Not just negatively–“Well, Starbuck Jones wouldn’t do that, he’s got a code of honor”–but also positively–“Well, if you show the approaching Zergian ship, that’s another toy you could have in shops when the movie opens–vehicles are always big sellers…my pal Darin can sketch a rough of the ship for you.”  (Good one, Pete, you’ve come up with some dollar value, they’ll listen to your opinions now.)

There’s only one real answer.  Pete isn’t the screenwriter on the Starbuck Jones movie.  He’s just one of the typists.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

13 responses to “Meanwhile, In Another Circle of Hell…

  1. And we’re in for another week of “Waaaah nobody will accept my first draft as absolute perfection why must I work harder whyyyyyyy?” whining. I’d rather endure Jim Kabilchnik’s (sp?) astronomy class stand-up.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    Uh, Darin was RIGHT THERE just a few weeks ago, so why didn’t Holly just ask him herself? And what was the point of having Boy Lisa come bursting in for the holidays in the first place?

    And he’s going back to THIS well again? “All “writing” projects are beset on all sides by the ineptitude of producers and/or editors and all you can do about it is sigh wearily”…it’s a key component of his little fantasy world, “The Artist” vs. “The Powers That Be”, with “the man” always going out of his way to destroy artistic vision and yadda yadda yadda. The guy deliberately turns his moderately-popular little comic strip into a multi-decade pile of garbage that runs for over forty f*cking years and he’s busy doing storylines about evil corporate overlords squelching the dreams of young writers…yeah, that’s what happened Tom, whatever you say.

    And get a load of this Jarr guy blathering about “first movie growing pains”, whatever the f*ck that means. Terrible dialog and especially annoying when you realize that Mason’s never even been in a real movie, at least not yet.

  3. billytheskink

    As someone who writes consulting reports for a fraction of a bottom-feeding Hollywood living and revises pretty much every single one of them time and time and time again due to client demands… my heart bleeds for Pete and Durwood. Absolutely bleeds.

  4. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    Responding to criticism that Cindy looks 20 years old, when in fact she’s supposed to be the same age as Funky and Holly, Batty said “I’ll fix that!” and whipped a line under each of her eyes (first panel only). Great. Now she looks like a sleepy 20 year old.

    Weird Neck Almost No Chin Guy in the last panel appears to be a “real guy” Batty promised to draw into a strip. You can always tell. Whereas everyone else in the strip looks like a cartoon character, Batty’s “real guys” always look like a caricature drawn by one of those people who draw them for you on the boardwalk. Real subtle.

  5. SpacemanSpiff85

    Do you think even Batiuk realized that his audience probably wouldn’t be able to stand anymore of “Les’s writing is too beautiful for this world”? Because this is exactly the same plot, and “gags”, just with different names and characters.

  6. DOlz

    @SpacemanSpiff85, “Do you think even Batiuk realized that his audience probably wouldn’t be able to stand anymore of “Les’s writing is too beautiful for this world”?”


  7. I remember that they once depicted John Byrne as a planet with his face on it boasting about what a big lasagna he is. Given the petulance and stupidity implicit in having a mere copyboy whine about the latest revision to what’s probably someone else’s script, Planet Batomic would have to be a gas giant.

  8. Rusty Shackleford

    Ah those evil producers always ruining art.

    I wish Batty had a producer looking over his work and sending it back with changes.

  9. HeyItsDave

    If Durwood’s arm had actually been cut off, T-Bats would have lovingly and conspicuously rendered a double-folded pinned sleeve.

  10. It’s obvious from reading the 2015 FW strips that TB does not have a concept of the purpose of review and revision. Every one of his strips reads like a first draft.

  11. @bobanero: As I’ve said before, Lynn Johnston is the same way. She too doesn’t understand or like the idea of having an editor tell her what to do either. Said tendency destroyed her chances of creating a series of kids’ books about Farley the dog and his sidekick, Elly the screaming idiot who doesn’t understand dogs.


    Panel 3 – Man people DO grow up! Apparently middle aged Beavis is a movie exec! Lord know what happened to Butthead….

  13. Apauled

    “It’s obvious from reading the 2015 FW strips that TB does not have a concept of the purpose of review and revision. Every one of his strips reads like a first draft.”

    @bobanero: I agree, & that’s sad. But it would be even sadder if they are not first drafts, but instead the result of long tortured hours spent reviewing, revising& carefully polishing. With TB, that seems entirely plausible.