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.