Oh good heavens…are we all trapped in Hell, where we have to relive things over and over again, until we’re forgiven and allowed to pass into purgatory? Didn’t we just go through all this “back in the day” stuff? In fact–isn’t Pete’s dialogue in panel two an exact repetition of what he said before? (I’d look it up, myself, but I’m starting to feel a distinct aversion to going through old Funky Winkerbean strips. Life being short and all.)
How much padding does Tom Batiuk need to get to that 50th anniversary? Wait–don’t answer that!
Well, since we must, I’m guessing the answer is…a lot.
As for today’s day-old bread, again, I posit thus: that Pete here is merely a clerk-typist, tasked with putting the real screenwriter’s handwritten notes into proper script format. After all, he’s never been to a script meeting, and none of the producers have ever come by to chat about the project, even though he’s in the same building and everything.
I think he was hired because Mason wanted to do Cindy a favor, and CME thought Mason was valuable enough that he could be indulged a bit. But when they got his first draft, things went sour (“What the hell is this about sponges? And clones of sponges? And why does Starbuck Jones have so many soliloquies railing against short-sighted editors?”) and he was quietly moved out of the writer’s chair into something more attuned to his abilities.
As for Darin, I have no idea why he’s even here. Storyboards are typically done when there’s a reasonably final version of the script in place; there’s no point in paying someone to draw out sequences that may never be passed out of committee, let alone see the light of film. (Particularly for a firm that produces cable-TV movies, most of which are cancelled.)
That sort of thing is nowadays called “pre-visualization” and I think it’s beyond Darin’s abilities–after all, you have to imagine something that works, rather than assuming failure right out of the gate, and no one from Westview has that talent.