They’re Wafer-Thin

Link to today’s strip.

You know, I don’t think it quite works that way.  When you report to your homeroom that you’ve sold a box or two, but your profits aren’t money but cookies, the folks in charge are going to frown at you.

Imagine the scene when the class goes to the bus station to begin their journey.

“Hi!  So you’re the crew that’s going to Washington, DC!  Great!  Can I have the check, please.”

“Well, we’re not paying with money, of course not!  We have lots of boxes of Girl Scout Cookies, though!  Surely their value will allow us to purchase tickets for an interlude of fun!”

“—”

In terms of actual humor, this reminds me of a “Beavis and Butthead” episode in which they were supposed to sell candy bars, but ended up using the same dollar to buy each others’ bars in turn, ending up with all the bars gone but with only a dollar to show for it.

I’m sure Tom Batiuk would be horrified to know that his work reminds people of “Beavis and Butthead”…but that’s kind of a bonus, isn’t it.

The artwork in this one has a number of nice touches.   I’m sick of seeing that chullo, but it’s quite intricately detailed–obviously, Tom Batiuk put some time and effort into it.  And the girl scout’s badges and sash were clearly drawn with care.  The neighborhood is well-depicted, too; you can actually catch the character of the area.  You know the time this is happening; that’s nicely done.

I especially like the detail of the footsteps in the snow–it’s actually used to tell the story, showing where these two were just moments before.   It also has a sense of, for lack of a better word, ongoingness.  You get the sense that these two have been going from door to door for some time during the day, rather than just starting out.  The only false note in the art is the way Chullo’s hand is bent, but I can chalk that up to Tom Batiuk’s desire to show the front of the box

Things like this are what puzzle me the most about this strip.  Tom Batiuk clearly has the tools to tell stories, and he’s capable of the odd subtle yet important touch.  So why doesn’t he put more effort into the actual substance of the strip?  Why add these things only on rare occasions? Today’s strip tells me that he could make this strip at least readable (if unremarkable), but he’d just rather not.

But the odd touches make me think he still…kind of cares about this thing.  And if he still cares, perhaps he could set another goal, other than getting his strip to that 50 year anniversary.  Perhaps a goal that might, you know, engage him a bit.

I mean, six years is a long way to go on autopilot.

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8 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

8 responses to “They’re Wafer-Thin

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Love the parody strip BC! Yes, this one is about as inoffensive and (gasp) pleasant as FW gets, but it’ll be long forgotten once he plods along into that three week arc about Les arguing with his publisher over the title of his Lisa prequel. Perhaps this week’s arc was the first one he did for the new year, while he was still all full of piss and vinegar, as they say. Who knows with the BanMan? If he’d stick with lite n’ breezy gag-a-day arcs the snark would gradually fade away, but he’s too full of himself to ever allow that to happen. Sooner or later he’ll feel the need to remind everyone that he has WRITING chops and yadda yadda yadda, Lisa will rise from the grave again or someone will lose an arm (again), bet on it.

  2. I’m not sure the Girl Scouts even sell cookies door-to-door anymore. They always have tables set up outside the grocery store or in the church coffee lounge or something.

  3. Now what would make this really interesting and entertaining is if there was an escalating turf war between the dimwitted but scrappy highschoolers and the ruthless girl scouts run by an evil ex-cheerleader-mom who wants to set record profits at all costs.

    Batiuk had the potential, but as always, won’t deliver. A man can dream though.

  4. The odd thing about it is that yes, he can do the work if he tries. Look what a good job he does depicting the Winnipeg Blue Bomber’s insignia on Crankshaft. He’s simply trapped in a mistake he doesn’t see as being a mistake because he learned the wrong lesson from the John Darling mess.

  5. Rusty

    That looks like the young Crazy Harry in a Girl’s Scout uniform. I guess that’s his one-size-face-fits-all for kids. And it’s possible Harry liked a little scouting cosplay in his youth.

  6. Looks to me like he stole that one armed girl’s prosthetic (what is her name? wait, don’t answer, I really don’t care) and strapped it to his own in order to be able to hold multiple boxes… What the hell is up with the backwards thumb?

  7. Jimmy

    Speaking of Crazy Harry, have the Westview police ever solved the mystery of his missing children.

  8. @Jimmy – Maybe she’s one of them. Of course, we’ll never know because they’re uninteresting to The Author.