And Then Along Came Jones

Link to today’s strip.

Yesterday, I posited that we wouldn’t see any of the strip’s promised action.  Well, I guess Tom Batiuk sure showed me!  Though I, in turn, would like him to explain Chullo’s remark.  How many graduations has he been to, exactly?

I sure hope Mr. Director Man–whose name I do not believe we’ve been given–is prepared to shoot this scene over and over again.  If you want a crowd of people running in terror, you don’t want your extras looking like they’re having a fun time.  Kinda undercuts what you’re trying to achieve.  So for take two, Mr. Director Man, you should tell the crowd to look frightened.

Technically, though, you’re not allowed to talk to the extras, Mr. Director Man.  That’s the job of the assistant director; in fact, if a director “directs” an extra–even something like “Hey, you!  Get off the set!”–that extra now moves up to become a paid player.  Yet another thing to add to the “Tom Batiuk knows nothing about how movies are made” column.

This 24/7/365 Starbuck Jones obsession clearly shows that Tom Batiuk has lost all interest in both of his comic strips.   I don’t know why he continues with Funky Winkerbean or Crankshaft–the paycheck, I guess, and the chance to win an award for longevity.  There certainly have not been any stories that engaged him that don’t involve Starbuck Jones.  The “senior trip” thing recently was an embarrassment, something he felt he had to get out of the way so he could get back to Starbuck Jones.   Before that, it was a week of Wedgeman’s class ring.  Obviously stuff that a “high school strip” needs, but interesting to no one.

The problem is, as I’ve mentioned before, Tom Batiuk is self-aware enough to know that he doesn’t have the talent to do Starbuck Jones.  This is why we’ve never seen Starbuck Jones doing anything in the strip, other than “appearing.”  When he had the vintage serial arc, we saw practically nothing of the film but we sure had a lot of people jabbering over it.  When a comic book cover is required, someone else draws it.  Tom Batiuk has written or drawn nothing of significance regarding Starbuck Jones.

So, aware that if he tried it, he would ruin it, I imagine Tom Batiuk would hire people to write and draw Starbuck Jones.  Oh, he would be the editorial supervisor, and make suggestions and create new characters and so forth.  In other words–

He would be Brady Wentworth.

Given Mr. Batiuk’s record on wrapping things up quickly, well…I haven’t seen tomorrow’s entry, but it would not surprise me one bit if it’s something like this–

Bear in mind, this is one day after filming in a high school auditorium.  Yes, it’s unlikely, but…can you prove that it won’t happen?

That’s it from me, folks!  Tune in tomorrow when the fantastic Epicus Doomus takes the center seat.  Back to the funway, which is already in progress!



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

17 responses to “And Then Along Came Jones

  1. Rusty Shackleford

    That director looks different every time they draw him. Poor quality control Batty.

  2. Well, it contains a possibility that Les will die in a pyrotechnics accident, so yeah, I’d say that counts as a pretty good graduation.

  3. spacemanspiff85

    “We’re about the shoot the MOVIE SCENE”? Are they shooting other scenes? Did Batiuk think readers would be so confused by “we’re about to start shooting” or “we’re about to start shooting the scene” that they wouldn’t be able to appreciate the strip? Does Batiuk think anyone actually appreciates his strips anymore?

  4. Epicus Doomus

    spacemanspiff85: Spit take. I didn’t even catch that. Think he talks like that at home in real life? “Hon, the pizza is here. It’s in the pizza box”.

    Same thoughts here. One, how many graduations has that idiot been to and two, doesn’t a large crowd of excited happy people kind of, you know, spoil the apocalyptic effect they’re presumably looking for here? And likewise, I’m also kind of shocked that he’s shown as much of the movie as he has, as I expected everyone to merely be talking about the scene instead of him actually showing it.

    Oh, there’s no way BanTom could ever pull a “real” Starbuck Jones story off. A cover premise, sure. Some sort of related background jibber-jabber like hilarious names and zany planets? Oh yeah, definitely. But an actual SJ story, like with a beginning, middle and end? No f*cking way. A few days back I mentioned how cool it might be if he were to “show” SJ via a bunch of consecutive Sunday strips spaced out over the year. He has the platform, he obviously has the artistic leeway, it’s a novel idea and it might actually attract some positive attention. But it would require writing an actual coherent story and he wouldn’t be able to resort to his usual bag of tricks so there’s less than zero chance of anything nearly that ambitious happening.

    I would guess that maybe, eventually, we’ll get a glimpse of a scene or two when the gang goes to that horrible dump over in Centerville for the big premier, followed by a gathering at Montoni’s where various characters will say things like, “and that scene where Starbuck hung with one hand from the galactic dolphin capacitor and destroyed all the ambient plextoid drones with his time-disrupting space bazooka was amazing!”. Then there will be a sequel and this SJ production premise will become another long running gag, like those f*cking band turkeys.

  5. spacemanspiff85

    Batiuk randomly posted a picture of his desk on his blog. You can see yet other Starbuck cover (surprise!) and someone’s crotch. Also, for some reason he’s typing up an introduction to “The Last Leaf”. I don’t know what’s worse, that he’s actually planning to publish that thing in real life, or that he’s just typing up a fake introduction for Les’s fictional book.

  6. spacemanspiff85

    Epicus Doomus:
    What’ll probably happen after they watch the movie is Cindy will bitch about how much younger and hotter than her Jupiter Moon was and how much Mason seemed to be enjoying the dozen sex scenes with her. Les will correct the movie’s grammar. Funky will bitch about how when he was a kid he wanted to be Starbuck Jones, and now that’s he old and fat he just wishes he could sit and watch a movie without having to get up every ten minutes to pee. Holly and Cayla will, if they’re lucky, sit in the background smiling.

  7. Epicus Doomus

    spacemanspiff85: I am looking at it right now and it is utterly fascinating. Why is there a copy of “Lisa’s Story” carefully placed in the shot like that? Is he trying to pretend he keeps it handy for reference or something? The text on the screen and on the printed copy are different although I can’t make much out other than some crap about that stupid tree of his. I like how it’s all carefully staged while pretending to be natural, like how FW pretends to be entertaining.

  8. spacemanspiff85

    @Epicus Doomus:
    I really like what I assume is a list of plot ideas for Crankshaft (man, just that concept is hilarious). “Ed and the gardening club” is on there, and there’s two separate things about bowling. Crankshaft literally goes through the same half-dozen stories every year just about, so it’s pretty funny that Batiuk has to sit down and write them out. I would love to see that list for FW.

  9. Epicus Doomus

    spacemanspiff85: From what I can make out, the printed text seems to be coming from Les’ point of view, unless TomBan has a big porch and a favorite tree too, which is entirely possible I suppose. I just love the fake randomness, like it’s really a bustling little workstation just bursting with creativity. The “Lisa’s Story” kills me though, as if he doesn’t have every scribble of that thing memorized. I imagine guests visiting BanTom Inc. Studios, shaking his hand when they leave, walking to their car and suddenly realizing they’re holding a signed copy without even knowing it.

    I almost forgot all about “The Last Leaf”. There’s still that trip to Hong Kong too. TomBan drawing lots of Asian people…hooooooo boy howdy, that should go well.

  10. Jimmy

    My three cents:

    1) I actually learned something about movie making this week. Granted, it was from SOSF, but Batiuk was the driver.

    2) I would read that alternative FW comic from BC every day.

    3) No, just no to a real, live Last Leaf book.

  11. spacemanspiff85

    @Epicus Doomus:
    I find it kind of hard to believe that Batiuk will do a story that involves travelling and Cayla, even if it is all about Les. If anything, I just think Les will randomly drop “When I was in Hong Kong last month…” in a conversation at Montoni’s and that’ll be it.

  12. So, on the one side, we have the joys of trampling because Batiuk is too stupid to understand how movie work. On the other, we have Jeff being a complete dick about his mother.

  13. Saturnino

    I don’t know, is it me. It seems that here in the PDRNJ about this time of year and thru the summer, those CONGRATULATIONS MURGATROYD! and CONGRATULATIONS THESNELDA! Ridgewood High School signs pop up all over the place. Is it just me, or do they make you want to vomit, too?

    In my day, High School was something you did, and if you didn’t it wasn’t a good thing. Maybe you got some money from the folks and relatives, and any parties were generally student planned and executed. But it was just a normal and expected part of life.

    Now these signs are all over for high school, middle school, elementary school, and I predict, soon for kindergarten.

    Batiuk should have the spaceship drop CONGRATULATIONS! signs on the crowd and impale all of the students.

  14. Rusty Shackleford


    Yeah, Crankshaft is total BS. Jeff needs to grow up and take responsibility for his own happiness. But no, in the Battyverse, you time travel constantly and then b!tch and moan about your sad life.

  15. Don

    Is having the graduating boys wearing one color of cap and gown and the girls another a “thing” in real life? Or are the girls planning on joining the Navy and the boys the Marines (since that’s how graduating cadets dress at the Naval Academy graduation)?

    And who’s going to pay to straighten out those football goal posts? I can almost see Bull making the phone calls: “Er, we have to cancel our scheduled football game; one of our goal posts was destroyed making a movie, and we spent our reserve funds on girls’ basketball.” Then again, I wouldn’t be surprised (especially if there’s a time jump coming up) to see a storyline where every team in the league/conference except Westview and Big Walnut Tech cancels its football season because too many mothers prevented their sons from playing.

  16. HeyItsDave

    @Don – Many schools do have the girls wear white and the guys wear black, though not all do. My high school did. Hard to believe, but T-Bats did that little detail right.

    So, now the movie has happy vicktims laughing and shouting to each other as they’re supposedly attacked by aliens. Jesus, this is movie is going to round up a whopping 0% on Rotten Tomatoes.

  17. @Rusty Shackleford: But if he were to do THAT, Batiuk would have no means of beating us over the head with his mother issues… how she clearly hated him because she wanted him to make his mark in the world instead of obsessing about the worst of junk culture.