Slow Motion Story Arc Too

Link to today’s strip

Wow, Mopey Pete sure can become a whirlwind of activity when something really stupid inspires him, you know? Just think, if Cliff had never sold that old decoder ring Pete never would have come up with the idea to stage an event where old SJ fans gather to talk about old decoder rings. It’s so funny how life works out that way, innit? Good thing he didn’t auction off his old SJ underpants too, or this arc could have taken an ugly, ugly turn very quickly.

I like how all this nostalgia-wallowing only serves to emphasize how Anger essentially wasted sixty years of his life living as a bitter old recluse for no reason whatsoever. But it’s all OK now as at long last he has a reason to celebrate the only noteworthy thing he ever did…sixty years ago. When you think about it like that it’s all incredibly depressing. And it’s also kind of depressing how a guy who’s been doing a daily comic strip for forty-four years could possibly create a new character this one-dimensional and shallow, although it’s certainly not surprising.

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16 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

16 responses to “Slow Motion Story Arc Too

  1. So, the rings are so rare that they’re auctioned off on Fleabay, yet everyone has one–or at least enough folks to fill a room. And from all over the country, too, come these folks who are rich enough to fly into town and are utterly addlepated. You’d think Tom Batiuk could use index cards or something to keep all this dull stuff straight. Maybe he tries but keeps falling asleep.

    I like how the crowd is just milling around, completely ignoring the stage. IS that Cindy up front, guzzling the wine?

  2. Gerard Plourde

    So Pete put the coded ad not just in “The Paper”, but in papers around the country about a week before the event? Great planning – Can you imagine what airfare to Cleveland with less than seven days’ notice would be? I’m sure Batty doesn’t. All this for a one afternoon “meet and greet” event (probably not even a full afternoon at that).

    I wonder if this is an unconscious reflection of the amount of planning he actually puts into the strips.

  3. spacemanspiff85

    I like how the crowd really doesn’t seem to be paying much attention to the people on stage.

  4. Rembrandt36

    Smirk!

  5. jp

    Gah. That is some toxic smugness in that third panel (with double-smirk action, ewww).

  6. Rusty Shackleford

    wow, this story is sure believable. But we got a pair o smirks at the end!

  7. Epicus Doomus

    As usual you see the way BanTom goes out of his way to make sure that every single plot detail either makes no sense or contradicts what we thought we already knew. The rings were rare, now everyone has them. The movie was obscure, now everyone knows about it. Cliff was a reclusive grouch, now he’s a smirking imbecile.

  8. HeyItsDave

    Yeah, Pete, that sure was some advanced level encryption there. Real goddamn Enigma Machine stuff. Only people with an uberspecial decoder ring – or a third-grader’s ability to solve a newspaper cryptogram – could figure it out.

    Now all we have to do is figure out how all these people managed to clear a weekday afternoon and book travel to Cleveland, America’s Taint, with about a week’s notice. Oh, wait. They’re all fans of a mid-century B-movie serial, and they all read newspapers. That’s the answer, they’re all members of AARP with no jobs to go to and access to special travel deals.

  9. Epicus Doomus

    It’ll be interesting to see what startlingly stupid path he takes next. Will Cliff reveal anything at all about his old career and post-SJ life or will he continue to exist as a vehicle for Batiuk to ram more 1950s comic book nostalgia and adorable old folks gags down our throats? I think we all know the answer there.

  10. Creating and publishing that ad is the first actual writing that Pete has done in years. He usually just sits around moping and complaining that his job is unreasonably hard. So—progress?

  11. Great. On this side, Mopey Pete boasting about his power to summon other whining losers making a fetish of their boring-as-anything childhoods. On the other, Batiuk’s oh-so-subtle and oh-so-wrong look at how the Man is not on his side any longer because reasons.

  12. Saturnino

    Makes sense.

    But how did these folks pay for the trip?

    They apparently are the remains of the Spaceman cult who sold all of their worldly goods to await the flying saucer that was to take them from earth before it was destroyed.

    But the Spacemen and saucer never showed up at the appointed hour, just “called” on the phone to say that the cults’ faith faith saved the earth and they were not coming. There was probably even a spaceman as a mole in the cult.

    You remember that one? And you wondered what happened to those folks after it was all over?

    Well, now you know.

  13. Ugh, Mopey Pete’s smug self-satisfaction is reaching Les Moore levels. On the plus side, this means that Pete will soon kill Les in order to take his place as Supreme Douchebag.

  14. As if Cliff, the nonagenarian hermit, knows what a “flash mob” is. I’m surprised Batiuk even does.

  15. If I were writing this strip, I’d have Cliff announce that he was running for President of the United States. He’d promise, if election he’d put bring America back to the 1950s again. And he was going to make sure the country was being run by white males again, and that all the womenfolk were heading back to the kitchen, the minorities would know their places, and gay kids would be barred from attending prom. In other words, I’d have Cliff be just like Donald Trump.

    This is where idealistic, ignorant nostalgia leads to, Batiuk.

  16. Hitorque

    So only 20 people nationwide showed up, not just 20 people from the greater Cleveland area? And this is supposed to be a smirk worthy success??

    Did Pete Rattabastardo really pay for ads in thousands of newspapers in all 50 states? Did he really make all those calls himself? No wonder he never had any time to improve that stupid script…