Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Link to today’s strip.

Yeah, I know, Frankie’s been there for several weeks, but how could I resist that title?

There’s a marked difference in tone when Tom Batiuk loves a character (Les), hates a character (Bull et al) and when he doesn’t give a damn about a character (a lot of them).

Mason seems to fall into this third category; once Batiuk got the pun through, he really seemed to lose interest in Mason.  Oh sure, he’s a nice guy, well off, generous to a fault (or a Darrin), a bit dim, very good at calming Cindy’s many fears…other than that, he’s a paper towel.  He’s there to get the job done and that’s it.

Cindy seems to be somewhere in the half-world between hatred and indifference.  On the one hand, she’s a mass of neuroses which need constant tending; she’s rude to every female she meets; and she gave up on Funky.  On the other, she’s been given a guy who goes out of his way to help her feel good about herself.   The only other person who has had such a devoted mate was…Les Moore.  It may be that now she’s “old” and feels terrible about her condition, she’ll be allowed some relief.

Though I would have said that about Bull up until last week.  He was actively trying to cut down on bullying in the school, wanting to atone for what he’d done as a student.  And then he got handed his ass.  That still seems like the cruelest blow ever struck by this strip (though BillyTheSkink’s rundown of Coach Stropp’s last days seems definitely worse).

I guess in Tom Batiuk’s mind, Bull was turning out to be an “okay” person, a candidate for possible redemption, until Tom Batiuk happened to thumb through one of the high school yearbooks that he keeps close at hand, and noted that the guy who bullied him in school was named “Jerome,” and then something snapped.

And now, taking up the entire stage right, we have Frankie.  This is not my favorite drawing of Frankie.  This–

–is my favorite drawing of Frankie.  Look at that openly happy and joyous expression!  There’s a man about to explode with happiness–or a man surgically altered for transfer to the “Popeye” comic strip.  He’s also hiding a turkey baster in his shirt, which shows preparedness!  Unless that’s Kuato waking up.

Despite his status as a villain, Frankie is another character that Tom Batiuk seems to have no idea what to do with.  (Sorry about the grammar, there.) It’s clear that Batiuk wants a villain (not recognizing that Les Moore fits that role to a T), but it’s also clear that he doesn’t want a real villain–someone that could only be defeated through cleverness and *cough* work.  Hence, Frankie is always portrayed as somewhat hapless and unprepared, and his schemes (such as they are) are so blatantly stupid that even a half-wit like Darrin doesn’t fall for them.   With a spot of cleverness, Frankie’s schemes could probably work; all he needs to do is disguise his intent somewhat and the Westview morons would fall into line.  Unfortunately, that “spot of cleverness” will always be lacking.  Because there can only be one “smart” person in the comic strip.  And anything that takes away from Les Moore’s lustre is not to be permitted.

So…any guesses as to the form his latest scheme will take?  A headline like “Elder Stars of ‘Starbuck Jones’ in Torrid Affair!” seems likely.  Of course, “Elder Stars of ‘Starbuck Jones’ Enjoy Ice Cream!” is also a good guess.  Remember, this is Frankie we’re dealing with.

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14 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

14 responses to “Frankie Goes to Hollywood

  1. Epicus Doomus

    This is a fine example of BatNom at his most obnoxious. Apparently a) Mason dons his costume BEFORE he arrives at the studio, b) Cliff Anger’s “small part” in the film has become much, much bigger and c) Batiuk has Frankie lurking, smirking and scheming as if he actually has a “story” in mind here when we all know he most definitely does not. Obviously Frankie will make up some dumb gossip about Mason and Marianne, Cindy will freak out and yadda yadda yadda Frankie gets his in the weakest most feeble manner possible. And it’ll take YEARS to play out, too.

  2. $$$WESTVIEW ONCOLOGIST$$$

    “Mwahhha. Yes my evil plan is working to perfection, I’ll hide in this hangar and scare Vera & Cliff and then they will DROP THEIR ICE CREAM!!!!!. I am a criminal mastermind!!!!”

  3. spacemanspiff85

    I’m just going to be optimistic and assume that the second panel is drawn so ominous because Frankie has a gun hidden out of sight and this strip is about to get exciting for once.

  4. The Merry Pookster

    Oh Oh….Frankie reports on a studio romance between two golden oldies who are both single and long ago faded from the public eye.
    That should make it to page 4 of the Metro Shopper news paper one finds at the grocery store

  5. Jimmy

    I only read the Thrifty Nickel. I hope they pick up the story.

  6. billytheskink

    I’d rather see sparks coming out of that fuse box in panel 1.

  7. HeyItsDave

    Yes, another Ripping Yarn from the mighty Funky Felt-tip. [yawn stifling intensifies]

  8. One would be forgiven for assuming that his gambit involves a giant rubber band and Acme rocket skates.

  9. Chyron HR

    I, for one, am not giving any money to that Flash Geordie movie since I found out that the producers condone GROSS OLD PEOPLE SEX.

  10. HeyItsDave

    @Chyron HR – It’s called GILFs and Grandpas now.

  11. louder

    Of course, workers from the food truck have passes that give them access to the set anytime they want. No studio security anywhere to be found. BatHack sure knows his way around Hollywood! It’s hard to believe how bad this comic really is.

  12. Why is Cliffe Angere still on the set? They should have shot his cameo and shipped his ass back to that shithole apartment in the Bronx ages ago…

  13. Frankie’s smirking profile just doesn’t convey the necessary menace.

    There. That’s better…

  14. Isn’t Cindy supposed to be the jealous type? What’s going to happen when she discovers Masone is getting all chatty with some svelte, DD-cup, smirky 21-year-old blonde cheerleader from UCLA? Masone likes ’em young, fresh and tight, doesn’t he?