Well, That De-escalated Quickly!

Sorry, snarkers: the catfight between Cindy and Marianne will not be televised, or uh, comic-strip-tized, uh…we don’t get to see it. It doesn’t happen, apparently, because Mason’s explained to Cindy that it’s not as it seems, and very quickly and convincingly, too. This plotline has become a complete shit show, even by Batiuk’s nonexistent standards. He spends months setting up this conflict between Cindy and Marianne, brings it to a climax in the most contrived way, and then Mason explains it all away and Cindy buys it…offscreen. The paternalistic Director Guy chimes in: “Hey! Hold it down, kids. Don’t get excited! (Who’s excited?) We’ve already put out a corrected story.” Who’s “we“? Don’t “corrected stories” come from the source of the incorrect story? Is he talking about their publicist? “We” have no idea. Nor have we any idea why that massive-headed freak in panel 3—we’ll have to assume it’s Marianne in a “wife beater” undershirt—is just now seeing and is completely aghast at the “DMZ” story.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

24 responses to “Well, That De-escalated Quickly!

  1. “Gather round, kids, and stay on camera, we’ll all listen together…”
    (Sorry, every time someone quotes FT, I just gotta chime in.)
    When I read this, I first thought was, “Well played, Tom Batiuk! We were all expecting a long, drawn-out expanse of blandness, and Tom Batiuk completely blind-sided us!”
    Naturally, though, there’s a problem. By constructing his story (and I use the word advisedly) this way, he’s admitting it:
    We are his only audience.
    Who got served?

  2. billytheskink

    Anticlimactic for us readers, sure, but Summer is shocked, absolutely SHOCKED, by this story!

  3. Thanks @beckoningchasm for picking up my Firesign Theatre reference 🙂

    Meanwhile in (the real) Hollywood, actor TJ Miller got arrested this morning after fighting with an Uber driver. I’ll bet the director of Office Christmas Party is ripping TJ a new one over what this is going to do for the weekend box office!

  4. Epicus Doomus

    Sure Tom, the obscenely chaste and pure young Marianne is just stunned to discover that people gossip about movie stars. Poor, poor innocent and sweet Marianne, she’s just a wholesome small town girl trying to make it and remain anonymous and unchanged as she films a hugely-anticipated Hollywood blockbuster. She’s not jaded and battle-hardened like Mason (the guy who once had to borrow a nail from Les to gut his way through a table read), thus she’s just totally unprepared to deal with the mosquitoes on the evil, evil internet.

    At this point it’s just more embarrassing than anything else. It’s pretty funny how BanTom once again proves his “online haters” right via an arc about the evils of online haters, as it features everything his critics savage him about: piss-poor writing, stupid unbelievable characters, no regard for continuity or common sense and a ham-fisted self-indulgent approach to spinning his weird little fantasy tangents that makes it impossible to do anything but point and laugh at the ineptitude involved. The fact that he apparently has no idea isn’t helping, either.

  5. spacemanspiff85

    So, why was the director so worked up just thirty seconds ago? How did they already released a “corrected” story? How was it corrected? “Mason was totally innocently visiting his co-star’s mother? Just trust us.”? And somehow that’s taken care of the problem?

  6. Gerard Plourde

    “This plotline has become a complete shit show, even by Batiuk’s nonexistent standards.”

    The lack of coherent, feasible plot has been a hallmark of this strip pretty much since the “time pool reunion” arc. (There were instances of disjointedness before but that’s when things totally went off the rails.)

    The tally of lost plot lines even within this arc alone is piling up. It seems that Darin and Jessica’s baby has entered the limbo of the lost. Is DSH John ever going to show up to take the job he was offered after he figured out and exposed the entire plot of the movie? Are Pete and Darin still doing rewrites of the script? Is this move ever going to be finished?

  7. Is that Marianne surprised by the obvious? Is that Summer or Mopey Pete? Is it some random twitter-tot being shocked that he can’t trust on-line news? Does anyone care?

    No. It’s all just random gibberish from a man who can’t see that his talent is gone.

  8. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    FW, the comic where nothing happens, and then nothing happens.

    Could anyone so insanely jealous and insecure be calmed by any explanation? “So you were only going to meet her mother to take your relationship to the next level? Please forgive me for being so silly, dear.”

    Whatever he said, her next question should have been, “THEN WHY THE FUCK WAS SHE KISSING YOU???” Unless his only comment was, “One more word, bitch, and you’ll be on the next plane to Ohio with only the clothes you wore out here.”

  9. Charles

    Well, I thought it before, but this makes it abundantly clear. Marianne, the beautiful, successful and deeply desired actress was intentionally drawn to look like Summer Moore. Put a hoodie on her and no one would be able to tell the difference. If you ever wondered why Summer was drawn the way she was, or why she never changed her look throughout her entire high school and college career, realize that her look is what Batiuk thinks is a beautiful woman.

    And her hair is ghastly. Is there a single young, beautiful actress who wears her hair even remotely like that? The closest actress I can think, who is not young, is Janine Turner, but she gives off a different vibe entirely. She wouldn’t be playing Starbuck’s love interest. She’d be playing his mother or sister.

  10. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    Oh, yeah. Are we supposed to recognize the person in the last frame?

  11. Saturnino

    “Tom Batiuk completely blind-sided us!”

    Blind sided or bland sided?

  12. Rusty Shackleford

    Achievement Unlocked: Worst wordplay ever.

  13. Rusty Shackleford


    Good observation regarding Batty and female hairstyles. Cindy is the only feminine one in the strip, save for Les.

  14. The Merry Pookster

    Peco and Alvarez just returned from patrol and filed an anti-DMZ story

  15. It seems to me that one of the people who posts on the comments section has something. He believes that WE are the New McCarthy hounding innocents to death with our baseless comments about how his strip is an incoherent tangle of non-events that leave people cold.

  16. Notice that director-guy doesn’t say what the “corrected” story is. However, DMZ already has it: “Contrary to our earlier story that Masoné Jar-Jarré is banging his co-star, we have now learned from sources inside the studio that Jarré is in fact banging his co-star’s mother, who is closer to the age of his fiancee.”

  17. Gerard Plourde

    It does baffle me that he seems to go out of his way to short circuit his plot lines. The last two days are an example. The interaction between Mason and Cindy over the tabloid story and Cindy’s insecurities could have been an opportunity to develop their characters and to add depth to their relationship. Instead, we get only the wrap-up. What’s frustrating is that he does have ideas that show imagination and potential, but he doesn’t follow through.

  18. Rusty Shackleford


    Yeah, I re-read volume1 and 2 last year and there was lots of funny and creative material and so it’s obvious Batiuk has the potential.

    Nowadays he is just chasing awards and following his own interests and doing whatever the heck he wants.

  19. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    Summer Moore sits at her laptop for her daily dose of of the DMZ Show. What’s this? Raw, perverted SEX between Maesonne Jaerrre and some SLUT!!

    “Hnff… I guess I had a chance with him after all.”

    Karmeeshia emerges from the shower in a skimpy towel. “HEY!! What are YOU lookin’ at onna computer??”

    Summer slams the laptop closed. “Nuthin’…”

  20. Epicus Doomus

    Yeah, the whole “Marianne = Summer” thing is pretty weird, but it’s sort of in line with this new approach to the Marianne character, where she’s “little sis” to Mason’s “big bro”. It’s yet another pitiful female character, Mason can shrug away at the “mosquitoes” but delicate little Marianne is unprepared for such intense scrutiny, what with being “just a kid” and all. So embarrassing and trite.

  21. My memory is that Cindy told Mason that Marianne had the “reputation of falling in love with her co-stars.”

    Where would Cindy have learned that, I wonder? On the internet, maybe?

    So, therefor it’s not completely out of the blue that some people think Marianne has a “reputation”–perhaps one that might make the SJ movie “red hot.”

    But no, no, no, none of that ever happened., Marianne is a babe in the woods.

    “Continuity” is out in the backyard, weeping copiously.

  22. Rusty Shackleford

    “Falling in love with your co-stars” = boring


    You know what? I’m beginning to wonder if different people wrote those strips. As bad as Batiuk is, I can’t imagine he would be that bad at continuity within strips that happened within a week.

  24. Charles

    As bad as Batiuk is, I can’t imagine he would be that bad at continuity within strips that happened within a week.

    I don’t know. I’d be willing to bet that within a month (if indeed he starts a new sequence on Monday), we’ll see Cindy back to being jealous and suspicious of Mason and his relationship with Marianne. This will happen even though it makes no sense that a woman who would believe Mason’s absurd explanation in today’s strip would be that suspicious and jealous of his actions in the first place.

    Then again, if Cindy’s jealousy is never brought up again, I suppose that fits with his whole “no sustained conflict between named characters” policy. So which of Batiuk’s two terrible writing conceits wins out?