Technicolor Difficulties

TFH, you are a tough act to follow, I stand in line… and apparently it is my turn. Hello folks, billytheskink here to do my level best as I take you through Christmas. Remember, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, no matter what Funky Winkerbean has in store for us.

The world’s gone grayscale in today’s strip.  What could this mean?

Tonal shift?  Dream sequence?  Reference to comic book or film that no one under the age of 83 remembers?  That the syndicate colorist up and quit, their conscience finally getting the best of them?  So many possibilities, but we will probably never know the true story.

Meanwhile, things are happening:
– Mason has psychoanalyzed the internet.
– Cindy thinks a movie set is the perfect place to break out her little black dress.
– The tablet that Mr. Director was thrusting at Mason last week has morphed into a laptop.
– The Starbuck Jones crew has made sure to properly light today’s trio as they crowd around their Pineapple Abacaxibook.
– We learn that Marianne owns a 1991 Mercury Capri convertible.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

22 responses to “Technicolor Difficulties

  1. She’s going to jump off the fucking sign, isn’t she?

  2. Epicus Doomus

    So to recap: far from being a world-famous actress, red-hot property and infamous leading man-eater, Marianne is actually a twee young kid who lives with her mom in a humble little Hollywood bungalow, until today blissfully unaware of the existence of online comment boards and the thirst for Hollywood movie gossip. And furthermore, the vicious animals ripping Marianne apart online (although for what I’m not quite certain) are just building themselves up by stomping all over simple hard-working Hollywood folk, much as I build myself up by relentlessly making fun of a shitty comic strip that’s inexplicably been running uninterrupted for something like two hundred years now. Finally, this thing is all coming together.

    A normal writer would have Frankie leak a series of bullshit stories to DMZ, each one involving a different cast or crew member. Then they’d all realize Frankie was the link and they’d band together to wreak havoc and revenge upon him. But not our BanTom, instead he goes off on a bizarre tangent involving a stupid character who couldn’t possibly exist in real life and has that character react in a hilariously dumb manner that basically frames and showcases TheAuthor’s numerous flaws as a storyteller. And why the f*ck is this in black and white?

  3. The Merry Pookster

    Speaking as a “Stunted Individual” ….TB if I were to stand on you, I’d still be inches below ground level.

  4. Gerard Plourde

    @Epicus Doomus –

    It appears that we’re also supposed to believe that she landed a leading role in the Starbuck Jones film without an agent, whose job includes running interference in situations like this.

    If this is the long-promoed “bullying arc” and if he does “Peg Entwistle” Marianne, it will once again show how far he is removed from dealing with the real problem. He has a ready-made setting in the form of Westview High School and the students and staff there which would mirror the real world conditions, including the all-too-often ineffectiveness of real teaches and administrators. But no, we appear to be on another of his flights of fancy.

  5. billytheskink

    Oh these “stunted individuals” existed long before the internet. As a kid, I remember seeing The National Enquirer for sale at the grocery store checkout, my mother explaining to me that it was full of dubious celebrity gossip. There was also this comic strip about a television talk show host, who was portrayed as complete moron, where caricatures of real celebrities often appeared and were extensively mocked. What was that strip called again? John something, I think…

  6. spacemanspiff85

    Wasn’t there a week a while back that was inexplicably in black and white, making everyone think it was a dream? Until it turned out not to be, but was probably just Batiuk forgetting to submit his color picks for the week, or the colorist not even bothering to do it, because seriously, what’s the point?

  7. Epicus Doomus

    Gerard Plourde: I’m guessing that her mom acts as her agent, probably using good old fashioned gumption in some capacity. I’d bet on elbow grease too, as Mrs. Winters seems like the type.

    spacemanspiff85: The silent panels on Sunday clearly indicate imminent profoundity, but the black & white? Beats me. It’s become another meaningless BanTom trope, like those photo album corner things he uses even when they’re not actual memories.

  8. He probably gets all grey-scale on us when he wants to remind us that THIS IS SERIOUS BUSINESS. The problem that it’s not serious business at all. It’s a fragile ignoramus killing herself for a pants-on-head-stupid reason meant to stand for a problem that the moron author doesn’t really understand. Hmmm. On the whole, I think that I’d much rather have him disrespect Stan the Man Lee for telling him that he needs to understand and respect the audience.

  9. Rusty Shackleford

    Yeah Batty, you are a celebrity and by complaining we are trying to stand on your shoulders. Right.

    You see Batty, humans like to complain, it’s a gift that costs nothing and part of the fun of watching a tv show or reading a comic, is to get together and pick it apart. Especially when the show, movie, or comic is a train wreck.

  10. bayoustu

    Please please please: let her jump off the Hollywood sign- and land on Les!

  11. sgtsaunders

    Whew! In a mere three panels, Tombat manages to calm Cindy down, put down “stunted individuals” of the internets (I think he means us) who harass “celebrities (I think he means himself), all the while, well, let’s just say I think the groundhog sees his shadow, because there will definitely not be six more weeks of Winters. By the end of the week, it will be all like “Missy Winters, she dead.” The horror. The horror.

  12. With yesterday’s all-silent-but-for-one-line strip, and today’s black-and-white, you’d almost think TomBats is trying to compare himself to Mel Brooks and/or Gene Wilder (but, of course, without the humor).

    Meanwhile, as somebody on the Komix Qingdumb board pointed out, Masoné seems to be grabbing his stuff in the first panel. What are they looking at on that Pineapplebüch, porn?

  13. I think I get why Batiuk’s writing falls flat so much–he is unable to imagine, and therefore empathize with, any perspective that is not his own. The “gay prom” arc focused on the straight allies, pushing the LGBT youth literally to the sidelines and out of sight. Molly responds to her son being deployed overseas not by getting involved with veteran services or bonding with other military parents, but collecting comic books. And now we have a cyberbullying story, and who is the target? An outcast teen who can’t even escape the cruelty of their peers in their own house? A college girl who gets roofied at a party and finds pictures of her unconscious, stripped body posted for the world to see? No, a “celebrity” (both in universe and out, the term is being used very loosely) who can’t cope with the fact that not everybody on the internet loves them. He writes what he knows, but what he knows is a small, limited world indeed.


    Hey Batty, you there? I know you read this website religiously so listen up.

    1. You know what is also a sign of stunted growth? Not being able to take criticism well. Grow up! If your going to accept having fans you are going to have to accept having critics. Those “sportos” that you mock all the time endure booing all the time, yet never lash back at the crowd. Learn from their example.

    2. Mr. Batiuk if you should ever find yourself in a personal scandal, I will be your first defender. I would be the one on this board
    saying that it’s too personal and we should stick to just the snarking of the strip. And I imagine I would have plenty of people on SOSF that would
    agree with that sentiment. That’s how emotionally stunted I am.

    3. Just because I snark, doesn’t mean I don’t love a strip. I snark all the time on Gil Thorp, Judge Parker, and Mary Worth. But to be honest, I like those strips and appreciate them. When Frank Bolle suffered in drawing Apt 3G I actually was saddened, because the guy was a legend. Your strips on the other hand I snark at and actually do hate. Why? Because they are bad. Pure and simple. Make me into a fan, Batiuk. Prove that you can write and draw as competently as you used to. The creators of Dick Tracy did it. Let’s see if you can.

  15. 1. Can Batiuk PLEASE give us a final ruling on whether Marianne is an established superstar or is she some well-meaning but naïve girl from the good ol’ Middle American smalltown trying to make it big only to get railroaded by decadent, evil Hollywood values?? I also want a final ruling on whether or not Marianne is some hottie sexpot seductress with a reputation for fucking her co-stars, or was it internet slander and/or Cindy just making shit up out of jealous hatred. Fun Fact: He’s irreparably written himself into multiple paradoxes no matter which option he finally settles on…

    2. Part of me thinks the black+white is a foreboding sign, but then I remember nothing happened the last time Batiuk went B&W for a week…

    3. Why the fuck would Cindy care about what’s being said about Marianne? It’s been established that she views Marianne as a potential romantic rival and doesn’t like her as a result… And why the fuck would Cindy have the least bit of sympathy for what people are saying online, given that she was Westview High’s Hall-of-Famer Queen Bitch of Judgmental Snark? If anything, Cindy should be logging on to her troll/sockpuppet accounts as soon as everyone’s out of sight…

    4. Isn’t Cindy taking this remarkably well?? I mean, she’s blown up on more than one occasion for incidents a lot more innocent than this… I mean, just 60-90 minutes ago she ruined a take just because she didn’t want to see movie characters kiss, FFS…

    5. Sadly I guess I was right when I suspected this ‘plot’ was just some unused high school plot in the attic of Batiuk’s mind which he oh-so-sloppily tried to shoehorn into Hollywood…

    6. WHY are all three of these assholes hunched around one laptop? Shouldn’t Cindy be getting back to her office and start editing her interview? Don’t Masone and director boy have some movie production shit they could be doing right now??

    7. So to recap, the moral of the story is not about Cindy’s jealousy, Masone’s obliviousness and appalling lack of judgement, Marianne’s overly flirty nature which is at the worst a mild breach of manners and professionalism, it’s not even a social statement about celebrity-humping gossip rags and the lengths they go to invade privacy. The true villain here kids is the INNERNETTE! Always remember the INNERNETTE and those who comment on it are all subhuman scum who deserve to die!

    8. Batiuk doesn’t know how the INNERNETTE works, Chapter CXCII – These three stooges do realize that no matter how bad the online commentary gets, in 24 hours there will be another new shiny plaything to chew on and Marianne will be totally forgotten, right?

    9. Marianne is about to do something really dumb, isn’t she?? Batiuk missed a trick by not having Marianne pull a Melinda Dillion in “Absence of Malice”, a movie which is right in the wheelhouse of both Batiuk and his target readership…

    10. For those who missed it – Marianne Winters is the talk of the every entertainment reporter and every message board in the country… Yet she is able to leave her house and drive around L.A. in an open-top convertible and not get recognized/followed…

    11. When the fuck did Masone become the unquestioned expert on everything cyber? Can he at least stop trying to sound all high-minded and philosophical when denouncing the INNERNETTE?


    4. And another thing. We’re the reasons your strip is even relevant today!! Without these internet critics, nobody would even know what Funky Winkerbean is. Your strips appearances on Cracked worst lists, Comic Carmudgeon and this site is what created “The Room” like interest in Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft. You should be paying US for the free publicity we give you!!! Or at very least we should get a Thank you!!!!

  17. 12. These assholes know they’re perpetuating the problem by reading every single negative comment from every single message board, and periodically saying “OMG that’s awful!!” doesn’t really help the situation, right?

  18. Professor Fate

    Shouldn’t these people be oh I don’t know – making a movie or something?
    Or at very least calling the apparently very sensitive Marianne (God I hope this isn’t a Gillian’s Island shout out) to let her know not to bother looking at the net.
    And really what are they saying that she stole Jarre from the now much beloved Cindy? People were very angry when Eddie Fisher left Debbie Reynolds for Elizabeth Taylor but they were all well known at the time – Cindy’s an ex NYC new anchor. It really doesn’t make sense at all.
    and tom do stop with the whining – you are making a living doing a comic strip a lot of folks would like to be that -that a lot of folks think your strip is awful well you should be flattered they even take an interest. So just zip the self pity.

  19. I think this is part of Tom Batiuk’s plan to derail the Starbuck Jones movie. After all, they’ve filmed a bunch of stuff with Marianne, can they replace and reshoot?

    The bind is this: only Les is allowed to achieve. Yet Starbuck Jones is something Tom Batiuk made up as a kid, so it can’t be seen as a failure. Having the movie shut down like this would keep Les as the sole achiever and keep SJ from being tarnished.

  20. Jimmy

    Batiuk sat back in his chair, chomping on cookies with hot cocoa, thinking to himself, “Now you’ll be sorry, human mosquitoes. You killed Marianne Winters.”

  21. Charles

    “I can’t believe the things they’re saying about Marianne on the message boards!”

    The comic strip takes the bold stance of not including the audience.

    I also find Mason’s explanation a little wanting. People generally savage celebrities online because they have an issue with what the celebrity is doing. The issue might not be legitimate, or any of the poster’s business, but it’s still something other than “making myself feel big by tearing down a celebrity”. Perhaps if Batiuk gave us any indication of what’s being said, Mason’s explanation wouldn’t seem so facile and trite. But I can’t imagine anything other than “Marianne’s a big ol’ slut”, which pops up for entirely different reasons than people making themselves feel big.

    Anyway, if Marianne’s going to ritually kill herself because of this, it was only a matter of time before it happened anyway. If backlash gets this bad over this incident, it’s a miracle she survived after the news of her being cast in the role became public.

  22. Charles

    Also, if someone’s going to kill themselves over an over the top rejection of their person, it has to be Les once he realized how little regard the most significant cultural industry in the world had for his masterpiece. Les was supposed to win an Academy Award, after all. Instead, he ran back to his shithole town after a television studio couldn’t even get past a god damn table read. (And it’s not me calling Westview a shithole. Every one of its residents would say the same thing.)

    The world simply does not deserve Les. So at the next Academy Awards, he should show up on the red carpet, pour gasoline all over himself, and light himself on fire. That would be making a far greater statement about the cruelty and selfishness of the world than his weak-ass little cancer book.