Race To Lee Mountain (I Presume)

Today’s strip was not available for preview. It probably involves Mason and Cindy driving toward Marianne’s location, which Mason is either still teasing or half-explaining to Cindy. Maybe they will have already arrived, with Mason continuing his train of thought from yesterday’s strip as if they had just gotten in the car instead of taken the 30 minute drive that getting to the Hollywood sign requires. Maybe we’ll cut back to Marianne (Ha! no we won’t, not until sufficient drama has built). I’ll lean on our commenters to take the stuffing out of this one.

I would, however, like to focus on something commenter Charles said yesterday:

Instead, Mason has chosen to dash off like a 1950s football player posing for a promotional photo and give no specifics about Marianne’s presumed location. Makes you wonder if he really wants her found.

I think he wants her to be found on his terms. He wants to be the hero and the center of attention. He doesn’t want some dumb flatfoot getting credit for saving her.

Makes him a good successor to Les, in fact. This sort of reprehensible act designed to lionize himself is just the sort of thing Les would do. I wrote about Batiuk potentially bringing in a Dinkle V2.0, but in fact, Mason is Les V2.0.

I took a look back at the last time this strip teased a suicide, the infamous Susan Smith story arc from mid-1995. Was it any better than this current story arc? Well, yes and no. Yes, because it involved a teenage social outcast who had a well-established and unhealthy infatuation with a teacher rather than a popular actress with a background as deep as a tide pool… and no, because that teacher was Les. Also no, because TB was using those wavy borders I griped about all last week improperly even back then, when cutting from Les and Co. to Susan looking sad in a different setting.

Anyways, Charles’ point about Mason’s hero shtick being just the kind of thing Les would do is dead on. It is, in fact, exactly what Les does upon discovering Susan unconscious in her bedroom, literally saying “I can get her to the hospital quicker myself!” That’s nothing though, when compared to Les’ immediate response to Susan’s horrified mother, who was reasonably planning to call 911:

fw6-26-95

A certain universal New Yorker cartoon caption comes to mind…

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21 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

21 responses to “Race To Lee Mountain (I Presume)

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Ha ha, just a little comic relief before we find out if the young helpless starlet is splattered all over the ground in front of the big H. It’s funny, but only because sharp-eyed FW readers will recall that Cindy’s jealousy is rooted in Marianne’s history as an infamous man-eating scene-stealing hussy, a minor detail that’s already been retconned completely out of existence. Then again, from what we’ve seen so far this Marianne isn’t really wrapped too tight, so maybe she really is a notorious home-wrecking homebody who’s lighting up the box office as she looks for her first big break. It’s not any more or less insane than considering suicide seconds after reading a relatively innocuous online gossip story you know to be false, right?

    I suppose he could work Marianne’s false pre-SJ reputation into the story somehow, but that would negate the notion that this was her first exposure to online mosquitoes acting like beyond the pale bigshots making themselves feel better by standing on her or something. And given what we’ve learned about the character, how could Marianne have possibly developed the reputation that preceded her if she’s just a young kid looking for her big break? So now Cindy’s demented jealousy and insecurity is based on something that doesn’t even exist and never could have. Hilarious! See? I told you it was funny.

  2. Needing a bit of cheering up, I decided to watch RiffTrax Live doing “Night of the Living Dead.”

    During the first zombie attack, they let loose with this little gem:

    “This guy got bit getting the morning paper. Still less depressing than Funky Winkerbean.”

  3. ComicTrek

    Yep, nothing like a bunch of random graffiti to inspire a mind!

  4. Gerard Plourde

    Out of curiosity I mapped the route from the closest studio (Warner Bros.) to the sign. The quickest route, which by the way only gets you as far as the Griffith Park overlook, takes seventeen minutes. The overlook is really only about halfway and you’re now traveling on park roads, so probably add another fifteen minutes to a half hour to reach the actual site. So Mason is about an hour away while an already airborne LAPD helicopter could be there in minutes.

  5. billytheskink

    “Gee… what else has she told you?”

    “Honestly? Nothing. Nothing at all. That conversation about her mother and the Hollywood sign is literally the only conversation I have ever had with her.”

    Anyways, when did Nike put up a giant logo beneath the Hollywood sign?

  6. If you throw a “women, amirite?” gag into your cyberbullying story, you’ve got problems. You’ve got really big problems if that isn’t the most offensive thing about your story.

  7. Epicus Doomus

    billytheskink: That infamous Susan suicide strip was one of his unintentionally funniest ones ever IMO. “Forget those trained paramedics…I’ll carry her MYSELF!!!”…man that Act II sure was nutty. I sometimes miss those days, with the explosions and severed limbs and everything.

    TheDiva: It’s incredible. Mason literally yanks his perpetually insecure fiancee along for the ride and endures her henpecking as he races off to rescue his delicate, sensitive and vulnerable young sister-figure from herself. Thank goodness there was a real man around. You know, to save the day and all. Also bear in mind the five other female characters in the SJ mega-arc are: Beverly Hill (gak), Mrs. Winters (the classic Midwestern mom who just happens to live in Hollywood), Vera (Cliff Anger’s arm candy), Director Guy’s assistant (does not speak) and Jessica, the human tripod, who’s probably at home with the baby as we speak. Now I’m no psychiatrist or anything but yikes, ’nuff said there.

  8. spacemanspiff85

    I love how Mason specifies “to the Hollywood sign”. Just to clear up any confusion, if the giant sign wasn’t clear enough.

  9. As I sit here wondering why his inane cyberbullying arc is actually about a stupid overreaction to a cyber-nonevent and wondering why he’s still gotta ‘get’ the popular girls, I also wonder when Batiuk is going to start squealing about those awful first responders and their hateful bullying. How dare they make him feel sad by saying that Les would have done more harm than good in real life and should have been arrested for doing what he did to the first Suicide Girl.

  10. Rusty Shackleford

    Sigh, yeah we know her safe place is that stupid Hollywood sign.

    Another day wasted with little plot movement and Cindy being told to shut up. Some journalist she is, no camera, no live reporting.

  11. Saturnino

    “Sigh, yeah we know her safe place is that stupid Hollywood sign. ”

    I would think that all of the effort and trespassing needed to get to the sign would eliminate any impulse to suicide.

    Oh, right, this is reality based writing and drawing……. Forgot.

    BTW, have you noticed that LUANN (a work of Thucydides compared to FW) now incorporates a character called LES who is developed as equally repulsive as our hero here?

  12. Saturnino

    “So Mason is about an hour away while an already airborne LAPD helicopter could be there in minutes.”

    Remember, this reality based strip is written for folks who think the HOLLYWOOD sign is like the George Washington Bridge, Stop ‘n Hop.

  13. louder

    @Gerard Plourde. I would have thought the Gower Studios would be closer, you look up from their front gate and the sing seems to be right there. Shows you how exciting this story is when the closet studio to the Hollywood sign is more interesting than the “action”.

  14. Wait a sec: the art clearly shows that Masoné and Cindy are PARKED BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD, not driving to the Hollywood sign. What are we to make of this? That the parking space (which does not include Mariann’s car) is the “safe place,” and Masoné is now completely clueless about where she might be? That Masoné had to pull over and bang Cindy on the hood of the Porsche (which I’m pretty sure will void both the warranty and the lease contract) in order to keep her from returning to a murderous jealous rage?

    Or that a certain comic artist can’t be bothered with making his drawings match his “plot”?

  15. hitorque

    1. Holy fuck what happened to that art from 1995? Les looks like he’s trying to smother the Lorax with a pillow or something??

    2. So after weeks and weeks of inconsistencies and flip-flops, Cindy all of a sudden realizes that she’s insanely jealous of Marianne and wary of leaving her along with Masone for even thirty seconds….

    3. If Marianne has her own car, why did she have to bum a ride home from the studio with Masone??

    4. Is this the part where an oblivious Masone doesn’t see the decided-not-to-kill-herself Marianne and hits her with the car? Please God say yes….

  16. sgtsaunders

    Note how blase Cindy is about the proceedings. This is a test to see how much “westview” Jarre Jarre has soaked up from being there and living with Cindy. By “westview” , I mean the ability to accept and embrace misery and death while maintaining a self-centered, smug demeanor while cracking wise at every opportunity.

  17. $$$WESTVIEW ONCOLOGIST$$$

    You know, because suicides are so prevalent in both Los Angeles and San Francisco, those police depts actually have an anti-suicide task force. Do a google search and you’ll see some of the very dangerous but great work these squads due in rescuing people. Of course this is the Funkyverse where I still hold on to the assertion that there is no actual Law Enforcement in this universe.

  18. timbuys

    Following on from Hitorque’s comment, is there something wrong with that image? Was it a scan and some of the strip was obscurred?

  19. Gerard Plourde

    @ louder. It does look like Gower is about the same distance. (I’m not a SoCal resident and was using Google Maps to figure it out.) The other issue is whether Mason would actually be able to drive al the way up the road to the sign.

  20. Charles

    Re: Les’s hero moment.

    That’s great, jackass. And while you’re loudly eschewing trained EMTs in favor of doing everything yourself, make sure to carry Susan in such a way that in the extremely likely event she vomits up all those pills she took to commit suicide, she’ll choke to death.

    Les was really hoping she’d die, wasn’t he? In fact, that fits nicely with his appalling behavior around Susan years later that appeared to be designed to get her to kill herself so everyone could talk about how a woman loved Les so much she committed suicide rather than live without him.

    Anyway, dumb strip today. I’d enjoy it if they drove like hell to get to the Hollywood sign to save Marianne, only to discover that the Venice Beach boardwalk was actually her Safe Place and that she ended up drowning herself, because of course Heroic Mason Jarre is the only one who can save her.

    “Oh, darn. Guess I didn’t know her that well.”

  21. billytheskink

    Following on from Hitorque’s comment, is there something wrong with that image? Was it a scan and some of the strip was obscurred?

    Probably. The old strip images come from the Toledo Blade archives offered through the Google Newspaper Archive. I assume they were scanned from microfilm. Not an ideal reprint.

    I believe much of the Susan Smith suicide story arc is in the “Could Be A Book Deal Here” collection of strips, which would provide better quality reprints, but I do not own it.