Winters Blunderland

Please don’t spend too much of your valuable Christmas Eve time reading today’s strip. Please.

That Mason fella sure is great, huh? Marianne and Cindy sure think so. In fact, Cindy finds it hard to believe that Mason even exists. I’m with her on this point, as Mason appears today to be some sort of mythical human-unicorn chimera.

But what about Mr. Director? You know, the guy who first noticed the DMZ story and the potential trouble it could cause… The guy who made sure a corrected story was sent out to the media within hours… The guy who was concerned about Marianne to the point that he tried to call and text message her while Mason and Cindy groused about the internet’s big meanies… The guy convinced the police to put out an APB for a woman that had been out of contact for less than half a day… What about him?

Eh… That Mason fella sure is great, huh?


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

18 responses to “Winters Blunderland

  1. But, but, but, but, but, but, Marianne Winters is a HERO because she defied those BULLIES on the INTERNET, who can’t appreciate comic books! The Flash! The Flash! The Flash!

  2. Epicus Doomus

    Marianne doesn’t go splat but as always the story does, vigorously in fact. Marianne apologizes, she compliments Mason, Cindy questions Mason’s existence, the end. That sounds about right. You can really see how bored he gets toward the end of these pointless little tales of woe, he was obviously barely awake when he penned this nonsense.

  3. spacemanspiff85

    “I’m sorry I wanted some privacy during an awkward, difficult time and ignored my co-workers for a few hours.”

  4. billytheskink

    All this money spent on inexperienced storyboarders and exploding high school graduations and trips to small-town Ohio movie theaters and Japanese pens and the Starbuck crew’s Christmas decorations consist of a 14″ tree sitting atop a prop trunk?

    That tree makes Charlie Brown’s look good… and, frankly, I always thought Charlie Brown had a good excuse for bringing back that famously scrawny tree: he’s an elementary school kid from a middle class family. What else could he have bought?

  5. It’s like the praise Nate got for doing nothing very visibly. One must be seen looking heroic to be heroic while to do things without calling attention to oneself by, say, wearing bright red longjohns with a lightning bolt stenciled on the chest makes one’s heroism invalid.

  6. Charles

    So now we get to the obligatory “Batiuk-stand-in receives praise despite not doing anything praiseworthy” stage of this prestige arc. Seriously, all Mason did in this arc was stand around with his gut all pooched out self-righteously griping about “Internet Mosquitoes”. Then he ran off to save Marianne but didn’t actually save her, because well before he got there she decided she wasn’t going to kill herself, dragging his fiancee along to bear witness to his heroic heroism. Never mind that the way he handled it would have ensured her death had she decided to go through with it, seeing as how his plan required that he not tell the authorities the crucial information he had on her potential designs, delaying contact with her until long after she made her decision. And it’s Marianne who’s saying this – Marianne – who knows Mason didn’t save her, who knows that nothing he did influenced her decision to come back down off the sign at all.

    So yeah, Batiuk, keep piling praise upon Mason, praise he so richly does not deserve.

  7. louder

    At the very least, HollywoodBat, should have had Pickle Jarree say something like “Marianne, you should get some counseling”, as a way to show that he takes the topic of suicide seriously. But no, nothing like that; Marianne’s mental/emotional problems are just a backdrop to — again! — having the male character be the hero for, as has been amply commented upon, doing absolutely nothing to better anyone’s life. Puke!

  8. The Merry Pookster

    it’s been soooooo long since Summer has been in this strip that even TB forgot her…. but somehow drew Marianne to look just like her. I never look at a woman wearing a hoodie again.

  9. Gerard Plourde

    “You can really see how bored he gets toward the end of these”

    You’re right. I wonder how much time he actually spends on developing a story. It seems that he gets an idea, immediately puts it on paper and makes no effort to refine or revise it.

  10. Rusty Shackleford

    With 2017 fast approaching, what was the worst arc for 2016. This one is probably the worst, but the Bull arc was pretty bad too.

    One thing is for sure: it won’t get any better in 2017.

    Ho ho ho.

  11. Good news, everyone! Tom Batiuk has solved cyberbullying forever, just like he solved homophobia and PTSD and date rape! And it was all so easy; I don’t know why nobody thought of it sooner. Just look on the bright side and everything will be okay!

    Seriously, Batiuk, fuck you.

  12. A HREF

    Masone’s bipolar disorder has never been mentioned again in all of this.

  13. This has been pathetic beyond even the usual standards, from the transparently fake suspense to the Trump-worthy retconning of recent history to the incoherent implications of the coloring and wavy panels (noir? who knows! location shift? who knows!). And on top of all that artistic inelegance, readers get a preachy lecture about the wages of incivility that’s the height of writerly arrogance, a presumption that we will all nod our heads sagely as we mutter softly to ourselves, “What a wise, sensitive, insightful man, and how lucky we are to have such a solitary outpost of wisdom amid such silly tripe as Bizarro, Argyle Sweater, F Minus, Pearls Before Swine, Candorville and Dilbert.” Hey TB, assuming you are reading this or one of your associates tells you about it, take a year off, do some traveling, and get some real life experiences. As Springsteen put it, mister, there’s some meanness in this world – so if you are going to presume to write about, maybe you should consider seeing it firsthand rather than just consulting your cultural bag of cliches.

  14. Rusty

    With Bull’s fat face up in the mast head today, I fear Batiuk will tastefully be explaining the medical science behind CTE for a few weeks in the new year. Just kill him quick, Tom, you know you want to.

  15. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    The following actually took place inside Batty’s pointy little bad head:

    D(T)MZ: “Here’s a picture of MaryannEE Winters giving MasonnEE JarrEE a peck on the cheek!”

    Internet Mosquitos: “WHORE!! B*TCH!! C*NT!! SLUT!! DEVIL WOMAN!! KILL HER!! STRING HER UP!!”

    The Studio: “It was all innocent.She was thanking him for being nice to her mom.”

    Internet Mosquitos: “Oh, okay. That’s cool. Never mind.”

  16. Rusty Shackleford


    The problem is, even if he travelled, he would only see what he wanted to see, thus learning nothing in the process.

  17. Hitorque

    @A HREF: You know, I had completely forgotten about Masone supposedly being “bipolar”… Oddly enough, for all the panel time he’s gotten in 2016, we’ve never seen him on the ‘down’ side??

    But let’s be honest here– ‘bipolar’ was just Batiuk’s punchline for his cliche “Hollywood degenerates, amirite?” joke.

  18. Charles

    I wonder how much time he actually spends on developing a story. It seems that he gets an idea, immediately puts it on paper and makes no effort to refine or revise it.

    I think you’re right. He comes up with an idea, and because it’s trendy or about something interesting, he thinks he doesn’t have to do anything more with it. So he comes up with the most banal and perfunctory details for his stories. He never appears to think about how his idea can best fit into his continuity or his characterization. He just goes with the first idea.

    For instance, I’m sure he decided he wanted to do something about online bullying and tie it into his Starbuck Jones boner that’s now become the basis of the entire strip. So he creates an extraordinarily dumb premise, fills in the details in the most obvious and unimaginative fashion, and then lets it go. If it doesn’t fit with his continuity, he doesn’t care. I also bet he thought the only twist he needed was having Marianne contemplate killing herself by jumping off the Hollywood sign. He didn’t need to add anything else to make it interesting, because that would presumably set it apart from every other story dealing with suicide.

    And the thing that’s amazing is how easily he could have improved this. All he had to do was think about his characters and the continuity he’s set up, and how that might fit around a suicide arc. It doesn’t even take a damn minute. But he didn’t even bother. Perfunctory details are all he thinks he ever needs.