Nominated for Best Imbecile in a Supporting Role

Link to today’s strip.

Every time a character says something exceptionally stupid–and Mason here is a shining example–I have to remind myself that, despite Tom Batiuk’s repeated assertions, this strip has nothing to do with the real world.  There’s no quarter-inch between there and here.

What this strip is, is a Wish Fulfillment World.   This world is how Tom Batiuk believes the world should work.  Here, the highest form of art, and the most valuable commodity, is the comic book.  Second most valuable is the comic book’s consort, the movie based on a comic book.  Here, Mason’s idiocy makes perfect sense.

Now, there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with a Wish Fulfillment World.  Some of them can be quite entertaining.  At the risk of ticking people off, I’d put JRR Tolkien’s  works in this category.  But Tolkien made sure that his world was consistent, and that there were rules that governed his world, and those rules were not to be ignored or bypassed for convenience.  Consistency is PRIMARY if you’re going to go down this path.  Because of you ignore consistency, you end up with Funky Crankshaft Island.

To wit: Here, the greatest comic book of them all, Starbuck Jones, is both extraordinary evocative to its hordes of fans, who treasure every moment it gave them, and yet it sold so poorly that it put its creators out of business.  Here, a peck on the cheek drives the internet into a frenzy, and drives a young actress toward suicide.  Here, said actress is simultaneously a naif making her first film and a hot property that can boost a film’s stature into white heat.  Here, an actor whose main credit is “Dino Deer” lives like royalty, bathed in luxury.  Here, a loathsome prick can make his mark on the entire world by writing about his dead wife, yet he toils in obscurity in a small Ohio town.  I could go on; there are thousands of such…Funky Crankshaft Island rides.

And movies are an art form, not a commercial product.

Now don’t get me wrong–movies can be art, and as such can be very enlightening.  I have thoroughly enjoyed every Ingmar Bergman movie I’ve ever seen.  And most of those made by David Lynch.  But every movie ever made by a film studio has one primary goal: to make money.  To pretend otherwise is to ignore the real world.

Which this strip does splendidly.

PS: I’d agree that most awards are stupid and entirely ignorable.   Did you know that Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick and Cary Grant never won Oscars?  I’m thinking, though, that Pulitzer nomination letter must really burn right now.

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17 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

17 responses to “Nominated for Best Imbecile in a Supporting Role

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Cindy’s obnoxious Cliff Anger online documentary has been nominated for an Emmy? That’s interesting, in fact it’s downright incredible when one considers that the Emmys are all about honoring achievements in television, which Buddyblog has nothing to do with. Go figure.

    Yeah, those awards shows are all just a shameless popularity contest, man. For example, FW has yet to win even a single Commie while the popular comic strips just pile up the award statues. Why should something no one reads, sees, talks about or has ever heard of be denied industry recognition like that? It’s all so unfair.

  2. count of tower grove

    @Epic Doomus, and yet, we read it and we talk about!

  3. spacemanspiff85

    In what world would an actor be mad his upcoming movie is already getting Oscar buzz? Even if he doesn’t care about Oscars, which I find extremely unlikely, it could only help make the movie more successful.

  4. billytheskink

    You won’t believe this… the Starbuck Jones movie hasn’t even been released…

    And Cindy’s documentary, which didn’t have any footage at all in the can until late November, has been completed, released, viewed, and nominated for an award. The things you can accomplish when you aren’t waiting on Japanese pens, I guess…

  5. Epicus Doomus

    count of tower grove: Indeed we do. I’ve been perversely fascinated and endlessly disgusted by the vagaries of the Funkyverse for a long, long time. One day it might be as stupid as anything you’ve ever seen, the next day it might irrationally enrage you and the next it might be so boring you have to read it two or three times to even grasp what it’s supposed to be. It’s fascinating and deserves to be documented and since no one else wants to do it, SoSF exists.

    spacemanspliff85: Mason’s reaction really is hilarious, it’s like TomBan forgot that Mason isn’t from Westview. “Oh man, my asking price could skyrocket and I’ll be one of the most famous actors in the world! Poor, poor me!” like success is some sort of indignity he’ll have to endure. It’s exactly how Les acts too.

    billy: And it was filmed by Jessica, more or less a total novice. Given that, Cindy’s disdainful attitude toward Buddyblog and the fact that Cliff Anger did exactly three interesting things in his ninety years, this Emmy nod is even more astonishing.

    BC: That Batom dichotomy, always wanting it both ways. Characters DIE in this comic strip and still remain as regulars, appearing all the time. My personal favorite wish-fulfillment detail in this one is how every FW character is always totally outraged and disgusted by the internet, like the whole danged thing is just a gigantic pain in the ass for everyone. BanTom clearly has a problem with it (gee, wonder why?) so in his fanciful little universe that’s the consensus re: the internet, everyone hates it. And that contempt is so strong he actually forces the story and the characters to bend around it and work it in even at the expense of (guffaw) “realism”. What actor would be upset about potentially seeing their earning potential skyrocket? One who got the news via the evil internet, that’s who.

  6. spacemanspiff85

    It speaks volumes about their relationship that Mason has to tell his fiancée that his movie hasn’t been released yet.
    And you know what I think the #1 reason Batiuk hates the internet is? Thanks to it, he knows exactly how many people actually read his strip.

  7. @Epicus Doomus and BC: Not to mention the fact that characters return, even though they have no interesting storylines and nothing to add to the strip (Harry Dinkle, I’m looking at you!).

    If the “Starbuck Jones movie DOES win an Oscar, it will probably be in a category people don’t give two sh!ts about, like Best Key Grip. I mean, “Suicide Squad” won for Best Makeup and Hairstyle this year.

  8. In the hands of someone competent, Mason would be cast as a pastiche of every mush-headed actor who laboured under the delusion that the industry was some sort of arts and crafts thing. Here, we’re supposed to take his lunatic blathering seriously.

  9. Yeah. A “B” listed actor is the star of a movie that is getting Oscar buzz in a trade magazine before it’s released. That is really terrible – a real career killer. It certainly hurt Ernest Borgnine when he was in “From Here to Eternity.” Yup, hurt him so bad he was forced to do “Marty” and sadly win an Oscar for best actor. Really TB, Oscar buzz before release is great for marketing and everyone associated with the picture wins. At least that’s what happens in the real world.

  10. Jim in Wisc.

    I’m thinking, though, that Pulitzer nomination letter must really burn right now.

    But how much do you want to bet Batty has it matted and framed, hanging somewhere in his home where everyone is sure to see it?

  11. Hitorque

    I told you all 2+ years ago that we were headed towards an oscar party… Batiuk is as predictable as the fucking sunrise…

    Batiuk Trademark: Character is whiny/angry for getting the unbearable burden of a once-in-a-goddamned-lifetime opportunity that millions would kill for, and the reader is supposed to feel sympathy… Extra credit for Masone bitching and moaning for something he actually WANTED to fucking happen — Remember when he added the “e” on the end of his name to be taken seriously as an actor and get some Oscar buzz??

    Batiuk Trademark: Character does ordinary work, gets extraordinary amount of success and/or an award — Oscars, Emmys, Grammys, Tonys, Congressional Medal of Honor, Pulitzers, Nobels, Teacher of the Year, Coach of the Year, World’s Greatest Fundraiser Candy Seller, etc…

    Batiuk Trademark: Masone’s shamelessly hypocritical “Hollywood is a bunch of soulless, shallow, money-grubbing degenerates! Pay no attention to the fact that I wallow in celebrity like a Kardashian, and the millions I’ve raked in are solely due to my rugged good looks because I’d long since be dead if I had to survive on my intelligence or talent!” -bullshit…

    Batiuk Trademark: Everyone in Hollywood is a soulless, shallow, money-grubbing degenerate *except* the Westview Nepotism Mafia, Masone Jarr and Mary-Anne Winters because small-town folks with midwest values are always angelic and Christlike… Mark my words — Masone will decline this Oscar in the biggest farce of faux humility ever recorded in western history…

    Batiuk Trademark: Comics is HIGH ART and can NEVER be tainted by any association with the Academy Awards! That’s why we’re holding pre-release events in fucking Cleveland for a bunch of geezers serving PB+J sammiches and Ovaltine instead of some All-Ivy League symposium on comparative mid-20th century American literature…

  12. Hitorque

    As an aside: Masone is an A-list actor, a multimillionaire, and he drives a Porsche Carrera GT — Can he please for the love of god start dressing the part instead of looking like “generic suburban dad?”

  13. Jimmy

    I really thought the story arc was going to have Les come in and rescue the movie as a script doctor, and he would win the Oscar and adoration from the unwashed masses. So, I got that wrong.

    Speaking of which, I think the question everyone wants answered is, “How does this affect Les Moore?”

  14. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    If he won an Oscar he could refuse to accept it, as did another great Hollywood actor, Marlon Vendo.

  15. Epicus Doomus

    Jimmy: Now that you mention it, DSH John was supposedly involved with the Starbuck Jones movie in some sort of “consultant” role. I guess we can toss that dangling plot thread on the pile with the two hundred other ones.

  16. Don

    I wonder if it’s a “national” Emmy or just a “regional” one – and even if it is one of the “big” ones, we’ll probably be stuck with a storyline about the Who Cares (aka “Creative Arts”) Emmys held the week before the televised ones

  17. $$$WESTVIEW ONCOLOGOIST$$$

    Well to be fair, Mason Jarre is supposed to be “bi”. Maybe the LGBT crowd got confused and think this movie is another “Moonlight” or “Dallas Buyers Club” . I could see how a name like Starbuck Jones might misleading them.