Sizzle Lean

SosfdavidO here, fresh off my rant from yesterday about how unlikely it is that Darrin, who had only a passing interest in art in high school, is suddenly Hollywood’s Golden Boy when it comes to story-boarding.

Deep breath…

My disbelief extends well into today’s strip, where with only a off-hand passing mention we’re supposed to believe Cindy is hard at work on a documentary movie about the original Starbucks Jones actor.

Sure, it’s been mentioned she was working on it before, but land sakes, this is a major life event for Cindy and she seems to devote 2 hours a year to it at most. Will this movie ever see the light of day? Just how many damned movie projects are getting juggled in this dopey strip now, anyway? I know there was a Lisa movie that got canned, then a John Darling movie, now the Cliff Anger movie and Starbucks sequels… like, whoa, Tombat went from hating Hollywood to it’s biggest fan. What gives? Probably the rise of super hero movies being every other damned movie at this point.

Anyhow, back to this stroll along Exposition Drive…



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

21 responses to “Sizzle Lean

  1. “Comic books, comic books, comic books! Oh, and I’ve heard that Senator McCarthy was bad, so relevance! But then more comic books! And even more comic books! Plus some social relevance if I happen to remember it. But in the meantime, comic books!”

  2. Epicus Doomus

    “Hey, you know what’d make the SJ sizzle reel really pop? Some footage of a wrinkly old online news anchor interviewing that ninety year old guy Mason forced us into putting in the film!”

    “Uhhh, I dunno, wouldn’t that footage like, you know, belong to someone else? Why would we put footage of a different movie in a trailer for ours?”

    “Just get it done. I have a sneaky feeling that Anger’s tramp steamer stories are going to go over like gangbusters with the youth of today!”

    Sure TomBan, sure. I guess he was just plumb out of “courage” after serving his multi-month bid on that federal smugness conviction and needed a six decade hiatus to “recharge”, so to speak. They say it can take some time for a former inmate to re-assimilate into society after being released, I guess Cliff was one of those guys who just needed an extra-extra-extra-extra long time to adjust.

    I want to see the faces on those drooling SJ fanboys when the “sizzle reel” abruptly cuts to Cliff Anger claiming he has no idea why the government singled him out when he returned from Moscow with his radical beard and drab clothes and formed the Capitalist Swine-Hating Secret Commie Party with his elite Hollywood snob pals. Cliff could probably summarize his entire life WITHIN the sizzle reel, as it’s basically: tramp steamer, movie star, commie, convict, recluse and that’s it. Your bio tends to be a tad thin when you take sixty years off at a time.

  3. billytheskink

    Using clips from Cindy’s Cliff Anger documentary to promote the Starbuck Jones movie is probably the most realistic and believable thing about said documentary that we have ever seen in this strip. Pretty much every other aspect of it that has been depicted is totally ridiculous, and not in a good way.

    Lest we forget, the Cliff Anger documentary was nominated for an Emmy back in April and was apparently filmed, edited, promoted, released, and viewed some time between then and December of last year. Cindy had shot no footage for the film until late November and was immensely, absurdly, appallingly, amazingly lucky that Cliff had the McCarthy story to tell and that Vera was there to goad him into telling it. Cindy knew NOTHING about this going into making the documentary, apparently never bothering to research whether or not Cliff was interesting enough to make a (2 hour!) documentary about. Heck, Cindy is lucky that a blacklisted one-time movie serial star is still alive to be interviewed for a documentary. She basically expected the planets to align for her when she began the Cliff Anger project… which they of course did, because this is the Batiukverse and her name isn’t “Funky Winkbean”.

  4. Gerard Plourde

    I guess Cindy isn’t aware that Cliff wasn’t alone in refusing to “name names” and to go to jail for contempt of Congress during the Blacklist. Which leads us to the inevitable question: What did he do in the intervening six decades?

  5. Charles

    Jesus, Cindy and Mason. Do you ever leave those oldsters alone?

  6. @Gerard Plourde:

    What he did was bravely cower in a flea-pit apartment like a moron for sixty years until pried out by meddling kids. If it weren’t for this idiotic funny book movie, he’d still be there moaning about how bad life is.

  7. Rusty Shackleford

    Ah, Joe Mcarthy. Next thing you know, we are going to hear about how Funky stood up to Nixon back in the day. That was the day Cindy decided to become a journalist as she wanted to fight the power!

    Well at least they didn’t mention “tramp steamer” in today’s strip.

  8. Professor Fate

    Yep I’m sure the target audience for a summer blockbuster like Starbuck Jones is supposed to be will be enthralled by the whole Tailgunner Joe sidebar.
    And oh yes – Starbuck Jones is a fictional character he never really did anything – of course Cliff isn’t real either which makes it kind of weird.

  9. Comic Book Harriet


    With every strip of “Brave Cliff Angrere suffers unjustly after speaking the Truth to Power!” my sympathy for McCarthy increases ten fold. I mean, in retrospect its easy to judge a witchhunt, but we forget that Communism probably did pose an existential threat to the US at the time… so snarking to a government committee like Soviet Spies are NBD is REALLY stupid.

  10. Jimmy

    Isn’t Cindy closer in age to Cliff than to Mason?

  11. Epicus Doomus

    Also remember that Cliff was gifted with a small role in the SJ film in exchange for rent for a year and a trip to Cleveland. Now suddenly he’s the centerpiece of the “sizzle reel” (boy do I hate that term BTW). Batom always does this, he creates a story then totally forgets the details of that story in favor of his whim of the moment. As far as the rest of the world is concerned, Cliff is still a totally forgotten and obscure old movie star, as the SJ film hasn’t even been released yet. How would anyone in the “sizzle reel” (ugh) audience even know who he is?

  12. Hitorque

    1. Am I the only one baffled at how Masone goes anywhere he wants without ever being mobbed by celeb stalkers, starfucking groupies and media whores? Granted, he did get engaged to a woman who is all three of those things, but what about the comics geeks then?

    2. Is it me, or does Masone lead a really dull life for a multimillionaire actor?

    3. So is Marianne Winters going to be there in her form-fitting costume, or did Cindy successfully get her written out of the script and blackballed from the industry?

    4. Could Cindy be any more clingy if she tried? I know she’s hyper paranoid about some woman who’s younger, smarter and has none of the baggage stealing Masone away, but come the hell on…

  13. @Gerard Plourde: Nobody in Hollywood liked him so nobody bothered to tell him when the blacklist finally ended in the mid-late 60s

    @Comic Book Harriet: And Cliffe didn’t really so much ‘speak truth to power’ as he ‘cracked a bunch of unfunny one-liners’ before being dragged away for contempt… Then there is the very interesting but unexplained tidbit about Cliffe traveling to the USSR in 1940 as a penniless 17-year-old, which is a really weird place for a 17-year-old to want to go solo, unless he’s an ethnic Russian or something…

    @Jimmy: And doesn’t Cindy have kids/grandkids?? Batiuk *does* know sooner or later he’ll have to close this generational valley, right??

    @Epicus Doomus: I did like how Cliffe was completely shut off from the world until DSH guy made the one-in-a-billion guess that the person from New York flooding eBay with vintage SJ stuff was Cliffe Angere and Masone+Cindy and Pete+Darrin make a double-date trip to New York, see there’s mercifully only one Cliffe Angere in the Manhattan phone book, go to his apartment, and Cindy decided to literally BREAK IN(!) when Cliffe didn’t answer initially…

  14. @Epicus Doomus: Why is anyone surprised to see Batiuk screw up the meaning of a “sizzle reel”? All bets were off when the infamous “KILL FEE” allowed Les Moore to singlehandedly (and somehow 100% legally) shut down a movie production after selling the rights to his book WHILE keeping the money he earned from writing an aborted script AND collecting whatever amount the kill fee was and flying back to Shitsburg, Ahia like some smug, all-conquering hero…

  15. @Epicus Doomus: Free rent for a year was the best he could get? The real villain in this neverending movie arc is Cliffe’s agent…

  16. 5. And I have no doubt that Marvel/DC or whatever label publishing Brewster Rockit, er, I mean Starbuck Jones and has tens of millions of dollars tied up in marketing, merchandising, etc. is just *thrilled* to see the official rebooted rollout of their intellectual property in front of tens of thousands of no-life virginal geeks with lots of discretionary income diluted by a random interview in a dark room with a forgotten actor as he recounts an event from 56 years ago… To say nothing of the producers and the studio execs who must have burned at least $1.5 billion (and counting) on this production so far…

  17. Okay, last one… I’d forgotten I’d had this bookmarked:

    Interesting tidbits:

    1. Batiuk *actually* uses “sizzle reel” in a proper context, so today is even more unforgivable

    2. Evidently according to Masone, making action movies is “just bang-bang, fix everything in post” which is why it’s taken three years to film “SJ1: Prologue”, you know, since it’s so easy… Just one more thing to add to the hundreds that Masone was wrong about…

    3. Bull should have taken that job at Diversity University when he had a chance… Would have been much better set financially to deal with his onset of CTE.

    4. Batiuk’s seething resentment of everything Hollywood practically drips off the page, which is why spending so much time on the SJ arc is incomprehensible to me…

    5. Masone actually wants us to believe with a straight face that being a successful actor making movies is “a depressing, lonely business…”

    6. Les’ retro daydream was beyond dumb, even by Batiuk standards… I’m talking Flash Museum dumb… I’m talking “high school reunion time pool” dumb…

    7. Masone evidently lives his quiet bachelor life in a modest apartment, but somehow in the weeks after getting the SJ role he upgrades to a Santa Barbara beach mansion the size of an airport terminal… Oddly enough he’s hellbent on still keeping his 2004 Porsche Carrera GT instead getting something new…

    8. Oh, and fuck that cat… Seriously…

  18. billytheskink

    Bull should have taken that job at Diversity University when he had a chance…

    He did, but they backed out of the offer. Then Les pulled this crap on him.

    The strips in fall 2014 were awful. So were the strips before and after.

  19. Rusty Shackleford


    Good to know that sizzle reel was used properly, I groaned when I read that thinking that once again, Batty was trying to impress us with his use of a thesaurus.

    I recall getting a C- for one of my papers in high school. The teacher wrote ” nice thesaurus use” next to the grade.

  20. Steely Doc

    I still don’t think his use of “sizzle reel” is correct. The term seems better suited to the advertising world, and certainly not cool enough for anyone going to Comi-Con…unless you wanted to be branded a nerd like Tom Bathack. Next, Tom B will become so lazy he will just confirm all hip lingo via Urban Dictionary, which is neither hip nor urban. I wonder how many Batiuk definitions we could put in there before Tom calls the International Dictionary Police.

  21. DOlz

    Oh I get it now. We (the snarkers) are Joe McCarthy and TB is Cliff Anger. TB is showing us how brave he is to continue to produce this drivel in the face of criticism. Also he tries not to name names about who helps him with it.

    Now that I’ve decoded this cryptic meaning will you get six months in the slammer and the sixty years holed up in an apartment cut off from the world? If so then this meandering, pointless, endless, masturbatory, Starbuck Jones story “arc” will have been worth it.