While Jeff Murdoch apparently violates Twitter’s character limit in today’s strip, Director Martin Johns violates general decorum by thinking Jeff’s tweet is worth reading out loud to these Hollywood types lounging about in wicker chairs.

Prescient SOSFer erdmann hypothesized yesterday that this would lead to the premiere of Starbuck Jones at “that damn Crankshaft theater”. Today’s strip all but confirms that, and I can tell you that the next several strips will not dispel the idea. If you consider this to be a spoiler then you haven’t read Funky Winkerbean for very long.

In other news, Cindy has lost her right foot. Oh, and Jeff Murdoch is apparently both old enough to have seen and remember original-run Starbuck Jones movie serials (before Cliff was blacklisted sometime in the early 1950s) and young enough to have also been attending Kent State in 1970 (on a John Sebastian impersonator scholarship, apparently). To be fair, there is a window of time in which that works, but it is narrower than Crankshaft’s mind.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

33 responses to “Valium-tine

  1. Hey snarkers, I’ve been beefing up my WordPress skills and am giving the “Reply to Comments” feature on. This will hopefully enable a little more dialogue among our clan of FW hate readers. Trial basis til further notice.

  2. DOlz

    Dear Mr. Erdmann,

    Please use your powers for good and predict the end of this interminable story line. Just wish it into the cornfield.

    Thanking you in advance for your service to humanity.

  3. billytheskink

    Ah, Starbuck Jones Chapter 7: Bankruptcy… In Space. Now that’s classic cinema.

    Oh, and if you’ve ever wanted to see Pam Murdoch recall her experience at a rather well-known event that happened at Kent State while Crankshaft loudly tells his grandchildren that their father was a dirty, troublemaking hippie then you are in luck. And also strange.

  4. spacemanspiff85

    Um, was Jeff the only person who messaged the director about seeing the old movies? Because if not, then why not mention them? And if he is, then how is there an audience for this movie?

  5. Epicus Doomus

    Well, at least he’s getting to the point here. The big SJ world premier will take place at some stinky old movie house in Nowhere, Ohio because some asshole remembers seeing an old SJ movie there twenty years before he was born. In the Funkyverse that doesn’t even rate as being especially unusual. The marketing department is no doubt thrilled over having the new SJ film usurped by those crappy old justifiably forgotten old Cliff Anger movies, way to snag that coveted “75 and over” demographic, Martin. This stupid BanTom “junior spaceman” (imaginative name, BTW) nostalgia trip of his is played out as all heck too.

  6. Tom Batiuk–Crankshaft is a failure. No one wants to read it. Newspapers are shedding it. Please stop trying to make it “a thing” by shoving it into your other comic strip, as if said shoving is some form of newspaper CPR. It will never be a thing. End it.

    And while you’re at it, end Funky Winkerbean, too. Retire on what little dignity you still have, and the mercy that people will remember the early years.

    • Saturnino

      No, to be moving, and obit has to contain a bit of tragedy: unfulfilled potential as a rapper, a brilliant mind gone to nothing, etc.

      In this, FW plays an important part.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Nah, Batty ain’t giving up this sweet gig, they’re going to have to pry his cold dead hands off his pencil.

      Not really sure why the comics page continues, while over at the New York Times, journalists are getting cut.

  7. Epicus Doomus

    @beckoningchasm: Damn straight. My policy regarding Crankshaft is that I ignore it completely. “Hey, this Jeff Murdoch seems like an interesting character, perhaps I’ll begin reading Crankshaft regularly to learn more” said no one ever. The fact that he has two daily comic strips is maybe the most incomprehensible single thing about “reality” itself, it just cannot be true, yet it is.

  8. Gerard Plourde

    I’m still wondering how they can set a date for the premiere when they were still filming immediately before they went to San Diego. Even if that was a wrap of the live-action filming there’s still a ton of post-production to do.

  9. Part of the downside of having given up my print newspaper subscription is that I have to go out of my way to read Crankshaft (rather than seeing it practically alongside FW in print) so I had to catch up. Folks, we regularly take TB to task over the many dangling plot threads…well, behold the culmination of Batiuk’s interminable space comic opera as the Funkiverse is consumed entire by the black hole that is Starbuck Jones!

    • Epicus Doomus

      I like it! Not the strip or (God help us all) Crankshaft, but the “reply feature”. The SJ sub-universe continues to fascinate and baffle. It’s a huge-budgeted explosion-filled superhero blockbuster that’s trying to capture the feel of old forgotten movie serials from the early 1950s. The co-star is ninety, hasn’t been in show business for sixty years and wasn’t even involved when shooting began. The director, who as recently as last week claimed he was only in it for the money now wants to stage a premier guaranteed not to make any. The home-wrecking sexpot brought in to boost the film’s box office potential is a delicate and somewhat boyish naive waif (and Hollywood native no less) dazzled by the bright lights and crowds at Comic-Con. The characters who claim the old SJ movie serials were integral to their childhoods aren’t anywhere near old enough for that to be true. The fictional comic book the whole thing was based on was originally created in the 1970s, further complicating the time dilemma. It’s a miniature FW within FW, every single detail contradicts every single detail of everything else.


      This reply feature is more fun and interesting than the damn comic.

  10. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    I thought Jeff Murdoch was a name that Batguano pulled out of his hat, until you astute funksters pointed out that he’s a character in Crankshaft. Crankshaft is in my daily rag (the Akron Beacon Journal [the Reekin’ Urinal to local wags] is headquartered less than a mile from Montoni’s/Luigi’s and both are about 5 miles from my house) and I read it every day, but that’s how much I care. (Crankshaft is a delightfully whimsical name, because you see, there is actually part of an engine called a crankshaft, and Ed drives a bus! Pure hilarity! Pure Batguano! [I really do like the name.])

    Anyway, I hope one of the characters consistently refers to the theater as the “Valentime”. That would amuse me.

    AACK! Too many parenthetical phrases! Who do I think I am – a writer? I need another drink!

  11. Yes, because something the studio has money riding on should be hijacked by the mommy issues of a character so uninteresting, he’s not even fit to hang out with Les Moore. Just add in some long-winded comments about some old bus driver whose name escapes them because it wasn’t a reference to a motor vehicle.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Yep, that’s how it works in Batty’s world. Because of comic books, Westview will become ground zero for SJ…that’s how things work in Hollywood, right?

      I’m still holding out that Les finds out Jarre stole some dialog from him, thus entitling Les to run out on the set shouting: Kill Fee! Kill Fee!

  12. John

    What an unpredictable twist!

  13. Please let this whole story line end like Inglorious Basterds.

  14. Hitorque

    1. 94-year-old Cliffe using eBay was a bit of a stretch, but now I’m supposed to believe that a Funkyverse character used twitter? You know, the Funkyverse — The place where the one dude who is supposed to know technology tried to start WWIII over iTune’s “You May Also Like…” predicative algorithm? The place where a 30-something dude and army vet can barely fucking operate a laptop, and needed his impossibly busty and long-suffering wife to register him online for college courses?

    2. Director boy must not be getting any shine on his twitter account to not only pay attention to a tweet from some no-name in Ahia, HE EVEN REMEMBERS HIS NAME AND HOMETOWN…

    3. So an overhyped beyond all reason movie which has cost $2 billion and took four years to make isn’t going to premier on 5,000 screens across North America, it’s going to premier in Shitsburg, Ahia because motherfuck ever trying to recoup the investment… Of all the pieces of hokey midwest Americana for Batiuk to pine for, why not have a drive-in instead? That’s what I miss…

    4. It goes without saying that when and where to open the movie isn’t up to Director Boy, it’s up to the distributor, iirc…

    5. You can keep your Trump Family Mafia, your Illuminati, your Trilateral Commission, your United Nations One World Government, your 36th level Freemasons, your Propaganda Due, your Opus Dei, your council of 20 dudes who secretly control the global stock markets, your Men in Black, your Teamsters, your Stonecutters, your No Homers, your google, your NCAA, your Bilderberg Rockefeller Rothschild Buffet Bohemian Grove meetups, your MI-7, your Mossad, your Skull and Bones, your KGB 14th Directorate, your Chinese Security Services, your New England Patriots, all of it… The most powerful and influential shadow organization on the planet is the Westview-Centerville Nepotism Mafia… Because not one buck exchanges hands and not one thing gets created or done anywhere without them getting a piece of it…

    • Charles

      2. Director boy must not be getting any shine on his twitter account to not only pay attention to a tweet from some no-name in Ahia, HE EVEN REMEMBERS HIS NAME AND HOMETOWN…

      And you’re forgetting the even stupider part of this! You see that useless blond dipshit who’s been floating around the panels all week? Jeff Murdoch is that guy’s wife’s uncle! Jeff Murdoch saved that guy’s biological mother when she was being attacked by her low-down-no-good boyfriend! Jeff Murdoch has actually talked to that blond dipshit in the living room of Les Moore’s house!

      Plus, the Valentine Theater is owned by the blond dipshit’s wife’s cousin.

      And none of this came up, nor will it probably ever come up, at least before it becomes obvious to Batiuk that he overlooked something six weeks from now.

      It just shows how incestuous Funkyworld is. There are probably only 300 people on the entire planet.

  15. Professor Fate

    It took me a while to remember who Jeff Mrudoch was and when I did I regretted that I could remember who he was.
    That said, what a pathetic thing for a grown man to tweet. Seriously.

  16. the dreamer

    And the highlight of the Starbucks Jones Premiere will be when old Crankshaft (who is still alive in the FW phase three universe) is rolled in from the nursing home before the movie starts, for his big moment…

  17. erdmann

    I looked at today’s “Crankshaft” a little bit ago and keep thinking of Jeff’s line “I saw my first Starbuck Jones movie serial here.” His first. That suggests he later saw other Starbuck Jones serials. How many were there? Was there an unauthorized Turkish version in which Starbuck fought a villainous green-suited Spider-Man? Does Masone now have to go in search of Cliff Anger’s successor, SJII star Reed Herring? I believe he dropped out of sight after helping make public the Pentagon Papers…

    The moral of this story? Never look at today’s “Crankshaft.”

    • Epicus Doomus

      Remember as well, two of the “biggest SJ fans” on earth (Pete & Boy Lisa) didn’t even know those serials existed until Mason flew them to Ohio to see one of them at that stinky old movie house. Of course now they’re part of SJ lore, beloved by all and remembered fondly by an army of “junior spacemen”.

  18. the dreamer

    And as a tie-in, they will have Conan O’Brien fly in to do his show live from the theater for that week. A week in northern Ohio being just what Conan needs for his ratings! 🙂

  19. Hitorque

    This is one of the rare situations where a stunt like this even makes a bit of sense:

  20. Charles

    Hey you guys! I’m going to tweet at Rian Johnson about how I saw Star Wars Episode IV back in 1977 at the local theater in my rural town of 3500!

    I’ll let you know how the world premiere of The Last Jedi went! I just know I’ll be one of the 140 people who can get in! I’ll tell you all if Mark Hamill really is that cool in real life and just how hot Daisy Ridley and Lupita Nyoung’o are!

    • Charles

      In fact, I’ll just ask Daisy if she’ll marry me. I’m sure that’s the sort of thing that happens all the time!