Decoder? I barely know her…

Tough luck, SOSFers. Not just because you’ve read today’s strip, but also because today’s strip is particularly rant-worthy and I may well be the weakest ranter on this site. I am sorry, I just cannot do it justice. I’ll lean on our commenters to give this strip what it deserves.

I do have an editorial comment, though, and it doesn’t involve Funky in a coma this time. Among the few printable things that have been said about this whole unending Starbuck Jones movie arc is that it is “wish fulfillment”. It is an apt description, of course, as nearly everything about Starbuck Jones comes across as what TB wishes would have happened to his own creations. However, there is no reason that wish fulfillment can’t be entertaining.

Sally Forth just spent a whole month at a (very) fictional Japanese movie monster theme park, something I’m sure unabashedly nerdy SF writer Francesco Marciuliano very much wishes was real. However, Marciuliano uses his fantasy to tell a story and crack jokes that are relatable to readers whether they are kaiju-obsessed or not. You may not know what a Gamera is, but you probably get jokes about taking family vacations and waiting in line at theme parks.

TB’s Starbuck Jones business, meanwhile, requires a tome of Batiuk blog posts and a glossary of Hollywood terms to understand, and a miracle to find entertaining. It seems to be perpetually patting itself on the back for being such a big deal in its own allegedly realistic universe, thrusting long-standing characters into Hollywood’s orbit for seemingly no reason other than to show that they are great enough to be involved in Starbuck Jones things.

I would say that my wish would be that we could leave Starbuck Jones, Hollywood, and the Valentine Theater behind… but that undoubtedly means more of Les. I can’t win. None of us can.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

17 responses to “Decoder? I barely know her…

  1. I said it before, “Childish.”
    I take it back,
    This has gone into full-blown infantile.

  2. bobanero

    They’ll put the encoded message in an ad among the classifieds in the Centerville Gazette, no doubt.

  3. spacemanspiff85

    I wish just once someone had encoded the message “get a life, kid” when Batiuk was a kid so he wouldn’t still be obsessed with this crap. Or honestly just “learn how to tell a story” would’ve done wonders.

  4. Epicus Doomus

    It’s the premier of a major modern-day comic book superhero movie that centers entirely around an old guy’s nostalgic memories of how he enjoyed comic books when HE was a kid. So not only is it totally anachronistic, it’s really selfish too, as they’re depriving “these kids today” of their own nostalgic memories and pretty much denouncing them as unworthy when compared to “the olden days”. All via their very strange real-life avatar and his very strange approach to comic books in general. It’d be sort of disturbing if I hadn’t already seen it a hundred times.

    Sure Vera, send this Murdoch asshole a message using your crappy decoder ring. That’ll keep everyone in suspense for a cool thirty seconds or so, thus it’s well worth the effort. In a way Vera is almost worse than Cliff, as she was the one who waited sixty years to hear from a recluse instead of, you know, moving on. I love how Cliff is looking on with smug pride and satisfaction, like “yup, the decoder ring was MY idea!”. Such an empty, empty life that man’s led.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I doubt any young people read this strip, or any strip for that matter. So Batty can indulge his interests with little risk, or effort.

      Now certainly young people are into super heroes and the like, but none would want to see movies in some crappy old theater.

      • Epicus Doomus

        A sort of “then” sort of thing where he compares an old-timey movie premier to a modern one might have been somewhat interesting and a little different, but instead he’s always instantly indifferent to “now” and opts to wallow in nostalgia…his own nostalgia, no less. So now he has this completely implausible story going where a major huge-budgeted motion picture promotion is geared around celebrating a long-forgotten old movie, simply because he’s lazy and doesn’t feel like putting in the effort to do something semi-plausible.

  5. billytheskink

    Oh man, it just really dawned on me that a whole week has been spent talking about this movie premiere. Just talking. That means we’re going to have to spend at least another week sometime where it actually happens.

    To quote a comic strip of value, “good grief!”

    • Epicus Doomus

      Remember, they’re talking about where to hold the premier. They haven’t even started talking about the actual event yet. This could take years to play out.

      • Rusty

        Hell, today’s strip is musing about how to tweet back at Jeff. Everyone will die of old age before the premier.

  6. DOlz

    In the last panel Cliff is giving Les a run for his money for most punchable smirk face.

  7. Ah, yes. It is not enough to simply wallow in childhood fantasy. There must also be the smug, self-righteous need to castigate actual children for wanting their own childhoods instead of the one of a crusty old fart living in the past. Thus the veneration of two old dimwits who ruined their lives being stupid.

  8. sgtsaunders

    Les. There’s the missing key to all this SBJ nonsense. If only Les would appear seemingly out of nowhere and, in a fit of jealousy based on his self-perceived preternatural writing skills, viciously slaughter everyone in today’s strip with a violence level heretofore unseen except in the most horrific Japanese manga. If only.

  9. Everything about this strip has become nostalgurbation.

  10. Eldon of Galt

    So very many smirking, self-satisfied faces. I’m suddenly thinking of the “South Park” episode with the deadly cloud of “smug” that poured out of self-congratulatory Hollywood and threatened to consume the entire nation.
    Do these dimwits actually think the production company is going to go along with this nonsense that will certainly destroy the launch of their very, very expensive movie?

  11. Hitorque

    How low have we sunk when we literally have to remind ourselves that these are all adults, almost all well over the age of 40?

    Isn’t it kind of perverse that for all this bullshit about how SJ was some monumental influence on their childhoods, modern day teens and children in the Funkyverse could literally care less?

  12. Lord Flatulence

    Decoder? I barely knowed her.

  13. Jimmy

    I don’t read Sally Forth too often, but I do appreciate how it doesn’t take itself too seriously and didn’t try to get too cute when breaking the fourth wall in that strip.