Holt Meets Dolt

A couple of Batiuk’s pet themes inform today’s strip. There’s the setup and punchline: an admirer shares with his hero how hero’s advice inspired and influenced his life; to which said hero responds with disbelief that someone was dumb enough to actually take that advice to heart. It wasn’t funny when he used it last summer and it hasn’t gotten funnier since. But hey, recycled gags are to be expected in a comic strip spanning nearly a half-century. Let us save our groans for the way Batiuk retcons Darin’s—and his own—career.

Except for a brief cameo in 2009, we didn’t catch up with Darin until he showed up at the Taj Moore Hal with Jess in April 2011, unemployed and homelessstaying with some friends.” He spent the next three years as a manager slash mobile app developer at Montoni’s, before getting sucked up in the Starbuck Jones Hollywood vortex. Before all that, we’re told he was a “talented MBA.” So we either missed this whole New York chapter of Darin’s career, or he’s just blowing smoke up Phil’s ass. But we can think of another young man from Ohio who “went to New York to make [his] stand”…and was shown the door by DC and Marvel. If only he’d followed Phil Holt’s advice!



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

20 responses to “Holt Meets Dolt

  1. Yeah. this doesn’t make a lick of sense. Darrin’s never gotten anything through hard work; everything has been handed to him on a golden platter. I suspect this is a dream sequence and on Saturday’s strip, Jessica will be shaking him awake, telling he’s got to go to a toddler’s birthday party…

  2. Epicus Doomus

    Right away Boy Lisa starts badgering the poor guy by spinning ridiculous yarns about himself, like this Holt guy gives half a damn about how he influenced some boring aging moron. What kind of “stand” has Boy Lisa ever made anyway? The time he boldly opened his mail for a week and a half? Nope, Jessica pestered him into it. The time he courageously marched into Montoni’s and promised them he’d make it worth their while to hire him? Nope, Les got him the job. The time he outsmarted Frankie and banished him from Westview? No, that was Summer. The time he rolled the dice and relocated to Hollywood to break in to the storyboarding game? Nope, Pete hooked him up. You see the overall picture that’s forming here.

  3. billytheskink

    Here is one of the few known examples of Durwood’s artwork:

    No wonder they wouldn’t let him walk out the door… that would have meant they couldn’t throw him out of a window.

    • Hitorque

      It’s like high school Pete+Darrin made a strip out of 100% recycled Les “I’m such an indifferent teacher and these kids are so DUMB!” Moore setups and punchlines?

  4. Gerard Plourde

    So when, exactly, did Darin work in New York as a cartoonist? We’ve only seen him in Westview working at Montoni’s. And his background seemed to be programming since he designed thei restaurant’s app. He only became a storyboarder when Pete brought him to Hollywood to work on the Starbuck Jones movie.

  5. Oh, right. One of the rare images to present Les in an unflattering light. That almost makes watching Durwood bullshit someone because Batiuk can’t get over being told that he could stand to improve by evil people from New York.

  6. bayoustu

    Tomorrow, Funky (Whose name will inexplicably be spelled “Phunke”), recounts how he got his start- excuse me: “made his stand”-in the field of deep sea rescue and salvage.

  7. That 2009 strip is really something. Not only a total lack of anything resembling a punchline, there’s a total lack of…everything. Although I do think Dullard’s head was well placed in the masthead to line up with those shorts.

  8. bobanero

    1. This is nothing new. TB has been gaslighting his readers for years. The Starbuck Jones arc is just the most egregious example of it.
    2. How was this advice particularly enlightening or useful? Doesn’t it kind of go without saying that an artist should put their best work in their portfolio?

    This kind of shit really bothers me, because it represents a complete lack of respect for his readership (AKA the beady eyed nitpickers). If it’s so easy for ANYONE who follows the strip AT ALL to see the retconning, since he wrote the damn thing, he MUST KNOW WHAT HE’S DOING. What thought process makes him think that this is a good idea. This strip could still be decent without the need for re-writing the back story every two weeks.

    • Jim in Wisc.

      I don’t think he does any retconning in a conscious manner. I think he just creates backstory on the fly, as it’s needed to fit whatever he’s presenting on a given day. Heck, I wouldn’t be the least but surprised he isn’t even aware of what backstory he created for a character in past strips.

      • bobanero

        Maybe it’s like the dude in Memento. He has a memory affliction where he can’t remember anything more than 10 minutes.

    • Hitorque

      Yeah, it’s just another Funkyverse truism… I haven’t rolled my eyes this hard since Marianne’s I-won’t-kill-myself-after-all epiphany…

  9. Comic Book Harriet

    Wow. His sage, life changing advice boils down to “Be really really good at the thing you want to do. Then people will want to hire you.”


    Gahh! This might be Batiuk’s most boring sequence of strips ever!! I’m going to need smelling salts to survive this week.

  11. Hitorque

    Holt is about 20 seconds away from stabbing Darrin with something sharp, isn’t he?

  12. Hitorque

    Oh, and for the record, there’s something very wrong with a man deciding to become a science teacher after seeing some 1950s kitsch that wasn’t even worthy for mocking by the MST3K crowd…

  13. Professor Fate

    And if at first you don’t succeed withdraw and be bitter and the success will come upon you like a thief in the night. Or something like that.

  14. Just for fun, I read the “Flash Friday” entry for August 4. I wonder how Ross Andru might have felt about having his name misspelled by a guy named Tom Batiuk.