Now, I want an honest counting of hands, here. How many of you thought we’d see something/anything of the Starbuck Jones movie during this, the arc in which the long gestating film finally had its premier? Think of all the things riding on this film’s success–not just careers for Mason Jarre, Pete Robots, Darrin Undesireable and Cliff Anger, but the culmination of desire for a million fan-boys, the affirmation of belief for thousands of cellar-dwellars, and the salvation of the Valentine Theater (and a poorly-performing comic strip associated with same). Surely such an expanse would provide proof of its benevolent effect. Right?
Don’t be ashamed; after all, this was something that was fed to us for several years now as the event of the decade, as the measure by which this strip would ensure its place in the pantheon.
So, hands? Well, there’s one. Two. Oh…oh…oh, dear. That’s far too many hands than I thought I would see.
In my host duties here, I have tried to focus on the content of the strip and NOT on Tom Batiuk, the person. I’ve never met, and don’t know Tom Batiuk; from all reports, he’s a genuinely nice guy, open and friendly, and I try to keep that foremost when I write here. And to be honest, I wish him well.
But I’m going to violate that rule here. Because Tom Batiuk cannot tell a story.
He must know this–aside from Les Moore, the characters he truly cares about (Starbuck Jones and The Amazing Mister Sponge) have never had a single panel dedicated to showcasing their, cough, awesomeness. Sure, we’ve had lots and lots of covers, but nothing in the way of story. Story being the key to why a character makes an impression. Comic book cover? Anyone who ever read a comic book ever knows that comic book covers are designed to lie you into buying them. So they don’t count.
It’s much, much easier to ease back down off that plane, and shift the focus to a bunch of has-beens getting married. Everyone likes marriages, right? And that’s way more, like, focused than some movie thing that’ll be, like, forgotten in two years. But marriage, man, that’s like eternal! Until the next reboot. But I’ve heard Les Moore has a new book! Gotta be worth it all, man, gotta be worth it all.
And, just to be that guy, I’ll be damned if I look it up, but I’m pretty sure Mason made this exact same joke some months back.
To paraphrase Charlie Brown, I weep for the newspaper comic-strip fans.