Starring Crankshaft as Pennywise

Link to today’s strip.

As usual, Sunday’s strip was not available for preview. Who knows what it might be?  Comic book cover, obliquely referencing Pete and Mindy. who will be stuffed into a corner speaking utterly irrelevant idiocies?  Funky and Les jogging?  Someone vomiting at Montoni’s?  Les hawking the new Lisa book?  (Never has the term “hawking,” in it’s alternate spelling of “hocking,” and meaning “spitting up phlegm,” been more appropriately deployed.)  I can’t think of any other irons that Tom Batiuk has in the fire, though his capacity to surprise–in the most disappointing way–is beyond my ability to predict.

In the real world, the new movie based on Stephen King’s It is projected to take off at the box office–it has already sold something like 20-odd million pre-order tickets, which is pretty rare for something whose title doesn’t begin with “Star” followed by “Wars.”  The film is projected to break box office records for a horror movie.

The film will certainly dethrone Starbuck Jones The Movie at the box office, but this is hardly surprising given Jones‘ performance.  With a first weekend gross of $42 million, Jones debuted respectably for the most anemic Labor Day weekend in over a decade, but subsequent box office returns have seen the film plummeting disastrously–forecasts have it earning just a little over $1000 total for this weekend, at over 2500 theaters (this figure includes children’s matinee showings, oddly enough almost entirely attended by the elderly).  Cable Movie Entertainment spokesman Mason Jarre says the studio is proceeding with the sequel nonetheless, and adds that he feels the upcoming China opening will boost the film’s profile and profits.    His optimism flies in the face of Chinese film commissioner Wong Wei Feldman’s repeated assertions that there are no plans to open the film in China, and that in fact, the Chinese want no part of Starbuck Jones The Movie.   “I have seen stills assembled by someone named John Howard,” Mr. Feldman has stated, “and it looks like garbage…garbage set on fire, and dumped into a vat of sewage.  And we have plenty of that here.”   He then waved off reporters and jumped into his auto-gyro (“The Spirit of St. Louis” emblazoned on the side) and shouted that he was late for his engagement in Wu Hu.

And that, my friends, is my last posting on this go-round of Son of Stuck Funky.  Oh, as Ahnuld said, “I’ll be back,” but in the meantime please give a warm SoSF welcome to the fantastic DavidO, who becomes the new Number Two starting Monday, as I slither back under the storm drains.

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23 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

23 responses to “Starring Crankshaft as Pennywise

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Yuck, an ancient Ed in color. This is so annoying. Regular FW readers don’t know what the hell is going on, regular CS readers are confused and the guy who reads both gets it but doesn’t care. The whole thing is just nauseating if you ask me.

  2. Spacemanspiff85

    You know what good writing doesn’t involve? Recapping a plot that just ended while adding nothing to it but “wow, isn’t that neat?”.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Yup, everything truly came around full-circle…for a character in a different comic strip. Four years of build-up but at least Jff got to live the dream.

  3. billytheskink

    Well, one way to make Crankshaft more likable is to place him opposite anyone involved with Starbuck Jones. It’s a despicable trick.

  4. Snifit

    What if, all those years ago, Crankshaft had a vision of the *Starbuck Jones* arc, and his terrible driving driving was actually an attempt to kill Pete and spare us from that abomination? And his asshole attitude all these years was him trying to hide the knowledge that he was unable to spare us from three years of misery?

    Crankshaft is the real hero here.

  5. And it ends as I thought it would. We don’t know who this moribund old man is. We don’t know why it’s funny or reassuring that he made a pretzel of a common-place saying. We don’t know that he used to be this mysterious curmudgeonly bus driver from long ago. All we know is that he’s somehow related to John Darling My Father Who Was Murdered’s brother-in-law whose son owns a movie theatre. Any idea that these theatre people have their own strip where he isn’t this dying mess has failed to make itself manifest because the writer has the dumb.

    • Saturnino

      Maybe he’s trying to kill off Crankshaft and integrate the remaining characters into this abomination. He’s already killed off two characters, Ed Crankshaft would make three, and with cosmic justice thru suicide, Lillian would make four. That could be milked for at least four years.

  6. Rusty Shackleford

    All these time jumps, and now Ed is ready to die. So it goes. Other writers did time jumps much better.

  7. Don

    Wait a minute…isn’t somebody in the Funkyverse nominated for a Creative Arts Emmy…which are tonight?

    Oh, wait, hold on…in the Funkyverse, any category that gets mentioned automatically gets moved to the live broadcast, so the strip can show people at home watching the acceptance speech.

  8. DaveG28

    I know you guys will throw darts at me, but I like it. I enjoy the interplay between the two strips. They’ve both been run in my local paper for years, so I know what’s going on. I do live in Ohio, and believe it or not, these strips have been quite beloved around here for their entire runs. Maybe it’s an Ohio thing. Not gonna apologize for it.

    I just had to add my 2 cents worth. As you were.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Lots of us Ohio folk around here.

      Most of us would agree that the old FW strips were funny and enjoyable. But then the focus turned to cancer and other dreary topics and it has continued downhill from there. Did you really like today’s atrocity? I guess it is nice she visits her grandfather. Wow, amazing.

      I prefer the work of another cartoonist that lives in NE Ohio: Bill Watterson

    • Epicus Doomus

      Not at all, even I will admit it when I enjoy a FW strip. It just happens very rarely, like solar eclipses or a meteorite strike. But it has happened.

    • I certainly won’t criticize anyone for enjoying what they enjoy. A number of folks have dropped by here over the years and said that they enjoy the strip, but when asked what it is they like, most of them respond with feelings of nostalgia for the old, funny days. If there’s something more to it for you, please let us know what it is–and I’m not being sarcastic, I’m genuinely curious.

      • David Geisler

        Maybe it is a bit of nostalgia. But it was always one of my favorite strips, and I look forward to reading it every day and finding out what’s new with the characters i grew up with. Sure, sometimes the stories are a bit contrived and awkward. I just don’t lose sight of the fact that it’s a comic strip, not fine literature. Space is limited to tell a story, so i give Batiuk his space and I fill in the blanks myself. And unless you grew up in Ohio, you really have no idea how important Harry Dinkle is/was to marching band people. My friends that were in band lived for those strips.

    • Gerard Plourde

      I’ll admit that I was a fan of both strips for years. I even accepted the second time-jump initially, but things got weird around the time of the “time-pool reunion”. Sadly, that, the final Lisa recordings, the lack of development of the characters, and the increasingly disjointed story lines moved me out of its orbit.

  9. bayoustu

    Good Lord!! That… that THING in the last panel is like something from the H.P. Lovecraft ethos: an incomprehensible, otherworldly entity so hideous that it drives one mad to look upon it!

  10. Charles

    Barely sentient mushroom Ed Crankshaft keeps his eyes firmly shut so he doesn’t have to look at Mopey. Mopey does him a favor by not saying a word. Obviously Ed thinks that if he doesn’t see Mopey, he doesn’t exist and his 38 year-old granddaughter isn’t dating this loser.

    “I blame that childish idiot my daughter married for this,” Ed thinks to himself.

  11. count of tower grove

    Is it Crankshaft, or is it Magoo? Only the “artist” knows for sure.

  12. Hitorque

    1. So Krankenschaaft owns the Valentine? Or did he extend an invitation he had no authority to make?

    2. Evidently *everyone” in the country watched the SJ serials… Must have grossed more than “The Magnificent Seven”, “The Ten Commandments”, and “Ben Hur” combined…

    3. I’m not one of those sophisticated Hollywood types or even a left coaster, but aren’t, you know, big-time movie producers notoriously busy and difficult to get on the phone? And just out of the blue they accepted a collect call from some no-name weirdo in Ahia??

  13. Hitorque

    4. Does it even work that way? If I call up the James Bond franchise producers and offer to host the next premiere in my living room because I’m such a huge fan who has seen all the movies and bought most of the video games, they’ll say yes?