Specimen Collection

Link to today’s strip

Oh Goodie! Just my luck, a strip so banal that the entire thing, both in words and artwork, progresses the story in an almost negative direction!

In panel one, a lobed-headed monstrosity announces from the inky black crowd mass that the auction is about to start. We know this can’t be Darin or Jess since it’s shown in the next panel that they’re jockeying for position in in the back row like this is church or something. The unseen person doesn’t say ‘The auction is about to start,’ like a normal person might, but mentions again the full title of the auction. This gives him a chance to utter the name of The Blessed Dead St. Lisa aloud, which knocks off a few hours of future Masky McDeath Purgatory. No one in Funkyverse ever passes up a chance to mention St. Lisa’s name.

In the second panel, the vaguely Asian woman is either chewing tobacco, or has a severe case of lump jaw. But the greatest miscreation of this scene blooms between Darin and Jess like a horrifying, fleshy flower. Four hands. THERE ARE FOUR HANDS! Gripping and grasping each other in a sweaty mass. And creeping out of Lockjaw’s hair are the slender fingers of Jess’s right hand. Meaning… DARIN HAS THREE HANDS!

Luckily in the last panel, we learn that jogging lightly for less than three miles sends Darin’s pulse rate skyrocketing. Congestive heart failure will soon end his multi-appendaged misery. And I for one look forward to Darin’s Legacy Fund for Congenital Defects.

Also, are we sure that Darin hasn’t gotten a nose job? He looks uncannily like Masone Jarre. I’m predicting a ‘Talented Mr. Ripley’ scenario coming soon. And Jess can join in! All she has to get is a bob cut and she would look just like Cindy!

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27 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

27 responses to “Specimen Collection

  1. billytheskink

    Tomorrow Durwood gets arrested for stealing Jay Leno’s chin, or gets cast in a McDonald’s Mac Tonight commercial.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    Boy Lisa…adrenaline junkie. Falling leaves, collapsing Winkerbeans, ghost participants…nothing tops the Annual Lisa’s Legacy 5K Cancer Fun Run for sheer pulse-pounding Westviewian-style excitement. Unless it’s anxiously waiting for a Batom Comics original comic book covers auction to begin, of course. Finding a decoder ring in your pizza would probably rank up there too.

    I like how Boy Lisa takes the time to make sure his wife understands it’s the Annual 5K Lisa’s Legacy Cancer Fun Run we’re talking about here, not some other charity 5K fun run devoted to some other less worthy cause. Interesting how it’s “our” Annual Cancer Fun Run now, like Darin is a vital cog on the Lisa’s Legacy board of directors or something. I must have missed the arc where Boy Lisa, sick of Les’ insufferable whining about it, takes control and organizes the ALL5KCFR by himself. I think I would remember an arc like that.

  3. Gerard Plourde

    Speaking of the artwork, the auctioneer of indeterminate gender in the first panel sports some odd features – hair that resembles some kind of animal skull plopped on the top of his/her head and a weird white circular spot on the cheek.

  4. Spacemanspiff85

    As crappy as this art is, that very well could be Mason and Cindy there.
    So we all know Batiuk’s just in this to get the T-Square at fifty years. They really need to do something negative though, like revoke his cartoonist status or something. That would be a more honest recognition of his contributions to his field. Garbage like this strip today, and way, way too many more, only set it back.

    • Epicus Doomus

      It’s so meaningless too, longevity simply for longevity’s sake. He can’t even put in the effort with his own pet projects and causes, in fact those arcs are arguably even duller and dumber than his typical daily fare. There’s no competition in the weird little world of syndicated comic strips, no threat of some young up & comer snagging your spot if interest in your strip wanes. Apparently once you’re in you’re in for life and honestly I can’t think of another form of pop culture entertainment where that applies.

      • timbuys

        Beyond life in many cases so, as you note, Batty really has found just about the only niche were such poor work would not only be tolerated but occasionally accorded respect and acclaim all out of proportion to its actual merit.

  5. louder

    Love the high-tech look of the lettering on the front of the podium; leftover letters from Less’ classroom, no doubt. Nice to know they go all out for the fundraiser!

  6. If I didn’t know Durwood was from a small town, his yapping about a small town event like it was the be-all and end-all of human existence would tell me he was from a small town. It’s like how Dick Facey gets all smug and stupid about how Boston people aren’t so tough because they don’t have to deal with the slight rise that stymies him.

    Also, someone needs to remind the dumbass that since Anne raised him, she is his mother, not Saint Dead Lisa.

    • Epicus Doomus

      The way Batiuk has Darin referring to Lisa as “mom” in that casual natural way is beyond infuriating. The way he handled that self-created contrivance was an insult to adopted people everywhere.

  7. Chyron HR

    So Darin has to constantly tell Jess where they are, presumably because she has a neurological problem? That’s actually some genuine pathos. Good job, Batom.

  8. Charles

    Time and again I’m reminded that Batiuk just goes with the first thing that pops in his mind and never refines it or tries to think of a better way to accomplish what he wants. He wants to establish that they’re at this particular auction, so he has Darin say something that no one in that position would say. It’s ludicrous. But he doesn’t care. It never even occurs to him just how artificial and terrible that line is. It gets the job done, so who cares how well it works? Putting in a sign with the information that Batiuk felt was essential, and having Jess tell Darin not to go anywhere because the thing’s about to start would work better, but that would require that he spend a few seconds trying to improve on his first thought. He either thinks he’s a genius or he doesn’t give a shit. Or he doesn’t give a shit because he thinks he’s a genius, or something.

    It’s insulting because it’s so simply to markedly improve these strips, and yet that’s completely beyond Batiuk’s capabilities.

    • Epicus Doomus

      AND he’s ALREADY established the premise…with authority too. “My heart hasn’t raced like this since I barely finished my first LL 5K”…yes, it’s awful but at least it’s almost a joke, kind of. I mean she’s his wife, I’m sure she knows all about the ALL5KCFR, but that thought never entered BatNom’s mind in his zeal to once again plug himself.

  9. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    BatHack is going for the “consecutive days of clunky exposition” record. Maybe if he put down the comic books, got off the floor of his mom’s attic, and got out more often, he might have a clue about how actual Earth Humans speak. Panel 1 is not a good example. C’mon, Batty.

    Unseen fourth panel: Blondie McBighair says, “Good. Well, you go ahead and enjoy it. We’ll never enjoy the thrill of a house of our own or Skylark’s college graduation. Let’s just watch what SHOULD have been OUR money get flushed down the rat hole of this useless charity. We could have saved a lot of time by selling the comic books, then setting fire to the money in the parking lot of our crappy little stupid apartment!”

    “SILENCE, WOMAN! MEN MAKE ALL THE DECISIONS IN THIS COMIC STRIP! DO NOT QUESTION ME!! AND DO NOT UTTER BLASPHEMY AGAINST OUR HOLY SACRIFICE AT THE ALTER OF DEAD SAINT LISA, MY BIOMOM WHO DIED OF CANCER!”

  10. bobanero

    Perseveration, thy name is Batiuk

  11. Comic Book Harriet

    Okay and seriously. Crankshaft for the past couple days has actually been a little almost interesting. It’s making commentary that the malls of the 80’s and 90’s, which killed small town squares, have been replaced by brand new pedestrian shopping centers artificially mimicking small town squares, leaving the old malls empty and decaying. It might not be an 100% original observation, but still, beats comic books.

    Panel two today. Abandoned dilapidated parking lot for aging mega-mall. Dead ringer for about three malls in a two hour radius of my home…in IOWA.

  12. bayoustu

    1. Just look at that drawing of Durwood in Panel 3- you can almost hear him saying: “H’yuck, h’yuck! Gawrsh!” 2. I think we all know that Chester The Millionaire Comic Book Collector will be so zealous in his unreasoning lust to possess these covers that he will bid against himself: “One million dollars!! No- 8 million!!,” thereby prompting this dialogue: “It’s hard to believe that someone bid 45 bazillion dollars here at the Heritage Auction of The Batom Covers for The Lisa’s Legacy Fund!” And thus, cancer is cured.

  13. Professor Fate

    As others have noted boy Lisa must be in very bad shape indeed or very easily excited if a 5K charity fun run gets his pulse racing.
    I can’t help thinking that as the auction for these covers is going on raising who knows what for Lisa’s legacy fund the man who raised Boy Lisa is in a wheel chair victim of a stroke. Him we hear nothing about from Boy Lisa Ever. It’s all the dead St. Lisa – even his wife and child don’t matter as much.
    I know Les is very hate able for many reasons but this guy is in his own class of horrible.

  14. Don

    I just wonder if TB will actually show part of the auction, as opposed to showing the crowd the entire week until they announce how much money the auction took in at the end