Damnation of Dumbness

Today’s strip remarkably shows Pete getting a visit from the Lord of the Late, which I think is the first time we’ve seen this particular eldritch dipshit since Pete became screenwriter for Starbuck Jones. I don’t know if we should be displeased that Batiuk has decided to bring this character back or pleased that this wasn’t the start of a “I wonder what things were like back in the ’50s” sequence.

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12 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

12 responses to “Damnation of Dumbness

  1. billytheskink

    An LOTL appearance with no expository set up, no stated deadline that Pete and Durwood are slacking towards?

    I think the Lord Of The Late actually visited TB about a year ago.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    “Yes, finally!” exulted the LOTL fan upon seeing the Lord’s triumphant return to the Sunday funnies. “I LOVE LOTL, the concept is SO funny and the execution is hilarious…hilarious…hilarious…”.

    Then the alarm starts buzzing and Batom is jolted back to reality, otherwise known as the place where no one likes LOTL. Unfazed and with only eleven more Sunday strips to bang out for the year, he decides to use LOTL again anyway because it’s Sunday and the comic book shop closes at five.

    Pete’s stupid Crankshaft girlfriend: another dopey BatNom unresolved plot contrivance that’s been hung out to dry for months now. You know he’ll just pick it up out of nowhere one day too and we’ll all be saying holy shit, I totally forgot all about that one. And of course when he does he’ll totally ignore the passage of time and Pete and whatever her name is will be wryly canoodling over comic books like they just met yesterday, like how Summer will still occasionally be “home from college” six years from now.

    • Charles

      And of course when he does he’ll totally ignore the passage of time and Pete and whatever her name is will be wryly canoodling over comic books like they just met yesterday, like how Summer will still occasionally be “home from college” six years from now.

      You just know it’ll be true because Batiuk has already apparently forgot to age Pete since he has him playing with his dolls in panel 5 as if he’s 8 years old, not the nearly 40 year-old man he is.

      But he does have a problem of seemingly never imagining what his characters are doing when they’re not being featured in the strip. That’s probably the reason why he’s neglected at least 90% of the characters he’s created. He hasn’t created any backstory for them so imagining what they might be interested in and what might be going on with them is impossible. So when you see Summer, or any of the other kids, they’re basically just the same person they were when you last saw them, even though they may have gone through an entire college career in the meantime.

      I would imagine that that just exacerbates the problem, because now he’s kind of locked into the idea that all the kids in Summer’s generation have had uneventful, uninteresting college careers and/or lives since high school graduation. I mean, if Summer actually had something interesting happen to her in the last five and a half years of college, why did Batiuk neglect to show it? Why did he decide that showing Funky going to the doctor or Crazy complaining about iTunes playlists is more important than anything Summer, Keisha, Maddie, Jinx or Rana could be doing? If he brings those characters back, they’ll all have a five to six year window in their lives – the years where they all stop being kids and start being adults, mind you – where nothing of importance happened. How could he possibly write convincingly for any of them now?

      • Epicus Doomus

        Darin and Jessica are another good example. When they returned in Act III he tried to give them a plausible back story…”Darin lost his big city MBA job thanks to This Economy”…but as usual he got lazy and sloppy and eventually just sort of retconned them into a “young couple just starting out” which of course they are not. So not only does it put the characters into an endless loop of endlessly recapping whatever they’ve done last, it renders the entire history behind those characters moot, which makes the reader wonder why they’re bothering to read FW in the first place.

        I doubt we’ll ever see that Act III generation of kids again. Surely Summer will pop up here and there (with Keisha standing dutifully in the background) but she’ll probably be in college forever with no explanation. The other long characters are most likely long, long gone.

  3. I remember when they unmasked this creep and he had Pete’s stupid face. He’s less the Grand Wizard Of Woolgathering and more a representation of Pete’s piss-poor work habits.

    • Gerard Plourde

      “He’s less the Grand Wizard Of Woolgathering and more a representation of Pete’s piss-poor work habits.”

      This strip encapsulates the lack of coherence that has plagued FW since the second age jump. Imagining TLOL as a metaphor for Pete’s propensity for procrastination makes a kind of sense if you’re writing “a quarter-inch from reality. (Marvel Comics-style alliteration unintended) Reintroducing him like some super villain from The Flash or the Fantastic Four preparing to hatch some evil scheme doesn’t fit in (although it’s possible that The Author’s personal cosmological belief system is populated with Masky McDeath and The Lord Of The Late).

    • I remember when the original “The Prisoner” episode had Patrick McGoohan’s character find Number One, unmask his robed figure and discover it was himself. Sounds like Batiuk saw that, too, and didn’t get it.

  4. spacemanspiff85

    Batiuk has been getting regular visits from the Head Honcho of Half-Assing It for about 15 years now.

  5. Rusty Shackleford

    Wow, the comics page is a total bust today.

    Crankshaft talking about death and gutters.

    Misandry on Dustin

    Lord of crap on FW

    And on and on about Mary’s muffins on MW.

    Boo… Boo

  6. In a strip well-known for its laziness, this particular episode is a sterling example. I mean, an entire Sunday for this nothingness?

  7. Hannibal's Lectern

    So is it the “Lord of THE Late,” as inscribed on the door, or just “Lord of Late,” as proclaimed in the word balloon? Has Batty reached the point where he can’t even remember his characters’ names from one panel to the next?

    Didn’t know cartoonists get CTE…

  8. DOlz

    Wow, someone has discovered alliteration. Now if he could just find funny.