Hollywood Squares

Link To Today’s One

“So what do you think about having me repeat the premise one more goddamned f*cking time, Darin?”

“Well, I’d sure hate to force my always-complaint wife and young son to move again just so I can chase yet another ridiculous comic book-related pipe dream……”


As their Hyndau Axolotl chugs down Hagglemore Lane in a cloud of leaded gasoline smoke, the “guys” ponder their next move. Do they blow off their commitments and a potentially lucrative payday to write silly dialog and doodle on behalf of Chester’s wildly half-assed idea or do they continue to humiliate and degrade themselves on Hollywood’s cruel, sadistic, indifferent and depraved altar instead? Decisions, decisions. They wanted to add a ninety year old actor they found living in squalor to a half-finished movie and bam, just like that he’s a global superstar getting married to ninety year old starlets. But pondering a job offer? That will require months if not years of endless introspection and rehashing as they very slowly ponder this crucial comic book-altering choice.

I almost can’t believe this is still going. This arc began back on February 12th, this is (gasp) week six right now. Not a whole lot of modern-day FW arcs go on for this long, especially consecutively like this. We’ve seen more Boy Lisa over the last six weeks than we’ve seen in years, it wasn’t all that long ago when the poor sap couldn’t even get a single weekly arc to himself. And everyone was OK with that, actually. But I have to say, this arc’s annoying staying power sort of surprises me, mindlessly skipping from story to story is kind of his trademark and it’s jarring when he doesn’t do it.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

23 responses to “Hollywood Squares

  1. This story involves comic books, so of course Batiuk is committed to this one.

    You know, comic books…the industry that is in its death throes right now, as opposed to comic-book movies which are all the rage and a multi-billion dollar industry.

    But of course Peeve and Dullard won’t be punished for their short-sightedness. Instead they will be rewarded for their loyalty to the 4-color book, because loving old things is the best a person can do in this life.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Hollywood has been nothing but kind to Pete and Boy Lisa. Pete reached the pinnacle of his profession and wrote a hit blockbuster movie AND he had the good fortune to be in a position to give his best friend a dream job. Derwin, despite his extremely limited doodling experience, lucked into a fantastic lucrative doodling job with all sorts of perks after spending several years working in a pizza place. Yet the experience was apparently totally joyless for them, just another entry-level slog they can derisively laugh about now. It’s bizarre.

    • gleeb

      Wait for later this year, when Corey and Rocky start an asbestos mine.

  2. countoftowergrove

    Durward and Mopey may as well hitch their wagon to Chester, and it will be no surprise if they do. These boys have been absent from work without excuse for more than three days. That’s implied resignation for at will employees.

  3. I never thought I’d see the day where I’d wish for the return of the idiots in the cafeteria line.

  4. spacemanspiff85

    Here’s the genesis for this “arc”
    Tom Batiuk: “How can I make this strip even more about comics? . . . Wait a minute, I could just make this strip literally all about comics!”
    *runs the imaginary bases*

  5. And as we lurch towards an annoying future in which most people go to Vintage Winkerbean because it’s less annoying, let’s take one last swing at some guy in Burbank who told Batiuk that Crankshaft scared and sickened the focus groups.

  6. redsnifit

    I wonder how Batiuk feels about no longer being unable to shoehorn “Chester ‘Megabucks’ Hagglemore, the wealthy comic collector” into the bubbles every strip. Now how are Funky fans supposed to know who he is?

  7. DOlz

    Are these two laughing about having job security in Hollywood? If so they have no idea what job insecurity is. They should have been fired long ago for any number of reasons. At this point I don’t think they could get fired if they turned in a TB level script.

    • comicbookharriet

      They’re laughing because, even though they’re in their 30’s, with jobs and responsibilities, they still love hotboxing to the max on road trips.

  8. louder

    I love how BatHack makes working in Hollywood, being the writer for a “blockbuster” comic movie, with more sequels to come, seem like working at Montini’s between jobs. I’m sure working for Chester, a lone, crazy rich guy, who can fire them at any time, for any reason, is much better than what they have now. They’re just living large, as all the cool hipsters say now-a-days, amiright!

  9. bobanero

    So, the Starbuck Jones movie is apparently a blockbuster hit, multiple sequels are in the works, Jessica and Skyler are settled in and making friends, Pete and Durwood have a job that apparently offers unlimited vacation time. Where’s the insecurity here? Anyway, it was obvious from day one that Pete and Durwood would be taking Chester up on his dubious offer, so the FW readership is going to be forced down this rabbit hole of comic book fantasy while the other actually interesting characters languish and maybe occasionally show up in a cameo appearance in a Sunday strip to deliver some non-punchline.

    • comicbookharriet

      “other actually interesting characters” Please explain who, other than Buddy the service dog, you feel actually fits this description? I am genuinely curious which of these characters actually interest you, because everyone is pretty much in agreement on what makes BAD Funky Winkerbean, but people have different ideas on what makes tolerable Funky.

      • bobanero

        Okay, I guess “actually interesting” is too strong a term here. I’m just thinking of the immense collection of characters who have dropped off the face of the earth over the years, such as Khan/Kahn, Rana, Wally, Summer/Keisha, others I’m sure I overlooked. They are interesting only in a “what the fuck ever happened with..?” kind of way. The point I’m making is that if you’re going to write a strip that follows a community of characters, you shouldn’t be ignoring that community of characters in favor of going off on 6-week meaningless comic book tangents.

        • comicbookharriet

          Agreed! And characters disappearing, and never coming back even for retirements, funerals, weddings etc, is really frustrating.

          And the character of Crankshaft really doesn’t annoy me that much. I hate the horrible puns, but the fact that he’s an old unrepentant asshole makes his occasional good deeds seem more genuine than Friggen Les Moore. And also makes him a hundred times more complex than friggen self-satisfied Les Moore.

          • Charles

            And characters disappearing, and never coming back even for retirements, funerals, weddings etc, is really frustrating

            I still can’t get over the fact that Batiuk forgot to have Rana show up to her father’s wedding. He did, however, bother to show John there, who hates Wally.

  10. “I’ll tell you how the world should be. Movies are trash and are made by trash people, and they should fail. No…no, they ARE failing. Big time. Comic books, on the other hand…and I mean GOOD comics, like the Flash, why–the people who make those, they’re millionaires and everyone loves them, and they get whatever they want, and can do anything they want to do, anytime. And good comics are flourishing like never before. They are selling out, issue after issue. Don’t you dare come in here with your “real” world and tell me otherwise.

  11. hitorque

    1. I’ve always been shocked at the disgusting lack of gratitude these two assholes have for every nepotistic hire, every one-in-a-million, do-my-dream-job-and-get-paid-six-figures opportunity that gets placed on their doorstep with the mundane regularity of the daily mail…

    2. I guess as far as Baituk is concerned the undynamic duo have “conquered” Hollywood and can return to Shitsburg, Ahia with a hero’s welcome (SEE: Les “Kill Fee” Moore)… I guess Masone Jarre, who was so desperate he hired some mook off the street with a second-hand reference to write his $200 million movie won’t have any trouble finding another writer and storyboard artist for all the rest of the movies in the series…

    3. Maybe these two assholes are right to laugh because they know the ultimate truth — It doesn’t matter a good goddamn where they work because A. They’ll continue to make an unspecified but comfortable salary, B. They’ll still sit on their asses doing nothing all day, C. They’ll still get unlimited vacation time to cross-dimensional destinations like the Flash Museum in Central City, D. They’ll still get to fly first class to San Diego for Comicon, stay in a five-star hotel and chair a standing-room-only panel discussion, E. They’ll still get VIP access at whatever the comics equivalent is of the Oscars … So in other words, nothing changes…

    • Gerard Plourde

      I think that what we’re witnessing is the fantasy fulfillment of the author’s wishes. And reality be damned.

  12. Professor Fate

    Okay – Per the strip Pete’s got a credit for writing a massively successful movie – and is working on the sequel to said huge hit – in the real world he could be shopping something he scrawled on the back of an envelope and studios would be waving thousands of dollars in his face. Hell he’d even get a nibble if he pitched an Amazing Mr. Sponge script. So instead of taking advantage of this and striking while the iron his hot, he’s whining about how mean Hollywood is (it wasn’t very mean to him by the by) and thinking about writing comic books for rich crazy person.
    Boy Lisa has even less cause for complaint – put in ahead of about oh I don’t know maybe a million more experienced storyboard artists he’s only has the job because Pete asked for him (gosh darn that heartless Hollywood) – and of course now he’s thinking of throwing away the only well paying job he’s had to draw comic books (which he’s never done) for the same rich crazy person. And this is a man with a family to think about.
    They would have to be idiots to do this but as they are idiots they will.
    Arggg. I have to say I used to like comic books, I even liked the Flash. Not so much anymore.

  13. billytheskink

    Meanwhile, over in Crankshaft, Ed just got caught reading SOSF.