Nuclear Whiner

Link to today’s strip.

I’ll admit I found today’s strip amusing.  What’s interesting is that Tom Batiuk actually took the trouble to build to this punchline, both by portraying Holly as increasingly anxious and angry, and by using yesterday’s strip as a direct lead-in to today’s.   The payoff is nice; it shows Holly being self-aware enough to know she was overreacting, and it de-escalates things (for now).  It also shows that Mr. Batiuk is (or was, as this week was likely made up of old standby strips) capable of creating something that is at least funny.

The pacing is still off–it would have been better to cull the “fat-fingering” episodes and reformat this arc as a single Sunday strip–but it’s been obvious for some time that Tom Batiuk is just running out the clock.  Ya can’t make that ol’ 50th by being briefer, after all.   Still, the week showed some nice craftsmanship; the humor, instead of coming completely out of the blue like most of his “wit,”  was planned in advance.  Bravo.

The craftsmanship in the artwork is 50/50.  The drawing of the scene is quite good, showing some nice perspective and giving a sense of “place.”  The characters, on the other hand, are rendered as slap-dash, sketchily-defined blobs–and I’m aware that they are slap-dash, sketchily defined blobs; it would just be nice to see some consistency panel-to-panel.

It would also be nice to see the non-author avatar characters drawn with a bit more sympathy.  Holly looks like she steps on puppies for fun, and Funky looks like someone exhumed him from a shallow grave somewhere.  But none of that will change; it’s also obvious that Tom Batiuk just loathes Funky with all his heart.  Still, there’ve been worse weeks here; considering we had no Les and no comic books, I’d put this episode in the “plus” column.

Congratulations Mr. Batiuk.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

10 responses to “Nuclear Whiner

  1. Epicus Doomus

    And a clearer picture begins to form. The stress of being to a perpetually dying man and spending every waking hour in Montoni’s has driven Holly to peak annoyingness and totally destroyed what was left of her already-sketchy brain. I can dig it.

    The whole idea of anyone fretting over a Westviewian wedding is a pretty funny concept. The only real preparations required for a Westviewian wedding are selecting the proper superhero costumes and checking the weather for the chosen day (“stormy with heavy rain, high winds and dangerous lightning”). Everything else will naturally fall into place once they get to Montoni’s. It’s not like the gazebo is going anywhere and even if it did Les’ front yard is always available.

  2. spacemanspiff85

    You know, as far as Batiuk not making it to 50 by being brief, he could easily get to 50 just by tying up loose ends. Literally nothing of Summer’s college life has been shown. Funky and Holly could have grandkids. He could kill somebody else off, if he wanted to (Pete and/or Darin and/or Mason, preferably). It’s just he clearly doesn’t want to give more than the bare minimum effort, which is sad.
    He should just go all in and have the next four years be the same Xeroxed panel of Pete and Darin talking to each other and just fill in the world balloons with his rants about Flash comics he posts on his blog. That’s where his heart it.

  3. billytheskink

    We all hate you and everything you ever did, Holly. Mostly because the only thing any of us remember you doing is nagging Funky or buying Starbuck Jones comic books.

  4. He does done something of a service: he’s showing us by proxy of the Hell that faces John Patterson now that he and Elly are retired…..

    • Double Sided Scooby Snack

      Lynnuck needs to mirror real life by having John and Elly divorce. Then Elly can bitch about John directly, rather than wait for Lynnuck to make subtle little digs at him.

  5. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    I always naturally assume Todd Batfuck is on his high horse about something. After all, writing just to create an amusing storyline is SOOOO 1972. This is the 80’s. (Or is it the 90’s…? Inside Batty’s pointy little bald head, it’s hard to tell.)

    Was this a Bitch Rant about people who communicate through text message? Was it about eeevil Cellular Internet Telephones in general? Or was it about Corky being a rotten son? He was a douchey little punk for all his life, after all. When he came back from the Army and was All Grown Up And Responsible, nobody really believed that bullshit. Maybe BatWit is setting the stage for the return of Irresponsible, Annoying Little Shitface Juvenile Delinquent Corky. He was a LOT more interesting back then, before he turned into some sort of lame Wally clone.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Same thing with Crankshaft….not sure what he is complaining about. ATMs have been around a long time now and most people hate waiting in lines..but in Batty’s world, it was always better in the days of yore.

      • Charles

        It’s also incredibly stupid because like most of Batiuk’s throwaway characters, they don’t behave in a believable fashion.

        I’m something of a spot luddite in that I pay my mortgage personally at the bank each month, and I think only once in the last year have I not had to wait in a line when I did this.

        There’s a lot of stuff you can do at a bank that can’t be done at an ATM, that you need a person to help with, but I’m not surprised that Batiuk doesn’t know this.

  6. Charles

    I want this arc to end today, not because it’s terrible and something else would be better (it is, and it won’t), but because I want “Funky sends Cory a text message” to be a entire sequence. I want that to be the story, nothing else. It’ll be a perfect illustration of just how badly Batiuk is and has been coasting.

    That will not be so obvious if this is merely the worthless first week of an eleven week “Cory gets married in the least imaginative way possible” arc.

    • It gets worse. We’re also dealing with “Holly making an unpleasant fool of herself because she’s too stupid to read Emily Post and thus realize that she’s not supposed to plan anything because that’s Rocky’s mom’s job.”