Hollywood Heartworm

Boy, the artwork in today’s offering is really terrible.  Those faces in panel one look like a set of sad balloons from an abandoned “melting-flesh” themed carnival.  And I don’t know what’s going on with Cayla’s hand.  That doesn’t look natural at all.  Rick Burchette is becoming worse and worse all the time; he’s actually making Batiuk’s work look good by comparison.  Whether this is due to influence from above (“Make it crappy, like me!”) or a growing disenchantment with his task (“This strip sucks, so who cares”), it’s hard to say.  I would guess that the recent Atomik Komix (gah) covers are his way of saying “I am actually quite a competent artist; ’tis the subject that dictates the work and moves the artist’s hand.”

And as to today’s content, well, we’re back to the self-depreciation crap.  I know Batiuk loves to have his characters wallow in misery, but seriously, give it a rest.  It hasn’t been “edgy” for decades now, it’s just tiresome.  It’s the sort of thing that teenagers grow out of.  Sheesh.  Cliff himself has had a 180 degree turnaround in his life, and he’s now revered and celebrated.  But no, he has to be all “Woe is me.”

How can one be a “Hollywood Heartthrob” by starring in one forgotten (but beloved) serial before disappearing into bitter exile?  How the Hell can these people be ambulatory and lucid, let alone alive, in their late 90’s?  It’s easy, really.  Because reality in this strip is whatever Batiuk wishes it to be, because reality in the real world refuses to cooperate.

If it weren’t so dull, it would be sad.

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18 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

18 responses to “Hollywood Heartworm

  1. Burchette is becoming worse and worse all the time…Whether this is due to influence from above (“Make it crappy, like me!”) or a growing disenchantment with his task (“This strip sucks, so who cares”), it’s hard to say.

    I’m gonna go with “This strip sucks, so who cares.” The odd, shifting perspective—from below in panel 1 and above in panel 2—is not an enhancement. If Cliff and Mason are both standing in P2, Mason would have to be standing on a milk crate to be resting his hands on Cliff’s shoulders like that.

    • Charles

      Mason would have to be standing on a milk crate to be resting his hands on Cliff’s shoulders like that.

      “GOD, STOP TOUCHING ME!” Hollywood bigwig like Mason should have figured out by now that getting all handsy is a bad idea… actually, he’s an idiot, so he wouldn’t have.

      Anyway, my favorite thing about the art is how the edging on the ceiling looks like it’s a sword that Cayla has just pushed right through Cliff’s head, like the liquid-metal terminator.

  2. spacemanspiff85

    It’s amazing how many strips Batiuk does that are nothing but recapping what’s already happened, or who people are. It would be anyway, if I wasn’t used to how crappy Batiuk’s work is.

  3. billytheskink

    Oh no, Cliff is showing signs of becoming Crankshaft in his old age!

    This is concerting, truly wearisome.

  4. Her bio is equally depressing: “Former star athlete whose job is caretaker for moron obsessed with dead first wife.”

  5. Rusty Shackleford

    Cliff was…. oh yeah I saw that guy on the tramp steamer that brought Les and I to LA.

  6. Hannibal's Lectern

    “…we’re back to the self-depreciation crap.”

    I was going to point out that the correct word is “self-deprecation,” but then I realized in this context it’s more appropriately “self-defecation.”

  7. bobanero

    “Hey, I wonder what’s up with Cliff and Vera?” said no Funky Winkerbean reader ever. He keeps trotting out these characters that he pulled out of his ass for no other reason than cheap sentimentality, and meanwhile ignores characters like Summer, who I assume the readership is actually interested in, FOR YEARS. I honestly don’t know where this guy gets the idea that what he’s producing is anywhere close to a quality product.

    • Jimmy

      Summer hasn’t appeared in any meaningful way in what, four years? Does anyone remember the One with the Hoodie?

  8. Rusty Shackleford

    How about Crankshaft this week. The old bitty has to travel to NYC to try and find an agent at a booksellers convention. Ever hear of the internet and self publishing? Ever hear of a telephone?

    Gotta do things the hard way so Batty can stretch a boring story.

    • Oh, for Funky’s sake….you know who that is in panel 2? It can only be Ann Apple, Les’ literary agent; she’s wearing the same jacket with the squiggly lines. This is why “the old bitty has to travel to NYC.” The only problem, of course, is that if you factor in the time gap between CS and FW, Ann would still be a homeless woman.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Ah yes, good ol Apple Annie looking all prosperous….cause u just fall into these cushy jobs…it’s all luck. No experience needed.

        Hmm, that does explain how Batty was hired.

      • Charles

        Because of course she’d travel 500 miles and just randomly run into the agent of the local guy she had at her book-signing. Seriously, there are only 300 people in the Funkyverse and they’re all two degrees of separation from one another.

        Also, Apple Annie is apparently so bad an agent she only has one set of clothes that she wears.