No, The Other Butter Brinkel

“So what’s the catch?” “I want to produce a documentary!” How is that a catch, exactly? I stopped wondering if Batiuk actually proofreads his own work a long, long time ago, since it’s incredibly clear he barely gives his work a passing thought anymore. Like, I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be “tried for THE murder of Valerie” and not “tried for murder of Valerie”, because nobody talks like that.
I would love to see Cindy’s job description. I think he saw her sitting in front of a camera once, but since then she’s basically just made documentaries and done whatever she feels like for her job, somehow. I mean, I know Batiuk gets paid for doing whatever crap he feels like, but most people don’t.
One of my least favorite things about Batiuk’s writing (I feel like I type that on a weekly basis) is his “funny” names. Butter isn’t in quotes, so I’m guessing it’s not a nickname, and some guy born in the late 1800s was actually named Butter by his parents.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

26 responses to “No, The Other Butter Brinkel

  1. My feeling is that Batiuk writes about whatever wanders into his head, or into his peripheral vision. And that’s really the extent of any planning or forethought.

    What I find curious is Cindy’s choice of subject matter. If he’s going to tell the Fatty Arbuckle story (poorly), the whole thing has basically been done to death by now. The only reason to re-do it would be if Cindy found some new information that she had managed to uncover. But that would entail Cindy doing actual work which she doesn’t seem to do at all. Again, like Batiuk, subjects just seem to wander into her orbit like asteroids around a fading, dying sun.

    At least with Cliff Whoever, the “hook” was that he was a sullen dumbass who had thrown away his career for a bottle of bitterness–that could conceivably be of interest to someone. What’s he going to do with Arbuckle and Rapp? Probably have Cliff sit in a chair and make innuendos. While smirking, of course.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Well it’s a 100% certainty he won’t do anything nearly as lurid as the Arbuckle story, my guess is that he’ll gloss right over the actual murder itself and go straight to the “mystery”, which will no doubt be solved when Jessica finds some sort of previously unknown “clue”, like a comic book or something.

    • Ray

      Fatty Arbuckle was the first thing that popped into my head.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    Uh, sorry, but Jessica’s “wheelhouse” so far consists of filming Cindy’s Cliff Anger interview…and that’s it. She never finished the one about her murdered father John Darling thus it couldn’t possibly qualify as “wheelhouse”-worthy.

    Let me guess, this “Butter Brinkle” guy was from (sigh) Ohio, because of course he was. I wonder what Batom Comics superhero he used to play back in the day?

  3. Batiuk is definitely slipping. Jess should have said, “You mean the film comedian who was tried for the murder of starlet Valerie Pond *who was murdered?*”

    • LTPFTR

      “Like my father, John Darling, who was murdered. By a murderer. Of John Darling, my father.”

  4. billytheskink

    The worst part about this “funny” name is that TB retconned it, in quite literally its second appearance, in an apparent attempt to make it less silly. In attempting this, he actually made it even more ridiculous.

    Back in late July 2018, silent film star Butter Brinkel was first mentioned as “old movie-serial comedian” Butter Brickle (as opposed to all those young movie-serial comedians?), a “troubled man” who the apparently immortal Cliff Anger once worked with…

    This is a universe where people named Mason Jarr(e), Cliff Anger, Pete Mossman, Ed Crankshaft, Les Moore, and, well, Funky Winkerbean exist… but Butter Brickle? That’s just too silly, I guess.

    Worse still, Brickle is a surname several people in the US actually have. Not all that many, it ranked 47,706th in the 2010 Census with only 444 folks carrying the name. Still, that handily beats TB’s less “silly” substitute Brinkel, a surname that doesn’t show up in the Census data as fewer than 100 people, if any at all, have it.

    • comicbookharriet

      Kudos to our resident historian for remembering a offhand reference to a stupid pun name! Without you we wouldn’t get to see all the skill Batiuk puts into foreshadowing future storylines..

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I hope we get to see a tramp steamer.

  5. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    “You mean the silent film star who was tried for the murder of starlet Valerie Pond?”
    “Precisely. They say he buttered her brinkel.”
    “What a great idea! The public is positively clamoring for movies about stuff that happened in 1921.”

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Well he did do an arc about gun violence, that is a current event. Over in Crankshaft he is shilling for the Ohioana book festival, that he attends.

      Nobody is clamoring for anything he writes, hence no awards.

  6. comicbookharriet

    That is some very nice Planet of the Apes prosthesis that Jess has on her face in panel 3. Very simian.

  7. Epicus Doomus

    The whole Act III Cindy & Mason/Boy Lisa & Jessica story arc is loaded with all kinds of dangling plot threads. The Starbuck Jones sequels, the Frankie Film Food scam, Marianne’s mental well-being, Cindy’s Emmy nomination for “Cliff Anger: Better Red Than Dead”, Jessica inexplicably “staying behind” to apparently get a job after he husband and son moved to Ohio, Mason’s long-ago threat to move to Ohio permanently, Cindy’s job at Buddyblog, all hanging there, destined to never really be resolved or even referred to ever again.

    The real shame of it is that he could easily account for some of these loose threads with a few well-placed lines of Monday or Tuesday dialog…”I’ve been dying to move to Ohio already but these documentary offers just came flying in after we won that Emmy”…but he chose silly “girl talk” instead (something he is really, really bad at by the way).

    With the result being that the reader is forced to create their own scenario to explain these otherwise inexplicable and or impossible events. Thus based upon all available evidence I have concluded that Jessica has spent the last nine months putting together outtakes, bloopers and commentary for the Criterion Blu-Ray release of Cindy’s Emmy nominated documentary “Hammer And Sickle And The Republic Is Fickle”.

    (Cindy interviewing Cliff)
    “Oh yes, I remember this day of filming very well. We tried to piece together the missing sixty years of his life by going through his sixty years of day planners but each page just said “see yesterday”.

  8. Paul Jones

    Since Batiuk is himself, we can expect Brinkel to have made the same stupid sort of mistake Cliff Anger did and gone out of his way to look guilty.

  9. Bob Dobbs

    I’m really tired of the term “wheelhouse.”

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Yeah, it was used a lot 10 years ago. Not so much these days. Batty is out of touch with contemporary dialog—which is fine because today people speak, and therefore think, entirely in cliches.

  10. Schrödinger's Droopy

    So, a year after #MeToo was in the news, we now get a story based, loosely and feebly, on an actor whose career was ruined by false accusations of rape and murder. Because Batty thinks his loyal fans want to hear that wimmin are nothin’ but trouble, dontchyaknow.

  11. Count of Tower Grove

    “The glint in your eye”? Are they thinking furburgers?

  12. Gerard Plourde

    As usual, TomBa’s timeline is indecipherable. Cliff Anger was supposedly making the Starbuck Jones serials at a time that Jeff (Crankshaft’s son-in-law) was a child, If Butter Brinkel/Brickle is the same person that worked with Anger, calling him a “silent film star” (an era that ended in 1927) seems to ignore a chunk of his apparent later career.

    • Schrödinger's Droopy

      After his career was destroyed in 1921, Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle worked behind the camera under assumed names (his friends in the business stuck by him). However, he died in 1933. Maybe it will turn out that Cliff Anger was a child actor Maybe Brick O’Butter moved to Ohio in 1921 and Cliff grew up next door to the bitter recluse. Maybe Batiuk won’t bother with an explanation that makes any kind of sense.

  13. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    If the goal was to make us crave ice cream by naming a character Butter Brinkel (it worked on me), why not go all out and name the actress Virginia Hamm or Minnie Stroney or some such folderol?

    • But, you see, that wouldn’t be appropriate for the very serious nature and award-winning revelations that Batiuk’s trying to build up.

      (Yes, I know, it doesn’t make any sense either.)

  14. Don

    At least we know where the storyline for late February of next year will be taking place – on the red carpet

    • Gerard Plourde

      Right but, true to form, we’ll see little to nothing about the process or the finished product. TomBa will revert to “Tell, don’t show” mode.