Textbook Case of the Smirks.

Link to today’s strip

There is barely any continuity of which people are in the tables in front of Nate, as pointed out yesterday by Gerard Plourde and Eldon of Galt. (Who, when mentioned together, sound like some kind of awesome adventuring duo from a fantasy novel.) Linda has become Klabichnik, and the tables have completely changed orientation between panels.

Also in the background, right under Nate’s nose, is a teacher I don’t think we’ve seen before: The Invisible Man. I know that Batiuk has toned down a lot of the more whimsical elements of his strip since the early days, but we are still in a universe with a sentient 1970’s era computer, so I guess a see-through man isn’t out of the realms of possibility. Must have been a diversity hire.

Final textbook tallies? Wat. I mean, I guess that the teachers would have to check to make sure all the students had turned in their textbooks by the end of the year, but Nate wants all of these tallies turned in to him directly? Is he going to stay up late into the night, pouring over the numbers, checking and rechecking to make sure every single battered tome has been returned to him? Does he have a name for each one, put it in it’s little nook for the summer, then sit on the floor then gaze up at them, whispering softly at his ‘friends’. That is very unlike the lassiez-faire attitude Nate has displayed previously.

But laughing about an art error, and trying to go off on some kind of wild tangent about a crazed Nate having a secret obsessive, possessive, text-book hoarding alter-ego that only comes out when he’s alone in the dark, are literally the only ways I can make this milquetoast strip amusing, even to myself.

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14 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

14 responses to “Textbook Case of the Smirks.

  1. I would really love to hear Batiuk explain this one. I suspect it might be something along the lines of “See, the principal is telling them to relax, but he’s also expecting them to meet a deadline, so that makes them tense and nervous and they can’t relax! Tell me that isn’t hilarious! Wow, that was quick! Okay, you can stop telling me now!”

  2. Epicus Doomus

    So not only does the food suck, but Nate takes a moment to make sure no one enjoys themselves TOO much by reminding them that, as always, crushing mundanity awaits right around the corner, just lurking there, ready to crush whatever faint pleasure they might briefly experience. It’s FW in a nutshell. He should have called the strip “Kill Joy”.

  3. spacemanspiff85

    You know you’re a good writer when you say the word “enjoy” twice in one short sentence.
    Also, based on crappy this art is I totally believe that person holding the cup and smiling at Nate in the first panel is Summer.

  4. billytheskink

    Nate is trying to make a funny. Westview hasn’t passed a school levy in 20 years and the school hasn’t seen a textbook in 10.

    Also, did 2008 Cayla time travel into panel 2? What a waste of time travel.

  5. erdmann

    Nate: Enjoy the teachers’ picnic… There’s nothing in the school handbook that says you can’t.
    Blobby Westview Drone Number 6: Teachers’ picnic? Is that what this is? I’m so glad you’re here to tell us these things.”

  6. Paul Jones

    Yeah. Because nothing says levity like being punished for his poor time management skills. Seems to me that they should have done that first.

  7. ComicTrek

    What’s Linda on? You can tell she’s not listening to a single word he said!

  8. gleeb

    The school policy manual says textbooks must be turned in and tallied by COB on the Wednesday after classes, and Nate is a by-the-book kind of guy. Yes, he’s a mindless automaton who will punish policy deviation with reprisals.

  9. Max Power

    Has this teachers picnic been done before? Is it now going to be a part of the beloved touchstones that mark the progression of the Westview calendar: Funky’s non-alcoholic NYE toast; Valentine’s Day with Ghost Lisa; Free (ugh) Comic Book Day; Band Camp; Lisa’s Legacy Fun Run; Tony Montoni’s annual appearance to tell everyone he’s leaving for Florida; PTSD Thanksgiving…

  10. Gerard Plourde

    This week of slapdash filler led me to check out the collection of John Darling strips on The Author’s blog page at his website. It was revealing. When they were running back in the ‘70’s, my Twentysomething cynical self had found them amusing. Looking back at them now, I see that they brim with the same negative, snarky, mean, condescending attitude that afflicts his current work.

  11. Count of Tower Grove

    BWAWHAWHAWHAW! It’s funny because Nate’s being a turd in the cookie jar!

  12. Charles

    There is barely any continuity of which people are in the tables in front of Nate,

    Hey! If you want continuity, how about the two panels of Les manning the hot dog grill, which he has been consistently doing this week?

    The fact that Les is facing away from Nate in panel one, like the inconsiderate turd he is, is also totally consistent with his abhorrent character.