Rolling Pinheads

Cliff exhibits his trademark blasé in today’s strip, though I remain quite unsure how that demeanor lends itself to gripping documentary film.

Did Cindy not tell Cliff what he was going to be filmed for before he sat down? I mean, sure, he’s old but he’s not senile, right? In any event, poor Cliff does look emaciated. His looming death is probably the reason that Cindy is frantically asking Jessica if she is filming.

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “Rolling Pinheads

  1. Doc

    Cliff’s face looks nasty, like he’s missing part of it. And his beard appears to travel around his neck. What’s that white line in his crotch area? Did the sight of Cindy cause him to split his pants?

  2. Cindy has to constantly check to ensure that Jessica is correctly doing her job. Have we forgotten how she distractedly bollixed Les and Cayla’s wedding video?

  3. Epicus Doomus

    It’s almost become sort of funny how impossibly old Cliff is. I mean this Brickel thing “happened” eighty years ago and we know Cliff had already tramp steamered his way off to Red Square by this point so by my calculations he’s approximately a hundred-and-eleven years old now, give or take. That sixty years he spent in total seclusion seems to have had few if any ill effects, which seems sort of astounding when you think about it.

    “Why I’m just a humble small-town centenarian actor, I never dabbled much in that wild Hollywood debauchery and such, so I don’t know if I have much to add to your little documentary film about ol’ Butter…EXCEPT FOR MY EXCLUSIVE INFORMATION THAT WILL BREAK THE ENTIRE CASE WIDE OPEN, THAT IS!!!!!”…real smooth “storytelling” there, Batty. I picture BatYak roaming around the trope cemetery at night, with a shovel and one of those old-timey lanterns, digging up the remains of old tropes amid a sea of fading crooked trope tombstones, cackling to himself with glee as he unearths another one.

    • “So, anyway the whole thing was a frame up, ya see Sacco and Vanzetti had met earlier in the evening at Jack Ruby’s nightclub when the Lindbergh Baby and D.B. Cooper got into a fight over the contents of Al Capone’s vault. I was trading comic books with Kim Philby and Klaus Fuchs as Mata Hari danced the Macarena which was the big hit during the Gold Rush of ’49. Also, I’m secretly Bigfoot.”

  4. I keep wondering what subjects Cindy actually raised in Cliff’s “two hour” interview. Said interview apparently didn’t cover Cliff’s career at all. I’m going to guess there were a lot of “um”s, “er”s, “uh”s and long pauses where Cliff stared off into space–and the camera kept rolling, and the editor said “That’s going in!”

    Yeah, that’s the sort of thing that would win an Emmy award.

    • spacemanspiff85

      Does Batiuk really think that an amateur videographer and a journalist for a website would conduct an interview for a documentary on directors chairs in what looks like a soundstage, rather than in an office or house?

    • comicbookharriet

      It wasn’t about his career at all. It was an avante garde art piece on the ravages of aging on the body and mind. The mic wasn’t even on for Cliff. Instead the whole film was scored with Dies Irae being played on the pan flute.

  5. Gerard Plourde

    TomBa shows that he knows as much about documentary filmmaking as he does about criminal investigation.

    Just like a good lawyer, a documentary filmmaker interviews his or her witnesses beforehand so that she or he knows how to frame his or her questions in order to get the story she or he is tryin to tell.

    In short, this shouldn’t be the first time Cindy is hearing Cliff claim that Butter was framed.

    Also, the camera should have been recording before she started talking to Cliff. Extra footage (or whatever term is used in the digital age) can be edited out.

    • billytheskink

      Cindy’s lack of planning is understandable, though. Her first documentary led with her wondering aloud why Cliff hadn’t been in any movies since the Truman administration and then being extremely surprised that he had gone to prison or done anything interesting at all in the intervening years. Switching on the camera and not asking questions worked before, so she has no reason to think it won’t work again.

  6. Paul Jones

    Some investigative reporter she is. Three guys in the same costume and it only occurs to her that it was a stitch-up because a man tells her.

  7. Professor Fate

    In thinking about this, on one level it shouldn’t matter that it’s not realistic re the details of how a documentary is put together – detective novels aren’t in general very accurate about police procedure especially ones with private eyes and the like, but as long as the story works and world is at internally consistent it doesn’t matter. It’s a sad side effect of the Author’s lack of storytelling ability that as Coleridge said ‘the willing suspension of disbelief” is broken and instead of following along with the story you end up going ‘wait a minute – that’ not how things work.’ Once that happens you just can’t help see and point out plot holes and problems – including Cliff now being something like 150 years old and having inside info on the biggest murder in Hollywood history per the Author.
    and by the by the papers and especially the gossip columnists were very much tools of the Studios who were used to keep the stars in line if they, in the studio’s opinion got a bit too big for their britches.

  8. Gerard Plourde

    “It’s a sad side effect of the Author’s lack of storytelling ability that as Coleridge said ‘the willing suspension of disbelief” is broken and instead of following along with the story you end up going ‘wait a minute – that’ not how things work.’”

    You’ve precisely identified the problem. TomBa never seems to assemble enough of a story that we’re willing to suspend disbelief. The Starbuck Jones movie arc, the Wally//Islamic Thanksgiving arc, the Atomik Comix arc – none of them presented enough cohesive plot to sustain the reader. Some discrepancy always intrudes before the story can develop traction. And it happens over and over again.