You Were A Crappy Friend, Cliff

Again-this didn’t come up in the previous documentary about Cliff Anger? The fact that he literally lived with a monkey? This is honestly the most interesting thing about him. And was this before or after he took off on the tramp steamer? Did the monkey live with him in his crappy little apartment? Did Zanzibar testify before Congress on his behalf? Is the fact that Cliff lived with a convicted murderer’s pet monkey maybe contribute to his being branded a communist, or living as a bachelor for sixty years?

Also, how in the world was there “no way of telling when Butter would be back, if ever”? Does Cliff/Batiuk not know that people are sentenced to jail for specific lengths of time, and not like “whenever Williams/Wilson Bellows Inkpot feels like letting you out”, or whatever is supposed to be going on here? It says a lot that Batiuk can botch a storyline with an actress being murdered and a monkey so incredibly badly.

And is it me, or does Cliff look disturbingly like Frankie in the last panel? I’m sure it’s just supposed to be a “cool” expression but it always comes off way more creepy to me.

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19 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

19 responses to “You Were A Crappy Friend, Cliff

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Huh? Now he was Butter’s best friend? How f*cking old IS this guy? Bear in mind that this took place almost eighty years ago. And as spacemanspiff85 mentioned above, this tidbit never came up during the Cliff documentary?

    There was always a possibility that Batiuk would throw some weird curve ball in there but come on, it couldn’t have been more obvious that Zanzibar did it. Now we have to wait all week to find out how…if he even gets to it, that is. Sigh.

  2. billytheskink

    Real friend? Butter and Cliff have quite literally never appeared in the same strip together. All we know is that they worked together (once? twice?), and we learned that a year ago.

    • Epicus Doomus

      I’m charitably assuming that this story is taking place in 1940. If Cliff was 25 in 1940 he is 104 right now, unless we account for the time skip, in which case he is 114. It seems sort of, uh, implausible, let’s say.

    • Charles

      “He always seemed like a troubled man to me…”

      I’ll grant that Butter’s been shown to be eccentric, but where has he been shown to be “troubled”? If it’s that he killed a woman, well, Cliff’s claiming that he didn’t. I suppose I shouldn’t give Batiuk crap for not maintaining consistency with strips from a year ago, since even strips within a week have trouble maintaining consistency.

      • comicbookharriet

        Seems like a troubled man to me though. Spending vast amounts of money on crazy parties and indoor carousels and THE WORLD’S LARGEST GUN COLLECTION while not having anyone closer than an acquaintance to take care of your pets when you’re in jail? Hard drinking, hard smoking, overeating? Did you see the panel of him riding the carousel from June 28? It’s almost like Batiuk has morphed Fatty Arbuckle with Michael Jackson and Chris Farley.

  3. “I was at a Communist Party meeting with Alvah Bessie, Ring Lardner, Jr., and Cliff Anger…”

  4. Charles

    “And when he was taken to jail…”

    So I suppose all the questions this sad absurd little story raised about the trial are dropped and will not be mentioned from here on.

    That said, ignoring the monkey/chimp screwup, a pet chimp isn’t like a cat, for Christ’s sake. Get him upset and they’ll find pieces of you in every room of your desultory apartment. Cliff is treating adopting a dangerous animal like being bequeathed Butter’s Starbuck Jones posters. I mean, Jesus, how does he go to the bathroom? Does he just go on the floor, pick it up and fling it?

    Plus, considering tobacco’s an addictive substance, I don’t want to imagine what a chimp in withdrawal would do to whoever’s nearby.

  5. Paul Jones

    We can add “handling exotic animals” to the list of things Batiuk doesn’t know about. He already proved through St Dead Lisa that he has no idea how the American legal system works and through all these improbably old people running around how little he understands aging.

  6. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    I told you that Cliff and Zanzibar were an item! It looks like Cliff can’t wait to go home and get it on monkey style.

  7. Gerard Plourde

    If this follows TomBa’s usual pattern, there will be no further information about the murder investigation, the trial, the alleged actual perpetrator, or the sentence that Brinkel received. Also, Cliff will be the sole interviewee.

  8. sgtsaunders

    So Brinkel did not kill ValPo. The culprit is someone else, even that damn monkey. Sheesh. I can’t believe it’s not Butter.

  9. Buckeye Feculence

    Gotta admit, I like the image of the smoking chimp in the last panel

  10. bobanero

    TB has pulled more things out of his ass than a Devil’s Island inmate, and this one may be his worst. All of a sudden Cliff is the only friend of what we are led to believe is one of the most notorious characters in the early film industry? How did that happen? How had Cliff’s career advanced to the point where he’s driving a fancy convertible and hobnobbing with elite celebrities? Was he Butter Brinkel’s Kato Kaelin?

  11. Batgirl

    I guess it’s predictable that the only reason anyone in this strip cares/cared about the murderer’s identity is so that they can clear “Butter” Brinkel’s name, not to get justice for a dead woman-who-wasn’t-Dead-St-Lisa. Or preventing future murders of women-who-aren’t-Dead-St-Lisa if the motive had been jealousy or serial killing of starlets.

  12. At any rate, TB is already teasing a Funky Winkerbean/Crankshaft crossover arc that will begin in “a couple of weeks.” This crappy arc can’t be over soon enough.

    • There’s an entry below that where Batiuk regrets his prescience in John Darling by talking about public flogging. Apparently he thinks it has made a huge comeback in the real world.

    • Jimmy

      So glad he waited around to capture the ambience of the county fair rather than taking pics at 10 a.m. before opening and hightailing it out of there.

  13. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    “Lord Zanzibar (as he insisted we call him) loved riding in my car, and we invented a new game. I would drive my Hupmobile slowly down Hollywood Boulevard, and Z would pelt pedestrians with feces! Man, that chimp had an arm! Coulda pitched for the Brooklyn Dodgers, I always said. That’s when I coined the phrase ‘going apeshit’. You kids still say that today, right? If you even whispered the word ‘apeshit’, he’d jump in the car in a flash, rarin’ to go.”