Today’s strip

You know what would be useful when you’re trying to pass off jealousy as a motive for murder?  Maybe establishing that the murder victim was in any kind of relationship that would inspire jealousy. Or that Valerie was going to steal Butter away and he’d leave Zanzibar behind, but then I really don’t think “jealousy” is the word to use in that case.   Like, I don’t think there was even a hint that Valerie and Butter had ever even talked to each other, let alone that they were in a relationship.  Also, the house was full of people, so why would Zanzibar kill Valerie instead of anyone else?  Unless Zanzibar was in Butter’s bedroom, waiting for him, or saw Valerie enter the room,  and then became jealous because only he was supposed to pay nighttime visits to Butter’s room?  I mean, this might possibly be the first time in a mystery story where the jealous lover murderer is a different species than his love interest.  I seriously hope it is, at least.

Maybe all those loving glances Cliff was giving Zanzibar were totally intentional.

Also, Butter was acquitted, and just had to go back and live as a millionaire for the rest of his life?  After covering up for a murder?  When he was totally responsible for that murder?  And he was okay letting the murder victim’s family think he murdered her?  So what interested Cindy enough to film a documentary was “an old actor got acquitted of murder and never acted again, but was still a millionaire” and not “a famous up and coming actress was brutally murdered, and nobody ever paid for it, and the crime was never solved”?

And we’re supposed to be sympathizing with Butter?  I mean, I don’t want to read too much into this here, but the point of this story really seems to be “What if a rich and famous guy was accused of doing something incredibly terrible to a young woman, but he got acquitted and she was dead?  That’d be real bad for the guy, right?”.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

41 responses to “Chimpageddon

  1. CRM114

    WTF is this crap?

  2. Epicus Doomus

    So what Cliff seems to be saying here is that a) Dasheil Hammett had nothing to do with anything and b) despite possibly knowing who the real killer was, he said nothing for EIGHTY YEARS! Is it too late for the Pond estate to sue? Great story, Tom, really top-notch Pulitzer bait. Sigh.

    • Cabbage Jack

      So Valarie Pond was murdered deliberately by a talking ape who was also an expert in firearms and the two people who knew decided to be accessories to murder to protect a monkey while not worrying overmuch about the Pond family, closure, basic human decency, etc… while Tom doesn’t worry overmuch about the plot, motives, interesting characters and stories, etc…

      • Epicus Doomus

        “Oh yeah, your murder chimp. He can talk, ya know. Here ya go, take it easy Butter!”. I mean what the hell is wrong with this Anger guy? What did Dasheil Hammett and the Pinkertons (Ohio’s premier Weezer cover band) have to do with anything? This arc is tied with all the other ones as the dumbest thing I’ve ever read.

      • spacemanspiff85

        I’ll be shocked if the rest of this storyline isn’t about how poor Butter was railroaded by the media, and he must have been a great guy because he obviously loved animals. And what’s her name, Valerie, Vicky, whatever, will never be mentioned again.

        • Epicus Doomus

          I’m gonna go out on a limb here and guess that this is it, the end of the story (as it were). I’ll be mildly surprised if ANY of it is ever mentioned again…ever. Which is a real shame, as a talking murder chimp would really liven the strip up.

          • Charles

            Nah. I’ll say there’s a one hundred percent chance of this coming back when Batiuk poops out a storyline where this stupid documentary wins an Emmy. How dire must television be in the Batiukverse if this crap wins awards?

            I’ll also say that there’s a 50% chance that this gets brought up again in about 15 months because Batiuk realizes that he just had Cliff admit to committing the crime of accessory after the fact for criminally negligent homicide, and he doesn’t want that because he loves loves loves this three hundred year old man and doesn’t want to portray him in a bad light. So in about October 2020 he’ll dig up 138 year-old Butter and have him tell a story about how Valerie and Zanzibar fought over the gun and it accidentally went off and killed her, as if that’ll make everything all right. It’ll be like something out of the Anne Marie Fahey murder, with Zanzibar portraying Butter’s betrayed mistress.

            I also love how he has no idea what Jessica’s job is. She’s not even looking at the viewscreen to see what it’s capturing. I hope Cliff shifting in his chair fifteen minutes ago so Jessica got nothing but half his cheek for the big revelation. You know she doesn’t have a reverse-angle camera or extra footage to edit in instead.

          • LTPFTR

            Maybe there’ll be footage of the talking chimp(!) admitting that he was the killer, but it was really all society’s fault.

  3. billytheskink

    You know it’s a dumb strip when Jessica, out from behind the camera because she stopped filming this crap hours ago like a reasonable person would, is the smartest thing in it.

    • Epicus Doomus

      She totally missed Cliff revealing that a TALKING CHIMPANZEE killed Valerie Pond…easily the most interesting thing she has ever or will ever film. This is why her documentarian career never really took off.

    • spacemanspiff85

      I don’t know, if that’s a digital camera, it’s probably smarter than the three humans put together. And I’m sure at least one of them has a smartphone.

  4. Banana Jr. 6000

    Did we skip three weeks of strips? After all this slow pace and lack of details, how did we go straight from “the chimp can talk” to “well, that settles everything”? What the hell kind of resolution is this?

    “Whew… who would ever believe that?” Okay, that’s a valid reaction.

    “And that maybe Valerie Pond had been murdered by a jealous…” A jealous WHAT? The last panel raised serious questions about what Zanzibar even is. Chimps can’t do the things he was depicted doing, in what’s supposed to be a realistic strip. And now you’re ascribing him complex human motivations on top of that. I’m genuinely not 100% sure what she’s saying here.

    Also, how does someone asking where someone is prove they committed murder out of jealousy? Especially when there’s no evidence of anything to be jealous of? And the accused is a friggin’ monkey that doesn’t have human feelings? Bit of a jump to conclusions there, Emmy Award-winning documentary maker.

    “That’s why I never said anything…” Well, you could have said SOMETHING, Cliff. You could have said the chimp knew how to pick up a gun and point it at you. He knew how to smoke and drink like a human, so that would have been plausible. Which leads me to biggest problem with this whole story:

    How did EVERYONE overlook the chimp?

    We were told this was a huge scandal with a big trial and lots of interest. So how did the chimp escape any notice? They clearly had no real murderer. The chimp knew how to do human things. He was there. The story “Murders in the Rue Morgue” existed at the time. Yet this Butter Brinkel story can only work if all the police, investigators, lawyers, judges, reporters and others failed to consider the chimp as a suspect. And friggin’ Cindy’s probably going to get credit for solving the case, and win another Emmy award. Continuing:

    “And after Butter Brinkel was acquitted…” You just said on Tuesday he went to jail. That means he was convicted. If he was later proven innocent, he could have been pardoned, exonerated, released, had his conviction overturned, etc., but not acquitted. That’s not what the word means.

    But more importantly… ahem…. (deep breath)… HOW WAS BUTTER BRINKEL ACQUITTED WHEN YOU NEVER SAID ANYTHING, CLIFF?????????”

    I’ve seen bad writing before, but I’ve never seen a story just skip its resolution mid-sentence. Butter apparently got off the hook, but the story doesn’t even tell us how. It’s like Cliff’s ellipses skipped the entire third act.

    “…he came by, collected Zanzibar…” So they just let Butter pick up his pet chimp after it murdered someone?

    “…and left Hollywood with his career in ruins.” WHAT? WHY? You just told me he was proven innocent. And that he was allowed to pick up his murderous pet, suggesting a lack of repercussions. So why his career in ruins? Did your next ellipses skip the denouement, too? God, I hope so.

    • comicbookharriet

      I agree that this strip is frustrating! Especially for the talking chimp. But can’t someone be acquitted due to simple lack of evidence? IE: There were no prints on the gun, no one saw the murder, and no one actually knew if it was the Butter Clown climbing the stairs after Valerie. We don’t need another killer

      Also, plenty of people have had their political or celebrity careers ruined due scandals that didn’t involve and actual conviction. Maybe the trial dug up a bunch of dirt on Butter’s crazy drug-fueled parties, so he was no longer viable as family friendly movie star.

      Should we still be calling this a murder though? From a legal standpoint, saying a chimp ‘murdered’ someone is admitting that chimps can legally be held responsible for their actions. What kind of charges can you get when your pet kills someone? Maybe Butter made the right choice to keep quiet, he could have been charged with negligent homicide. I’ve looked up some cases where dog owners were charged for letting their dangerous dogs roam free.

      • Charles

        “What kind of charges can you get when your pet kills someone?”

        It’s criminally negligent homicide. And since Zanzibar is a chimp rather than a dog, Butter’s held to a much higher standard than a dog owner. He’s criminally negligent simply based on the fact that Zanzibar was in a position to kill Valerie. He can’t claim he didn’t know the chimp was dangerous, because you essentially acknowledge that when you acquire an exotic pet. There’s basically no circumstance where your pet tiger, chimp or cobra can kill or injure an innocent person and you’re not held criminally and civilly liable for the damage that was done. You’re legally on notice of their dangerousness from the moment you get them.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        “Can’t someone be acquitted due ro simple lack of evidence?”

        Yes, but on Tuesday Cliff said Butter went to jail. To me, that implies Butter was convicted.

        I suppose it’s possible Butter was held in pre-trial detention, and the trial ended in acquittal. But a celebrity would have enough money and clout to avoid that.

        Having said that, the story is such a mess now that anything’s possible.

        • Maxine of Arc

          Well, technically “jail” is where they hold you pending trial and “prison” is where you go when you’re convicted. But a famous movie star wouldn’t be in jail pending trial, he’d be out on bond.

          • Charles

            That’s a perfectly acceptable explanation, but I have real difficulty believing that Batiuk is aware of that distinction.

        • Professor Fate

          that confused me too i had thought that Butter had been convicted – this sudden turn about (really wouldn’t Butter being acquitted or having the charges dropped have made the Newspaper Magnate’s attacks on him make more sense?) This is a good proof that the Author just made this up as he went along. seeing as the concept of re-writing is anathema to him.

    • gleeb

      You want this to go on longer?

  5. erdmann

    Mr. Batiuk, what you’ve just published is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever read. At no point in your rambling, incoherent story arc were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone posting to this website is now dumber for having read it. I award you no Pulitzer, and may God have mercy on your soul.

    With apologies to Adam Sandler, who for all his sins, never cobbled together anything quite like this.

    • Saturnino

      “Mr. Batiuk, what you’ve just published is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever read.”

      No, he thinks he’ll get a Pulitzer if he can convince folks he’s the reincarnation of Rudyard Kipling.

  6. Paul Jones

    The worst is yet to come because it’s obvious as all hell that Batshit thinks that he’s wrapped things up and can talk about something else. Let’s forget the talking murder chimp. the disposable woman, the stupid cover-up, the ignorance of the law and massive cowardice so we can focus on what’s important: comic books no one will read.

  7. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    Panel #2
    “And he left my life in ruins, too. I never saw Count Zanzibar again. I’m tellin’ ya, I sailed around the world on a tramp steamer, and that chimp was the best I ever had.”

  8. Count of Tower Grove

    Ah Butter Brinkle was acquitted. But poor Butter Brickle, who went to prison– for murder.

  9. Chyron HR

    “Jealous? No, Zanzibar killed her because she learned his secret–and now he’s coming after YOU! Sorry, I probably should have lead with that.”

  10. Gerard Plourde

    The plot holes and inconsistencies running throughout this arc have been discussed.

    The question I keep coming back to is whether TomBa’s sloppiness in this regard is based on on an “I don’t care, I’m just mailing it in until the 50th” or whether there’s some cognitive issue on display.

    This last arc with its elastic time frame, contradictory facts, and capped off with a humanly sentient talking chimpanzee is so at odds with anything that has come before that it has me questioning TomBa’s grip on reality. It’s one thing to have Pete and Darin head off to the Flash Museum as a one-off, but this steaming mess is unprecedented.

  11. Eldon of Galt

    So it looks like Batiuk is avoiding all the theories about the story and going for that “something else”, a resolution so stupid no one could see it coming. He’s just going to throw the story aside, not explain anything, not resolve anything, just announce that it’s over and walk away.
    I was going to just write it off as another triumph of irresponsible, lazy incompetence, but it’s so much worse than anything we’ve seen before that I have to give a lot of credence to Gerard Plourde’s theory.

  12. Maxine of Arc

    A TALKING CHIMPANZEE did not seem remarkable to Cliff? Or Batiuk? How did that conversation resolve? SCIENCE is calling and would very much like a word with someone. How is Cindy just taking the utterly unsubstantiated hearsay of a million year old recluse completely at face value?

  13. So, is Cindy going to complete and release this documentary? The documentary in which her friend (and sole subject) just admitted to being an accessory after the fact? The documentary that can get him sued by the Pond estate?

    She’ll probably come to realize this, and refuse to complete it. “It’s better (Butter) this way.”

  14. Doc

    As apeshit as this story is, I hope it’s over so I don’t have to hear the name Butter Brinkle again. Someone on Comics Curmudgeon said Valerie Pond equals Veronica Lake. Good catch.

  15. Professor Fate

    Even for this strip this arc is a Mount Everest of Dumb bad lazy hack writing. I have no idea what he was trying to say other than perhaps chimps and guns don’t mix. We saw little of Brinkle, less of Valerie Pond and even less of the evil newspaper man. And what of the three men dressed of Pagliacci the night of the killing? What we got was an impossibly old man jabbering in to the camera an utterly insane story involving a Dashiell Hammett (kind of_ and a talking monkey.
    While many folks called it by saying the monkey did it, nobody guessed the talking bit.
    Appalling – honestly a new low in his war on narrative form.

    • comicbookharriet

      This is one of the few strips where I don’t think that Batiuk is trying to /say/ anything, other than maybe that Hollywood is a lonely, vicious, and weird place where you hold onto whatever true friends you have, even if they’re a homicidal drunk chimp.

  16. I think this “comic strip” has reached End Times Apartment 3-G Status.

    • Charles

      Here’s a fun activity! Try to imagine what Cliff’s skull looks like from that nightmare visage he has!

      I’ve never seen a person with jointed cheekbones!