Unsurprisingly Lame

So ends the epic saga of Butter and Zanzibar. Ha. This strip being what it is I’m sure we’ll have several more storylines about that stupid thing. The movie premieres at the Valentine, Butter and Zanzibar happen to still believe and drop by the theater, Cindy and Jess win Oscars, Butter and Zanzibar tell Cindy and Jess about another murder they committed so they can make a sequel documentary.
This is like the third or fourth time Jess/Darin have flown cross-country this year. And it’s just as boring now as ever. I’m used to Batiuk’s incredibly low standards for this strip, but there isn’t anything remotely surprising about this. I have a feeling we’re supposed to find this all touching, which I’d be shocked and disturbed if there were any Jess/Darin shippers out there.

I would seriously love tomorrow’s strip to be Darin saying he’s at work now and can’t pick Darin up, so maybe she should’ve called ahead of time.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

22 responses to “Unsurprisingly Lame

  1. Epicus Doomus


    “Uh, hi, what’s up?”

    “Guess what? I’m at the airport! I took a surprise flight home to surprise you! Can you pick me up?”

    “What, now? I’m at work. Didn’t we just talk yesterday? Why didn’t you mention this then? I have a major Rip Tide deadline and I’m f*cking swamped here. Can’t you just take an Uber?”


    “Get bent, you think I’m living it up out here? I have my mom up my ass about that kid of yours and I’m here in the comic book mine breaking my balls while you’re out in California f*cking around with that moron Anger and his idiotic monkey stories…hello? HELLO? DAMMIT!”

    Now THERE’S a comic strip I want to read. This lovey-dovey smoochy-smoochy crap is just nauseating. I realize these two imbeciles have these ridiculous fantasy jobs but seriously, who acts like this? I don’t know if I can take a week’s worth of this idiocy, how many reunions are these two going to have?

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Batty doesn’t know about Uber, though he should know about taxis…and find them romantic.

      Alas, he is the putz that bothers friends and family to take and pick him up from the airport, thus wasting their time while he saves a few bucks.

  2. All of these people are despicable. Completely and utterly. When they inconvenience each other, it’s good, because they’re inflicting themselves upon themselves.

  3. billytheskink

    This isn’t an inconvenience for Durwood… he’s half of the royal couple of procrastination (with Pete), he’s thrilled to have an excuse to leave the office. Look, he’s trying to stifle his urge to shout with glee there in panel 3 because he doesn’t want to make Pete jealous.

  4. comicbookharriet

    Why would she need Durwood to pick her up? She knows literally dozens of people in Westview, many of whom are retired.


  6. Charles

    I used to think, but I’m less certain now, that Batiuk was having these two be all lovey dovey smooshy whooshy because he was going full bore with turning Darin into Les v2.0 and was going to kill Jessica, and he needed to establish that they really, really loved each other after several years of a “eh!” relationship between them.

    Now I’m thinking that instead it’s because he knows that if he doesn’t portray them as super duper in love with one another, the only conversation they’d be having is “I want a divorce; you constructively abandoned me long ago.” I mean, there has to be a chance that he realizes this isn’t normal, right?

    Also, I thought about how much money Jessica just blew to fly across the country same-day as her apparent plan. (Why wouldn’t she tell Darin if she planned it weeks ago?) But then I realized that she probably had Mason charter her a plane so it didn’t cost her anything. So both of these putzes are supported by patrons with unlimited cash to do whatever they want whenever they want. And they’ve even abandoned their parenting duties to his elderly mother who was already taking care of her stroke-ridden husband. They’re really a ridiculous pair of shitheads, and it’s amazing that Batiuk’s seemingly interested in making them the new central characters of this awful world.

    Also, this whole thing seems kind of out of character for Mister “I need lead ceilings so God doesn’t see me happy and make me suffer”. Shouldn’t it be in character for him to worry that his wife is going to be killed because he’s so visibly in love with her these days?

    • Epicus Doomus

      I’ll never understand how and why he fixates on certain characters while totally ignoring other ones. For the first four years of Act III Summer had a co-starring role and Boy Lisa wasn’t even in the strip at all. Now, eight years later, Summer is MIA and these two have suddenly become regulars. Was he getting a lot of mail from concerned Boy Lisa and/or Jessica fans? Were fans approaching him at autograph signings and asking “hey, is Jessica still in California and if so a) when is she coming back and b) who’s watching Skyler”? It seems highly, highly unlikely, doesn’t it? I mean obviously Boy Lisa rose to FW prominence again via his comic book connection but why their relationship suddenly became so important is just a mystery to me. These two are getting WAY more relationship screen time than any FW couple since (shudder) Les and Lisa and on top of that there’s a sort of sickening cloying sappiness to it that would have been more appropriate back in Act II, when they really WERE a young couple just starting out. It’s just repellent.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I hear ya. I just booked tickets to visit my family in LA, and it ain’t cheap. Luckily I was able to use miles to defray most of the cost and upgrade to nicer seats.

      No way these two, just starting out, with crappy jobs, would be fly back and forth like this.

  7. Charles

    I think there’s a combination of things that have led him to place less emphasis on Les these days. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that he’s heard that Les’s Lisa fixation got tiresome years ago so he’s a little more reluctant to bring that back to the fore than he used to be. Also, if the focus is on Les I believe he feels obligated, since Les is a teacher, to write some school-based plotlines featuring Les and it’s obvious he’s just not terribly interested in those anymore. I mean, Les has about two or three plotlines a year and often they’re throwaway ones like “Les buys clothes and Cayla busts his ass” or “Les is disgusted with his feckless students”.

    Compare that to Darin, who got to ride on the Starbuck Jones train that comprised a significant portion of strip time from 2014 to 2017. He’s now an author-insert Mary Sue, who has the job Batiuk wishes he had, which shares some similarities with Batiuk’s actual job. He’s even horned in on Les’s big draw, since he’s now co-author of two Lisa-based books. He also has a hot blonde wife and their relationship hasn’t been botched like Les’s has with Cayla. Hell, Batiuk seemed ambivalent about Cayla as Les’s wife all along, so this makes that go away as well. One major criticism of Les with regards to Cayla was that he never seems to love her, and he certainly loves her less than he loves Lisa. So what’s the context of so many of the Darin/Jessica strips? How much they LOOOOOOVE one another.

    So I think that’s what’s going on and why. Now watch as Les gets thrown even further into the background when he’s replaced by Summer for more Lisa-centric books, with Darin still being the illustrator.

    • Epicus Doomus

      “Mary Sue”…I was wracking my tired brain trying to remember that phrase. Good analysis. One of the funnier aspects of Jessica’s character is how she’s suddenly a “documentary filmmaker” despite giving up on being a documentary filmmaker in order to spend more time with her child, the very same child she’s put on hold in order to live out her documentary filmmaker dream…the very same dream she abandoned. It’s like a Möbius strip of stupidity. She’s become a documentary filmmaker despite doing everything she could to avoid becoming one.

      It’s also pretty funny how continuity suddenly matters re: Darin and Jessica. He’s gone out of his way to make sure the reader knew they were apart, then together, then apart again, then together again even though I doubt anyone would have noticed the difference.

  8. Paul Jones

    Hmmm. Which verb best fits Batiuk’s need to always portray these two idiots as sickeningly-sweet newlyweds: “congeal” or “ossify”?

  9. I’m annoyed that Jessica is calling Darin for a ride only because we’re being cheated out of learning what cutesy name Batiuk would give to the Funkiverse equivalent of Uber.

  10. Banana Jr. 6000

    Three days ago, this strip was about a chain-smoking murderous talking chimp.

  11. Gerard Plourde

    So Jessica has finished up as camera operator for Cindy and is off to Ohio. I’m not sure which fantasy storyline is worse – the just finished Brinkel arc with the talking chimpanzee or the now unraveling one involving the middle-aged young couple’s romance ignoring the child dumped on his elderly grandmother who is also caring for a disabled husband.

  12. Jimmy

    So, you can’t afford professional child care, but you can afford a last-minute plane ticket.