I believe commentor Charles had it right a few days ago–Dullard is the new Les, ie, the author’s new avatar. Today’s strip makes that pretty plain, I think, as suddenly his works are considered “professional” enough to be displayed in an art gallery. To the point where Swoon feels she has to seek him out personally, rather than make a phone call or put up a “call for submissions” notice.
See, the world failed to appreciate the depth of Les’ suffering, his broad perception of life, and the height of his intellect. I have a feeling the Westview world is going to appreciate the POOP out of Dullard. He’ll be not just appreciated, but honored and touted and given first chair to impart his wisdom.
But while Tom Batiuk, the artist, feels he should be honored, praised and lionized, Tom Batiuk, the writer, falls completely down on the job. The “you had me at” joke works when the “at” refers to something pretty early in a bit of dialogue–“You had me at ‘Hello'” being the original (I think). Pete’s, on the other hand, occurs when there’s only one word still to go in Swoon’s sentence. That’s not how it works. The fact that it isn’t funny or clever is besides the point.
But then, given the ideas that Pete has used to populate (almost wrote “pollute”) Atomik Komix, I don’t expect anything from him to be witty, imaginative or well-formed.