A Veritable Smorgasbord…of Horror.

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Comic Book Harriet back again. And I want to thank Beckoning Chasm for taking one for the team. The last slot was an absolute void of material, even when the strips were available, and he filled it up with snark like only an inviting ravine extending into nothingness knows how.

And what a treat for me! We have Mopey and Mindy! A sad sack of a man only defined by comic books, and a carbon copy of every other blonde in the strip, only defined by the men around her.

I mean, seriously, can you be more of a non-character? Not to get nerdy, but we are dealing with some serious replicative fading. Each Cindy clone gets less and less viable. Cindy at least has a detailed history of independent action. And she used to have an actual personality before the Westview blandification virus infected her and turned her into the same neurotic depressive as everyone else, like an insidious hive-mind of wryness.

Jessica is less interesting, has never had a personality, and also is partially defined by her father, John Darling, who was murdered. But at least she attempted a career for a while separate from her husband. She also occasionally has conversations with other women that pass the Bechdel test.

But Mindy is like a box of expired No-Doz. Perky, yes. But completely flavorless and kind of nauseating. She wandered into her boyfriend’s office one day and he gave her a job because she was good at coloring in the lines. What did she do before other than work at the Valentine? What does she like? Did she ever have any kind of dream that wasn’t being handed a job by a man she knew? The only things we know about her inner life is that Cranky is her grandpa. Pete is literally dating the memory of an elderly man.

Still we’ve got a real buffet of monsters in the background here! From left to right. We have man presumably unironically wearing a Cincinnati Reds shirt. With a projected 7.9% chance to make the playoffs this year, and an average home game attendance of 20,000, nearly filling up half their ballpark, their future is definitely so bright they’re gonna need shades. His landwhale wife in her pointy sunglasses looks like she could have walked to the fair straight from the Far Side. And her terrifying tiny wig may have been stolen from a pediatric cancer patient.

Between Pete and Mindy is either an escaped convict in a hat or a construction worker on break. Right of Mindy’s head is the reincarnation of King Tut, complete with sloping forehead, elongated skull, slim body, and slight gut. Mindy’s arm is blocking his feet, so we can’t tell if he was cursed with a club foot in this life too. Next to him is a poor shoulderless woman who either has prominent rounded ears or a horrifyingly unfortunate nose.

Then we have the return of the dickhead! He even has a nice little coronal line where the shaft of his neck meets his glans, I mean face. He is drinking a refreshing beverage from a reusable cloth cup and straw he has fashioned from leftover fabric from his shirt and hat.

His wife looks like an extra from Planet of the Apes trying to pass. Lucky for them two of their three children look relatively normal. The poor kid in the stoller though. Pull that sunshade down! No one needs to see that! And it’s child abuse to let your lumpy potato child roast in the sun until he’s nice and crispy brown.

12 Comments

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12 responses to “A Veritable Smorgasbord…of Horror.

  1. Epicus Doomus

    I can’t believe that TomBat is using “I can’t believe we’re at the…” to establish a fairly obvious premise. A simple sign in the background that said “county fair” might have sufficed. And what’s so difficult to believe about the county fair? Don’t they have one every year?

    • Charles

      Seriously, does he think about what he writes? Why is it UNBELIEVABLE that Mindy would want to go to the county fair? Is it because the only thing Mopey’s ever seen her do is go visit her vegetable grandfather? Don’t worry, Mopey! She won’t stop talking about him just because she’s doing some other unbelievably uncharacteristic things like going to the county fair! The random useless reference to Crankshaft will keep your world on its moorings!

      Also, could he wear anything else? My experience has been that I roll sleeves up on my overshirts when I wear them because the situation required better attire than a t-shirt. C’mon Mopey, you finally have an excuse to throw that dingy thing in the wash!

      • Epicus Doomus

        It’s equally inexplicable why Mindy has to explain what a county fair is. He’s not just shocked over Mindy wanting to go to the country fair, he apparently doesn’t even know what a county fair is or what goes on at one. This seems, uh, sort of unlikely.

        By Mindy’s logic you could compare literally anything to a comic-con. “The Apollo 11 mission was like a comic-con, except with astronauts, rocketry and science, and on the moon”…”an airport is like comic-con, except with huge terminals and lots of airplanes”…”my dentist’s waiting room is like comic-con, except with small tables and old magazines”. I wonder if every other FW character needs to have the world explained to them this way?

        “It’s like a book about your wife dying of cancer, but with magic and wizard schools.”

        “It’s like a pizzeria, but with shellfish.”

        “It’s like a marching band, but with giant amplifiers and guitars.”

        Like I always say, Batiuk excels at perfectly capturing the way absolutely no one talks, ever.

      • Charles

        Thinking more about it, it’s amazing how Batiuk wants these guys to be young and hip adults and has no idea how to portray them as such. So the only evidence that exists that these guys are young and hip is someone commenting on how unusual it is that they’re doing something a presumably young and hip person wouldn’t do.

        “I can’t believe you write letters!”
        “I can’t believe you go to the post office!”
        “I can’t believe that you go to the bank!”
        “I can’t believe that you want to go to the county fair!”

        I mean, Batiuk must think that showing them in a coffee shop once every six months demonstrates how with it they are with the youth of today, or something.

  2. spacemanspiff85

    Does whoever is responsible for this art not realize that kids who are probably less than ten don’t generally have receding hairlines? Why are 90% of the males in this strip drawn like that?

  3. Paul Jones

    Oh, joy. A week shot to Hell listening to Mindy wax lyrical about the Fun She Had watching Crankshaft be an antisocial piece of shit who destroys everything he touches.

  4. Banana Jr. 6000

    Baseball pedantry: I think that’s supposed to be a Cleveland Indians shirt, not a Cincinnati Reds. The serif on the C is the difference. They have an 82% chance of making the playoffs, but they’ll probably blow it once there.

    • Professor Fate

      Yes that’s a Cleveland C – the Cincinnati Reds C is more well squashed looking.
      “think of it as Comic Con with Rides and animals” – Oh people don’t take showers here either?

  5. timbuys

    It appears the couple on the left and the family on the right may be winning bidders of a charity auction where one of the (two!) prizes was to be depicted in caricature in a nationally syndicated, award nominated comic strip.

    The terms of the contest didn’t specify anything about the quality of the caricature obviously.