Today’s strip… or July 11th’s strip? YOU make the call!
This time warping stuff is getting really really old, especially when it makes negative amounts of sense. At least with Tuesday’s “five years ago” mishap you could chalk it up to the strip’s time simply not matching real time even while matching real time’s seasons (not an uncommon thing at all in comic strips). This strip has long done that, though not in a consistent way – Summer’s generation was in high school for 5 years, Pete and Durwood’s for almost a decade, and the Act I gang was there for 20 of course.
Today, though, we’re at “three months ago”. That places this flashback in early July, and yet both Buck and Bull are wearing coats? I mean, this is presumably still an October funeral, right, what with the falling leaves colored a bright orange hue? Heck, this doesn’t even line up with Buck’s mid-September visit, where he and Bull stroll out to Jerome T. Bushka A&L Automotive Stadium, as neither man is wearing a coat then.
Is this beady-eyed nitpickiness? Maybe, but when there are little errors like this in nearly every strip it starts to add up to genuine distraction. This is especially true when the story hops all over the calendar, which *gasp* makes invested readers hop through the calendar with it in an attempt to understand what is going on.
31 responses to “Tempo Of Doom”
This idiotic story stopped making sense almost immediately, but this is ridiculous even by FW standards. Buck is reminiscing about reminiscing with Bull about a football coach he didn’t even know. The point of this brainless exchange is totally lost on me. And Lord only knows what he thinks he’s doing with these weird disjointed flashbacks and Summer cameos, but “storytelling” it ain’t. I mean I thought it was supposedly about CTE and suicide, but neither of those things has been mentioned in weeks, so who the hell even knows?
What are the first two panels supposed to mean? That the two friends liked to idly chat about the bad old days, with no deeper significance to their talk? Is Linda saying that their talks made Bull feel better? Okay, is this setting the stage where Bull’s serenity crashes down in abject despair? Or did mystery-writer Bathack omit the clues that would, um, somehow, don’t ask me how, make this a wellspring of clues? Did Buck Futt continue the conversation with “And our band always ended the games by playing a funeral march!” or “God, I would have felt sorry for you miserable losers, if I hadn’t been busy seducing one of your hot blonde cheerleaders!”
Is that Funky’s face in the banner? Does that mean everyone will retire to the pizza parlor for a shared case of Montoni’s Revenge? Is Funky going to joyously tell Linda “Look at the crowd! I’m making a real killing today!”
Those three panels seem like they were randomly pulled out of a drawer somewhere and pasted together. “Good enough,” he thought, anticipating the awards.
Don’t give Batiuk any ideas about trying to be “avant garde”.
But I want to see what Batiuk would do with an idea!
I think his answer would be “Ignore it. Ideas give me a headache.”
I like that! Let’s send him ideas every day!
I don’t know, honestly. Literally all Buck and Bull did was walk to the football field and talk about football games. Which is how Bull got his injuries. So maybe that wasn’t the best way to help him.
Ha, like anyone cared about helping Bull.
The way Batiuk is being so specific about the timeline of this “arc” makes me imagine he thinks there’s someone somewhere keeping detailed notes on how this all lines up. Which, if there is, that is terrifying.
Also, I’ve been checking on Batiuk’s blog and haven’t seen him mention this story line or Bull once. It’s just the usual crap of Flash, The Ripples, and bragging about doing book signings. I mean it was extremely obvious how little Bull or this storyline mattered to him, but I thought he’d at least pretend to put some thought and attention into it.
My present working theory: for all his puff-piece bluster and peacocking, BatGak was afraid to run a straightforward story about an old football player committing suicide due to brain trauma. Not wanting to generate any unwanted “shock value” attention (this time) he decided to turn the story into a weird incomprehensible blur of bizarre flashbacks and cameos from characters who have nothing whatsoever to do with the story. He thrives on the attention he gets from being known as the guy who writes those “shock value”-type comic strips but, as we all know, the last thing he wants is to have people start noticing the strip itself, otherwise the jig is up. So he made the story as confusing and baffling as he possibly could, after spoiling it and removing any possibility of any impact.
He’s a crafty son of a bitch. The entire history of the strip is a series of tricks and ruses designed to make it all seem way, way more substantive than it was or is. Just go back and actually read that “Lisa’s Story”, it’s all just strip after strip of bogus time-wasting exercises. He could have easily done the whole thing in one tight three week arc (with a few Sunday strips, of course) but instead it took years to play out.
It is frightening to go to the BattyBlog isn’t it? Sorta like a crash at a certain place every morning on the commute, always Flash, book signings, or weird book covers. At least his “bad” ,the bad type, is consistent
The total lack of structure and coherence continues. More and more it’s looking like the New York Times story was an attempt to preemptively salvage this mess. So far there’s not an iota of the alleged research on CTE on display, just this padding of unrelated and offensive flashbacks. Nothing to make Bull more developed as a character or even to show the effect CTE has on him and his family and his former co-workers and students.
Let’s say you’re a NYT reader who happened upon that story. You know nothing about FW or TB at all. You read the piece, you see the death notification Sunday strip and you think “hmmm, grim fare indeed, I guess some comic strips have a real and dark artistic bent. I wasn’t aware of that, how interesting. What a brave and talented fellow”. Then you never think about FW again.
But let’s say that interview inspires you to check out FW to see what all the fuss is about. You see a woman opening mail, then the same thing the following day. You are confused and immediately begin to lose interest. Then you remember to check back in a few weeks later, only to see a smug bearded asshole whining about high school. “Hmmm” you say, “this isn’t what I thought it’d be at all. I guess you really have to follow the characters for years on end in order to understand it. Pass”.
That’s the entire scam in a nutshell. No one reading FW is absolutely crucial to its success and longevity. Spoiling the story and making it totally incomprehensible is indeed a strategy, it both perpetuates the notion that FW is a “groundbreaking” something and chases potential readers away by making it unnecessary to actually read it.
Given that everything said about Coach Stropp since his death has been about how much of an idiot he was and how terrible he was at his job, you would think Bull would be contemplating living forever rather than suicide in order to avoid the same fate. Of course, TB gave him the same fate anyways…
Jack Strop dies from prostate cancer, or at least that’s what creepy Les’ newspaper said. Are you suggesting it was covering up a messy suicide?
No, just that hearing people continually defecate on the memory of Coach Stropp would make Bull want to outlive anyone who might do the same to him rather than commit suicide. And they will do the same too… heck, we’ve already seen Les and Summer give the now late Bull the Coach Stropp treatment.
I’ve often wondered if Batiuk know that snarkers are his biggest audience, and he writes things to get reactions out of us, the way a wrestling villain gets the crowd angry at him. Nah, that’s giving him too much credit.
Is that Linda consoling Buck? Seriously? She should be a train wreck of grief right now! Her husband is the one who died, and as a direct result of her failure to keep him away from the car. And SHE’S comforting other people??!! Other people, whose relationship with Bull must have been very superficial, if panel two is the best memory they can come up with.
To the extent this story about death explores emotions at all, it explores them in the wrong people.
And SHE’S comforting other people??!
That’s what women are for in the Funkyverse. That and supplying milk and cookies to man children while they read their comic books.
Batiuk is now retconning Linda into a decent human being, or at least his concept of one.
“I hope you know how much Bull really enjoyed spending time with you Buck. Uh did you notice that across the road, there’s an unlocked mausoleum ?”
Okay how many more flashbacks? And really using a flashback only makes sense if it moves the story forward. Which this doesn’t. Not what bit. I mean what next a flash back to 50 years ago? “Mrs. B I dropped the baby”
“On its head? Please, not again! Hardwood floors are so easily damaged by pointy objects!”
The deaths of Rose in Crankshaft, and the way that most of the Lisa death fallout was told via flashback after the timeskip, lets us know that Batiuk believes death is best conveyed as confusingly as possible.
It’s called writing.
. . . from a master storyteller. . .
Why is Quincy Magoo in the splash panel?
Damn, I guess that kills my running theory that Hank Hill was just an imaginary friend created by a brain wrecked by CTE…
Don’t get me started on a couple of 60-somethings who have done nothing but discuss their high school battles on the gridiron… Doesn’t Hank Hill have some kind of life accomplishments of his own?? Doesn’t he at least have memories of stuff unrelated to the games he played against Westview?
I guess I should be happy that he had the decency to not wear his Walnut Tech letterman jacket to the funeral…
Did TomBa forget that detail? After all, DSH AKA John is never without his Batman shirt.
Hey, I just had two high-school memories come back! One is that “cortex” is Latin for “nut shell,” among similar things. The other is that the cerebral cortex received that name because it looks a lot like a walnut. Now, which beloved character attended a college called Walnut and why hasn’t Batiuk used that to insult Bull one more time?
(My high school Latin and biology teachers were jerks, but they were competent jerks.)
I think TomBat got old backdrop panels for this week’s Bull’s funeral from when he drew St. Lisa’s funeral. It was also October and it was also pouring rain and also in the town square. Does it always rain hard at every funeral there? Also is this setting up an eventual romance between Linda and Buck?
Where’s Bull and/or Linda’s kids? Nope she’s with Buck far away from the madding crowd.