The Most Romantic Moment of Cayla’s Life

Beyond just finding it hard to believe Cindy couldn’t get a date for New Year’s Eve, I think the really hard to believe thing is that she had literally nothing better to do than hang out with Les. Like, did she not have homework to do? Were there no walls to stare at? Could she not sleep?
I could be wrong, but this really does seem like more chemistry going on in today’s strip than anything portrayed between Les and Cayla. Cayla just showed up out of the blue and started throwing herself at Les for literally no rational reason, and he only deigned to pick her when Susan bowed out and Cayla won by default.
Oh, wait, the joke is that Batiuk knows two classes of ships? Oh. Ha.

37 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

37 responses to “The Most Romantic Moment of Cayla’s Life

  1. William Thompson

    What is Cayla saying? That Cindy looks old enough to have been a kamikaze pilot? That she has all the charm of an experimental Nazi weapon? That she looks as smart as Captain Peachfuzz?

  2. billytheskink

    The whole reason Cindy wound up hanging out with Les on that New Year’s Eve was vanity driven – she didn’t want anyone to know she didn’t have a date… not even her parents. So she wound up hanging out at the all-night McDonald’s parody wearing sunglasses and a coat hoping no one who knew her walked in. Then Les walked in, Cindy decided he wouldn’t threaten her social standing and they briefly talked about not having dates. A few strips later, when her friend Carrie asked where she was on New Year’s Eve, Cindy said that she went out spent a quiet evening with an unspecified “nice guy”. Les overheard this and then thanked Cindy privately.

    This was 1990-91, so it was a post-Lisa pregnancy story and TB was in the process of transforming Les (who he apparently saw as a breakout character) from a scorned and hapless idiot to a character that was intended to be a sympathetically hapless nice guy. It… uh, it went wrong. Horribly horribly wrong.

    But on today’s strip… seriously, this looks like one palette-swapped clone complimenting the looks of another. Same haircut, same nose, same mouth, same expression, same body figure… When I draw cartoons, I really only draw one face unless what I’m doing really calls for something else, but I still punch my people up with different hairstyles, body types, and facial expressions.

    • Epicus Doomus

      That must have been around the time when Batiuk started attempting to give his one-note caricatures real personalities. Unfortunately he only knew how to write one personality, so everyone turned out to be a wry, self-effacing anxiety-driven schlub. There were lengthy stretches of Act II where I just couldn’t bear it anymore and I bailed.

    • comicbookharriet

      The way that character’s faces have morphed over the years to more and more closely resemble each other is one of the most baffling things to me. The old strips still exist of Cayla with a rounder face, thicker body, and wider nose. And remember Darin’s old long schnoze? Keeping these things consistent would be as easy as posting some reference pictures of the characters on the wall, but Batiuk doesn’t care and Ayers apparently can’t be assed.

      But, I guess, Cayla liked Cindy enough to have extensive plastic surgery to look exactly like her.

  3. Epicus Doomus

    And with a hatchet face like that she could fell a chestnut tree. BatYap really needs to stop now. His female characters are always laughably trite and shallow but this dialog is straight from a 1960s sitcom. I expect the bulk of the cancer movie arc to be like this, with Batty going off on these weird pointless tangents at every opportunity.

    • Scene–

      Les (Eddie Deezen): Gee, Lisa, it must be hard to have all those rays shot at you, like–

      Lisa (CGI puppet): No harder than it was for Starbuck Jones, when the Phlegmoids shot all those rays at him! Thank goodness for Flash Freeman and Phil Holt, they really brought reality home!

      Les (Eddie Deezen): (scowling). I hadn’t finished talking, Lisa. Yes, Flash Freeman and Phil Holt were amazing, and their work lives forever, now told in the cinema for the first time truly! But don’t interrupt me again. And stop coughing, I know you’re only doing it to get attention away from me!

  4. Centuries from now, aliens will discover this in the ruins of our devastated planet and nod solemnly. “Wow, they deserved to be destroyed.”

  5. William Thompson

    And Batiuk says “They passed that girly-girly Bechdel test here! They aren’t talking about men, they’re talking about how well they play ‘Battleship!'”

  6. Gerard Plourde

    This week’s rabbit hole does nothing to advance the “Lisa’s Story – Redux” plot and it certainly doesn’t reveal anything new about Cayla or Cindy

    It serves solely to strike off one more week toward the 50th.

    • Charles

      Actually, the discussion yesterday about the abominable sequence where Cayla watched the Lisa video for “The Other Woman” was on-point, because this week is doing the same thing.

      That multi-week abomination was an attempt to show what a great guy Les was, and, imo, an attempt to counter any objections that Les treats Cayla like shit. Look at this week. What does it have to do with anything? Why does Cindy feel the need to tell this story from 35-odd years ago? It wasn’t prompted by anything. It has nothing to do with the reasons Mason has brought Les and Cayla out to California. Why are we even following their conversation instead of Les and Mason’s? That’s the conversation where something plot-relevant is being discussed (no matter how awful the plot is).

      It’s just an attempt to reiterate that Les is just the most lovely man in the world. Look! This successful woman with beauty that can sink a battleship (whatever the hell THAT metaphor means) talks glowingly about the time she spent an evening with him. Hell, that she’s talking about him *at all*, remembers that incident after a few decades and actually thinks it’s worth talking about to his wife is more of a compliment than Les actually deserves.

  7. Perfect Tommy

    So Cindy killed a bunch of seaman?

    • Hannibal's Lectern

      Aye, and brave swimmers they were, but their strength was no match for her frigid waters. ‘Tis a sad, sad story…

  8. Perfect Tommy

    And who says “Barbied that figure”?
    (Batblog)

    • spacemanspiff85

      I saw that too. I tried Googling to see if it’s ever used as a verb like that and couldn’t find anything. The only meaning I can get out of it is “you did math like a dumb blonde girl, because they’re bad at math” and knowing Batiuk that’s probably exactly what he meant.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        What’s even stranger is WHY he says it. The blog post says that doing a lawsuit and a house renovation at the same time “added another layer of insanity to an insanely busy time.” He could have stopped right there.

        For example, in 1990, I along with the artists on Crankshaft and John Darling (incidentally, Gerry Shamray left Johnny D. around this time and was ably replaced by Bob Vojtko) created 946 comic strips.

        He could have just said “I was working on three comic strips at the time,” which would have been fine too. Instead we get this infodump of titles, pet nicknames, co-authors, comments about their quality, and exact publication numbers.

        Now, I know all of you math majors out there are thinking that I just Barbied that figure and that the number; if you’re producing three comic strips a day for a year, it should be 1,095

        No, that’s an unwarranted assumption. Batiuk just said he was on a team of at least three people. That being the case, one person doesn’t have to work on every strip every day. Baseball teams play 162 games, but hardly anyone plays in them all. So there would be nothing unusual about Batiuk working on 946 of the 1,095 strips produced by a three-person team. Which is irrelevant to the story of lawsuits being like house renovation anyway.

        Also: given the encyclopedic knowledge this strip demands of its readers (as recently as two days ago), why does he think we don’t remember a character getting shot to death live on TV?

    • He might be referring to an infamous talking Barbie doll; one of her phrases was “Math is hard!” and a bunch of people set their hair on fire over that.

  9. Doghouse Reilly

    Upon further reflection, Cindy’s face does indeed bear a striking resemblance to a WWII deep sea mine.
    Also…have you seen the caliber of young men who attended Westview HIgh in the late ’70s, Cayla? Not only weren’t there enough dateworthy guys for an episode of “The Bachelorette,” you’d be hard-pressed to fill the chairs on “The Dating Game”!

  10. Paul Jones

    It is ridiculously easy to believe that a vain ass like she used to be had no social life. Pretty to look at (relatively) but repellent as a person does not make for someone with an active dating life.

  11. AmigoLupus

    LMAO at TomBat’s desperate attempts to pass the Bechdel test.

    Reminder that after that whole Ruby Lith storyline about how female comic book creators dealt with misogynistic office harassment, TomBat wrote a Crankshaft storyline where Crankshaft and his bus co-workers were complete assholes to that one lady for trying to be part of their stupid bowling team.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Good point, and they still treat her like crap.

    • spacemanspiff85

      Oh you are vastly underestimating Batiuk. Crankshaft has like six storylines that it rotates through, and “Crankshaft and his co-workers are complete assholes to their female boss because she exists” is one of the more common ones.

      • AmigoLupus

        Oh, I’m aware it’s a recurring storyline. First time I was exposed to it, I was seething with disgust over how blatantly misogynistic it was. It’s just amazingly tone-deaf how TomBat followed the Ruby Lith arc with that fucking Crankshaft bowling arc. You can tell TomBat literally gave no thought to the message he was sending with it.

  12. I guess he got his metaphors mixed up. “Looks that could sink a battleship” is a line right out of Crankshaft. It combines a high compliment (“A face that launches a thousand ships”) with a grave insult (“A face that could stop a clock”).

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      “Could sink a battleship” usually means “excessively large and bulky”, like a big catalog, or a law someone in Congress doesn’t like. It’s used to describe excessive girth, not beauty. It is NOT a compliment!

      Why would Cayla say this? Normally, such a backhanded remark would imply hostility towards Cindy, but that’s not the case at all. We’ve seen nothing but complete rapport. And the recipient takes it in good humor, ignoring the subtext. (PRO TIP: Women notice subtext.)

      So who’s really comparing Cindy to a battleship? Tom Batiuk. The writer. He wrote a conversation where Cayla has to acknowledge Cindy’s beauty, to explain why she finds it odd that Cindy had no New Year’s date. There’s no reason for any flowery language here. Cayla can just say “well, you’re conventionally attractive” or “you’re in a profession where looks are important” or “you were the most popular girl on high school” or any of a thousand other ordinary things to move the conversation forward. But, no. We get “you could sink a battleship.”

      That’s how much Funky Winkerbean hates women. The writer can’t even call his beautiful character beautiful! In passing! He has to use this forced, confusing, backhanded metaphor.

      It’s called incompetent writing.

  13. William Thompson

    “I can also wreck a train with one glance! Where would this strip be without me?”

  14. Count of Tower Grove

    BWAHWAHAWHAWHAW! It’s funny because Cindy isn’t beautiful enough to launch a thousand ships! That Todd Bottocks, Lard of Langwidge, is the proper fucking metaphor!

  15. Professor Fate

    A face that could sink a battleship. That’s not a complement no matter what the author thinks. It’s right up there with saying you have a face that could freeze sweat.
    To be honest I thought we were done with this pointless side bar yesterday. As I was reading this today all I could hear inside my head was Tom Servo screaming “End! END!”

  16. Hannibal's Lectern

    So CINDY* finally admits she’s not a human at all, but a battle-droid with armor-melting lasers in her eye modules?

    * When I posted a similar comment on CK, I made up a proper acronym, but I can’t remember it and don’t feel like opening up CK just to see it. Why should I work harder than the Great Storyteller?

  17. Maxine of Arc

    Was he thinking of Christopher Marlow’s famous line about Helen of Troy, “the face that launched a thousand ships” to go and plunder her back from Troy, and just came up with “face…. ships…. something?”

  18. hitorque

    1. *YAWN* we haven’t had a “Let’s stroke Cindy’s ego because she’s so very popular and so very beautiful!” series of strips in a while so I guess we were due for one…

    2. “Sink a battleship?” Batiuk is straight up fucking with us, isn’t he??

    3. Just your daily reminder that Cindy Sommers-Winkerbean-Jarre IS PUSHING SIXTY YEARS OF AGE if she isn’t there already CINDY’S KIDS WHO WE NEVER SEE SHOULD BE GETTING GRAY HAIRS BY NOW… And Batiuk still gives her the face, body and maturity of a 20-something…