Just Yuan Me

Even more disconcerting than their hoodies is Marc and Aaron’s penchant for completing each other’s sentences. So much to pick at in today’s strip. Has anyone else ever encountered this usage of “bank” as a verb meaning “to make money”? Must be some new lingo. Unlike “gangbusters,” a word that dates back to the Prohibition Era. And the SJ sequel Rise of the Zeton Warriors hasn’t come out yet? It was filmed concurrently with the first Starbuck Jones movie, which had its premiere over two years ago.

April 29, 2020 at 3:31 am
If Les is so hell-bent on “telling his story properly” and staying pure to his vision regardless of box office gross, why isn’t he seeking out the indie arthouse filmmakers…??

Right! If “everyone knows that China is where the money is, why is Mr. “I’ve Been To So Many Pitch Meetings I Can Predict What People Say” (h/t Banana Jr. 6000) wasting his time and everyone else’s with this pitch? I thought this was about making this movie “the right way“, not about making “bank.” Finally, somebody help me parse the punctuation in the second panel: “And that’s the problem…!” Ellipsis, exclamation point. I’m reading it as “And that’s the problemmmmmMMMMMM!


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

39 responses to “Just Yuan Me

  1. William Thompson

    “And that’s the problem! If the Chinese see Starbuck Joes playing Les Moore, they’ll die laughing! We can’t afford to lose that market!”

    “But I want to play the hero!” Mason Jarr whines.

    “Covered you! You’ll play the cop who figures out that Les murdered Lisa, after writing Lisa’s Story as a blueprint for her ‘accidental’ death. You’ll love the chase scene at the end, where your gunfire forces him to drive off a cliff along Nobottom Road!”

  2. William Thompson

    Mason turns to Les: “Forget it, jack-off, it’s China country.”

  3. billytheskink

    I applaud Marc and Aaron’s efforts here. However fraught or challenging our country’s relationship with China might be, neither their people nor their government have done anything to deserve a film adaptation of Lisa’s Story.

    • Christopher Robin

      Well, okay, maybe the government. But that would be more along the lines of personal showings in small rooms with strapped chairs than wide theatrical release.

  4. Sigh. More “my book is too precious for commerce” garbage. Hey, Batiuk, there’s a reason it didn’t sell, and it’s not because no one is pure enough to read it.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Les is forever cursed with the burden of having created a work of art so delicate and so beautiful that only he himself could appreciate it on any kind of meaningful level. Compounding his pain is Mrs. Ba…uh, I mean Cayla’s voice reminding him (again) to get those cases of unsold books out of the garage before they start attracting mice.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Poor Les, having to sully his work by taking it to Hollywood….where hustle is the name of the game, and nice guys get washed away like the snow and the rain.

        (Apologies to Glen Campbell)

  5. Doghouse Reilly

    So, after last weeks’ protracted “Hey, nebbishy dweebs! Remember those gorgeous co-eds who wouldn’t date you in high school? They secretly wanted to! You just had to be more obsessive and demanding!” detour, Battyuk had to fill this week’s “At Last! The Meeting!” sequence with twice as many tiresome Hollywood tropes as usual.

    While I confess that I’ve hear bank in verb form at least as far back as TV’s “Weakest Link,” it’s not surprising that Masonne uses “gangbusters,” since he at times looks old enough to have listened to the radio show of the same name.

    What I don’t get is, is Mixmaster supposed to be a production company or a studio? One would think the Gruesome Twosome would go to the former first to set up tiny details like financing, scripting, casting, and such before pursuing a deal with the latter, especially since the project seems less “Starbuck Jones” and more “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.” Maybe they should arrange a confab with an indie film veteran like former Miramax head Harvey Wein…oops. See, Tom? That’s why you don’t write your spoofs a year ahead.

    Still, good to see that Aaron got some of his point nose and chin back.

    • Hitorque

      I just discovered that “Mixmaster” is probably some kind of Batuikian anagram of “Miramax”… He’s probably going to wish he chose a better example.

    • justifiable

      I’m all for Masonne trying to sell this dumpster fire to studio exec Les Grossman, so that he could finally be told “A nutless monkey could do your job!”

  6. justifiable

    Todd fucks up yet again. The term is “make bank” – not “bank”. If a film “banks” in China it means it has characters on its ATM card.

  7. The Nelson Puppet

    Sounds like an even trade to me. The Chinese gave the world COVID-19; We give China Les and Lisa Moore!

    • Epicus Doomus

      I wouldn’t wish Les Moore on anybody. Special bound copies of every Act III Les Moore arc are valid forms of capital punishment in five states. They have a whole special chamber set up so prison staff doesn’t accidentally read it over the condemned prisoner’s shoulder. So far no one’s made it past the New Year’s Eve arc. Some say it’s cruel and unusual and I agree, a society does need limits. Supposedly in Canada they use “For Better Or For Worse” but, like the existence of Comic Kingdom’s editorial staff, this is just hearsay and rumor.

    • Doghouse Reilly

      Not really that even. On the one hand is a debilitating virus spreading across the land and making people sick to their stomachs. On the other is COVID-19.

  8. Christopher Robin

    “We’re all about making successful movies here at Mixmaster… and one of these days we’re totally gonna do it!”

  9. Hitorque

    1. I’m old enough to remember when people first concentrated on making sure a movie was successful in the U.S. first before thinking about overseas…

    2. China’s human rights record has to enter the discussion at some point, right?

    3. Les’ kill fee fiasco has to enter the discussion at some point, right?

    4. I knew at some point Batiuk was going to pound our heads with the fact that these Hollywood folks were going to be either too dumb/young/hip/vulgar/concerned about money to take seriously… After all, that’s what 99 percent of Hollywood execs and comics editors have been in the Funkyverse

    • Hitorque

      5. Lemme guess… These two hipster mooks wearing the same workout hoodie (who are totally NOT doing each other) are going to suggest an all-Asian cast for the story? Maybe make it a period piece in pre-Maoist China?

      While it isn’t the worst idea, I’ll be surprised if Batiuk thought that far ahead…

      6. It’s funny because the NBA took a major PR hit for their shameless appeasement of Red China back in November… Yeah, I know there are more hardcore NBA fans in China than there are *people* in the United States, but turning a blind eye to the other stuff is a heaping bowl of Not Good.

    • Epicus Doomus

      China has been cranking out cheap FW ripoffs for years now. Probably the best known of them is “Franklin Winkingburg” featuring Smug American Bearded Dick With Ears (it’s a symbol) whose beloved wife Saintly Lady is mistakenly jailed as a subversive and slowly dies in prison. So you can see the similarities there. There’s a blog, “Son Of Defective Franklin” where readers snark on it but it’s all in Mandarin.

      Then there’s “Reciprocating Motion Driver Man” (the translations are tricky), which is a Crankshaft ripoff about a surly commuter bus driver who spouts anti-government rhetoric and ends up in a locked care facility. But like with Crankshaft, I don’t read it.

    • William Thompson

      Les Moore: “Never mind human rights, what about my rights?”

  10. Banana Jr. 6000

    “If a movie is going to be successful, they have to bank in China!” Why does it go from singular to plural mid-sentence? He should say “…it has to bank in China.” It’s not just grammatically terrible, it’s unnatural. Does Batiuk even read his dialogue aloud before he sends it to the syndicate 11 months in advance?

    “And we’re all about making successful movies here at Mixmaster.” Oh, really? I thought you were into making shitty ones. Why does this need to be pointed out? I could understand if Les had just made one of his overweening demands, and Wellman is sarcastically replying “our movies need to be financially viable.” But nobody’s said anything where that makes sense as a response. In fact, there’s no flow to this conversation whatsoever. Really, the cinema’s hottest action hero brings you a schoolteacher from Cleveland with a Love Story knockoff, and your first question is about China?

    “Starbuck Jones did gangbusters in China!” Look at Mohawk Guy’s expression, he knows that’s a stupid response. It’s a completely different genre. And Les seems to have figured out that the best way to kill this movie dead is just to let Mason keep talking. Though I’d enjoy it if he asked Mason “so what do they say at this point of the pitch meeting?” That’s the worst thing about Les: he’s not a condescending dick when that would actually be funny or appropriate.

    And look how nervous Mason is. He’s worried in Panel 1, and desperate in Panel 2. He’s clearly out of his depth. Again, this was the guy who knows everything about pitch meetings, despite never going to one. This should be a storytelling clue that Mason doesn’t know what he’s doing. But we all know it’s just bad writing, and it will ultimately mean nothing to the story.

    • Hitorque

      “That’s the worst thing about Les: he’s not a condescending dick when that would actually be funny or appropriate.”

      To be fair, that dude already exists and his name is Krankenschaaften…

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Yes, Ed Crankshaft has the same problem. Batiuk always wants to soften him when his dickishness and incompetence would have worked the best. Him trying to deliver a baby should have been funny.

        Even better: the Batiuk blog has pictures of George Kennedy with full Hollywood makeup and wardrobe as Ed Crankshaft. Apparently he’s a fan, and wanted to play the character. Imagine the police chief from the Naked Gun movies doing Crankshaft tropes in live action. You’ve got to admit, it has potential if the writing is good.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I bank in China. Always good to have some money overseas.

  11. AmigoLupus

    Batiuk once again showing both his Capitalist tendencies and his utter contempt for Hollywood. Considering how Batiuk measures success by how much money you make, or whether rich people just hand money over to you, of course he’d think that Cancerwife: The Movie’s success hinges on how much money it makes, not the quality of the movie itself (not that there’s any quality to be found). And of course Batiuk has got to get his digs in on Hollywood and tell us how greedy it is, because “haha Hollywood is obsessed with the Chinese market” is what everyone says.

    It’s terribly lazy, and I’m just surprised he hasn’t made some kind of vaguely racist comment about China while writing this.

  12. Paul Jones

    And here we are with Batiuk refusing to understand that these people don’t want to hemorrhage money in the name of his defective creative vision. No one wants to see an abysmally boring art film about a woman dying painfully when the payoff is said woman’s asshole father finally reconciling with her after she passes away.

  13. Can't Look Away

    Since Masone is so well known…perhaps Les could play himself in the movie (Oscar time !)

    • Hitorque

      No chance… Les already had serious misgivings over the Cinemax softcore strawberry blonde with the world class warheads who was originally going to play the title role in “L4L”… He didn’t dare come out and say it, but it’s clear that he thought she was maybe too hot/sexy for the role… Can you imagine him trying to *act* opposite of such a woman with Ghost Lisa looking down on him?

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Les would spin that as the actress somehow not properly expressing Lisa’s spirit or inner beauty or something. Which means there’s an obvious choice to portray Lisa: Luann DeGroot.

  14. Let me guess–the “problem” is that Mason is permanently etched as Starbuck Jones all across China, and the Chinese are incapable of seeing him as any other character. So Mason can’t star in the film, which means they have to look for a horribly repellent man to play the role….

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I think you’re right. Mason has complained about being typecast in Hollywood, and when one Funky Winkerbean character expresses an opinion, the whole world shares it. Especially if it’s about a comic book.

      • Hitorque

        To be fair, Masone is also convinced that adding the ‘e’ to the end of his name gives him an edge with the academy awards committee since “All the great actors in history have ‘e’ at the end of their names!”

        So maybe he doesn’t know the industry as fucking well as he thinks he does?

  15. Gerard Plourde

    For those of us who are constantly complaining about the tendency to “tell, don’t show” major events in the strip – we now have evidence that showing the “action” doesn’t help.

  16. How about this:

    Mason can’t play the role, because the Chinese will only accept him as Starbuck Jones. Les can’t play the role because he’s an unacceptable douchenozzle.

    So, who could they get who would be submissive enough in the role, while also simultaneously kicking Tom Batiuk’s most hated character in the teeth?

    How about Wally Winkerbean? Wally gets to star in the film, gets a new career as a screen nebbish in Hollywood, and Funky is left in the small town bag, crushed beneath everyone else’s success.

  17. louder

    Would be nice if there was some continuity in the art for this comic, Monday, they were in the middle of a jungle, today they’re in a bunker.

    • Christopher Robin

      Looking closer, it appears that once they were ready to get down to business, they decided to move from the room with large windows and painting on the wall, into a screensaver.

    • William Thompson

      This strip turned into a ‘Downfall’ parody so quickly, Les didn’t have time to groom a Hitlerian moustache.