Misery, Golf Style

Oh yay, the totally random unnamed golfers with no context or purpose are back today. He’s done two full strips of these guys without any hint as to why it’s even close to relevant, or supposed to be interesting.  Does he think he’s filling a void by making comic strips about golf?  Because that is totally not the case.  And is just me or do this three just look slightly off versions of Funky, Bull, and Les without his beard?  I don’t know if it’s the directions Batiuk gives the artists, but for a while now almost all the characters look far too similar.

34 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

34 responses to “Misery, Golf Style

  1. This honestly feels like a Frank Bolle episode.

  2. Y. Knott

    Alert readers know where this is going.

    (Yes, of COURSE to somewhere stupid…)

  3. William Thompson

    So the ball is going to . . . . uh, hit Mason’s beach house? Break a window? Knock a seagull unconscious? Die of boredom? End up out of play, like this entire strip?

  4. Epicus Doomus

    I’m with spaceman, I have no earthly idea what this is supposed to be. I have to assume that given the current subject matter they’re “studio executives”, although for all I know they might be cancer doctors or test pilots or pro jugglers. Too bad Batiuk can’t tell a decent story without making it a baffling ordeal, but whatever.

    • spacemanspiff85

      This strip so often feels like it’s from a parallel universe that’s almost like ours but not quite. Like you can see how maybe almost it could be interesting or funny but it’s just not. Or like the strip, both dialogue and plot, have been run through Google Translate too many times.

      • Epicus Doomus

        The abrupt shift in the point of view with this story is really annoying. At first it was all about Les and how he felt about the cancer movie and Lisa and etc. Now, just totally out of nowhere, he’s going off on yet another demented “Hollywood” tangent (I think). He just can’t do one of these Hollywood arcs without including his “take” on “the system”, which he’s already made totally clear (he doesn’t like it). The guy caries his grudges around like they’re herpes, they just never go away.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        FW reminds me of those computer-generated songs people make and put on YouTube. They have the structure and rhythm of a real song, but the awkward wording reveals their artificial nature.

        This comic strip doesn’t know how to construct a premise-punchline scenario, or even identify an actual punchline. It hasn’t provided any context, and doesn’t seem to realize it needs to. The tone is all over the place: a basic expression of frustration at golf is met with a harsh, wordy, technical reply. It uses the word “commisserate” correctly, but not in a way a human being would actually talk.

        Look up the song “You Can’t Take My Door” or the artist “Funk Turkey” on YouTube. It has the same uncanny feel that this strip does.

  5. J.J. O'Malley

    While in the rough, they’re going to find the skeletal remains of Zanzibar the talking chimp, gun still in hand (paw?), aren’t they?

    • erdmann

      Better yet, they find him alive and packing.
      “I’m back and it’s time for me to take my revenge on Hollywoodland Studios,” he snarls, waiving the gun menacingly. “But I only need one of you to get me through the gate. Which will it be? C’mon, boys. We’re going to have our own chemistry reads. Winner stays alive.”

  6. Banana Jr. 6000

    “If you’re going to be like that, I can’t commisserate with you anymore.” Why can’t anyone ever say that to Les?

  7. Captain Gladys Stoatpamphlet

    That’s a golf course? It looks like a background from Crock.

  8. Gerard Plourde

    I know I’m going out on a limb here given the inconsistent artwork, but is it possible that moustache guy is supposed to be What’s His Name the director?

    Even if that’s right, the purpose of this still eludes me.

  9. billytheskink

    Rocks and scrub? Awesome! Best new FW characters in years.

  10. bigd1992

    I think one of them is the film director

  11. Epicus Doomus

    Another thing: wry banter only “works” if the reader knows what the characters are bantering about. We have no idea who these people are or why they’re even there and we know nothing about their various character traits and etc. “if you’re going to be like that…”, like WHAT, exactly? Angry over flubbing his drive? What’s he like normally? Is this out of character? No one knows except Batom and even that’s real iffy, at best.

    Again it’s just a guess but I assume these are “studio executives” and right now they’re demonstrating just how little “the craft” really means to them by blithely exchanging sarcastic golf banter while Mason and company are back in the studio making magic happen. All of his Hollywood arcs always come down to “art vs. commerce” so I’m going to keep assuming that’s where this is eventually someday maybe possibly heading.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Yeah, typical artist, complain about the capitalist system while cashing all those royalty checks. Then lawyer up with the best money can buy if someone dares use even one tiny shred of your art.

  12. Y. Knott

    Nah. You are foolishly looking for meaningful narrative sense and character development, or some sort of grand design in the storytelling here. That’s a mug’s game, at least in the Funkyverse. A mug’s game, I’m telling you!

    Even in the last few weeks:

    – The Woman in Mauve did not turn out to be a contender for the role of Lisa, and wasn’t meaningful in any way. The author saw a picture of a girl in a Victorian costume eating at a lunch counter, and thought it would be a cool thing to put into the strip.

    – The Lawn Sprinkler Robot did not portend anything like Funky having a stroke. The author simply saw a lawn sprinkler that vaguely looked sort of robotic, and thought it would be a cool thing to put into the strip.

    – Harry Dinkle’s friend who was thinking of retiring had nothing interesting to say or do, and this sequence did not lead to anything even remotely resembling a point. The author had a friend who vaguely mentioned he was thinking of retiring, and the author thought this would be a cool thing to put into the strip.

    Go back further … and even the somehow-talking-chimpanzee who somehow murdered a silent film star who somehow was from the 1940s basically all came out of the fact that the author just heard of the Virginia Rappe/Fatty Arbuckle story, and thought it would be a cool thing to put into the strip. (And clearly had done no research on anything, and no idea how to end the story. And just as clearly didn’t care. Solution? Ingest some mescaline, turn on the tape recorder, and send the resulting verbiage to Ayers to draw.)

    So for this sequence of strips? The author heard a Golf Buddies story, and thought it would be a cool thing to put into the strip. I’m gonna say that this Golf Buddies story will impact on the Lisa’s Story story (the midweek placement of the strip, and the text box indicating we’ve changed locations makes that clear) — but only in a stupid, boring, pointless way. By that, I mean, not in a well designed O. Henry “the very executives whose movie project this was played a golf game that surprisingly had a profound impact on the movie!” way. More like a “Something stupidly random happened at a golf game, and also Lisa’s Story is now on hiatus because REASONS. Also, Atomik Komix and Montoni’s!”

  13. Paul Jones

    Batiuk has either forgotten or not learned that people have to have a relation to the plot to keep the readers from asking “Why am I wasting time watching this idiot inspect his toilet paper to see what his turd looks like?”

  14. Count of Tower Grove

    That’s a brown golf course. Perhaps Bull’s patch of turf is sprouting.

  15. Professor Fate

    1) are they playing in the desert?
    2) WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? WHY ARE WE FOLLOWING THEM?
    3) small nitpicking note – people typically play golf in foursomes – willing to be that the author will soon show he knows as much about golf as he does about anything else i.e. nothing.

  16. Batiuk’s view seems to be “This is how I want the world to work. This is the way it should work. The fact that it doesn’t shows that the world is flawed.” That’s as close as I can figure it. The fact that he does no research (while bragging about the amount of research he does) tells me he just looks at things in a very superficial and dismissive way. Except for comic books and band leaders, of course.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Yep, totally true. He hasn’t learned anything and still clings to a childish view of the real world. The old ways are always better and he has no interest in anything current.

      My 80 year old father wanted an iPhone for his birthday because he told me he realizes that a smartphone is essential for functioning in today’s world. For Batty, this is anathema. He would rather pout and complain about today’s world while telling a boring story about finding a nickel for the phone booth.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Batiuk is just as superficial and dismissive about the topics he’s obsessed with. And his insights about them are lame author tracts just like his endless whining about Hollywood.

      The recent band director retirement arc is a great example. This unnamed character shows up asking Dinkle for retirement advice, and it ends with him saying “Band directors don’t have a retiring personality!” That’s not just a lame pun: it’s horrible, horrible advice! Clearly this man wanted to retire, or was at least thinking about it. Now I picture him dying on the job, like Captain Phil on Deadliest Catch. And why? Because Dinkle wanted to make a funny. And Batiuk wanted to force his “band directors are oh so wacky!” trope on the world. What a sad waste of a real-world dilemma that would have been interesting to explore.

      Atomik Komix does nothing but draw covers, think up new characters, and win prizes all day long, like a bunch of 7-year-olds at recess. No thought is given to how these characters would work in a story. The company does no day-to-day work, and doesn’t even have any employees that would do it.

      To say nothing of Lisa’s Neverending Story. Everything about Les’ obsession with his dead knocked-up teenager wife is shallow beyond belief. But that’s another post.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Batty just wants to ensure he gets an invite to next year’s OMEA conference…which will probably be a virtual event. That’s the only reason for these band director bits.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Which is even more infuriating, in light of how much Batiuk rails against corporate influence on art. He sure does accommodate HIS corporate masters, doesn’t he? Luigi’s Restaurant, Kent State University, and the Ohio Music Educator’s Association sure have gotten a lot of payola over the years.

  17. Cabbage Jack

    Yesterday, the last Stone Soup ran. A creator graciously retiring her beloved strip rather than turning it into a dragging, zombified, myopic mess. FBoFW went on too long, but eventually LJ retired that dragging, zombified, myopic mess. Eyes on you Batty.