Note: Masone Jarre died on the way back to his boat.

Link to Strip When It Drops.

Sundays get no preview. Too bad. Maybe it’s seven panels of Les and Marianne sipping coffee on a sailboat while the world burns. Or maybe it’s a loving homage to the poster of ‘The Phantom Empire’.

You guys ever seen it? I found it on YouTube, and it’s…um…different. I mean, I guess I can see the charm if you like singing cowboys and 30’s cheese. But it’s such a weird thing for a 65-70 year old man to fetishize having seen as a child, a movie serial that would have been past 30 years old then. I guess I grew up in the 90’s watching Star Wars, but modern movie sensibilities are there in Star Wars. It’s still pacey and exciting. There is no point in Star Wars where Luke Skywalker stops the action to sing an entire song about the animals on Noah’s Ark.

I can see a teen or young adult developing an appreciation, ironic or genuine, for something like ‘The Phantom Empire.’ But the movie is borderline unwatchable for modern kids, and I don’t think it would be that much more palatable for kids growing up in the 60’s.

Whelp, I’m pretty much burned out on all this nonstop Lesplotation action. Our glorious leader TFHackett is taking over tomorrow to lead the charge of the Thunder Riders. “To The Rescue!”

ComicBookHarriet powering down now.

86 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

86 responses to “Note: Masone Jarre died on the way back to his boat.

  1. Y. Knott

    “There is no point in Star Wars where Luke Skywalker stops the action to sing an entire song about the animals on Noah’s Ark….”

    But there IS a point in the Star Wars Holdiay Special where Princess Leia stops the action to sing a song about Life Day.

    Is it better or worse than this upcoming FW strip will be? You be the judge!

    • Count of Tower Grove

      Oh my. The Star Wars Holiday Special is an annual trope in Sally Forth!

    • comicbookharriet

      The Star Wars Holiday Special is the single greatest work of art Western Civilization has ever produced. It’s borderline experimental!

  2. Thanks CBH. Watched the first 2 minutes of Phantom. Camera work made me throw up. Starting drifting over to this as an SCTV spoof of some type. ( Guitars and thought of “Patoo” and, “It looks like a woman, boss.” and all) Called it quits.

    • Y. Knott

      If you’ve not already caught the great SCTV continuing serial “Six Gun Justice” (as part of the program “Happy Hour”), you’re in for a treat:

  3. Epicus Doomus

    It’s pretty funny how everyone in the Funkyverse is into pop-culture trash from twenty years before they were born. I assume Jff was born somewhere around 1955, thus he is into old films from the 1930s. Pete was probably born between 1975-1980, thus he loves old Batom Comics stuff from the 1950s. Cliff was born in 1920, so he’s heavily into things from the 00s, like tramp steamers and Vera.

    Based on when they graduated, Owen and Cody were probably born sometime around 1995, so I assume they’re heavily into Kiss, The Rockford Files and Evel Knievel. Little Baby Skyler will grow up to love Nine Inch Nails and Melrose Place.

    • I not only saw “The Phantom Empire” as part of a midnight show at NJ’s legendary Capitol Theatre, I found a DVD copy at Dollar Tree years later. It’s terrible.

      • Charles

        Not to defend it specifically, but one thing to keep in mind was that serials were never intended to be viewed all at once. They were designed to be a short lead-up to the regular feature the kids would be watching, and it would entice them to come back the following week to catch the next installment.

        So about 20% of the average episode would be recapping the previous episode, since they wanted to catch everyone up, both the people who hadn’t seen it as well as the people who would inevitably forget parts of it since they just saw it once. Then, because they anticipated that the audience wouldn’t explicitly remember the previous episode, they’d constantly repeat scenes. Often the episodes would essentially be the action moving from Set A to Set B, with a chase, ending in a fight on Set B. And the following week would be a chase from Set B to Set A, ending with a fight on Set A. They would also abuse the hell out of cliffhangers, and then, because most viewers wouldn’t explicitly remember all the details from the previous week, change the details in the following episode so it wasn’t so dire. (e.g. “Wait, there was no way in hell the hero would be able to jump out of that exploding plane from the previous episode, and yet that’s their solution.” “Oh, they didn’t *show* the escape path off the other side of the exploding mountain that our heroes would be able to just walk down!”)

        So I guess in way too many words, I’m saying that nostalgia and very little else would be the draw of these things. As a coherent overarching story, these things were *terrible*.

        • Professor Fate

          “As a coherent overarching story, these things were *terrible*.
          Which explains a lot about the story problems the Author since he’s using this as a template.

  4. Gerard Plourde

    While surfing Tubi I just saw that The Phantom Menace is viewable. It sounds like the only thing that might make it palatable would be to give it the MS3TK treatment.

    • Gerard Plourde

      MST3K that is.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I’m sure you meant “Phantom EMPIRE”, but what you said works too.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      You can view Phantom Empire on its Wikipedia page. No kidding:

      [video src="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Phantom_Empire,_Chapter_1.ogv" /]
      [video src="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Phantom_Empire_1940.ogv" /]

      Which probably means that it’s public domain now.

      • J.J. O'Malley

        If only, at the end of this entire storyline, Joel Robinson would jump onto the scene, make an “OK” sign with his hand, and proclaim “It stinks!”

  5. SeaCountry

    You definitely deserve a break, Comicbookharriet! You powered through some exceptionally terrible stuff!

    • SeaCountry

      PS—I don’t know if it came from my mention or what, but *love* the Simpsons/Poochie reference in the title! *fist bump* You can get today’s kids into old Simpsons, but you have to answer lots of questions like “Why didn’t Bart just Google about the way water goes?”

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        That “Poochie” episode is great because it’s so delightfully mean-spirited. They hated the character so much they killed him off-screen. On a children’s clown show, mind you. And they didn’t even tell the voice actor until he saw it broadcast.

        • SeaCountry

          And the kids cheer like Krusty’s handing out cash when he brings out a notarized letter stating that Poochie will never, ever, ever come back!

      • comicbookharriet

        Your Milhousing the last couple weeks about if we were getting to the fireworks factory may have inspired my post title today. 😉

  6. SeaCountry

    BTW, a lot of 1980s babies developed appreciation for older TV shows due to local networks & Nickelodeon showing reruns. My brother liked 1950s sitcoms, and I Love Lucy was a favorite all his life. I loved the Monkees (that didn’t last) and the Twilight Zone (that did, along with the fear of dolls my brother developed after insisting on watching with me). So, I don’t think love for retro pop culture is weird in itself. But that movie serial? It sure is. Gene Autry did stuff that was easier to like and the 1950s—still before Jeff’s time—was an important era for science fiction.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Batiuk completely misses the point of nostalgia. His nostalgia manifests itself in obscure trivia and fetish objects. The cave. The rock. The name of the underground country. The name of the queen. That stupid decoder toy. That’s all next week is going to be: tedious namedropping of Phantom Empire this Phantom Empire that. With the occasional cut back to Les on the boat, so we don’t forget that he still sucks.

      This isn’t even how or why people fondly remember the favorite movies of their childhood. 10-year-old me loved the stupid movie Strange Brew. But I’m not going to put on my priceless mint condition Great White North toque, fly to the cul-de-sac in Kitchener, Ontario where Bob and Doug McKenzie’s home was filmed, and wait for my inner child to materialize. And if I did, would you want to hear about it?

      The stories in Funky Winkerbean are so closed-minded and insular that readers can’t relate to them. We all know what it’s like to lose a loved one. We don’t know what it’s like to be conflicted about whether or not to show the video tapes of our long-dead wife to the woman playing her in the Hollywood biopic about her life, on a boat, in the middle of a massive inferno.

      • SeaCountry

        Good points. If Batiuk were a better storyteller, he’d focus much more on emotions than objects or minor bits of trivia. I think taking the opportunity to see the set of a beloved movie while in Movie Town is a perfectly cromulent* side trip to take. That’s a story that can draw people in. But drawing people in isn’t really the goal here.

        * A bit of my nostalgia coming out

      • comicbookharriet

        If you do want to go to the Great White North and visit the filming locations for Strange Brew, here is a great article for your tour: https://torontoist.com/2016/09/where-strange-brew-was-filmed-in-toronto/

        There’s a great Red Letter Media Re:View on Strange Brew, though they oddly miss the overt Hamlet plot.

    • Hitorque

      I’m one of them… Nick at Nite during my 80s childhood was awesome… Dragnet, Donna Reed, Mr. Ed, Dennis the Menace, those iconic first 2-3 seasons of Saturday Night Live, etc.

      • SeaCountry

        I got inspired by this convo to ask a Generation X nostalgia group on Facebook which old TV shows they watched as kids. Lots of names, plus some stories, opinions, quotes, and gifs, but no mentions of decoder rings or other weirdness.

      • comicbookharriet

        I love Bonanza in an unhealthy way for anyone born after 1968. But there’s a huge structural difference between stuff made in the 50’s and 60’s and serials made in the 30’s.

  7. SeaCountry

    Single panel with the Hollywood sign symbolically burning and a re-iteration of Mindy’s line from yesterday, with frowny-faced Jeff in the corner. At least it’s not, well, you know.

  8. J.J. O'Malley

    Hey, isn’t that Marianne about to jump off one of the letters?

    Yeah, like they wouldn’t have a fire truck or two around an important area landmark to protect it.

  9. Epicus Doomus

    LOL the Hollywood sign is burning. All of BatYak’s anti-showbiz fantasies are at long last manifesting themselves in the most outlandish way possible. It’s all just a bunch of contrivances designed to get us to the real point…burning that hypocritical den of hypocrisy and anti-Lisa sentiment to the f*cking ground. He’s one sick puppy, that BatHack.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I also think this Bronson Cave business is a big middle finger to that 1960s Batman show he hates so much. As if he just calls it Murania enough times, people will forget Adam West ever existed. It would help if he spelled it right, but good luck in either case.

    • Charles

      Yeah, it gets lost sometimes, but Jesus the geography of this is so incredibly stupid. Why did he have to indicate that the fire started at Point Dume, west of Malibu, and now having it destroy famous LA landmarks 40 miles away? I mean, we know where the Hollywood sign is. We know where Bronson Canyon is, very specifically where Jfff wandered up to. We know where Hollywood and the Hollywood Hills where Mason and Cindy are supposed to live are. And we know where Point Dume is, so we know just how far and how much the fire needed to burn to get to all of these places.

      He really should have had the Funkyworld version of some idiot like Jake Paul shoot fireworks off in the back of his Hollywood Hills mansion, and have the fire start that way. That could have burned everything we’ve seen, especially when we can fudge locations on things like Hollywoodland Studios and Mason and Cindy’s house.

      Full disclosure: I went to UCLA, which would be ground zero for this fire’s path. If that fire got to Hollywood and Griffith Park, it’s already gone through UCLA. And if somehow a wildfire managed to destroy that campus, it would be horrific and devastating in inconceivable ways. The campus has so many curated works. So many historical documents, relics, etc. from California history, from American history, from Amer-indian history, from Latin American history, from Asian history, fuck, world history that the potential cultural loss would incalculable. There are so many curated literary and artistic works that would just be wiped right out. Precious historical documents, artworks, etc. that could never be replaced. They have a major art museum,and a sculpture garden, that would be destroyed. The beautiful century-old Spanish-American architecture, the Powell Library, Royce Hall, the Fowler Museum, the Department of World Arts, etc. They would all be severely damaged or destroyed.

      There’s the massive archive of film and television history, perhaps the most significant in the entire world, that could be lost. You’ve got the John Wooden Center. the Pauley Pavilion and the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame. The loss to the world of sports would be immense.

      And probably most significant from a practical standpoint, there’s the Ronald Reagan Medical Center and the associated hospitals and schools, which is one of the best teaching, treatment and research hospital systems IN THE WORLD. In order for this stupid fire to get where it has, it’d have to get past this massive thing. So Batiuk’s destroyed that too. You’d think Batiuk would be a bit more cognizant of one of the best cancer research centers in the world.

      Seriously, it’s as if I wrote a story about the Cuyahoga River catching on fire and burning down the Cleveland Clinic, but I’m going to ignore that because it somehow offers me the chance to express my grief about my cat dying last year. Wonder how Batiuk would feel about that story.

      So, in a way too long fashion, I guess I’m ultimately suggesting that the devastation from this ridiculous fire would be so immense and so culturally catastrophic, destroying most of one of the great cities in the world, with millions of people experiencing loss, that no one would really give a shit about Lisa’s Story anymore. Oh, there’s a scene where Lisa made a snow angel! Who the fuck cares anymore. The world’s seen worse, you self-involved douche.

  10. billytheskink

    The DMV doesn’t believe Funky’s name is real, the Post Office won’t guarantee Holly’s packages will arrive by Christmas, the Ohio State Police are willing to help cover up Bull’s suicide, and now the Los Angeles County firefighters and first responders can’t keep the Hollywood sign from burning or prevent 70 year old men from wandering into wildfire-prone areas or keep crazy actors from driving their SUVs through walls of flame or alert tanning actresses of rapidly-spreading wildfires or do anything useful at all.

    I think the president of the local chapter of the John Birch Society has more faith in the government than TB does…

    • Epicus Doomus

      Such a cynical, bitter man. The last time the Hollywood sign was featured in an arc it was a prop for a young woman’s suicide attempt, now it’s burning to the ground. To paraphrase Steve Martin…

      “He hates that sign! STAY AWAY FROM THE SIGN!”

    • Hitorque

      Wait… Dude’s honest-to-God Christian name is “Funky”? I always thought it was a high school nickname back when he was a party animal or a stoner or whatever the hell he was?

      Even if the DMV gave him shit for it (and they shouldn’t given the increasing number of exotic foreign names they see each year), all he had to say was “Yeah what of it, asshole? My people came over from the old Austria-Hungary! We got a problem here, chief?”

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        To say nothing of all the Chandlers and Braydens and Makenzies and Neveahs turning 16 right about now. The DMV wouldn’t bat an eye at a guy named Funky. Which does seem to be his real name; I’ve never heard him called anything else.

        • Hitorque

          Nevermind the fact that Rundfunk has never lived anywhere else, so the Ohio DMV would already have him on record for decades…

      • Epicus Doomus

        Yup, Funky Winkerbean is actually his real name. I’m sure it seemed hilarious back in 1972, but I bet you he really wishes he could have that one back.

        • SeaCountry

          Are you kidding? He probably wishes he could get rid of the character and rename the strip!

        • batgirl

          TB retconned Bull Bushka’s name into a nickname so Les could make a joke about not knowing his high school nemesis was really Jerome.
          You’d think he could retcon Funky into a nickname too – but maybe that has to wait until Funky comes down with his own debilitating terminal disease.

    • Gerard Plourde

      That list is revealing. Also, they all seem to be Act III episodes ( Should we start referring to it as TomBa’s “Grumpy Old Man Period”?)

      I have to admit that I found the Bull suicide coverup particularly egregious. He was doing an arc about the effects of CTE but rather than do research he took what he thought he knew and painted himself into what he thought was a corner, the mistaken belief that suicide automatically prevents a life insurance payout. The possibility still exists and there can be a protracted process in getting payment (possible material for a long and thoughtful arc). Instead, he put forward another hastily sketched-out plot and possibly libeled the readily identifiable Ohio Highway Patrol (the perfectly recreated “Winged Tire” emblem.)

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Don’t get me started on that suicide arc. When you die in a car crash, head trauma is a lot of what kills you. After a car crash, Bull’s brain would be too damaged for study, or his helmet would have kept him alive. When real ex-football players have killed themselves and tried to preserve their brain for study, they chose a method that doesn’t require head trauma! Something Tom Batiuk would know if he did a nanosecond of research on the topic.

        And it’s not even clear if this was the story’s intent. Maybe Batiuk was giving Bull another “one yard short of the goal line” moment. It wasn’t clear if Bull at least achieved his goal of contributing his brain to research. Like so many other stories in Funky Winkerbean, it got bogged down in irrelevant details.

        • none

          Yes. Rather than knowing if Bull’s brain went towards science, we got a week of Linda nearly paralyzed with fear in opening a letter from the NFL which confirmed what we all already knew (because he repeated it several times throughout the years), in that Bull never had an official career with the NFL. Thus confirming he’d never get a payout for whatever kind of financial peril they were facing, which was only implied because they were seen living comfortably the entire time.

          Then we got to be reminded that Bull bullied Les at the funeral. Only pretend bullied for part of it, anyway. By the way, this is the funeral which was mentioned in an obituary that didn’t refer to Bull by his legal name and wasn’t attended by Bull’s daughter.

          Then we got to see a picture of Les in sporto gear, because that needed to be repeated for some reason. Then we got to see Les be told that Bull donated to the Lisa Legacy Fund, which Les never realized for some reason, but Les smiled upon hearing that information. Isn’t that nice?

          Then, for some reason, we got to see Buck Futter make a two week pass at the newly widowed Linda.

          And now we will presumably never see Buck, Linda, or Jinx ever again.

          “The Great CTE arc”, everyone.

          I wonder if the New York Times is asking for what is coming next.

          • Mela

            We also learned that the police covered up the suicide because one of them knew played football for Bull (or something like that) and that Linda and Les must now keep the secret of his suicide forever, which does nothing at all to further the efforts of understanding and treating CTE.

        • SeaCountry

          I think the CTE was primarily a way to punish Bull for having been an athlete with some ambition and picking on poor, sensitive L*s.

  11. Banana Jr. 6000

    “My father’s up there somewhere!” Umm, didn’t he tell you exactly where he was going, and why? How did he even get there if you didn’t give him a ride?

    Besides, Pete knows how to handle this problem:

    “L.A. Fire Rescue.”
    “Yes, my father in law is trapped near Bronson Caves!”
    “I’m sorry, we’ll do what we can, but we’re really stretched thin right now.”
    “But he likes The Phantom Empire! And he has a rare Starbuck Jones decoder ring!”
    “What? We’ll get right up there immediately! Hey Larry, tell Anna Kendrick and Drew Carey they’re shit out of luck.”

  12. Hitorque

    1. So today just the Hollywood sign is burning and nothing else?? Is this wildfire drunk?

    2. The real punchline is Pete Rattabastardo, Mindy and Mr. Decoder Ring fucking KNEW ABOUT THIS FIRE BEFORE THEY EVEN DECIDED TO LEAVE CLEVELAND! This is “Let’s sail Mason’s boat into that Category 5 hurricane!” 100% pure fuckwittery..

    3. Hard to believe we’re just four days removed from touchdown at LAX with Mindy saying “Pete honey, as much as I hate to interfere with your pathological manchild comics geekery, this wildfire on TV looks really serious and did you see how much smoke covered the region when we landed?” And Pete’s response was “LOL STFU HAPPENS ALL THE TIME HERE WE’LL BE FINE I BLAME CLIMATE CHANGE LET’S HIT THE BEACH!”

    3a. For this reason alone it should be Pete’s responsibility to rescue Mr. Decoder Ring, on foot…

    4. So it was clearly still daylight in yesterday’s strip and today it’s dark which means four characters have been standing in a cheap motel parking lot with their thumbs up their asses for literally hours while Mindy demands *someone* (but obviously not her because all Funkyverse women are useless in a crisis) save her father??

    5. Wouldn’t Mr. Decoder Ring have come back long before now?? Even if he did nothing but stare at the cave entrance all day with his inner child, the exhibit would have closed already at least 2-3 hours ago… And don’t tell me he’s safe by hiding in a cave because the smoke would have killed him just as easily if not easier.

    6. Silly me, only now have I actually done a search of the Bronson Caves and to my surprise it’s just a short tunnel?! I thought there was some big underground complex with memorabilia from all the movies and TV shows shot there, plus a gift shop… This makes his geek erection for the place even more inexplicable when you factor the thousands of other things a first time L.A. visitor can see.

    • SeaCountry

      I may or may not have Public Enemy’s song “Burn Hollywood Burn” in my head right now. Batiuk would appreciate it until he realizes it’s about the group’s dissatisfaction with how black characters were portrayed in TV shows and movies, not its mistreatment of sensitive writers.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Yeah, I have family out there. Last year we were out there and left a couple of days early due to the fires. On another time, we cancelled beforehand as we saw that the fires were already close to where we were going.

      Unlike Batty, when I go I actually see things. Since part of the family is in Calabasas and the rest in Santa Barbara, a trip to the Getty and Hearst Castle is always part of the plans. When possible I try to fly in to Santa Barbara as it is a tiny old school airport and it’s located in Goleta which is home to Mary Worth.

    • Mela

      Yes, it’s just a tunnel, but if I were on vacation in L.A. doing the Hollywood touristy things and I had my Batman fan spouse with me, I’d go see it. It wouldn’t be my first choice, but if we were nearby, why not? It’s the Batcave entrance, and my husband would probably have a reaction similar to Jeff’s, minus an appearance of his younger self.

  13. Boots Gandalf

    I’m wondering when this fire’s going to jump to Columbia University.

  14. DreadedCandiru2

    So…..all we do is waste time showing us the vague “Where” Mindy said Jffff is. It allows Batiuk to show off and remind us that a dumb GORL’S brain can’t remember details that matter to…..oafish fanboys obsessed with inane crinkum-crankum.

  15. Deanxietized

    Please, if anyone should run into Batiuk face to face, let him know how much people loved this homage to the opening of the 1993 classic Demolition Man. And then watch his face carefully so you can describe for us every delicious moment as he dies a little inside.

  16. William Thompson

    Have wee seen the last of Jff? No. There will be a large photo of him at his memorial, where Les will turn the eulogy into a roast.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      And then we will learn from Pammm that Jffff was an abusive husband, blah blah blah, into weird things like old movies, comic books and enemas. Pamm can now follow her true dream of running a bookstore over her garage where she spends her days complaining about men. She then moves to Canada to live with Lynn Johnston

  17. William Thompson

    One thing to remember: even though Mason is an idiot, he’s the one who has tried to help others survive this disaster. He’s gone into the disaster area twice, now. The first time Les tagged along. The second time, Les stood there while Cindy joined Mason and drove off with him, despite having survived a close brush with death. Les did nothing to stop her, much less say “No, I’ll go.” He hasn’t shown any interest in anyone except his fantasy of Lisa.

    Somehow, Les will emerge as Batiuk’s designated hero.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Mason barely knows Pete, much less Mindy and her idiot father, so he has no reason to be driving through the gates of hell to rescue them. He’s doing it, and Cindy went with him, for one reason: so Les can be alone with Marianne to have his big, meaningful epiphany about those stupid Lisa tapes. Everything in this story is in service of that, and to talk about the goddam Phantom Empire. There’s no reason for this story to exist at all, except to indulge Tom Batiuk’s endless need to talk about things he likes.

      • comicbookharriet

        Naw. Masone and Pete are actually probably better friends than Masone and Les. Pete, Darrin, Masone and Cindy were thick as thieves when they were all working on the first Starbuck Jones movie.

    • Hitorque

      Oh, I’m sure Les will get the key to the city and a parade from the mayor when it’s all over…

      And Batiuk can’t have it both ways now that he’s turned a couple of well established self-serving cowards into Batman and Robin… Either Angelenos are all clueless sheep in a crisis standing on the sidewalk and waiting for death or they’re proactive take-charge ass-kickers…

  18. William Thompson

    Destroying famous historical sites and icons is a common thing in disaster movies. But this strip is supposed to be reality-based. Will either of Batiuk’s fans accept this scene? Even worse, if the real Hollywood sign burns in one of the current wildfires, will Batiuk ever shut up about having called it?

    • SeaCountry

      If Batiuk let himself go to straight-up genre horror or disaster, this strip could be much more fun.

  19. sgtsaunders

    I suspect that burning down Hollywood was the whole point of this arc.

  20. Count of Tower Grove

    Three duffers are up there somewhere!

  21. Rusty Shackleford

    Poor fallen leaf! You’ve had your day in the sun.
    But now, in Autumn, you must die—in a flash of brilliant cold fire!
    Ah, even in death, you are beautiful.
    In salmon and scarlet and yellow.

    Replace leaf with Lisa and you have the essence of this strip from the 1990’s to the present.

    (Apologies to Dave Berg, Mad Magazine #107 1966, The Lighter Side of Autumn. Yes, I’m reading his collection. You didn’t think I would waste money buying a FW collection did you?)

  22. Dood

    Quick question: In today’s strip, who is the person depicted in the nameplate next to the “Funky” and above the “‘bean”?

  23. Eldon of Galt

    Sunday’s strip: Once again I got a real laugh. It’s pompous. It does nothing to advance the story. Imagine how puzzling it would be to a casual reader. What an achievement.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Watterson was the only one who could successfully pull a one panel Sunday strip. His artwork was always beautiful and appropriate for the story.

  24. Professor Fate

    Well this is pointless yes? Jff is in Griffith Park yes but it’s a big place and he if he’s still staring at the cave entrance used by Ro-Man he’s some distance away from the sign. (yes i checked.)
    Speaking of serials i’m fond of some of them – there is in the best of them a wonderful energy and general goofiness like The Flash Gordon Serials (love the rocketships and that noise) . The Undersea Kingdom and the Commando Cody (he of the flying jet pack) in Radar Men from the Moon (title makes not a lick of sense by the by)but I’m not going to base my creative work on them. And I”m surely not going to use that fondness as a reason to feel superior to anyone which is the singular weirdness of The Author’s nostalgia.
    Lastly I dread the deep dive into Murania that the header suggests. It’s going to be a slog for sure.

  25. Charles

    Holy crap! I looked up The Phantom Empire on Youtube as you suggested, only to discover that they remade it in 1988 with Ross MFing Hagen and Sybil Danning! Oh my God if you love bad cinema I’m sure that’s a complete delight!

    • Professor Fate

      Oh my – now i must see this.
      (love bad movies)

    • erdmann

      Hagen AND Danning?!
      Oh Lord, we thank thee for the blessing of bountiful badness we are about to receive…

    • Scott J Lovrine

      Not really a remake, but it was partially filmed at Bronson Canyon.

      And I’ll admit to owning the DVD of this movie. It’s great fun. Russ Tamblyn
      and Robby the Robot are also in it.

      • Professor Fate

        Robby the Robot..? Oh wow you have made my day.

      • Charles

        Yeah, watching more of it, it appears to be a broader homage to a number of those old serials. There’s one scene that’s clearly a recreation of a scene in Undersea Kingdom, with Ross Hagen playing the role of Crash Corrigan, thankfully (or not!) fully clothed rather than wearing naught but a Speedo.

        But still, it’s hilarious. It’s amazing how hard some people tried to make Ross Hagen a leading man when he was so obviously ill-suited for it.