People Like You (Dullard) and You (Jessica)

Link to today’s strip.

So Dullard was afraid that Jessica would think he was a nerd, because he was wearing glasses.

And then what? Divorce him? “Your honor, this man wears glasses. No wife wants a man who wears glasses.”

Seriously? I mean, sure there was a time when wearing glasses was considered “uncool” and perhaps a bit of a stigma…among school children, on television sitcoms. In the 1960‘s (at the latest). And I’m betting on each of those sitcoms the resolution was that it was “okay” to wear glasses.

Today, I’m not sure I know anyone who doesn’t wear glasses. It’s not a trait that really stands out anymore.

In a better comic strip, this could be the start of a “bit” that could be hilarious, as over the coming days Dullard tries increasingly bizarre ways to hide his glasses from Jessica. Because what else could his plan be?

Let me restate this: Dullard didn’t want Jessica to know he needs glasses. Since they are a married couple, and not casual acquaintances, this would be a very difficult achievement. “What are those?” “These? Nothing! Funky asked me to keep his glasses, just in case.” Later: “While we’re driving in the car, can you tell me when you see the signs for the exit for HorribleDemise Lane?” “Uh, I’ve got a better idea! Why don’t we ask Skyler, to test his reading ability?” “Oh, that’s such an awesome idea from a father! My father was murdered by the way.”

Skyler: “M-U-R-D-E-R-E-D. Murdered. Shot to death while on the air.”

This scenario, though, would require the creativity of 1950’s sitcom writer, which Batiuk can’t give, can’t even buy, and just doesn’t get.

Skyler: “A-E-O-N space F-L-U-X. Something unfathomably better than this horrible existence could ever be.”

(Sorry, I love that intro and wish I could do something half as cool.)

It’s another example of Tom Batiuk deciding that the first thing he thinks of would make a good story. “What if…Dullard had to wear glasses?” Well, what if? That’s just boring. “What if he wanted to hide this from Jessica?” What? That doesn’t make any sense! And it’s still boring!


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

32 responses to “People Like You (Dullard) and You (Jessica)

  1. William Thompson

    Maybe Batiuk is stranded in the Golden Age of Comic Books, when it wasn’t unusual for the (rare) kid with glasses to be called “Four Eyes” or “Specs.” Too bad he can’t see his way out of that time-warp.

  2. Billie Burkhalter

    Riveting plot! If this were 1850.

  3. Epicus Doomus

    Shit like this is how I ended up here on SoSF in the first place. Some FW strips make me point and laugh in bemused disgust. Some bore me into submission and others just plain make me sick (see last week).

    Then you have the ones like this, the ones that actually inspire homicidal urges toward these characters. Boy Lisa and Jessica are nothing more than absolutely heinous caricatures very loosely based on presumed “human behaviors” that would result in a verdict of justified homicide if they took place in “real life”.

    “You really had to be there, officer. See, the bland one started simpering and the woman got all turned on and the next thing I knew I was standing over their battered corpses with that tire iron in my hand, all sweaty and out of breath.”

    “Let him go. No court in the land will ever convict him.”

    Mind you, these people are in their forties. Jessica is totally certifiable and Boy Lisa deserves to be kicked down a flight of stairs on general principle but BatYarn thinks it’s cute, which as I pointed out yesterday is probably the most disturbing aspect of it all.

  4. bayoustu

    Mopey Pete was so surprised by Jessica’s sudden entrance that his eye bags flew right off his face with a Don Martin-esque sound effect: “Fweeeeeee!”

  5. William Thompson

    “You’re a hot nerd! Remember, you’re the guy who did the footnotes for The Annotated Kama Sutra!”

    • ian'sdrunkenbeard

      Wasn’t that a Classics Illustrated title?

      • William Thompson

        Yeah. Too bad he was also the illustrator. People mistook it for the Boy Scout Manual on Knot-Tying. Bit it did win a prize: the Meritless Badge.

  6. J.J. O'Malley

    “Think you’re a nerd! You’re a grown adult male who spends his days drawing musclemen clad in panties and capes wrestling with each other; who was given a valuable collection of artwork, sold it, and gave the money to a charity named after the birth mother you barely knew; and who went with his apparent only friend to a museum dedicated to a speedster superhero and spent who-knows-how-much on a freakin’ ‘Cosmic Treadmill’? THINK you were a nerd? When have you ever done ANYTHING that would lead me to presume you WEREN’T a nerd!?”

    Seriously, if anybody out there has a marriage where things like this occur they should seeking counseling NOW!

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      These two have near-fatal cases of insecurity. She thinks she’s being cheated on because of an overheard conversation. Which was clearly never about an affair, if she paid attention to any word other than “seeing”. And he’s legitimately worried about losing his family over a long-discredited appearance trope.

      This MIGHT be cute if these were awkward high schoolers in their first relationship. But they’re not. They’re in their 30s, they’ve been married for at least ten years, and they have a child who’s never seen or talked about.

      They’re also supposed to be professional, highly-paid media creators. But they suck at that, too. Darin and Jessica don’t really make comic books and documentary films; they just sort of exist near them. What does Darin even do, anyway? I think he gets paid just to stand around and keep half of Lisa’s DNA alive. That seems like it would be a lucrative job skill in Westview.

  7. Mr. A

    “I thought you’d think I was a nerd.”
    “Darin, I already thought you were a nerd. You spent years obsessing over Starbuck Jones. You left Hollywood to work for an indie comic book company that purposely misspells the word ‘atomic’. You’re the biological child of Lisa Moore. Any reasonable person would look at your life and say, ‘Yep, that guy’s a nerd’. But the glasses, the glasses were going to give the game away? Jesus tapdancing Christ.”

    • Mr. A

      Ah, looks like I wasn’t the only one to have that reaction… In my defense, I didn’t see J.J.’s comment until after I finished writing.

      • J.J. O'Malley

        We follow the same route, Mr. A, but you brought up several good points that my brain must have mercifully severed the neuron links to. Well done, sir.

        By the by, please give Ditko my regards.

        • Mr. A

          I’m afraid I’m not following. What’s the connection between me and Ditko?

          • J.J. O'Malley

            Oops. So many folks here have comics-connected onscreen aliases, I assumed your cognomen was a salute to Steve Ditko’s masked objectivist crimefighter of the same name, derived from Ayn Rand’s “A is A” Law of Identity. Mr. A appeared in indie comics by Dtiko in the ’60s and ’70s and was an even-more hardline version of his earlier Question, who of course inspired “Watchmen’s” Rorschach.

            Yes, I am a nerd, and yes, I wear glasses. My wife knew about them before-hand.

  8. spacemanspiff85

    Strips like today’s really just reinforce my conviction that most of Batiuk’s plot ideas now come from whatever he happens to see when he’s sitting at his desk. We had arcs about Darin’s favorite pens, about a Flash doll, and now glasses. And half of Batiuk’s workspace seems to be filled with Lisa crap, which explains a lot.

  9. William Thompson

    Almost sixty years ago the Outer Limits did an okay story about a nerdy guy who wore glasses. Of course they were made from a special meteoric quartz and let him see a two-dimensional monster, but “Behold, Eck!” was a light-years above Batiuk’s “Old Yech!”

  10. Banana Jr. 6000

    Darin… you know that contact lenses exist, right? And laser eye surgery? Even if you did live on a planet where eyeglasses posed any kind of problem, it would still be very easy to solve.

  11. Hitorque

    1. Hey Darren — 1983 called and wants it’s moldy ancient trope back…

    2. So how long were you planning on hiding this from your own fuckin’ wife, son and parents? Forever?

    3. If you’re that fucking insecure why not get contact lenses?

    4. So what if someone thinks you’re a hopeless man child pansy geek loser who can’t ever grow up (and you are, by the way)? You think your wife will walk out on you and the half-million in annual income you’re pulling in every year? And even if she left, do you really think you’d be single long? You saw how fast that nubile young blonde hooked up with Mopey Pete once he finally started making bank, right? All she had to do was take his virginity and he was buying an engagement ring a month later…

    5. For the record, glasses don’t make you a pale scrawny no-life comics geek, but going with Pete on Bromance Honeymoons to ComiCon and the non-existent Flash Museum and flaunting cereal box decoder rings like they are NBA title rings and spending every waking hour at the office (not working mind you, but just”hanging out) and literally only going home to sleep *does* make you an idiot nerd…

    6. It’s funny because even though his rugrat toddler never gets any older, Darren by all accounts has to be mid/late 30s which means he needs to grow the fuck up if he’s so self-conscious about goddamn eyeglasses… Especially since he’s almost to that age when he’ll need to ask his doctor about Cialis…

  12. Gerard Plourde

    This MIGHT have been a borderline acceptable plot when these characters were in high school, but in what universe would a pair of nearly 40 year olds who’ve been married for over a decade act like this? Even a 1950s sitcom would have rejected this.

  13. Lois Standard

    Mopey Pete is way hotter.

  14. Am I being a shallow snarker for wanting to take bets on whether, next time Darin appears in the strip, the glasses have been forgotten?

    • Hitorque

      Or he’ll just switch them out for contact lenses and this entire week will fall down the memory hole…

  15. Chyron HR

    “Oh, Darrin. I don’t THINK you’re a nerd.”
    “Thanks, honey!”

  16. Rusty Shackleford

    Our tired old Batty, hopelessly stuck in the past. Oh he claims to be 1/4 inch from reality, but as we see over and over again, he can only portray his reality, a reflection of his wants, his desires, his wishes.

    Ah well, I guess the joke is on me. Was I really expecting something better?

  17. Dood

    Is it nerdy to point out Holtron in the first panel? Asking for a friend.

  18. angusmac

    I think this might be a part of an exciting new disease to strike Westview: African River Blindness. First Funky’s eyes go out, now the desperate need for glasses and the horrible stigma associated with weak eyesight. Since the disease is caused by parasites, Les may be revealed to be the cause!

  19. Perfect Tommy

    AV club members clutching inhalers with their shirts weighted down with pocket protectors watching Battlestar Galactica (TOS) in their Batman themed bedrooms look up in unison. “Get a load of this nerd”.

  20. Doghouse Reilly (Minneapolis)

    It’s funny because Boy Lisa needs glasses and Messica just made a pair of spectacles of herself! I haven’t laughed this much since the hogs et my kid brother.

  21. Count of Tower Grove

    Durward was always a nerd. The glasses just made him one of hundreds of millions who have the most common of disabilities.