People Who Are Unalert and Afraid

Link to today’s strip.

I hate to sound like a broken record, but Jessica comes across as emotionally unstable, and Dullard comes across as a clueless clod. The fact that she’s ready to fly off the handle without knowing what’s actually going on, and then immediately turn lovey-dovey would be worrisome to a normal person.

But of course, Dullard isn’t normal. He thought he could hide his glasses from his wife, apparently forever; and he thought sharing his medical condition with his wife (again) was something one simply does not do.

Now, in the hands of a nominally clever writer, this could work, with a lot of details nudged here and there. You could get some good comic mileage out of this kind of a relationship. “Seinfeld,” “Friends” and dozens of other shows managed to make neurotic relationships amusing.

Of course, we are not in the hands of a nominally clever writer. What occurs to me is that this week’s “story” would have worked better with Pete and Mindy as the leads. Pete is already obsessed with his loser nature, and since they’re not married it might be a genuine worry for him that Mindy would say “Ugh! Glasses? No thanks!” Maybe. None of these characters are developed enough so we can reasonably guess what kind of reactions they would have. This week offers proof of this.

26 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

26 responses to “People Who Are Unalert and Afraid

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Jealous rage and white-hot lust…ladies and gentlemen, may I present another well-rounded and totally realistic female FW character. Maybe on Sunday she’ll suggest that they go shopping at the mall, where she’ll point out how fat and ugly all the other women are while waving her husband’s credit card around with abandon.

    But hey, she is a blonde and all, so she had it coming. Because women LOL, right guys? The “funniest” thing about this three-panel slap in the face is how a disgusted Pete uses the single most overused punch line of the last sixty years without a trace of irony. “Get a room”…someone PAYS for this stuff. I’d be embarrassed to use that as a post title. I mean I might someday, but I won’t be proud of it.

    Coming next week: Jessica asks her husband if her butt looks too big in her new pants. Boy Lisa and Pete exchange nervous looks for four days before Boy Lisa tells her that no, it does not and it wouldn’t matter anyway, at which point they begin making out.

    • J.J. O'Malley

      I’m sorry, but who begins making out, Jessica and Boy Lisa or Pete and Boy Lisa?

    • Mela

      Right on, Epicus Doomus. Isn’t this the third time (at least) in recent history that we’ve seen a) gal go into frenzy over b) lack of information/misunderstanding which could have been avoided by c) male partner not keeping a secret that had no real reason to be one resulting in d) gal looking like raging idiot but boosts male partner ego with e) aww you’re a loveable doofus and sexy too. Ick. Even the biggest doofus husbands on TV owned up to being clueless every once in a while and were usually funny about it.

      • Epicus Doomus

        It’s like a fifteen year old boy’s version of what a “wife” might be like. “OMG! Who is he having sex with behind my back??? Oh, it’s just a misunderstanding…a SEXY misunderstanding! Now take me, you man!”.

  2. William Thompson

    Anybody else throwing up? Jeeze, did Batiuk learn to write through the Famous Writers School of Writing Famously, PO Box 1313, Reno, NV? “A good reading story needs a set-up of the conflict, a confrontation, and then a resolution. The bestest way to do this in a romance story is to have a misunderstanding, a screeching argument, then a reconciliation. And have the witty sidekick say something clever.”

  3. Gerard Plourde

    Has TomBa been reading Brooke McEldowney? I don’t know what else would explain this whole contrived plot.

    • none

      No dutch angles and no depictions of body parts below the waist for this entire week (if not much longer, I can’t be bothered to verify if anyone’s legs have been seen since Adeela’s tiny cloven feet in the Nice Guys arc) – I think we can safely rule that one out.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Well, everything taking place in a gradient colored void is on point.

      Does Ayers know that he can recycle backgrounds if he composites the character and background layer together? I mean, it was good enough for Disney animation…

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Nah, this scene can’t be inspired by McEldowney. Both Darin and Jessica are past the age of consent.

    • Hitorque

      I haven’t read McEldowney since I left the joshreads site (had some epic rants back in those days).. Is Brooke still doing the creepy perv thing?

  4. J.J. O'Malley

    “I’ll just give you guys the room…if Chester, Ruby or Mindy happen to come in since this one open space is where we all work, that’s their problem. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go hang out in the coat closet with the other schmattas, watching you two and taking notes so that I’ll know what to do the next time Darrin and I go to San Diego and have to share a hotel room.”

    From white-hot rage to making out in the workplace. These people have no filters advising them on how normal human beings behave in public, do they?

  5. Mr. A

    Mopey Pete’s eye bags are back from their trip. I hope they had a good time.

  6. ComicBookHarriet

    “None of these characters are developed enough so we can reasonably guess what kind of reactions they would have. This week offers proof of this.”

    This brings me to TV Tropes, and the trope ‘Flanderization’. I wish Tom would read it and realize that his characters each need SOMETHING that defines them.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      The characters do have things that define them: Darin is really into comic books. Pete is really into comic books. Chester Hagglemore is really into comic books. Ruby Lith is really into comic books. Mindy is really into comic books. John Howard is really into comic books. Crazy Harry is really into comic books. Funky works at Montoni’s. Cory works at Montoni’s. Wally works at Montoni’s. Rachel works at Montoni’s. Rocky works at Montoni’s. Adeela works at Montoni’s. Tony works at Montoni’s. Les is a teacher at Westview. Linda is a teacher at Westview. Bull was a teacher at Westview. Becky is a teacher at Westview. Dinkle is a teacher at Westview. Kablichnik is a teacher at Westview. Cayla is a secretary at Westview.

      Funky Winkerbean is full of characters that are all basically the same thing, and have no other discernible qualities.

  7. Dee Lusional

    This arc was lightning fast, but holy shit!!!!

    Can you say PULITZER?????

  8. billytheskink

    “I think your glasses make you look even hotter.”
    *moves glasses up off of Durwood’s face*

    Makes sense…

    Do Durwood and Jessica think people can’t kiss if one of them is wearing glasses? Because even my nerd face can confirm that is not true.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Do Durwood and Jessica think people can’t kiss if one of them is wearing glasses?

      I am willing to consider that they may actually be that stupid.

  9. Banana Jr. 6000

    Off-topic: that “Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 10” book cover in the Twitter roll has really been bothering me. And I just figured out why:

    Those two shots are identical. The soft focus, the warm but empty smile, the head turn to create the illusion of candidness, the half-tones and fuzzy edges to make the image seem more distant. These are the same techniques you see in photographs of the deceased at memorial services.

    Batiuk couldn’t just put his precious Lisa on the cover yet again (she was also on Volume 5 and 8). No, he had to make a propaganda piece out of her. She had to be the center of attention, yet again. And this volume only goes through 2001; she doesn’t even die for another six years!

    Following this comic strip is like going to an MLM pitch, or a cult meeting. It seems okay at times, but it’s got an agenda. And it is shoved in your face constantly.

  10. Charles

    It’s just amazing. So Jessica, who doesn’t even work in the office, wanders in one day and doesn’t even tell anyone she’s arrived. She overhears her husband’s (not surprisingly) non-work-related conversation which causes her to fly into a raging, screaming fit. When her husband gives her the perfectly innocent explanation for his stilted artificial conversation, she immediately forgives him and gets horny. Then they start making out right on the office floor in front of his co-workers.

    I suspect Batiuk has never worked in an office. I mean, this is just flat out demented. And I think it’s worse because I suspect he’s completely forgotten that Jessica doesn’t actually work there, which would explain but not excuse the awkward setup.

    Has anyone ever worked with someone who has even 1/10th the unawareness of appropriate workplace behavior? I mean, the guy’s wife comes in screaming and then they start making out like a couple of teenagers, and they’re supposed to be in their 40s at this point.

    Anyway, I’m reminded of the prediction I made a couple years ago about how Batiuk is probably trying to make Darin the new Les. With this sequence, he’s given Darin glasses that look just like Les’s, as well as Les’s trademark nerd-inferiority complex. This latter complex doesn’t stop his hot wife from constantly wanting to mash faces with him, gushing over how attracted she is to him.

    So let’s see if Batiuk takes the next step in turning Darin into Les by killing Jessica. I also suggested in that earlier prediction that he made them unabashedly horny for one another because if he didn’t constantly reinforce how much they love one another, no reader would give a shit about Darin’s despair after Batiuk kills her.

    Not that it would make any difference. Nobody would give a shit either way.

  11. Hitorque

    So evidently Jessica came to the office for the sole purpose of throwing her dear husband a piece of some workplace pussy… Hey if it helps keep the marriage fresh, more power to them…

    Anything is better than the perverted ‘Azure Lane’ hentai cosplay sex that Pete and Mindy do every Saturday night…