Play The Stupid Game, Win Stupid Prizes

Link To The Sunday Strip

Yes, what Marianne needs to realize is that no matter what the outcome may be, her career and her life are both effectively over, as the whole Oscars thing (and the entire entertainment industry as a whole) is a giant sewer of lies, deceit and trampled dreams. But it’s OK, as whaddya gonna do?

What she also doesn’t realize is that they have these things called brushes and combs nowadays, as well as a plethora of various sprays, gels and pastes that keeps your hair from getting all ratty and unkempt while you’re out and about. It seems peculiar that a woman her age, in her business, wouldn’t be aware of the existence of these things, but whaddya gonna do?

This arc sure got really annoying really quickly, didn’t it? The irony of BatHam droning on about the inequities and pitfalls of showbiz awards wasn’t lost on me, as it’s pretty much a recurring theme at this point. Perhaps he should try to win an award for something, THEN run his mouth, like how you’re supposed to do.

And on that note, I’m outta here until April Fools Day, when I’ll be going into detail about the Department Of Justice’s crusade against SoSF. Up next, the Captain himself, TF Hackett!

68 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

68 responses to “Play The Stupid Game, Win Stupid Prizes

  1. William Thompson

    Poor Marianne! She’s an impostor! Utterly unworthy of adulation, praise or respect! She knows she deserves to suffer for daring to rise above her place in life! She shall be exposed to the world as worthless! And if this strip had gone on for another panel or two, odds are she’d ask Mason to spank her.

  2. Sourbelly

    What’s more dominant in today’s strip? Mason’s punchable dickishness, Marianne’s inexplicable lack of self-esteem, or the color mauve?

  3. J.J. O'Malley

    “Perhaps he should try to win an award for something, THEN run his mouth, like how you’re supposed to do.” I had to look over everything a couple of times to see if that statement referred to Batiuk or Masonne Jarre.

    Who the heck is Jarre to tell one of Tinseltown’s most inexperienced/sought-after actresses how the Oscar “game” goes (Yeah, winners always kiss up to the press, even though it’s the Academy members who actually vote on the awards)? Still, if Red Buttons could win an Oscar…

    Also, how the heck did he contract Holly’s hair horn?

    • Charles

      Seriously. Where the hell did Mason get all these ideas of how this all works? When he was introduced he was making TV movies and the only back story he’s gotten since shows he was only in movies he’s embarrassed by. Certainly if he had been nominated for an Oscar at some point, none of the Westviewians would have treated him and his career with the disrespect they did.

      Check that, they probably would have. But at least he’d have something to counter their shittiness with.

      Also, I love how Mason threw a jacket over his standard shittiness weak pastel polo shirt from Old Navy and that’s apparently sufficient to go to a fancy restaurant. Marianne, of course, for special occasions breaks out a black dress. When it’s not a special occasion, she’ll be wearing some pink garment that comes from the “Ohio Housewife” collection.

      You know, dressing your characters in unusual things can be one of the great lighthearted joys in sequential art, but for Batiuk, any joy or lightheartedness died in this strip decades ago.

      • Epicus Doomus

        Aside from confusing punch lines and wry wisecracks, BatYam really needs to stop writing for his non-elderly female characters, like now. Marianne has become one of the most laughable characters in the strip. Her character arc is actually going backwards. She debuted as a popular, vivacious starlet and now she’s devolved into a painfully naive backwoods hick who can’t even drag a brush through her hair. And on top of that, she apparently needs mentoring from an older male character, lest she ends up being eaten alive by those Hollywood scumbags and their scumbaggery. It’s pathetic even by FW standards.

        And back in 2014, Mason was petrified of doing a table read and needed Les’ nail to get through it, but a mere eight years later he’s a grizzled Hollywood vet who’s seen it all and knows all about how the game is played. It’s way less egregious than Marianne’s arc is, but no less stupid.

        Now I’m thinking this will play out in one of three ways. She might actually win and use her acceptance speech to lavish praise upon Les/Tom and Lisa, or she might lose and give Les/Tom the opportunity to once again remind us that in Hollywood “art” counts for nothing. Or, he might just drop the story and never come back to it, which is always possible around here. Beats me, though, and I’m almost always wrong about this stuff. Except with Zanzibar that time, but that was just so obvious.

        • be ware of eve hill

          Batty couldn’t decide if Marianne Winters was a hot movie star or an insecure little girl who lived with her mommy, had to bum a ride to the studio every day, and was ready to hurl herself to her death from the Hollywood sign after a Twitter accusation that she was a boyfriend-stealer.

          She’s basically a Susan Smith clone, so naturally she’ll be falling in love with Les and then attempt to hurl herself to her death from atop his towering ego.

          Marianne literally has no personality or anything else that makes
          her in any way memorable as a character. Apparently, she’s stupid enough to let Masone decide the rest of her career for her.

          • Epicus Doomus

            NO personality AT ALL. She’s nothing but a victim for “Hollywood” to stomp on and a Lisa stand-in. No jokes, no wisecracks, not even a little wry banter.

  4. As long as they can work in “Les Moore, most sensitive genius ever” they should be okay.

    • Epicus Doomus

      “Gee whiz Mr. Moore, I sure am sorry that I didn’t win for my role as Lisa Moore, but at least you saved my life twice.”

      “That’s OK, Marianne. These Hollywood scumbags simply don’t appreciate genuine art like the kind I create. You were a great Lisa and I’m sure she would have loved it, which is all that matters.”

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I’m almost curious how the hell Batiuk is going to make about Les. Marianne being up for an acting award is so far removed from Les, that this whole arc should have been tossed because it has nothing to do with Funky Winkerbean. Batiuk is going to give Les – aka himself – a friggin’ Oscar, when Les didn’t even do anything for which he could have been NOMINATED for an Oscar!

      Or, Lisa is just going to waltz into the awards ceremony and announce she’s not actually dead. I give that about a 1-in-15 shot of happening.

      • Epicus Doomus

        Well, not only did Les create the character she interpreted on film to widespread acclaim, but the book itself went on to save her life. And if Les hadn’t been there in Hollywood during the fire, she might not have made it out alive. And remember as well, Les didn’t even want her to play Lisa, at least at first. So by allowing her to portray Lisa, Les set a sequence of events in motion that saved Marianne’s life twice AND scored her an Oscar nomination too.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Les “allowed” her to play Lisa? No, Mason gave her the role well in advance, and then staged a dog-and-pony audition to try and win Les’ approval. Which Les wouldn’t give, but Mason ignored him and moved on with what he and the grown-ups wanted to do.

          This is our sensitive artistic genius? A man who couldn’t (or refused to)
          pick out the right actress to play his own wife, when it was teed up for him?

      • Charles

        Batiuk doesn’t need to make this about Les when it’s going to be a big ol’ love letter to himself.

        What this sequence signifies is that Batiuk thinks that his character of Lisa was a nuanced, sensitive portrayal of a beautiful, powerful woman dying of cancer. An actress that plays that role, if she does it adequately, could win an Oscar.

        So yeah, I think Batiuk’s going to be more celebrating Lisa than Les. I’m sure Les will get the due Batiuk believes he’s owed, but it’s absolutely going to be more about Lisa and what a great character he created.

  5. Mela

    Mason’s dickishness easily. Marianne’s nervousness over the extra Oscar attention is somewhat plausible, but let’s just paste Les’s face onto Mason’s today because he sounds just like him. Heaven forbid anyone in this strip be allowed to celebrate an accomplishment instead of beating it into sardonic misery.

  6. billytheskink

    Oh yes, Masone, things get so petty around the Oscars… It’s why everyone in Hollywood hates Meryl Streep…

    Winning one is a sure way to never get work again.

  7. Banana Jr. 6000

    Sure, Tom. Awards are all about “playing the game.” That’s why your trophy cabinet is a yawning chasm of nothing, despite you whoring your strip out to every shiny object and special interest group that catches your eye. Congratulations on that bronze medal in the Most Life Changing category of the Independent Publisher Book Awards, by the way. I’m sure Lisa would be proud.

    By the way, Mr. Quarter Inch from Reality, it’s been a week since Mason Jarre read Marianne this dumb plot development from Variety. And, they’ve since arranged a lunch meeting. You think the Hollywood press is JUST NOW going to start calling Marianne for interviews? She’d have heard from them before the nomination press conference ended! That’s what “news” is, Tom! It’s the coverage and reporting of time-sensitive information! It’s what that obsolete dead tree publication you’re so fond of has on the pages that aren’t reserved for your useless legacy content! To say nothing of Twitter, Facebook, TV, the friggin’ telephone, and the million other ways information is spread after 1991. Stop villainizing people just for doing their jobs!

    Where do you get off lecturing people about how Hollywood works anyway? You were so insufferable you couldn’t even get a Crankshaft movie started, even with it being pushed by a name actor who wanted to star in it! Nor could you get an entry-level job at a comic book publisher! I notice you never applied to anything that wasn’t Marvel or DC, but that would be beneath you, right? No, you were going to be hired off the street and then immediately promoted to Spider-Man! You said that yourself, Tom. Read your own blog sometime. Which means you would have written the death of Gwen Stacy in 1974. Thank God you didn’t. Spider-Man would still be burying her.

    • J.J. O'Malley

      Marvel couldn’t even keep Gwen Stacy buried. A parallel-dimension version of her with arachnid powers is running around the main Marvel universe as “Spider-Gwen,” one of many characters they’ve introduced over the last couple of decades to dilute Peter Parker’s uniqueness.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Yeah seems like Batty brags about his Pulitzer nomination all the time…he played the game and lost…but that was because his work was not worthy of an award.

    • Professor Fate

      Out of Curiosity is there anyplace I can read about what happened with the Crankshaft movie? It sounds like an utter train wreck which is the kind of story that appeals to me.
      And yes the is the Author saying I’m far to pure to play the game to troll for awards despite every mention of his strip touts his being a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize – and one expects his tombstone will include this little detail. Which is of course truly annoying. Really he should just say the grapes are too sour and leave it at that.

  8. Y. Knott

    Good god, Tom.

    You didn’t win the Pulitzer not because you didn’t “play the game” with the press. You didn’t win the Pulitzer because YOUR WORK ISN’T GOOD ENOUGH.

    The Pulitzer committee looked at your work, and correctly determined that it isn’t award worthy. They weren’t waiting for you to suck up to them, or to offer them bribes, or to invite them over for a barbecue. They looked at your work. Your work isn’t award worthy. They did not give you an award.

    They looked at other work. It WAS award worthy. They gave that work an award.

    Please note that they did NOT give the other work an award because the author of that work gave the members of the committee a free three-course restaurant meal. That didn’t happen. Nor did the the winners of Pulitzer Prizes talk up the judges in the press in an effort to create buzz. “Playing the game” was not why they won an award.

    So what IS the secret to winning the prize? What amazing strategy did the Pulitzer winners use? Listen closely, Tom…..

    They had the ability to create award-caliber work, and then they executed that work at the highest level of which they were capable.

    Are YOU doing that, Tom?

    Are you really executing work at the highest level of which you’re capable?

    Really?

    Because, Tom, if this work represents the absolute best you can do … it’s safe to say you won’t have to worry about any award nominations in the future.

    • Epicus Doomus

      That subtext is always there during the Hollywood arcs, isn’t it? “Real” art just doesn’t get recognized unless you compromise your integrity and “play the game”. He’s never, ever going to let that grudge go.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      He’s not wrong about the Oscars though.

      I mean, Crash won Best Picture.

      • Hitorque

        Like I said the other day, sometimes the committee just gets it flat-out wrong…

      • Charles

        That was way more about politics than about “Playing the Game”. A bland movie with a simple-minded anti-racist message, in 2005, was a safer pick than a movie about the tragedy of gay love in rural America.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Argh, you beat me to it! I should have read all the comments before posting.

    • none

      In response, allow me to briefly reiterate here:
      https://www.pulitzer.org/finalists/tom-batiuk

      The page states that the basis for the nomination was this: “For a sequence in his cartoon strip “Funky Winkerbean” that portrays a woman’s poignant battle with breast cancer.”

      As has been illustrated with thousands of pictures, words, and posts, here and elsewhere – Lisa didn’t “battle with” breast cancer. She surrendered to it.

      Given that this is the basis for which the nomination was made, we should be grateful to the judges who collectively realized that the strip essentially failed to make this portrayal. It’s remarkable that it was even nominated to begin with.

      • Cabbage Jack

        He was nominated as an editorial cartoonist? So does that mean it wasn’t even the whole Lisa’s Story drudge, but just a singe strip that was pretty good? I don’t know how this award works, but it wasn’t for literature…he was nominated for Journalism/Editorial Cartooning. I mean, obviously he couldn’t be nominated for quality story writing, but still. I find this funny.

        • none

          @CJ – This is precisely why there was controversy over Berkeley Breathed winning it in 1987. Newspaper strips and editorial cartoons have dissimilar forms and functionality.

          Any argument against Bloom County being nominated and winning then (which is a justifiable position in my own personal opinion) applies tenfold to his work then and now. Perhaps he actually is grateful merely to be nominated after all, but this is how he chooses to express that gratitude.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Lisa didn’t “battle with” breast cancer. She surrendered to it.

        If anything, Les surrendered to it for her. “I’ve been thinking, and it’s okay for you to go.” To which Lisa said nothing, and never made any attempt to stay alive again. And nobody suggested that maybe she should try. Les told everyone Lisa was going to live on a farm now, and everyone was OK with that.

        • Charles

          To be fairer to Batiuk than he deserves, I think you’re overstating that.

          Les told Lisa that it was okay for her to go because she had decided earlier to cease treatment for her cancer. There was this whole thing featuring that dumb cat who would call Les “darling” where Les agonized over how Lisa wasn’t up for fighting cancer anymore. It included the vomitous line from the cat about how Lisa was strong because she had accepted that she was going to die, whereas Les hadn’t reached that point yet.

          It was less “you can die now” and more “I respect and understand your decision”. But out of context it absolutely looks a lot worse. And even in context it suggests that Les and Lisa never really talked about her decision. It took the cat to explain it to Les.

          Since I can’t hotlink, start here for the sequence:

          https://comics.ganneff.de/dailystrips-2007.08.27.html

  9. Hitorque

    1. Damn, whatever happened to “It’s an honor just to be nominated?”

    2. “Nervous” about giving interviews to the Hollywood press? JESUS FUCKING CHRIST YOU’RE AN A-LIST ACTRESS!! SHE’S GOING TO SIT THERE AND TELL US SHE NEVER ONCE DID AN INTERVIEW BEFORE, DURING OR AFTER FILMING A BLOCKBUSTER TRILOGY THAT GROSSED BILLIONS?! When the hell did Marianne Winterse become such a timid coward afraid of her own shadow? She might as well quit Hollywood, move to Nebraska and hide herself in some cubicle farm or tech support call center for the rest of her life… And someone should clue her ass in that if she’s getting Oscar attention she’ll probably be getting attention from the Golden Globes, SAG, and BAFTA so she’d better HTFU most double quick…

    3. I’m sorry, in what universe is Masone “I literally get stage fright during table reads” Jarre qualified to even pretend he knows what the flying fuck he’s saying about “The Oscar Game” when he’s never been nominated for as much as a goddamn Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Award? Oh and motherfuck that nonsensical “you’re screwed either way” bullshittery, Masone just needs to admit to himself that he’s jealous and being a hater…

    3a. I see Masone has learned well from the Lester Moore school of: “With a smug smile and confidence, anyone will assume you’re an expert no matter how thick you layer on the bullshit”…

    3b. Best I can tell, the moral behind Masone’s non-advice is: “Next time don’t put in such an Oscar worthy performance so you won’t have to deal with the stress of excellence! Because winning an Oscar is a curse! You win one and the whole world will expect you to win more! It’s just an endless cycle!”

    4. Of course if Marianne thinks she’s screwed either way, she can always pull a George C. Scott and not accept it, right?

    5. Damn, if only her sole friend in the entire world Masone Jarre was married to a high-profile career journalist who could help her manage the “media game”…

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      that nonsensical “you’re screwed either way” bullshittery

      Yeah, what did that even mean? Like Mela said, these two both sound exactly like Les. “Oh, I’m so screwed. I’ve been nominated for an incredibly prestigious honor. If I win I won’t be happy and I won’t deserve it. But if I lose, I won’t be happy and I won’t deserve it. Oh, woe is me. Sigh.” Shut the hell up, all three of you.

    • Hitorque

      6. Extra credit for Masone refusing to even admit the possibility that another nominee could win because they’re more deserving…

      7. God, I wish Masone **was** nominated now, just so I can watch how well he’d put his bullshit “playing the game” theory into practice…

      8. Remember, this isn’t the first time Masone has smugly lectured someone with his wisdom on how Hollywood works just to be exposed as a big-talking fraud — See that series of pitch meetings with Les and the potential backers…

      9. I swear, Marianne’s response should have really been “BUT MASONE… DIDN’T YOU ALSO SAY THE TRUE SECRET TO WINNING AN OSCAR WAS TO ADD AN ‘E’ ON THE END MY NAME??”

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Well Masone did get “points on the back end” whatever that means.

        All I know is that if a certain author did actually win a Pulitzer, he would be bragging about it nonstop and of course his award would be genuine, no game playing needed.

        • Hitorque

          Masone is also famously bi———–polar

        • be ware of eve hill

          Actors usually get paid a flat fee. “Points on the back end” means they’re also receiving a percentage of the profits after the movie recoups the cost of making the film.

          “Points” is shorthand for “percentage points”
          Example: 2 points on the back end of $100 Million profit would be $2 Million.

          Since Lisa’s Story bombed, we can reasonably assume Masone is receiving just his flat fee. Enjoy eating your points, Masone.

          It would be funny if Masone refused the flat fee and took the points instead. Mr. Big Box Office would receive nothing for his efforts. Zilch. Nada. Bupkis. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            There are some famous stories about actors who did, or didn’t, take the “points” option. To get Alec Guinness on board for the original Star Wars, George Lucas gave him part of of his own points. I think Lucas got 1% of the proceeds, and he gave 10% of that to Guinness. So for

            On the flip side, Kiefer Sutherland took the flat fee and passed on the points for Animal House, which he didn’t think would be successful. This cost him about $15 million. in 1978.

          • be ware of eve hill

            Some actors really benefitted from taking the points option instead of just accepting the flat fee.

            Robert Downey Jr. earned at least $75 million from Avengers: Endgame. This breaks down to an upfront payment of $20 million and then an 8% back-end profit from the film, rounding up to $55 million in monetary gain.
            🤯

          • be ware of eve hill

            Your Alec Guinness/George Lucas monetary figures didn’t make it into your post somehow. Out of curiosity, I looked it up. Some folks may be as curious as I was.

            This Obi-Wan like savvy made Alec Guinness one of the highest paid English actors of all time. Dennis van Thal, Alec Guinness’s agent at the time, struck a deal in which Guinness would receive two percent of all gross royalties paid to George Lucas. Lucas’ deal was that he would forego his directing fee in exchange for a fifth of the box office gross. Star Wars would eventually gross more than $750 million dollars worldwide.

            So how much did this brilliant maneuver put into Sir Alec’s bank? Thanks, especially, to the re-release of Star Wars in the 90s, Alec Guinness and his estate have earned more than $95 million from Star Wars.

            https://www.celebritynetworth.com/articles/entertainment-articles/1977-alec-guinness-demanded-points-instead-salary-star-wars-chose-wisely/

            Golly!

          • Hitorque

            And don’t forget Dean Martin famously chose to take a percentage instead of a flat fee in 1970’s “Airport”…. I don’t remember how much he earned, but it was a huge hit so Martin could have purchased a European country back in those days.

      • be ware of eve hill

        Masone(Batiuk) doesn’t know diddly about Hollywood.

        Masone stated he wanted to act in Lisa’s Story to break away from his Starbuck Jones action film typecasting. So he gets the brilliant idea to cast his Starbuck Jones action film costar opposite him in the very film that’s supposed to rescue him from action film typecasting?
        🤪

  10. Mr. A

    I’m baffled. How does Marianne’s last line follow from anything Mason said? Is she so reluctant to suck up to the press that she equates doing so to “getting screwed”? Even if she’s that strongly opposed to schmoozing with reporters, “screwed” is a weirdly passive way of describing it. If she complained about having to “sell her soul”, I would think it was over-dramatic, but I wouldn’t be baffled by it.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Good point here too. Marianne is not Les, she wasn’t pushed into Hollywood against her better judgement or conflicted about being involved in “showbiz”. Yet for some inexplicable reason, she’s acting just like him. She isn’t even allowed to be happily overwhelmed, instead she dreads being “screwed”, presumably out of her humble, simple, homespun life. Which makes one wonder why she’s in Hollywood at all.

    • Mr. A

      After reading some of the other comments: I guess she’s “screwed” because her hypothetical win will be granted on the basis of good schmoozing rather than good acting, which will make her victory meaningless and hollow? That’s my best interpretation.

      • Epicus Doomus

        The annoying thing about it is that she isn’t even really lamenting how she needs to “play the game”, but she’s just finding out that “the game” exists right now, because Mason is explaining it to her. Why couldn’t they just have a normal conversation about it? Why is Mason suddenly her mentor? How did she get this far in the business without knowing any of this? It’s ridiculous how he’s retconned her into this “young kid just starting out”.

        • Hitorque

          The most annoying thing is Marianne hanging on to every word of Masone’s non-advice like he was Obi-Wan Paul Newman just appearing out of thin air when he doesn’t have the first goddamned clue what he’s talking about… Masone hasn’t ever been nominated for Jack Fuckin’ Shit so because he’s a shameless thirsty-ass gloryseeker he’s going to insert himself in this equation since Marianne Winterse winning would be the closest he’d ever get to winning anything…

      • Mr. A

        Final(?) thought: If you cut out all the dialogue in the middle, I think the comic makes a lot more sense.

  11. erdmann

    You’re saying an actress who gets nominated for an Oscar has to get screwed by the press? Well, if that’s the case, I have a list of nominees of my own…
    What’s that? It has to be the HOLLYWOOD press specifically? Oh. Never mind.

  12. I thought she was an established actor who’d been in other films and was familiar with “Hollywood.” Hopefully, she’s worked since “Springtime for Dead Sainted Lisa,” but you wouldn’t know it by the way TB presents her as needing Mason to show her the ropes of the big bad terrible not good world. TB has no respect for the intelligence of anyone not named Les and it shows.

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      When it’s Springtime for Dead Sainted Lisa, it’s winter for Bull Bushka and my father John Darling, who was murdered…

    • Hitorque

      Like Cindye, Marianne is aging in reverse… She went from a 23-year-old actress to a 16 year old one…

      By next week she’s going to be Shirley Temple.

  13. Gerard Plourde

    I am curious where he picked up the quotation from Chuang Tzu, (Zhuang Zhou), traditionally held to have been a Taoist philosopher and critic of Confucianism. Taken from a chapter that criticizes the Confucianist system’s focus on practicality and activity while ignoring the Way (Tao) the fuller paragraph in context reads –

    “When Confucius visited Ch’u, Chieh Yu, the madman of Ch’u, wandered by his gate crying, “Phoenix, phoenix, how his virtue failed! The future you cannot wait for; the past you cannot pursue. When the world has the Way, the sage succeeds; when the world is without the Way, the sage survives.

    “In times like the present, we do well to escape penalty. Good fortune is light as a feather, but nobody knows how to hold it up. Misfortune is heavy as the earth, but nobody knows how to stay out of its way.

    “Leave off, leave off – this teaching men virtue! Dangerous, dangerous – to mark off the ground and run! Fool, fool – don’t spoil my walking! I walk a crooked way – don’t step on my feet. The mountain trees do themselves harm; the grease in the torch burns itself up. The cinnamon can be eaten and so it gets cut down; the lacquer tree can be used and so it gets hacked apart. All men know the use of the useful, but nobody knows the use of the useless!”

  14. louder

    Cue the picture of Mason & Marianne appearing in the tabloids as having an affair. Next week: A misunderstanding Cindy on the warpath, protecting her man from the Hollywood hussy! The jokes just write themselves on this one.

  15. be ware of eve hill

    The wonderful world of Funky Winkerbean. It’s the happiest place on earth. A comic strip everybody needs to read for a bit of joy and uplift. /s

    Damn! Batiuk is so dark and depressing. Come on, Tom. Lighten up! Open the curtains and let the sun shine in once in a while.

    So, winning a prestigious award leads to pain and strife? It’s all a bunch of politics. Yeah, suurrrrre! Sour grapes, much?

    The Pulitzer “snub.” Is that why Funky Winkerbean changed direction in Act III? Is that what this has all been about?
    Attorney: Mr. Batiuk, can you please point out the day in this calendar where life hurt you? Do you see it sitting in this courtroom?

    It’s like Batiuk has been pouty ever since and is telling everyone, “you’re stupid for not appreciating my genius.” He didn’t receive the Pulitzer and decided to stamp his foot and pout like a five-year-old. Rather than suck it up and try harder, he rather put forth substandard effort alongside a personal vendetta?

    How damn sure was he that he’d win? Did Batiuk leave his seat and start walking towards the podium as his category was being announced? Did he sink to his knees in disbelief after someone else’s name was read? To this day, does Batiuk glare, weeping, at the empty space on his award shelf and lament, “I should have won. I should have won.

    Last week, a few commenters suggested Batiuk may be experiencing dementia. I’m not sure if I agree, but I definitely believe a heavy dose of grief counseling is required.

    • be ware of eve hill

      Batiuk is a one-note author – he’s produced one overwrought too- embarrassingly-hackneyed-for-a-soap-opera “drama,” and he’ll keep flogging it as the pinnacle of “storytelling” until somebody finally hands him an award.

  16. Captain Gladys Stoatpamphlet

    You’d think Musso & … would give the Oscar-nominated actress a better table than one next to the… wall phone?

  17. bayoustu

    Continuing a long-standing tradition in this strip wherein no one derives any pleasure or happiness from what they do, Marianne has not once expressed any excitement, joy, or virtually ANY positive emotion over BEING NOMINATED FOR AN OSCAR…

    • Mela

      I’d just like to see one panel of her freaking out and squealing for joy, or at the very least her saying in the last panel “F*&^ you Mason! I’m nominated for an OSCAR!!”

  18. Perfect Tommy

    Tom Batiuk, you’re the only person I know that can take a wonderful thing like a prestigious award and turn it into a problem. Maybe Lucy’s right. Out of all the Tom Batiuks in the world, you’re the Tom Batiukest.

  19. none

    By the way, if it’s not too late to add tags – panel 4 here has a Quarter Inch Pinch.