At least the dialogue in today’s strip sounds like it’s coming from two hip Hollywood adult types, and not from a couple of awkward teens on a first date. Mason has somehow managed to gain thirty pounds after five months of keto. And Marianne’s macro-meals are prepared not by her mom, but by a chef. Alas, as befits her waiflike persona, she’s still “always hungry.”



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

54 responses to “Keto-Sabe

  1. Epicus Doomus

    What the f*ck? ANOTHER vertical one-paneler? That’s two this month, which is just outrageous. One every two years is too many, as in my opinion the vertical single-paneler is one of BatYarn’s cheapest, most annoying gimmicks. There’s just nothing gained by stacking up the damn word balloons like that.

    In today’s installment of “What’s The Gag Here?”, I’m assuming it’s that everyone in “Hollywood” is either dieting or suffering from an eating disorder, which COULD be funny in more capable hands, I guess. But we’ll never know. Nor will we ever know why, exactly, BatYam keeps coming back to this particular well, although we all have our own pretty sound theories about how that special brand of residual bitterness came about, if you know what I mean.

  2. Sourbelly

    Batdick: These Hollywood folk sure are shallow and phony, right? With their goofy diets and whatnot? Don’cha just hate ’em?

    Ayers: Why do I keep spilling my grandma’s nail polish on my boards? Eh, whatever. Nobody reads this shit anyway.

  3. billytheskink

    “Macrobiotic and gluten-free? How do you do it?”
    “Well, rice and soba noodles don’t contain gluten, and that’s like half the diet… so it’s not as hard as it sounds.”

    If these two keep dieting like this they’ll get to a point where they’ll just disappear. That’d be great, especially if it happened off panel.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Marianne was just nominated for an Oscar, meanwhile they’re sitting there talking about how fat Mason is and insinuating that Marianne has an eating disorder, on top of everything else that’s wrong with her. He just can’t resist an opportunity to kick his Hollywood characters, even the ones he likes.

  4. William Thompson

    Where is Old Cindy Summers–the original jealous, deranged, pit-bull hybrid that Mason married–to catch these two on this secret date where they share the intimate details of their weights and diets? This strip needs a moment of bullet-spewing madness, and Cindy’s just the lunatic to do it!

  5. And Tom Batiuk wrote this strip, filled in the word zeppelins, and told himself “This is hilarious. This is the funniest thing that has ever appeared on the comics page in any newspaper. My readers are just going to eat this up–man they are going to be so slapping their sides, they will probably need physical therapy.”

    Alternatively: “My readers are going to weep over how TRUE this all is, how we have lost our youth to fad diets and stupid schemes.”

    Alternatively “My readers are going to furrow their brows and LEARN how true this all is, and how we have been led so far astray from the true path of life–which is that Les Moore is the most sensitive genius of all time.”

    Alternatively “Readers? Who gives a crap about readers? It’s the prizes and awards that confer meaning. And today’s episode should give me a first class award!”

    • Epicus Doomus

      The thought process here is so far-out it defies any attempts to quantify it. Neither Mason or Marianne is fat, not now, not ever. There’s no reason for them to be exchanging wry dieting banter, other than that’s what Batiuk thinks “Hollywood” people do. It’s such a weird, dated trope, too. “In Hollywood they’re always watching their figures”…it’s straight out of an old “Dean Martin’s Celebrity Roast” punchline. There’s already a premise here, but he’s just ignoring it and going off on another peculiar tangent, for reasons only he understands.

      • batgirl

        He’s already wasted time on this topic, when Cindy and Cayla briefly sorta passed the Bechdel test during the beach-house visit. By talking about how media success was precarious and based on looks, and how sad it was to no longer be catcalled or ogled.
        I mean, yes, Hollywood has an appalling double standard regarding ageing in male and female actors. But just as with Ruby Lith’s experience of sexism in the Golden Age comics industry, there’s nothing about sisterhood or women having each other’s backs, sharing knowledge and working for change. Just the wry ‘eh, what can you do?’ from a Male Mentor.

        Meanwhile, TB single-handedly revolutionized the gag-a-day comic strip, despite the legions of reactionaries ranged against him.

    • bad wolf

      I like to think of him as a prisoner in an old movie, long beard, slowly checking another mark off the wall of his cell as he submits a strip and another day goes by. Almost fifty years of them now, his self-imposed sentence almost complete.

      The cell is in your own mind, Tom. You can open the door and leave any time.

  6. J.J. O'Malley

    I for one do not intend to spend my Tuesday night reading and re-reading the garbage pile of prose Batiuk dumped over his characters’ heads in hopes of finding something resembling a joke. I do want to point out how anorexic Mopey Marianne is looking in this installment. How on Earth is her neck is keeping that head in place?

  7. Charles

    Jesus, Marianne’s head is larger than her torso.

    And I think both of them are getting uglier. Mason’s drifting back to his withered elderly man stage, and Marianne’s transforming into something not human.

  8. newagepalimpsest

    The fake panel 100% fooled me today. I’m not ashamed to admit it because you know Batiuk would go for it.

  9. Hitorque

    It’s funny because both Masone and Marianne have undiagnosed eating disorders which is an extension of their untreated mental health/self-esteem issues, but Batiuk isn’t ready for that conversation yet.

    And wasn’t this whole thing supposed to be about A FREAKING OSCAR NOMINATION?! If Batiuk just has to show us shallow banter, at least have Masone talk about his new custom-built Ferrari or Marianne can talk about that superstar she’s dating from the L.A. Clippers… There’s no reason why shallow banter can’t at least be interesting if not funny..

  10. The Duck of Death

    32 days until this strip’s 50th anniversary, and this is where Batiuk chooses to take us. Two amorphous, tertiary characters have a pointless, irrelevant, boring conversation about 1970s diet fads.

  11. robertodobbs

    Someone eating Keto can’t eat calamari unless it’s breaded with special almond or whatever flour which no restaurants do.

  12. Professor Fate

    I can see it now. Her eating disorder will be cured by Montoni’s Pizza.
    We hates ourselves for this thinking this . Yes we do.

    • William Thompson

      But how will the pizza arrive? Will the uber-wealthy Masone Jarre have it flown in aboard his private jet, or will the skinflint Masone Jarre let Marianne use his phone to order it postpaid from Montoni’s? Batiuk knows how to cast a spell of mystery over his characters!

  13. Dood

    Is it true that Tom Batiuk literally changed the orientation of the comics page?

  14. Maxine of Arc

    So Marianne DOES have at least one employee. What’s her excuse now?

  15. Gerard Plourde

    Why are we even seeing these characters? I guess TomBa’s schedule, having passed “Pizza Monster” and “Harry Dinkle Hijinks” came around to “Lisa’s Story” again (it’s a theme that’s always lurking below the surface anyway). It was probably his idea from the beginning to make it look like the movie was going nowhere only to get it into Oscar contention. And of course Marianne Winters had to be diagnosed with breast cancer so her acceptance speech can channel St. Lisa when she wins the Puliz-, oops, Oscar (with a suitably teary-eyed Les looking on).

  16. Margaret

    Do you suppose there’s any possibility that she won’t win? I mean, yes it seems unlikely given TB’s issues with the awards he thinks he deserves, but it would fit the disaster/misery/the world stinks vibe that permeates FW. And also the “Lisa is too good for this world” trope.

    If she does win, who wants to bet on whether Les gets to make a speech at the ceremony. And for longer odds, will he play a Lisa tape?

    • batgirl

      Placing my bet that she asks Les to write her speech.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        I’m still betting the longshot. The Best Actress acceptance speech will be given by…. Lisa.

        • Sourbelly

          Is that even a long shot after the Phil Holt debacle?

        • batgirl

          I think if Lisa did come back to life, Les would have to vanish in a puff of smoke. Because there is nothing more to him that bitterness that the universe gave him a woman who loved him, then took her away. His entire reason for being is his unrelenting obsessive grief. Oh, and being snide to his students.

    • Epicus Doomus

      50-50. It seems obvious that she’ll win, but knowing BatHam as I do, there’s always a strong possibility that it’ll just be more misery and resigned defeat. I can easily picture her dedicating her Oscar to Lisa, I can also easily picture her and Les shrugging at how shallow and vapid Hollywood is. Could go either way.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Les doesn’t care the movie failed and is glad it didn’t change his life. Marianne’s been told the award is meaningless, only goes to who “plays the game,” and apparently believes this. So what does it matter if she wins or not? The story has clinically excised any reason anyone should be invested in the outcome.

        • hitorque

          Yeah, when you put it in that light, I’m wondering why the hell TomBa created the Oscar nomination in the first place only to give it to the most timid, passive, shy, reticent and milquetoast sex symbol in Hollywood… A girl who’s so naive and oblivious about her own career (a career paying her tens of millions of dollars and damn near every woman her age would kill to have, by the way) that she had zero fucking idea she’d even been nominated?! So Marianne didn’t really give a shit, Masone told her the award is meaningless regardless if she wins or loses, and back in Ohio Lester Moore has washed his hands of the entire project and bleached the mere existence of Hollywood out of his mind… So what’s the point?? Why even have this storyline? Just show them discussing and preparing to shoot Starsucke Jonese Part 3 already…

          Say what you will about Masone Jarre (and we all have, anyway) but if he got the nomination at least HE’D be living it up to the fullest and/or catatonic with dread at the prospect of not winning the award since he’s bi ——————————————————————————— polar

      • Anonymous Sparrow

        James Stewart gave his Oscar to his father, who displayed it for years in his hardware store. I can see Marianne giving her Oscar to Les who’ll put it in the Westview High trophy case.

        • Cabbage Jack

          I just felt a chill on my spine. I think you called it.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Marianne will give her Oscar to Les, all right. But Les put it in a public place for other people to enjoy? No way. It’s going straight into the ground, where no one but Lisa can have it, Or somewhere only he can have it. Or he’ll just hand it to Lisa when Batiuk Phil Holts her back to life.

  17. be ware of eve hill

    On days like this, I’m grateful Batty doesn’t run a cartooning school. Let’s keep that “skill” bottled up in one place.

    I love the fake panel. I was fooled for a moment, but then realized it was funny and there was no chance it was a Batiuk/Ayers production.

  18. Banana Jr. 6000

    And the Funkyblog has ANOTHER round of “Elemental Force” preview drawings. Good God.

  19. Suicide Squirrel

    Batyuk is featured not once but twice in the ‘Comics Curmudgeon’ today. Both ‘Crankshaft’ and ‘Funky Winkerbean’ made the grade.

    It’s probably not the recognition you are looking for, but at this point in your career, you should take what you can get.

  20. Suicide Squirrel

    Today’s comic strip was so word-heavy it toppled over. Jenga!

  21. be ware of eve hill

    Does anybody know the date of Batty’s first sideways panel? He may not have originated the practice.

    Last Sunday’s Pajama Diaries featured a sideways strip. There is a date of 2009 on the right-hand side of the strip.

    The comic strip’s creator Terri Libenson may have originated the sideways panel before Batiuk. Terri retired a couple of years ago from Pajama Diaries to write children’s books.

    Terri, like Batty, lives in Ohio. What the hell is wrong with cartoonists from Ohio?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Bloom County did a sideways panel once. It was for a majestic shot of Cutter John’s wheelchair, with balloons attached so it could fly. This was for the arc where he and Opus floated off and got lost. (The larger story was a lot more insane than that, but that was the main part.)

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Found it. June 6, 1985. Though it wasn’t the whole strip, just one panel.

      • be ware of eve hill

        They’re covering that Bloom County story arc in GoComics right now! Opus just got over his amnesia, and he’s remembering what happened. Opus and Cutter John are visiting various islands. They retreated from Gilligan’s Island yesterday (FULL ASTERN!). The ‘Island of People Who Realize that Miami Vice is Garbage’ today.

    • Suicide Squirrel

      Yeah, but that comic strip needed to be vertical to work. What’s the kid supposed to do? Stand on a chair to make the pages appear side-by-side in a horizontal strip?

      I’ve read quite a few vertical strips, but the purpose has always been to make a joke work.
      A castle tower in ‘The Wizard of Id.’
      A palm tree in ‘Crock.’
      A tall tree or long-necked Brontosaurus in ‘B.C.’
      An extremely tall basketball player in ‘Zits.’

      Batyuk is the only one to utilize a vertical strip for a teetering tower of dialog. A Jenga tower, as I said in a previous comment. If you pulled out a word balloon, the dialog would collapse.

      Have you ever read a comment where somebody has praised Batyuk for his usage of a vertical strip? The next time Batyuk uses an unnecessary vertical panel, somebody should knock him out and make him horizontal.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Right – it’s fine if you need the vertical aspect ratio for something. Batiuk just does it to cram more words in. And it’s never a situation where the wordiness is necessary. Or it’s for one his damn comic book covers, which are already a waste of space.

      • be ware of eve hill

        I’ve never seen anyone write a positive thing about a Funky Winkerbean sideways panel. Not once.

        I think he does a sideways panel to draw attention to himself.
        Batty: Look at me! I’m unique! I’m special!

  22. Westview Radiology

    Marianne’s a pencil neck geek.

  23. Wait a minute. Didn’t she leap to her death from a consonant in the Hollywood sign?

    • Epicus Doomus

      Nah, unfortunately (sigh) they talked her (sigh) down. And Frankie never came back either. Only decent villain the strip ever had, unless you count cancer, which I do not.