Yesterday I mentioned the insane tonal shift with this story, and that insane tonal shift continues unabated today, as yet another character handles the unwanted, unloved handgun used to murder John Darling. Then, out of nowhere, in an almost Lynchian twist, Mitchell is replaced in panel two with some sort of hideously disfigured man (mouth cancer would be my educated guess) with incredibly disturbing hairs all over his crotch. He returns in panel three, though, handing Jessica a broken coffee mug with a malevolent, hateful sneer on his face.
Nothing I could say would be anywhere near as funny as merely recapping the story itself is. This one’s a real humdinger, even by BatYam standards. No one would have Les a vial of the cesium used in Lisa’s radiation treatments, no one would have Linda a hunk of Bull’s femur, but apparently it’s OK to clown on Jessica’s dad’s death, which aptly demonstrates how BatYarn still hasn’t gotten over THAT whole thing either. Some comic strip deaths are just funnier than others, I suppose.
33 responses to “Crack Is Whack”
The craziest thing was how Mitchell acquired the other John Darling show mug. He left the cracked mug on the dashboard of his unlocked car one day near Channel 1 and came back to find three more in the car…
–and what’s really weird is, Jessica is speaking for herself while Dullard says nothing. What madness is this?
Mitchell has been borderline accosting Boy Lisa’s wife all week, and thus far his only response has been to rifle through John Darling’s desk. This is sadly very much in character for Boy Lisa, however, as we saw Jessica fight his battles for him when Frankie came barnstorming through town that time. All of his mother’s blandness, none of her gumption.
“Some comic strip deaths are just funnier than others, I guess.” 😜
Mitchel changes moods quicker than Ms. Marcos changes shoes. Panel 3 mood has no connection to yesterday or today.
By the way Boy Lisa and Messica have held that pistol (please insert your own version of Illudium Q-36. Where’s the KABOOM!) so stupidly. Never hold a finger by the trigger. [My Darling, Clementine: “When you pull a gun, kill a man!” says Ike Clanton.] HOLD A PISTOL BY THE HANDLE AWAY FROM THE TRIGGER! Right Mr. bwoeh?
The way she holds it, I say that the odds are 90% it goes off. It is 50/50 someone gets killed.
Mitchell’s personalty seemingly runs on an egg timer.
Mitchell: Who are you? What do you want?
Mitchell: You’re the daughter of John Darling? Golly!
Mitchell: You’re not entitled to any of my collection.
Mitchell: Won’t you please come in and view my collection?
Actually, I have no complaint about how Darin and Mitchell handled the revolver. One hand on the barrel and one on the grip. I was shocked earlier this week when Darrin didn’t pick up the gun with his finger on the trigger. I hoped he’d look down the barrel to see if it was loaded.
Jessie is providing a masterclass on how not to handle a gun. I figure she’s in shock and not thinking too clearly. She goes looking for a memento of her father and casually gets handed the weapon that killed him. I think Ayers has done a pretty good job with her facial expression the past couple of days.
Here’s hoping the gun slips off Jessie’s finger and goes off, killing all three. At least Darrin.
Remember the movie ‘True Lies’ where Jamie Lee Curtis drops the MAC-10 down a flight of stairs, and it continues firing for a full minute, killing all the bad guys? 🤣
You are a morbid little woman.
I am in the pit area with LaDonna and generally in the way. My brother in law loves that.
Little woman, heh. That reminds me, Mr. bwoeh used to tell his coworkers that they never met me because I was so fat I had to live in the basement and couldn’t get out. My name was Rotundula. He’d have to dump food down the laundry chute to keep me fed. Imagine their surprise when they finally met me. I’ve been underweight most of my life.
Good luck winning all the races!
You are a joy!
I shouldn’t make fun of people with mental illness. My husband has a co-worker who only has two modes. He’s either incredibly outgoing and funny, or quiet and somber. There’s no in-between. He’s a marine veteran who served in Iraq. Mal thinks the difference is whether he’s taking his medication, or not.
One of our fellow snarkers mentioned Chekhov’s mug earlier this week. And here it is, front and center, for some reason. Mitchell once again goes from slightly amiable to psychotically furious within a single panel, for no apparent reason. Jessica, whose father was John Darling Who Was Murdered, accepts the murder weapon with some hesitation, perhaps because it was the instrument used to murder her father who was murdered. You can see why that perturbs Mitchell. So he bitterly offers her a cracked mug. And then he assures her that he has a John Darling Who Was Murdered mug that’s in far better (mint?) condition.
Here’s hoping Mitch will at least thrown in a few autopsy photos to sweeten the deal.
Batiuk’s Mug: a prominently-featured object which will probably factor into the story somehow, although probably not in the way anyone thinks it will.
And it’ll be way more disappointing than whatever anyone thinks.
Well that was a really round about way to end up with a cheap coffee mug. Whoever called the mug’s significance to the story earlier in the arc, congratulations!
The way Jessica is holding the gun reminds me of the plastic squirt guns my brother and I used to get at the dime store. They had the stopper in the back that you pulled out to put the water in, and sometimes I’d twirl the gun on my finger. I thought for a second Jess was going to start spinning it.
And of course, Mitchell is insulted that she doesn’t want his gift that he totally forgot he had.
Knox’s wild mood swings from curmudgeonly to smug to friendly and back again have been the most believable part of this arc for me. I HAVE met these kinds of antisocial weirdos before, people who wildly swing from desiring human connection to finding the whole thing exhausting and just wanting to retreat back into their nerd caves, to being lured out again by the promise to brag about their precious shinies, to being offended that other humans have opinions and wants different from them, all within a single conversation.
They make up about 5% of every Transformers convention I’ve ever been to.
Wow! We all want to go with you to these conventions!
I totally agree with this. I have encountered this personality type, and you’ve described them to a T.
For me, the character comes off more of a recognizable type because Ayres is interpreting a badly written character by putting a spin on it with the artwork. I suspect Batiuk can’t keep it straight from panel to panel who this guy is supposed to be; Ayres has decided to ramp it up with exaggerated body language, over-the-top facial expressions and eyebrows, eyebrows, eyebrows! It lends some dimension to the proceedings … far from being bad, I think it’s actually an appropriate attempt to insert characterization into something that would otherwise fall completely flat.
I’m Ayers’ harshest critic here, but I think you might be right. It’s hard to know without knowledge of how much info Batiuk gives Ayers to work with. However, smart money says Batiuk takes the laziest route possible and leaves most of the decisions to Ayers. The choice to heighten the facial expressions to the point of unhinged, unprovoked insanity turned out to be the best choice possible.
The plot of this arc caroms around more than an arcade pinball. More evidence that TomBa
Oh great, the strip’s morass of death is now seeping here. Can Jessica’s bloodlust be stopped?
I just can’t get past how this story did nothing for ten days, then went straight into tasteless, and now doesn’t realize it’s being tasteless. Nobody wants the gun their father was killed with, Tom Batiuk! WTF is wrong with you?
Notable how at the start of this twist, Jessica seemed fittingly shocked and mortified at see the gun that killed her father John Darling just hanging around this wackjob’s collection, but by the point she has it thrust upon her as a free souvenir, she’s holding it by a finger (in the most “make gun users cringe” sort of way) like it was a piece of trash, as if the early draft of this story was Mitchell giving her a tissue John Darling once blew his nose in or something.
I can see how her face was in the banner last week, it speaks volumes of how the strip fluxes through emotions and ideas on a whim, no matter how ridiculous.
Well, I guess Knox’s mission to not mention the autopsy photos succeeded.
In all seriousness I have no idea whether this plot is one day or six weeks away from being done. It’s been a while since I had so much no idea about what was kind-of happening.
I can’t believe that no one has checked to see if the gun is loaded. So many shootings occur when there is already a round in the chamber, and she’s got her finger through the trigger guard? Bad message, TB.
Things are just as nonsensical over in today’s ‘Shaft, folks, as we learn that when Masonne said he wanted to take Max and Hannah “out to dinner” so he could offer them the chance to run the Valentine into the ground a second time, what he meant was take them to…wait for it…Montoni’s. I mean, this is supposed to be occurring in Centerville, isn’t it? Couldn’t they have at least sealed the deal at the Dale Evans?
They just accepted real jobs at Channel One. Jobs with a guaranteed salary and benefits. They were welcomed with open arms.
Today they’re throwing it all away to retake running the Valentine Theater. A vocation they failed. If they fail this time, what the heck, try it again. The third times a charm, right?
I wonder if Tom Batiuk knows what it’s like to work in a real job. Sheesh!
No he does not. He lives a rarified life. And God bless him for that. But he really has no concept of working hard for results. Everybody ( meaning mostly Les!) gets handed awards that others have worked their butts off. (forgive my french!) The same for these 2. And this time it will be a massive success because Mr. Batiuk writes it that way. He has no concept of cause and effect. No concept of striving and failure. Failing and learning. Eve, mark my words. I predict, Someone will fund Funky money. He will reopen Montoni’s in New York, and it will be a tremendous success. Just because Mr. Batiuk can.
I am glad you mentioned Channel 1. These 2 have no loyalty. No appreciation for all the money Channel 1 spent on them.
Prologue: This boy needs some Jesus in his life because his mind is infected with devils…
1. Why is Mitch just giving this stuff away that he’s literally spent his entire adult life collecting?? Shouldn’t he be quoting her a price instead?
1a. Yes, as I already noted it’s because Mitch’s brain is a completely smooth hunk of Spam, and he can feel the constant chaos of ten thousand spiders crawling around the inside of his skull nonstop…
1b. I’m just grateful that Mitchell Knox hasn’t dug up the coffin or looted the corpse, or started talking about seeing Darling’s ghost regularly refilling a bird feeder and thank Christ he didn’t go full Norman Bates and there’s a stuffed and preserved John Darling waiting to be revealed somewhere — Because this storyline was clearly headed in that direction.
2. It’s funny because we’re at least a week past the point where Jess and Darren really should have said “This crazy ass bullshit isn’t worth it!” and walked out…
3. It’s funny because Jess can’t admit to herself and her husband that deep down she’s just as obsessed about this shit as Mitch and she has a similarly morbid fascination with her father’s life and especially his death…
That’s because Mitchell is just not an Excitable Boy!
The whole blasted thing could have been avoided and he would have looked less psycho if he’d just angrily handed her the mug in the first place. It’s as if Batiuk is making a PSA about the ‘right’ kind of loony fan. The wrong kind does what this guy does. The right kind has a sixty year temper tantrum because DC changed why The Flash runs at Ludicrous Speed.
…and because the 1966 Batman TV show didn’t take the character with enough solemn seriousness. Still chafes Batty’s butt to this day.
Especially how Cesar Romero refused to shave off his moustache for his role as the Joker, I’m sure.
Heaven forbid he realize how fundamentally absurd the idea of “rich man hunting the mentally ill for sport” is.
On a more serious note. I am fortunate that no one in my family has been murdered. The nearest that I have been was my next door neighbor, Rhonda. I had a crush on her when I was 12. She was murdered in California in her 20’s. But just this morning I was woken by a text. The brother of my sister-in-law died yesterday. He had been very I’ll. Life can be very, very short.
I accept wisdom from wherever the source. Such as the Wizard of Oz: Remember, my sentimental friend, a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.
Then also: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices.