Interesting how the gun is nowhere to be seen today, in the Sunday strip. Perhaps he felt it’d be inappropriate, as a lot of people see the Sunday funnies, as opposed to the daily ones, which no one sees. It’s certainly conspicuous by its absence, as it was, you know, the whole centerpiece of the entire story and all.
Even stranger is Mitchell declining to talk about comic books. I repeat: MITCHELL DOESN’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT COMIC BOOKS. This is unprecedented in Westviewian history. It’s never happened before, and it’ll surely never happen again. Whatever that Brady Wentworth did to ol’ Mitchell back in the day, it sure was effective. Now let’s hope we never, ever find out what that was, OK? Because I really don’t want to know.
51 responses to “Hello Darling, Nice To See You, It’s Been A Long Arc”
“And don’t show anyone that picture of me with an icky girl! It could get me kicked out of this strip!”
Batiuk’s Gun: The gun seen in the first act — wait, what gun? There is no gun. There never has been a gun. Gunless we have always been, and gunless we shall ever remain! Unless we need a gun later at some point for some reason, in which case the gun seen in the first act will reappear in, oh let’s say, the seventeenth. But there is no gun, AND THERE NEVER HAS BEEN.
And we have always been at war with Eastasia.
No! We have always been at war with Eurasia! Enemy agents sabotaged your post! It’s as obvious as 2+2=5!
Pass the Victory Gin, please.
It seems that writing for Batom Comics as a 12 year old (orwhateverageidon’tcare) was so awful he can’t even speak of it. And it apparently made him the creepy shape-shifting multi-personality obese loser dipshit that he is today. Cool. Here’s hoping we never learn anything about that and never hear from Mitchell Knox again.
As much as I’d love that to be the case, I have to believe that Mitchell will somehow resurface again before all is said and done. He’s just too specific. Remember, Chester was once a one-off obnoxious comic book weirdo, long before he became the benevolent comic book mogul. Buck appeared to be a one-and-done character before he returned to hit on Linda. Mason was a one-off struggling aspiring actor, Cliff was a creepy recluse, Phil was a caricature artist and dead, Ruby was something too. They all come back. Off the top of my head, the only one-off character who never returned was Lenny, Frankie’s reality show producer/henchman. And Boy Lisa’s weird, inexplicable half-sister, too. Although it’s not a comprehensive list or anything.
Oh, he’s got to come back. That bit about ‘autopsy photos’ is just such a well-planted seed for a whole tree of future storylines. Now on to two weeks of Principal Retired Guy Who Might Be Dead, I Forget moping about how nobody visits him anymore!
Of course, Buck does seem to have disappeared after Linda gave him the boot. And now Linda herself has mostly dropped off the map. Interesting to compare her and Les in that way.
Linda has joined up with Chien and Kevin to pursue a crime spree across the Ohio Valley proper.
I notice that T-Bats created a fictitious comic book company, named it after himself… and whenever we see or hear about it, the company’s sole distinguishing attribute is extreme levels of employee abuse. Hmm. Maybe we should be grateful Batty never started a company in real life.
I guess it makes sense that Jessica really wouldn’t want the gun that killed Her Father John Darling, so unless Boy Lisa hit it under his shirt they probably left it behind, sadly. Shame, it’s definitely more memorable than that damn mug.
“Leave the gun. Take the cracked mug.”
And how about some oranges, Don Vito?
I’d love it if she went to her mom’s house and found three or four of those mugs (uncracked) crammed in the back of a kitchen cabinet somewhere, rendering the creepy trip unnecessary except for now knowing where the gun used to murder her father is.
1. Do we even dare ask what alleged “things” Mitch has to do? Because he clearly ain’t got no job nor a life to speak of…
2. Oh, of course… Mitchell Knox is going to be the next high profile hire at Atomikkk Komixxx, isn’t he? No interview needed, forget about the fact that he hasn’t even drawn anything for 50 years, all he has to do is show up at the office and Chester will automatically put him on the payroll at $275,000 per year…
3. I find it impossible to believe that Knox’s name never came up once in all that research she supposedly did for that bullshit documentary…
I had assumed Mitch would join our lovably wacky Atomik Komix Krew as soon as they mentioned he had previously worked in comics. Really, why even mention that detail (and the biography clearly cribbed from Jim Shooter) if it’s not going to come into play later? That’d be fairly sloppy writing, and I’m realizing now that this is Tom Batiuk we’re talking about, and sloppy writing is practically his trademark, so… yeah, who even knows at this point?
There’s a new documentary about Patricia Highsmith, who wrote for comics before she turned to writing novels. (In *The Talented Mr. Ripley,* Tom Ripley is scornful of one of his victims because he’s a comic-book artist.)
I suppose we should be thankful that Batiuk isn’t looking to her life for inspiration (well, I was, but then I realized that I’d done the gay prom arc and had Roland become Rolanda, and anyway, *The Price of Salt* was a better title than *Carol,* and they should have kept it).
Maybe this is all a homage to “Strangers on a Train,” and we’re meant to see Mitchell Knox as Bruno Anthony (renamed from the book, where he’s Charles Anthony Bruno) and see Jessica and Darin Fairgood as, respectively, Ann Morton and Guy Haines.
Just because you read Asimov doesn’t mean you can’t also read Highsmith. (Asimov wrote mystery stories featuring the Black Widowers, remember.)
Back to Mrs. Trollope, who’s miserable in Cincinnati (you wouldn’t have liked Westview, ma’am).
Wait. I read that in the past year. Who’s the komix atist?
Oh poor sheltered Mitchell… telling folks you are giving away John Darling memorabilia is actually a GREAT way to get them to leave you alone. It’s like canned people repellant. Jessica and Durwood, unfortunately for Mitch, are the only two exceptions to this rule.
Man. I should have known that the whole darn thing would ultimately lead to BATOM COMICS. You know, as much as Tom Batiuk continually reminds us of John Darling, he also shows us how much he – simultaneously – couldn’t care less about him!
What makes him think that Jess and Durwood are especially eager to tell people they know him? I’d rather not admit to having met him so I should think that their lips are sealed.
My theory on why Knox’s mood changes from one panel to the next? Batiuk is setting him up as a victim of abuse at the old Batom Comics bullpen. However, once Knox is introduced to the saintly creators at Atomik Komix his Flicker Identity Disorder will clear right up and he’ll start churning out first issues of interchangeable Silver Age superheroes.
TomBa does love cranky recluses. This arc has echoes of the introduction of Cliff Anger. I wouldn’t be surprised to have Mitchell end up at Atomik Comix (through the miraculous intervention of St. Lisa the Cancer Chew Toy by way of Darin).
While we’re on the subject of reformed recluses, I haven’t been following Crankshaft closely, but I wonder if the reopening of the Valentine will feature a showing of the original Starbuck Jones serial so Cliff and Vera can make a cameo appearance and take Jff to breakfast at the Dale Evans.
No no NO! The Sacred Projector at the Valentine may only be used to show the Holy Film; that is, “The Phantom Empire.” Every night. Seven days a week. Forever and ever.
Today’s Funky Winkerbean seems to be a waste of a Sunday strip. More so than usual, anyway.
Jessica appears to have swiftly recovered from her near catatonic state.
Jessica: Goodbye, Mitchell. Let’s do this again sometime. Tee hee.
In today’s Crankshaft Dan Davis is recycling that goofy Masone face again. @Charles mentioned the face here on 9/12/2022. Masone looks totally blotto. Maybe that explains his purchase of the Valentine and rehiring the hapless Max and Hanna to run it again.
Artists recycling panels must be a thing lately. At Mary Worth & Me! Wanders has been highlighting June Brigman’s panel recycling all week. Some panels have been used as many as four times.
There’s a few aspects to being a daily newspaper comic strip artist which are very unenviable, and the strain on constantly making drawings which are ultimately seen by few and appreciated by fewer is at the top of that list. Not enough people really care about the quality behind the sketches – as long as it has a few talking heads, it’s basically good enough for readers and publishers alike.
I get why reuse happens. I don’t like it or condone it, but I get it. Sometimes the paper actually makes a point to remark that a stirp is being rerun due to a hiatus, and other times strips like Herb & Jamaal will rerun an entire week for no particular reason. Nobody really cares either way, so why not do it.
However, surely there could have been a different and better image of Mason to reuse than that one. It’s simian and punchable in its lackadaisical smugness.
I can understand that. It must be kind of heartbreaking to read readers critiquing your efforts in the comments.
I sometimes hate critiquing Ayer’s art. Compared to some comics (i.e. Six Chix), Chuck’s art looks like ‘The Creation of Adam.’
Dan Davis is a talented artist, but compare his current work to his work in 2018 when he first took over Crankshaft from Ayers. A noticeable difference to me.
Most times a comic strip can get away with reruns. It’s not so easy when the comic is popular. I recognized that noisy bird story arc last week in Zits right away. Zitsone of my faves.
As @Charles pointed out, that Masone face was drawn years ago by Chuck Ayers in Funky Winkerbean. If Dan Davis is going to cut and paste Mason from FW, why doesn’t he cut and paste Lois Flagstone from Hi & Lois?
That Masone face is awful. It reminds me of Pete Puma after having tea with Bugs Bunny.
Bugs Bunny: Hey Doc, how many lumps would you like with your tea?
Masone: Oh, three or four…
BAM BAM BAM BAM
As Robert Townsend reminded us, there’s always work at the post office.
Maybe Mitchell will die and leave all the John Darling memorabilia to Jessica?
Re: Crankshaft: Once again we have a Harrison Ford/Tom Cruise-level action star obsessively hanging around a depressed, one-stoplight Ohio town; once again we have characters fixating on fetish objects representing the past (in this case, an old film projector).
As he ages, Puff Batty leans further into plotlines and dialog that remind me of a 14-year-old’s fanfic. Just pure wish fulfillment with no interest in grounding it in any kind of reality.
“I’m sorry we had to take this detour past the middle school just as it’s letting out, Mr Styles,” said the chauffer. “Call me Harry,” replied Harry Styles from the back of the stretch limousine. “And — WAIT! STOP THE CAR!” The brakes screeched as the chauffer obeyed.
Harry flung open the door and ran up to one of the girls milling around outside the school. “YOU! You’re the most beautiful girl — no, the most beautiful THING I’ve ever seen in my life! Come, be my guest at the show tonight! I’m going to pull you on stage and tell the world that for the first time, I’M IN LOVE!”
“Who, m-m-me?” stammered Mary McGillicuddy, as Harry pulled her into the limo, closed the door, and began to shower her with kisses. Little had the other girls known, this morning when they had taunted her and called her an ugly, stupid reject with a uneven bangs, which wasn’t even true, and shoes from Payless, that by afternoon she would be engaged to Harry Styles….
Duck of Death: I just read your example to my 22 year old daughter who is a Harry fan. After she got done laughing, she said that it was an accurate representation of fanfic, and that smut level could range from tame to Fifty Shades level, depending on the writer.
And once again, this Crankshaft arc has basically doubled down on breaking from the time-skip difference between said strip and FW proper (on top of indirectly ensnaring the Funkyverse into the “no-one-ages” universe of Hi-n-Lois/Beetle Bailey, but arguably that happened already with the FW/Dick Tracy crossover). Combined with the “Class of 1972” whopper and this summer’s basically seeing the Funky timeline get torn apart for the sake of the most minor fan service.
I’ve always equated Masone to Chris Pratt. Chris was known for little other than Parks and Recreation until his career took off with Guardians of the Galaxy. Likewise, Masone’s acting career was nothing to brag about until Starsux Jones. My Dog Pookie, DinoDeer?
Kind of the same age, too.
You’re right, though. What’s Masone’s fascination with Centerville? You can’t even say he’s fascinated because it’s Cindye’s hometown.
Don’t tell me Batiuk is confusing Centerville and Westview now?
Batiuk: Centerville. Westview. Po-tay-o. Po-tah-to. Whatever.
That film projector reminds me of the one we had in elementary school. We were always horrified to see the damn thing wheeled into the classroom. The film would be something like The History of Dirt.
Bugger. The above comment was meant to be in reply to @Duck of Death’s comment immediately preceding it.
Wake up, eve.
Actual footage of BOEH watching a film in elementary school:
And next door, in Ms Krabappel’s class, more lucky students enjoy a “FILM”: https://youtu.be/U1iCZpFMYd0
Perhaps this will embed the link?
Worse was being volunteered by the teacher to operate the film strip projector. You had to stay awake to manually advance to the next frame every time the soundtrack beeped. It was like the Chinese water torture.😩
Burned the crap out of my hand on one of those things. Had to go to the nurses office to get it iced. Good times.
I had better teacher projectionists.
We watched “Donald Duck in MathMagic Land,” then Moody Bible Institute had a great film on bees, “Man without a Country, another one was a surreal story of Jesus as a clown crucified in a circus (weird, but wow was it good!). Eve, you should have gone to my schools. YaY!
We also watched the Donald Duck one. Disney’s “Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom” usually got shown once a year in music class during grade school. The kids liked that one. And about once a year, probably near the end of the school year, the upper grades would gather in the gym for a movie afternoon where they would roll the projector in and show a feature film. One year we saw one of the Disney “Herbie” movies and another time it was, of all things, “Bugsy Malone.”
In the classroom, I remember seeing more filmstrips than movies though. We watched bunches of those, but the only one I remember was another one from music class. It was a patriotic sing-along where each screen had a verse to an American tune. It was also an annual showing-enthusiasm for it waned as we got older and most kids got too cool to sing. But all four verses of the Battle Hymn of the Republic was on it, as well O Columbia the Gem of the Ocean-a song which to this day I have never heard outside of that classroom.
Good post, Mela!
“Buggy Malone” got my attention. I haven’t seen it, and was surprising to find out it is a musical gangster comedy. Even more surprising it stars Scott Baio.
“Columbia the Gem of the Ocean” is my favorite patriotic song. But I agree it is seldom heard.
Thanks! Bugsy Malone also had Jodie Foster in it. Such a bizarre topic for a kid’s movie, but I seem to remember it being enjoyable on some level.
I’m so jealous. We would have killed for Disney. The Wonderful World of Disney on TV Sunday nights was huge when I was in elementary school.
I think the teachers brought out the projector as punishment when we became too unruly. The entertainment value of the films was usually something on par with Soviet propaganda films. Ghastly stuff.
Oddly, on some Saturdays, the same school would show good films in the gym/cafeteria/band room/theater. The person who chose those movies was a real Ray Harryhausen freak. I remember ‘Jason and the Argonauts’, ‘The 7th Voyage of Sinbad’, and ’20 Million Miles to Earth.’ Kids love those movies.
“…on par with Soviet propaganda films. Ghastly stuff.” I snorted my Coca Cola!
I envy you. “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad” came out when I was a kid. We saw the giant 🦅 on commercials. But Mom and Dad didn’t want to take 5 kids to the theater or Drive-in even though we all watched the Hercules movies on Saturday nights. But ALL the neighborhood kids saw it. They told the entire plot in pieces to my brothers and me. I was captured by their stories. Finally saw the film in the 1990’s. Loved it. At the same time, watched “Jason and the Argonauts.” Here is a tidbit. The actor playing Hercules is also the British Top Sergeant in “Zulu.”
Now Eve, if you haven’t seen “Zulu”, can you honestly claim to be educated?
Yup. Seen ‘Zulu’ and its prequel ‘Zulu Dawn’.
I is edjumacated. I lernt lots o’ stuff.
Did you know Michael Caine’s first major film role was in ‘Zulu’?
I primarily remember Nigel Green as Nayland Smith in one of those Fu Manchu movies. He had purdy eyes.
I enjoyed both Zulu films also. I loved the scene of the final battle. The Zulu warriors are chanting, and the British break out with their own song, “Men of Harlech.” Very powerful.
My understanding was the Zulu leader was not going to attack Rorke’s Drift. But a secondary leader missed the previous day British disaster. He wanted his own glory, and marched on the Drift. Kinda like the Brit’s own Alamo with better results. I am not certain that I noticed any purdy eyes 👀
(It’s amazing what can be discussed on this website. I really learn a lot. It’s like I is getting edjumacated.)
Centerview and Westview are essentially same place, except for a few old farts. Anyone from out of town thinks they’re the same.
I’m telling you: a year from now, Funky Winkerbean will be a daily autopsy photo, like Slylock Fox for coroners.
1. Yeah, Masone… Because I can assure you that there’s no old timey theaters just like this in Los Angeles that you could have bought into…
2. “I want to show FILMS and not mere MOVIES!!” is the kind of bullshit jibberish people spew when they’re trying to fool others into thinking they’re some kind of highbrow intellectual wannabe film school professor… But of course it’ll work on this bunch of idiot yokels…
2a. When did such a shallow dimwit like Masone become such a passionate aficionado? And if he really has some pretentious hardline vision about what “the people” need to see (whether they realize it or not) why doesn’t he get into directing? He certainly has the clout to make it happen…
2b. Or he could have just built his own goddamned old-timey home theater in his massive Malibu mansion and been done with it.
3. It’s funny because the highbrow audience that might actually appreciate this shit does not exist nor has it ever existed in Centerville, aka The Federal Republic of Beerbratistan… There’s no artists community (that isn’t related to comics) for a 200 mile radius! There’s no hipster kitsch community to speak of and hell, there isn’t even a major university anywhere in the region… So tell me, unless the Valentine is going to start showing grainy films of Ohio State Buckeyes football, who is coming to this theater??