Author Archives: beckoningchasm

A Dose of Clapboard

Link to today’s strip.

Look at Les in the masthead. He’s really punchable today. His expression seems to say “Hm, I sure hope everyone is noticing that I am a genius, and really super sensitive. Maybe if I stand like this…”

Oh, let’s just cut to the chase. Criswell Predicts: Lisa’s Story will open at the Valentine. (It’ll premier between stripper acts.) It’ll be a massive critical success, but only earn a mild box office return. Because no one can appreciate a story of this depth and breadth. It may ruin someone’s career–I’m betting Marianne Winters, because of the parallels. She might have to move in with Mason and Cindy! No, no, that would involve drama. More than likely she’ll hole up in a tiny terrible apartment for sixty or seventy years. Also, the Valentine will have to close again because pity-fest (“Say, people turned out for that Lisa movie. Maybe we should run another movie. How about Radio Ranch?”)

Blah blah blah…these two weeks have been a slog. Les stories are almost always rough going, especially since “Lisa’s Story” can’t be far behind. And when it’s not just Les and his angst, but people fawning over him–ecch. Every day ends with a Tums festival.

Any time Batiuk thinks he’s heading into award bait, it gets ponderous. Look at this arc: it’s a party, for goodness sake, it should be light and fun, instead it’s like watching people rot into skeletons. I recognize that Batiuk feels “Lisa’s Story” should have won him acclaim, but it didn’t, and it’s time for him to stop congratulating himself, and stop demonizing the forces that (he thinks) didn’t “get it.”

Ahem, pardon me. As for today, the main thing that strikes me (since it’s front-and-center) is the clapboard in panel four. I think it’s supposed to be a clever allusion to the date of the strip–and it’s correct as far as month and day go. But what does “16” refer to? The film stock used to make this terrible, terrible movie?

Speaking of Marianne Winters, here she is, standing really close to Mason…and Cindy’s nowhere to be seen. Are we gonna get another jealous explosion? Ah, probably not, as that would detract from Lisa’s Story and, more importantly, Les.

And, that is it for me folks. Tune in tomorrow, when your host will be the lovely and gracious Epicus Doomus. See you then!

Links: cat in a dilemma (of its own making).

Cat is fascinated by straw.

Animation: an oldie but a goldie, Henry Eats.

61 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

“What Did Come Up Was Lunch”

Link to today’s strip.

I have a slight bit of sympathy for Tom Batiuk regarding panel two–he does, after all, have to remind people who don’t read the strip what’s going on. It sure seems like an awkward word salad that no human being would ever say out loud, though.

Mainly, the idea I guess is to give Les a moment where he can be falsely humble. It doesn’t work; there is no way that Les Moore can even pretend he never thought he was awesome. Don’t even try to make him likeable, Batiuk; you’ve created the most loathsome character in all of fiction. Own it.

36 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

Together Again for the First Time

Link to today’s strip.

I thought Les had already met Cliff and Vera, but then I thought that Les had nothing to do with Starbuck Jones, so maybe he didn’t meet them before.

So, they’re meeting now. Fine. Make another movie from it, “Les Moore Meets The Killer Klowns From Outer Space.”

Oh, and thanks Batiuk (via Cayla) for telling us how we’re supposed to regard this joke. Just for the record, it’s not cute. It’s not even clever. It barely recognizes as an attempt at humor.

And that’s why these two fossils are here, right? Who wants to bet they never make another appearance during this week? Batiuk just came up with a pun and had to shove it in here.

I could think of a better place he could have shoved it.

73 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

Props for the Props

Link to today’s strip.

I’ve seen a few YouTube clips of conventions where the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation appear, and one of the things they would mention is asking the costume department if they could have their uniforms–especially during the last season, when the show was winding down.

And the costuming department always said “No.” So the brave men and women of the United Federation of Planets would…steal them. Yeah, it goes against the Prime Directive, but I always gave it a pass, since these roles were what gave these folks their careers, so why not grab a souvenir?

The great thing about today’s episode is that, aside from reminding me of the generally entertaining ST:TNG, it also shows that Mason knows how to operate.

It’s day two of “Yeah, we were just going to throw these in the trash, but then we thought, ‘Hey, we could give these to that shmuck Les,’ and we knew you’d be all OMG and squee and like that. And you wouldn’t even notice that as soon as we gave you this crap, everyone at the party would leave to go to the real party. Wait a minute…did I just say all that out loud?” How many times is Les going to be given gifts and praise? Wait–don’t answer that.

It also seems to illustrate Charles‘ observation from Tuesday, Mason’s “speech is just three random statements that have little if anything to do with one another.” “Thanks for the souvenir,” “When we get drunk enough, we steal things.”

And more fetishizing the death props in panel three. This strip is really unhealthy.

43 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

Trolling for Towels

Link to today’s strip.

More praise for the awesomeness of Lisa’s Story and its author, the worst human being on the planet. I could pull the “Badges” quote from yesterday, but honestly it just isn’t worth it.

That should be the Funky Winkerbean motto: It just isn’t worth it.

Maybe on Monday, Mason was talking about Les’ cameo. They’re certainly treating it as if it was the single most important aspect of the production.

Of course, it’s not exactly ringing praise…”Well, we finished the movie about how you agonized and suffered over your feelings while, uh, it says here your wife died. Because of this powerful and emotional experience, we’re giving you this towel.”

41 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

Wheelhouse of Pain

Link to today’s strip.

Author: What is the law?

Mason Jarr: Les Moore is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life, that is the law. Are we not men?

FW Cast (in unison): Are we not men?

Author: What is the law?

Mason Jarr: No Tom Batiuk has ever made a mistake or distorted information. He is, by any practical definition of the words, foolproof and incapable of error, that is the law. Are we not men?

FW Cast (in unison): Are we not men?

Author: What is the law?

Mason Jarr: Research? We ain’t got no research. We don’t need no research. I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ research, that is the law. Are we not men?

FW Cast (in unison): Are we not men? We sure aren’t Devo.

53 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

Sentencing The Construct

Link to today’s strip.

I think the original intent here was that Mason would say the production survived various disasters, and Les’ remark was meant to categorize his cameo among said disasters. It’s typical of this strip’s style of “humor,” which is either self-depreciation or a dreadful pun. It’s also typical in that it turns real life suffering into a moment for a horrible person (Les, in this case) to smirk about how he sure suffered too.

But the way Mason’s sentence is built, it sure looks like Les is claiming his cameo is “stellar work.” In which case, ego much, douchebag? Your cameo took take after take, frustrated and angered everyone involved, and actually drove up the budget.

If that’s not the case, then once again Tom Batiuk is taking overweening pride in that which does not exist: his writing ability. He could have taken an extra five minutes and constructed Mason’s dialogue to fix the “joke.” Conversely, I suppose his editors could have fixed it for him, but they’re too busy having a picnic with Bigfoot and Mothman.

47 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

The Happy Masses

Link to today’s strip.

So, it’s another Sunday strip that adds nothing, but takes up a bunch of space.

The main thing I find of interest is the last panel, where Mason apologizes to Les, because “keeping the masses happy” is “a thing now.” Hasn’t it always been?

Dunno how to tell you this, Mason, since you’re apparently a dimwit and cannot learn new things, but “keeping the masses happy” is a major part of the motion picture industry. (Not so much in the comic strip industry, I guess.) Every studio wants their productions to be seen by as many people as possible.

Of course, Lisa’s Story is an Important Art House Film Designated (By The Author, Not The Critics, And Not The People) For Greatness, so naturally it won’t make the masses happy, and it will not be a popular or financial success. It’s just too special for the ordinary dullards who slog back and forth on this planet. Look at them, they pay their bills, they buy their Egg McMuffins, they sometimes drive to the lake so they can eat sandwiches, they might laugh at those late night TV hosts if they’re not too exhausted after their mundane days. *Shudder*

This is yet another manifestation of Batiuk’s idea that people do not know what’s good for them, they do not seek quality art that shows how a super-sensitive man reacts to his wife’s death (and finds fame thereof), but instead are happy to watch Chris Pratt do handstands in a Burger King parking lot while the soundtrack belts out something about “Cartoon Heroes” or maybe Hobbits and Isengard.

“Keeping the masses happy” is the lowest thing a “creative” person can do. (It’s certainly not the way to *cough* win awards, which should be the focus of anyone who dares to call himself an “artist.”) Look to the Oscars: If a movie is popular and is a big financial success, it’s not winning any awards in today’s movie industry.

The people who make movies, though, would love to make the masses happy. It’s how they make their money. I bet, back in the day, they even hoped Radio Ranch would be a smash hit, rather than a future relic fetishized by aging cartoonists.

One other detail here is very, very telling. In the third panel from the end, Mason mentions that the film is based on Les’ life. Not Lisa, but Les. It would have been easy to substitute the word “book” for “life,” but I guess sometimes Batiuk’s ego gets the better of him.

As long as I’m linking crap, why not link this. It’s wonderfully melancholic and yearning at the same time. Heck, it’s Saturday night, I’ll link everything that–oh hello, officer, no, I was just moving on, thank you!

44 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

Tears of a Clod

Link to today’s strip.

I find it very difficult to feel any sympathy for Cayla. She has chosen a life of slavery, and if you think saying that is in bad taste, sorry, but that is exactly what she is in this strip. She’s the third partner in a menage a trois.

The whole relationship (I can’t call it a “marriage”) between Les and Cayla is in very poor taste. Believe it or not, women happen to be people too, and they have wants and desires that have nothing to do with making sure the husband is an object of worship.

This is just bad, all around. This isn’t how human beings act. This is how monsters act.

49 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

Friday the 13th – Jason Takes Ipecac

Link to today’s strip.

In honor of the date, let’s hope Jason Vorhees shows up and butchers the entire cast. Then he turns his machete on the Lisa’s Story. It could certainly use some cutting–I thought this was supposed to be a trailer, not a rough cut of the whole film.

Once again, we’re going through the same stuff. I guess Batiuk thinks people will be touched by this, but the truth is, it’s as boring as it could possibly be. Lisa is so thoughtful, so observant of life all around her, and so in touch with her feelings, and so perfect in every way that she’s as dull as Les.

Lisa’s Story is going to be the most boring movie ever made. Of course, in the Funky Winkerbean universe, it will be praised to the skies as a–no, the–defining moment in the history of cinema.

Why not just go to the awards shop in town and have the folks make up a bunch of them for you?

You might also have them make you a timecode.

47 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky