Author Archives: beckoningchasm

It’s Just the Wasted Years So Close Behind

Link to today’s strip.

So:  this makes a walloping four times a strip has been unavailable for preview during my latest hosting period.  That’s gotta be a record of some kind.

Of course, two of those times were Sundays, and Sunday’s strips are always unavailable for preview.  Because why should he give us time to point out the shortcomings practically leaping all over his work?

Over at Shankcraft, for example, Apple Annie is about to sign her first author:  Lillian.  But–

–didn’t Ann have Les as a client?  It seemed only a short eternity ago that Lillian was hosting Les’ launch party for his book about John Darling, who was murdered.  I thought the story was, Les, seeing as he and his book were both garbage, tossed his manuscript into the trash (where it belonged, and where it was happy*).  Ann, then a bag lady, fished it out (making it unhappy) and got it published (terrifying it), thus leading to the greatest display of egomania ever shown on the comics page.  Way to go, Ann.  Thanks (said all sarcastic-like).  But no, apparently continuity is for losers if you can score cheap points about schizophrenia.  It’s supposed to be touching, but it shoots right past maudlin and treacly and lands right in the middle of gorge-rising.

Why is it that Tom Batiuk is completely incapable of creating sympathetic characters?  Does he think, “Well, she’s got a terrible mental condition, readers will love her, because they won’t dare not!”?  Someday I’d like to ask him about his methods, and I don’t mean that as something nasty.  I’m honestly curious about how his mind works.

Anyway, based on what’s coming next week (trust me, it’s not a superpower anyone wants), I’m thinking Sunday will be a stand-alone strip.  I’m going to take stab and guess Funky’ll be in it.  But who knows?  All we can really say is that it will be uninteresting in every aspect.

And speaking of next week, my time in the chamber of horrors has come to an end, for now, so please give a warm welcome to your next host, snarker extraordinare Epicus Doomus!

*I have an idea about a children’s book, about a manuscript that knows it’s bad, and wants to be thrown away, but it keeps getting passed from hand to hand until it’s published.  It has a happy ending, in that no one buys it and the author never tries again.  Does anyone have Ann Apple’s phone number?

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Perish the Prat

Link to today’s strip.

Okay, that envelope looks as thick as one holding five (or so) pieces of paper.  Definitely less than ten.  Since Dullard was going to send “some” of Atomik Komix (gah) latest issues to Jessica, what exactly are they producing in that office?  I’m thinking, something not really worth the effort to print and mail.

Which leads me to this.  I’ve got the persistent feeling the whole Atomik Komix (gahk!) scenario is nothing more than a fever dream concocted by Dullard, who is currently in a coma in some hospital room.  Jess pushed him out the window when she discovered he was going to waste needed money on the Flash Museum (or selling comic book art to benefit Lisa), and he fell three stories.  Unfortunately for all of us, he landed on his least vulnerable spot–his head–and instead of dying instantly, he has been on life-support since.  Jess and Skyler have long since abandoned him, and are living life to the fullest in LA, while he lies in bed dreaming of comic books.

Oh, and this is bad news for Pete, since that means Mindy’s affection for him is also imaginary (which it would be in the real world).

As for the art, I put it to you that Dullard in panel 2 is just as stranglable as Les was last Sunday.  In fact, I’m having a hard time resisting my throttling hand….  MUST CRUSH MONITO

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Seven Years (In One Night)

Link to today’s strip.

See, this is what happens when you half-ass it.

Tom Batiuk had this hilarious joke about how only old people use the post office, but he lost that joke somewhere on his desk, so we got this one instead:

Because it might have been “okay” if the length of time was a week, or a month, but if it was a year?  Man, the laughs just don’t stop.  Mainly because they never start.

The problem seeps in when we look at what he wrote on the 31st of July.

So, the “always like” seems to imply that he’s done this more than once.  But the “this year” above seems to imply that he only does it once a year or so.

Which means that Jessica is still in Los Angeles, while Dullard has been in Cleveland for a year.

Or, what I think is more likely, Jessica has jettisoned his sorry ass and is living a successful life elsewhere, and Dullard just likes to “pretend” he has a relationship.

Either way, it makes Dullard look bad, so thumbs up from me!

PS:  Speaking of artwork, it almost looks like Commissioner Gordon from the Tim Burton Batman movies checking his watch, and is that Chuck Ayers himself in the beard?

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Waiting in Line at the River Styx

Link to today’s strip.

Well, Dullard’s li’l quip would have been quite the knee-slapper…in 1998, say.   Nowadays, it reads a lot like Pluggers.   Actually, it reads like a school-assigned book one has to write a report on for homework; yes, that dull.   Yes, everyone uses email, but there are still long lines at the post office?  For something people rarely use?  Is this the joke?

It reminds me of Mel Brook’s old joke about two old ladies in a restaurant.  “The food here is so terrible!”  “Yes…and such small portions!”  Except that, you know, that’s actually humorous.  (Edit:  Apparently that was Woody Allen.  Whoops!)

Art-wise, well, we sure have a nice line of decrepit folks depicted here (and yes, I’m including Dullard).  Nice to see Walt from the nursing home out and about.  And if you’re wondering why the old guy in the brown striped shirt looks seriously pissed off, well, it’s obvious: he’s been standing next to Dullard for a while now, having to listen to some truly moronic “observations.”   I’m normally a pretty easy-going person out in public, but even I’d probably turn around and say, “Hey, pal, can you pipe down a little?  I’m trying to listen to the Muzak.”

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The Third Entry is When the Quality Drops

Link to today’s strip.

Folks, you’re not going to believe this, but for the third time during this stint, the strip is unavailable for preview!   Now, don’t worry, don’t worry–everyone please, just remain calm.   Your entertainment will be guaranteed by the Department of Redundancy Department, and the Natural Guard.  Just proceed, calmly,  down to the ticket booth and ask for Principal Poop and he will cheerfully, and decidedly, refund the unused portion of the money you spent to attend tonight’s episode.   Because here at Son of Stuck Funky, it’s a fair for all, and no fare to anybody!

I know Tom Batiuk thinks highly of his own work–he’s always giving himself award nominations, after all–but he really treats this stuff like it’s rare jewels, unfit for unveiling before a crass and ignorant public (those people who–gah–prefer attempted entertainment to underthought polemic) until he absolutely has to display his wares.   I’m sure he washes his hands after clicking “Send.”

I put it to you that a person proud of the effort he put into his work wouldn’t hesitate to display it.   A person who, on the other hand, is ridden with cynicism and resentment, and puts the bare minimum of effort required in order to cash a check, would likely not draw attention to what he produces.  Not naming any names or anything.

And if I had to guess, I’d say we have more “words spoken” between Dullard and Peeved.  Because I ain’t gonna call it “witty dialogue” when it’s nothing like that.

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The New Post Office Arc!

Link to today’s strip.

Chuck Ayers is back doing the art, at least for this week, and his stuff is much better rendered than Buchett’s has been lately.  It’s still not what I would call good, but it at least looks like effort was put into it.

It’s amazing that Tom Batiuk has so much going on that he has to farm the artwork out to three different people, yet he can’t concoct an engaging storyline to save his life.  Take this one–so Dullard is off to the post office.  I remember one time someone went to the post office, and it blew up!  “USA!  USA!”  The last time Dullard went, though, he took weeks to open a letter.   I doubt we’ll get any explosions this time around.

These characters have the astonishing super-power of being totally boring at all times.  I’d rather see Funky at the gym.

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On Monday the Angels Start Weeping

Link to today’s strip.

Monday begins a new cycle, so today’s strip was not immediately available.  I’m going to guess we’re going to get more Cliff Anger garbage, because Batiuk seems particularly fond of that of late.  Of course, ever since Becky’s mother was left on top of a scissor-lift many years ago, I’ve learned not to be too sure of my predictions.

According to the dialogue yesterday, Cindy actually won an Emmy for her Cliff Anger documentary.  I ought to find this surprising for a number of reasons.  For one thing, I’m not sure an internet gossip site really qualifies, but never mind that.  I don’t know the rules for the Emmys.  The fact that Cindy learned nothing about Cliff (her viewers learned nothing either) makes me wonder about the quality of the work, and why it was thought award-worthy.  All we saw was people sitting in chairs chatting.   Probably Baituk shares the same low-level contempt for television that once marked one as “sophisticated,” and he feels that there are no significant awards unattached to comic books.  And of course, Cindy won and accepted her award entirely off-stage (that oughta show ‘er).

Still, I keep thinking the award was announced thusly:  “And the award goes to….Cindy Jarre, for Six Decades of Idiocy: The Cliff Anger Story!  Congratulations, Cindy, you’ve won the Emmy Award for Best Chairs!”

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