Nice of Mason to let Les know that their film project has drawn an Oscar nom for its leading lady. And kinda nervy of Cayla to denigrate “Lisa’s Story: The Movie” in front of Les. And speaking of nomineeds, a note to our Comic Book Harriet: we already have our first candidate for Most Punchable Les face in panel 3.
The waiter has fetched the…uh, red champagne, and the discussion turns to the rest of the Best Actress field. Which for some reason consists of only two other actresses, when IRL there are five Best Actress nominees. We should be grateful that Batiuk’s given the pair names which are actually plausible sounding, and not jokey or punny (before I wrote that, I had to say “Cordelia Rama” out loud, ten times fast, to be sure).
Is Mason being coy when he claims to “forget” who the other nominees are? Also, someone please come up with a tag we can use where, in the last panel, one character delivers the punchline, and another character chimes in with a gratuitous rejoinder (never mind, I just came up with a tag!) that adds nothing to the joke. In this case it’s Mason’s “Nope!” Unless he’s grown tired of Marianne’s mesh mask meanderings, and instead is excited about the upcoming horror flick from Jordan Peele.
J.J. O’Malley February 20, 2022 at 10:54 pm
[A]t what point in this week’s proceedings will the paparazzi show up at the restaurant to snaps photos of Ms. Winters and Mr. Jarre canoodling in their private booth, with the resultant publicity throwing Cindy into a violent, shoe-throwing fit of jealousy and sending Marianne on a nighttime visit to the Hollywood sign for a cord-free bungee jump?
This friendly luncheon between the two costars does seem to be taking a decidedly datelike turn: Mason’s arm is now around or at least behind Marianne, and he orders another “calamaro” and some champagne. Wonder what they bring you at Musso and Frank when you order champagne without first perusing the wine list? Especially when you tell your waiter “You can bring us a bottle of champagne” like he’s the butler.
When Mason’s right, folks, he’s right: Unless you consume it by the gallon, choosing Champagne over wine or beer represents the diet option. Sort of. A small flute of brut Champagne…is usually 80 to 100 calories, fewer than in a [6 oz.] glass of wine and far healthier than a pint of beer. –Guy Kelly, “5 reasons Champagne is surprisingly good for you,” New York Post, December 9, 2015
Oh good grief, Batiuk, learn to write. That sentence in panel two is atrocious. Any teacher would mark that like crazy, with a note, “Don’t see me after class, you should just drop out of school.”
Let’s give it a second chance.
Far better than the original. (Can’t really do much about the berserk expression on the guy’s face, though.)
And don’t get me started on Dinkle’s dialogue. “Repeating the sign in front of me, with a question mark added? I really do think my readers are a highly polished set of dimbulbs, don’t I!”
There is one bright spot in today’s episode: Dinkle’s usual skull-grin is missing, replaced by a face full of melting sorrow. Then it gets ruined with what looks like his most smug expression ever in the last panel.
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.
I think a considerable amount of time has passed between yesterday’s strip and today’s strip, because I’m pretty sure everyone today is three sheets to the wind and that Chester is holding the group’s 17th bottle of color-changing champagne (Also, Durwood changed his shirt). The only other explanation for “hobnailing” is that Flash is going full Crankshaft-mode here, and I refuse to believe that because the mere thought makes me physically ill. There is no explanation for everything Pete is doing regardless of the circumstances.
Back at the Dinkle home (which has been repainted at some point in the last three weeks) we find Harry and Harriet joined by daughter Halle, and some fella whom we’ve not met. From the way his right arm seems to disappear behind Halle, he’s either her amputee fiancé or a heretofore off-panel conjoined twin. The last place Halle Dinkle was spotted was at her parents’ 50th anniversary pizza party, but the character was created by Batiuk for the National Association for Music Education (she’s a music educator like her dad). This most niche of comics heroine has her own shrine here at SoSF.
On behalf of all of us who bring you Son of Stuck Funky, here’s to a peaceful and joyous Thanksgiving to you and yours!
Oh yay, just what any story needs, Manic Pete. Of course it was just a matter of time before Pete, and then Darrin, and inevitable Harry and John are out in Hollywood involved in all this for some reason. How many imaginary movie titles do you think Batiuk has? I picture a sheet of paper in his studio with a “Batom Cinematic Universe” breakdown of 20+ titles, involving the Inedible Pulp, Rip Tide, Wayback Wendy, and heck, he’d probably have Lisa’s Story tie into it too. It still just baffles my mind how much time has been spent on Starbuck Jones, and how we’ve seen basically nothing of it beyond a few titles and covers Batiuk got someone else to draw. I do love how weary Les looks in the first panel. Poor guy. Look at all he’s been through. Getting a vanity cameo in the movie he’s being paid no doubt way too much money to option. And now he’s having to drink wine on a couch with the hot blonde girl from school he still has the hots for. Why can’t anything ever go his way?
If you told me Batiuk was somehow writing this crap without even noticing what he was writing, I would totally believe you. Who, after being told the movie was about someone dying of cancer, would ask what the hook is and if there’s a good twist? She dies. That’s the hook, for some reason. What’s supposed to hook you in is watching someone die. And the twist is that she dies.
And Mason’s responses have nothing to do with Cass’s question. Darin wasn’t a twist or a hook, he was a boring time wasting plot device to add more melodrama. And “testifying before Congress” is neither a hook nor a twist
And how many more days of Mason being smarmy for some reason and Les being annoyed are we going to get? I know the answer is “far too many”. It’s funny how after years of being presented as just the coolest actor ever all of a sudden Mason is a Hollywood jackass, for some reason.