Link to today’s strip.
So we get most of a week of Les spitting weak jokes at a bunch of parents, and then we…cut to the grand finale. No scenes of boarding the bus, no hijinks along the way, nothing with the hotel, or anything having to do with Washington DC. (Yeah, sure, the White House is mentioned. Mentioned.) All we get is two panels of a miserable looking bunch of people (Owen aside) staring dead-eyed into the distance.
And…that’s it. Yes, that’s all of it. That’s the entire senior trip. This way to the egress. That’s all she wrote. Th-th-th-th-that’s all folks! Finito Binito (sic).
This is pretty unprecedented for this strip. Hell, the simplest, most mundane tasks typically require several days of strips. Wedgeman’s ring comes to mind. Here, Tom Batiuk has willingly skipped over a potential couple of weeks. Not that I’m complaining, exactly–I imagine that a fortnight trapped on a bus with Les Moore would be sheer torture. Worse than stabbing a coloring book.
No, it is a relief to be spared all this. It just begs the question. How is he going to reach the 50th anniversary by passing up material?
There’s only one plausible answer, and we all know what that is.
He had to wrap this up so he could get back to Starbuck Jones. I mean, it’s increasingly clear that Starbuck Jones is all he cares about in this strip (and it’s creeping up in Crankshaft, too). He must know by now that Les Moore as “beloved character” is never going to happen. That seems to be why he’s pushing Starbuck Jones so relentlessly, even to the point of cutting off a Les arc.
So, next week I’m guessing we’ll get more people talking about Starbuck Jones. Not really doing anything–I think the bus scene exhausted his “show” abilities–but talking about how things might happen. His “tell” abilities are always at the ready.
Next week we’ll see if I’m right.
Link to today’s Sensible Chuckle
It’s an Act I-style high school gag, and not too bad in it’s own inoffensive aw-shucks kind of way. Notice that the intern must be drawing Alex again today because she’s back to being a chubby goth cutie instead of the horrific middle-aged fat nun who regularly graces the dailies.
I am sorta dreading the reappearance of Professor Shlabotnick or whatever the hell name Bats gives Mark Twain there. Seems we just got done with a week of crappy jokes from our old paisan’ Tony – I’m not up for a series of gags that were rejected by Henny Youngman for being too stupid.
…yet how the plot crawls. We’re back at Komix Korner today, where T-Bats has managed the smoothest of segues in order to steer our attention back to Starbuck Jones – the comic he really wants to publish if only it weren’t for these meddling kids. And lo! Pete announces to DSH John that filming starts next week in Cleveland! Seems like only a couple of weeks ago he was bitching about how there were so many rewrites he’d never get done with it. Brace yourself, folks, it looks like we’re in for a long summer’s trudge through the making of Starbuck Jones. At least we can count on some laughs as T-Bats displays his bollixed-up notions of how filmmaking works.
As for the AV Club, last week they were all over that big-ass Wedgeman ring, but today in their Safe Place, they’re chillin over a cool game of… Bingo?? Really? Whatever you say, Tom, you’re the drawing the game board.
Aw, check it out, a sight-gag! Much like a exploding vacuum cleaner or face full of chimney soot, at least this is a comic I understand. Today’s comic still has those rascals obsessing over Wedgeman’s ring. It’s unhealthy. And hopefully Wedgeman’s main squeeze finds a better way to support that massive chunk of metal or coach is going to have to come over to rehab her back.
Today’s strip give us one last chance to catch up with this rag-tag group of Westview misfits before sailing off into the sunset, other than the obvious matter of the Comix Corner and Montoni’s being the only places of employment in town so they’re bound to end up there. Late in the game, Tombat’s introduced us to the twin sisters that could conceivably shoulder the responsibility of being the students FW focuses on for the next five to eight years.