Real impressive snowplow there, Pulitzer (nominated once fifteen years ago, did not win) Boy. That thing looks like a death trap. Given the five months of total whiteout blizzard conditions in that town, you’d think they’d have a few real trucks. And why is Cayla screaming? Les is going to totally ruin his $1500 car by plowing through that snowbank. And for what? Christmas jazz played by elderly dementia patients? Bah, humbug, I say. Cayla’s reaction is all out of proportion to what’s actually happening here, which is a whole lot of nothing.
Great Moments In FW Arc Recap History
March 1-7, 2020
Dinkle shares with Becky that he has been reading a book about squirrels.
The instantly forgotten, one week, totally random arcs, now those were the real challenge. Anyone can snark on Bull dying or Marianne getting cancer while playing Lisa in a movie, but the arcs like these, those were the ones that put you to the test. By Wednesday you’re totally out of squirrel and/or nut puns, but there’s a post to do, and you gotta come up with something. And it’s tough, because Becky and Dinkle are still talking about squirrels. Every SoSF guest host, and the regular commenters too, know exactly what I mean. Sometimes it was like he was daring us to just give up and stop reading the strip altogether.
SIGH. It’s still going. Jessica, a born and bred Westviewian, doesn’t understand nerdy collectors? Puh-LEEZE! Not buying that, even for a second. Her husband owns a Flash treadmill, for crying out loud. This is just plain lazy writing, and BatYam should be ashamed of himself. If he had any capacity for that, I mean.
Another robin’s egg blue car. I’m assuming that a container ship full of knock-off Estonian cars washed up on the Ohio shores back in 2002 or so, and everyone grabbed one. And that car would NEVER pass New Jersey’s stringent auto emissions standards, that’s for sure. I mean, no one would notice or even care, but you’d never get a clean inspection sticker driving around in that thing.
So where in God’s name could this arc possibly be going from here? Will Boy Lisa find some local weirdo who repairs cracked coffee mugs, thus preserving John Darling’s (Jessica’s father) legacy forevermore? Will he use the gun to wrest control of Atomik Komix away from the geriatrics? I don’t know, but I do know it’ll be stupid in ways that none of us are capable of accurately forecasting, and that is a 100% certainty.
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.
There really isn’t a ton of actual content here to snark on. Two people arrive at their destination, ring a doorbell, and wonder if someone is home-but he is! What interests me most about this strip is that it’s yet another example of how nobody in the Batiukverse ever calls or emails anyone, they just show up at the house of a stranger they’ve been told is odd without giving any kind of advance notice. I guess it’s meant to be more interesting or dramatic, but it’s always kind of funny to me.
I am looking forward to tomorrow’s strip. “You don’t know us, but this guy you worked with decades and decades ago told us you have something we want and gave us your address . . . “
Aaaaaand just like that, the teeter tooter pivots and suddenly I’m annoyed again. All the Holly relatability of the last three days evaporates in a puff of smoke because REALLY?
This drivel should be coming out of Les’ mouth. Not only is he a self-important sad-sack always eagerly searching for a way to inject pathos into the most mundane situations, but he also was actually bullied and teased in high school. And the fact that he took a job at the same school district so that he could constantly re-traumatize himself is perfectly in character for Les Moore. He’s just the kind of insufferable pseudo-intellectual that thinks pain is somehow more real than joy, and so seeks it out.
But Holly? Holly, you were a popular and well liked HOMECOMING QUEEN who seemed to take being regularly set on fire with carefree joy. You were so self-confident (and dumb) you didn’t even realize when you were being teased.
Maybe I’m missing a subtle turn in her characterization somewhere between where Vintage FW has gotten to on CK and the end of Act I. But while I’ll buy that a plump middle-aged Holly might be a little daunted tonight, wondering who she hasn’t seen in 40 years might have jetted to Westview to judge her weight gain and dough slinging husband, I don’t buy for A SECOND that she was nervous every day she showed up at High School in full majorette attire.
And, news alert Holly. THAT ISN’T THE SAME BUILDING.
Crazy Harry seemed to remember and reference it earlier this year, when he made sure to take a walk down to ‘the old high school’ during his off-gassing time travel adventure.
I think it’s symbolic of this strip as a whole that Batiuk tried to move on by tearing down the old building 15 years ago, and obviously regrets it now. He wishes he still had the thematic through line. My parents attended the same High School building I did. I remember at a brother’s wrestling meet my mom walking me down to her old locker and her combination still worked. Batiuk would fume in jealousy that such an opportunity is gone. He tried to ‘kill the past’ but somehow Palpatine returned.
He started Act III with big dreams of merging all three acts thematically together. You’ve got the old Act I crew being middle-aged adults, you’ve got the grown up Act II kids in Darin, Pete, and Jessica being the new young adults just starting out, and you’ve got the Muppet Babies kids to keep the High School hijinks flowing.
But now its a gerontocracy of the impossibly old taking over everything. Even poor Pete, Darin, and Mindy have been supplanted by octogenarians.
You’ve all said it below. This shouldn’t be the 50th class reunion. Their 30th class reunion was in 2008. This pretty much confirmed that the time skip from Act II to Act III moved their graduation date from 1988 back to 1978. Summer Moore was established as turning 16 a few months prior. So is she 36 now? Seriously?
I would be perfectly fine with Batiuk having his strip officially enter Comic Book Time. It didn’t bother me at all that it took Bernie Silver six years to graduate. In a medium where a single five minute conversation can take two weeks if a comic year equals a calendar year then you’re leaving a lot of these characters’ lives out. It’s a comic strip, we understand that Christmas comes in December, school starts in September, and it takes eight years for a toddler to turn four. It’s FINE.
But the sudden, inexplicable, fast-forwarding of random characters we’ve gotten recently is just baffling. Why is Crankshaft’s great-grandson suddenly eight, when he was born less than three years ago, but Emily and Amelia haven’t aged? Why is Funky suddenly over 65 and Skyler, born in 2013, is still sitting on Santa’s lap and baby talking?
The time pool reunion arc of 2015 DIDN’T have a date or year attached. And that was a much smarter take in my humble but correct opinion. Because it wasn’t clear an entire seven years had passed since the last one. (And a 37 year reunion seems really weird)
But Batiuk couldn’t resist slapping a big fat 50 on this one. Despite only MONTHS before presenting them as all in high school in 1980!
And you know what. I’m here for it. I’m here for all of it. I’m cracking open a cold one, kicking back, and watching this train wreck. Because I have such a great bunch of people to do it with. Because it genuinely brings me joy.
Don’t let Batty get you down guys. Just enjoy the screeching, burning, twisted mess. Are you ready for a 50th reunion of “Senior Discoveries” ? Are you ready for “exploring the honesty beneath such a gathering’s initial artifice”?