I’m sure Batiuk was running the imaginary bases after the five seconds it took him to write out this strip. Which is ironic considering how he’s crapping all over athletes and sports itself here. I guess sports are cool when you do them in your head after writing incredibly trite dialogue.
“Sports isn’t real life, it’s just playing” does not seem like a good thing to be saying when you’re honoring a guy for his sports accomplishments. Like, I get his point, but when this is the focus of Bull’s induction speech it really makes you wonder, again, why the hell he’s even being inducted. “All that silly stuff Bull did to get into your silly Hall of Fame, that’s just playing. Sitting around his basement now, that’s real life”.
For not the first time this week I’m totally baffled as to what Bull has done that’s supposed to be damn inspiring. Also, the strip that more often than not is just a vehicle for Batiuk’s comic daydreams really shouldn’t be criticizing anything anyone else does as “just playing”.
By far the best part of the strip is the hilarious handwritten “Bushka Family” sign. Not nearly as good is how Jinx looks. I really don’t think it’s a good idea to draw Asian characters with their eyes slanted and closed, especially when they’re wearing glasses.
“To sum it up, Bull, you inspired me when I had my pants off. I’m so happy we can’t quit each other. I’m less happy about this creepy stranger glaring at me from underneath that bush, but you can’t win them all, I guess. Boy, you sure would know a thing or two about that, eh, buddy?”
Also apparently spending all your time in your basement watching TV and reading the sports section while having no human contact apart from your wife and a random stranger who showed up one day is “not quitting” by this strip’s standards. Which, I mean, Bull hasn’t just ended it all, which really actually is inspirational for Batiuk.
And you can totally take this as “Bull was a moron who didn’t know what the word meant, and he still is because of the CTE ruining his brain”, which is a fun spin on it.
I don’t think I’ve seen too many more blatant examples of “sporto talk” as written by someone who never played sports and isn’t that familiar with them. “Shared our competition”? It really seems like he’s leading into “. . . but we also shared a forbidden love that we had to hide, from both the world, and ourselves. What’s that, Bull? You don’t remember that? Oh, that’s probably because of the CTE, right, pal?”.
And of course the only worthwhile thing about Bull is his Very Serious Condition. I’ve got to assume his induction has nothing do with his athletic accomplishments, but rather the terrible thing that happened to him. Because that’s the only reason Batiuk cares about him.
“When I told Bull I was going to introduce him, it really showed what a crappy friend I am, just making major decisions for Bull and not even giving him any input. I mean, I am his friend, right? That’s the word for a guy who just starts showing up at your house after you get CTE and spends a lot of one-on-one time with your wife? Where’s that dweeby English teacher whose annoying wife died, maybe he can tell his what the right word for that is. Oh, right, he didn’t show up, because apparently I’m the only one in Bull’s life who gives a crap about him. Like when I lied to him to make him think he won a game he actually lost. Gosh, good thing that never came up in any awkward situation later on.”
Link to today’s strip.
As always, Sunday’s strips are a mystery unavailable beforehand. But like a cold, damp Montoni’s pizza where you can taste nothing but grease, they’re a mystery whose solution is never fun.
I assume we’re going to get more of Wally’s graduation party, with perhaps a bit of sermonizing on the plight of the immigrant. The problem, as always, is that Batiuk refuses to do the minimal research necessary to get the facts right, so all his arguments end up being just flat out wrong.
You’d think his desperate attempts to appear Significant would make him refine his methods so he doesn’t come off as Willfully Ignorant. But I guess chasing awards doesn’t leave much time for anything other than Flash comics.
Link to today’s strip
I’m excited to be getting a chance to contribute my bit here. I was honestly dreading that my first strip would be a Les strip, or Dinkle writing a book, and I’d have to come up with something halfway interesting about that.
I do like how this strip somehow managed to shoehorn in bricks. Precious, precious bricks. And “breaking down the barriers between people” translates to two people each saying one sentence and then staring robotically at each other. I mean, look at Adeela in the third panel. She looks like Wally just gave her a diagnosis of Total Body Cancer and she has seconds to live, and her memorial service is going to be at Montoni’s.
I think Wally’s in trouble though. He had enough difficulty with one Muslim in a hijab. When he turns around and sees they have him surrounded, even Buddy might not be enough to keep him on the Montoni’s Manager track.
I liked this arc much better when these two were wary of each other to the point of antipathy. Their initial awkwardness and mistrust of one another has, almost in an instant, been replaced with gentle scatological humor and hijab hijinks. Of course, Wally has to take it too far and bring up the handshaking thing.
Programming notes: Saturday’s strip was not available for preview; look for a placeholder post after midnight EST. Also! On Monday we welcome our newest guest author!