Tag Archives: cellphone

Nuclear Whiner

Link to today’s strip.

I’ll admit I found today’s strip amusing.  What’s interesting is that Tom Batiuk actually took the trouble to build to this punchline, both by portraying Holly as increasingly anxious and angry, and by using yesterday’s strip as a direct lead-in to today’s.   The payoff is nice; it shows Holly being self-aware enough to know she was overreacting, and it de-escalates things (for now).  It also shows that Mr. Batiuk is (or was, as this week was likely made up of old standby strips) capable of creating something that is at least funny.

The pacing is still off–it would have been better to cull the “fat-fingering” episodes and reformat this arc as a single Sunday strip–but it’s been obvious for some time that Tom Batiuk is just running out the clock.  Ya can’t make that ol’ 50th by being briefer, after all.   Still, the week showed some nice craftsmanship; the humor, instead of coming completely out of the blue like most of his “wit,”  was planned in advance.  Bravo.

The craftsmanship in the artwork is 50/50.  The drawing of the scene is quite good, showing some nice perspective and giving a sense of “place.”  The characters, on the other hand, are rendered as slap-dash, sketchily-defined blobs–and I’m aware that they are slap-dash, sketchily defined blobs; it would just be nice to see some consistency panel-to-panel.

It would also be nice to see the non-author avatar characters drawn with a bit more sympathy.  Holly looks like she steps on puppies for fun, and Funky looks like someone exhumed him from a shallow grave somewhere.  But none of that will change; it’s also obvious that Tom Batiuk just loathes Funky with all his heart.  Still, there’ve been worse weeks here; considering we had no Les and no comic books, I’d put this episode in the “plus” column.

Congratulations Mr. Batiuk.

 

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Baby Got Back

Link to today’s strip.

I have to admit I found today’s entry amusing.  For Funky Winkerbean, it’s actually funny.

Good on commentor Double Sided Scooby Snack for catching that Chuck Ayers was the artist for this week’s, um, “effort.”   Also, to Gerard Plourde for divining the reason for this:  this is something that Batiuk wrote and Ayers drew months, if not years ago, and it’s been sitting in a drawer ever since.  I assume the idea was that readers would explode from happiness if there was too much Les or comic books, so a week-long interlude with Funky texting his stepson ought to calm those passions.

I do like the art here.  The perspective in panel one is very well handled, and the sidewalk bricks done nicely.

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The Half-Hour of Reckoning

Link to today’s strip.

Not much to say with this one, except confirmation that Funky is indeed left-handed.  I don’t know if that was established in the strip before…and what difference it would make if it were.  After all, this is a strip that can’t even get one of its main characters’ last name right.

So, Funky’s got a texting app that lets him delete a text with one keystroke?  No confirmation or anything?  I’d actually like that.  Admittedly I’m not a prolific texter but if I think better of sending something, I’ve got backspace over it until everything’s gone.  There’s probably a more efficient way of doing it, but like Tom Batiuk, there are some things about which I really can’t be bothered to research.  See also my lawn, and why you shouldn’t be on it.

And you’d think Funky would use a better epithet than “Shoot!”  That sounds an awful lot like an invitation in Westview; only the fact that it would be interesting keeps it at a figurative level.

“Shoot!” John Darling said to Plantman.

“Blast it all!” Lisa said, arriving at the post office.

“We’re so screwed!” Pete and Darrin yelled as the police broke down the hotel room door.

“What in blue blazes!” Les yelled when he was trapped in an industrial blast furnace.

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Flying Fickle Finger of Fat

Link to today’s strip.

I wasn’t around, in Funky Winkerbean terms, when “Darrin Opens A Letter” famously played.  As such, I’ve only seen it in the archives here–everything at one go, rather than stretched out over days.

The pacing there seems positively riveting and action-packed compared with what we’re presented with now.  Yes–Funky is going to take an entire week to send a text message.

In fairness, unlike the Darrin story, this one at least doesn’t involve Les or Lisa in any way.  That puts it about 50 points ahead.   Just like the Darrin story, though, this one lacks anything resembling a punchline, or humor of any kind.  Par for the course these days.

 

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Spot Six Differences!

Wow! Bob Weber of Slylock Fox would be proud of today’s offering.

At first I thought there was something wrong, and they simply hadn’t updated the strips. Because today is a reprint of yesterday’s strip. But upon further inspection there do seem to be tiny, subtle differences between yesterday and today. See if you can find all six!

It took me hours and hours, but I finally found one: The cosmic treadmill that Pete and Darin bought on their second honeymoon is in the background of panel two! How many can you find?

What a fun and interactive game Batiuk has given us. It may not progress the plot, deepen the characters, or be even in the least bit interesting or funny, but at least it fills a Friday shaped hole in our week. One more box checked off as we all coast inevitably to an obscure retirement, and an unlauded death.

So Fun!

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Bloop Bloop.

There is less than nothing going on today.

This is like when horrible one note authors attempt to pad out their paychecks by writing the same story again, but gender flipped or from the guy’s perspective this time! We have reached Life and Death or Grey levels of storytelling here people.

So because there is no plot to speak of. I’ll just point out some tidbits I noticed in each panel.

Panel 1.) Boy Lisa’s table seems positioned in the middle of the room, instead of up against a wall, and his overhead light seems to be behind his head AND pointed away from his workstation. He asks if the text is ‘more script changes’ which means that they regularly get TEXTS of script changes in a major motion picture sequel. Pete has a tiny phone.

Panel 2.) You know that this is California because of the medical marijuana growing right outside the window. Pete’s hands are the size of his head and the bags under his eyes have drifted so far down his cheek they might as well be Tony Montana scars. Pete’s phone has grown in size.

Panel 3.) Boy Lisa’s desk light is now in front of him. His face is a horrifying mask with terrible pencil eyebrows drawn all the way up on his forehead. He is apparently wearing a black v-neck t-shirt like a total tool. We can see that Pete’s now minuscule cell phone isn’t even a touchscreen smart phone, but rather some knockoff blackberry-lite. I link a picture of my phone, for reference. Sad, cheap, pathetic reference.

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The Hair-ried Author

Oh no, Les is back in today’s strip. And along with ol’ smirk n’ shirk we get three would-be nominees for This Week In Milford’s pantheon of hair. Let’s see… we’ve got a phone camera operator sporting a Dave Coulier mullet, a proud Lisa book-buyer wearing the Luke Skywalker, and someone so enthralled with the many justifications for John Darling’s murder in Fallen Star that they are morphing into Albert Einstein. Fantastic.

Well, that took my mind off of yet another strip where Les shows contempt for the people who want to give him money for his work, for a few minutes at least.

Thanks, SOSFers, for putting up with me and TB (mostly TB… I hope) for another two weeks. The unenviable task of covering a crazed bald man palming two imaginary grapefruits (and whatever else next week brings) falls to someone significantly more well-known to the average comic strip reader than Phil the Forecaster, our own Comic Book Harriet. Good luck.

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