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.
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.
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.
Today’s strip contains
A couple of near-haiku
Shall we take a look?
“This text may be the
Answer you are looking for
It’s just gibberish”
“That is because it’s
Written in the Starbuck Jones
Junior Spaceman’s code”
Jeff has just put on
That stupid decoder ring
Why does he have it?
Came from his pocket?
Does he carry it around
He just got a text?
But it was a Tweet he sent
To Director Guy
I guess that Durwood
Has uncle Jeff’s phone number
As if he’s used it
Nice car on the curb
Puts Batiukmobile® to shame
Who would park it here?
Today’s strip severely undersells the concept of miracles.
“Hmmm… we may have just gotten one.” For serious, Jeff, that’s your reaction to information that may well have just saved your son’s livelihood and your nostalgic obsession? Let’s try that line out in some other scenarios.
Al Michaels calling the 1980 Olympic hockey semi-final, USA vs. USSR:
“Eleven seconds. You’ve got 10 seconds. The countdown going on right now. Morrow, up to Silk. Five seconds left in the game. Do you believe in miracles?
Hmmm… we may have just gotten one.
“You Sexy Thing” by Hot Chocolate:
I believe in miracles
Where you from
Hmmm… we may have just gotten one
That old Xerox commercial:
Brother Dominic: Here are your sets, Father. The 500 sets you asked for.
Father: A miracle? Hmmm… we may have just gotten one.
Today’s strip is a sobering reminder of just how tantalizingly close we came to completely avoiding the foul, intrusive neighbor that is the Starbuck Jones movie. If only Mason had never come to Ohio, none of this would have happened.
– Mason only came to Ohio, of course, because he met Les on the set of Lust For Lisa.
– Tempting as it is to pin this all on Les, he was only able to lure Mason to Ohio with Holly’s collection of “Starbuck Jones” comics.
– Holly’s “Starbuck Jones” collection only existed because Cory started it.
– Cory only started the collection because… well, Tom only knows that. Maybe something to do with his stepfather reading it when he was a kid…
– And Ohio is only a state because the British ceded it to the United States in the Treaty of Paris, which was only possible because the French ceded the Ohio Valley to the British after losing the French and Indian War.
“Fan” theory time:
Funky is still in a coma from that 2010 car wreck and everything that has happened since then has been a dream. It was immediately before the wreck when Starbuck Jones was first mentioned (Funky had to sell SJ issue #1 to cover Komix Korner’s overdue rent), everything else involving Starbuck Jones has occurred after the wreck. Also, think of all of the other outlandish things in this strip that have happened since that wreck, things that would have been unlikely before: the successful publication of Lisa’s Story and its national book tour and “Hollywood” chapters, Cayla’s appearance changes, Les’ love life, Cory becoming a soldier and a well-adjusted individual, Cindy comes crawling back to Ohio, Wally snags Rache and Buddy, Dick Tracy…
This theory is, of course, disgustingly unoriginal and incredibly stupid. But is it really worse than the alternative?
Today’s strip simply confirms what we’ve all known since Monday, that this movie premiere is going to take place at “that damn Crankshaft theater”.
And we can all blame Jeff Murdoch, a passive-aggressive sad-sack who has never managed to elicit sympathy from readers despite constantly suffering under his mother and father-in-law, two of the nastiest and most despicable characters to have ever graced the comics page. We can also blame Batiukverse Twitter, which waived its character limit to allow Jeff to convey the following information in a single tweet (maybe he typed this all up in Notes and tweeted a photo, which is still contemptible):
– His first and last name
– His location
– The fact that he was a member of the Starbuck Jones Junior Spaceman Fan Club when he was a kid
– That he saw the original Starbuck Jones serial at the then-new Valentine Theater
– That his son now owns the Valentine Theater
– And that he thinks it would be a good place to hold the premiere of the new Starbuck Jones movies.
Given all of that, I’m surprised he didn’t mention how movie tickets only cost $0.10 when he first saw the Starbuck Jones serial, or how much he misses voting for Robert Taft Sr., or how great his old LaSalle ran.