Tag Archives: Centerville

I Saw Her Smirking There

Does everybody around here lean back in their chairs doing nothing?” wonders Director Guy as he fetches the producer his coffee. Of course, with Starbuck Jones opening soon, and its sequel having been filmed concurrently, what work would there be for the storyboard artist? Maybe Boy Lisa’s run out of his favorite pens again and is unable to work.

Back in C’ville, Pete has indeed found “something”: he spies a Batiukian/Burchettian blonde who stops him in his tracks so hard that his arms and shirttails fly away from his body. He’s pretty whopperjawed, all right! Casual readers might wonder why Pete’s blatantly ogling Cindy, but we know (since Batiuk teased it two months ago) that this is Crankshaft’s Hot Granddaughter Mindy. She’s successfully parlayed her Kent State diploma into a job helping her brother manage the dive theater.

 

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Carpet of Lies

I know we’ve all been wondering what’s become of Owen and Cody since they graduated Westview High: today we see that Owen’s traded his trademark chullo for the hated orange vest and the pals now work together delivering carpet for the Home Depot. A wacky mixup ensues when the boys realize they’ve delivered a white carpet instead of the customary red one!

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If You Cedarville, Say Hello

If I were Hollywood producer Clay Wallace, I’d be leaning back with my feet on the desk too! When your director, leading man, screenwriter, storyboard artist, and their assorted hangers-on make brilliant decisions regarding casting, location shooting, publicity, and every other aspect of putting out a major motion picture, what’s left to do except kick back and enjoy things like palm trees outside and inside your office.

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Manos: The Hands Of Grate

Today’s strip finally gets to the point. Whatever.

All I see is a kid in a Davy Crockett coon-skin cap…
FWSmif

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Bored of the Rings

Today’s strip is about that dadgum decoder ring. Your mileage won’t vary, it WILL be low.

Jeff, quit teasing your wife and son with this appallingly uninteresting Starbuck Jones nostalgia trip and just tell your family what all of us readers already know the message on your phone says. You told two very interested parties that The Valentine may have gotten the miracle it needed to keep its doors open, and follow that up by leering creepily gazing at 60 year old toy that you got for free from a chocolate milk mix company.

Max, you gotta do better than this, man. If your dad knew the gibberish on his phone was the Starbuck Jones Junior Spaceman’s code then he’s a big enough nerd to know how to decipher it. He’s been waiting decades to show this stupid ring off and you are the one who had to go and give him the satisfaction.

Pam, you’re an enabler. Can’t really blame you for that, since every other woman in this universe apparently is as well.

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Hai-Code

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
Annoying others?

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?

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Miracu-lousy

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.

Inspiring.

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Valentine’s Day, August 1

Today’s strip was not available for preview. It will, almost assuredly, be about Max Murdoch’s imperiled Valentine Theater though.

But before The Valentine was Max’s imperiled theater, it was Ralph Meckler’s imperiled theater. For those of you fortunate enough to not follow Crankshaft, bespectacled and mustachioed Ralph is Crankshaft’s best only friend. Poor Ralph is a decent enough character, and is (sadly) a definite contender for the Batiukverse’s ultimate “chew toy” award.

Not only did he struggle for years to keep The Valentine afloat before unloading it on Max and his I-guess-girlfriend Hannah, he also failed in a recent bid to unseat Centerville’s corrupt, do-nothing mayor. In fact, he lost the mayoral race on a coin flip because the election was tied. The election was tied, of course, because his good “friend” Crankshaft forgot to vote. Oh, and he let Crankshaft make that fateful coin-flip call…
Also, his wife has Alzheimer’s (revisited in two different books) and his son was killed in the Vietnam War.

Sheesh. No wonder he says stuff like this

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The Loan Punman

Welcome, everyone, to that damn Crankshaft theater. Today’s strip finds us back in the middling maudlin morass that came to define this strip during Act II. It certainly says something about the relentlessly positive Comic-Con arc that it failed to provide much refreshment in its departure from this strip’s trademark tone.

“Valentine’s Day may be over.” Heh, cute. Doesn’t explain how you’ve been making your loan payments for 10 years and are only now in danger of default… maybe you’ve been driving customers away by needlessly questioning them instead of taking their money.

Meanwhile, Ann Fairgood Pm nd Jff play the “Incredible Hulk” TV show’s closing credits music in their heads as their son walks out the door with his oversize copy of yesterday’s strip.

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Valium-tine

While Jeff Murdoch apparently violates Twitter’s character limit in today’s strip, Director Martin Johns violates general decorum by thinking Jeff’s tweet is worth reading out loud to these Hollywood types lounging about in wicker chairs.

Prescient SOSFer erdmann hypothesized yesterday that this would lead to the premiere of Starbuck Jones at “that damn Crankshaft theater”. Today’s strip all but confirms that, and I can tell you that the next several strips will not dispel the idea. If you consider this to be a spoiler then you haven’t read Funky Winkerbean for very long.

In other news, Cindy has lost her right foot. Oh, and Jeff Murdoch is apparently both old enough to have seen and remember original-run Starbuck Jones movie serials (before Cliff was blacklisted sometime in the early 1950s) and young enough to have also been attending Kent State in 1970 (on a John Sebastian impersonator scholarship, apparently). To be fair, there is a window of time in which that works, but it is narrower than Crankshaft’s mind.

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