Tag Archives: Cindy

Fruit of the Doom

Link to today’s strip.

I rate today’s episode two “Meh”s.   It’s a good example of “Batiuking it.”  It’s not terrible enough to be irksome, nor is it insensitive enough to provoke anger.  It’s like something the dog left on the kitchen floor–he didn’t really mean to do it, it just happened by accidental instinct.  Though at least the dog has enough self-awareness to look guilty about what he produced.  Luckily, I have some paper towels.

Nice freeze-frame on that “Starbuck Jones” image.  I assume someone hit the “pause” button, so that Mason and Cindy could chatter on brainlessly, but it’s entirely possible the scene is still running and consists of characters just chattering.  That seems entirely Batiukian.

I wonder if that’s a workprint of the new film, or just Cliff and Vera again?  I find I don’t really care about the answer.  But, isn’t it funny that the characters here went out of their way to find the cast of the Starbuck Jones serial, but anyone who worked on the original comic book has been completely ignored.  Who knows, they might still be alive, too!  But then, artists and writers might want to do something creative (“This is not my vision!”); actors, on the other hand will just read the lines given to them.  Whew!  Dodged a bullet there.

As far as today’s “content” goes, let’s not forget that Cindy’s “going out on a limb” was not, repeat not, because she had great faith in BuddyBlog or because she believed in her own abilities to deliver stories.  It was so she could seize Mason in her mandibles.  That’s all.  Mason’s either fine with that, unaware of it, or worse, pleased with how his personal magnetism snared his new paramour.

So, we’re not talking about someone striving for excellence in a new frontier.  We’re talking about someone indulging her urges to keep her insecurities at bay.

Still, she did manage to find a nice piece of fruit.

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Second Rate

Link to today’s strip.

Ho hum.  Look at the expression on Mason’s face in panel one.  Boy, those are some real sincere congratulations.  He’s probably thinking, “Fine, can we talk about me now?  Like, how awesome I am and stuff.”

And what is that thing under Cindy’s hand?  Part of her bracelet, or a car key?  Are they planning a dine ‘n’ dash?  Because that would be exciting…but I think I might be able to handle that!  Please go ahead and do it!

Unless you’re a long-time reader of this strip–and I hate to tell you this, Mr. Batiuk, but we’re it–you’ll have no idea who “Vera” is.  Last time she was seen in the strip was some months ago, and I wonder if she was even referred to by name then.  Cliff Anger was mentioned once earlier in the week, but given his idiotic name, one might have thought Cindy’s documentary was on the “[psychological condition known as] Cliff Anger [in which people who read a certain comic strip throw themselves off high mountains].”

It would have been funnier.

(Corrected for spelling…hey if Tom Batiuk can do it, so can I)

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Insert Disinterested Yawning

Link to today’s strip.

Boy. these people are pretty dull to be so smug.

What Cindy seems to be saying, here, is that “new media’s” excitement over an “old media” award somehow means that “new media” admits that it is shallow and worthless, and that “old media” are the only “real media.”  So I guess BuddyBlog is going to shut down its evil internet-only site and start broadcasting on television.

You remember television.  They’re the people who fired Cindy because she aged.

Cindy, by the way, has nothing to brag about.  When she was working for BuddyBlog in February 15, 2016, she was a bit irked that she was going to broadcast trivia and gossip.  “Anything on the President, or the Middle East?”  she asked, thinking there were things in the world that mattered more than cat videos and celebrity gossip.

Now she’s happily making documentaries about an actor no one remembers, who starred in a 1950’s serial based on a comic book, then “lost his career” because 1) he committed Contempt of Congress because it made him feel “cool,” and 2) because tightly held bitterness is this strip’s only balm.  Trivia and gossip.

There you go, Cindy.  You’ve become BuddyBlog, the thing you once hated…because awards.

 

 

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Always Give Up, Always Surrender

Link to today’s strip.

Sorry about that, I was watching “Galaxy Quest” and forgot about my duties here!

So, anyway.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Cindy’s documentary will not win an Emmy.  Here are the reasons why.

First of all, losing will be a crushing blow to Cindy (especially now that Mason’s enthused about it), and I don’t think Tom Batiuk can resist that.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve pretty much forgotten all of high school–but for some, those memories are forever.

Secondly, Cliff Anger has already had the ultimate honorarium–he had a hot-cocoa-and-sammiches meet-up with a bunch of freeze-dried adolescent idio-fans, and that, my friends, is the only honorific that truly matters.  An Emmy award for a program about him is overkill.

Thirdly, an award for a Cliff Anger documentary would say that there is a value in persisting and striving for a goal–Cindy’s goal, of course, not Cliff Anger’s–and that goes against everything this strip stands for.

Fourthly , it emphasizes the idea in this strip that awards are not given to *ahem* truly deserving subjects, but are meted out to things that tweak the current zeitgeist; awards are shallow things that shine in the eyes of the great unwashed for a few moments, before the next shiny thing comes along.

Finally, and I think most importantly, an award is impossible for anything unless Les Moore is involved.  He alone is allowed to achieve, because, you know, he’s SO sensitive and artistic, and driven by creativity, and–get this–his wife died.  How can you not shower him with accolades?

This is another strip that gives the lie to the “time jump” theory.  All of Cindy’s competition is thoroughly contemporary.  Tom Batiuk didn’t push his cast into the future–he just aged them.

So I’d like to make a request of the Gods of Funky Winkerbean critique.  Please stop saying “time jump.”  Please start saying “age jump.”  Because that’s all it ever was.

PS:  If you’ve never seen “Galaxy Quest” I highly, highly recommend it.  It’s about a bunch of has-been actors who are given the chance to save the world.   Instead of bitterly making sure the angle of their lampshades were just so, they stood up and made a difference.   It’s one of the few films I recommend with no reservations.

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The cat meows because wants food

Link to today’s strip.

I’ve been looking at this one, over and over again, trying to figure out what it’s trying to tell me.  Here’s what I’ve got.

Mason is an insecure imbecile who has no real thoughts or opinions.  His brain is completely empty; he baffles science.  This makes him a great actor because once he’s read the script, he is never out of character.   His micr0-rant yesterday was probably something he overheard on the subway or at the hairdressers.  Whoever said it managed to impress his own personality over Mason’s, so Mason’s been saying that person’s “lines” as he acts out the character.

However, his insecurity kicked in once his “lines” were countered by Cindy’s news.  So, he’s like a fluffy kitten that does not know what to do.  Then, the cat meows because wants food.

Sorry…it’s that kind of a strip.  It practically begs you to think of other things.

Also, I thought Cindy was the insecure one in this relationship.   Silly me.  Really, though, the conversation should have been (paraphrasing)

Mason: Awards are stupid.

Cindy: Yes, they are.  I will tell my producers to turn down the Emmy nomination, because if I seek an award, I may lose you, since you hate awards and I might have one.

Mason:  Yes, you should do that.  However, I deem it “okay” if you do not do that.  An award would be good for your esteem.  And losing an award would be good for my esteem, as you will be more insecure and cling tighter.  Wait a moment.  Wait a moment.  Wait one moment while I calculate this development.

Cindy: I will wait all required moments.

Mason: (after 22 minutes and 15 seconds of silence)  Cindy, you should murder Les Moore by plunging Harry Dinkle through his heart.

Cindy:  He will simply reform around the Dinkle, adding its mass to his own.

Mason: Damn it.

 

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Nominated for Best Imbecile in a Supporting Role

Link to today’s strip.

Every time a character says something exceptionally stupid–and Mason here is a shining example–I have to remind myself that, despite Tom Batiuk’s repeated assertions, this strip has nothing to do with the real world.  There’s no quarter-inch between there and here.

What this strip is, is a Wish Fulfillment World.   This world is how Tom Batiuk believes the world should work.  Here, the highest form of art, and the most valuable commodity, is the comic book.  Second most valuable is the comic book’s consort, the movie based on a comic book.  Here, Mason’s idiocy makes perfect sense.

Now, there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with a Wish Fulfillment World.  Some of them can be quite entertaining.  At the risk of ticking people off, I’d put JRR Tolkien’s  works in this category.  But Tolkien made sure that his world was consistent, and that there were rules that governed his world, and those rules were not to be ignored or bypassed for convenience.  Consistency is PRIMARY if you’re going to go down this path.  Because of you ignore consistency, you end up with Funky Crankshaft Island.

To wit: Here, the greatest comic book of them all, Starbuck Jones, is both extraordinary evocative to its hordes of fans, who treasure every moment it gave them, and yet it sold so poorly that it put its creators out of business.  Here, a peck on the cheek drives the internet into a frenzy, and drives a young actress toward suicide.  Here, said actress is simultaneously a naif making her first film and a hot property that can boost a film’s stature into white heat.  Here, an actor whose main credit is “Dino Deer” lives like royalty, bathed in luxury.  Here, a loathsome prick can make his mark on the entire world by writing about his dead wife, yet he toils in obscurity in a small Ohio town.  I could go on; there are thousands of such…Funky Crankshaft Island rides.

And movies are an art form, not a commercial product.

Now don’t get me wrong–movies can be art, and as such can be very enlightening.  I have thoroughly enjoyed every Ingmar Bergman movie I’ve ever seen.  And most of those made by David Lynch.  But every movie ever made by a film studio has one primary goal: to make money.  To pretend otherwise is to ignore the real world.

Which this strip does splendidly.

PS: I’d agree that most awards are stupid and entirely ignorable.   Did you know that Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick and Cary Grant never won Oscars?  I’m thinking, though, that Pulitzer nomination letter must really burn right now.

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Blonde Ambition

What could cap this story arc any better than today’s strip?

It was never about Marianne, cyberbullying, suicide, or Hollywood vanity… it was always about Mason’s sainthood, as it were. Cindy’s rampant insecurity (on display again today, if winked at) serves to highlight Mason’s good nature for sticking with her. Marianne’s freak out happened largely to provide contrast to Mason’s unfazed reaction to internet criticism. Mr. Director’s and the police’s failure to locate Marianne? What do you think…

Yes, what better way to top off a whole two weeks devoted to building up Saint Mason than with Saint Mason taking Cindy out for a snazzy Southern California Christmas experience? He’s pretty great, huh?

On a brighter note, I would like to sincerely wish all of our commenters and readers (you too TB) a Merry Christmas and wonderful holiday season.

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