Link To Today’s Strip
This one took a few seconds longer than usual to parse thanks to the incredibly clunky dialog. When these two fools start with the Westviewian banter it’s like trying to roll a dumpster up a flight of stairs. I concluded that Cindy must mean that if Mason has too much “chemistry” with whatever shameless harlot he’s working with she will make his life a vicious living hell when he gets home. Sounds about right. Describing Cindy and Mason’s marriage as “highly reductive” is being way too kind. And she’s supposedly the mature one.
“Are you OK with them looking to see who has good chemistry with Mason?”…wow. Maybe it’s grammatically correct but if it is it shouldn’t be. “Sure, because I can still make sparks happen when he gets back from the lab”…did I read this wrong? Is she talking about sex here? These two sentences should be in textbooks. Chapter Ten: Not So Good, This Is.
Coming next week: Les is mildly surprised to learn that Cindy carved “Mason + Cindy 4 Eva” into Mason’s chest with a Swiss Army knife corkscrew while he slept. No one else is.
Link To Today’s Strip
So Mason is insisting on holding a phony casting call just to assure Les that he’s putting every available resource into finding the perfect Lisa, even though he’s already decided who’ll play her? So they’re going to waste thousands of dollars and everyone’s valuable time just to put the smug bearded dick with ears at ease? BatHam’s insane “inside Hollywood” fantasies are spiraling out of control again. This is the most laughable cancer movie premise yet and they haven’t even settled on the cast yet. For anyone else setting your story on the set of a Hollywood movie would have all sorts of potential, but just like with Starbuck Jones he instead opts to focus on the most mundane aspects, like picking up a guy who’ll be sitting in during casting. Yet another fanciful sub-universe full of lore, characters and lingo where absolutely nothing ever happens. Sigh.
Why is Cindy always chauffeuring Les around? Isn’t she some sort of newscaster? It always amazes me how everyone in the Funkyverse always seems to have nothing better to do at any given moment. “The same driver”…he mentioned another arc, albeit a way more recent one this time. He’s suddenly doing that all the time and I find it kind of unnerving.
Link To The Latest Breaking Lisa News
Awww, how adorable. Cindy will graciously refrain from being a psychotic, jealous, sexually-threatened shrew while her husband does his job. How very thoughtful of her. Why she needs to be involved in the cancer movie is another question entirely, but that’s just how things work in the Funkyverse. By the time this is over Pete will be “head writer”, Boy Lisa will be “storyboarding” it and Funky will be running craft services, from Ohio, via Skype.
You don’t normally see a lot of cleavage in the strip. Not that I’m demanding more, mind you, in fact quite the opposite is true. But, for reasons only known to him and probably best left unexplored, he had to make sure to remind readers that Cindy is still hot, just in case we somehow missed every Cindy arc since her ignominious Act III return. The characters in this strip “grow” more slowly than stalagmites.
In case you’re counting, “Cindy is jealous over Mason’s co-star” is the sixth old arc he’s mentioned over the last four weeks. It’s officially a trend now and not just a weird FW anomaly. Someone’s wallowing in nostalgia again, why is anyone’s guess. It seems that having an excuse to use Lisa again sort of jump-started his interest a little, which had been noticeably waning over the last, uh, five years or so. Sigh.
We’ll have to take Les’ word about the “beauty” of Mason and Cindy’s second home: what we’ve been shown for the last three days, the exterior resembles a loading dock. We don’t get to see much of the interior: most of the scenery is obscured by word zeppelins. I’m sure it’s not Batiuk’s intent, but there still feels like a lot of sexual tension between these two. I’m not able to dig up the strip where Les first meets Lisa (help me out, billytheskink), but Les’ “main pickup move” must have been strong indeed with Cayla, as seen in this 2008 strip.
Composer of Wacky Names Tom Batiuk is batting .500 with today’s strip. “Hershey Barr” is a little childish, sounds too much like “Mason Jarre,” and, as a rapper name, could almost be construed as racist (whatever else Batiuk is, he’s not racist). “Bubu Zayla,” after I took a moment to say it out loud and think about it in an “alt-Latina” context, actually made me chuckle, even if the whole vuvuzela thing dates back to the 2010 World Cup. Seems odd that a house with a multi-car garage would be laid out in a manner that requires you to exit the garage after parking in order to get into the house. I also wonder which of the previous owners saw fit to install a tampon vending machine next to the front door.
School chums Cindy and Les arrive, not at the Jarre’s beach house, but at Mason’s new pied-à-terre in “the ‘Hills’.” I don’t know where TB cribbed his California architecture notes, but all those tubular steel railings and odd-sized windows do give the building a sort of Cali modern feel, even if the doors on their three-car garage suggest a public storage unit.
“Wrestling out of my weight class“? Again with the sporto metaphors from 97-pound weakling Les. And again with the “Most Popular Girl in the School” crap. Does anyone who graduated high school before the 21st century recall who was the “most popular” girl in the school–not the class but the entire goddam school? The most popular. Whoever she is, I hope she’s holding up even half as well as Cindy here. And while dwelling upon one’s social status in high school may get old, one never outgrows a taste for flirtatious banter.
Maybe she didn’t beat him up like Bull did, but during the twenty years they spent in high school together, Cindy generally treated Les like shit. She wouldn’t have him for a lab partner, let alone a boyfriend. Even when Les wound up keeping her company on that dateless New Year’s Eve, Cindy swore him to secrecy. And decades later she has the gall to break his chops for being a gentleman.
After paying to fly Les 2,000 miles to LAX, you’d suppose Mason would at least spring for an Uber to bring him the rest of the way. Instead, the task falls to the eternally youthful and hot Cindy Summers Winkerbean Jarre to fetch Les. because what else are true friends for? Also, does Cindy still even have that job at Buddyblog? His arrival in sunny California has done nothing to snap Les out of his apathy; he even slouches in the passenger seat of Cindy’s sporty, battleship gray roadster. Batty’s gone to great lengths to depict Les’ complete lack of confidence. And you knew that TB was going to compose some kind of wry punchline around “pitch”… but when else have we seen Les “pitch” anything? His endless book signings attract fans who come prepared to buy his work (in multiple!). He sure doesn’t “pitch” an appreciation of language arts to the generation of students who’ve endured his class. He pitched himself in matrimony–twice–and somehow succeeded both times. You know who can pitch though? Mrs. Les Moore, aka Cayla. Come to think of it, Les is the last denizen of the Funkiverse who should be making sporto analogies.
Whee, more patented, beloved Tom Batiuk Women Talking About Their Relationship Humor. Can we please get back to Les being smug or whiney? Or Dinkle typing at a computer?
Here’s a fun tidbit that I really hope I’m not the only one who noticed: Cindy’s cleavage has been featured in 4/6 of this week’s strips. I have to imagine Batiuk included that in his notes to the artist: “Make sure you showcase her nice boobs”. And yet she’s going on and on again about how lucky she is to find Mason, despite the fact that she’s a successful attractive woman who looks thirty years younger than she actually is. Those are literally the only two character traits Cindy has “I’m a hag whose beauty has faded” and “I’m so lucky a man finds me attractive”.
I also notice how the art has made sure to showcase Cindy’s “sexiness” this week (despite how it conflicts with the dialogue of her mourning her faded beauty) but not Cayla’s. I thought that was odd at first, since Cayla is Les’s Wife and you’d think she’d be drawn as the prettiest woman ever, because Les deserves nothing less (humor!) but then remembered she’s Secondary Wife and can’t look better than Lisa.