Tag Archives: Cliff Anger

Can the Living Marry the Dead?

Link to today’s strip.

Apologies first off–I don’t know how Fearless Leader embeds these sideways things into normalcy, so you’ll have to suffer with strained necks for the nonce.  Unless I reach beyond myself, and give it a try–

–hey, that worked!  I think!

And check out that cast.  Isaac The Robot (defaming Dr. Asimov’s memory), Moon Mile Meek (or whatever that bowel movement was named), the Space Cadets, the Black Ghost, the Amazing Mister Sp0nge and the (*Cough* undead) Absorbing Junior, and the latest ass-pull, the Blue Astra.  I’d love to see a follow-up strip showing what gifts they brought (“a gift certificate for $10 at Best Buy?  Who the hell–“) but follow-ups are definitely not this strip’s strong suit.

–Case in point.  So, the Starbuck Jones movie world premier has come and gone, and we are no wiser as to how it fell on the world.  Was it a hit?  Did people enjoy it?  Were the fanboys irate over how it changed canon?   Did it rescue the Valentine Theater from foreclosure, and did it spring the careers of Mason, Marianne, Cindy, Cliff, Vera, Pete and Dullard into the stratosphere?  Did it circle the drain on the way through the toilet?   Is Cable Movie Entertainment now on the level of Marvel Studios, or are they instead competing with The Asylum for most horrible crap ever?

As the Residents once sang on their album Not Available, these are “Never Known Questions.”   Because the only answer here is another question, “Who cares?”  And the answer to that is, “Not Tom Batiuk.”

My theory on this is actually quite simple, and obvious once you hear it.   The success or failure of the Starbuck Jones movie was something that–had nothing to do with Les Moore.

Think on that for a moment.  Has this strip ever featured a creative, successful idea that didn’t involve Les Moore?  I certainly can’t think of any.  For the most part, it’s been “I need help, oh thank you for helping, [blink] oh it’s the next day and everything worked.”  (I’m thinking of Pete Movement and his battles with the…sigh…Lord of the Late.)

The message of the strip has been pretty constant in Act III–Les Moore is the only person who can be allowed a creative success in the world.  Everyone else succeeds only because they betrayed their ideals and settled for hackery.   No one else has lost a wife…no one else wrote a best-selling book detailing how he suffered when losing his wife…no one else wrote about how he just damn kept on, after losing his wife…and found a woman willing to be doormat.  That last bit is a little troubling, but, you know…Les Moore was once married to a woman, who…died.

It makes me fear what comes next week.

 

Advertisements

25 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

Scenes from a Mirage

Link to today’s strip.

Now, I want an honest counting of hands, here.  How many of you thought we’d see something/anything of the Starbuck Jones movie during this, the arc in which the long gestating film finally had its premier?  Think of all the things riding on this film’s success–not just careers for Mason Jarre, Pete Robots, Darrin Undesireable and Cliff Anger, but the culmination of desire for a million fan-boys, the affirmation of belief for thousands of cellar-dwellars, and the salvation of the Valentine Theater (and a poorly-performing comic strip associated with same).   Surely such an expanse would provide proof of its benevolent effect.  Right?

Don’t be ashamed; after all, this was something that was fed to us for several years now as the event of the decade, as the measure by which this strip would ensure its place in the pantheon.

So, hands?  Well, there’s one.  Two.  Oh…oh…oh, dear.  That’s far too many hands than I thought I would see.

In my host duties here, I have tried to focus on the content of the strip and NOT on Tom Batiuk, the person.  I’ve never met, and don’t know Tom Batiuk; from all reports, he’s a genuinely nice guy, open and friendly, and I try to keep that foremost when I write here.  And to be honest, I wish him well.

But I’m going to violate that rule here.  Because Tom Batiuk cannot tell a story.

He must know this–aside from Les Moore, the characters he truly cares about (Starbuck Jones and The Amazing Mister Sponge) have never had a single panel dedicated to showcasing their, cough, awesomeness.  Sure, we’ve had lots and lots of covers, but nothing in the way of story.   Story being the key to why a character makes an impression.  Comic book cover?  Anyone who ever read a comic book ever knows that comic book covers are designed to lie you into buying them.  So they don’t count.

It’s much, much easier to ease back down off that plane, and shift the focus to a bunch of has-beens getting married.  Everyone likes marriages, right?  And that’s way more, like, focused than some movie thing that’ll be, like, forgotten in two years.  But marriage, man, that’s like eternal!  Until the next reboot.  But I’ve heard Les Moore has a new book!  Gotta be worth it all, man, gotta be worth it all.

And, just to be that guy,  I’ll be damned if I look it up, but I’m pretty sure Mason made this exact same joke some months back.

To paraphrase Charlie Brown, I weep for the newspaper comic-strip fans.

18 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

Shooting Gallery

Today’s strip

Greetings, folks, BChasm temporarily in the captain’s chair for the next little while.  What’s this?!  The viewscreen shows a sea of hostiles–ready photon torpedoes!   We must annihilate this threat before it spreads across the galaxy!

I’m going to skip over Mason’s “movie we filmed here,” comment, because while I don’t think any of the film was shot in Centerville, I honestly don’t remember the “school bus drives into shot” bit well enough, and–Tales to Astonish–I have no desire to look and see.  So I’ll give him that.

What else?  Well, we’ve got a crowd shot of almost everyone, including Les–which sets our Les Watch back to zero, damn it.  At least he’s not saying anything, and is both poorly drawn and partly covered by a word balloon.  Funny, though, I’d have expected both Comic Book John and Imbecilic Harry to be there, but I guess they got their exposure in at Comic Con, so no need to feature them any longer.  But who is that between Jim KibblesNBits and Marianne?  It looks like they flew Marianne’s mother out there after all!  I guess?

The fact that so many of the cast and crew are in the audience–and sitting right up front, too–makes me wonder if Tom Batiuk believes that the first time anyone involved with a movie actually gets to see the finished film is at the premier.  In the real world, the director would have seen the film dozens of times by now, and there’s almost always a screening for the cast and crew.  So all these people would be backstage, or at the back of the hall, gauging audience reaction–pacing, room for laughs, people getting bored at certain parts, and so on–and looking for “oohs” and “aahs” for the cast members.

But not in the fantasy land that is the Funkyverse.  Here, everything happens the way a five year old imagines that it happens–it’s all just magic, and friendship, and comic books and pizza, and it works every time!  In a way, that sounds like an attractive world…for a few minutes.  But after those few minutes, I’d want something of substance, something that would stir the imagination rather than just “be” everything forever.

Poorly thought-out as the Lisa stuff is, it’s at least an attempt to address adult concerns–something that a comic strip aimed at “contemporary problems of young people” should attempt more often.  Because I’m pretty sure the contemporary problems of young people aren’t that they wish there were more comic-book movies.

25 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

Court and Snark

Snifit
August 21, 2017 at 12:26 am
I like how Batiuk doesn’t bother actually showing where they are. The theater? Marriage License office? Swinger hotel? They’re here, guys. Just here.

“Here” turns out to be the courthouse, and there are so many questions. Are they picking up marriage licences, or are they going to be married by a judge, or maybe by Centerville’s mayor, Bill Clinton? Why then did the prospective grooms (separately!) reach out to Pete to find a minister?  Why all the secrecy about the wedding? And while it’s true that Starbuck Jones is what brought them together, does that somehow mandate that they must marry as soon as the movie comes out? Has the movie come out, and have we not been shown the gala Ohio premiere? What happened to the pink boutonniere that Cliff wore yesterday?

24 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

DOUBLE STARBUCK WEDDING

Both Mason Jarre and Cliff Anger have separately asked me to find a minister for just after the premiere.” If you’re gonna “tell, not show,” Mr. Batiuk, couldn’t you at least do it using less unwieldy sentences? So assuming that Mason and Cliff don’t intend to marry each other, each man holds matrimony in enough esteem to require a minister to perform the ceremony. But neither man has a problem with delegating the task of finding a clergyman to Pete. Guess this falls under Pete’s “advance work” duties. But that’s not the gag here, folks: the gag is that John is shitting eggrolls over the news that the film’s male leads have (separately!) decided to wed their betrothed after the premiere.

19 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

Xanaxian Peril

170730I think today’s strip is something new, I don’t recall seeing a movie poster homage before. It looks like TB doesn’t know any movie poster artists, as he conscripted old pal (and Cliff Anger expy) Chuck Ayers to draw this one up. I guess that Crankshaft story arc where Crankshaft sold a bunch of vintage movie posters so he could pay for the “Roughriders” on his bus route to go to college was a good enough qualification.

I am not sure why present-day Vera is morphing into Holly, but Cliff appears to have found out about the rerelease of the old Starbuck Jones serial in Reader’s Digest. He is certainly the right age for a Reader’s Digest reader. I’ll bet the announcement was written in Junior Spaceman decoder ring code…

16 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

Decoder? I barely know her…

Tough luck, SOSFers. Not just because you’ve read today’s strip, but also because today’s strip is particularly rant-worthy and I may well be the weakest ranter on this site. I am sorry, I just cannot do it justice. I’ll lean on our commenters to give this strip what it deserves.

I do have an editorial comment, though, and it doesn’t involve Funky in a coma this time. Among the few printable things that have been said about this whole unending Starbuck Jones movie arc is that it is “wish fulfillment”. It is an apt description, of course, as nearly everything about Starbuck Jones comes across as what TB wishes would have happened to his own creations. However, there is no reason that wish fulfillment can’t be entertaining.

Sally Forth just spent a whole month at a (very) fictional Japanese movie monster theme park, something I’m sure unabashedly nerdy SF writer Francesco Marciuliano very much wishes was real. However, Marciuliano uses his fantasy to tell a story and crack jokes that are relatable to readers whether they are kaiju-obsessed or not. You may not know what a Gamera is, but you probably get jokes about taking family vacations and waiting in line at theme parks.

TB’s Starbuck Jones business, meanwhile, requires a tome of Batiuk blog posts and a glossary of Hollywood terms to understand, and a miracle to find entertaining. It seems to be perpetually patting itself on the back for being such a big deal in its own allegedly realistic universe, thrusting long-standing characters into Hollywood’s orbit for seemingly no reason other than to show that they are great enough to be involved in Starbuck Jones things.

I would say that my wish would be that we could leave Starbuck Jones, Hollywood, and the Valentine Theater behind… but that undoubtedly means more of Les. I can’t win. None of us can.

17 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky