Link to today’s strip
Today’s strip shows two new characters to the strip talking over…
Oh, it’s Summer, with her first dialogue since 2015! And she’s talking to Cayla, and of course, they’re talking about Les, since that’s the only thing these two are ever shown doing anymore.
As it turns out, this is one of Batiuk’s annoying introductions. I suppose it’s no spoiler to reveal that this week’s going to be about Les at a book signing, which also means that today’s strip is a useless one to introduce the subject. He could have easily introduced this sequence by actually starting with Les at his book signing, but that would mean that he couldn’t repeat the premise and effectively skip a day.
But I guess the larger point that this strip makes is that it establishes that Les’s signing is taking place at the Columbus Museum of Art for some damn reason. This only reminds me of how Batiuk has insisted that true art such as his belongs in a museum, rather than being in a more commercial venue. We can only hope that’s this is the last time he flogs that particular conceit in this sequence.
But hey! Marvel at Batiuk remembering that Summer exists and giving her a line. It might be Fall, 2019 before we see this again! Admire her awkwardly angled dorm mirror and try not to think too hard about what exactly that odd bottle of I-don’t-know-what is on her dresser, which Burchett decided to include for some reason.
Finally, after wasting a week of everyone’s time, we finally find out in today’s strip an inkling of what Buck’s Guilt over winning games no one remembers but these two losers from over 30 years ago. Linda, in the meantime has made herself useful by bringing him some sort of unidentifiable artifact that I assume is cyanide-laced coffee.
“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.
“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.”
― Saul Bellow
Nope, but you do have to be able to read what you wrote the morning after. You’ll remember Les as the guy who a week (and ten years) ago showed up in Crankshaft to pooh-pooh the creative techniques of his fellow writers at a book festival. Please tell me how jotting down ideas that come to you in your sleep differs at all from “I go to sleep and allow my dreams to write my book for me.”
Here’s a quick entry for you night owls!
The year’s still young, but apart from Crazy Harry’s Casablanca outing, Cliff Anger’s marriage proposal to Vera, and Dinkle and Becky’s convention trip, Funky Winkerbean‘s been all about…Funky Winkerbean. The Funkman and/or wife Holly (whose hair color recently changed from blonde to the same gray/beige “greige” as Bull Bushka’s temples) have figured in 60% of the strips since January 1st. By comparison, Les has only been seen four times and been given exactly one line of dialogue! Be thankful for small favors. In any event, the titular character, love him or hate him, is getting lots of screentime.
We regularly take Batty to task for depicting milieux (mainly the comics and motion picture industries) that reflect his interests but in which he has only vague understanding. Query which is better or worse: TB’s hamfisted Hollywood fantasies, or relateable, mundane, QIRFRL* arcs like “Funky Renews His Driver’s License“?
*Quarter-inch removed from real life
December 10, 2016 at 6:04 am
Well, I thought it before, but this makes it abundantly clear. Marianne, the beautiful, successful and deeply desired actress was intentionally drawn to look like Summer Moore. Put a hoodie on her and no one would be able to tell the difference.
Your wish has been granted! Anyone lucky enough to have not read FW since late January, when we last saw Summer, would look at yesterday’s and today’s strip and suppose that dark haired gal to be Summer Moore (and “Mom” to be Cayla, having at last turned completely Caucasian).
Batiuk attempts another punny headline, either unaware of or ignoring the more common usage of the slang term “mooning.” Unless we’re to believe that it’s Summer, I mean, Ms. Winters, who misunderstands the context and thinks she’s been accused of flashing her ass at Mason.