Tag Archives: cookies

They’re Wafer-Thin

Link to today’s strip.

You know, I don’t think it quite works that way.  When you report to your homeroom that you’ve sold a box or two, but your profits aren’t money but cookies, the folks in charge are going to frown at you.

Imagine the scene when the class goes to the bus station to begin their journey.

“Hi!  So you’re the crew that’s going to Washington, DC!  Great!  Can I have the check, please.”

“Well, we’re not paying with money, of course not!  We have lots of boxes of Girl Scout Cookies, though!  Surely their value will allow us to purchase tickets for an interlude of fun!”

“—”

In terms of actual humor, this reminds me of a “Beavis and Butthead” episode in which they were supposed to sell candy bars, but ended up using the same dollar to buy each others’ bars in turn, ending up with all the bars gone but with only a dollar to show for it.

I’m sure Tom Batiuk would be horrified to know that his work reminds people of “Beavis and Butthead”…but that’s kind of a bonus, isn’t it.

The artwork in this one has a number of nice touches.   I’m sick of seeing that chullo, but it’s quite intricately detailed–obviously, Tom Batiuk put some time and effort into it.  And the girl scout’s badges and sash were clearly drawn with care.  The neighborhood is well-depicted, too; you can actually catch the character of the area.  You know the time this is happening; that’s nicely done.

I especially like the detail of the footsteps in the snow–it’s actually used to tell the story, showing where these two were just moments before.   It also has a sense of, for lack of a better word, ongoingness.  You get the sense that these two have been going from door to door for some time during the day, rather than just starting out.  The only false note in the art is the way Chullo’s hand is bent, but I can chalk that up to Tom Batiuk’s desire to show the front of the box

Things like this are what puzzle me the most about this strip.  Tom Batiuk clearly has the tools to tell stories, and he’s capable of the odd subtle yet important touch.  So why doesn’t he put more effort into the actual substance of the strip?  Why add these things only on rare occasions? Today’s strip tells me that he could make this strip at least readable (if unremarkable), but he’d just rather not.

But the odd touches make me think he still…kind of cares about this thing.  And if he still cares, perhaps he could set another goal, other than getting his strip to that 50 year anniversary.  Perhaps a goal that might, you know, engage him a bit.

I mean, six years is a long way to go on autopilot.

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Glean On Me

Link To Today’s Strip

Mason’s been in town for a day or two and he’s already making with the wry remarks and the eyebrows like he’s Les Moore’s long-lost half-brother or something. Also note how he’s in the proper comic book reading position, on the floor like a child. And how the hell is he speaking without opening his mouth in that last panel? He’s seriously going to read four hundred SJ comics (including all bronze, silver, gold, platinum and diamond keys with corresponding ashcans) on Holly’s sofa? Good lord, this arc could take years to finish…IF he decides to finish it at all, that is. Because he might not, you know.

Today’s punchline references events presumably taking place in the pages of a fictional comic book that only fictional comic strip characters have read. Think about that for a moment. These disturbing comic book fantasies of his have progressed to the point where he’s basing jokes upon scenes that only exist in his mind. Obviously his “vision” of SJ includes lots of property damage, which makes it all very amusing to him, but what good does that do anybody else? We’re reaching a point where you have to understand the inner workings of BanTom’s comic book-addled brain in order to decipher the dialog and make sense of the jokes. We’re through the looking glass here, people.

Coming later this year: Having gained eighty pounds during his stay, Mason decides to quit showbiz in favor of staying in Westview. He moves into Les’ house and takes the longbox delivery job at Komix Korner. Then, after wrecking the Kornermobile in an accident, an MRI reveals a brain tumor. Then the story abruptly cuts to Owen complaining about the cafeteria food and Mason isn’t mentioned again until a scene where we see his tombstone in the background of an unrelated panel on Mother’s Day.

And this concludes my latest SoSF stint. Thanks to TFH, the SoSF staff and most of all, you, the snarkers who make it all possible. Stay tuned for our next guest host and a virtual font of obscure FW knowledge…billytheskink! Good luck and godspeed, billy!

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