Hey, we got an appropriate Halloween visitor after all! The undead.
Tony Montoni is suddenly back from the dead and/or Florida. Or maybe he was just covered in flour the last time we saw him.
He recites the banal details of how the restaurant started, in classic Batiukian style: by listing all the steps in the process. “How did Montoni’s come to be? My father bought an Italian restaurant and renamed it. He smelled like pizza ingredients a lot.” That’s the kind of amazing insight into the human condition that will make Summer’s book an immediate best seller!
Tom Batiuk does not tell stories. He describes procedures. Think about any storyline you’ve ever seen in Funky Winkerbean. Everything is a rote description of the steps involved. Especially when it’s one of his precious publishing stories, where the whole point is to indulge his fantasy that’s the one being praised and fussed over.
What was Lisa’s Story? Fly to Westview. Ask Les to make the movie. Have Les sign the shopping agreement. Fly Les to Hollywood for the pitch meetings. Go to three different production companies. Find one you like. Go to lunch with them. Reach an agreement. Choose a director. Audition actresses. Begin filming. On and on it goes. Lisa’s Procedure was mercifully interrupted by the Point Dume fire procedure: unknown golfers accidentally start fire, fire spreads, Jeff announces plans to visit Bronson Cave, Jeff flies to Los Angeles, Jeff goes to Bronson Cave, Jeff ignores wildfire, Jeff has to be saved from wildfire, etc.
This strip loves to tell you what the procedure is going to be, describe or show every step of the procedure, negotiate irrelevant details, and perform formalities.
Not only is this going to be a boring rehash of unimportant trivia, it’s going to be done in the most tedious way possible. And no pizza box monster.
This week is going to be painful.
Cue the laugh track for today’s strip… because otherwise there’s just this long, awkward pause between non-jokes. It’s like a newsprint manifestation of those “sitcom without the laugh track” videos, only more more cringe-inducing. Why are these two ostensible friends (one of whom is terminally ill) being insufferable to each other? This kind of thing works when you establish that the two characters have some type of relationship and that unbearable wryness is their M.O. As far as I know, Crazy and Lisa never had much of a relationship of any kind (he was Les’ weirdo buddy), much less a whole Gilmore Girls thing going on.
Lisa really let Harry slide on that face after saying she didn’t feel as bad as she looked? Sure, she’s dressed like Crankshaft, but she’s also sick and at her own home. He’s the one who went out in public dressed like Gallagher wearing a Paul Simon Halloween costume.
Filed under Son of Stuck Funky
Tagged as cancer, Crazy, Crazy Harry, dead characters, death, enraging facial expressions, flashback, flashback thought bubbles, Harry, impending doom, Lisa, ponytail, porch swing, seldom-seen characters wearing hats, sepia-tone, sepia-toned flashback, slowly dying inside, Taj Moore-hal, the lisa, things to do in Westview when you're dead, wry banter, wry self-deprecation, wry weary snideness, wryness
Link To Today’s On Time Strip
No, she passed away while playing racquetball, you clod. This one is rather grim and depressing, even by FW standards. They just refuse to let that poor old dead organist rest. Oh well, at least her death resulted in a humorous anecdote for everyone else, so her hundred and twenty years on this planet were well worth it. Maybe next week the pastor will die during a funeral service, with hilarious consequences of course.
I get this reference, because G and C are music notes, right? Sigh. It’s not Batiuk’s worst gag ever, but still, the old lady dying sort of takes the edge off, for lack of a better term. In a FW context it’s nothing but to an outsider I suppose it’d seem rather dark, which is probably one reason why hardly anyone reads it.
Filed under Son of Stuck Funky
Tagged as bricks, church ladies, clouds, dead characters, death, Dinkle, Lillian, organs, passing birds, reverberations, St. Spires, symbols associated with Christianity, window