Tag Archives: decoder rings

Another Pizza My Heart

Another perpendicular panel and more of Pete and Mindy meeting cute. I can’t tell you “the age of that joke” (I’m guessing ancient) but I can tell you Batiuk last used it six months ago (in another sideways strip no less). I guess he forgot, just like he forgot that it was a Tweet, not a “coded Junior Spaceman message” that Jff sent to the director. Pete nurses a glass of coyote urine as he watches Mindy gorge on pizza and Italian bread. He’s either too cheap/broke to get a slice for himself, or perhaps he’s already grooming svelte Mindy to join the ranks of dumpy blonde Westview wives.

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Manos: The Hands Of Grate

Today’s strip finally gets to the point. Whatever.

All I see is a kid in a Davy Crockett coon-skin cap…
FWSmif

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Bored of the Rings

Today’s strip is about that dadgum decoder ring. Your mileage won’t vary, it WILL be low.

Jeff, quit teasing your wife and son with this appallingly uninteresting Starbuck Jones nostalgia trip and just tell your family what all of us readers already know the message on your phone says. You told two very interested parties that The Valentine may have gotten the miracle it needed to keep its doors open, and follow that up by leering creepily gazing at 60 year old toy that you got for free from a chocolate milk mix company.

Max, you gotta do better than this, man. If your dad knew the gibberish on his phone was the Starbuck Jones Junior Spaceman’s code then he’s a big enough nerd to know how to decipher it. He’s been waiting decades to show this stupid ring off and you are the one who had to go and give him the satisfaction.

Pam, you’re an enabler. Can’t really blame you for that, since every other woman in this universe apparently is as well.

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Hai-Code

Today’s strip contains
A couple of near-haiku
Shall we take a look?

“This text may be the
Answer you are looking for
It’s just gibberish”

“That is because it’s
Written in the Starbuck Jones
Junior Spaceman’s code”
_________________________

Jeff has just put on
That stupid decoder ring
Why does he have it?

Came from his pocket?
Does he carry it around
Annoying others?

He just got a text?
But it was a Tweet he sent
To Director Guy

I guess that Durwood
Has uncle Jeff’s phone number
As if he’s used it

Nice car on the curb
Puts Batiukmobile® to shame
Who would park it here?

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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.

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Slow Motion Story Arc Too

Link to today’s strip

Wow, Mopey Pete sure can become a whirlwind of activity when something really stupid inspires him, you know? Just think, if Cliff had never sold that old decoder ring Pete never would have come up with the idea to stage an event where old SJ fans gather to talk about old decoder rings. It’s so funny how life works out that way, innit? Good thing he didn’t auction off his old SJ underpants too, or this arc could have taken an ugly, ugly turn very quickly.

I like how all this nostalgia-wallowing only serves to emphasize how Anger essentially wasted sixty years of his life living as a bitter old recluse for no reason whatsoever. But it’s all OK now as at long last he has a reason to celebrate the only noteworthy thing he ever did…sixty years ago. When you think about it like that it’s all incredibly depressing. And it’s also kind of depressing how a guy who’s been doing a daily comic strip for forty-four years could possibly create a new character this one-dimensional and shallow, although it’s certainly not surprising.

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