Wow, talk about a pathetic waste of time, even more so than the usual Sunday strip. Apparently TomBan had a bunch of extra “Ominously Smirking Frankie” drawings lying around that he felt he needed to re-purpose, or perhaps he once again assumes his readers will forget the plot unless he drives it home over and over again for days on end. Either way the hackery just leaps off the page as the “story” (as it were) continues its inexorable death spiral into nothingness. What a sad-sack-sorry display.
Tag Archives: Frankie
That hair strand invading the word balloon in panel three is one of the single most enraging things I’ve ever seen. And Marianne’s peculiarly proportioned body probably says a lot about the artist responsible for drawing it, the less said there the better. The biggest question at this point is how long can Frankie continue to make that ominously sneering face? Is that his default expression now? Did he remember to lock up the Food Film truck before he left? And why did Mason and Marianne leave the front door open like that? Mysteries abound.
The dialog today is really bottom of the barrel though. Hey, remember back before Marianne was a real character, back when she was still a mysterious home-wrecking vixen? Me either. Turns out she’s just an ordinary girl with a solid set of good old fashioned mid-central-Ohioian values who just happens to live in Hollywood with her adorable stereotypical mom, that’s all. As always, BatNom grinds everything down until there’s not a single edge of entertainment left, just a smooth flat bland surface full of contrived dialog and stupid smirks.
Finally. And what a payoff! It turns out that Mrs. Winters is a frumpy, Westviewian-bodied, patented Tomban “cute mom”-type who probably has the milk, cookies and comic books on the coffee table already. That BanTom, never afraid to firmly stick with what works.
Meanwhile we can probably assume that the perennially disappointing Frankie will use the dismal lighting at Marianne’s mom’s house to his advantage via the magic of those darn computer machines they make these days and create a scandalous video he’ll sell to DMZ for cash-money-profit. I guess he’ll use some sort of filter to rein in Mrs. Winters…uh…”ample” behind to match Marianne’s painfully bony and weirdly angular body type. Absolutely brilliant. God I just want to punch this comic strip so hard sometimes, you know?
Seriously though, how much would some gossip outlet really be willing to pay for something like this? Maybe ten thousand dollars or thereabouts? I just can’t see how Frankie breaks even here, much less makes a profit at this. And I still don’t understand his motive here, did he choose the SJ production because it’s the next big thing and just happened to run into Darin by chance or did he choose to target SJ because Boy Lisa works there? Because right now Frankie is a guy who laid out what had to have been many tens of thousands of dollars at the least to obtain a piece of gossip worth a fraction of that, for no established reason other than he just does stuff like that sometimes. As usual, none of the pieces fit together at all and everything contradicts everything else.
(Note to Ban, Tom: using words like “thrilling” in the dialog fools no one. “Gee Mason, this sure is an entertaining briskly-paced car ride!”…see what I mean?)
The greatest trick BanTom ever pulled was somehow managing to rehash the plot of the very story he was telling even as it was unfolding, something few if any writers have ever pulled off. Mainly because most other ordinary writers like to entertain their readers with, you know, ideas and plot twists and cool stuff like that. But not our pal BatNom, no sir, he likes to keep things simple and repetitive. Repetition: the shitty writer’s best friend, lifelong pal, reliable chum. Good ol’ repetition. Always there when you need it.
(SIGH) So Frankie is still scheming will ill intent and Mason and Marianne are still driving around. The studio certainly grants Mr. Jarre a lot of leeway, you know? The guy abandons the set on a whim whenever he likes, sometimes for days or weeks at a time. Maybe he can score Mrs. Winters a job on the movie, I mean why not just go all-in at this point? I will tell you this though, if they’re not at her mother’s house by tomorrow, everyone dies. One of the things I really miss about old-fashioned newspapers was the way I could always tear out that day’s FW strip and angrily rip it up when it annoyed me like it is today, but that’s too expensive nowadays.
That look on Mason’s face in panel two is without a doubt the look of a man who’s just become very aroused by the thought of meeting his sexy young co-star’s mother, who’s probably just about in his wheelhouse age-wise too. I just love how oblivious and blithe he is about it all too, like he doesn’t give a damn about Cindy and her jealous nonsense anymore, not when there’s a hot starlet’s mom out there just dying to meet him.
And check out Frankie, lurking around with his cell phone camera like some low-budget Allen Funt, still ominously sneering away with abandon. Heh heh heh, this will serve that Mason Jarre right for, uh, being his first paying customer and, uh…what’s the point of this again? Oh yeah, that’s right, TomBan never bothered to tell us what Frankie’s motives are here so as of right now it’s just stuff happening for no apparent reason. In other words, your typical FW Act III story.
Looks like it’s Frankie’s lucky day, which by my calculations will mark his first lucky day since way, way back in Act I when his poodle-headed cockeyed homely nerd girl fantasy finally came true. Now comes the part where he concocts a phony story about Mason and Marianne, which will send Cindy into a violent huge-fonted rage. So predictably BanTom. And that dialog is just atrocious…”even when I didn’t believe in myself”…LOL, once again Batiuk just uncannily captures the way “real” women speak.
The whole Film Food thing continues to amuse me to no end. Look at that set-up, chairs, fancy-schmancy two-pronged forks and everything. He must have spent a small fortune on that thing, not to mention the licenses and permits and so forth. Seems like a lot of work and expense to go through just to obtain some gossip, he could have just used a fraction of that money to bribe someone or something.
And this whole “Mason is merely mentoring his younger fellow actor and not trying to hit on her at all” thing he’s doing with these two is making me queasy. Wasn’t his fiancee totally melting down just a few minutes ago in strip time? His first reaction was to grab an intimate bite at a mysterious food truck with his co-star then volunteer to meet her mother? Obvious Mason hasn’t been in too many committed relationships before, as getting closer to the perceived enemy your significant other despises tends not to work very well in most cases.
Never mind the title of this entry; sometimes it’s really hard to be clever, as Frankie (and a certain cartoonist) can well attest. So, like a certain cartoonist might say, you grab a word out of the material in front of you and think, “What goes with ‘dirt’?” You might find yourself surprised by your findings. And not in a good way.
Anyway. So, Frankie and Lenny see Mason and Marianne walking away toward the studio soundstage.
Somehow, this gives Frankie ideas. Big ideas–the kind his boss, Fred Flintstone, wants. The kind he knows Fred will see, and he’ll get that maniacal gleam in his eyes. “Boys,” he’ll say, “boys, this–this is good. This is really, really good. Yabba-dabba-do!”
And, using a bit of imagination, I can see the headlines now:
As Alfred E. Neuman once offered, “Perfect for framing or wrapping fish!” What he once said about his own portrait might now apply to certain sections of the newspaper in their entirety.