Tag Archives: gun violence

On Smolderin’ Pond

Valerie Pond’s lifeless body is discovered in today’s strip by… Super Chicken?!

You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Val! Maybe set your stemware down before you go wrestling someone for a gun next tim… oh, sorry. I suppose it is too late for that. Brinkel wasn’t much for privacy either, his bedroom was open and his gun collection was accessible? Laughable negligence even if he was not guilty.

Have a happy 4th of July all you SOSFers! Don’t be like TB is with his story arcs, please be/travel/revel safe…

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Ascent of a Woman

TB is a master of “tell, don’t show”, a story-telling characteristic that seems like it might be a nearly serviceable way to set up a murder-mystery, as ill-suited as it is for comic strips. In today’s strip, however, he is employing the unusual technique of “show and tell explicitly in an unengaging way”. As I said yesterday, subtlety is dead in the Batiukverse. Now we’re just playing out the week(s) to find out if these filmstrip-bordered panels are Cindy’s in-production documentary, a documentary that Cindy and Jessica are watching, or a procrastinating fever dream that even Pete and Durwood would “stand in line” for.

I must admit, though, I do like Hagar The Horrible there in panel 3 and his Petri dish stemware. Looks like it holds nearly one whole ounce!

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Bleat for Security

Link to today’s strip

“Americans used to roar like lions for liberty; now we bleat like sheep for security.”

― Norman Vincent Peale

It’s interesting how the force of this protest has waned over the last three days. On Tuesday we were ‘urging action to stop’, yesterday we were ‘urging action to prevent’ and now we’re not ‘urging action’ at all anymore, just ‘voicing concerns about’ tomorrow we’ll just be ‘drawing attention to guns,’ and the slow march of passivity will continue on.

I wondered if there was ‘much to show for’ school shooting legislation from last year to this year. Because I don’t trust Tom Batiuk one bit to do any real research on what he’s claiming. There has been quite a bit.. At least on the gun control side. Maybe Bernie is one of those who argues a gun control is more a mental health issue. Oh, wait, no, there’s been significant movement on that front too. This article even mentions the students March for Our Lives having an effect.

Of course, you could make the argument that a lot of these proposed laws haven’t been finalized yet, or that all of this isn’t enough. But that isn’t what Bernie here is saying. What he’s really saying is, school shootings are bad enough to protest but not serious enough to research.

I look forward to the senior trip to DC, where the students will protest the lack of a WWII memorial while standing in it’s fountain.

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No Conflict of Interest.

Link to today’s strip

What is going on with Les’ face in panel two today? I can only guess that Ayers saw the word vomit in the speech bubble and decided to give Les an expression to match. It’s a pretty apt depiction since Les is just regurgitating yesterday’s substance.

And good old principal Nate today, distilling into one word the thing most perniciously wrong with Funky Winkerbean. Les presents him with something potentially contentious, and Nate agrees.

No argument about the students’ obligation to be in school, the potential debasing of non-violent rule breaking as a tool of last resort, or the use of the school’s own vehicle of propaganda to take a position on a divisive issue where the student body is likely not unified in viewpoint. Nate agrees. All ‘good’ people agree. Everyone seen is in agreement. The potential opponents are an unseen undefined ‘badness’ that must not be personified.

This is worse storytelling than the Big Gay Prom arc, because at least in that we had a strawwoman in opposition. She was about as nuanced as a shrieking harpy ruining everyone’s lunch, but she was there. Opposition leads to drama. It resists the goal of the protagonists, making them work for what they want. And, most importantly to Batiuk’s goals, it gives what they’re fighting for weight. Debate lets the characters themselves tell the audience why: Why is a walkout the best way for these students to protest school shootings? Does anyone think there is a better way? Is there any specific legislation or legislators these kids are targeting? We’ll probably never know, because so far no one asked.

If Les and Bernie had to convince the Principal to allow the editorial, if they had to explain themselves to parents or disagreeing students, or if they had to potentially sacrifice something to stage this protest, then the ‘protest’ might seem like something more than what it is: hollow, passionless, consequence free virtue-signaling.

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Marshal Arts

Link to today’s strip

Wow. That is one unwieldy sentence in panel one. Look, I get it, writing is really hard. I always find some real nasty clunkers anytime I go back and reread something I’ve written. But panel one’s sentence is atrocious.

“So you want to marshal our students to walk out of school on the anniversary of last year’s national walkout urging action to stop gun violence?”

The worst part of the sentence is the ‘urging action’ ending, because it adds a new verb into the sentence. It functions as a new ‘clause’ and my brain did a little hiccup trying to tie that verb to any of the previous nouns. Also ‘verb-noun verbing verbtion to verb noun noun-with-implied-action’ has no less than five ‘active’ words in it: (walk, urge, action, stop violence,)yet comes across limp and passive. I am years and years away from the single high school grammar class I took, so I can’t completely diagram this sentence and it’s awfulness. But it does not scan.

I get that the anemic attempt at a ‘joke’ is dependent on Les restating the plan in order to build up the expectation that he will not go along with it, but that doesn’t make the sentence any better. And the ‘joke’ is a trope so tired that Dawn of the Dead 2004 used it.

CJ: Not to s**t on anyone’s riff here, but lemme just see if I grasp this concept, OK? You’re suggesting that we take some f**king parking shuttles, and reinforce them with some aluminum siding, and then just head on over to the gun store and watch our good friend Andy play some cowboy movie jump-on-the-covered-wagon bulls**t. Then, we’re gonna drive across a ruined city, through a welcome committee of a few hundred thousand dead cannibals, all so that we can sail off into the sunset on this f**king a**hole’s boat? And head for some island that for all we know doesn’t even exist?

Kenneth: Yeah.

Tucker: Pretty much, yeah.

CJ: OK. …I’m in.

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Gorilla Marketing

Hi all! SosfDavidO here with a pain in my neck from trying to read today’s strip sideways.

Hey, hey, it’s a monkey! A gorilla to be more accurate, drawn by a man who ape-parently only has a basic understanding of what a gorilla looks like.

It’s true, though, gorilla covers on comics sold a lot of issues back in the day. TomBat isn’t the first to notice the phenomenon of course, but I have to wonder, Tom, if you’re going to do a throw-back gorilla cover, why not the simian golden age equivalent of Freebird by revamping the infamous Jimmy Olson marries a gorilla” cover?

olsen_gorilla

This is what Gramps was reading, kids.

 

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Weapon of Mass Deception

SoSfDavidO here! Puns are supposed to make you groan. Is there even a pun in today’s strip?

This is just awful writing. This, what you’re reading, and today’s Winkerbean. How many story arcs are still being juggled and we get a throw-away strip like this? Funky looks bored as hell but he’s probably long-since fused with the couch and couldn’t leave if he wanted to.

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