Yesterday I mentioned the insane tonal shift with this story, and that insane tonal shift continues unabated today, as yet another character handles the unwanted, unloved handgun used to murder John Darling. Then, out of nowhere, in an almost Lynchian twist, Mitchell is replaced in panel two with some sort of hideously disfigured man (mouth cancer would be my educated guess) with incredibly disturbing hairs all over his crotch. He returns in panel three, though, handing Jessica a broken coffee mug with a malevolent, hateful sneer on his face.
Nothing I could say would be anywhere near as funny as merely recapping the story itself is. This one’s a real humdinger, even by BatYam standards. No one would have Les a vial of the cesium used in Lisa’s radiation treatments, no one would have Linda a hunk of Bull’s femur, but apparently it’s OK to clown on Jessica’s dad’s death, which aptly demonstrates how BatYarn still hasn’t gotten over THAT whole thing either. Some comic strip deaths are just funnier than others, I suppose.
Link To This One
To recap: Mitchell found the actual gun used to kill Jessica’s father (John Darling) “in with some memorabilia” he bought, like it was an old Reggie Jackson baseball card and not the actual handgun used in the John Darling murder. I repeat: he acquired the gun, unknowingly, after some guy just happened to include it in a collection of other junk Mitchell was buying. Not being especially interested in the handgun used to kill John Darling (his hero), Mitchell casually tossed in an unsecured drawer, where he promptly forgot all about it until the murder victim’s daughter’s husband happened to find it while snooping around in the murder victim’s old desk after dropping by uninvited. And now they’re passing the gun around, apparently as confused by these developments as I am. If nothing else, this is some absolutely APPALLING gun safety being practiced here, by everyone involved.
I’ve seen some nutty shit over the course of Act III (and let’s be honest, Act III at its most whacked-out has NOTHING on Act II, where this kind of shit happened every week), but man alive, this one is just so very wrong on so many different levels. The whole gun thing is unbelievable enough on its own, but then he throws that “autopsy photos” thought bubble in there, and the whole thing just veers off into previously uncharted waters. There’s just such a wildly divergent tone to this mess, it’s all over the place to the point of being practically abstract. Just a few short days ago, Jessica was innocently trying to hunt down a piece of her late father’s TV legacy, and now she’s holding the gun used to kill him as the guy who gave it to her muses over autopsy pictures. How did this story ever come to this? What was he going for here? Did he even know?
Link To Today’s Abomination
Nope, this is NOT a parody strip. Once again, BatYam takes one of his demented little stories in a direction no one could have predicted. If you had told me last week that Boy Lisa would be handling the very gun used to murder John (Jessica’s father) Darling, I would have said “LOL yeah, sure, like the talking chimp could ever fire a gun”.
Whoops, got my FW handgun-centric story arcs all crossed up there. But anyway, yeah, Mitchell owns the ACTUAL MURDER WEAPON, which he keeps in a drawer in John Darling’s old TV desk. And, while rummaging around in that desk without asking for permission first, Boy Lisa (of all people) finds the gun and gets all queasy, which is to be expected, given his lineage and all. By God, man. This is twisted beyond belief, even by BatYam’s lofty standards. Every time you think you’ve seen it all with this guy, he just digs down deeper and blows your freaking mind.
And as much as we like to goof on the artwork and all, that look on Boy Lisa’s face in panel three is PERFECT. I made the EXACT SAME FACE when I first read this one. THAT is some flawless comic strip art right there.
“Mr. Monster“? And he’s just a guy in a goofy looking spaceman outfit, and nothing remotely monster themed? Batiuk is really scraping the bottom of the barrel with his fictional superheroes here. Which probably means he’ll still have fifty more, before his strip finally ends. Each somehow worse than the last. I thought for sure this guy’s name was “McMonster”, which makes as much sense as “Mr. Monster”. Again, I can’t imagine how that would be at all legible in the newspaper.
Also, I don’t think Batiuk understands how to properly honor a beloved local tradition, or whatever he’s attempting to do with these “Pizza Monster” strips. Drawing attention to how silly it is is not the way to go.