Finally! Dinkle and the alumni band show up in today’s strip… though Jerome T. Bushka A&L Automotive Stadium looks suspiciously like St. Sprires church and the alumni band doesn’t have any instruments (though they all look to be about the age I would expect). Weird.
After the throwaway panels, you almost could have convinced me that a computer wrote this. Former marching band director plays music from famous composer. You could generate this gag, such as it is, with a UNIVAC… though I think the UNIVAC would spit out dialogue with a little more flair.
And with that, I’m out. Tackling tomorrow’s tantalizing strip and taking to task the next two weeks will be the incomparable Spaceman Spiff.
Apologies for today’s short post, but this story arc has gone about as well as my week at work has… And today’s strip doesn’t do much to improve matters. It doesn’t do much period.
The insurance companies Dinkle may have put a stop to the flaming baton trick, but don’t you dare think he is losing his touch. He has happily proposed maiming senior citizens with fire in recent years.
Look, the man himself
Deigns to appear on panel
Here in today's strip
Why is he worried
No one is coming to see
Him in uniform
No one is coming
To see Holly twirl either
But whatever y'all
This Harry Dinkle,
He sounds like a real jerk
This guy here, real jerk
With his history
Of abusing band members
Why would alums play
But of course these two
Still have their band uniforms
No one leaves high school
Oh sweet Sousa, it’s HIM! I guess we all knew his appearance was inevitable after Holly brought up band alumni yesterday, but I think we were all hoping he wouldn’t show up as soon as today’s strip. But now he is involved AND he is tossing around comic book/video game terminology like he‘s DSH or the other guy in this strip named Harry, making this story arc go from insufferably bland to straight up insufferable in three panels flat. And now we know Holly wasn’t the only majorette he routinely maimed…
Holly really shouldn’t be surprised he remembers her, though. After all, he named his shoe brand’s majorette marching boots after her. I guess that means he is being sincere then telling her she was the best majorette he ever had, though I’ll also bet he‘s been keeping her royalty checks from the sale of those boots for the past 29 years too.
Well, we all knew the horrors were upon us when Harry Dinkle showed up.
So instead of contemplating the Unnamable, how about something that should go right into Tom Batiuk’s “women are unappreciated” shtick?
In honor (honor, not horror) of Harriet Dinkle, I give you Sally Cruikshank’s “Face Like a Frog,” a five minute slice of absolute brilliance, with a score (and song) by Danny Elfman. Hey, he wrote for Batman movies!
Ms. Cruikshank, in my opinion, is one of the greatest animators ever–male or female. Her work is entirely based on talent, rather than demanding appreciation because of her sex. And there’s more creativity and imagination (and humor) here than exists in all of Batiukland. Enjoy!
And to answer the obvious question, yes, that is the late, great Dick Miller as the voice of the main character.
You know, it was a huge revelation to both Dinkle and Harriet that you could just set up a web fund and people would give you money for no reason (and no effort on your part). Even better if you had a cat, and Dinkle certainly has access to Bingo (the cat from the church, in case any of you have memories like Tom Batiuk).
But no, those old candy-selling gags are money in the bank so they’ve got to be trotted out again.
I’m sitting here wishing for a different set of characters, and realizing that no matter who’s in the cast, it’s all going to be terrible. They’re all like whatever it is in the bowl in front of Harriet–something you don’t want to look at too closely.
By the way, the Firesign Theatre had an album some years ago called Boom Dot Bust. One of the characters was mayor William Cudlip P’nisnose. I think we’re seeing his wife in today’s strip. Or, Nixon in a wig.
Well, we’re back to being “selected” so I guess consistent writing is a much harder job than it appears to be. And of course Dinkle was selected. Many things like this are entirely too predictable in this strip; the only surprise is how dull, horrible and irritating it can get.
Of course, both Harry and Harriet are dressed the same way they were yesterday, and standing in the same places, so my inference is that this is taking place mere minutes after yesterday’s strip. But Dinkle’s over-description in panel one makes it seem like days have transpired, and he has to remind Harriet which organization is going to shower him with acclaim. So, either he signs up for dozens of events daily, or Harriet is remarkably stupid, even for a female in this strip. That’s saying something.
Of course, she married Dinkle, so she can’t be that bright.
Okay, so yesterday Dinkle said he might be “selected” to be one of 300. Today, I guess all you have to do is claim a spot? Might want to work on your “consistency” there, Batiuk. And while you’re at it, do something about “continuity.”
Ha! I slay me.
Anyway, in today’s strip, the dialogue could have said that the 257 “have already been chosen,” which would put it right back into the “might be selected” camp and add a bit of an edge to panel three’s situation. Will Harry be selected or won’t he? Of course he will, that’s a foregone conclusion, but at least Batiuk could try to have a bit of suspense, something that will keep a reader interested. Cos it sure ain’t the characters or dialogue that’s gonna do it.
This is plot seems familiar. Barring the possibility that Lillian is suggesting some kind of racy ‘OnlyFans’ account, ala Banana Jr. 6000 excellent porn parody of the St Spires Choir a few weeks ago. (In the comments of the April 3 post, ‘Septic Schlock’, if you haven’t read yet.)
Tell me today’s strip it isn’t a thematic copy of the strip below.
The whole story of the St Spires Choir is a hack job repeat of everything we’ve been through, years before, with the Bedside Manorisms. The only difference is the arcs are crammed closer together, and the Bedside Manorisms actually got to perform for people, (Concert, Christmas Concert, 4th of July Concert).
And now we have today’s strip. 5.) An elderly music group member has the idea to crowdfund online rather than try to sell more candy.
So where will this parallel storytelling lead us? If the past is prologue, then soon Dinkle is going to drag a busload of infirm people on a wacky road trip for a nonsensical adventure in another state all in service of Dinkle’s ego. And, indeed, Dinkle has already dreamed of the future we’re likely heading towards.