Oh, so we have another week of this… How, exactly, can Melinda Budd tell when the photo in today’s strip was taken? It looks like every other old photo/Act I flashback/actual Act I appearance of Holly.
I guess Holly figures her pageant days are over now that she’s looking more like Gloria Daze… but we all know that’s not going stop Melinda or TB from stretching this story concept so thin you could toss an Oldsmobile Bravada through it.
Batiuk has long relied on the “photo album corners” visual cue when depicting flashbacks to past events. He uses that device once again in today’s strip to confusing effect. Are we seeing the photo that Holly is holding in her hands? Why is that photo talking? If Holly’s photos aren’t collected in a photo album, why does this one have photo album corners? There are other head-scratching details to unpack as well. There are apparently enough majorette pics to staple together and make a movie, yet there’s only one single photo of Holly as a baby…and she’s not even in it? I get the feeling too that Batty had an extra baton twirling joke, and decided to use it up in the middle panel. It really doesn’t have much to do with what’s being said in the panels surrounding it.
It’s a hell of a mishap when a flying pole with burning rags wrapped around both ends gets away from the majorette. It might cause the football field to catch fire, as Buck Bedlow can tell-not-show you. Which is a funnier circumstance than that of a girl forced to spend her teenage years hiding hideous, painful deformity to please her twirler mom. Oh, and the spelling you want in panel 2 would be “trouper.”
At least in this case we know that the red blur in the picture isn’t a ball of fire. It’s Holly, in her classic Scapegoat majorette uni. I don’t know what’s worse: a “fireproof” garment that leaves your extremities exposed, or one that’s made out of material that can potentially cause cancer. Why not both?
September 12, 2021 at 10:36 pm
Interesting that the only color we see on the photos is blotchy red. Are these photos of shooting victims?
September 13, 2021 at 10:37 pm
…[A]ll the photos appear to black and white with occasional splotches of red. Was Fun…er, Holly taking pictures at a screening of “Schindler’s List”?
September 13, 2021 at 10:24 am
Given all of the red smears on the photos…I’m guessing most of these “old” photos date back to Holly’s days as a red-and-white clad high school majorette…
December 3, 2013
Kudos to the above-quoted snarkers whose beady, nitpicking eyes were drawn to the red splotches in nearly all of Holly’s photos. Those are all great (and funny) guesses, but apparently the pictures depict teenage Holly engulfed in flames.
The flaming baton gag dates back to the Act I days, and it is amusing to imagine it going horribly awry. It’s a little less amusing to imagine it causing disfiguring burns. And it becomes horrifying when we learn that her mother’s response was to schedule Holly’s yearbook photos accordingly. Also, disfiguring burns aside, Holly needn’t be so modest about her “skill” with a flaming baton. After all, she was still good enough, years later, to show a Xenon warrior just how it’s done.
Try saying “Twirling Tots” five times fast, I dare ya! Holly has settled into her ponderous pandemic picture project and is actually enjoying a little quality mother-daughter time. I don’t think I noticed until just this week that Melinda is drawn with the same weird, wide cartoony eyes that Holly had in her majorette days, and even when she was still a “Tot.”
Holly has been pictured in this outfit before. She’s wearing this uniform and boonie hat in her picture that hangs on Montoni’s Wall of Fame. I started searching the archives to find the strip that shows this, but quickly became flustered, and I soon found myself sitting cross legged on the living room floor, being comforted by my mother. I’m going to need another pandemic to find it, har! har! har!
I’m always forced to admit it when I find an FW character’s situation relatable to my own. My family photos aren’t collected in neat, tidy albums. They live in boxes and bags in the attic, and I need to, one of these days, take the time to sort and organize them. It’s a daunting task, to be sure, and that’s why I keep putting it off. But when I do find myself going through old photos, the memories they hold always bring a smile to my face. In today’s strip, Holly appears to be utterly distraught as she cowers on the floor amidst her family snapshots.
Link To Sunday’s Strip
At first glance I didn’t recognize the old crone Morty was arguing with and I had no idea who Eluis was either. Then it all came together. Let’s face it people, we may have dodged a bullet here, as “Holly’s mother annoys Funky” has two-week arc written all over it. Better to get it over and done with on a Sunday, as no one cares about the Sunday strips anyway.
Coming tomorrow: the return of SoSF founder TFH!
Link To Today’s Strip
Well, it may be the 26th and all but yuletide festivities are still in full swing over at Winkerbean Manor aka The House That Tony Built. Apparently Holly’s mother has been staying there this whole time, as that whole “band reunion” thing appears to have been nothing more than an excuse for Holly’s mom (does she even have a name?) to make Funky’s depressing life even more of a living hell. Despite it being a pretty tired old trope (mother-in-law gags are as trope-y as it gets) I was not altogether un-amused by Funky’s reaction there in panel two, nor by his sidewards comma eyes in panel one for that matter. Maybe it’s my misguided Christmas cheer, but IMO this is at least a baby step up from seven week PTSD arc or watching a befuddled amputee bumble around haplessly for a week, so there is that. I mean sure, it isn’t “good” by any measure but given how abysmal 2018 was overall, I’ll temporarily take it.
Link To Today’s Strip
Twas the night before Christmas
With Holly’s mom and Mort
Not a creature was stirring,
And no wry retorts!
I suppose a wordless strip on Christmas Day is sort of like BatNard’s gift to his faithful readers. I hope they both really enjoy it. Yep, it all comes around full circle all right. Holiday greetings and much thanks to the SoSF staff and of course our loyal and hilarious army of snarkers, have a Merry Christmas and may your whiskey stones come with a receipt so you can exchange them for something better, like actual whiskey.