Link to today’s strip
Hello Funkysnark Fans! Comic Book Harriet here. And I am soooo honored to be with you this week! This is my first time driving the bus! But as long as I don’t go careening off any cliffs like a drunk on prom night, I think we should be okay.
And for my first strip we have an almost ‘Mark Trail’ set up, with a building cheerfully spouting expository dialogue. I do have to applaud the scene setting in the first panel. We know we’re in Beverly Hills because a vapid looking, overly skinny, socialite, in a back-exposing top has wandered into traffic and is about to get mowed down by a blue Porsche. It could use some topical Hollywood harassment, but these strips are written months in advance.
Boy Lisa, and the person who exists so Boy Lisa has someone to talk to when Droopy Eyes McSadWriter isn’t around, are gearing up for the only thing that really matters in Funkyverse: Comic Book Cancer (Charity Action).
I am totally baffled by Mrs. Flowers in The Attic saying the title of the auction as ‘Covers for the Cure.’ It seems to be followed by BoyLisa suddenly realizing they forgot to promote this event. Or maybe that ‘Covers for the Cure’ would be a better promotion than whatever they chose. Which is probably something like’ Starbuck Saves Second Base!’ But why would the young Miss Darling say it in the first place if it wasn’t the title of the event?
Are you excited for a week of fictional strips that serve as cheap advertising for a real life auction for a real life charity that honors the tragic death of a fictional character? Because I sure as heck am!
“Does everybody around here lean back in their chairs doing nothing?” wonders Director Guy as he fetches the producer his coffee. Of course, with Starbuck Jones opening soon, and its sequel having been filmed concurrently, what work would there be for the storyboard artist? Maybe Boy Lisa’s run out of his favorite pens again and is unable to work.
Back in C’ville, Pete has indeed found “something”: he spies a Batiukian/Burchettian blonde who stops him in his tracks so hard that his arms and shirttails fly away from his body. He’s pretty whopperjawed, all right! Casual readers might wonder why Pete’s blatantly ogling Cindy, but we know (since Batiuk teased it two months ago) that this is Crankshaft’s Hot Granddaughter Mindy. She’s successfully parlayed her Kent State diploma into a job helping her brother manage the dive theater.
If I were Hollywood producer Clay Wallace, I’d be leaning back with my feet on the desk too! When your director, leading man, screenwriter, storyboard artist, and their assorted hangers-on make brilliant decisions regarding casting, location shooting, publicity, and every other aspect of putting out a major motion picture, what’s left to do except kick back and enjoy things like palm trees outside and inside your office.
Tough luck, SOSFers. Not just because you’ve read today’s strip, but also because today’s strip is particularly rant-worthy and I may well be the weakest ranter on this site. I am sorry, I just cannot do it justice. I’ll lean on our commenters to give this strip what it deserves.
I do have an editorial comment, though, and it doesn’t involve Funky in a coma this time. Among the few printable things that have been said about this whole unending Starbuck Jones movie arc is that it is “wish fulfillment”. It is an apt description, of course, as nearly everything about Starbuck Jones comes across as what TB wishes would have happened to his own creations. However, there is no reason that wish fulfillment can’t be entertaining.
Sally Forth just spent a whole month at a (very) fictional Japanese movie monster theme park, something I’m sure unabashedly nerdy SF writer Francesco Marciuliano very much wishes was real. However, Marciuliano uses his fantasy to tell a story and crack jokes that are relatable to readers whether they are kaiju-obsessed or not. You may not know what a Gamera is, but you probably get jokes about taking family vacations and waiting in line at theme parks.
TB’s Starbuck Jones business, meanwhile, requires a tome of Batiuk blog posts and a glossary of Hollywood terms to understand, and a miracle to find entertaining. It seems to be perpetually patting itself on the back for being such a big deal in its own allegedly realistic universe, thrusting long-standing characters into Hollywood’s orbit for seemingly no reason other than to show that they are great enough to be involved in Starbuck Jones things.
I would say that my wish would be that we could leave Starbuck Jones, Hollywood, and the Valentine Theater behind… but that undoubtedly means more of Les. I can’t win. None of us can.
Everyone is severely intoxicated in today’s strip, right? Those glasses everybody has been carrying around have surely been filled and emptied many times by now, yes?
Because I don’t really know how else to explain this. The exaggerated hand gestures, the jumping on tables, the applause, the addressing of a group of full-grown adults as “kids”… Heck, alcohol may not really be enough to explain this. Not even something as dumb as Funky still dreaming in a coma back in 2010 effectively covers this ridiculousness.
Today’s strip is a sobering reminder of just how tantalizingly close we came to completely avoiding the foul, intrusive neighbor that is the Starbuck Jones movie. If only Mason had never come to Ohio, none of this would have happened.
– Mason only came to Ohio, of course, because he met Les on the set of Lust For Lisa.
– Tempting as it is to pin this all on Les, he was only able to lure Mason to Ohio with Holly’s collection of “Starbuck Jones” comics.
– Holly’s “Starbuck Jones” collection only existed because Cory started it.
– Cory only started the collection because… well, Tom only knows that. Maybe something to do with his stepfather reading it when he was a kid…
– And Ohio is only a state because the British ceded it to the United States in the Treaty of Paris, which was only possible because the French ceded the Ohio Valley to the British after losing the French and Indian War.
“Fan” theory time:
Funky is still in a coma from that 2010 car wreck and everything that has happened since then has been a dream. It was immediately before the wreck when Starbuck Jones was first mentioned (Funky had to sell SJ issue #1 to cover Komix Korner’s overdue rent), everything else involving Starbuck Jones has occurred after the wreck. Also, think of all of the other outlandish things in this strip that have happened since that wreck, things that would have been unlikely before: the successful publication of Lisa’s Story and its national book tour and “Hollywood” chapters, Cayla’s appearance changes, Les’ love life, Cory becoming a soldier and a well-adjusted individual, Cindy comes crawling back to Ohio, Wally snags Rache and Buddy, Dick Tracy…
This theory is, of course, disgustingly unoriginal and incredibly stupid. But is it really worse than the alternative?