Tag Archives: hoodie

Sidelong Glance

Link to today’s strip.

Why does Tom Batiuk use these stupid sideways strips? While it makes less work for Ayers to draw them, it makes more work for the reader, and there’s never any reward for doing so.

Batiuk might say they make his strip unique, as no one else does this. That’s true–no other comic strip artist does this. The reason they don’t is very simple–it’s an idiotic idea that adds nothing, and subtracts a great deal. Much like an ermine violin, it’s an impractical thing to have. Here’s an idea: why not make up a completely new language for his characters, with no translations available? That would be unique, too. And it would save time for the reader, since he could just skip the whole thing and move on to Garfield.

I guess striving to be unique, even if that makes the strip more difficult, is his goal at this point. He certainly hasn’t been trying to make his characters interesting or his stories anything other than dull.

As for today’s entry, well…when I was in college, my father would arrange summer jobs for me between years. It was decent work, and it gave me some spending money. But he never did this during Christmas break, which is (I assume) why Summer and Keisha are there now. It seems like a rather mean trick to play on a kid.

One might argue that this gives Summer and Keisha some work skills, showing up on time, knowing your tasks, etc. Except I feel certain both of them have worked at Montoni’s, so they’d already have some idea of those things.

Any excuse to ruin someone’s holiday, I guess.

By the way, I refuse to believe the person “on the left” is Cayla. It doesn’t look anything like her.

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Just Yuan Me

Even more disconcerting than their hoodies is Marc and Aaron’s penchant for completing each other’s sentences. So much to pick at in today’s strip. Has anyone else ever encountered this usage of “bank” as a verb meaning “to make money”? Must be some new lingo. Unlike “gangbusters,” a word that dates back to the Prohibition Era. And the SJ sequel Rise of the Zeton Warriors hasn’t come out yet? It was filmed concurrently with the first Starbuck Jones movie, which had its premiere over two years ago.

Hitorque
April 29, 2020 at 3:31 am
If Les is so hell-bent on “telling his story properly” and staying pure to his vision regardless of box office gross, why isn’t he seeking out the indie arthouse filmmakers…??

Right! If “everyone knows that China is where the money is, why is Mr. “I’ve Been To So Many Pitch Meetings I Can Predict What People Say” (h/t Banana Jr. 6000) wasting his time and everyone else’s with this pitch? I thought this was about making this movie “the right way“, not about making “bank.” Finally, somebody help me parse the punctuation in the second panel: “And that’s the problem…!” Ellipsis, exclamation point. I’m reading it as “And that’s the problemmmmmMMMMMM!

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China Crisis

Yet another instance of Batiuk’s famous one-year leadtime biting him in the ass. I thought this was a “pitch” meeting, but apparently these dudes have already had a chance to read the film treatment. Guess Mason and Les are about to learn that Hollywood is reluctant to make a movie that might not sell tickets overseas. Remember the expression “But will it play in Paducah?” Now they’re worried about how it will perform in Panjin.

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The Bro-ducers

The author who last week gave us “Hershey Barr” and “Bubu Zayla” eschews wacky monikers today in favor of plausibly real, Jewish-sounding (!) names, in possibly his most true-to-Hollywood touch to date.

Hitorque
April 26, 2020 at 11:28 pm
Is Masone wearing A FUCKING SALMON COLORED POLO SHIRT TO A BUSINESS MEETING? And why doesn’t Les have a tie on??

Les’s lack of a tie might be his saving grace. His tweet sportcoat and Paulie Walnuts-like gray temples just scream “boomer” to the hip, hoodie clad partners. Mason’s already hurting his chances by dragging mopey Les to these pitch meetings; would it have killed him to give Les some wardrobe tips?

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On Wednesdays I Go Shopping

Link to today’s strip (eventually).

Wednesday’s strip was not available for preview.  THANK GOD.

There’ve been many times lately when criticizing this strip feels like criticizing a preschooler’s finger-painting.   When presented with such a work, you don’t want to say, “Well, Tommy, arms don’t really come out of the sides like that, and shoes aren’t big and round like wheels.  And is that a dog?”  That just seems kind of mean-spirited.

Tom Batiuk doesn’t write well.  To put it mildly.  He cannot plot out a proper story, his ear for dialogue is deaf, and his points are buried beneath the ineptitude of his execution. Occasionally, he has a sort of ham-handed way with a phrase that has a certain off-putting charm, but that’s about it.

But what if that’s the best he can do?  His “stories” over the last couple of years have started out like they might be going somewhere but always–always–end up like a balloon that’s just been unknotted.  Falling to the earth with a farting noise.  The Butter Brinkle thing–seriously, what an embarrassment that would have been to a professional, published writer.  Here?  In it goes.  And once it was done, it was gone.  Nothing to tie it together, nothing to indicate it meant anything…no impact at all.

Lately, the strip has been all been wish-fulfillment.  Les gets showered with praise.  Funky gets stepped on.  Everyone talks about how awesome Les is.  Bull gets an off-hand death that is largely used to push “Lisa’s Story” again.  That really seems like the work of someone who doesn’t care.

But he seems to be losing his grip on the elements he’s always deemed important, like Les and “Lisa’s Story.”  How many times has Mason told Les he wants to option the book?  He flew out to Ohio to do it, then flew Les in to California to do it.  That doesn’t seem like someone who can separate the wheat from the chaff.  Both are treated with equal carelessness.

So I wonder if I’m pointing out the shortcomings in the work of someone who should do better…but can’t.

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This site uses cookies

Link to today’s strip.

Charles basically nailed it–and did my job for me, thanks!–in yesterday’s comments, in which he basically laid out the next month’s worth of strips.  I’d link his comment here, but I don’t know how to do that. (Here ya go. —TFH)

So, what we have here is what we had yesterday–two characters talking about Les.   Not a single step forward, but hey, if people are talking about Les, it has to be award-winning, right?

I don’t dare wish for anything different, because it’s certain to be worse.

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Return of the LisaVirus

Link to today’s barf.

Well, I should have known.  Batiuk’s revisiting of his “prestige arc” was so poorly performed that it should have been obvious he was going to spin up Lisa’s Story again.  The world’s worst book, written by the world’s worst writer, about the world’s worst person.

Of course Summer has no idea what’s going on.  Les is far too important to himself to waste valuable preening time on informing his family about anything.   “Hello, Summer!  How’s school?  We just spent a week in California with Mason Jarre!”  No, even that takes too much effort, effort that could be put to better use stroking his ego.

I would like to say something nice about the artwork.  The shift in perspective from panel one to panel two is nicely handled; it looks like Cayla went toward Summer to help her with her bags.  A rare instance of interesting art in this strip.

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What’s the deal with Les’ mood?

OK, when I typed “So, what’s the deal with airline food?” in yesterday’s post, I didn’t think Les would seize upon that and give us a airline complaints routine that even Milton Berle wouldn’t steal in today’s strip. I’m truly and terribly sorry. Seriously, I genuinely apologize and take full responsibility for this crime against newsprint. Somebody has to take responsibility…

Les griping about the airline nickel-and-diming him just doesn’t track, as Mason paid for his flight, a fact that was mentioned in the strip as recently as… literally yesterday. Well, I mean, the idea that Les and Cayla were charged extra for their stated “free” trip doesn’t track. Les griping at the slightest opportunity, of course, does. If Les was acting like this the whole flight he should be grateful that he wasn’t tossed out of the plane without a parachute. A nation sighs at the missed opportunity.

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Durwood and the Pete-meister, signin’ copies…

Much thanks to Spacemanspiff85 for taking the helm over the past two weeks, and for having a screen name that always reminds us of how good the world of comic strips can be. I am sorry I cannot claim that “billytheskink” will make you think of anything good, but I will do my level best to cover the rest of this role effectively.

Looks like time jump #4 happened in today’s strip, because apparently May 4 is here now… and hatchet-faced white men abound! This Sha-Na-Na reject is about 25 years too late to the world of post-Silver Age comics speculation, as if copies of Rip Tide: Scuba Cop and The Scorch are headed anywhere but the bargain bin.

Also, Lisa’s Story is a graphic novel again, maybe…

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