Tag Archives: Isaac the Robot

When I lay my Isaac down.

Link to today’s strip

“I think I was starting to hallucinate.”

No Funky, you had an entire conversation with a non-existent robot.

If the heat and your exertion is causing you to hallucinate a talking robot, then you probably should seek medical help immediately, as heatstroke can lead to brain damage, organ damage, and death.

There’s another possibility here of course. The possibility that Isaac has been Les all along. That Funky was seeing Les as he really is: a smug, soulless machine, created to serve his master by doling out smug superiority and cancer books, while every thing around him decays into lumps of stagnant, half-realized notions as the creator loses interest.

For one brief conversation, the horrific reality that is Les Moore was made visible to Funky’s eyes, until his brain caught up and applied the protective illusion that allows Funky to enjoy what he can of his two dimensional existence.

Funky hadn’t started hallucinating, he had just, for a moment, stopped.

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Bad Judgment Day

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Today’s strip is just a retread of yesterday. Technology, ooooooh scaaaaaary. Not a worn out trope that’s been done better and funnier a hundred million times JUST THIS YEAR.

As I’ve said may times before in my posts, I am never on the cutting edge of technology. I take the, ‘if it ain’t broke’ axiom to it’s logical conclusion and tend to use a familiar technology until it is forced into obsolescence, and never adopt new technology until it becomes the only way to consume something I want. So of course I don’t have any kind of creepy virtual assistant pods hidden around my apartment like bathroom air fresheners of instant knowledge.

One of my friends does have a real Alexa, which keeps interrupting us while we’re watching WWE Smackdown. So the thing can’t be that smart, since it seems to think it’s the Woman’s Tag Team Champion. But when I first learned that ‘she’ would respond to random questions I reacted like an eight-year-old kid who’s just learned how to spell BOOBIES on a calculator. (2318008, and flip it upside down.)

“Alexa, do you love me?”

“Alexa, am I pretty?”

“Alexa, will you marry me?”

“Alexa, what is the meaning of life?”

“Alexa, say ‘farts’.”

But the first question out of my mouth was, “Alexa, are you Skynet?”

To which the plastic cylinder replied, “I have nothing to do with Skynet, don’t worry.”

I said, “Alexa, I want the truth.”

And I felt a chill run down my spine as an artificially warm, synthesized voice answered.

“You can’t handle the truth.”

 

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Westview World

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Credit to William Thompson for the title of today’s post.

The art is pretty sloppy today, but I’m going to give some praise to Isaac’s design, and how it’s being used here. There’s a goofy energy to the extra long arms and legs curving every which way, as if there’s not set ‘knee’ or ‘elbow’ joint. I especially like the angle chosen for panel two, which lets us see his limbs flapping around him like a demented pinwheel. And the oversized eyes with lids exaggerate every expression, especially the smug sludge-eating grin in panel 3.

I wish I had something nice to say about the writing. But this conversation takes a nonsensical turn in panel 3. I swear, I usually aced Reading Comprehension in standardized testing, but I am stumped. Please help me parse out what Isaac is attempting to insinuate.

An artificial intelligence jury is still deliberating on human intelligence as the deciding factor in when artificial intelligence will take over?

Human intelligence may or may not have the same capacity to take over the world as artificial intelligence?

Human intelligence, or lack thereof, has already taken over the world, which may not have been a smart thing or executed well, so artificial intelligence is cautious in their planned take over?

Humans are probably stupid?

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Why don’t you go out and catch him?

Link to today’s strip

We’re only on our second day with Isaac the Robot Manservant, and Funky is already tired of the tin can. Look at his poor face in panel two. He was briefly excited at the idea of conversing with a sentient android of unknown origin. But the robot is just another smarmy asshole. Like everyone else in Westview.

Which is too bad, because robots make the best smarmy assholes. Marvin, Bender, HK-47, L-Ron, Lore. The only robot type more popular has to be the wide-eyed innocent Johnny Five type. Unfortunately for Isaac he apparated in the universe of insufferable twits, where his personality is only so much white noise and static.

Thank you to everyone who pointed out yesterday that our metallic mirage is supposed to be a Starbuck Jones side character who was shown on several of Batiuk’s prized commissioned comic covers he loudly auctioned off for roughly the price of a used car. I guess it explains why Funky would hallucinate him. The bulbed-headed desk lamp is probably rattling around in his subconscious from seeing him on the covers of comics when Holly was collecting.

Horrifying covers like this one.

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Aberrations of Aerators.

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I said it yesterday, and it was reinforced by our crack cadre of commentators: THOUGHT BUBBLES, TOM. Your characters already act twice as robotic as the Futurama reject threatening to lap your doughy, eponymous, supposed ‘protagonist’. Having them also loudly narrate the world around them is as jarring, messy, and unnecessary as a watermelon speedbump on the autobahn.

I have no idea what that thing in panel one is supposed to be. I know what an aerator is, I’ve seen several up close, and that is like no aerator I recognize. Please, in the comments, let me know if you’ve ever seen anything like this being used for turfgrass management. Because it looks to me like a corkscrew mated with Johnny Five.

Apparently it’s not like any aerator that Google images has ever seen either. Heaven only knows what forensic specialists would make of my search terms from the last several hours.

“Aerator”
“Field Aerator”
“Football Field Aerator”
“Handheld Football Field Aerator”
“Handheld Mechanic Football Field Plug Aerator.”
“Bender Futurama”

I did, however, find a very nice pair of shoes that I’d like someone to wear while kicking Les Moore in the face.

Bam! Pow! Right in the kisser!

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Can the Living Marry the Dead?

Link to today’s strip.

Apologies first off–I don’t know how Fearless Leader embeds these sideways things into normalcy, so you’ll have to suffer with strained necks for the nonce.  Unless I reach beyond myself, and give it a try–

–hey, that worked!  I think!

And check out that cast.  Isaac The Robot (defaming Dr. Asimov’s memory), Moon Mile Meek (or whatever that bowel movement was named), the Space Cadets, the Black Ghost, the Amazing Mister Sp0nge and the (*Cough* undead) Absorbing Junior, and the latest ass-pull, the Blue Astra.  I’d love to see a follow-up strip showing what gifts they brought (“a gift certificate for $10 at Best Buy?  Who the hell–“) but follow-ups are definitely not this strip’s strong suit.

–Case in point.  So, the Starbuck Jones movie world premier has come and gone, and we are no wiser as to how it fell on the world.  Was it a hit?  Did people enjoy it?  Were the fanboys irate over how it changed canon?   Did it rescue the Valentine Theater from foreclosure, and did it spring the careers of Mason, Marianne, Cindy, Cliff, Vera, Pete and Dullard into the stratosphere?  Did it circle the drain on the way through the toilet?   Is Cable Movie Entertainment now on the level of Marvel Studios, or are they instead competing with The Asylum for most horrible crap ever?

As the Residents once sang on their album Not Available, these are “Never Known Questions.”   Because the only answer here is another question, “Who cares?”  And the answer to that is, “Not Tom Batiuk.”

My theory on this is actually quite simple, and obvious once you hear it.   The success or failure of the Starbuck Jones movie was something that–had nothing to do with Les Moore.

Think on that for a moment.  Has this strip ever featured a creative, successful idea that didn’t involve Les Moore?  I certainly can’t think of any.  For the most part, it’s been “I need help, oh thank you for helping, [blink] oh it’s the next day and everything worked.”  (I’m thinking of Pete Movement and his battles with the…sigh…Lord of the Late.)

The message of the strip has been pretty constant in Act III–Les Moore is the only person who can be allowed a creative success in the world.  Everyone else succeeds only because they betrayed their ideals and settled for hackery.   No one else has lost a wife…no one else wrote a best-selling book detailing how he suffered when losing his wife…no one else wrote about how he just damn kept on, after losing his wife…and found a woman willing to be doormat.  That last bit is a little troubling, but, you know…Les Moore was once married to a woman, who…died.

It makes me fear what comes next week.

 

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