Tag Archives: Jessica

Exclamation Point!

“Amazing” is one of those words that’s completely lost its meaning from overuse. What amazes me is that Jess is still standing there holding up that giant video camera. Something else that amazes me about today’s strip is how Cindy checks her phone and the first thing she sees is the tabloid headline and photo of Masone and Marianne. Did somebody see it and send it to her? Does she subscribe to “DMZ’s” mobile alerts? No matter. Batiuk has spent months establishing Cindy’s insecurity and self-doubt, and almost as much time setting up a showdown between her and Mason’s sexy (though sweet and innocent) co-star. Shit’s about to get real, yo.


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Hiya, snarkers and snarkettes. Here’s hoping everyone had a delightful, long Thanksgiving weekend. And isn’t it just my luck to have my turn in the SoSF host rotation come up in the midst of the dullest FW story arc of the year. So far in the course of this interview, Cindy’s gotten in one question (“You went to prison?”), and for her lack of basic interview prep is forced to feign attentiveness as ol’ Cliff recounts how it went down in the days of the Red Scare. Cindy’s “two hour documentary” threatens to turn into Gilligan’s “three hour tour” without the laughs.

November 21, 2016 at 12:02 am
Well, BuddyBlog is certainly moving up in the world- they’re now using an actual camera instead of an iPhone!

True enough! And pretty soon, who knows, at some point they might spring for a tripod. I’d actually forgotten that Jessica had moved out to Hollywood last January. Naturally, like the rest of the Westview transplants she’s found employment as another cog in the StarBuddyBlog complex.


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Fail Punner Tom

Link to today’s strip

Cliff Anger is a defiant and bitter commie. Jessica is back behind the camera after the unfortunate “Barbie” debacle. (I somehow totally missed that development this week, which says plenty about the Jessica character in general). TomBat was once the ringleader of some shoplifting-endorsing comic book liberation movement. It’s like the whole Funkyverse is all topsy-turvy, nothing makes SENSE anymore!!!

Fortunately though, at least one aspect of FW remains constant, the rock-solid pillar and foundation the entire Funkyverse is based upon. Of course I’m referring to abysmal, stupid, sub-moronic wordplay…what else? Apparently Cliff’s career wasn’t quite as important to him as the opportunity to make a really dumb and inane joke was and Cliff seized that opportunity, Tailgunner Joe and his own nascent movie career be damned. It’s a profile in courage all right. Life, liberty and the pursuit of idiotic gags that would make a third-grader roll his or her eyes… it’s in the Constitution. Give me punnery or give me death!

What a debacle. And on that note I’m passing the SoSF baton to the one, the only…TF Hackett, who’s all set to tackle the next two weeks of wry banter, painfully bad wordplay, adorable ninety-year old coots and sinister bio-dads, along with whatever other weird curveballs Batiuk yanks out of his musty little bag of contrivances. Why, it might be a retconned sixty year old congressional hearing or a broken pizzeria bandbox or a brain-damaged man comically spilling human remains all over himself…you just never really know until Monday rolls around and even then it’s sometimes unclear.


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They Don’t Write ’em Like That Anymore

Packed like sardines in Mason’s convertible, our pals hurtle through the inky blackness, snarking on the cornball dialogue in the Starbuck Jones serial. Pete can afford to laugh because he, being a newly minted hotshot Hollywood screenwriter, will craft a script that’s going to bring the franchise up to date and bring new depth and complexity to our hero. That is, if Pete ever stops dicking around back in his Ohio hometown…and as long as they don’t pressure him with any deadlines…and only if nobody dares to suggest any changes…


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The Fan-Tom Empire

Cowboys, thunder riders dressed in quasi medieval armor shooting futuristic weapons, robots with flamethrowers— The Phantom Empire viewed genre boundaries as mere inconveniences rather than limits…I became fascinated with the idea of taking what was considered to be a low art form and creating something of substance within those confines, of trying to take what others considered junk and turning it into something more. That thought continued to inform my cartooning choices for the next fifty years. It’s hard to overestimate the impact that The Phantom Empire has had on my developing brain.

From the introduction to The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume One

So today, Batiuk’s “writing what he knows'” sharing with us readers a space opera that influenced his creative vision as a youth. At the same time he’s writing about something about which he has no idea: how today’s Hollywood motion pictures are made. “I think seeing that old serial is really going to be helpful with our movie.” Mason might as well be talking about a campfire skit or routine that they are preparing for a middle school talent show. And I’m waiting for the day when Darin snaps at his old buddy Pete: “Shut the fuck up already about ‘back in the days of Batom Comics!'”

Anyway, snarkers, it’s good to be back in the SoSF wheelhouse as we approach the 6th anniversary of Son of Stuck Funky! Stay tuned for a special announcement of the first contest around here in awhile. Details to follow! Happy Easter!


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Misplaced Anger

Link to today’s strip

Yes, these imbeciles talk out loud during movies, too. Sigh. Maybe it’s too ambitious, maybe it never goes anywhere, maybe I’m way off here. But something tells me that Cliff Anger is alive and well and currently residing at Bedside Manor, ready to regale the gang with tales of how awful Old Hollywood was and how horrible it was to play that stupid Starbuck Jones in those terrible films he never saw a dime for making. Then he’ll probably break a hip or some other hilarious thing old people always do. You know how they are and if not, go check out “Crankshaft” where at this very moment there’s a pretty fair chance that some adorable old grouch is fracturing or suffering from something right now. There’s just no way Batiuk is going to be able to resist the lure of “Cliff Anger”, puns are like narcotics to that guy.

So, why did Jessica (with Skyler) fly out to Ohio in the first place? Has new John Darling footage been unearthed? Another Montoni’s jones? You’d assume it had to have been something somewhat important if she had to go back to Ohio just a few months after moving away, yet she has time to go see old SJ movies, so WTF? Then there’s Mason, why did HE need to fly out to Ohio? Did the studio ask him to grab the head writer and a storyboard guy and scout the Cleveland location from above? Another Montoni’s jones? You’d assume it had to have been something somewhat important if the star of the white-hot SJ franchise suddenly had to charter a jet, flee Hollywood and head to Ohio, yet as soon as he arrived his first stop was at some decrepit old movie house in the middle of nowhere. So WTF? This entire week hinged on actions that make no sense and were never explained, not even in passing. FW: the comic strip were stuff sort of happens.

Well, that was an inexplicable and wickedly unfunny little romp, wasn’t it? That’s it for me for now, but stayed tuned next week as the Host with the Most takes over…the immortal TFH!


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A Real Cliff Anger

Link to today’s strip

Look at the insane lengths Batom went to in order to work an old “Starbuck Jones” film into the strip. Of all the possible ways he could have done that, he chose to have Mason charter a private jet and fly out to Ohio (for reasons still not made clear) with Cindy, Pete and Darin to visit Jessica, who lives with them in Hollywood but was in Ohio at the time, all so they could go to an old SJ movie playing in Centerville. I mean it’s so bizarre and so preposterous no other person could have possibly dreamed it up. It defies logic on so many levels all at once, like he deliberately set out to create the most wildly implausible premise and sequence of events he possibly could. And not only that, he does it EVERY SINGLE TIME with EVERY SINGLE ARC. It’s totally mind-boggling.

Cliff Anger, sigh. I’m almost embarrassed not to have seen it coming. The man has a gift, you gotta give him that. It’s so sad how that gift doesn’t help at all with the comic strip though, isn’t it? So let me see if I have this right: there’s a theater in Centerville called “The Valentine” that only shows “last chance” films that no one will ever want to see again? Is there a big pit out back where they burn the films after their final showings, just to be sure? Interesting concept but I can’t see how it’s economically viable, long-term.

“It’s Saturday night! How shall we allocate our limited entertainment budget?”

“I know! Let’s go to the “The Valentine”, see a terrible old movie and wallow in old comic book nostalgia centered around pop-culture fads from two decades before we were born!”

I don’t see it. One thing I do know is that I’ve rarely wanted to punch a “one-off” FW character more than I want to punch Snooty Centerville Hipster Ticket-Taker Guy. Add “how does this place stay in business?” to the pile of FW mysteries and anomalies.

And IMO this AuthorGuy needs to make up his mind already: is SJ a red-hot and much-beloved property that’s sweeping the globe or is it a forgotten cult classic unknown to all but a few nerdy Ohioians? Because it can’t be both. Pick one already and run with it, all this dilly-dallying is getting really annoying.


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