Tag Archives: Jessica

Hello Darling

Programming note: Monday’s strip won’t drop until midnight eastern, so expect another “placeholder” post. Thanks!

Now this strip from last March (see detail) makes sense: the “we” moving back to Ohio is not Darin and Jess, but Darin and Pete. Turns out Boy Lisa was right, too. Jessica seems to have adjusted very well to being a long distance wife and mother.  Shouldn’t she be “trying to sublet the apartment and wrap[ping] up her documentary film work with Cindy”? Instead, she’s lounging on the deck enjoying her fifth Ketel and tonic. She’s so sloshed that she accidentally texts her mother, who is grateful for this misdirected crumb of affection.

Readers of the official FW blog will recognize the bespectacled geek dad in panel one as John Darling, Jessica’s father who was murdered. Unless they read today’s “dialogue,” though, they’ll have a hard time figuring out that the woman who looks exactly like Jessica but with different hair is her mom Jan. As drawn by Tom Armstrong, Jan Murdock was quite the hottie. Batiuk (and the returning Rick Burchett) render her using the Blandly Attractive White Female Template.

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It’s Just the Wasted Years So Close Behind

Link to today’s strip.

So:  this makes a walloping four times a strip has been unavailable for preview during my latest hosting period.  That’s gotta be a record of some kind.

Of course, two of those times were Sundays, and Sunday’s strips are always unavailable for preview.  Because why should he give us time to point out the shortcomings practically leaping all over his work?

Over at Shankcraft, for example, Apple Annie is about to sign her first author:  Lillian.  But–

–didn’t Ann have Les as a client?  It seemed only a short eternity ago that Lillian was hosting Les’ launch party for his book about John Darling, who was murdered.  I thought the story was, Les, seeing as he and his book were both garbage, tossed his manuscript into the trash (where it belonged, and where it was happy*).  Ann, then a bag lady, fished it out (making it unhappy) and got it published (terrifying it), thus leading to the greatest display of egomania ever shown on the comics page.  Way to go, Ann.  Thanks (said all sarcastic-like).  But no, apparently continuity is for losers if you can score cheap points about schizophrenia.  It’s supposed to be touching, but it shoots right past maudlin and treacly and lands right in the middle of gorge-rising.

Why is it that Tom Batiuk is completely incapable of creating sympathetic characters?  Does he think, “Well, she’s got a terrible mental condition, readers will love her, because they won’t dare not!”?  Someday I’d like to ask him about his methods, and I don’t mean that as something nasty.  I’m honestly curious about how his mind works.

Anyway, based on what’s coming next week (trust me, it’s not a superpower anyone wants), I’m thinking Sunday will be a stand-alone strip.  I’m going to take stab and guess Funky’ll be in it.  But who knows?  All we can really say is that it will be uninteresting in every aspect.

And speaking of next week, my time in the chamber of horrors has come to an end, for now, so please give a warm welcome to your next host, snarker extraordinare Epicus Doomus!

*I have an idea about a children’s book, about a manuscript that knows it’s bad, and wants to be thrown away, but it keeps getting passed from hand to hand until it’s published.  It has a happy ending, in that no one buys it and the author never tries again.  Does anyone have Ann Apple’s phone number?

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On Monday the Angels Start Weeping

Link to today’s strip.

Monday begins a new cycle, so today’s strip was not immediately available.  I’m going to guess we’re going to get more Cliff Anger garbage, because Batiuk seems particularly fond of that of late.  Of course, ever since Becky’s mother was left on top of a scissor-lift many years ago, I’ve learned not to be too sure of my predictions.

According to the dialogue yesterday, Cindy actually won an Emmy for her Cliff Anger documentary.  I ought to find this surprising for a number of reasons.  For one thing, I’m not sure an internet gossip site really qualifies, but never mind that.  I don’t know the rules for the Emmys.  The fact that Cindy learned nothing about Cliff (her viewers learned nothing either) makes me wonder about the quality of the work, and why it was thought award-worthy.  All we saw was people sitting in chairs chatting.   Probably Baituk shares the same low-level contempt for television that once marked one as “sophisticated,” and he feels that there are no significant awards unattached to comic books.  And of course, Cindy won and accepted her award entirely off-stage (that oughta show ‘er).

Still, I keep thinking the award was announced thusly:  “And the award goes to….Cindy Jarre, for Six Decades of Idiocy: The Cliff Anger Story!  Congratulations, Cindy, you’ve won the Emmy Award for Best Chairs!”

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Pity Party for Two.

Link to Today’s Comic.

It seems that Darin and Jess weren’t in yesterday’s strip because Darin stomped out in a huff after not getting his coveted award. After all, and Eisner has been the lifelong dream of this business major who only fell into storyboarding after a friend suggested it offhand.

Tommy Bats seems hesitant to put this bitterness in the mouth of Les, sainted as he is by association. He’s lately split his author avatar in two. The younger Darin can be the raw id of jealousy, anger, and pride. Les is the older and ‘wiser’ superego so his response to defeat is depression, self-pity, and fatalism.

The Han Solo joke is so throwaway, the ghost of a reminder this was supposed to be Batiuk’s Comic-Con tie in strip for the year.

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Sloppy Second Place.

Link to Today’s Comic.

So Tom at least realized that is would be beyond crass to have ‘Lisa’s Story’ WIN the award. We’ve learned something about the lines he will and wont cross.

But when you thought the plotline couldn’t get any weirder or more half-assed, we don’t get to see the announcing of the award, or the immediate reaction. We jump from before the award being announced to some time following later.

I would hate to be Tom’s wife, the man has trouble experiencing a climax. Everything is foreplay to him, followed by a blackout and then an awkward denouement. Since his massive Atomic Komix startup saga tapered off even his foreplay has been perfunctory. Perhaps we are entering the era of endless quickies, shorter and shorter storylines eventually turning the strip back into the one shot comic it once was.

Panel One: Cayla hands her ‘Honey’ divorce papers.
Panel Two: Les drinks while being insulted by an imaginary cat.
Panel Three: Les asks out an attractive woman at a book fair.

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Whistling Dicksie

Link to Today’s Comic.

Well Darin and Jess are already drunk, and are hanging all over each other like two kids necking at the back of the old Valentine Theatre. Jess has lost a finger. In fact all the hands are extra hideous today. And Cayla is missing a neck. What a treat!

Les has absolutely no grounds to be ashamed of a friend making a scene, but it’s nice to see him miserable anyway.

Something I had never really noticed until I was examining the last panel is how the Funkyverse house art style generally doesn’t include lip tint. Normally it doesn’t stand out. But Jess today, with fully detailed lips, really should have them colored nice and pink or red, as would befit a lady at an awards show. instead she has a terrifying flesh colored pucker on her face, like she has an asshole for a mouth.

Cayla has an asshole for a mouth too. But his name is Les.

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Self-Defrecating Humor.

Link to Today’s Comic.

Today’s strip is merely an inverse retread of yesterday’s strip, and commenting about Les being an insufferable twit has become an exhausting refrain. So instead some notes on the art.

In Panel one Cayla has a gross lobster hand deformity and seems to be putting her finger directly into her drink, no doubt slipping herself a mickey.

Darin and Jess have identical poses and smiles, which REALLY ups the creep factor between the two of them. Are we sure they’re not actually half-siblings? I wouldn’t put a little statutory indiscretion beyond Jess’s father, the talk show host, John Darling, who was murdered. Lisa could have been paid off to pin the deed on some jerk she got blackout drunk. Explains how she afforded law school.

Darin’s jacket is the same color as Cayla’s skin. I’m sure a Freshman Social Sciences major could write a seven page paper about the subtle metaphor of white male privilege clothing and protecting itself with by adopting the exterior trappings, the skin, of persecuted classes of society. But I think the colorist just was really really lazy today and only used six colors.

In the last panel, Les’ massive hand couldn’t really be attached to either shoulder as drawn. Instead it seems to extend directly from his crotch, pointing upward. A huge, disgusting, awards erection.

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