Tag Archives: Jim Kablichnick

Run the Joules

Tom Batiuk’s got a decade-plus on me, but I reckon my high school experience had more in common with his than with that of today’s high school student. In my days, the only “device” a student might carry would be some kind of orthodontic implement. Any phone calls a student made would have to be from the principal’s office or the corner malt shop. Logan Church and her peers are never without their cellphones, and thus, are never without access to all the world’s knowledge. No wonder the unpleasant Jim hates teaching a class. When Logan correctly answers a physics question, Jim’s initial surprised reaction immediately shifts to narrow-eyed suspicion. She couldn’t have known this answer without Googling it, because Jim believes, as does Les, that these students never even open their textbooks. The thought that he has actually taught a student something brings Jim to actual tears. Unless that teardrop in the corner of his eye is a prison tattoo.

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Wish upon, Wish upon, Day upon Day

Retirement clearly means different things to different teachers. Harry Dinkle comes to mind…how could he not, since nearly half the strips last month were about him? Harry’s busier now than he was before his retirement. When he’s not lurking around Becky’s band room, he oversees the Bedside Manorisms, conducts the July 4th concert in the gazebo, and hard-earns a buck or two giving piano lessons to rotten kids. Even in his sleep, he experiences nightly flashbacks to his days in uniform.

Les’ “work wife” Linda entered her lonely retirement sometime before Bull’s death. So the current, core faculty at WHS consists of Les (who’s rarely seen in the school, let alone teaching a class), Principal Nate, band director Becky, and the execrable Mr. Kablichnick.

Banana Jr. 6000
December 1, 2020 at 9:54 am
[Les is] the “cool” teacher that all the kids relate to…Batiuk thinks he’s invented the modern day Mr. Chips.

beckoningchasm
December 1, 2020 at 10:56 am
He’s invented the modern day Mr. Buffalo Chips. I’ll give him that.

That title really ought to go to Jim Kablichnick, the Science Schmuck. Despite his resemblance to Mark Twain, Jim’s corny, repetitive attempts at humor elicit only groans from his students. His climate mania is his least quirky character trait. I couldn’t find the strips, but can recall an arc where his coworkers shared their concerns that he was having a nervous breakdown. He’s a militant germaphobe, and a loner who on a class trip to Washington D.C., opted to drink alone in his room rather than join Linda, Les, and Cayla for dinner. OK, that last one’s understandable. At any rate, nobody hates his job more than Jim, for whom Wednesday, June 11, 2025 cannot come quickly enough. He memorializes his remaining days as a teacher on a whiteboard. Unless Jim’s creator plans to continue working after Funky’s 50th year, and barring another “time jump,” Batty will retire three years before Jim. Here’s hoping!

 

 

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Thought-Les

Les, the humorless shmuck, humorless shmucks around in today’s strip.

Nothing – not cancer, not Hollywood, not even the students he loathes so much – seems to disturb and anger Les more (oy, sorry) than people laughing at him over something utterly trivial. Funky and Crazy found this out the hard way 9 years ago, in the infamous “Children left behind” strip. Despite what they are doing in Les’ imagination, I doubt they would be bold enough to so much as chuckle anywhere within earshot of Les again.

Is this how TB’s family and friends reacted to his recurring role as “Art Professor” (I think that is both his name and his profession) in the ongoing live-action saga of The Cardinal, the greatest comic superhero around who dresses like the Iowa State University mascot?

Yeah it probably is. Also, Les himself exists in The Cardinal live-action universe. *shudder*

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Ultima Thulame*

*(Pronounced “Too Lame”)

Link To The Sunday Strip

What’s with the “pronounced Tor” gag there in panel four? Another sly dig at Hollywood? In order for something to be an “inside joke” someone else needs to get it, so I don’t know.

So poor, poor Klabichnik is annoyed and frustrated by his sub-cretinous students…there’s a theme FW rarely touches upon. It might make more of an impact if it wasn’t the punchline of every single FW teacher/student gag, but then again probably not.

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Food Poisoning

Link to today’s strip

As usual, the Sunday strip wasn’t available for preview. Normally I would try to tough it out till midnight, just to make sure whatever horrors Sunday brings are properly commented on. However, the strain of trying to find amusement in drying paint has finally broken me, and I’ve come down with the Westview flu. Not as deadly as the Spanish flu, maybe, but virulent in it’s ability to sap me of energy, leaving me with a headache, and slightly nauseous. So pretty much what you would expect after spending two weeks with Les Moore.

Here’s hoping that it’s not able to be transmitted through the interwebs, because Beckoning Chasm is taking over for me tomorrow, and I’d hate to think I had contaminated the controls.

Goodnight, and Good Luck.

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Drain Damage.

Link to today’s strip

Now I am really really disappointed we didn’t get to see any of this water balloon competition. Because it sounds like it was a no-holds-barred water war waged both inside and outside the school. Can you imagine the water damage? Even if they were barred from classrooms and computer labs, all those corkboards and vaguely inspirational posters on the walls are toast. And those tile floors would have gotten dangerously slippery, I imagine everyone who participated has bruised tailbones and skinned knees.

But I’m guessing there isn’t anything in the student handbook preventing the teachers from running through the halls with firehoses, water pistols, and, balloons. Nate’s hands were tied.

Why is Les still grilling hotdogs? We see food in front of these people, so they’ve mostly all gotten all they were going to eat already. Unless there’s going to be a hotdog eating contest later. Billytheskink was joking at the beginning of the week about Dinkle being able to eat a banana sideways. Now I’m picturing him shoving hotdog after hotdog into his mouth sideways like a machine, lips closing over his entire fist down to the wrist every time and sucking the digits clean.

But more likely Les just doesn’t want to listen to anyone elses’ speechifying.

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ALT vs STEM, SS6 wins.

Link to today’s strip

They had a water balloon competition this morning, and instead we’ve been saddled with a week of bland speechifying?! I would LOVE to see the faculty of Westview in a no-holds-barred water balloon fight. My church growing up used to have a water fight every summer, and one year it ended with our pastor on the roof of a van with a super-soaker screaming “TASTE AND SEE THAT THE LORD IS GOOD!” and hosing down the first-grade Sunday School class.

Water Balloon competition sounds so much more banal though. I’m guessing it was a series of water balloon egg-tosses. Followed by bland science-type experiments involving water balloons with parachutes being dropped from the second floor windows. Of course STEM would win over the arts. The arts probably tried to protect their balloons with committee designated ‘safe-spaces.’

The ‘Super Soaker Six’ is either a reference to DC’s The Secret Six so obscure only I got it, or I’m too much of a basement dwelling nerd to figure it out. Please let me know in the comment what this is referencing.

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Credit Where It’s Dull

Epicus Doomus
June 1, 2017 at 11:27 am
…[S]houldn’t “Ms. Lopez” be “Mrs. Bushka”? Did Bull die off-camera or something?

Here’s another unanswered question: is Jim being witty or does he just not know what a credit union is? Another question, and this one’s for any teachers out there: are you required to pack up and schlep home all your belongings at the end of every school year? Linda’s got but one box but it looks to be loaded with books; Jim’s got two boxes but still manages to get a hand free to push open the automatic door. Burchett gets to introduce another new character: that janitor who vowed to one day kick the ass of the guy whoever the hell peed in his closet 40 years ago.

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Pluto-idiocracy

Here’s the one Westview teacher who makes Les look like Mr. Chips, getting his first spoken lines in a year. Burchett’s Jim Kablichnick still resembles Mark Twain, though he’s lost his suspenders (and he used to favor colorful dress shirts). Today’s gag, of course, is lifted from Sunday’s “Name the Canadian Provinces” strip (and from every comic strip that’s featured a kid sitting at a school desk), right down to name-checking another Golden Age Disney character. Smirk it up, Bernie: there can be no incorrect answer (“Write down what you think…”). On the other hand, Kablichnick’s enough of a douchebag to find a rationale to mark every student’s answer incorrect anyway.

Given Rick Burchett’s animation background, it’s weird how statically he’s rendered Jim here: propped up in front of the classroom, pointing his finger at the ceiling. Like Batiuk, Burchett uses some unusual “camera angles.” But unlike TB, RB (let’s just start using that abbreviation) puts his characters in actual, defined space, and not silhouetted in a crosshatched, encroaching black void. Three of his four strips so far have been set in a classroom, the angular walls and neatly tiled ceilings of which loom claustrophobically on all sides. I recognize the books atop the cabinet in the corner of Jim’s class, but am still trying to figure out what those diagonal planes in the left foreground of yesterday’s panel one. All the crazy angles lend some sort of tension to the settings. Kind of like how in the old Batman TV series, the camera shots inside the villians’ hideouts were all tilted askew.

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Reporting For Doody, Sir!

Link to today’s strip

How very touching. See Cliff, they never forgot about you…except for that brief sixty year period between your final Starbuck Jones film and right now, that is. Just a few months ago these crappy old Starbuck Jones films were so obscure that even Pete, the nerdiest nerd who ever nerded, didn’t know about them (and he whined about having to see it in the first place). Yet now throngs of weirdos (all male, coincidentally enough) are pouring out of their hovels (and the WHS faculty lounge) to chant banal old catchphrases at a ninety year old guy in a spaceman suit. Did the films suddenly become popular again or did dozens of people suddenly remember they were the cornerstones of their childhoods or what? It’s all so typically Batiukian, something is, then suddenly it isn’t, then it’s both and sometimes neither.

What a weirdly specific-looking big-headed crowd, I (sort of) wonder who they’re all based upon? Those creepy big heads are just way too detailed to be accidental. Friends and associates is my best guess. Lucky them.

Boy, the Batiukverse is really in chaos now, particularly the timelines. FW is featuring an arc about an old 1950s B-movie star, which means these dorks are all agog over a guy whose “heyday” was over sixty or (if we’re still pretending it’s ten years from now) seventy years ago, long before the majority of them were even born. And nothing that’s happened in the strip would indicate why this is so.

Meanwhile “Fallen Star”-era Les Moore is talking about old books in Crankshaft, which I assumed was happening in the present day. So if it’s 2016 in the Crankverse and it’s 2026 in FW, the CS Les should be Les from ten years ago, when the strip was rolling along with its very special all-cancer format as we slowly waited and waited for Lisa to finally die. Even if it’s “now” in FW and ten years ago in CS it doesn’t add up correctly.

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