Tag Archives: Jim Kablichnik

Shooting Gallery

Today’s strip

Greetings, folks, BChasm temporarily in the captain’s chair for the next little while.  What’s this?!  The viewscreen shows a sea of hostiles–ready photon torpedoes!   We must annihilate this threat before it spreads across the galaxy!

I’m going to skip over Mason’s “movie we filmed here,” comment, because while I don’t think any of the film was shot in Centerville, I honestly don’t remember the “school bus drives into shot” bit well enough, and–Tales to Astonish–I have no desire to look and see.  So I’ll give him that.

What else?  Well, we’ve got a crowd shot of almost everyone, including Les–which sets our Les Watch back to zero, damn it.  At least he’s not saying anything, and is both poorly drawn and partly covered by a word balloon.  Funny, though, I’d have expected both Comic Book John and Imbecilic Harry to be there, but I guess they got their exposure in at Comic Con, so no need to feature them any longer.  But who is that between Jim KibblesNBits and Marianne?  It looks like they flew Marianne’s mother out there after all!  I guess?

The fact that so many of the cast and crew are in the audience–and sitting right up front, too–makes me wonder if Tom Batiuk believes that the first time anyone involved with a movie actually gets to see the finished film is at the premier.  In the real world, the director would have seen the film dozens of times by now, and there’s almost always a screening for the cast and crew.  So all these people would be backstage, or at the back of the hall, gauging audience reaction–pacing, room for laughs, people getting bored at certain parts, and so on–and looking for “oohs” and “aahs” for the cast members.

But not in the fantasy land that is the Funkyverse.  Here, everything happens the way a five year old imagines that it happens–it’s all just magic, and friendship, and comic books and pizza, and it works every time!  In a way, that sounds like an attractive world…for a few minutes.  But after those few minutes, I’d want something of substance, something that would stir the imagination rather than just “be” everything forever.

Poorly thought-out as the Lisa stuff is, it’s at least an attempt to address adult concerns–something that a comic strip aimed at “contemporary problems of young people” should attempt more often.  Because I’m pretty sure the contemporary problems of young people aren’t that they wish there were more comic-book movies.

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The Long Goodbye…

starts today, as Westview High School’s CCTV news program announces Bull’s retirement to the student body. I don’t know what to call it anymore, though, because apparently either Tom or his Sunday Artist Intern is spelling  the title “The Bleet” nowadays. So, what do you think? Is T-Bats slipping in mistakes like this intentionally to screw around with the snark community, or is he just going a little soft in the noggin?

Since we’re talking about The Bleat/Bleet, say hello to Bernie Silver who seems to have inherited the anchor’s chair from Owen. And since he reports that the official retirement sendoff will be on Friday, we can probably expect the entirety of next week to depict =- or at least talk about – said ceremony.

So, we’ve got Bull’s retirement, a new anchor, and a stupid typo. Other than that, this is pretty much your typical mediocre Sunday throw-away, just like last week with Funky’s leafy hairline. I can’t help thinking, though, that Tom is setting Bull up for a fall. Look at Les in panel three. That filthy, squint-eyed, lifted-eyebrow smirk. He knows something, that smug fuccboi. I’m starting to hate Dick Facey as much as Epicus Doomus does.

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CTRL-ALT-DULL

Link to today’s strip.

Well!…and that’s that.  Anyone who thought that the computer might actually do something has to be contented with some hot wheeled-away action.  Yet another disappointment, one supposes, though at least memories of the “fun” Act I weren’t ruined.  In other words, it could have been worse.  Far worse.

The way things develop in this strip is truly unfathomable; one can’t help but wonder why the computer was brought back at all, except 1) as a tease to long-time readers, only to be dashed to earth, signifying this strip is serious so look elsewhere for “fun”; 2) as a form of “striking the set,” ie, removing anything that might be entertaining, and 3) as a means to mention Starbuck Jones yet again, though Tom Batiuk is slipping by not using his full name.  Which “Starbuck” is this, Tom, I’m all confused!

Maybe now that it has, *cough*, contributed, the computer will go to Washington DC on a senior class trip!  That should take, oh, half an off-screen panel.

For someone who contributed nothing at all this week, Les sure looks remarkably smug in panel one (though to be fair, that’s his default expression).  And in panel two, Tom Batiuk’s itch is finally scratched and Les opens his mouth.  Jim Kibblesnbits is a complete ass, but I’m willing to reduce his massive negative score by one for shutting down Les.  (Personally, I would have used one fewer syllable, if you know what I mean, but then that’s me.)  His stance perfectly conveys utter contempt and disdain.  Oh, I’m sure the lesson we’re supposed to take is that Les is so wise and deep, such that no one is capable of swimming in his waters.  They’d rather stay in the warm, ignorant shallows.  Anyone who has read this strip for any length of time will take the opposing view, that Les is being deservedly beached on his deserted isle.

Jim Kibblesnbits is one of those characters who rarely appears, but like a fly discovered embedded in the lemon meringue, his rarity doesn’t lesson his loathsomeness in any way.  He shines out like a rotten, crumbling sun, spraying sickly light on vast dead plateaus and their attendant population of shriveling bacteria and scrubby lichens.  Today, though, in this one thing, I give him a half-lidded smirk and the offhand flick of a salute.  Here, I wish more people would look to him as an example.  (And nowhere else.)  He’s been an ass all his life, and he’ll be an ass tomorrow, but tonight by God he’s everyone’s hero.

The three of them walking away from an already forgotten, completely despised Les is a truly poetic image, made more so by the vent lines on the locker near Les’ mouth.  It looks like he’s bleating…which he probably is.

Les should be broken in half, placed in a paper bag on your worst enemy’s doorstep, then lit on fire.  Ring the doorbell and prepare to be entertained.

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Computer Dating

Link to today’s strip.

It seems the slavering monster I was hoping for yesterday has been revised into an old piece of computing equipment.  I’m guessing this is the old Act I computer which was obsessed with Star Trek, and um, had, uh, other characteristics I’m sure.  Those of you who guessed this, please collect your prize money at the gate.  Of course, I think that was everyone who looked at this week’s banner, so form an orderly line, folks.

Normally this would be a welcome thing, seeing this relic from the good old days of the strip…but I don’t know.  The last time something from then was brought back…well, I can’t remember what it was but I seem to recall that it was ret-conned into being something terrible.  Maybe it was Donna as the Eliminator, or Franky going from dumb jock to out-and-out rapist, or…something.   These strips are so anti-content that I honestly forget most of them seconds after reading.  (Or at least I give it the ol’ Westview try.)  Thus, whenever anything from the “funny” days appears, my reaction is not “Oh boy, we’re going to lighten things up!” but “Oh, God, we’re taking this out of the closet so we can smash it.”

At any rate, the fact that the computer “sighs” can’t be a good sign.  Perhaps it has some horrible, debilitating virus, and it wants to be smashed into flinders.  Which makes me wonder why Tom Batiuk has never done an “assisted suicide” arc, the story of someone who finds existence so painful that they can’t continue.  Certainly there must be a lot of folks in Westview who feel that way and can’t see pain as an opportunity for a pun.  Seriously, if he carried it through it might get him that Pulitzer.  I’d nominate either Cayla or Funky himself.

Finally, once again, Les hovers over the proceedings like an evil angel of death (even though he’s the shortest one there, a virtual midget).  He contributes nothing except making the reader hate this comic even more.  Look at him in panel one: “The hate is swelling in you now. Take your weapon. I am unarmed. Strike me down with it. Give in to your anger. With each passing moment you make yourself more my servant.”

Wouldn’t it be great if Kibblesnbits accidentally tipped the computer onto Les, and it smashed his ribcage into a thousand fragments?  And he made a noise like “Guuuhhh” and everyone thought that was so funny, and they couldn’t stop laughing?  And they picked up the computer, and dropped it again, just so they could hear that noise and enjoy themselves?

I mean, it’s long past time Les did something funny, isn’t it?  That would work for me.

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In This Corner….

Link to today’s strip.

I dunno, Mr. Director Man, but everyone seems to be smiling at it so it can’t be a hideous, slavering monster that will devour all of you, so it’s hard to care.  Naturally Les is right there, because of course he is.  My God, what an utterly punchable face.  The most loathsome man in the world.

Say, do you know how comic strips are made?  Some guy–a cartoonist–scribbles a few bits of artwork down, then erases them and re-draws them until they’re as terrible as possible.  Then the cartoonist decides, “How do I feel about my readers?  Do I hate them, or do I really hate them?” and he writes down dialog depending on his decision.  Then, he decides he really hates his readers after all, and adds Les Moore.  If the cartoonist takes more than ten minutes to do all of this, he loses.  Does he then start all over until he gets it right?  No, don’t be silly, this is cartooning where “losing” is “getting it right.”

…I figured I’d take Tom Batiuk’s knowledge of how movies are made and apply it to a different profession.   Because in reality, Jim Kibblesnbits wouldn’t be getting a check–the scene would have been re-shot and the people responsible for on-set security would, at best, be severely reprimanded.  And the adults in charge of the field trip would probably be charged with reckless endangerment.  Or, if they were lucky and no one saw Kibblesnbits and thus decided to get nasty, trespassing.  Obviously, HeyItsDave explained this the other week, but it bears repeating every time Tom Batiuk decides his hard-won ignorance is preferable to how things actually work.

Credit where it’s due:  the shift in perspective between panel one and panel two is actually pretty well handled.  The presence of Les ruins both panels, but I’m sure he’s only there to represent Tom Batiuk’s middle finger to his critics.  His expression for this function is perfect.

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tH1s dISj0iNteD aRC

Today.

So, Sunday’s strip is about collecting permission slips for a field trip.

Then Monday, the field trip’s over and Wedgeman is missing.

Now it’s Tuesday, and the bus is stuck in traffic caused by (what else) the Starbuck Jones filming.

What the hell way is this to tell a story? What happened to Wedgie? Why have we been subjected to months of Starbuck Jones Birth Of A Movie agony and not be shown anything about the filming? This is like trying to read Crisis On Infinite Earths after Mom found our comics under our bed and threw most of them away OH SNAP DID I JUST MAKE A COMIC BOOK REFERENCE

So now the bus is heading down a “short cut” which we all know is just going to turn out to be a bad decision because of course it is and Batiuk hasn’t had an original idea since he wasted, like, a decade slowly killing off a main character in a failed bid for a Pulitzer.

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Lost in Cleveland

Link to the Strip Du Jour

Whoops! Field trip’s over already! Don’t worry, you didn’t miss any gripping Westview High drama…because there wasn’t any. We went from yesterday’s permission slips to today’s return-trip headcount entirely off screen.

Y’know…Owen really has an unhealthy obsession with Wedgeman, doesn’t he? I bet if Jim Kaboosechiak sent Owen back into the Science Center to find him, ol Chullo’d make a beeline right for Wedgie. Someone ought to ship those two into some R34. (On second thought, never mind.)

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