Tag Archives: Keisha

To Have and Have Not

Link to today’s strip.

First off, kudos to unca scrooge and others who noted that the joke in yesterday’s strip had to do with men being last-minute shoppers, while women were ahead of the game. The presentation was unusually subtle; generally, Tom Batiuk can’t help but have one of his characters point out how clever he is.

And the joke would have worked fine…in a sitcom made during the early 1960s. But here in the technical vastness of the future, we can surmise that surely humor is very different.

Take today’s thing. It seemed pretty obvious from the outset that the pun being avoided here was something Batiuk was aching to use. The fact that he now denies himself is quite odd. Including it would have made at least one joke, no matter how poor; keeping it out just makes today’s strip one more pointless episode in a long string of them.

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Wrappin’ Around

Link to today’s strip.

I’m going to guess that the “joke” here is that people get more frantic and desperate the closer the holidays get.

There’s not a lot of visual evidence for that guess, but that’s what I’m going with. In fact, panel two seems to have some of the same folks as panel one–sky-blue coat lady and blonde, for example. I guess it could be a second shopping trip, but you’d think Tom Batiuk would want to spice it up with a little variety.

At first, I thought the bald guy near the front had brought an upright vacuum cleaner to be wrapped–which would have been a good choice a day or so ago–but on closer inspection it looks like a sauce pan. Seems like an odd thing to want wrapped, as I imagine they mostly come in their own boxes, but I don’t know–maybe you can buy them loose. Fine.

What I really like is the guy in the front of the line. What a face of absolute despair. I like to imagine he’s saying “I don’t have any family or friends, so I don’t have anything to be wrapped. My dearest wish is to have something I need wrapped.” Everyone angrily waits for him to collapse, or to shoot himself.

Callow youth even furiously checks his watch. It’s been eighteen seconds, damn it. Do what you’re gonna do and let us get our stuff wrapped.

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Nothing Is Ever “Done”

Link to today’s strip.

Ah, the weariest season of the year is all-year-round in Westview. I’ve never seen a parade of miserable, hateful creatures such as this strip sports.

I can’t imagine writing this kind of stuff year after year; no wonder Tom Batiuk prefers to wallow in old comic books. It’s probably why he puts the least amount of thought possible into this strip, because who wants to think about these people any more than he has to? At least the Flash has clear heroes and villains, rather than the doomed naysayers that populate this “comic” strip. No wonder it’s so badly run, as no one wants to run it.

No character is ever happy in this strip, because they know if they are (like Adeela getting her driver’s license) then they are going to be immediately (and improbably) thrown into a hellish prison. Or forced to wrap Christmas presents. There, I imagine Tom Batiuk thinks, that’ll learn ’em.

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I’ll Make You A Star

Link to today’s strip.

Okay, what is that thing the woman wants wrapped? A big star with tassels? Why would you want to give that as a gift? It’s both awkward and unattractive, and while I don’t want to judge anyone’s taste, I can’t see it going well with anything. A star for the top of the Christmas tree? Wouldn’t you want that before Christmas day?

I guess the thing is huge and unwieldy and thus difficult to wrap, which might be why Tom Batiuk thinks it could be part of a joke. But if someone handed that to me and told me to wrap it, I’d say “Okay, it’s an extra three dollars for the box.” Because that’s what one would do–put it in a box and wrap the box. It’s just that simple.

I guess the customer could insist that it be wrapped as is, and the customer is always right, but let’s get a quarter-inch closer to reality: no one is going to spot this wrapped thing and exclaim, “Oh boy, you got me an XBox!”

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Respect Your elf

Link to today’s strip.

Wow. This strip really gives “nothing” a chance to stretch out. I mean, I cannot think of a single thing that’s worthy of comment here.

It’s not funny. It’s not educational. It’s not poignant.

It’s nothing at all. As Spock would say, “It occupies space.”

It would be one thing if the elf costumes were outlandish or otherwise goofy, but they aren’t. They don’t look embarrassing at all. I guess one could question why they’re dressed as elves in the first place–it’s possible the kiosk is labelled “Santa’s Wrapping Workshop” but the name is obscured by that deathless dialogue.

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Sidelong Glance

Link to today’s strip.

Why does Tom Batiuk use these stupid sideways strips? While it makes less work for Ayers to draw them, it makes more work for the reader, and there’s never any reward for doing so.

Batiuk might say they make his strip unique, as no one else does this. That’s true–no other comic strip artist does this. The reason they don’t is very simple–it’s an idiotic idea that adds nothing, and subtracts a great deal. Much like an ermine violin, it’s an impractical thing to have. Here’s an idea: why not make up a completely new language for his characters, with no translations available? That would be unique, too. And it would save time for the reader, since he could just skip the whole thing and move on to Garfield.

I guess striving to be unique, even if that makes the strip more difficult, is his goal at this point. He certainly hasn’t been trying to make his characters interesting or his stories anything other than dull.

As for today’s entry, well…when I was in college, my father would arrange summer jobs for me between years. It was decent work, and it gave me some spending money. But he never did this during Christmas break, which is (I assume) why Summer and Keisha are there now. It seems like a rather mean trick to play on a kid.

One might argue that this gives Summer and Keisha some work skills, showing up on time, knowing your tasks, etc. Except I feel certain both of them have worked at Montoni’s, so they’d already have some idea of those things.

Any excuse to ruin someone’s holiday, I guess.

By the way, I refuse to believe the person “on the left” is Cayla. It doesn’t look anything like her.

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Aaugh!

Link To Today’s Strip

Wow, it’s an EXTREMELY RARE and wildly abrupt mid-week arc shift, as suddenly the seldom-seen Women Of Les make an EXTREMELY RARE guest holiday appearance. Good ol’ Summer hasn’t changed a bit, still slobbing around in her trademark hoodie like it’s 2011 all over again. For those both of you keeping score at home, Summer and Keisha are in their EIGHTH year of college. I don’t know what they’re majoring in but it must be pretty grueling stuff.

Once again, Summer left for college eight years ago so Les needs to get the f*ck over it already. Don’t they have DVRs in Ohio? Les is one of the few FW characters who’s annoying even when the other characters are just talking about him. What a dick.

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Coffin Corner Kick-ed The Bucket

Fortunately, today’s strip stays in one time line. It also quotes one of Bob Dylan’s best-reviewed songs. Well, that’s two positives to the… end-ish? of this very maudlin special story arc. FYI: A donation has been made to the Boston University CTE center, presumably so readers will remember what this story arc was about last month.

So was Bull a member of the local Dylanist congregation or is that the only house of worship in Westview anymore? Both?

And with that, I am relieved… both to be done with my posting stint and, come tomorrow, by the incomparable Spacemanspiff85.

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Memories… Summer good, Summer not

It’s back to the WABAC machine in today’s strip. No, I’m not talking about the flashback to “five years ago…”, I’m talking about Bull’s funeral, which has itself moved two-and-a-half years backward in time in order to accommodate a five years ago flashback featuring players Bull last coached in the spring of 2012. Well, at least we are getting something that is actually about Bull in this one… that’s so damning with faint praise that it could keep an ocean at bay. (“Billy was a special blogger”, they said at his funeral.)

Also, I tagged both Keisha and Linda in this, because I’m not sure which one of them is standing next to Summer in panel 3.

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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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