Making their first appearance since January 2016 are Summer and Keisha. I’m sure the sounds of one-on-one basketball right outside his door do wonders for the terminally distractable Les’ writing process.
If “see you later, alligator” is good enough for Cliff and Vera, I don’t know why Les and Cayla feel the need to “update” it. Let’s not get started on Les calling his black wife a monkey. Instead let’s examine Batiuk’s tendency to take a feeble but acceptable joke and proceed to stretch it ’til it breaks. He could have left it at “they’re working on an update blah blah blah.” But, because it’s Sunday and he still has two panels to fill, he’s gotta drop in the stuff about going “viral” and “beta testing”.
It’s all well and good that Batiuk recruited a couple comic book pros to draw Crankshaft and Funky Winkerbean. But the draughtsmanship, maddeningly inconsistent as it is, isn’t the problem with these strips, it’s the writing.
Wow, greasy, fattening pizza (which Funky undoubtedly donated) and flat Montoni’s root beer for all! Thanks Jessica! You really know how to show gratitude in today’s strip! You’d think from the look on Jessica’s face she’d just gotten them all tickets to Disneyland. The look on Cayla and Keisha’s faces say it all; please God, not another slice of Westview’s worst and only pizza.
SoSfDavidO here! Ya know, we’ve all heard Hollywood makes you self-centered but today’s strip pushes that a bit far, considering Jessica isn’t even out there yet.
Let’s do a quick tally, shall we? So far, Evil Hollywood has sucked away Mopey Pete, Jessica, Darin and Cindy Summers. At this rate there won’t be a Westview left after Les and Co. moves out so he can work on his screenplay. And hey, sure there’s plenty of need in California for greasy, Ohio-style pizza so why not move Montoni’s out there, too? Oscars for everyone!
Link To Today’s Strip
Check out Les’ dainty little pose there in panel two as he models his (apparently) new shirt. And what the hell is he doing with his hand in his pocket like that? Annoying and disturbing all at once….ladies and gents, the most repugnant character in the history of everything.
Speaking of repugnant, I see that Summer finally changed out of her trusty KSU hoodie…into yet another KSU hoodie. She’s nothing if not consistent. The combination of those eyebrows and her saying “hunky” in the same panel make this one of the more uncomfortable strips of the week for sure. Based on that square-jawed expression he’s wearing in panel three, she’s giving Mason the heebie-jeebies too. That ridiculous Basketball Jones costume of hers might have flown back in high school but man, the real world is gonna eat that kid alive. She has future WHS gym coach written all over her, am I right?
Link To Today’s Strip
I wonder how many years he’s been waiting to finally find an excuse to use that gag? Well done, BanTom, well done. And what’s the deal with that tiny dining room table? That whole town is overrun with leaves every year but there isn’t a single table leaf to be had. Go figure.
And what the hell is up with Mason’s rapidly-receding hairline? I thought he’s supposed to be some sort of Hollywood pretty-boy, so what’s with the enormous forehead? Come on, Batom, the guy’s only been in town for like a day, the effects wouldn’t be hitting him THAT quickly. He kind of looks a little like Andrew Jackson there in panel one IMO.
Their reaction to Mason’s joke is actually totally logical if you think about it. They sit there stunned upon hearing Mason’s joke because let’s face it, how many actual jokes do these people hear? It’s like if you visited some long-lost indigenous tribe in some remote rainforest and showed them your smart phone. They just can’t comprehend it fully, there’s nothing to compare it with. Then they burst into laughter as if his joke was the funniest thing they’ve ever heard, which it very well could be. And Les is totally devastated as he realizes his dumb puns and stupid bits of wordplay will now be held to a whole different standard. So the whole thing is pretty plausible IMO. In a way, Mason Jarr is their new god. Now all he needs to do is get his hands on the holy scrolls aka Holly’s SJ collection and he’ll rule that town.
Link To Today’s Strip
Ugh. Someone needs to confiscate Summer’s thesaurus. “Pachyderm in the parlor”…yikes almighty that’s just awful. Not even a big-headed kid as lame as Summer could utter anything that dumb in “real life”. Then perhaps Les could suggest a drug test for Keisha, who’s obviously been dipping into her mom’s Xanax or Thorazine stash, although I can’t really fault her for that if it is indeed the case.
Most importantly, though, someone needs to tell Mason to pay more attention while climbing those bannister-free stairs, because he appears to be a second away from taking a pretty bad spill. And you DO NOT want to get sick and/or injured in THAT town, trust me. That Taj Moore-hal is a death trap as it is, just ask Lisa. Yeah, I know she’s dead but still, she’ll probably be around shortly. Which reminds me, whatever you do there Mason, do NOT open the second door on the right because if the breeze blows out the candles on Les’ Lisa shrine, you won’t survive the night.
Link To Today’s Strip
And, after an absolutely mind-bending two week pause, the big Mason Jarr/Starbuck Jones arc is back. Surprisingly the arc picks up with Mason actually arriving. I assumed we’d probably get a few more weeks of Dickface and Co. babbling about it, then another two week “wow, driving to the airport is awful” sub-arc before he finally showed, but Bantom must have been feeling revitalized after all that crossover action. This is like warp speed for a FW arc.
TB is really holding firm with the “ancient shopworn old TV sitcom tropes” theme of this arc, isn’t he? The Moore ladies are all aflutter as Mason politely pretends to undress them with his starry eyes as Les looks on disdainfully as usual, disgusted once again with everyone’s complete inability to be as cool as he is around his Hollywood hotshot pal. Keisha appears to be in the throes of a convulsion while Summer is overwhelmed by being in the presence of a strong male figure for the first time in her young life. As far as Cayla goes, it’s about what I expected from her, minus the lemonade. What a strong group of believable female characters.