Tag Archives: le chat bleu

The Death of Sense.

Link to Today’s Strip.

Comic Book Harriet, back in action. Ready to dig through the comic muck of this Inedible Pulp to, hopefully, stab at the heart of this horrifying nonsense.

First of all, I want to thank Spaceman Spiff for easing us through the shock and awe of the first ‘back from the dead’ soap opera moment I think we’ve had since Wally Winkerbean came home.

While some of you have been frustrated and angry at just how baffling the decision to retcon Phil Holt’s death is, I’ve actually been relishing the absolute stupidity of this arc. Unlike Batiuk’s biffing of Bull’s Suicide, the morally dubious resolution of the Adeela ICE arc, or the callous insensitivity of the LA Fires, the crazy on display here has no offensive real-world victims unless you find it libelous to Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, or Joe Simon.

And today, I finally get the answer to the most pressing question raised by Phil Holt’s ‘resurrection’: did he fake his death, or have a near death experience? Hanging on this question, was the interpretation of this strip from three years ago.

Spoiler Alert: Phil Holt wasn’t already dead.

With the retcon, and the knowledge that Phil was completely fine at the time, there is only one explanation for these ghosts. Darin was imagining Phil and Lisa’s spirits having this conversation as they looked on approvingly at the auction. It was a fantasy that he concocted for his own gratification.

Furthermore, this suggests that every time we see ‘ghosts’ in strip it’s just the daydreaming of a living character, comforting themselves with a lie, roleplaying a no longer possible conversation, or expressing an internal anxiety, sometimes all at the same time.

Like when Lillian was visited by ‘Lucy’ coming back from the grave to lead her on a guilt purging journey of taking an undelivered letter to a demolished building, where Lucy and her old boyfriend Eugene could finally spiritually be together (even though Eugene was still alive at the time.)

Les of course is the worst offender of this. Lisa constantly pops up around him, encouraging him, praising him, agreeing with him, and smiling while watching him make out with his hot new wife.

But even Les seems to realize that this is just him projecting what he imagines Lisa would say. And that Lisa only lives on inside his mind as a fractured reflection of his memory. She sleeps forever, in the oblivion of death.

If I could ask Batiuk a personal question, I would ask if he believes in an afterlife. Because I don’t think he really does. I think he wishes there was something after death, but has been convinced that the only immortality we actually get is the lingering echoes we leave in the hearts and minds of others.

And, in time, those people will pass away, and so then passes even memory. Life has meaning, but only temporarily.

And so all metaphysical experience is really just human consciousness and awareness fractured and reflected back on itself. When we try to conceive of or reach out to God, or dead loved ones, or eternity, the only thing that can reach back is a part of yourself.

Dead St. Lisa was only a part of imagination. She’s no more or less real than that heatstroke robot Funky imagined when running, or Jeff’s Inner Child avatar, or Les’ depression cat.

But, then again, apparently the depression cat is real and crazy old film producers can see it.

And Dead Lisa did call into an airport and talk to customer service, then Les, then called in a phony bomb threat…

The only evidence of life after death in Funky Winkerbean.

Strap in folks! It’s gonna be a fun week!

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Le Chat Stupide

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Yeah, that Hollywood sure is crazy all right. This arc was a perfect example. What a wacky place, like how they changed the cancer screenplay so that Lisa lived, the way they wrote an adopted son into the script, the way they go to restaurants…man, the zaniness is just overwhelming in Hollywood, just totally nutty. No wonder Thelma (who, like Mason, only gets to have a personality at the END of the story) is seeing an imaginary cat that Les talks to when he’s agonizing over writing about his dead wife. Very clever, Author Guy, very clever.

And all this time it’s been that damned cat that’s made Les the single most objectionable character in the history of ever. I see. Perhaps Batom needs to slow down with the seasonal craft beers until AFTER he finishes one of these mega-long arcs. What’s another ten minutes, right?

But seriously, if this is indeed the end of the epically annoying screenplay arc, talk about ending with a resounding thud. You can almost hear the sad trombone after panel three….”whaaaa-waaaa”. TB’s the master of the anticlimax, it’s like he wants to just get it over with as much as his readers do. What a dreary display.

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Home Is Where The Apathy Is

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After a long, insufferable summer of sitting around doing nothing, Dickface just can’t wait to get home so he can sit THERE doing nothing. The sheer ambition of the man boggles the mind, doesn’t it? Porch swings, gazebos, pizza, his overweight dimwitted pals, comic books, pizza…maybe if he’s lucky his wife will get sick and die so he’ll finally have some new material to work with. Then everything will TRULY be just like it was before!

It’s increasingly clear that Author Guy’s greatest talent is the ability to keep a straight face during those moronic puff-piece interviews of his. I’ve seen better “writing” on cereal boxes. The guy who does “Bazooka Joe” is practically Hemingway next to this joker. This was a complete shambles from top to bottom, obviously the “work” of someone who stopped giving a shit years ago.

The funniest thing about this is how everyone respects Les AFTER he gives up and quits. Welcome to the Batiukverse, where up is down, black is white and apathy is a virtue to be respected and admired.

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For Reel??

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I sometimes wonder if Author Guy sits there in Batom Inc. World HQ with felt tip in hand, poring over his little stories and occasionally leaping from his chair and yelling “No! Dammit, this still makes too much sense! I have to dumb it down again and again until it’s JUST RIGHT!!!!”. It’s just difficult for me to accept that someone…anyone…could come up with anything this stupid accidentally. The way he ignores his own continuity, the way he glosses right over plot developments that just happened mere days ago, the way he does it time after time after time with such predictable ease…it has to be a con, it just has to be. No one can be this consistently awful without trying to be.

As far as today’s strip is concerned, uh, yeah. Dumb “insider” lingo, idiotic contrivance out of nowhere, plot details at odds with things that just happened a few days before, Les behaving like a self-centered narcissistic jerk-off, that stupid cat hanging around for no reason…yup, sounds about right. Why even bother with these plodding mega-arcs if you’re just going to give up halfway through and resort to crappy filler and nonsensical garbage to finish them up? Again, it makes no sense unless it’s on purpose. It has to be.

 

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Escape From Bitch Mountain

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The big dramatic turning point in Author Guy’s big “Lust For Lisa” arc is Les remembering there’s a “kill fee” clause in his contract. A lazy writer writing a lazy story about a lazy writer who’s found a loophole enabling him to collect money for doing less work. Welcome to the Funkyverse, where indecision and cowardice are attributes and Les Moore is a paragon of virtue.

Le Chat returns from out of nowhere to deliver some of the most cringe-worthy dialog ever…”happy off the table”…”the bipolar express”…dear God that is atrocious, just reeking of “try-hard”. After two weeks of pointless meandering crap he suddenly wants to get all faux-angsty again? Over a guy who’s pleased as punch to have found a way to quit his job and still get paid? Via that irritating imaginary cat? Les isn’t “bipolar”, he’s just a selfish jerk who basks in the misfortunes of others, that’s all.

And yikes, he’s just incredibly punchable today, strutting around and smirking because he’s ready to ruin everything for everyone just because he can. It’s rage inducing to say the least. If TB is trolling us and going for peak Les objection-ability here, well f*cking done indeed, my man. If not, well, wow.

 

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Here I Sit, Broke And Art-ed

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Money? MONEY?? You mean writers sometimes get MONEY for writing? But…but…I thought writing was all about self-loathing, deadlines and crippling doubt? Not only does this comic strip suck but it teaches you NOTHING of any use!

Oh my, the poor, poor Delicate Genius, learning a harsh cold lesson about how his passion in life is merely a means to an end and nothing more. What a blow this must be for the Delicate Genius, who up to this point was so proud and so confident about his artistic mastery of the written word. Poor, poor Les, being forced to accept money for his work like that, will the universe EVER stop heaping the indignities and humiliations upon his tortured soul?

This week has featured Batiuk at his absolute worst. The ponderous drivel about his fictional cancer book being this incredible artistic acheivement is nauseating enough, but the simplistic tripe about the “inner workings” of the television business is laughably bad especially when you consider how it’s coming from a guy who’s “written” maybe two hours worth of “stories” over the last forty years. A “writer” in a medium as shallow as the comic strip business has a lot of balls taking shots at other writers in other mediums, maybe he should write something that isn’t a simplistic piece of garbage before he dismisses an entire industry in one fell swoop. He needs a smack as much as his stupid avatar does.

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Sympathy For The Drivel

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Like how TomBat is doing, let’s forget for a moment that Wallace “optioned” Les’ cancer book after reading it so he was obviously well aware of what he was buying. Let’s also ignore the fact that this screenplay is little more than a re-write of that very same cancer book. I don’t really have a point here other than you must overlook those gigantic glaring plot holes lest you double over in laughter like Les’ imaginary feline friend over how amazingly stupid this story is. “Beautiful work of art”…c’mon Tom, enough is enough already.

You see, television is a genre with no room whatsoever for “art” of any kind, much less the greatest piece of cancer death-related art of ALL TIME. A story as magnificent as “Lisa’s Story” belongs in a medium capable of letting its brilliance shine through unfettered, like a book or a comic strip or maybe even a compilation of comic strips in book form. But not TV, uh-uh, no f*cking way. Because TV is about entertainment, dammit, and if Beardo can’t accept that he might as well take his stupid cancer screenplay and go back to his front porch where he can while away the rest of his days wallowing in nostalgia and making annoying wordplay-based wisecracks every three seconds.

Ahhh shit, I should have put a spoiler alert there, as I just totally blew the big Act IV twist. Oh well, not like you didn’t all know it was coming anyway, you know?

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Compliments Of The Louse

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“A beautiful work of art”…wish fulfillment much, TomBat? Obviously we’re about to get a crash course in Hollywood scumbaggery courtesy of Clay Wallace, who will gently explain how Hollywood needs to take his work of utter genius and pack it full of dick, boob and fart jokes so the unwashed sweaty slobbering masses on either side of the country can digest it properly. Because that’s what these Hollywood scumbags do for a living, at least according to a certain gazebo-loving mid-central Ohioian who prefers his simple small town ways to the sleazy glitz and tawdry glamor of the Big City, which is probably why no one’s ever optioned FW (or that other strip he does) for a film deal. What other reason could there be, eh?

Check out the smug look on his puss in panel three. The Delicate Genius doing what he does best, basking in praise. What a dick. And why is the cat still following him around? This must be quite confusing to newer (ha) readers unfamiliar with this particular rehashed gimmick. Hell, I’m confused myself and I read this crap every day, you know?

“A beautiful work of art”…oh man, that’s just hilarious. It’s just the cancer book in screenplay form, how fundamentally different could it possibly be? It’s just so funny how the fictional cancer book is a revelatory work of literary brilliance but the real cancer book is just a colllection of depressing cartoons. The whole author/avatar Les/Tom thing is always irritating but especially so during these stupid cancer book arcs, it’s just so obnoxious.

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The Fix Is In

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And so it begins, TB’s ultimate wish-fulfillment arc, the one where he really lets those Hollywood scumbags have it via his unique mix of wry annoying sarcasm and maudlin, bland pathos. Just look at this Wallace jerk, already oozing smug smarm all over the place as he plots his scheme to turn Les’ beloved cancer book into some sort of softcore cable porn nightmare. Poor LesTom, always being forced to defend the cancer book’s honor against those who would soil it with their greasy thumbprints and perverse suggestions. No wonder he can’t eat or get boners. Les, I mean. I’m not sure about Batom, though.

I see Le Chat is in there too, so prepare for a week ridden with angst, self-loathing and crippling doubt over his special cancer book. “Lisa’s Story”…it’s the book that keeps dropping those shoes, over and over again. (SPOILER ALERT)…she dies at the end.

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First Class Jackass

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No, Le Chat, actually it’s a classic case of annoying wuss angst being relentlessly beaten into the ground by a sad old hack. There’s definitely a guy pretending to be a “writer” here and I don’t mean Dickface, either. I have never wanted to see a surface-to-air missile used more than I want to see one used today. F*ck you, Les and f*ck you too, Pulitzer (nominee) Boy. Charles Schulz must be spinning in his grave tonight, poor guy.

This is one of those exceptionally annoying FWs where Les is eminently punchable in every single panel, including the disembodied Sunday strip head. God how I detest and loathe this whiny, simpering moron and his pathetic cancer book. And I likewise detest and loathe the way BatBrain wallows around in his ridiculous writer fantasies, endlessly bitching about the joylessness of it all like it’s the worst possible way to make a living. If it sucks so much then quit, you can always just re-run the old strips “FBOFW”-style, no one will ever notice the difference anyway. What a pair of whiny sorry saps.

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