Kids don’t read newspapers or newspaper comics these days… Boo hoo, so sad, this generation is killing the papers and the cartoonists, blah blah blah yackity smackity… Sorry, don’t care. I’ve heard it all before, and in better comic strips to boot.
Today’s strip is bland, rote filler in a dumb, overplayed story arc, but… that second panel. Chuck Ayers artwork since taking over duties in Funky a couple years ago has taken a good step back from the solid work he did for many years in Crankshaft I would argue, but the second panel in today’s strip is a genuinely excellent piece of cartooning. The beady eyes, the nonplussed expressions, the unrealistic density of students packed into every millimeter of the panel… you can practically hear the crickets chirping in background of this non-reaction. It is an extremely rare and truly good thing to see in Funky Winkerbean. What a pity it isn’t in the service of a better joke.
–call someone who cares.”
For the first time since time immemorial, there’s an actual punchline that’s kind of funny. A mangled aphorism, sure, but so much better than anything ever featured in Shankcraft.
The fact that the rest of it is stupid beyond measure is beside the point. Reviewers: “Yeah, I thought the movie was overly maudlin and treacly, the characters were loathsome, the production values are nil, and I was about to give it zero stars, but the quarter-finding scene turned it into a masterpiece of high art.”
I get it, Batiuk, every single trivial thing that involved Lisa is sacred, no matter what did (or didn’t) happen. It’s all part of some fantastic mosaic of incredibleness and awesomeness and every person alive (or dead) should go out and a) buy the hardback trilogy and b) give Batiuk all the awards that can possibly be awarded.
There’s no question in my mind that Batiuk is winding this thing down. The endless descents into utter trivia, treated as if they are gifts from the gods; the settling of old scores; the elevation of the hero characters; and the general disinterest he shows in his writing–all these things point to man who has spent his legacy and just can’t care anymore.
I hope against all hope that today’s strip marks the end of this chapter of Les Goes To Hollywood And Gets All Pissy- Part II, particularly for the sake of our own spacemanspiff, who has to write up the next two weeks of strips. Trying to come up with words to describe this horror is not a task I would wish on my worst enemy… or even Tom Batiuk.
On the emptiest beach in California, Masone engages in some criminal activity that doubles as the dumbest cult ritual this side of the Lisa’s Legacy Run. Not one aspect of this stupid movie project has moved forward since October despite the fact that four weeks worth of strips have been expended covering the inactivity.
Not even the prospect of s’mores improves things, which is terribly sad.
Now we’re getting to it in today’s strip! Finally!
“It” being Les trying to undermine specific elements of Masone’s Lisa’s Story passion project for no explained reason. And boy is Masone going to give Les EVERY opportunity to sabotage the project, inviting dragging him into practically every element that TB thinks exists in the film-making process. It’s a good thing Les has all of those unused personal days…
Also, what is Les’ problem here exactly? He doesn’t want Lisa to be played by an attractive and successful actress? Frankly, Marianne Winters seems like a fine choice to play late Act II Lisa based on looks at least. She’s for certain sure a dead ringer for the bewigged Lisa we saw during much of that first bout with breast cancer in 1999.
If only I could believe that Cayla’s question in today’s strip truly represented some self-awareness from TB, because YES! why didn’t Mason lead with this inevitable smoke-blowing? Sure, STILL nothing has actually happened, but we’ve wasted several days of strips even getting to Mason’s effusive and unwarranted praise, a scene we all knew was coming before this movie thing got to the point where Les could start trying to undermine specific elements of it.
As far as Mason’s opinion of Lisa’s Story goes, why would he think it would succeed in winning an Oscar where the beloved film Love Story (which, incidentally, turns 50 years old this year) largely failed. Does Love Story simply not exist in the Batiukverse? I guess I could buy that, given that this is a universe where Lisa’s Story was an Eisner Award finalist. But will Mason be satisfied with just a nomination or a Golden Globe? …or, more appropriately, a Razzie?
Today’s strip takes a pre-dick-tably maudlin turn. Like we didn’t all know “Les tries to sullenly undermine this dumb movie thing” was going to be the gist of this story arc.
Even if I wasn’t short on time to write this, I’m wouldn’t archive dive to prove that Lisa did or did not say what Les is claiming at some point in time… because I can quickly and easily point to a time when she pretty much said the exact opposite.
That’s just the thing ’bout
today’s strip… things never seem
To be going anywhere…
“Until all of a
Sudden they do” Mason says
Bloviation was first coined
In, yep, Ohio
Mason’s nose proves fertile ground
For growing palm trees
Les thought the deal died?
It’s not even been three months
Since they discussed it
Les is clearly pissed
That this movie could happen
Will be a looooooooooooooong week…
OK, when I typed “So, what’s the deal with airline food?” in yesterday’s post, I didn’t think Les would seize upon that and give us a airline complaints routine that even Milton Berle wouldn’t steal in today’s strip. I’m truly and terribly sorry. Seriously, I genuinely apologize and take full responsibility for this crime against newsprint. Somebody has to take responsibility…
Les griping about the airline nickel-and-diming him just doesn’t track, as Mason paid for his flight, a fact that was mentioned in the strip as recently as… literally yesterday. Well, I mean, the idea that Les and Cayla were charged extra for their stated “free” trip doesn’t track. Les griping at the slightest opportunity, of course, does. If Les was acting like this the whole flight he should be grateful that he wasn’t tossed out of the plane without a parachute. A nation sighs at the missed opportunity.
Women sure love shopping and nagging their husbands, amirite?
Today’s strip knows what I’m talkin’ about!
So, what’s the deal with airline food?
This is how we close six loooooooooooong days of debate about whether or not to take a free trip offer from a movie star… with gags that were pre-historic even when trilobites ruled the Earth. TB could at least give a tip of the Hatlo Hat Funky Felt-Tip to the tens of thousands of comic artists who have used this material before and much much better than he has here.