Yeah yeah yeah. Even the nicest Hollywood movie stars are vapid phonies who exchange air kisses and “do lunch”. Point made…and made…and made…and made…and made yet again. At least Dick Facey finally approves of something, albeit in that annoying non-committal way of his. My God do I need a Les break, the guy just wears on you like a rock in your shoe. A smug bearded rock. There were five named characters in this arc and not one of them is even remotely likeable in any way whatsoever. Even Cassidy is getting on my nerves right now.
Tag Archives: Marianne
“Lisa’s Story” is just like the video cartridge in “Infinite Jest”, once you start reading it you’re unable to do anything else but think about Lisa until you wither and die. Naturally with Les being Les and all, he can’t even accept Marianne’s sincere compliment without taking a dig at Cindy, because she was the popular girl in high school who looked down her nose at him and etc. And it’s funny because never letting go of old high school grudges is hilarious, I guess. Look at that snide look on his smug bearded face in panel two, he’s genuinely enjoying watching Cindy squirm. What a dick.
“So what do you think, Les?”
“I dunno. She definitely has the making out part down, but Lisa used to do this thing where she’d slide her cancer smock aside and put my hand on her…it’ll just be easier if I demonstrate on you, Cindy. After all, you did say you would have done me back in high school, right?”
Uh yeah, sure Tom. Maybe tomorrow Mason and Marianne could have some hot park bench sex, just to really get a feel for what Lisa was all about. This idiocy couldn’t possibly have any less to do with making the damn cancer movie, BatHam just wanted to get his sick jollies by beating up on Cindy for being such a vapid obnoxious little nit back in (SIGH) high school. The whole “Cindy is jealous of Mason’s co-star” thing was resolved all the way back in 2016, or at least it would have been if a freak gust of wind blew Marianne off the big H and ended this claptrappery once and for all. But there was no wind, Marianne climbed back down, presumably spent a few months in the booby hatch, then went on to become Hollywood’s number one (sigh) kissing expert. Yet another well-rounded and believable female character in the stable, right next to gems like Jessica, Linda, Adeela and (sigh) Summer.
So apparently the script is already written, unless they’re just using the book, I guess. That “chemo playground” line is just so f*cking gross, but of course Pulitzer (nominee) Boy thinks it’s gold, thus the endless rehashing. And what more can you even say about Cindy’s deranged jealousy at this point? It was never funny and it grows less so each and every day.
FIVE characters and an astounding EIGHT word balloons in a two-paneler…just imagine if he’d have filled those word balloons with some actual content. This story might have been going places! Unfortunately though, this is FW and things just don’t work like that around here. More words = even less action in the Funkyverse.
Cindy’s descent into one-note trope hell is complete, as she’s ALREADY sexually threatened and seething with white-hot jealousy over seeing her husband interacting with a co-worker he’s known for years. That was fast. A little subtlety might have been applicable here, you know, like an eyeroll or something. But again, things don’t work like that around here. Funky is the fat one, Wally is the jittery one, Lisa is the dead one, Bull is the dead one and Cindy is the implacably jealous and insecure one and that’s just they way it is.
It’s really stupid, though and more than slightly, uh, reductive, I guess. Mason sees Cindy cozying up to Les and doesn’t give a damn, Cindy sees Mason chatting with a co-star and she’s boiling with hateful fury within seconds. Sure, I admit it, I notice when there’s cleavage in the strip but next to the guy who writes this thing I’m like freaking Gloria Allred. He took the most traditionally “successful” character (male or female) in the strip and turned her into an insecure teenager, strictly for laughs. Attempted laughs, that is.
This one gets a “cleavage” tag for Cindy, as it’s very faintly visible if you look closely. I know, I know, it’s a problem and I’m working on it. It is kind of interesting how that’s one small detail Ayers doesn’t seem to skimp on.
And there she is, fresh off her unsuccessful suicide bid, Marianne Winters aka Jupiter Moon. Man, Hollywood has aged her terribly. Then again that Food Film arc was like twenty or thirty years ago, so there you go. So now I’m expecting a few days of phony Hollywood banter, a day of Marianne pretending to die as Mason/Les wails “nooooooo!” followed by three more days of phony Hollywood banter, followed by a week of Cindy driving Les back to the airport and telling him she’d have done him in high school. Sigh. I hate Mondays.
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.
Tough luck, SOSFers. Not just because you’ve read today’s strip, but also because today’s strip is particularly rant-worthy and I may well be the weakest ranter on this site. I am sorry, I just cannot do it justice. I’ll lean on our commenters to give this strip what it deserves.
I do have an editorial comment, though, and it doesn’t involve Funky in a coma this time. Among the few printable things that have been said about this whole unending Starbuck Jones movie arc is that it is “wish fulfillment”. It is an apt description, of course, as nearly everything about Starbuck Jones comes across as what TB wishes would have happened to his own creations. However, there is no reason that wish fulfillment can’t be entertaining.
Sally Forth just spent a whole month at a (very) fictional Japanese movie monster theme park, something I’m sure unabashedly nerdy SF writer Francesco Marciuliano very much wishes was real. However, Marciuliano uses his fantasy to tell a story and crack jokes that are relatable to readers whether they are kaiju-obsessed or not. You may not know what a Gamera is, but you probably get jokes about taking family vacations and waiting in line at theme parks.
TB’s Starbuck Jones business, meanwhile, requires a tome of Batiuk blog posts and a glossary of Hollywood terms to understand, and a miracle to find entertaining. It seems to be perpetually patting itself on the back for being such a big deal in its own allegedly realistic universe, thrusting long-standing characters into Hollywood’s orbit for seemingly no reason other than to show that they are great enough to be involved in Starbuck Jones things.
I would say that my wish would be that we could leave Starbuck Jones, Hollywood, and the Valentine Theater behind… but that undoubtedly means more of Les. I can’t win. None of us can.
Everyone is severely intoxicated in today’s strip, right? Those glasses everybody has been carrying around have surely been filled and emptied many times by now, yes?
Because I don’t really know how else to explain this. The exaggerated hand gestures, the jumping on tables, the applause, the addressing of a group of full-grown adults as “kids”… Heck, alcohol may not really be enough to explain this. Not even something as dumb as Funky still dreaming in a coma back in 2010 effectively covers this ridiculousness.
Today’s strip is a sobering reminder of just how tantalizingly close we came to completely avoiding the foul, intrusive neighbor that is the Starbuck Jones movie. If only Mason had never come to Ohio, none of this would have happened.
– Mason only came to Ohio, of course, because he met Les on the set of Lust For Lisa.
– Tempting as it is to pin this all on Les, he was only able to lure Mason to Ohio with Holly’s collection of “Starbuck Jones” comics.
– Holly’s “Starbuck Jones” collection only existed because Cory started it.
– Cory only started the collection because… well, Tom only knows that. Maybe something to do with his stepfather reading it when he was a kid…
– And Ohio is only a state because the British ceded it to the United States in the Treaty of Paris, which was only possible because the French ceded the Ohio Valley to the British after losing the French and Indian War.
“Fan” theory time:
Funky is still in a coma from that 2010 car wreck and everything that has happened since then has been a dream. It was immediately before the wreck when Starbuck Jones was first mentioned (Funky had to sell SJ issue #1 to cover Komix Korner’s overdue rent), everything else involving Starbuck Jones has occurred after the wreck. Also, think of all of the other outlandish things in this strip that have happened since that wreck, things that would have been unlikely before: the successful publication of Lisa’s Story and its national book tour and “Hollywood” chapters, Cayla’s appearance changes, Les’ love life, Cory becoming a soldier and a well-adjusted individual, Cindy comes crawling back to Ohio, Wally snags Rache and Buddy, Dick Tracy…
This theory is, of course, disgustingly unoriginal and incredibly stupid. But is it really worse than the alternative?