Tag Archives: Martin Johns

Clap on! Clap off!

Marianne does NOT look like someone who is willing to give away her Oscar in the first today’s strip. No, she’s looking at that Oscar the way most characters in this strip look at comic books.

The rest of this is as rote and pat as an Oscar acceptance speech can be, so let’s have some fun with another crowd shot of “famous” faces. Help me fill in the blanks and fix the mistakes where my corrective lenses deceived me.

  1. A replicant
  2. NO NECK JOE!
  3. Alana Haim deserves better seats than this
  4. Stanley Tucci on a ski trip
  5. David Duchovny’s face
  6. HAL 9000 putting on its best gold
  7. Debra Jo Rupp
  8. General U.S. Grant again
  9. A cumulonimbus cloud
  10. I don’t know, but her body language is appropriate
  11. David Duchovny’s hair
  12. Cousin It
  13. Beldar Conehead
  14. Hogarth Hughes
  15. Maria, from Sesame Street
  16. Cassidy’s sister, Alexus Kerr (see, I can do it too, TB)
  17. Yoko Ono
  18. Harold Lloyd (I mean, if Phil Holt is alive…)
  19. The Chinless Contessa
  20. Given her glare I’m guessing this is either Gretchen Gold or Cordelia Rama
  21. Burt Reynolds (again… Phil Holt)
  22. Jennifer Anniston’s hair
  23. Sid, from accounting
  24. We have General Grant, so why not Robert E. Lee too?

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Shmucks in a row

Today’s strip begs the classic 5 Ws (and an H) of writing. It also begins the Oscars story Variety promised last month. Yeah, I thought that maybe if I buried the lede it would stay in the ground, but alas.

Who is Mason talking to on the left? Wait, he calls her Marianne… that’s supposed to be Marianne Winters? The lady with the pentagon head and the pigtail-bun hairstyle my niece insisted on wearing when she was a toddler is Marianne Winters?

What is with TB’s willingness to use Hulu and HBO’s trademarked names but still insist on sticking to the eyeroll-inducing “Netbusters”?

When does TB think the Academy Awards ceremony takes place? We’re three weeks out from this year’s Oscars broadcast… Does that mean? Oh no, please no. I really hope TB just got the dates wrong.

Where is the “chateau” where this “real party” is happening? Chateau Marmont? Haha, really? I guess if you don’t know… then you don’t know. I’m in no hurry to find out, either.

Why are Cliff Anger and Vera Nash here? Neither one was involved in the Lisa’s Story movie at all… well, other than inexplicably being at the film’s wrap party.

How is this story going to end? Insufferably, no doubt. I don’t think any other outcome is possible.

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Trolling for Towels

Link to today’s strip.

More praise for the awesomeness of Lisa’s Story and its author, the worst human being on the planet. I could pull the “Badges” quote from yesterday, but honestly it just isn’t worth it.

That should be the Funky Winkerbean motto: It just isn’t worth it.

Maybe on Monday, Mason was talking about Les’ cameo. They’re certainly treating it as if it was the single most important aspect of the production.

Of course, it’s not exactly ringing praise…”Well, we finished the movie about how you agonized and suffered over your feelings while, uh, it says here your wife died. Because of this powerful and emotional experience, we’re giving you this towel.”

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In The Hot Seat.

Link to today’s strip whenever it appears

Comic Book Harriet reporting from the scene of the missing previews. Literally sweating bullets over trying to come up with something that hasn’t been said already by the hordes of commenters, or, as Batiuk likes to call us, ‘Beady-Eyed Nitpickers’.

Seeing a bunch of fresh names in the comments section lately brings a smile to my heart. Hate reading crappy comics is one of life’s greatest pleasures, like music, or fine wine, meant to be shared with like-minded connoisseurs. I don’t know if you people are coming back to watch the world burn, or have just found the place, but the you’re stoking the fire with some pretty hot fuel for thought.

Such as.

I hope everyone will give SpacemanSpiff85 a massive round of internet points for putting up with almost an entire shift of no previews. He was able to transmogrify something out of nothing, which is the exact opposite of what Tom usually accomplishes.

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Neither can we, Marian… uh, I mean, Lisa

And we’re back to Les’s cameo in today’s strip. I dunno what that golf thing yesterday was about, but it will probably be awful and unsatisfying if it is ever revealed at all.

Having seen more of this scene, I really hope Les’ fear that his cameo will elicit knee-buckling laughter from his friends, family, and assorted other acquaintances comes true. What better time in Lisa’s Story to bust a gut than this maudlin bit where Les recaps a phone conversation Lisa had with her insensitive doctor? That’s the first and only thing about this Lisa’s Story flick that makes me want to watch it.

This strip is a nice reminder that Lisa’s second battle with cancer was full of bumbling and insensitive doctors: always mixing up important cancer charts and exhibiting awful bedside manner. What timing TB has… I cannot think of a time in my life when fewer Americans would be interested in fictional depictions of incompetent and unpleasant doctors.

And that’s it for me. I cannot say I envy spacemanspiff85, who takes over tomorrow. Good luck to you. You won’t have it, but it seems the right sentiment to express.

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Cut It On The Bias

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?! After a week of setup for this cameo and its single, six word line, Les flubs it in today’s strip? Who could have possibly seen this coming?

At least the narrative has inched along despite wasting 14 panels on reusing the most cliche gag about acting in history. Mr. Director himself, Martin Johns, confirms what we all suspected since we first saw that laughable park bench set being put together… this film has next to no budget. Unless he’s just being dramatic about the tire fire that Les has turned this scene into, in which case we’ve gone no where on this story arc in a week and a half.

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Secrets, Lies and Errors

What fresh awfulness do we have in today’s strip? Oh, just the latest reminder that Lisa’s Story is all about Les… and that anything written or filmed about Les isn’t worth the paper or celluloid it is recorded on.

This is who Mason considers “a real hero”? Someone who apparently told the accomplished and successful actress Marianne Winters to her face that she wasn’t good enough for the role of Lisa? Someone whose advice to her on playing the role of his late wife in a scene where she is preparing to have a biopsy to confirm a probable cancer diagnosis is to think more about HIM?

Les Moore is monstrous cad and in a just Batiukverse he would have been thrown off of a railroad trestle years ago by one of a long list of suspects too long to investigate and whom no jury would convict even if caught.

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Snow Job Snore

Cameras are FINALLY rolling in today’s strip, which is take 3 (why?) of the contents of this Sunday strip from January 31, 1999.

FW1-31-99

Yep, even when it was actually happening, Lisa’s story was pretty much all about Les.

Les didn’t write the script for this movie, and yet, this scene is almost verbatim what was actually said back in 1999. I guess he had nothing to fear after all as the script writer must have been clairvoyant… or perhaps just too lazy to even try to punch up a bland passage lifted wholesale from the Lisa’s Story book.

If Les cannot live through seeing actors recite his own words, he knows where the door is. Even if he somehow didn’t walk through it to get in the soundstage, maybe he parachuted in or was brought in bound and gagged inside of a trunk (my favorite theory), he saw Marianne do so.

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Abraham, Martin and Johns

Anybody here seen that old jerk Les Moore,
Can you please tell me that he’s gone?
He annoyed a lotta people, readers chiefly among
Y’know I just looked at today’s strip and he’s gone.

Anybody here seen any act-tion,
Can you tell me when it comes on?
There’s been a lotta panels, but it seems nothing has happened
I just looked at today’s strip and I yawned.

Does anybody here get this movie’s appeal,
Can you care when Lisa’s fate is foregone?
They need a lotta viewers, their wallets must be wrung
But it’s being made for an audience of one.

Didn’t we snark on Lisa’s arc before?
Won’t this movie plot and strip end eventually?
Then we’ll be free,
Someday soon it’s gonna be one day.

Has anybody here seen my old friend Tom,
Can you tell me where he’s gone?
I thought I saw him there WAY over the hill
In denial that he’s been there so long.

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Bounce Bored

Could cameras finally be rolling in today’s strip?! Ha ha, no. Tom “Tell, Don’t Show” Batiuk is living up to his nickname again. Whatever was just filmed was “great!”, though. Not great enough to portray in this strip or to make additional takes unnecessary, but still great!

There’s really nothing here, is there? We’ve seen Mason and Marianne in their costumes… we’ve seen the laughably cheap winter park bench set being set up… Les has already reacted to all of this. Did we really need to see Martin Johns say some cliché movie director things and spout some authentic Hollywood jargon? Can we move on to Les’ inevitable griping about what is actually being shot? The sooner we get there, the sooner we get out of this story arc (I hope).

At the very least couldn’t TB have had Ayers punch this up by giving Martin a clichéd old-style Hollywood director’s get-up? Y’know, stupid beret, sunglasses, jodhpurs, oversized megaphone, etc.? And if you’re gonna have Shermy cameo as a cameraman, at least let us see his face!

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