Tag Archives: Martin Johns

Butterfl-hio Effect

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?

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O-H! I-ugh…

Today’s strip simply confirms what we’ve all known since Monday, that this movie premiere is going to take place at “that damn Crankshaft theater”.

And we can all blame Jeff Murdoch, a passive-aggressive sad-sack who has never managed to elicit sympathy from readers despite constantly suffering under his mother and father-in-law, two of the nastiest and most despicable characters to have ever graced the comics page. We can also blame Batiukverse Twitter, which waived its character limit to allow Jeff to convey the following information in a single tweet (maybe he typed this all up in Notes and tweeted a photo, which is still contemptible):

– His first and last name
– His location
– The fact that he was a member of the Starbuck Jones Junior Spaceman Fan Club when he was a kid
– That he saw the original Starbuck Jones serial at the then-new Valentine Theater
– That his son now owns the Valentine Theater
– And that he thinks it would be a good place to hold the premiere of the new Starbuck Jones movies.

Given all of that, I’m surprised he didn’t mention how movie tickets only cost $0.10 when he first saw the Starbuck Jones serial, or how much he misses voting for Robert Taft Sr., or how great his old LaSalle ran.

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Valium-tine

While Jeff Murdoch apparently violates Twitter’s character limit in today’s strip, Director Martin Johns violates general decorum by thinking Jeff’s tweet is worth reading out loud to these Hollywood types lounging about in wicker chairs.

Prescient SOSFer erdmann hypothesized yesterday that this would lead to the premiere of Starbuck Jones at “that damn Crankshaft theater”. Today’s strip all but confirms that, and I can tell you that the next several strips will not dispel the idea. If you consider this to be a spoiler then you haven’t read Funky Winkerbean for very long.

In other news, Cindy has lost her right foot. Oh, and Jeff Murdoch is apparently both old enough to have seen and remember original-run Starbuck Jones movie serials (before Cliff was blacklisted sometime in the early 1950s) and young enough to have also been attending Kent State in 1970 (on a John Sebastian impersonator scholarship, apparently). To be fair, there is a window of time in which that works, but it is narrower than Crankshaft’s mind.

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Martin Mulls It Over

Greetings, SOSFers! It’s billytheskink here – your favorite lizard-named, Martin Mull-referencing, pointless trivia-posting, guest author.

I was wishing (and hoping, and thinking, and praying) that yesterday’s strip was the coda to this Comic-Con arc. It certainly looked like it could be. Unfortunately, it was a tease, and today’s strip takes us right back to yesterday’s ocean-side confab to discuss… the Starbuck Jones movie premiere. Goody, another week of this. That’s four straight weeks now.

A relative of mine had a baby back in June. That baby will be 8 weeks old at the end of this week. FW strips involving Starbuck Jones will have appeared during 65% of her life. This makes me incredibly sad.

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Wait Til Next Year

Link to today’s strip

Well, given how he spent sixty years doing absolutely nothing, I can definitely see how sitting behind a big table while other people talked probably WAS the most “grueling” thing he’s ever done. The bar is set pretty low there, after all. Once again we see that Marianne’s retcon from “buxom box office-bursting sexpot” to “haplessly naive innocent waif” is complete, as she continues to oooh and ahhh over basic movie promotion duties. All in all it’s a typical FW “blow off”-type strip featuring the usual gang of idiots grinning idiotically, as if I expected anything else.

Well, as thrilling as Comic-Con was, it’s time for me to step aside and hand things off to billytheskink who’ll no doubt get some REALLY compelling FW material to work with…as if. Just remember, as bad as whatever just happened was there’s always something worse right around the corner.

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Take My Sanity! All Of It!

Link to today’s strip

Yay! Comic book geeks are SO STUPID…amirite? It’s all about the Benjamins…or in this case, the Washingtons and Lincolns. The Cartoon Conan-led Q&A session appears to be over, thank God, as we’re finally at long last almost at the point where the characters will begin to discuss the possibility of the SJ movie eventually someday being released, eventually. And I, like all FW readers, am SO STOKED to hear the various characters talking about how great the unseen movie was before they return to filming more and more and more of them, over and over and over again. Yay!

I’ve always marveled at the way BatNom always includes just a touch of cynical disdain toward everything he loves. Writing and marching bands are torture, comic book collectors are weirdos, Comic-Con is packed with oddballs, Montoni’s pizza isn’t very good, the band box never works and so on. Like today, he can’t just wrap up the SJ Q&A panel on a solid upbeat exciting note, he had to take the time to remind everyone that at the end of the day it’s merely all about money. It’s like he just can’t help himself, there always HAS to be another shoe involved, it always HAS to end on a downbeat note. Sure, it’s just a dumb failed gag in a dumb failed comic strip but still, it’s so predictable and weird.

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My Stan Lee Sense Is Tingling

Link to today’s strip

This one is surprisingly not so bad at all, as Batom takes a good-hearted swipe at Stan Lee’s always gratuitous cameos in the various Marvel films. An actual humorous gag in a FW strip is always so jarring, you can’t help but wonder how it got through lack-of-quality control. I haven’t mildly chuckled like this since the old classic Act II arc where Les got his foot stuck in the lawn mower. Good for YOU Tom, like the old song says: one of out three hundred and sixty five ain’t bad. That’s a .003 average, by the way, down slightly from last year’s .0031.

Coming next week: the interminable Stan Lee cameo continues as the comic book legend helps The Gang unload boxes of comic books from the trunk of Crazy’s car. Meanwhile Pete and Boy Lisa toil over the second “sizzle reel” and wonder aloud about what is must have been like to create sizzle reels back in the 1950s. In Sunday’s strip Stan Lee agrees to appear in the new sizzle reel that will be debuting at Westview-Con later this year, thus completing the comic book circle of life.

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