Thanks to BC and everyone who kept steering the S.S. SoSF since my last stint! You’re the heroes the funny pages need.
It’s Self-Deprecation Guy himself, the actor who KNOWS he sucks, Mason Jarre! This guy needs to work with Kevin Smith, like pronto. He could mail in a performance as “Boss Who Doesn’t Give A Shit” in “Clerks 6 – The Clerkening”. Seriously though, the whole unbearably humble “my career is a big joke” shtick got old last week, so this is just typical BatYam overkill. It’s somewhat interesting how BatYarn uses this kid of wry self-deprecation to paint Mason as being a “nice guy”, as if the readers wouldn’t like him as much if he happened to be proud of his career. Everyone in the strip does it all the time, so it seems normal by Funkyverse standards but when you think about it, it’s kind of a strange world view.
Also of note: Cayla’s status as one of if not the biggest rube in the strip. It’s pretty funny how Mason unintentionally tells her as much, too. But not intentionally funny, of course, as we simply cannot have that. We all assumed she was remarkably easy to please way back when she first started (gak) dating Les, but now we know for sure.
Oh THANK GOODNESS. We don’t have to sit through airport shenanigans, car rental shenanigans, or any other kind of travel nonsense. Someone gifted Cayla a Mother Box straight from Apokolips and they travelled halfway across the country via Boom Tube.
Apparently someone also gifted Cayla some cut-rate plastic surgery, because she’s got a late-stage Michael Jackson nose going on in panel 3 here. With the weird lines under her eyes, she looks like some kind of internet horror creepy pasta.
I hunted around a bit an was able to find a picture of the front desk of the Marmont. Decent enough approximation in the DRAWING. But I don’t think the entire interior of the lobby is painted in graphite grey like the interior of a parking garage.
Any guesses as to who Cayla is gawking at?
Summer? Cayla hasn’t seen her since Christmas, and even then, she quickly shipped the girls off to minimum wage it as Santa’s Helpers at the mall.
I don’t know what she just bought, but Cayla’s jeans magically manifest on her body between panels one and three. Maybe they slithered up her legs in panel two. Maybe that’s why she looks so shocked.
Anyway, she better run out and get dark sunglasses, wide brimmed hats, and old-timey high collared coats, because she’s going to have to wade through a picket line to get into the Chateau.
Once again, Batiuk writing a year in advance shoots him in the foot. Last September The Hollywood Reporterput out an in depth investigative hit piece on the hotel. After nearly all the staff was laid off due to the pandemic, many were willing to speak out against the hotel for discrimination, harassment, and general mismanagement. The allegations went all the way to the very top, with owner, André Balazs, accused of using the hotel as his own private playground, snorting cocaine, getting drunk, and groping workers.
Since then there’s been regular protests outside the hotel, as well as calls to boycott the business. A movie cancelled a planned film shoot there. Celebrities like Jane Fonda, Alfonso Cuaron, and Lena Headey have all supported the boycott. And when Cersei Lannister is ringing the bell and calling ‘Shame!’ you know it’s gotta be bad.
Not that the controversy has completely killed business, the place looks pretty booked up through the end of September. Sometimes, to my folksy midwestern eye, the entire SoCal area looks like a hyper-charged game of social activism whack-a-mole being played by a manic-depressive. Quixotically clutching their pearls in moral outrage over the living conditions of livestock while snorting cocaine off a dinner plate at a hedonism fueled wrap party.
Shame poor Cayla’s excitement had to be marred by this controversy. I wonder if Batiuk is hoping it will fly under the radar of his normal readers. Then again I wouldn’t be surprised if the last news story Batiuk remembers hearing from the Chateau Marmont is John Belushi’s death.
After taking the bold stand that women have been unappreciated for their contributions to comics, (something that hasn’t been true for literal decades,) Batiuk now declares that WOMEN BE SHOPPING.
And I’m pretty conflicted on it. Because on the one hand, it’s a tired old stereotype. It’s Pluggers level humor. It’s an insult to Cayla’s character. And who is Cayla or Batiuk fooling? She hasn’t changed her hair in any meaningful way since Les paid the chemically relaxed shoulder length cut an anemic compliment back in 2011.
I feel like we can be too reactionary against stereotyping in general. Stereotypes are usually based on observable trends. Moreover stereotypes are such a fundamental part of human humor, that trying to go on a moral crusade against them is a dumb and fruitless as Baptists trying to ban dancing. (See what I did there.)
Some of the oldest written comedies we have are full of humor based in gender, generational, or cultural stereotypes.
LYSISTRATA: Hello Lampito, my dear friend from Sparta. How beautiful you look, so sweet, such a fine complexion. And your body looks so fit, strong enough to choke a bull.
LAMPITO : Yes, by the two gods, I could pull that off. I do exercise and work out to keep my butt well toned.
Lysistrata, Aristophanes. 411 B.C.
CHREMES: He maintained that women were both clever and thrifty, that they never divulged the Mysteries of Demeter, while you and I go about babbling incessantly about whatever happens at the Senate.
BLEPYRUS: By Hermes, he was not lying!
CHREMES: Then he added that the women lend each other clothes, trinkets of gold and silver, drinking-cups, and not before witnesses too, but all by themselves, and that they return everything with exactitude without ever cheating each other; whereas, according to him, we are ever ready to deny the loans we have effected.
BLEPYRUS: Yes, by Posidon, and in spite of witnesses.
The Ecclesiazusae, Aristophanes. 390 B.C.
It’s not the dumb shopping stereotype that’s the problem here.
It’s that an obsession with shopping is literally the only character trait other than doormat that Cayla has been given in the TEN PLUS YEARS she’s been part of the strip. Nothing makes her unique. She has no agency or desires of her own. Except for her skintone she is identical to Cindy, or Holly, or Mindy, or Jess.
Every female character in this strip is as thinly drawn as the forearms of HE WHO SHALL NOT BE MENTIONED.
I know it makes me look like a slacker to keep using other people’s comments. But you people keep predicting the plot before it even happens. Case in point, our resident Batuikstorian BillyTheSkink has downloaded so much Funky Winkerbean trivia directly into his prodigious brain that he can see the future before it happens.
You know, except for the glaring flaws of this fire somehow being viewable from a defunct watchtower, and Point Dume being an impossible origin point for a fire of this magnitude, this thing is playing out pretty much identical to the Woolsey Fire of 2018. It burning the similar places, and seems of a similar size.
That fire burned 1600 homes in Malibu and the surrounding hills, including the homes of stars like Gerard Butler and Miley Cyrus’, but miraculously only three people died. One was an old man who was trapped in his home and didn’t get the warning to evacuate.
And the other two people BURNED TO DEATH IN THEIR CAR.
A second source said Anthony Baklayan and his elderly mother, both disoriented by thick smoke and approaching flames, tried to follow a fire truck they believed was headed to safety but was instead on its way to try and save a home. The pair realized their mistake and tried to turn around in the driveway of the canyon residence, where their car became engulfed in flames, the source said. Their bodies were discovered hours later.
Batiuk has been following the Woolsey fire so closely up to this point. Is it too much to hope that he’s going to copy this little detail too?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Today’s strip was not available for preview; I guess that’s a Wednesday thing now. Les is, presumably, still antagonizing over the terrible horrible no-good very bad fate of making a 6 word cameo in a major motion picture. ¡Qué mala suerte!
While we wait on that, why not take another trip in the WABATIUK machine with me and check out a particularly disgusting Act II scene with Les Moore, the Midwest’s greatest monster, and his legendarily thin skin. Here, less than 3 months into their marriage, Lisa made the mistake of offering up some constructive criticism of Les’ in-progress and all-stupid John Darling book manuscript. Les acts like Les and Lisa complains about it downstairs in a conversation with co-worker Funky (EVERYONE in Westview has worked at Montoni’s at one time or another, it’s like compulsory military service in countries that have that). Lisa has Les pegged perfectly…
This rare moment of seeming self-awareness from TB about the monster that Les truly is proves fleeting, though. The very next strip, Lisa regrets not giving Les ten thousand words of well-reasoned adulation. Funky and Tony convincer her to bring him a pizza, and for good measure she stops by Komix Korner on her way home as well. Seriously, Les’ oversensitivity is rewarded with pizza and comic books and… an “apology” from Lisa.
This man must be stopped! This film must be stopped! This strip must be stopped!
Les, the humorless shmuck, humorless shmucks around in today’s strip.
Nothing – not cancer, not Hollywood, not even the students he loathes so much – seems to disturb and anger Les more (oy, sorry) than people laughing at him over something utterly trivial. Funky and Crazy found this out the hard way 9 years ago, in the infamous “Children left behind” strip. Despite what they are doing in Les’ imagination, I doubt they would be bold enough to so much as chuckle anywhere within earshot of Les again.
Is this how TB’s family and friends reacted to his recurring role as “Art Professor” (I think that is both his name and his profession) in the ongoing live-action saga of The Cardinal, the greatest comic superhero around who dresses like the Iowa State University mascot?
Yeah it probably is. Also, Les himself exists in The Cardinal live-action universe. *shudder*