Today’s strip was not available for preview. I assume we are still at Westview High School, getting poorly acquainted with the strip’s newest generation of students (the 6th by my count, though that is not canon). We know that Bernie and Maris like to skip class, that Logan has more Facebook friends than Bernie, that New Monroe/Thatsnot Hewmore rightfully finds Les unfunny and Bernie mildly creepy, and that Emily and Amelia are twins but also, like, their own people. What will we learn today?
On that note, I thought we would take a quick look at TB’s first attempt to create a new generation of students back in the fall of 1992, mere months after the first time jump. The first two students introduced were Wally Winkerbean and Mercedes “Sadie” Summers, both relatives of prominent Act I students.
Here is Sadie pulling the same stuck-up popular girl routine that older sister Cindy did, while everyman Wally breaks the fourth wall with a sideways glance just like
cousin uncle Funky:
Wally first appeared at band camp, where he was bullied mercilessly by a mullet-sporting senior trombone player, interviewed by a TV news crew about being bullied, and then tied to his bunk with Saran Wrap.
Sadie’s first appearance was also the very first strip in which Les taught
English Language Arts. She dealt with living in the shadow of her legendarily popular sister by wearing her hair in the exact same strange way. Back in 1992, the Westview economy was not buoyed by pizza and comic books, it was built entirely on hair spray…
Today’s strip pivots
Away from Bernie’s forehead
Thank goodness for that
Nate’s the principal
Now he’s the school counselor?
Levies keep failing
Maris Rogers’ name
Silly, but could have been worse
Mason Jarr, for one
Maris is clearly
Trying to avoid Les’ class
I say “good for her”
She went a whole year
Not taking a single class
Not noticed ’til now?
Jessica, Sadie, Cindy
This path is well worn
Not much to write on
Word word word word word word word
Still better than Les
Click here to find the fruit
Well, he’s resuming one of FW’s twenty thousand dangling plot threads, so that’s something. Unfortunately, though, it’s this one. Dinkle and his perpetually-ignored wife are traveling to Belgium to cash in big-time on Dinkle’s outrageous WHS band candy scam, but unfortunately for both Harry is a complete imbecile whose devotion to marching bands has left him totally unable to perform simple everyday tasks like a regular person. And because this is FW and he’s dealing with a government agency (at the airport no less), incompetence, annoyances and non-stop hassles are in store for everyone…including FW readers…assuming there are any, of course.
Is it possible that today’s strip is the last we’ll see of Bull and/or Bull’s retirement ceremony? Who knows? T-Bats stretched a three-panel story about Durwood running out of pens into two solid weeks of shitposting, so anything is possible.
Once again, though, we’re shown that Bull really is a solid dude, having established (with Linda’s help) an equipment fund that will provide future Scapegoats with state-of-the-art noggin armor. I swear, Tom never builds up a non-Les character like this unless he’s setting him up for a fall. The suspense is killing me! Or would be killing me, if I really cared about this half-rate storyline.
And someone help me out here…who dat in Panel Three, basking in the sunshine far from the Ohio night? It’s not Jinx – she had straight black hair, as befits her stereotypical ethnicity. Could it be Crazy Harry’s daughter Maddie? Has any other FW girl worn a billed cap? If it’s Maddie, why isn’t her hair red anymore?
First off, ladies and gentlemen, let’s have a big round of applause for the late Paul Winfield, appearing in today’s strip in the roll of
game show host Principal Green.
Now let’s talk about this stadium stuff. Talk about a kick in the head (ha ha, no pun intended) to Bull. They’re kind of naming the stadium after him, but not really, since they also have a corporate sponsor who is presumably paying for stadium naming rights. So…thanks, Bull, for those three championships your teams managed to win despite sucking at football, but it wasn’t quite good enough. Sorry.
Oh, and Tom? A & L Automotive? I’m giving you points not only for making an asshole pun, but also for getting it past the censors at King Features. If you’re ever in New Haven, look me up and I’ll treat you to a REAL pizza and not one of those Ohio shit pies.
Link to today’s strip.
I was actually reading an article recently that was a bit critical of having celebrities delivering commencement addresses instead of weightier, more scholarly people. The idea was that the scholars could give wise council and practical advice, but all you’d get from celebrities would be jokes and vapid pronouncements. I don’t care one way or the other, but in this case, Principal Nate’s request surprises me.
What’s Mason done that would make him an attractive candidate? He’s an actor who is apparently frightened of speaking before a group of high school kids–and I’m thinking he’s frightened for a damned good reason. His only known credit in the strip (and the one he himself immediately names) is Dino Deer, which sounds like something the SyFy channel would reject without hesitation. True, he is in the new Starbuck Jones movie (I knew we were getting back to that) but that hasn’t even wrapped yet so there’s no telling if it will add to his luster (ie, Guardians of the Galaxy) or become a millstone (ie, Green Lantern).
His one inexplicable accomplishment is that everyone in Westview is infatuated with him–for no real discernible reason, other than he’s better looking than any other male in town. All the women at Les’ house were practically fainting when he was staying there–this for a guy who was in Dino Deer. I’m trying to think of a real-life actor who is similarly beloved at large, despite having only mediocre films under his belt.
But this is apparently just what Principal Nate is looking for–a handsome man who has some mad money, but is otherwise unaccomplished. (I’m starting to be convinced that Mason was born into wealth, and his acting is more of a hobby than a profession.) I guess this will prepare the students for the life of mediocrity that awaits them in Westview (without the “handsome” part of course, and with the “mad money” being unlikely) but it seems pretty uninspiring. I guess Nate’s idea is to get someone who can lie to them convincingly on this one day, when hope is still reachable, before their lives crash to earth the next morning.
Of course, using another, less random speaker would mean that Tom Batiuk would have to introduce a new character, and build that character until he (or she) seemed a good choice for commencement speaker. But that seems like a lot of work, so I guess Mason will do. I’m sure he would have loved using Les Moore, but not to worry, I’m sure Mason’s speech will be eerily Les-like.
Link to today’s strip.
Yeah, the Doublemint Twins are fitting right in, with Nice considering holding hands with Halfback Dimwit, and Naughty being pinioned by ex-football hotshot Jared. Jared’s really throwing himself into this, you can almost hear him asking if Naughty would like to see his forward pass.
Nice to see Jared back, but one really has to ask…what’s with the hairlines on these high school students? Jared has a wicked widow’s peak kind of hiding his balding nature, while Dimwit’s hair is clearly retreating back over his scalp.
Are there that many high school kids going bald these days? Is there some kind of drug I never heard about that makes your head swell, and your hair die? I only ask because when I was in high school, all the students had hair.
Of course, when I was in high school, Funky Winkerbean was funny.