Tag Archives: not how the world works

Stolen Valium

In today’s strip Les, appropriately, puts all of his stolen Hollywood paraphernalia in same place.

Marianne doesn’t appear to understand the concepts of opacity and walls.

Cayla plans to monetize this display even though presently no one seems willing to visit the Moore house for free (and people are willing to visit Dinkle!).

Why am I blandly narrating this strip in lieu of hard-hitting commentary and rapier wit? Because I know my limits. Why is Les blandly narrating his actions in the first panel? Because there is no limit to his disdain for even those that worship him.

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Guilt blip

As our sharp-minded posters have already noted, Oscar statuettes cannot be given away or sold without first allowing the Academy the right to buy them back for $1. As such, what Marianne gives to Les and what she keeps should rightly be flopped in today’s strip.

But we’re not in reality (we’re 1/4″ away from it), so what we are left with is a false modesty competition between Marianne and Les that offers nothing we did not already know yesterday. It’s a good example of Les showing his true colors though… If Les really and truly felt guilty about taking the Oscar that Marianne is stupidly and inexplicably giving up, then he wouldn’t wait until she flew across 70% of the country to tell her. I’ll bet he also excuses himself to go to the restroom just before the check comes at a restaurant and then returns to sheepishly offer to pay the bill just as his dining companion is handing their credit card to the waiter. Cue Ben Schwartz saying the thing

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“N”, the bag

Today’s strip marks Summer’s first appearance since… oh wait, yeah, sorry, that’s (Marianne) Winters, not Summer.

Summer actually has appeared in this strip as recently as 7 weeks ago, which is not something you could often say since she graduated high school. Even so, it’s kind of remarkable that Les and Cayla have interacted more over the past few years with a now-Oscar-winning actress than they have with their own children, both of whom (still!) appear to go to Kent State… less than an hour away from where Westview is generally considered to be.

And by “remarkable” I mean 1/4 inch AU from reality. I think I would have found it more relatable and more entertaining had we focused instead on the adventure that must have been Marianne’s efforts to bring an Oscar stuffed in a small drawstring bag through a TSA checkpoint.

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Hai-can’t with this

Here is today's strip
Is it worse than we all feared
Or simply as bad

If I was popcorn
I would be quite offended
By this portrayal

Les hated this film
Why would he even watch this
Was happy it failed

In this case, "writer"
Would not describe Les as he
Did not write the script

This deserves more scorn
I'm a skink, I can't rant, so
I'm counting on you

Rip this thing to shreds
Kill it with all of the fire
Or just acetone

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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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What’s Behind Door #5?

Link To Today’s One

What the f*ck is she talking about? Does she mean the movie itself, the book being translated into Spanish, the news that the movie won’t be shown anywhere, or what? For the time being I will assume she means how he “feels” about “Lisa’s Story” itself, because “Delicate Genius is deeply conflicted about sharing personal details of his life” is more or less the entire point of the “LS” arc, but given Batiuk’s uniquely non-linear “storytelling” style, who the hell really knows. She could be talking about the crab puffs or the ketamine she slipped into his drink or God only knows what.

And Cayla’s slow descent from “character” to “caricature” to “prop” continues unabated today, as BatNard couldn’t resist throwing in a touch of that patented “female = jealous” trope he enjoys so much. “GASP! She’s going into that room to talk to my HUSBAND…ALONE!!! I hope SEX isn’t involved!”. And while I’m braying on and on about shitty, poorly-developed female characters (again), there’s Marianne Winters, the beautiful twenty-something movie star with the small-town heart of gold, about to confide in her dear friend Les Moore, who didn’t even want her cast as Lisa in the first place. Luckily for her, she won him over with her pitch-perfect Lisa-isms thus immediately putting Les at ease to a point where he chose to allow himself to befriend her and not dismiss her as another cheap Hollywood phony like he initially assumed she was. Another believable and convincing female FW character and not at all indicative of far bigger and way weirder issues that are just too icky and disturbing to address at any length today.

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Something’s got a Holt on me

If there was a contest to use the most words possible to say “Flash and Phil didn’t like each other”, today’s strip would definitely be a contender. Same for a most exposition crammed into a single panel contest, with panel 1 making a game effort. The only place such contests could possibly exist is, of course, the Batiukverse… so please forgive me if similar contests appear in this strip a year from now.

All that exposition in the first panel and Flash doesn’t realize the hall of fame awards given out at Comic-Con honor the deceased on the regular? Seems like having Comic-Con remotely would work well in Flash’s hypothetical honoring a live Phil Holt scenario, but since Flash doesn’t even know that dead people regularly get honored at this and other hall of fame ceremonies then it stands to reason that he wouldn’t know that Comic-Con and other events are held remotely. And by “Flash” in the previous sentence, I mean TB.

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Encyclopedia Brown And The Case Of The Disembodied Nerd Voice

I’m less curious about the identity of the unseen mystery nerd in today’s strip than I am about how they intend to “make it” to Comic-Con, which even in the Batiukverse is occurring “@HOME”.

Hey waitjustagoshdarnminute! This webpage is the same thing Pete was looking at on Monday, isn’t it?! Pete wasn’t even contacted directly by the Comic-Con or Eisner Award folks? He learned the news by reading a press release on the Comic-Con website? I don’t know if that is hilarious, sad, or hilariously sad…

(Some of our loyal SOSF commenters actually noted that Pete seemed to learn of Flash and Ruby’s induction via such indirect communication as a webpage earlier this week. It would appear that J.J. O’Malley was the first commenter to mention it, so please come up to receive your “Beady-Eyed Nitpicker” award, J.J.)

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Frisket Business

Whew! I am so very happy to report that today’s strip doesn’t take place at the optometrist office, we’ve instead moved to a world where two Northern Ohio-based nonagenarian comic book legends are somehow meeting for the first time. It is, remarkably, a welcome respite.

Are we really supposed to believe that Flash and Ruby Lith, alleged fans of each other’s work, are meeting for the first time? Ruby Lith (hired in September 2019) wasn’t in the office during Flash’s last visit, when he dropped by to kvetch about “Turtle Thompson” (wait, was “Thompson” part of the guy’s nickname?) back in December 2019? Yes, Ruby Lith’s Miss American was a Capitol Comics title while Flash worked at Batom, but these two have both presumably been alive since the Coolidge administration working in the same industry in presumably a similar geographic area… they never met at a convention? Trade show? Art supply store? Comic book store? 3:30 PM dinner buffet?

While the plot seems a stretch, the puns today, however, are… well, they certainly are present. Though I incorrectly guessed her relation, I knew Amber Lith was coming. Really, I think we all knew Amber Lith was gonna be a gag in a Ruby Lith strip at some point. Didn’t see the dog’s related punny name coming, but it feels incredibly uninspired and unsurprising nonetheless.

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