Uh-oh. Looks like BatHam isn’t ready to shut the coffin lid and shovel dirt on “Lisa’s Story-The Movie” just quite yet. Back around Halloween when Les was sneering derisively and shrugging disinterestedly about how the cancer movie bombed, it looked like that whole sordid episode was over, but if I’ve learned one thing over the course of Act III, it’s that Lisa and her story will never, ever, completely “go away”.
I have to believe that given the time of year and the subject matter here, most of our readers probably have a pretty fair idea re: where this could be going. Sigh. Hopefully it’s not entirely Les-centric, but it would seem that he’ll be involved somehow, and any Les is too much.
This is such a strange comic strip. I really have no idea what the joke here is. It seems to be “Dinkle doesn’t know how to relax”, or “Dinkle is obsessed with band”, which, we get it already. But Harriet says they never went on vacation before, not that they never had a good vacation. So is she just totally forgetting that they went to the beach? (And I guess Batiuk has just given up on the photo album corners and sepia tone for flashbacks.)
And really, if flying halfway across the country to stand on a street corner and watch your husband do the same thing he’s been doing for decades is the closest thing you’ve had to a vacation, that is so sad.
I’m confused, is Dinkle excited about this event he just participated in? I think it’s a party, or a parade, or something? I’m not sure, this comic is so subtle and definitely doesn’t spend day after day repeating the same premise, it’s hard to catch all the details sometimes. Seriously, by this point I feel like anyone who was ambivalent or indifferent about the parade probably hates it by now.
So, Dinkle liked the parade, and he’s happy with Harriet. Based on this strip’s history, tomorrow he’ll be telling her he expects her to put out now.
So Dinkle is commenting on how he’s only seen the parade while marching backwards as a director. Which is odd for two reasons. I don’t think he’s ever directed the Rose Parade, because if he had I can guarantee we would have heard a ton about it this week. And also, as many people have pointed out, this isn’t Dinkle’s first time in this parade. It might be that Batiuk thought “Marching in the parade for the third time, this time with all those other band directors was an amazing experience, Harriet” was too clunky even for him, but I’m guessing he just forgot.
Yup. It’s just a neighborhood covered in billboards. Due to Botcons and TFcons in the area, I’ve been to Hollywood four or five times myself. Because every time I went, there was someone else in the group who hadn’t seen it. It’s certainly a place. I’m glad I got to see it once. Point at the stars on the Walk, go to the pavement of the Chinese Theatre, and put my own hands where Harrison Ford (and literally thousands and thousands and thousands of foreign tour groups) have put their hands before.
But I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite place to go in LA.
Because it’s a street lined with desperation. Every person you pass that isn’t a tourist is an uncomfortable sales pitch waiting to happen: smiling with their mouth but not their eyes, scanning every fanny-packed stranger, hunting for the barest indication of eye contact to swoop in. Its not the kind of place for the untrained midwesterner who is used to benignly waving with all five fingers extended at strangers when they pass them on the highway.
Everyone in the comments has been shocked by the survival of the Chateau, and most of Hollywood proper. But I’ll remind you that there have numerous Southern California wildfires since the hotel was built in 1929. I pulled up my old map I made of the fire last year, just to confirm that Hollywood was probably spared, while Cindy and Mason’s Malibu McMansion went up in smoke.
So yeah, it would have been a near thing. If I was the owner, I would have been nervously sniffing my dinner plate of cocaine, and making calls with promises of bribes to the Fire Chief.
But the REAL non-sequitur today is the Starbuck Jones billboard. The premier for that movie was supposed to be going on during the fires last year. Were we supposed to have some pandemic related delay? Those things aren’t cheap to rent, and Hollywood regularly repaints itself in the trappings of whatever the next big blockbuster will be. When I was last there, every billboard, bus stop, and park bench was painted with the Hellboy 2019 movie that bombed.(#notmyHellboy.)
So, we have two options. One, the movie’s release was delayed an entire year and I’m just forgetting. I mean the 2021 Comic Con badges were Starbuck Jones too.
Two, this is a Tommy Wiseau The Room situation. The movie’s already bombed, but they’re hoping to drum up interest in the DVD sales. So they’ve paid for a single Hollywood billboard, month after month, year after year. Four years from now, Masone Jarree will still be staring with his black soulless eyes through his fishbowl helmet out at the drivers on Sunset Blvd.
Okay, so Ruby drew 45 issues of a comic book. (I can’t be the only one tired of fictional characters bragging about writing fictional comics, can I?) That doesn’t really answer the question of why the other five people with her get to cut in line, too.
When you’re reading something totally fictional, coincidences aren’t really that remarkable. Like, if these were real people and this was something that really happened, then it might be amusing if someone criticized the creator of a character on their t-shirt. But given that Batiuk can write whatever he wants, this really isn’t funny or interesting, at least to me.
I wonder if Batiuk has tried this at conventions he’s spoken at. I’m pretty sure it would have to be all in his imagination though, since I really doubt someone would be wearing a Funky Winkerbean shirt anywhere.
In today’s strip, a little man asks someone what time a panel is, and gets the answer “later”, which is not helpful at all. Also, the little man is somehow smoking through a mask, despite there clearly being no hole or any way for him to do so.
I’m very amused by Flash suddenly recognizing the little man’s cigar smoke. Unless this was what Flash was smelling as his parents were gunned down in an alley after taking him to see a movie, I’m kind of shocked that he would recognize that smell and find it remarkable enough to comment on. “I know we’re at the biggest comic convention in the world where I’m about to receive the biggest honor of my life, but what about that smell, huh?”
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?
Surprise, today’s strip wasn’t available for preview. My guess is it’ll either be Jeff in the back of a taxi telling the driver he needs to be/just peed (possible “so that’s why the cab is yellow” gag), or Pete sitting on the beach with Mindy moaning about how he wishes he was with her dad instead.