Tag Archives: photo album corners

Taking Fred’s Job Away

Link to today’s strip.

First of all, nice ventriloquist’s dummy of Wally in panel one.  If they revive “Tales from the Crypt” you should definitely apply to play the Cryptkeeper.  Secondly, there’s an actual kind-of joke in panel two.  But naturally, Batiuk has to ruin it with panel three with something meaningless yet vaguely depressing.  From what we can see, he has definitely brought the mood down for everyone.

I guess this makes today’s episode a grand slam!  He’s out on that tiny baseball diamond even as we speak!

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How the Other Half Burns.

Link to today’s strip

First of all, YOU CRAZY COMMENTERS! I haven’t seen our comments section this lively since Bull pulled an Aldo Kelrast off Nobottom Road. You make it incredibly difficult for me to find something to say that hasn’t been said, but I bear that cross gladly.

Second, when I saw yesterday’s strip I knew that our personal Winkerpedia, BillyTheSkink, would be able to provide the deets, and he did. Thanks Billy! He gave a great breakdown of The Great Montoni’s fire of ’97 yesterday, so if you didn’t read his comments, go back and take a look. The most important details seem to be:

1.) Wally Winkerbean saved both Lisa and Les from the fire when he crawled through the smoke to wake them up.

2.) The fire was arson and was probably started by a guy called Plantman who was attempting to destroy evidence of the murder of Jess’ father, John Darling, who was murdered.

3.)Les ran back into the apartment to retrieve a floppy disk containing his research and draft for ‘Fallen Star,’ a book about Jess’ father, John Darling, who was murdered.

4.) Les did not save Lisa.

5.) Crazy Harry committed mail fraud for insurance purposes.

6.) Les is a selfish prick who has forgotten that he didn’t save Lisa.

Yesterday’s juxtaposition of past and present made sense; young Les ‘saving’ Lisa versus old Les extra bonus saving pretend Lisa. Today’s series of panels make it a little more difficult to parse out the symbolism.

But today seems to show that while Les and Lisa were poor newlyweds devastated by losing their crappy apartment along with nearly everything except each other, Masone and Cindy are rich and so don’t really care about one of their houses getting torched. They’re gonna go to their fancy boat, sail out into the bay, and sit on the deck sipping wine. It’ll be a fun date night to watch the plebs flailing and drowning in the shallows, trapped between waves and flames, like the peasants of Pompeii.

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Carry On Baggage.

Link to today’s strip

Wow, Les has really manned up in the last couple decades. He’s gone from passively handing his standing wife off at the door to another manlier man, to bridal carrying his wife’s avatar over the threshold at a brisk jog; effortlessly hauling all 110 lbs of Hollywood starlet in his arms with the wiry strength natural to a fifty year old English teacher.

Just kidding. This is the dumbest attempt at trying to make something look more dramatic I’ve seen in this strip. Unless Marianne fell down the stairs off panel, she should be perfectly capable of walking out the door. What is this strip trying to convey? The weakness of Marianne, or Les’ overprotective instincts? An excuse for an upskirt shot? We don’t know what the situation was like in the house, or how the women were reacting to it. Apparently the sight of fire turned them into whimpering passive objects unable to move or think without the firm touch of a man guiding them.

They must have lost the car Marianne drove in one of the THREE CARPORTS this McMansion is rocking.

Seriously, what happened to this car? Is it a self driving car? Did it drive itself away from this nonsense? Good for it.

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“Here’s a Quarter…

–call someone who cares.”

For the first time since time immemorial, there’s an actual punchline that’s kind of funny.  A mangled aphorism, sure, but so much better than anything ever featured in Shankcraft.

The fact that the rest of it is stupid beyond measure is beside the point.   Reviewers:  “Yeah, I thought the movie was overly maudlin and treacly, the characters were loathsome, the production values are nil, and I was about to give it zero stars, but the quarter-finding scene turned it into a masterpiece of high art.”

I get it, Batiuk, every single trivial thing that involved Lisa is sacred, no matter what did (or didn’t) happen.   It’s all part of some fantastic mosaic of incredibleness and awesomeness and every person alive (or dead) should go out and a) buy the hardback trilogy and b) give Batiuk all the awards that can possibly be awarded.

There’s no question in my mind that Batiuk is winding this thing down.  The endless descents into utter trivia, treated as if they are gifts from the gods; the settling of old scores; the elevation of the hero characters; and the general disinterest he shows in his writing–all these things point to man who has spent his legacy and just can’t care anymore.

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Talkin’ “Turtle”

Epicus Doomus
December 1, 2019 at 11:34 pm
The sad thing about this is how [Batiuk] seems to think a story about a comic book artist who’s always behind schedule is an interesting and relatable premise.

We get it. “Turtle Thompson” was a real pain in the ass to work with. Luckily for him, he was surrounded by enablers who let him get away with being lazy and unreliable. Maybe his artwork (which we’ll never see, unless tomorrow’s strip is a sideways Sunday comics cover) was so good, he was worth the aggravation. Maybe capable comics illustrators were hard to come by in those days (doubtful). At any rate, years later they are reminiscing fondly about ol’ Turtle. He, and Flash and Phil Holt and all those comics legends created entire worlds, and their work was consumed by legions of devoted fans. Though Darin and Pete imagine themselves to be in their same league, their work will never have that kind of impact. It’s no wonder that Darin’s quip, referencing a supervillian who exists nowhere outside of his and Pete’s imaginations, falls a little flat:

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Flash in the Dark

comicbookharriet
December 3, 2019 at 12:55 am
…[I]f he ever wanted to vacation at Easter Island, the locals would probably worship (Flash Freeman) as a god.

Lest we forget which “Turtle Thompson” we are speaking of: it’s “The artist.” Props to commenter Scott J Lovrine, who yesterday cited Silver Age comics inker Frank Giacoia as a likely inspiration for “Turtle Thompson.” A number of readers have suggested that this arc might be a dig at the mysteriously departed Rick Burchett; I’ll give Batty a little credit here and say that he wouldn’t throw a former partner under the bus like this. We don’t know how about Burchett’s ability to meet deadlines, but his work on Funky was just terrible, and I for one was happy to see him go. But his replacement, the formerly reliable Chuck Ayers, has rendered a grotesquely misshapen head on ol’ Flash here, making him look in rear view like a Q-Tip with ears.

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Deadline, Schmeadline

Like pulling teeth without any anesthetichow, exactly? For the one pulling teeth, or for the one whose teeth are being pulled? If they’re your teeth being pulled, well, that’s literal torture. It can’t be a picnic for the tooth puller either: extracting teeth takes a fair amount of strength, especially from a flailing, un-anesthetized subject. Anyway, yesterday Flash said that “Turtle” had “gone to the well once too often,” implying that he pushed things too far and was finally let go, yet the cajoling continues.

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Fare Thee…Well…

In what line of work, particularly in a publishing company, would a contributor get away with repeatedly pushing back deadlines?  Especially without an explanation or excuse aside from “Well…”  And what’s the reason that Flash has to speak to him by phone? Why is “Turtle” Thompson not chained to a desk like everyone else we’ve seen in the Batom salt mines? Why does the “sepiatone” flashback image have hints of yellow and green? Well? WELL???

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Turkey Trot

Today’s strip, when it drops.

Today’s strip wasn’t available for preview. I asked my Zoltar machine about it, and he quoted Macbeth, “It is a tale. Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.”

Then he turned me into Tom Hanks.

As boring as the perfunctory band strips are, at least they’re only depressing in an abstract way.

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Running on Empty, Running Blind.

Today’s strip, when it drops.

Comic Book Harriet, back in the saddle again. I want to thank BeckoningChasm for a great stint through this horrorshow. He really puts me in a tough spot. Because what is there to say about this nightmare abortion of a plot arc that hasn’t been said already by our crack team of beady-eyed nitpickers?

I’d never expected to see the loss of a father, spouse, and friend, approached with every character acting so sedate that depression is indistinguishable from boredom.

I remember those times when our esteemed historian Billy the Skink has put up strips from Act II full of intense soap opera pathos. Les running down the street shouting “USA! USA!” Wally trembling and crying while standing on a landmine begging whatsisface to tell his wifey something something he loves her.

Bull’s been dead for over a month, and we’ve yet to see a single tear.

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