Tag Archives: photo album corners

Momenade

Today’s strip is the kind of maudlin slop that TB believes makes his comic strip stand out from the strips that people actually enjoy. Why is Holly telling Funky this now? Was this supposed to run before Funky and Holly left on their ridiculous road trip? Why wasn’t this a week long set of flashback strips instead of one of TB’s unloved trademark walls o’ text? Did Holly’s mom really go to prom with her daughter? Do I really care about any of this?

No.

Edit post script:
I had to write this on a telephone in a car and neglected to thank you all for putting with me for two weeks. Our fearless leader TFH takes the helm tomorrow. Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend SOSFers.

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Route Canal

Dinkle appears in today’s strip.
No “spoiler alert” tag… this is not a spoiler, it is a warning. You have been warned. Read at your own risk. Or don’t, your life will be better off.

You know what, I’m going to focus on just one small little part of this strip and let our great commenters take the rest of it apart. I’m going to deal only with the first four words that appear in the strip, “Speaking of band candy”.

“SPEAKING OF BAND CANDY”?!
NO ONE was speaking of band candy! No one other than Dinkle is ever speaking of band candy! No one in their right mind wants to speak of band candy! I suppose Dinkle is correct in “saying “speaking of band candy” because that is a 100% accurate description of what he proceeds to do… thus, he most assuredly wanders around uttering “speaking of band candy” whenever he wants to speak of band candy. There is no other possible explanation. I’m typing “speaking of band candy” over and over again in desperate hope that this will be last time those words are ever written. Please. Please.

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Videocracy

Link To Today’s Thing

Yet another cutting and timely observation about This Darned Technology Today, courtesy of the BanMan, who’s never more than five or ten years behind these “modern trends”. What a lifeless, listless outing. What’s next, a gag about unreliable GPS directions? Or that annoying warning sound your car makes when the seat belt isn’t buckled?

I assume that’s Morty driving in Funky’s sepia-toned flashback, for what it’s worth. This joke is so generic it’s almost impossible to think of anything to say about it aside from the usual generic snark. It sucks, it’s boring, it’s stupid and etc. Thus far this car trip to Florida is every bit as tedious as we all assumed it’d be. Where the hell is Cell Phone Girl when we really need her?

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Quote Unquote

Link to today’s strip.

So, question for the group:  Why the quotes around “save” in panel one?  Let’s not beat around the bush, here…had this been a young John, or Pete, we’d be told how these comics were saved, no quotes, from destruction.  Chester, however, has his actions quoted, implying that they weren’t saved at all.  But we see him carefully putting them away in boxes.

Again, I’m not condoning petty thievery, but this seems remarkably harmless.  I’m shocked that Batiuk didn’t have Chester’s actions bankrupt Danford’s store.

It’s exactly what a commentor pointed out here a couple of weeks ago–all of Tom Batiuk’s good characters are impossibly good, and all of his bad characters are impossibly bad, so even though they do the same things, those things must be judged “good” or “bad” on the actor, and not the act.   Chester could save orphans from a burning building, and we’d be told how “naturally, after Chester ‘saved’ the orphans…” he was still a bad guy.

I don’t know what this is called, but “writing” it ain’t.

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The Sorrows of Young Chester

Link to today’s strip.

So, he stole them!  He’s a terrible thief.  But he saved them from destruction–he’s a saint!

Surely, in Tom Batiuk’s world, Chester’s scheme makes him an awesome hero.  I seem to recall reading something in Batiuk’s blog where he talked about taking comics from somewhere–I think it was a barber shop?–because they weren’t appreciated there anyway.  Chester’s going a step further–he’s saving these books from destruction, not just neglect.

Now, I’m not going to condone Chester’s petty thefts, but the strip is sending mixed messages here.  I know, I know, Chester has to be the bad guy, because he’s not noble, pure (and poor).  He looks down on the people who collect and preserve comics aren’t like him.  He comic book obsession hasn’t caused him to suffer in any way we’ve seen, not like John or Harry, so he’s just gotta be bad.

But he’s saving Bantom comic books from the flames.  Something no other character here (other than the creator-hated Funky) has ever doneNot even Les.

He’s using his resources to preserve beloved comic books.  Meaning, it’s actually people like Chester who keep John’s store in business.  It’s certainly not idiots like Chullo and Glasses, who show up to read comics and play video games, but never buy anything.  You’d think John would do his best to woo Chester as a customer, but no, the purity of fandom is never tainted by the coin of commerce.

I’m also thinking that ties into my next comment.  We’ve seen that the drug store has stacks of comics that it can’t sell–meaning, in my world, that these comics aren’t popular.   Yet it is implied that Chester was able to sell these same comics to amass a fortune.

Look.  These comics can’t be simultaneously obscure, neglected masterpieces as well as the storied beacon of a generation.  I strongly suspect Tom Batiuk has a variant of the anti-popular syndrome–if it’s well-known, it’s shunned, while the more obscure something is, the more obviously superior it is (as well as its appreciator…well, that’s only natural, right?).  After all if everyone liked it, you wouldn’t be special for liking it too.  It’s a pretty despicable kind of fandom, but it definitely exists.

Things I Like Dept:  panel one’s a nice perspective shot, and the figures are well-posed.   Good chair drawing too.  Pity this good stuff is wasted on such awful characters.

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Repeating the Repetition

Link to today’s strip.

Look, it’s bad enough that Tom Batiuk said “back in the day” two days in a row, but now he’s repeating himself twice in the same strip!  It makes me want to tear the covers off!  Tear the covers off, I say!  That’s right, I want to tear the covers off!  What do we want?

COVERS

That’s right, and why do we want them?

TO TEAR THEM

Tear them where?

OFF

I can’t hear you!

OFF

That’s right!  Tear the covers off!

And now we know what happened to Cody.  He invented a time machine and went back to a simpler, less stressful, more enjoyable time.  You might say he went “back in the day.”  Let’s hope that as he gets older, he remembers to drive fast enough to hit and kill a teenage Les Moore, who was crossing against the light.

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Secret Origins: Chester the Chiseler!

Link to today’s strip.

“Once, back in the day, mild-mannered Blonde Bernie Silver, secretly known as Chester the Chiseler, was carefully sweeping the floor.  Suddenly–!

So, I suppose we’re about to find out why Chester’s such a terrible, terrible person.  Well, so far, he’s actually working at an honest job, which is better than 90% of the cast here, so…ball one, in favor of Chester.

I’m really starting to hate Tom Batiuk’s endless self-promotion, which seems to be getting worse and worse, to the point where it’s getting nauseating–case in point, Bernie’s Chester’s Batom Comics t-shirt.  Completely unneeded, except as a “look at me!” moment.  Good grief, man, try entertaining someone other than yourself for a change.

The art in panel one is pretty dismal, with what look like two of the dreariest Muppets ever trying to deflate themselves.  I do like the statue of Robin in the back, reaching for Superman’s crotch, though I have to wonder–does Batman know about this?!

I suppose he does…after all, he’s standing right there, moaning about “back in the day…”

Speaking of which, anyone remember this?

In other words, he was lying through his teeth.  Yet another wonderful character to root for!

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