We end up at Montoni’s after all. Maybe the pizza box monster will show up by Halloween. I would welcome it. I would welcome a month-long Pete and Darin awards arc, if it would end this smugapalooza.
Look at that coquettish pose in Panel 3, with the closed eyes and the deliberate little nod. “Oh yes, it’s true, lil’ old me, writing a book.” I just want to scream “YOU HAVEN’T DONE ANYTHING YET!”, Sam Kinison style.
Why is anyone taking this seriously? Especially Les. We’ve seen him grumble about Summer’s indecisiveness, and having to support her year after year. He could have put all of the Roughriders through Oberlin for the money he’s spent trying to get his one child through Kent State. I know I keep bringing this up, but it’s a major problem to this non-story.
She wants to write a book? Big deal. So does everyone who has more than 50 Twitter followers. Lots of people write books. You probably know several. In fact, let’s test that theory: if you’re writing a book, or have ever written one, say so in the comments.
There are at least three of us. Commenters Hannibal’s Lectern and sorialpromise said Monday that they have both written books. I’ve written two school textbooks as part of a past technical writing job.
There are already enough books about Westview, Summer. They’re called The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volumes 1 through 12. Nobody buys or reads them.
Is Batiuk trying to be meta here? He’s already blurred the line between Lisa’s Story, the in-universe book Les wrote, and Lisa’s Story, the real-world book of Funky Winkerbean comic strips you can buy online for only $80.
Let’s see how meta this gets. Someday, Tom Batiuk will sit down to put together a future Complete Funky Winkerbean compilation, that will contain the “Summer wants to write a book about Westview” plotline. When he does this, he will be writing a book about Westview about writing a book about Westview.
And what if Summer’s book includes information about the many books that have been written by Westview residents? Most of them are about things that happened in Westview: Lisa’s death, Holly’s majorette career, Dinkle’s life story. So when Batiuk sits down to compile this future Complete Funky Winkerbean book, he will be writing a book about Westview about writing a book about Westview about writing a book about Westview.
But wait! What if Les’ earlier book Fallen Star contains an account of how Plantman threatened Les when Les’ writing was going to reveal Plantman as the murderer of John Darling? It has to; it’s an important part of the story. Now, imagine Summer interviews her father about this, for her own book about Westview. This would mean… take a deep breath…
Tom Batiuk is writing a book about Westview (the future Complete Funky Winkerbean collection these strips will appear in) about writing a book about Westview (Summer’s in-universe book) about writing a book about Westview (Fallen Star) about writing a book about Westview (the accounts within Fallen Star about how writing Fallen Star brought out the killer).
This isn’t just another book publishing story. I feel like like I’m unpacking a Russian nesting doll of book publishing stories.
More word zeppelins in today’s strip… Not as bad as yesterday, but still, get your bookmarks out, folks!
You know, this is actually one of TB’s tidiest retcons, probably because it is one of the very few intentional ones he’s ever undertaken. It takes the original scene and changes its context (slightly) by depicting a previously unseen scene. Tidy. The pieces actually fit together. There are no loose ends, deleted original context, or unresolved conflict with the originals scene. See? That’s not so hard.
Heck, as a bonus it even (unnecessarily but adeptly) explains a silly detail from the original scene, why Les has a camcorder and this Hari Seldon story readily at hand as if he was waiting for Lisa to lament about all the things Summer she will never get to experience. Turns out, he pretty much was just waiting on the chance to whip that camera on out.
Tidy as it is, this retcon was no more entertaining or less irritating because of it. In fact, it makes the origin story of the Lisa tapes tremendously off-putting. The focus shifts away from the impending reality of Summer growing up without a mother seen in the original scene to the needs of Summer’s nogoodnik parents… First, Lisa wants to record the tapes so she can live vicariously through Summer’s adolescence in her imagination. Then, Crazy and Lisa hatch this cockamamie plan to let Les take credit for the idea to record the infamous tapes, which only soothes his ego and bolsters his hero complex. These people are awful and I hope I never wind up sitting next to any of them on an airplane.
This strip actually does kind of amuse me a little, because it does actually seem to be poking fun at Dinkle’s self-image for once. Since I’ve started reading this strip, it seems like every time Dinkle is called the world’s greatest band director it’s meant to be totally accurate and sincere, which is just crazy.
I am amazed that Dinkle is apparently the only person in this entire band not wearing the uniform they’re supposed to. I’m sure the main reason is because Batiuk thinks the uniform is iconic like Superman’s cape and nobody would recognize Dinkle without it (even though he’s referring to himself by name). I just think it’s kind of funny that in this even honoring band directors you have this jerk who decided to just do his own thing and not listen to direction (and somehow wasn’t kicked out).