Link to today’s strip.
Why does Tom Batiuk use these stupid sideways strips? While it makes less work for Ayers to draw them, it makes more work for the reader, and there’s never any reward for doing so.
Batiuk might say they make his strip unique, as no one else does this. That’s true–no other comic strip artist does this. The reason they don’t is very simple–it’s an idiotic idea that adds nothing, and subtracts a great deal. Much like an ermine violin, it’s an impractical thing to have. Here’s an idea: why not make up a completely new language for his characters, with no translations available? That would be unique, too. And it would save time for the reader, since he could just skip the whole thing and move on to Garfield.
I guess striving to be unique, even if that makes the strip more difficult, is his goal at this point. He certainly hasn’t been trying to make his characters interesting or his stories anything other than dull.
As for today’s entry, well…when I was in college, my father would arrange summer jobs for me between years. It was decent work, and it gave me some spending money. But he never did this during Christmas break, which is (I assume) why Summer and Keisha are there now. It seems like a rather mean trick to play on a kid.
One might argue that this gives Summer and Keisha some work skills, showing up on time, knowing your tasks, etc. Except I feel certain both of them have worked at Montoni’s, so they’d already have some idea of those things.
Any excuse to ruin someone’s holiday, I guess.
By the way, I refuse to believe the person “on the left” is Cayla. It doesn’t look anything like her.
Link To Today’s Strip
That is one long, narrow table. And I assume that’s Rachel’s kid sitting next to her, even though I’m pretty sure he should be in high school by now. He’s definitely going to be in my nightmares for a while though, the way he’s staring right at the viewer for some reason. He looks like he should be in a horror movie, where none of the people can actually see him.
Wally’s expression is also pretty uncomfortable, although it’s more of the incredibly smug variety then creepy. I guess his expression is supposed to be saying “hey reader, look how awesome I am, having MUSLIMS at my (uncle/cousin’s) THANKSGIVING! Isn’t this mind-blowing, and award-worthy?! Damn, Tom Batiuk sure is one HELL of a writer”.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. 🙂
Today’s strip is finally up.
“Waterlogged comics! Mixed with moldy discarded pizza toppings! And mildew! That’s our hero.”
Darin stares blankly at Pete.
“It emerges from the basement: a sentient mass in the vague shape of a man, but grotesque and lumpy. An abomination of pulped paper, and smeared three-color inks, held together by black mold and marinara.”
Darin doesn’t speak.
“But there’s this beautiful woman, see and she is entranced by his doughy nature, his strange charms. Even though they can’t be together in a traditional sense, she is willing to do anything, try anything, to feel in every cell of her being the deeper spiritual connection pulsing between the flawless woman and the eldritch Comicmuck Thing! All in a homage to Swamp Thing 34! You know, Alan Moore? Rite of Spring?”
Darin reluctantly puts his pencil to paper… “Okay Pete, if you’re sure you’re okay with us using your love life that way.”
Link to today’s strip.
Ladies and gentlemen, for your reading
pleasure enjoyment fun made easier, we present today’s strip vertically. Neckstrain begone!
Why Tom Batiuk feels he has to create strips like this is something completely beyond my comprehension. It’s not like this is witty or insightful dialogue that deserves a special presentation. It can easily fit into a regularly oriented strip. But then, it wouldn’t stand out on the comics page! And once standing out, the reader reads and either shrugs or gets mad. Today’s episode can basically be reworded thus: “How’s Mindy?” “Eh. [pause] You were pretty snooty in high school.” “Was not.”
You could make the argument that the dialogue I wrote above isn’t funny. And I’d agree with you. Then I’d ask you if you thought Tom Batiuk’s dialogue was funny, and there’d be this awkward silence until I said something like “Say, how about those sports teams!” and we could go on with our lives.
The main point here seems to be that Peeved is half-assing his relationship with Mindy…who lives in Centerville. Ohio. And apparently he goes out to see her enough that she hasn’t completely forgotten about him, like I wish I could. So maybe he does jet out to Ohio all the time? And yet this trip is some big deal? I guess maybe he just uses Skype to, uh, “court” her, the way he did when he and Dullard were in separate cities. What a fun thing for her, eh? Lucky thing for Peeved that Mindy has no standards and decided on him. She obviously has no expectations out of life whatsoever, other than it will, at some point, mercifully end.
Another perpendicular panel and more of Pete and Mindy meeting cute. I can’t tell you “the age of that joke” (I’m guessing ancient) but I can tell you Batiuk last used it six months ago (in another sideways strip no less). I guess he forgot, just like he forgot that it was a Tweet, not a “coded Junior Spaceman message” that Jff sent to the director. Pete nurses a glass of coyote urine as he watches Mindy gorge on pizza and Italian bread. He’s either too cheap/broke to get a slice for himself, or perhaps he’s already grooming svelte Mindy to join the ranks of dumpy blonde Westview wives.
Today’s strip has been upended, leaving only a narrow width within which to frame Pete and his pretty prey. Was Googling Pete part of Mindy’s premier prep duties? In particular, researching his arrest record? Though his record is likely clean, ’round here we all know Pete’s shady history, including changing his surname as well as his proclivity for flrting with high school girls.
My less-than-encyclopedic knowledge of the “Crankiverse,” and the decade-wide time gap existing between Centerview and Westville, make it impossible to discern Cind—dammit!—Mindy’s true age, but we’ll slot her in that same vague twentythirtysomthing range along with Pete, Darin, and Jess. One thing these two both have in common: they both refer to the famous search engine as “Grandpa Google“, making them two of the only three people on earth to refer to Google in this manner.
Begging the syndicate’s pardon: we’ve long since ended the practice of embedding each day’s comic on this blog, but I’m invoking fair use to allow those viewing this on the desktop to savor today’s strip without getting a neck cramp.
Credit where it’s due: Funky has taken Holly’s suggestion, and we find The Unit sitting down with a probate lawyer to plan their estate. Unlike yesterday’s puzzling tree-planting “punchline,” the flurry of jokes exchanged here actually make comic sense and are funny; at least they were when they were first told back in the days of vaudeville. Holly can’t raise even a smirk, and pleads with her Maker for the sweet release of death.
Link To Today’s Strip
Wow, it’s one of the rarest FW daily strips of them all, a sideways vertical memory within a fantasy within a fantasy! You don’t see these very often. After reading about the Superman trademark saga, I wouldn’t say that “tragic” is the first word that springs to mind. But then again, my entire being doesn’t revolve exclusively around nostalgic comic book memories, so what the hell do I know? I bet you that whenever he starts with this story while he’s hanging out at that pizza place, everyone politely excuses themselves to hit the bathroom.
Again, one has to wonder why despite being armed with this information, retro Pete opted to sign over the SJ title anyway, but thinking about it ruins the premise, which is apparently that the Superman creators got hosed. What that has to do with FW, Starbuck Jones or anything else is a mystery to me, but apparently it still has Batiuk all worked up, so here we are. It goes to figure that he keeps coming back to that story, as we all know that “writing” for a living is a horrible thankless task that never pays off no matter how great you are at it.
It might have made a little more sense if he held off on this (chortle) idea until they finished the movie, then had them lamenting the money the producers were making off their work. I said “might”. But BanTom simply doesn’t do things that way, or in any kind of a coherent way, really. He just does them, that’s all. Like with all of his cockamamie little stories, not one single aspect of this arc made any sense at all, on any level. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he wrote this one in his sleep, jotting down various fevered comic book dreams on a little notepad next to the bed then waking up and immediately committing them to paper as is.