Tag Archives: Remembrence of Strips Past

Hairline Crack

Link to today’s strip. I’m not sure, but I think today’s strip is supposed to be a “joke.”  You might remember jokes, they’re stories with a humorous climax (as Mr. Spock observed in Star Trek IV–a moment of silence for Mr. Nimoy, please). They’re also things that this strip abandoned because it wanted to say serious things about serious issues.  And if this is supposed to be a joke, you can tell that Tom Batiuk has kind of lost his ability to tell them.   For one thing, he should have made Cindy’s narwhal horn blonde, so it looks like her hair and not simply a printer’s error.  Unless her narwhal horn is supposed to be pure white?  Which begs another question–if you don’t know anything about Cindy’s old hairstyle, if you haven’t read this strip obsessively for 40 years, this joke will make no sense.   It’s a joke for Tom Batiuk and no one else. If this strip had a lighter tone, something like this could work.   There are strips out there that have a regular cast and use story arcs, but manage to remember that what readers want are jokes, or at least sincere attempts at jokes.  Those strips could have a well known actor, let’s call him Leonard Nimoy the  Movie Actor, fly across the country to watch old videocassettes in preparation for his role as Lisa Moore Mr. Spock, and the story could work without calling attention to how moronic and unrealistic the situation is, and we could all have a good laugh. Since this strip has made a fetish of being serious, such similar episodes call attention to themselves in ways that Tom Batiuk really resents.  And his joke-telling ability has, as noted, atrophied.  Who knows, though?  Perhaps he’s great at parties and really livens things up.  In his day job, though…. Finally, Cindy looks much younger in panel one than she does in panel two.  Dear Mr. Batiuk, a 45th anniversary still indicates a pretty good run, and it’s only a couple of years from now.  You might consider it.

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