Tag Archives: Roberta Blackburn

Thanks for Making Us All March in the Rain

Thanks to BillytheSkink for guiding us through “Wild Mort’s Love Life, Chapter XVIII”. I’m sure I’ve said it before, but seeing Dinkle in a strip on a Monday is the worst thing to me, since you know you’re getting (at least) another week of him. At least with Les there’s more to make fun of, and something might actually happen. With Dinkle all you get now is “isn’t Dinkle awesome?”, basically. And know you have the horror of Mort and Lillian popping up at any moment.
One of the weirdest things with how Dinkle is written is how he’s simultaneously portrayed as a maniac and borderline-fascist band director that everyone hated but also a beloved figured who improved the lives of everyone he touched. It seems like the majority of the actual band directing we see him do involves making people walk in hurricanes and risk their lives, so I’m not really sure why there’s a box of envelopes that’s stacked so high there’s no way anyone could have carried it. (Speaking of carrying, I’m very confused about how exactly Becky was handling that box, based on the arrangement in the first panel).
Oh, and Becky was one of Dinkle’s students and then became a band director. That’s the punchline for today’s strip.

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That's Alls I Can Stands

Well now she’s just totally out of control, unilaterally making decisions that even Becky herself would not be authorized to make on her own. A high school that last year was nearly forced to cut its athletics somehow has money to order new band uniforms? Yeah, whatever. The good thing that happens here is that Roberta finally sends Becky right around the bend, changing her facial expression from yesterday’s utter deadpan to today’s look of…rage? Disgust? Agita? Whatever Becky’s feeling, she looks funny as hell. And if “Dad” is “filming”, that camera is even more archaic than it looks!

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Give Me Liberty Or…

Roberta really starts throwing her considerable weight around, doing things like rewriting drills that are just a wee tad out of scope for a Band Mom, while Becky coldly contemplates matricide.

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Crow's Nest

Rusty
August 15, 2012 at 2:02 am
What does a Band Mom do? I don’t recall them having an actual role in this strip. Do they help with selling the fundraising turkeys? Do they play in the 4th of July concert in the gazebo? Do they attend band practice? I don’t get it.

TheDiva
August 18, 2012 at 3:05 am
…Oh noez, Becky’s mom is going to be involved with the band! And that’s terrible! We haven’t seen her do a single thing yet, but we’ve just spent an entire week complaining about it so it must be bad!

Señor Tortilla
August 20, 2012 at 12:57 am
Right now, I don’t see any reason to really hate Roberta…

Now do you see it? What I’m seeing is how Becky’s lack of  a backbone enables Mom to turn her job and her life into a nonstop waking nightmare. That lift that the two of them are standing in: there’s no ladder or stairs. Becky had to allow Roberta onto the platform before hitting the “up” button. Becky’s “victim” status is hereby revoked.

The one tidbit of humor that can be gleaned from this strip is that the “young man” whom Roberta is picking on is, naturally, dopey Owen.

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Grand It Ain't

Either it’s still sinking in for Becky, or Batiuk doesn’t trust the reader to recall that yesterday Roberta stated that yes, she’s going to be a Band Mom (again). Or “more like a band grand mom”, since Wally Jr. is now in the elementary school band. This despite the fact that by my reckoning, Wally Jr. should be at least fourteen years old.

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Return of Momzilla

Westviewvians acknowledge the arrival of one another not with a friendly “Hello” but “What is he/she doing here?” Although surely we can forgive Becky for being less than overjoyed at seeing her mom. Dad’s there too, of course, with the camcorder, and silent, having spoken his two word quota for this decade. Roberta portrays the prom as a “fiasco” (we agree) and spins her banishment as having been “invited off” the committee. Now she looks for something else  to destroy besides her “little girl’s” life. In panel 2, Becky struggles in vain to choke Mom with her phantom left hand.

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Cojones Grown

Well, today’s strip is just so epic that I’m gonna invoke “fair use” and reproduce it here. Today’s our payoff, snarkers, our “ending earned”; here’s where it all comes together. Why did TB dredge up not just Roberta, but her limp dishrag of a husband? Why did Nate, instead of dealing with Roberta in his office one-on-one, assemble “every student, teacher, and parent volunteer“? Why, it was all setup in order to provide old, fat, evil Roberta’s very public dénouement, at the hands of the aforementioned wimp husband, no less.

In all honesty, panel 3 had me confused for a moment: I didn’t get why Summer was gasping “Dad?” while Dad was standing way behind her. Then I noticed the highlights in her hair were not blue, but brown, and realized I was looking at Becky. Please, please let her startled expression not be due to Dad finally asserting himself, but rather because she’s just witnessed her father being shanked by her berserk, hateful mother.

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Westboro Meets Westview

“So what’s up with all of this?” Turns out that Roberta is not the only intolerant jerk in Westview. She’s merely the ringleader to at least a dozen others, and boy, are they pissed! It’s an ugly mob in every sense of the word.

Doesn’t like gays, but has huge purple polka dots on his sleeve.

“GOD HATES
THE FLINTSTONES”

What’s Lisa
doing here?

And I am very surprised at
Kevin the Midget.

Eff this guy.
Seriously.

Look out! She’s got
the crazy eye!

Fortunately, who should happen by but Summer Moore, defender of the defenseless, who instantly springs into action to organize a counter-demonstration. Hell, instead of a cellphone, why doesn’t TB have her pull a can of spinach out of her hoodie, gulp it down and then proceed to beat the crap out of the demonstrators? She’s that awesome! Oh, right… we still have three more weeks to fill…

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Blackburn, Fly

Though her face is contorted with rage, and though she’s speaking forcefully enough to generate little “noise lines” in front of her mouth, Roberta musters enough restraint to delicately refer to our two gay students as “a same-sex couple”. It’s doubtful that in real life someone who’d fly into such a rage over this would have that much self control. Principal Nate is one of the rare FW characters with any kind of backbone, and surely he could relate to being discriminated against. You’d expect him to throw this idiot (and her husband) out of his office. Instead, he just looks…tired.

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Raging Roberta

The fired-up Mrs. Blackburn marches into Nate’s office to express her displeasure. From Cayla’s blasé reaction, it appears that everyone who seeks an audience with the principal does it by storming in and making demands.

I’m beginning to find Mr. Blackburn even more aggravating than Mrs. Blackburn. Right or wrong, least she’s capable of expressing emotion. All he’s doing is standing around with that stupid camcorder.

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