Tag Archives: shameless shilling

Ruined in What Way?

Link to today’s strip.

Other than taking place at Montoni’s, I don’t see how “date night” has been “ruined” in any way.  Unless the BMV was hundreds of miles away, Wally and Adeela should have gotten back well before any form of “night” started to fall.  Perhaps, once back at Montoni’s,  Adeela talked and talked forever about how awesome it is to have a driver’s license (which I would not put past any character in this strip), but it should still be late afternoon at most.

And even if she was excited about her achievement, she knows that Wally’s generosity put him on thin ice with Rachel; a decent person would have said “Wally, thank you for your help, enjoy your date tonight!”

I’ll grant you that decent people are not found anywhere in this strip, but it would have been the right thing to do under any circumstances.

Not to mention, prior to the test, “Say, Wally, are you sure you can do this?  Isn’t tonight your date night?”  Of course, we would have missed the last two scintillating weeks, but….

Oh!  I’ve got it–there was another Time Jump, though only a few hours this time!  Sure, that’s it!

And the kicker is, Wally and Rachel are right there at Montoni’s, where (for some reason) they wanted to end up anyway.  What’s to stop their “date night” now, other than Batiuk’s fear some lightheartedness will detract from his serious “talking about driving” arc?  Rachel looks as puzzled as I am.  Well, she looks like she’s rethinking this whole “Wally” thing, but close enough.

And Batiuk’s plugging of Crankshaft is definitely irksome.  I’m surprised Adeela didn’t follow up with “Is there a convenient link a person could click on to learn more about this Crankshaft?  Thank you!”

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On Wednesdays I Go Shopping

Link to today’s strip (eventually).

Wednesday’s strip was not available for preview.  THANK GOD.

There’ve been many times lately when criticizing this strip feels like criticizing a preschooler’s finger-painting.   When presented with such a work, you don’t want to say, “Well, Tommy, arms don’t really come out of the sides like that, and shoes aren’t big and round like wheels.  And is that a dog?”  That just seems kind of mean-spirited.

Tom Batiuk doesn’t write well.  To put it mildly.  He cannot plot out a proper story, his ear for dialogue is deaf, and his points are buried beneath the ineptitude of his execution. Occasionally, he has a sort of ham-handed way with a phrase that has a certain off-putting charm, but that’s about it.

But what if that’s the best he can do?  His “stories” over the last couple of years have started out like they might be going somewhere but always–always–end up like a balloon that’s just been unknotted.  Falling to the earth with a farting noise.  The Butter Brinkle thing–seriously, what an embarrassment that would have been to a professional, published writer.  Here?  In it goes.  And once it was done, it was gone.  Nothing to tie it together, nothing to indicate it meant anything…no impact at all.

Lately, the strip has been all been wish-fulfillment.  Les gets showered with praise.  Funky gets stepped on.  Everyone talks about how awesome Les is.  Bull gets an off-hand death that is largely used to push “Lisa’s Story” again.  That really seems like the work of someone who doesn’t care.

But he seems to be losing his grip on the elements he’s always deemed important, like Les and “Lisa’s Story.”  How many times has Mason told Les he wants to option the book?  He flew out to Ohio to do it, then flew Les in to California to do it.  That doesn’t seem like someone who can separate the wheat from the chaff.  Both are treated with equal carelessness.

So I wonder if I’m pointing out the shortcomings in the work of someone who should do better…but can’t.

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Filed under Son of Stuck Funky