Tag Archives: silhouette

The music of the years gone by.

Link to today’s strip

Except he wasn’t named for a sandwich, Pete. According to the ever reliable Wikipedia, Hoagland Howard “Hoagy” Carmichael was named after a circus troupe called the “Hoaglands” that had stayed at the Carmichael house during his mother’s pregnancy.

And we keep slipping further back in musical history, because ‘Stardust’ was recorded in 1927. I expect tomorrow we’ll be referencing ‘Maple Leaf Rag’, and by June Ruby will have pulled out a phonautograph to listen to the 1860 recording of ‘Claire De La Lune’.

At least Stardust has become something of a timeless classic, with famous covers by Sinatra, Louie Armstron, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Willie Nelson, and Fred Flinstone.

So don’t besmirch the Hoag for his weird name dear Pete. Then man wrote hundreds of songs, over decades, including ‘Georgia On My Mind,’ ‘Stardust’ and ‘Heart and Soul.’ HEART AND SOUL, Pete! The only song other than ‘Chopsticks’ passed around from one unlessoned kid to another via church basement pianos and children’s keyboards for decades immemorial. The song 70% of the population would try to plunk out if tied to a piano and told to play something under pain of death.

You will never, in your entire life, do anything that could even come close. Stardust was chosen by Library of Congress for the National Recording Registery. All you’ve done is come up with a handful of pathetic comic characters with even stupider names than Hoagland flailing their way through inane plots, barely earning you a footnote in history, Tom.

Um, I mean, Pete.

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China Hates Lisa

today’s strip

Man, that Les face in the first panel is priceless.  Poor, poor Les.  Being forced to have a movie made of Lisa’s Story.  If only he could say no.  Which he could, of course, but won’t, because he’s a whiny child.  A whiny child who called his wife up to whine about the travesty being done to the memory of his dead wife.  Which, if it’s not the world’s story, then why did he publish it in a book as “Lisa’s Story”, exactly?  

This really is Les at his most insufferable.  I have an extremely hard time believing that even Batiuk thinks Les is sympathetic or at all likeable, but apparently he does.

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The Les You No

Today being 4/20 and all, I found it perfectly appropriate that Mason’s contact photo on Les’ phone should be a picture of some cannabis. But the “trees” we’re looking at in today’s strip are the kind that “don’t provide any shade,” not the kind you smoke. So, the Lisa’s movie is already in the pitch meeting stage, is it? Normally, this would mean that the screenplay’s been completed. Otherwise, they have nothing to “pitch.” Of course, normally, location scouting for a major motion picture takes place after the script is done, and by someone (or a team of people) whose job it is to scout locations; not by the leading man/exectutive producer taking pictures with his cellphone.

Les, perhaps still smarting over his students’ shabby treatment of Batton Thomas, shows little enthusiasm over going to Hollywood to pitch the movie. This sends the normally mellow Mason into a tizzy, demanding that Les join him immediately, his teaching job be damned. Mason is hellbent on involving Les in every single aspect of this movie project, but one questions the wisdom of dragging him along to the pitch meetings. Is no one in Hollywood going to be aware that Lisa’s Story already had been optioned and gone into production nearly six (!) years ago? And that, after insisting that he write the screenplay, Les arrived in Hollywood, splitting his time between complaining, daydreaming, and wishing for death , before walking away from and sabotaging the project?

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Get the Buck outta here!

We can only hope today’s strip is the awful coda to this awful story arc about these awful people.

This is why you turned down Buck’s advances, Linda? Not because he was being incredibly creepy and distasteful? Not because you are still mourning your husband who committed suicide not even 6 months ago and don’t feel like jumping into any relationship? Not because you know absolutely nothing about him beyond his high school football career? Not because the only thing you two demonstratively have in common is your late husband?

I agree with Linda on one thing, though. I can’t go through this again, either.

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Break BOTH Legs. And the Neck.

Link to today’s childish whim.

“Okay, so like there’s this guy, Les Moore, who’s like totally awesome and cool, but he’s like real sensitive and stuff, and he wrote a book that, like, didn’t have any explosions in it but was still like the best book ever, and everyone thought it was great.  And a bunch of people wanted to make a movie of it, but they didn’t do it right and Les got sad and stopped them.  But then this good guy named Mason, he was a super cool actor and stuff, and he wanted to make the movie, and Les was like, I don’t like this.  But Mason said he’d make sure it was, like, all done the way Les wanted, and he would let Les double make sure so it was all fine, but Les was like, it’s a perfect book, a movie won’t be good at all.   But they let Mason try it, and he made sure it was all just like Les said it should be, and Les would be there the whole time so he could make sure it was done right and there wouldn’t be any mistakes ever.  And everyone like applauded–all the moms, and the dads, the grandpas and mas, all the rotten older brothers and all of the babies and pets, too.”

I’ve said on a number of occasions that this strip is childish.  Well, it’s more than that.  It’s childish in the extreme, but it is plowing headfirst into infantile territory.

Yesterday, Charles said this (excerpted)

[Batiuk is] so desperate for affirmation, for praise, that he devotes strip after strip pleading with his audience to accept his assessment of his own genius.

I agree completely.  Which is why Batiuk has given us panel three, here–it’s an attempt at deflection.  Oh, gee, I’m so humble and I’m really not worthy of all this attention.  I’m…I’m…I’m flawed just like a regular human.  It rings just as falsely now as it did years ago, when Les asked the CME staff for a “cup of hemlock.”

Would that they had given it to him.   What might have been.

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High Loss Finish

Link to today’s strip.

Poor, poor Bull.  Despite being a generally decent guy over the last fifteen years of his life, he will never catch a break from Tom Batiuk.   Just thinking of all the things he did to help Les makes me believe Tom Batiuk is a deeply ill man who needs a good solid look in the mirror.  Not that he doesn’t look, often and at length; he should just try a different angle.  Bull also gave his students an encouragement to play, and the parents an opportunity to cheer; what did Les do for anyone other than himself?  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.

All the Hollywood work and comic book careers were given out by other people–Cindy in the case of the former, Chester in the case of the latter.  Heck, even DHS John gave Harry a job when he was suddenly unemployed.

Les?  “I screwed up.”  “Yes, you did.”

As for Bull’s viewing habits, well, I think if I were a coach, I’d watch losing games over and over.  It’s the best way to see what mistakes were made and how to correct them.  But for Batiuk, no, this was just Bull wallowing in masochism and self-pity, two things no Westview inhabitant should be without.

I actually do own a VCR (it’s one of those DVD-VCR combo things), but I haven’t even plugged it in in years.   And I can’t remember the last time I bought a tape (certainly not in this century.)  Let’s also not forget that Funky Winkerbean is supposed to be set ten years in the future (your rules, Batiuk, not mine).  This is like keeping important files on a floppy disk–and a 5.25 disk at that.

All that being said, it’s not impossible for someone to have a huge collection of VHS tapes…just less and less likely as time goes on.

Kind of like this strip.

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The Buck Stops There

Link to today’s thing.

Hello, folks; BChasm back in the Box.  Shout-out to Comic Book Harriet, who as always did a stellar job of entertaining and educating us…things l’Auteur Glorieux feels are now beneath him.  Well done, especially with such poor material to work with.

Speaking of being back, guess who has returned?  That’s right, it’s nobody’s favorite smirker, Buck Somethingorother.   You remember, the guy who couldn’t resist smirking wryly to both Linda and Bull while reminding them about the latter’s impending death.  And speaking of impending death, Buck is getting his!   “I’m afraid that the news isn’t that good, Buck” says Doctor Flattop,  “You’re a character in Funky Winkerbean.”  Now, I may be stupid, and this strip may be making me more so, but I thought Buck played football.  Isn’t “layup” a basketball term?  Shouldn’t he say, “You always gotta throw the penalty flag, don’t you?”  I guess once you’re a sporto, you’re required by cosmic law to make only sports-related metaphors, even if they aren’t your sports.

I’d really like to know what’s going on with Doctor Flattop’s head.  In panel two, it looks like there’s a second head emerging from the back of his skull.  Is it Voldemort?  Because that could be an interesting development.

Oh, I’ve just killed it.  I used the forbidden word, “interesting.”

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