Tag Archives: smirk

Retcon Artist

SosfDavidO here, and it looks like the boys are back at Comic-Con in today’s strip. The human lamprey John is nowhere to be seen this time, however! He probably still owes them for the hotel from last year. That and the “Oh, my, I seem to have forgotten my wallet.” routine near the end of a pricey Comic-con hotel dinner was probably enough to give him the boot.

But enough about Dead Skunk Head. Let’s talk about Darin, who, up until he got reconned into being a Hollywood storyboard artist a few years ago had been reconned into a mobile applications developer. That’s right, lifelong passion for art and expensive animation school be damned, Pete asked him to come out to Hollywood and suddenly he’s shitting out major studio quality storyboards like he’d been doing it as long as people with decades of experience in the industry.

Time will tell if Tombat can handle Darin being an anonymous storyboard artist for long or if some director will look at him and say: “I don’t care if he’s had a lick of acting school, let’s make him the lead in the Starbucks Jones Junior Space Cadet series!”

Meanwhile, Wally, who has been struggling in school and trying to get his life together didn’t even get as much as a panel in yesterday’s 4th of July strip. Nope, instead we got a lame pun about sand. SAND.

I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.

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Monkey Winkerbean

Making their first appearance since January 2016 are Summer and Keisha. I’m sure the sounds of one-on-one basketball right outside his door do wonders for the terminally distractable Les’ writing process.

If “see you later, alligator” is good enough for Cliff and Vera, I don’t know why Les and Cayla feel the need to “update” it. Let’s not get started on Les calling his black wife a monkey. Instead let’s examine Batiuk’s tendency to take a feeble but acceptable joke and proceed to stretch it ’til it breaks. He could have left it at “they’re working on an update blah blah blah.” But, because it’s Sunday and he still has two panels to fill, he’s gotta drop in the stuff about going “viral” and “beta testing”.

It’s all well and good that Batiuk recruited a couple comic book pros to draw Crankshaft and Funky Winkerbean. But the draughtsmanship, maddeningly inconsistent as it is, isn’t the problem with these strips, it’s the writing.

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Not Your Stepping Stone

It looks like we get one of this strip’s patented jogging gags in today’s strip. Looks, however, can be decieving.

No, I would not classify today’s gag as a jogging gag. It is haplessness gag, a staple of Act I reconfigured to fit the age of the strip’s main characters. Back in Act I it was Les and Dinkle’s pupils who were most often the butt of such jokes. Now in Act III, Funky has assumed Les’ former role, his pitiful sole can’t keep from stumbling over the same little rock over-and-over as he tries and fails to get some much-needed exercise. Les has kind of assumed Dinkle’s role, lording his perfection over the morons surrounding him. Act I, however, was sometimes self-aware about how irritating Dinkle’s behavior was. Can we say the same about Act III?

It also looks like Les, who gave Durwood “the bum’s rush” yesterday so he could get to work on his new/old Lisa project, is procrastinating again. This look is not deceiving.

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Lisaday, March 10

Today’s strip was not available for preview. If this week’s trend holds true, we’ll be seeing another Les-Lisa milestone. The most likely possibilities:

– Les’ European adventure from 1995 – Where he chased Lisa across Europe to propose to her after Susan sabotaged his original audiocassette proposal.
– The post office bombing that injured Lisa in August 1996 – You can read the whole thing right here on SOSF.
– The Halloween 1996 wedding – With Funky Winkerbean as Spider-Man in the DC-Marvel crossover no one asked for!
– The strip that launched TB’s opus – You know the one

In case my guesses are totally off, and so no one visiting SOSF today leaves empty-handed, here is Lisa’s very first appearance in Funky Winkerbean:

FW11-8-84

And as an added bonus, I regret to inform you that you will be able to own your very own hard copy of the strip above (and many others) come October with the release of Prelude: Lisa’s Story Begins, available for pre-order NOW on Amazon!

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Lesmaze

More photo album corners and sepia in today’s strip, as Les and Durwood continue to show off their unparalleled procrastination abilities.

So, in a game we are surely going to play all week, did this actually happen this way in Act I? More or less, yes.

The strip from TB’s 2001 rehashing of Lisa’s teen pregnancy is pretty much the same as well, only name-checking Lamaze this time. And let us all be glad that TB is, thus far, not revisiting Lisa the way he did during that 2001 rehash, where he re-drew at least two panels of nearly every single one of strips from the original 1986 story arcs.

While I can’t say this for Act II, I kind of enjoy diving back into the Act I strips, mostly because Les is an idiot and the strip regards him as such. That attitude, sadly, died loooooooong before Lisa did, early in Act II.

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Swing and amiss

I will give Tom Batiuk this, he rarely reuses artwork. Story arcs, dialogue, themes, comic book references, potentially fatal diseases, and whatnot, sure… but not artwork. No, he loves redrawing Act I scenes in his current “realistic” style.

Which we see in today’s strip, where he has redrawn a pair of panels to almost exactly match the strip from May 10, 1985.

FWcompare8517

Lisa appears less desperate in the 2017 panel than she did in 1985, though one could say she appeared Les desperate in 1985… On the Funky Winkerbean retcon scale this is RETCON NINETY-FIVE. Today’s strip hits RETCON ONE in panel 3, though.

Les, who alleges that he was so in love with Lisa back when this happened, actually asked three other girls to prom before he asked her: Cindy, who Les files a sex discrimination suit against after she turns him down; Allison, who Les asks via world’s worst wingman Crazy Harry; and Tracy, who Les openly insults before asking.

Oh, and he doesn’t appear to know or remember Lisa’s name until after they dance, (in some pre-prom dance in the gym that they are both attending? I can’t quite figure out what is going on.) referring to her as “that girl” in his thoughts before asking her to dance.

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Oedipus Quax

Hello loyal SOSFers, noted Betamax enthusiast billytheskink here for another couple weeks at the helm. My goal today is simple, to see if I can get more writing done than Les did over the last couple months. Let’s dive in:

Here’s the link to today’s strip.

Let’s see; 1, 2, 3… 6. I wrote six words! “Once upon a time” is; 1, 2… 4. Four words. Mission accomplished!

Also, major newspapers across the country are now printing and delivering today’s strip, in which an adult son ogles a photograph of his late mother from when she was in high school while telling her widower about how attractive she became after high school. And we all called Pete the creepy one…

For reference, Lisa looked like this for much of Act II:
lisamoore

Durwood, meanwhile, looked like this before his nose went all Pinocchio/Jughead/Doonesbury in the early 2000s:
darin

Separated at birth? Why yes, actually, they were.

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