Tag Archives: smirk

The Hair-ried Author

Oh no, Les is back in today’s strip. And along with ol’ smirk n’ shirk we get three would-be nominees for This Week In Milford’s pantheon of hair. Let’s see… we’ve got a phone camera operator sporting a Dave Coulier mullet, a proud Lisa book-buyer wearing the Luke Skywalker, and someone so enthralled with the many justifications for John Darling’s murder in Fallen Star that they are morphing into Albert Einstein. Fantastic.

Well, that took my mind off of yet another strip where Les shows contempt for the people who want to give him money for his work, for a few minutes at least.

Thanks, SOSFers, for putting up with me and TB (mostly TB… I hope) for another two weeks. The unenviable task of covering a crazed bald man palming two imaginary grapefruits (and whatever else next week brings) falls to someone significantly more well-known to the average comic strip reader than Phil the Forecaster, our own Comic Book Harriet. Good luck.

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A Special Denouncement

It’s about time! I was wondering if we’d ever get there, but today’s strip finally gives us the call back to John Darling we’ve been expecting. Yes, Phil is terrible at his (former) job, just like he was back in 1979. Back then, making fun of the local weather forecaster was a comedy trend surpassed only by making fun of Billy Carter…

JD7-30-79
This strip appeared opposite an ad imploring you to come test drive the all-new Chevrolet Citation…

Oh, for Pete’s sake!

I remain baffled by the pie case at Montoni’s. Who eats pie there?
That’s a rhetorical question of course, nobody eats anything at Montoni’s. Not even Crazy, who is only ever seen there sipping a bottomless coffee or soda and avoiding his job. But still, what’s with the pie case?

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Essay can you see?

Today’s strip finds yet another person who has waited in line to not purchase Les’ book. Slightly more reasonable than waiting in line to actually purchase Les’ book, I suppose.

Les won something when he was in high school? I’m sure the circumstances surrounding that were more convoluted than the making of the Starbuck Jones movie. Les being Les, of course, doesn’t remember someone whose writing was better than his… which I think is a safe assumption given that Les was Westview High’s substitute valedictorian with a C average and that Ms. Nebbish here lived in Centerville before Crankshaft drove its collective IQ down 40 points (he was a Westview bus driver in Act I).

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Roses in November

Today’s strip was not available for preview. It is, almost certainly, more of the same book signing shtick. Will today’s customer be totally or only partially clueless as to why they are waiting in line? We’ll have to find out together.

But while we are on the subject of Les’ books, let’s take a brief look back at the promotion for his first book Fallen Star, the John Darling bio and murder-solver that may or may not have actually been released in 1997 or 1998.

Les gets booked on “The Today Show”.

Has a publicity photo taken by Crankshaft’s non-Pam daughter Chris (Barry Balderman cameo in the photo-corner flashback!).

Gets bumped from “The Today Show” because his agent is terrible.

Gets interviewed by some giraffe children for their high school newspaper because his agent is terrible.

Sulks in the park and is found by Apple Annie, a homeless media maven and part-time stalker who would become Les’ publishing agent in early Act III before TB forgot she existed.

Post-script: Chris Crankshaft would later help Apple Annie out of homelessness. They met because Annie helped a lost Crankshaft find Chris during one of his infrequent visits to New York. I think the Batiukverse is shrinking to a singularity…

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Ex-cruciating

Well, at least the customer in today’s strip seems to have an idea as to why he has been waiting in line. In fact, he has just become Les’ number one fan and, for the first time in recorded history, Les seems genuinely pleased to be at one of his book signings.

I suspect, however that is less because WASP-y Tony Montoni just bought three copies of The Last Leaf and more because Les likes the way this guy thinks. Giving one’s ex a book about a happy re-marriage is pretty low. Giving one’s ex a book about a happy re-marriage whose subject also implies that you wish said ex had died of cancer is the kind of thing judges issue restraining orders over.

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Les can speak his mind, but not on my time

How about a round of applause for Epicus Doomus, who went the extra-extra mile in covering three consecutive weeks of Funky madness? That’s four weeks more than doctors recommend. Your friend billytheskink here, hopefully (but probably not) prepared to tread water for two weeks right along with this strip as it tries to stay afloat until March 2022.

Alas, Sunday’s comic was an omen and Les Moore’s tour of contempt continues in today’s strip. Yet another person (one of Pete’s relatives, perhaps?) has been standing in line to meet the author of a book that they know nothing about? Skinny McBrowncoat has never heard of Les or the previously released Lisa’s Story book? I mean, that is believable, sure, but did he just see a line at the bookstore and decided to stand in it?

Panel two’s look over our dazed customer’s shoulder seems to confirm that this book is all text, not a graphic novel like it originally was going to be. I wonder if it was Les or his publisher that decided to stick all of Durwood’s artwork in the circular file.

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Not Too Swift

Today’s strip has been upended, leaving only a narrow width within which to frame Pete and his pretty prey. Was Googling Pete part of Mindy’s premier prep duties? In particular, researching his arrest record? Though his record is likely clean, ’round here we all know Pete’s shady history, including changing his surname as well as his proclivity for flrting with high school girls.

My less-than-encyclopedic knowledge of the “Crankiverse,” and the decade-wide time gap existing between Centerview and Westville, make it impossible to discern Cind—dammit!—Mindy’s true age, but we’ll slot her in that same vague twentythirtysomthing range along with Pete, Darin, and Jess. One thing these two both have in common: they both refer to the famous search engine as “Grandpa Google“, making them two of the only three people on earth to refer to Google in this manner.

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