Tag Archives: Starbuck Jones

The Gritz of Old Hollywood.

Link to Today’s Strip

Yup. It’s just a neighborhood covered in billboards. Due to Botcons and TFcons in the area, I’ve been to Hollywood four or five times myself. Because every time I went, there was someone else in the group who hadn’t seen it. It’s certainly a place. I’m glad I got to see it once. Point at the stars on the Walk, go to the pavement of the Chinese Theatre, and put my own hands where Harrison Ford (and literally thousands and thousands and thousands of foreign tour groups) have put their hands before.

But I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite place to go in LA.

Because it’s a street lined with desperation. Every person you pass that isn’t a tourist is an uncomfortable sales pitch waiting to happen: smiling with their mouth but not their eyes, scanning every fanny-packed stranger, hunting for the barest indication of eye contact to swoop in. Its not the kind of place for the untrained midwesterner who is used to benignly waving with all five fingers extended at strangers when they pass them on the highway.

Everyone in the comments has been shocked by the survival of the Chateau, and most of Hollywood proper. But I’ll remind you that there have numerous Southern California wildfires since the hotel was built in 1929. I pulled up my old map I made of the fire last year, just to confirm that Hollywood was probably spared, while Cindy and Mason’s Malibu McMansion went up in smoke.

The Bronson Caves are in Griffith Park.

So yeah, it would have been a near thing. If I was the owner, I would have been nervously sniffing my dinner plate of cocaine, and making calls with promises of bribes to the Fire Chief.

But the REAL non-sequitur today is the Starbuck Jones billboard. The premier for that movie was supposed to be going on during the fires last year. Were we supposed to have some pandemic related delay? Those things aren’t cheap to rent, and Hollywood regularly repaints itself in the trappings of whatever the next big blockbuster will be. When I was last there, every billboard, bus stop, and park bench was painted with the Hellboy 2019 movie that bombed.(#notmyHellboy.)

So, we have two options. One, the movie’s release was delayed an entire year and I’m just forgetting. I mean the 2021 Comic Con badges were Starbuck Jones too.

Two, this is a Tommy Wiseau The Room situation. The movie’s already bombed, but they’re hoping to drum up interest in the DVD sales. So they’ve paid for a single Hollywood billboard, month after month, year after year. Four years from now, Masone Jarree will still be staring with his black soulless eyes through his fishbowl helmet out at the drivers on Sunset Blvd.

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We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!

Three panels, three places, and no answers in today’s strip.

So Phil Holt created The Subterranean, demanded ownership of the property, didn’t get it, left in a Les-level huff… and then hated Flash for the rest of his life? Was it Flash that denied Phil ownership of The Subterranean? Should I submit this to CIDU? We’ve gone from classic TB “tell don’t show” to “tell, but not really”.

One assumes then that Phil took The Subterranean to Marvel, where the concept was reworked into Subterranea. The butterfly effect of this decision ultimately resulted in the greatest Spider-Man story in recorded history, so let us all be grateful for that.

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Gimme a Ticket for an Aeroplane


I put all my energy for this post into the remixed comic above. I’ll let you guys do what you do so well. Here’s today’s real strip.

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Wow, That’s a Lot of Flames

Today’s strip was also not available for preview. I’m expecting it to be a single panel of every character in the strip burning in the golf club flames, while Les stands safe to the side mocking them for not remembering to stop, drop and roll. And then Monday the strip will start all over again in Act II without any kind of explanation.

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Geek Shrieks

As silly and lame as this story has been, I do like the second panel, where Pete’s girlfriend (fiancee?) is genuinely worried he’s not going to ask her to attend the red carpet premiere with him. Because of course she’s concerned he’d ask Darrin instead of her. I still think at least part of the reason she exists in this strip is because Batiuk finally realized how weird it looked having Pete and Darrin take trips together to buy dollies, and Darrin spending all of his time with Pete when his wife was staying in California for some unknown reason.
I do not understand Pete’s expression in the last panel. Is it smugness, like “I’m a heck of a guy, inviting my girlfriend on a trip for two someone else is paying for”? Or is he just closing his eyes and imagining fighting Zeton warriors?

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The Carpet Will Be Red With Fire

Oh yay, just what any story needs, Manic Pete. Of course it was just a matter of time before Pete, and then Darrin, and inevitable Harry and John are out in Hollywood involved in all this for some reason. How many imaginary movie titles do you think Batiuk has? I picture a sheet of paper in his studio with a “Batom Cinematic Universe” breakdown of 20+ titles, involving the Inedible Pulp, Rip Tide, Wayback Wendy, and heck, he’d probably have Lisa’s Story tie into it too. It still just baffles my mind how much time has been spent on Starbuck Jones, and how we’ve seen basically nothing of it beyond a few titles and covers Batiuk got someone else to draw.
I do love how weary Les looks in the first panel. Poor guy. Look at all he’s been through. Getting a vanity cameo in the movie he’s being paid no doubt way too much money to option.  And now he’s having to drink wine on a couch with the hot blonde girl from school he still has the hots for. Why can’t anything ever go his way?

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In a Funk

Today’s strip was, of course, unavailable for preview.

But please, let us discuss poor Funky. When was the last time Funky had an arc that wasn’t pointless filler? There is hardly a character in EITHER Funkyverse strips that is stagnant as this poor lump.

If the arc is dealing with something bordering serious, Funky is the world’s most passive protagonist, reacting to events outside his control and doing what other people tell him to. Alternatively he serves as the distributor of jobs, food, and apartments to whoever wanders by needing them like some kind of slapshod Greek god rising from a rickety machine to fix ‘conflicts’ in a piss poor drama.

If Funky is going to show any initiative of his own, it is to chase down a pizza box monster.

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Diss Master

Again: why is this meeting even taking place? Aaron and Marc, the Clone Brothers, knew that Mason wanted to make “a depressing film about a woman dying of cancer,” yet saw fit to waste their time and their sparkling water in order to tell Les to his face that this project was a no go. This whole sequence harkens back to that time that Les and Susan Smith had to face a bunch of angry Westview parents over Susan’s choice of Wit for the school play:

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Just Yuan Me

Even more disconcerting than their hoodies is Marc and Aaron’s penchant for completing each other’s sentences. So much to pick at in today’s strip. Has anyone else ever encountered this usage of “bank” as a verb meaning “to make money”? Must be some new lingo. Unlike “gangbusters,” a word that dates back to the Prohibition Era. And the SJ sequel Rise of the Zeton Warriors hasn’t come out yet? It was filmed concurrently with the first Starbuck Jones movie, which had its premiere over two years ago.

Hitorque
April 29, 2020 at 3:31 am
If Les is so hell-bent on “telling his story properly” and staying pure to his vision regardless of box office gross, why isn’t he seeking out the indie arthouse filmmakers…??

Right! If “everyone knows that China is where the money is, why is Mr. “I’ve Been To So Many Pitch Meetings I Can Predict What People Say” (h/t Banana Jr. 6000) wasting his time and everyone else’s with this pitch? I thought this was about making this movie “the right way“, not about making “bank.” Finally, somebody help me parse the punctuation in the second panel: “And that’s the problem…!” Ellipsis, exclamation point. I’m reading it as “And that’s the problemmmmmMMMMMM!

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In Them High-Rollin’ Hills

School chums Cindy and Les arrive, not at the Jarre’s beach house, but at Mason’s new pied-à-terre in “the ‘Hills’.” I don’t know where TB cribbed his California architecture notes, but all those tubular steel railings and odd-sized windows do give the building a sort of Cali modern feel, even if the doors on their three-car garage suggest a public storage unit.

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