Tag Archives: Starbuck Jones

Fruit of the Doom

Link to today’s strip.

I rate today’s episode two “Meh”s.   It’s a good example of “Batiuking it.”  It’s not terrible enough to be irksome, nor is it insensitive enough to provoke anger.  It’s like something the dog left on the kitchen floor–he didn’t really mean to do it, it just happened by accidental instinct.  Though at least the dog has enough self-awareness to look guilty about what he produced.  Luckily, I have some paper towels.

Nice freeze-frame on that “Starbuck Jones” image.  I assume someone hit the “pause” button, so that Mason and Cindy could chatter on brainlessly, but it’s entirely possible the scene is still running and consists of characters just chattering.  That seems entirely Batiukian.

I wonder if that’s a workprint of the new film, or just Cliff and Vera again?  I find I don’t really care about the answer.  But, isn’t it funny that the characters here went out of their way to find the cast of the Starbuck Jones serial, but anyone who worked on the original comic book has been completely ignored.  Who knows, they might still be alive, too!  But then, artists and writers might want to do something creative (“This is not my vision!”); actors, on the other hand will just read the lines given to them.  Whew!  Dodged a bullet there.

As far as today’s “content” goes, let’s not forget that Cindy’s “going out on a limb” was not, repeat not, because she had great faith in BuddyBlog or because she believed in her own abilities to deliver stories.  It was so she could seize Mason in her mandibles.  That’s all.  Mason’s either fine with that, unaware of it, or worse, pleased with how his personal magnetism snared his new paramour.

So, we’re not talking about someone striving for excellence in a new frontier.  We’re talking about someone indulging her urges to keep her insecurities at bay.

Still, she did manage to find a nice piece of fruit.

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Nominated for Best Imbecile in a Supporting Role

Link to today’s strip.

Every time a character says something exceptionally stupid–and Mason here is a shining example–I have to remind myself that, despite Tom Batiuk’s repeated assertions, this strip has nothing to do with the real world.  There’s no quarter-inch between there and here.

What this strip is, is a Wish Fulfillment World.   This world is how Tom Batiuk believes the world should work.  Here, the highest form of art, and the most valuable commodity, is the comic book.  Second most valuable is the comic book’s consort, the movie based on a comic book.  Here, Mason’s idiocy makes perfect sense.

Now, there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with a Wish Fulfillment World.  Some of them can be quite entertaining.  At the risk of ticking people off, I’d put JRR Tolkien’s  works in this category.  But Tolkien made sure that his world was consistent, and that there were rules that governed his world, and those rules were not to be ignored or bypassed for convenience.  Consistency is PRIMARY if you’re going to go down this path.  Because of you ignore consistency, you end up with Funky Crankshaft Island.

To wit: Here, the greatest comic book of them all, Starbuck Jones, is both extraordinary evocative to its hordes of fans, who treasure every moment it gave them, and yet it sold so poorly that it put its creators out of business.  Here, a peck on the cheek drives the internet into a frenzy, and drives a young actress toward suicide.  Here, said actress is simultaneously a naif making her first film and a hot property that can boost a film’s stature into white heat.  Here, an actor whose main credit is “Dino Deer” lives like royalty, bathed in luxury.  Here, a loathsome prick can make his mark on the entire world by writing about his dead wife, yet he toils in obscurity in a small Ohio town.  I could go on; there are thousands of such…Funky Crankshaft Island rides.

And movies are an art form, not a commercial product.

Now don’t get me wrong–movies can be art, and as such can be very enlightening.  I have thoroughly enjoyed every Ingmar Bergman movie I’ve ever seen.  And most of those made by David Lynch.  But every movie ever made by a film studio has one primary goal: to make money.  To pretend otherwise is to ignore the real world.

Which this strip does splendidly.

PS: I’d agree that most awards are stupid and entirely ignorable.   Did you know that Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick and Cary Grant never won Oscars?  I’m thinking, though, that Pulitzer nomination letter must really burn right now.

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Black and What?!

SonofSFDavidO here and… aw, shit, this again!? Today’s strip kicks off yet another Batom Comic’s storied history/imagined timeline/dunno what I’m the hell I’m even looking at arc.

Aside from realizing we’re in for the literary equivalent of a week-long root canal, I’m scratching my head over what Pete’s goddamn complaint is. They’re putting “more things” into the new movie? Boo hoo! Unless it’s going to be an Andy Warholesque film that shows StarBucks Jones sleeping for 8 straight hours then yeah, scripts change. I know this complaint is just to shoehorn in a sepia mess but still, complaining about doing the job you’re getting paid for is pretty lame, Mr. Hollywood.

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Wrapped In Spastic

Link to today’s strip

Hur HURRRR hur hur…is there anything more pathetic than Boy Lisa trying to engage in wry wordplay? Because if such a thing exists I definitely don’t want to see it. So, after years and years of filming the SJ movie is “wrapped” but fret not, those of you wondering how this news will affect the twenty-seven SJ-related unresolved subplots. For you see, they’re already filming sequel after sequel, because HOLLYWOOD, amirite? Poor BanTom, always so cynical.

So why is he calling Les? Is it about that stupid graphic novel I was hoping Batiuk forgot about? Did Lisa leave a “So Frankie’s Infiltrated Your Movie Set Via A Phony Food Truck Operation…Vol 1.” VHS tape lying around just in case her bio-son ever became a famous Hollywood storyboarder? Because the SJ production could use one of them right about now, unless BanTom forgot about that one too.

Maybe, but it’ll probably be something so fantastically stupid no one could have possibly predicted it. All we really know for sure is that whatever it is it requires Boy Lisa to be “on hiatus” from the Starbuck Jones production for a while, which could mean anything or nothing at all. Odd that BatNom felt compelled to explain that, though. I really hope this isn’t the launch of a “Lisa’s Story” ten year anniversary arc…I mean I REALLY hope it’s not that. And incidentally, the “LS” ten year anniversary is also the fifth anniversary of when TB stopped relentlessly patting himself on the back for “LS”, interestingly enough.

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Crocodile Schlock

Link To Today’s Disappointment

Oh, gross. What the hell is this? A thousand and one unresolved plot threads are just dangling there, rotting away on the vine and he has time to focus on these two awful contrivances and their repellent old-timey smoochy talk? Man alive, it’s so nauseating I might keep a copy of it in the medicine cabinet in case I accidentally eat rat poison and need to induce vomiting quickly. Once again he goes to the “frisky old coots” trope and generates “ewwwws” instead of “awwwws”. Then “gaks” followed by a few rounds of “why the f*ck do I read this thing?”.

What is he even still doing there? Why is he always in that idiotic costume? WTF is Vera’s deal? And why are Mason and Marianne…I mean Boy Lisa and Pete hanging around the set again? Are we already due for another “gee Darin, I wonder how ninety year olds made out with one another back in the ol’ Batom Comics days?” arc again? I think it’s pretty remarkable how at first glance you can’t tell if you’re looking at Marianne, Summer or Pete, especially since one of them is supposedly a Hollywood sex symbol. Here comes the nausea again.

God I hope this is a grab-bag/garbage dump week because five more days of this is going to be hellish. The “new” characters don’t normally annoy me quite as much as the regulars do but Cliff and Vera are just gratingly bad and their already-abandoned little back story was blindingly stupid even by FW standards. Maybe it’s somehow leading back around to Frankie’s Film Food flim-flam but who the hell knows? Just please, not a f*cking wedding arc…anything but a f*cking wedding arc.

 

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Winters Blunderland

Please don’t spend too much of your valuable Christmas Eve time reading today’s strip. Please.

That Mason fella sure is great, huh? Marianne and Cindy sure think so. In fact, Cindy finds it hard to believe that Mason even exists. I’m with her on this point, as Mason appears today to be some sort of mythical human-unicorn chimera.

But what about Mr. Director? You know, the guy who first noticed the DMZ story and the potential trouble it could cause… The guy who made sure a corrected story was sent out to the media within hours… The guy who was concerned about Marianne to the point that he tried to call and text message her while Mason and Cindy groused about the internet’s big meanies… The guy convinced the police to put out an APB for a woman that had been out of contact for less than half a day… What about him?

Eh… That Mason fella sure is great, huh?

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Dawn We Now Our Realizations

There have been three instances in this comic strip where Marianne has spoken multiple consecutive complete sentences. THREE. All occurred within a week of each other back in early October. Mason was present for all three. One involved Marianne talking about how great working with Mason is and in the other two she talked about how her single mother dreamed of being an actress and now lives vicariously through her (and also that the Hollywood sign holds a special importance to her). This makes up the bulk of us readers’ interaction with Marianne.

One particularly astute commenter last week (I wonder who that was…) pondered whether or not Mason would remember this conversation with Marianne and rush off to save the day. Today’s strip answers that question with a resounding “yes”.

It begs more questions though, particularly why Mason did not relay his realization to the police officer who was standing right next to him in yesterday’s strip. You know, the police officer with the radio, who works for the department that has officers sitting in running cars minutes from Marianne’s presumed location… might be a good guy to tell.

Instead, Mason has chosen to dash off like a 1950s football player posing for a promotional photo and give no specifics about Marianne’s presumed location. Makes you wonder if he really wants her found.

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