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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Today’s strip tells us literally the same thing that Friday’s strip did. Marianne’s fate will remain a mystery for another day… that day quite possibly being Christmas Day. We are in color again, but I’m not quite getting that infomercial tonal shift feeling I described a few days back.
I feel it my duty to point out that a story about an actress who is driven to suicide (possibly) by cyberbullies is not “hardboiled” It’s pretty much the exact opposite of hardboiled, actually. It can be many other things: sad, appalling, educational (or in TB’s hands: implausible, maudlin, and preachy), but a word meaning “tough, cynical, unsentimental” as hardboiled does? No.
Us beady-eyed nitpickers may notice that Tom Lyle’s signature offers additional proof that TB works a year ahead, not that we really needed it.
You can see the conception of this comic book cover on the official Funky Winkerbean blog
The wavy panel border returns in today’s strip.
Again, I do not understand exactly what this is supposed to mean. In the visual language of comics, the wavy border should signal Marianne’s scaling of the H as a dream, but it really comes across like it is just signaling the shift in setting from the studio lot to the Hollywood sign. It’s like telling someone you “dreamed of Portugal” when you really mean that you physically went to Portugal.
Day five in grayscale, and I’m actually starting to appreciate it. Seeing Funky Winkerbean in black-and-white on my local paper’s color comics page is like watching an infomercial for an as-seen-on-TV kitchen product. You know how those ads always begin in black-and-white or muted color, showing a frustrated person trying and failing to use common kitchen utensils to measure flour, slice a tomato, take a bite out of a sandwich, or some other non-difficult task… then the ad switches to color to espouse the virtues of how easy it is to eat eggs or to prevent your children from choking on hot dogs if you just owned this amazing new product?
That’s what it feels like reading this week’s FW strips right next to a bunch of full color strips.
Does your comic strip ignore it’s own continuity, reasonable plausibility, and all good taste? What you need is the…
…overly broad Danish humor of WUMO!
…12 year old political and pop culture references of Get Fuzzy reruns!
…first world problems of Dustin!
…awkward innuendo that populates every conversation in Luann!
…hack-y mundanity of Garfield!
…Phantom‘s striped codpiece!