Tag Archives: steam lines

And The Bland Played On

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The good news: no comic books!!! The bad news: mail is still playing a pivotal role in the strip.

Let’s take a moment to talk about shitty storytelling. Holly has apparently just opened her invitation to the Big Band Alumni Reunion Event (sigh), which oughta be a real barn-burner by the way. Yet somehow, despite just finding out about it, she knows that a) her mother was also inexplicably invited, b) she wants to attend and c) she wants them to drive to Florida to pick her up. Which opens a whole host of mysteries best left unsolved, which they no doubt will be.

I don’t remember Holly’s mom being a character in the strip at all, which seems to indicate that the “goal” here is a) more “adorable old coot” humor and b) another excuse to trot out Holly’s Act I flaming baton trick persona, neither of which has generated a lot of clamor among FW’s (chortle) fan base as far as I can tell. Anyone who’s had anything whatsoever to do over the last forty years has forgotten all about Holly’s baton silliness and if FW contained any more “adorable old coot” gags it’d come with a year’s supply of Coumadin. Unless this Big Band Alumni Reunion Event (sigh) is just another excuse to have the loathsome Dinkle wobble down Act I Memory Lane yet again, which seems sort of likely given the premise here.

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A Proven Whiner

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Ewww, yuck. The Delicate Genius is sequestered away in his dreary studio, slaving away on his cancer book prequel or sequel or whatever the f*ck it is, as Cayla waits on him hand and foot because he’s either too cheap or too lazy to buy himself a coffee maker for his garage office. What a dick. Hopefully this is just a one-off Sunday strip and not the start of yet another Dick Facey, The Delicate Genius arc, as I’m just not ready for another one of those yet. Get a load of that look on his face in panel three, all smug and self-satisfied with his wordsmithing, like he’s just too clever for this world. What a dick.

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Duh, Actually

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Hey gang, Epicus here to steer the S.S. SoSF through the rest of this…thing. Special thanks as always to the entire SoSF crew!

I really love it when one of Tom Ban’s carefully crafted little stories comes together all at once like this. You see, it’s not just all about how dumb, useless and stupid The Internet is, oh my heavens no. It’s also about Cindy and how her rapidly-escalating ugliness has reached a point where she’s just too haggard and hideous to be on TV anymore…even in Cleveland. Thus she has a hidden motive for seriously ACTUALLY considering “Buddyblog’s” offer, as in her opinion the internet’s “low res” video is just the thing to disguise her grotesque appearance enough to extend her pathetic dying career for a few more months, at which point she’d just be too old and grossly-deformed to do much of anything at all anyhow. Sounds like a plan!!!

Strong female characters bursting with “can-do” self-esteem aside, why do I get the impression that the Batom Inc. studio plays host to an old Packard Bell box (with zip drive!) running Windows 98? These hilarious internet gags would have played a lot better in 1999, but here in 2015 they just make him look silly. And boy, is he chew-toying the ever-living hell out of Cindy or what? Ever since she was demoted for being so heinous and old, every appearance has centered around how heinous and old she is now. It’s relentless.

And check out the Funk-Man in panel two. You can at least pretend to care, Funky.

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The Laffs Least

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“The Last Leaf”??? A “graphic novel” about Cayla?? But…but…she isn’t even dead yet!! Does not compute. But seriously, blech, oh no, what a shitty gift and etc. So typically Les-esque, they guy writes her a novel about how HE found love and how happy HE is, which in his mind if the most selfless and grand gesture he can make. Such a dick. And how thoughtful of him to rub the manuscript against his crotch before handing it to her, as if the gift itself wasn’t already bad enough.

And in the “things I never thought I’d ever say” department, note to Summer: put that hoodie back on…please. No one wants to see that, particularly in the morning. Why is she still there? Why are they lurking around in their parent’s bedroom first thing in the AM? Who DOES this?

Check out that look of smug, all-consuming self-satisfaction on his cretinous face as he explains his moronic gift, what a repellent display of Les Moore dickfacedness. “The Last Leaf”…give the leaves a rest already there, BatWrite. We get it, they’re a metaphor for death and the encroaching darkness of winter and so forth. It’s like he comes up with this stuff after staring out the window all day or something.

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Mostly Misses

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While most comic strip artists would be content to allow their readers to assume that a mug would contain a hot beverage, that’s not enough for the creative team at Batom Inc. They’re going to make goddamned sure that you KNOW that shit is hot, via the ingenious use of the steam line. It’s those kinds of little nuances that really make up for the glaring lack of an interesting story.

The corner-thingy sepia-toned faux-flashback helps too, as the reader is forced to stare at it for an inordinate amount of time in a vain attempt to figure out the point, thus distracting them from the glacial pace and general pointlessness of the whole thing. We do have the SoSF forensics team working around the clock to figure out what that point is and as soon as we get the results we’ll post them. But don’t hold your breath.

Brilliant nuance and story-avoidance aside, two things really stand out about this one. First there’s the laughable dialog masquerading as wry banter, but you’ll get that on any weekday I suppose. Funky’s peculiar poses are more difficult to explain, especially given how Funky has been featured quite a bit lately. You’d think the drawings would get MORE consistent when he’s using the character more often but nope, it obviously doesn’t work that way around here. In panel one he appears to have been lobotomized and in panel three he’s morphing into kindly-but-dimwitted grandpa mode. And in panel two, he’s Wally. It’s just all over the freaking place, man.

“Hit or miss”…I’m wracking my brain trying to think of even one small thing that could possibly be construed as even being close to a “hit” in Funky’s post-Cindy life and all I can come up with is the time Cell Phone Girl “hit” his car. Well, at least he still has his bland, pitifully self-effacing sense of “humor” about his nightmarish delusion of a life. I think those two will definitely rekindle the romance after Holly is killed by a landmine (aka “bouncing betty”) while delivering Corporal Cory’s Comic Collection in Afghanistan. In fact, the first thing Funky should do is fit her for an apron.

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