Tag Archives: Summer

Shooting Gallery

Today’s strip

Greetings, folks, BChasm temporarily in the captain’s chair for the next little while.  What’s this?!  The viewscreen shows a sea of hostiles–ready photon torpedoes!   We must annihilate this threat before it spreads across the galaxy!

I’m going to skip over Mason’s “movie we filmed here,” comment, because while I don’t think any of the film was shot in Centerville, I honestly don’t remember the “school bus drives into shot” bit well enough, and–Tales to Astonish–I have no desire to look and see.  So I’ll give him that.

What else?  Well, we’ve got a crowd shot of almost everyone, including Les–which sets our Les Watch back to zero, damn it.  At least he’s not saying anything, and is both poorly drawn and partly covered by a word balloon.  Funny, though, I’d have expected both Comic Book John and Imbecilic Harry to be there, but I guess they got their exposure in at Comic Con, so no need to feature them any longer.  But who is that between Jim KibblesNBits and Marianne?  It looks like they flew Marianne’s mother out there after all!  I guess?

The fact that so many of the cast and crew are in the audience–and sitting right up front, too–makes me wonder if Tom Batiuk believes that the first time anyone involved with a movie actually gets to see the finished film is at the premier.  In the real world, the director would have seen the film dozens of times by now, and there’s almost always a screening for the cast and crew.  So all these people would be backstage, or at the back of the hall, gauging audience reaction–pacing, room for laughs, people getting bored at certain parts, and so on–and looking for “oohs” and “aahs” for the cast members.

But not in the fantasy land that is the Funkyverse.  Here, everything happens the way a five year old imagines that it happens–it’s all just magic, and friendship, and comic books and pizza, and it works every time!  In a way, that sounds like an attractive world…for a few minutes.  But after those few minutes, I’d want something of substance, something that would stir the imagination rather than just “be” everything forever.

Poorly thought-out as the Lisa stuff is, it’s at least an attempt to address adult concerns–something that a comic strip aimed at “contemporary problems of young people” should attempt more often.  Because I’m pretty sure the contemporary problems of young people aren’t that they wish there were more comic-book movies.

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Monkey Winkerbean

Making their first appearance since January 2016 are Summer and Keisha. I’m sure the sounds of one-on-one basketball right outside his door do wonders for the terminally distractable Les’ writing process.

If “see you later, alligator” is good enough for Cliff and Vera, I don’t know why Les and Cayla feel the need to “update” it. Let’s not get started on Les calling his black wife a monkey. Instead let’s examine Batiuk’s tendency to take a feeble but acceptable joke and proceed to stretch it ’til it breaks. He could have left it at “they’re working on an update blah blah blah.” But, because it’s Sunday and he still has two panels to fill, he’s gotta drop in the stuff about going “viral” and “beta testing”.

It’s all well and good that Batiuk recruited a couple comic book pros to draw Crankshaft and Funky Winkerbean. But the draughtsmanship, maddeningly inconsistent as it is, isn’t the problem with these strips, it’s the writing.

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Marathon Pun

So how did Lisa do in the Lisa Legacy Run featured in today’s strip?

She finished dead last.

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Pizza My Mind

Wow, greasy, fattening pizza (which Funky undoubtedly donated) and flat Montoni’s root beer for all! Thanks Jessica! You really know how to show gratitude in today’s strip! You’d think from the look on Jessica’s face she’d just gotten them all tickets to Disneyland. The look on Cayla and Keisha’s faces say it all; please God, not another slice of Westview’s worst and only pizza.

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What Baby

SoSfDavidO here! Ya know, we’ve all heard Hollywood makes you self-centered but today’s strip pushes that a bit far, considering Jessica isn’t even out there yet.

Let’s do a quick tally, shall we? So far, Evil Hollywood has sucked away Mopey Pete, Jessica, Darin and Cindy Summers. At this rate there won’t be a Westview left after Les and Co. moves out so he can work on his screenplay. And hey, sure there’s plenty of need in California for greasy, Ohio-style pizza so why not move Montoni’s out there, too? Oscars for everyone!

mc_escher

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Summer Dropouts

SoSfDavidO here, ready for an all-new storyline!

It’s Monday in late January so it doesn’t make sense that Summer is hanging around helping yet another group of doomed souls move into the apartment above Montoni’s but here she is in today’s strip still wearing her shapeless burlap hoody. You’d think her coming home to visit for the first time in a lonnnnng time would warrant a bigger story line than MyPod music recommendation algorithms but apparently not! She isn’t even given a line. Aside from the lifting duties she may as well be a potted plant.

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Chips Ahoy

Link to today’s strip.

Well, it’s the same dim-witted word-play, the same squinty eyes, the same smirks all around.  Everyone looks both miserable and punchable as always.   Or, as it’s usually known around here, “Friday.”

I confess – I wrote the above paragraph before I’d even seen the strip.  I figure it’s a good guess.  We’ve had four days of “Lisa’s favorite tree must be culled” and when the Glorious Author has a Lisa Fetish, that’s an itch that just can’t be scratched away in a strip or two.   That Pulitzer nomination must just gnaw at Tom Batiuk night and day, all seasons of the year, every waking moment.   That’s the lure of the established awards culture.

You know what made me re-think the entire “Awards Have Meaning” thing?  The 1979 Grammy Awards.  The nominees for “Best New Artist” were Chris Rea, The Cars, Elvis Costello, Toto, and A Taste of Honey.  Look at those names, and look at their careers.   Costello, the Cars and Toto went on to have big hits, become household names, and influence millions of bands and record buyers.  And the winner that year was…A Taste Of Honey, a disco band that had one hit and went nowhere afterward.

My point is this–you killed off Lisa so you could get an award.  It didn’t happen.  Acknowledge this and move on.  A Taste of Honey still has their award, but Elvis Costello wrote, and continues to write, great songs that will speak forever.  Both Toto and the Cars made hits that you can find on the radio every day of the year.

You could give it a shot, Mr. Batiuk.  Throw the past away.  Shred that letter from the Pulitzer committee.  Move on.

And, if you’re going to move on, please kill Les Moore.  Your fans would love that.  A LOT.  I mean, it would require re-tooling the strip into something positive, but then…are you Toto, or A Taste of Honey?  Because that’s the real question.

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