Comic Book Harriet here! And judging by this strip, I’m a very appropriate commentator for the coming week. I want to give kudos to poor Billy for last week’s run. He was dealt a terrible set of strips, and he was able to provide valuable context into just how freakin’ long Batiuk has been using ‘Dinkle Types His Stupid Book’ as a lazy repository for all bad band puns.
I’m sure that Tommy Boy thinks that he’s cleverly building up suspense here. Ooooooh he’s not letting us see the person who is so excited to be finding the Komix Korner for the first time! Who could it be? What drama will it lead to? Is it the long lost Afghani parents of Becky the One-Armed-Wonder and Dead Skunk Hair’s adopted step-daughter Rana? Who have just tracked the..bwahahahah… I can’t even finish that without laughing. Because Rana was dropped down the memory hole YEARS ago!
We do have to wonder why anyone ever, in the history of time, would have gone on an interet mission looking for Komix Korner.
It’s gotta be debt collectors.
Today’s strip features the two dippy Crankshaft girls in a phone-related joke intended to show just how stupid the two of them are. It succeeds on that level, I guess. Otherwise, it’s totally unrelated to anything else in the strip. I guess it’s remarkable in one sense that it shows their father, but I don’t know enough about their appearances in Crankshaft to know whether he’s ever been shown in the past. I think their mom showed up at some point.
Have at it!
Today’s strip shows Les continuing to chase Nate around to berate him over his copier use. And not surprisingly, he’s wrong. He’s not being penalized. He’s simply not getting credit for it. He’s not allotted fewer copies than his fellow teachers. He gets just as many, but since he decided to go double sided, he used half as many pages. It’s not Nate’s fault, or the fault of the other teachers that Les was sloppy when heeding the rules.
But I’m more annoyed by the punchline. Batiuk uses a legal term, “don’t make a federal case out of it”, but rather than bringing the Legal Society students in, he brings in the kids in the journalism club (media club, or whatever the hell it is). Wouldn’t a better punchline be “don’t turn this into a front page story”? Or “don’t make a national story of this”? You know, something to reflect the fact that these kids are specifically in the school’s media news activity?
But I don’t know why I’m annoyed. To mix my metaphors, flubbing an open layup like this is par for the course as far as Batiuk’s concerned.
So today Les keeps mashing on the copier, like an unmajestic silverback gorilla, as if mashing it is going to make his problem of blowing through his alloted copies go away.
But it’s panel two that’s the true majesty. Look at that thing. He’s got the aforementioned unflattering angle focusing on his baldness. He’s got the loosened tie that’s supposed to make him look unpretentious and hip but instead makes him look like an unprofessional slob. His eyes are tightly closed like a six year-old’s who’s on a whining binge because his parents didn’t get him the right Christmas present. And finally, there’s that finger that he’s waving as if he’s in any position to lecture his boss about his own wastefulness.
And there’s one more thing, of course. You’d think a guy who’s supposed to be some sort of accomplished writer would be detail-oriented enough to determine from the posted rules whether making a double-sided copy constituted two “clicks” or one. But Les is not that guy.
So today we go back to Les and naturally this means it’s the setup for a week of him complaining about something.
I’ll just ignore Les blowing through his month’s allotment of photocopies, both because I trust all of you to hash it out more than adequately, but also because Batiuk’s going to give us plenty of opportunity to do so over the course of the week, to comment on something else. It’s the way Les is drawn in panel 2, looking down at the top of his recently severely-balding head. (Seriously, look at how significant Les’s hair loss has been in the last two years) I’m going to assume that Burchett leaves the diagramming of the strip’s art to Batiuk, because this is by far not the only time Batiuk’s used this angle. The odd thing is it’s with one exception always a balding man, with the primary focus on his male-pattern baldness. He’s never once drawn a woman from this angle. But now he’s shown Les, Funky and Bull in this fashion multiple times each – an odd, inexplicable angle with their head bowed showing the full ravages of a receding hairline.
It’s remarkably unflattering and jarring. Makes me wonder why Batiuk keeps coming back to it.
Link to today’s strip.
The story you are about to read is dull. The jokes have been redone to protect the humorless.
It was Friday, November 30, 2017 in Westview. The weather was gloomy and morose, and the forecasts were “You may only have weeks left.” The outlook was grim that day, but it had been grim for over ten years, ever since Lisa, so folks were out doing their usual thing. I was there to make sure no one got too excited…or did anything exciting.
The boss’s name is King Features. My partner’s name is Rick Burchett.
My name’s Batiuk. I carry a felt-tip.
Oh no, Les is back in today’s strip. And along with ol’ smirk n’ shirk we get three would-be nominees for This Week In Milford’s pantheon of hair. Let’s see… we’ve got a phone camera operator sporting a Dave Coulier mullet, a proud Lisa book-buyer wearing the Luke Skywalker, and someone so enthralled with the many justifications for John Darling’s murder in Fallen Star that they are morphing into Albert Einstein. Fantastic.
Well, that took my mind off of yet another strip where Les shows contempt for the people who want to give him money for his work, for a few minutes at least.
Thanks, SOSFers, for putting up with me and TB (mostly TB… I hope) for another two weeks. The unenviable task of covering a crazed bald man palming two imaginary grapefruits (and whatever else next week brings) falls to someone significantly more well-known to the average comic strip reader than Phil the Forecaster, our own Comic Book Harriet. Good luck.