Link To Today’s Strip
Looks like they were going to see some weird foreign film. Anyhow, today we see a desperate and frightened Adeela reach out to the only person who could possibly help…Wally. Yep, this should end well.
Why is Rachel smirking at Buddy like that? She’s a real odd duck, that one. And check out Buddy, it’s like he KNOWS there’s trouble. What a good boy.
Link To Today’s Strip
At first glance I was like “whoa, Wally’s cell phone vibration mode is so powerful it’s torn completely through his suit jacket!”, but then I quickly realized it was just crappy art. It’s nice to know that our beloved Buddy still exists, as he hasn’t been seen in a while, but as usual BatYap gives him absolutely nothing to do. Free Buddy!
So they decided to skip Montoni’s and go to that stinky old decrepit movie house instead? Or will they hit Montoni’s after? I think we all know the answer to that question. I wonder what they were going to see before Adeela ruined Date Night again?
“Honey? “Doctor Obvious Versus The Time Gargoyles” is playing at The Valentine tonight! It’s a sci-fi musical from 1947 starring Wallace Beery! Can we go? Can we? Huh?”
“(Sigh) I guess.”
Link To Today’s Strip
At least we weren’t forced to endure watching these two imbeciles interacting with the ticket person, as he’s thoughtfully skipped ahead to the popcorn purchase. Who on God’s green earth would dare to eat ANYTHING from that crappy old movie house? I remember when “The Valentine” was a “last chance” dump that only showed films no one in their right mind would pay to see, but now suddenly it’s a bustling local theater with a functioning snack bar and everything. Good for the f*cking Valentine. I have never yearned to see a building leveled by falling space junk more than I do right now.
Pete “thoughtfully” remembered how she likes her popcorn…whoop-dee-damn-do. It’d be one thing if she always ordered it with saffron and shaved truffles, but it’s salt and butter…as if there’s any other kind. Pete gives off an air of sexual desperation that’s palpable, unless of course you reside in this bizarre soul-deadening part of Ohio, that is.
Today’s strip finally gets to the point. Whatever.
All I see is a kid in a Davy Crockett coon-skin cap…
Today’s strip is about that dadgum decoder ring. Your mileage won’t vary, it WILL be low.
Jeff, quit teasing your wife and son with this appallingly uninteresting Starbuck Jones nostalgia trip and just tell your family what all of us readers already know the message on your phone says. You told two very interested parties that The Valentine may have gotten the miracle it needed to keep its doors open, and follow that up by leering creepily gazing at 60 year old toy that you got for free from a chocolate milk mix company.
Max, you gotta do better than this, man. If your dad knew the gibberish on his phone was the Starbuck Jones Junior Spaceman’s code then he’s a big enough nerd to know how to decipher it. He’s been waiting decades to show this stupid ring off and you are the one who had to go and give him the satisfaction.
Pam, you’re an enabler. Can’t really blame you for that, since every other woman in this universe apparently is as well.
Today’s strip contains
A couple of near-haiku
Shall we take a look?
“This text may be the
Answer you are looking for
It’s just gibberish”
“That is because it’s
Written in the Starbuck Jones
Junior Spaceman’s code”
Jeff has just put on
That stupid decoder ring
Why does he have it?
Came from his pocket?
Does he carry it around
He just got a text?
But it was a Tweet he sent
To Director Guy
I guess that Durwood
Has uncle Jeff’s phone number
As if he’s used it
Nice car on the curb
Puts Batiukmobile® to shame
Who would park it here?
Today’s strip severely undersells the concept of miracles.
“Hmmm… we may have just gotten one.” For serious, Jeff, that’s your reaction to information that may well have just saved your son’s livelihood and your nostalgic obsession? Let’s try that line out in some other scenarios.
Al Michaels calling the 1980 Olympic hockey semi-final, USA vs. USSR:
“Eleven seconds. You’ve got 10 seconds. The countdown going on right now. Morrow, up to Silk. Five seconds left in the game. Do you believe in miracles?
Hmmm… we may have just gotten one.
“You Sexy Thing” by Hot Chocolate:
I believe in miracles
Where you from
Hmmm… we may have just gotten one
That old Xerox commercial:
Brother Dominic: Here are your sets, Father. The 500 sets you asked for.
Father: A miracle? Hmmm… we may have just gotten one.
Today’s strip was not available for preview. It will, almost assuredly, be about Max Murdoch’s imperiled Valentine Theater though.
But before The Valentine was Max’s imperiled theater, it was Ralph Meckler’s imperiled theater. For those of you fortunate enough to not follow Crankshaft, bespectacled and mustachioed Ralph is Crankshaft’s
best only friend. Poor Ralph is a decent enough character, and is (sadly) a definite contender for the Batiukverse’s ultimate “chew toy” award.
Not only did he struggle for years to keep The Valentine afloat before unloading it on Max and his I-guess-girlfriend Hannah, he also failed in a recent bid to unseat Centerville’s corrupt, do-nothing mayor. In fact, he lost the mayoral race on a coin flip because the election was tied. The election was tied, of course, because his good “friend” Crankshaft forgot to vote. Oh, and he let Crankshaft make that fateful coin-flip call…
Also, his wife has Alzheimer’s (revisited in two different books) and his son was killed in the Vietnam War.
Sheesh. No wonder he says stuff like this…
Welcome, everyone, to that damn Crankshaft theater. Today’s strip finds us back in the middling maudlin morass that came to define this strip during Act II. It certainly says something about the relentlessly positive Comic-Con arc that it failed to provide much refreshment in its departure from this strip’s trademark tone.
“Valentine’s Day may be over.” Heh, cute. Doesn’t explain how you’ve been making your loan payments for 10 years and are only now in danger of default… maybe you’ve been driving customers away by needlessly questioning them instead of taking their money.
Meanwhile, Ann Fairgood Pm nd Jff play the “Incredible Hulk” TV show’s closing credits music in their heads as their son walks out the door with his oversize copy of yesterday’s strip.
Tough luck, SOSFers. Not just because you’ve read today’s strip, but also because today’s strip is particularly rant-worthy and I may well be the weakest ranter on this site. I am sorry, I just cannot do it justice. I’ll lean on our commenters to give this strip what it deserves.
I do have an editorial comment, though, and it doesn’t involve Funky in a coma this time. Among the few printable things that have been said about this whole unending Starbuck Jones movie arc is that it is “wish fulfillment”. It is an apt description, of course, as nearly everything about Starbuck Jones comes across as what TB wishes would have happened to his own creations. However, there is no reason that wish fulfillment can’t be entertaining.
Sally Forth just spent a whole month at a (very) fictional Japanese movie monster theme park, something I’m sure unabashedly nerdy SF writer Francesco Marciuliano very much wishes was real. However, Marciuliano uses his fantasy to tell a story and crack jokes that are relatable to readers whether they are kaiju-obsessed or not. You may not know what a Gamera is, but you probably get jokes about taking family vacations and waiting in line at theme parks.
TB’s Starbuck Jones business, meanwhile, requires a tome of Batiuk blog posts and a glossary of Hollywood terms to understand, and a miracle to find entertaining. It seems to be perpetually patting itself on the back for being such a big deal in its own allegedly realistic universe, thrusting long-standing characters into Hollywood’s orbit for seemingly no reason other than to show that they are great enough to be involved in Starbuck Jones things.
I would say that my wish would be that we could leave Starbuck Jones, Hollywood, and the Valentine Theater behind… but that undoubtedly means more of Les. I can’t win. None of us can.