Link to today’s strip.
Ah, the perils of drawing your comic strip, word balloons and all, a year before you write the dialogue. I feel certain Tom Batiuk wanted to have some reference to “medication” in Dullard’s word balloon, but alas he couldn’t make the word fit. Too bad, as it would clarify the mysterious “they” in Ann’s balloon (supposed to be “medications” I guess) and make her reference to a “booster shot” tie it all up neatly. It still wouldn’t be funny or good, but one could point to it as (at least) well constructed.
Oh well, can’t stop now! Onward, ever onward, toward that 50th!
I try to point out things I like whenever I can, and I like the shadow pattern of the window on the far wall. Somebody took his time applying craftsmanship to make that, and it is appreciated. And unless I’m mistaken, the picture on the wall looks a little like “Christina’s World” by Andrew Wyeth. It may not be, but I like to think someone tried to slip something of quality into this dreary waste.
Another perpendicular panel and more of Pete and Mindy meeting cute. I can’t tell you “the age of that joke” (I’m guessing ancient) but I can tell you Batiuk last used it six months ago (in another sideways strip no less). I guess he forgot, just like he forgot that it was a Tweet, not a “coded Junior Spaceman message” that Jff sent to the director. Pete nurses a glass of coyote urine as he watches Mindy gorge on pizza and Italian bread. He’s either too cheap/broke to get a slice for himself, or perhaps he’s already grooming svelte Mindy to join the ranks of dumpy blonde Westview wives.
It is comics like today’s strip that remind me how good I have it. I’m not taking high school English from Les Moore. I never had to take high school English from Les Moore. It is as if he is intentionally trying to be the opposite of the teacher that successful people so often cite as the inspiration that got them to make something of their life. What a miserable experience in every single way this strip is.
Les’ senior students did poorly on their quiz last Monday and now his freshman students have done poorly on theirs… I see a common denominator here. I bet these students would too if Westview High had a math teacher.
If I had told you a year ago that today’s strip was going to be the second in as many days to revolve around Bernie Silver’s forehead acne, you probably would have said “yeah, that sounds like something Tom Batiuk would write about.”
What a pompous and verbose response to a reasonable question. Does Bernie look at Les a role model? Because strips like this make it seem that he does. It almost makes you forget that Bernie is trying to use a pimple to justify an absence from school, a trope that became trite decades ago when the 7 billionth fictional teenager got a pimple on school picture day or prom night and sulked about it.
The traveling green shirt, meanwhile, lives up to its name and finds itself being worn by a third different student in as many days.
Today’s strip gives us a good indication of why Bernie has been a freshman for two years, he apparently plays hooky when the slightest blemish appears on his face.
Bernie might not be learning much of the three Rs in high school, but he’s getting Westview’s trademark tone-deafness down pat. Griping about your “bad forehead day” in front of a 15-year-old cursed with Peyton Manning’s forehead and a 15-year-old cursed with Ron Howard’s hairline while wearing bangs that cover 95% of your own forehead… that is cold-blooded, Bernie. Les would be proud if he didn’t despise you and every other student who walks the halls of Westview High.
Today’s strip is a dramatic improvement over yesterday’s, for obvious reasons.
It is not, of course, without its issues:
– First and foremost, what does Not-Monroe expect the school to do about his lunch complaint? Bus kids out for lunch? They’re freshman, they couldn’t leave campus for lunch even if they had a car. They’re 14-15 years old and don’t have drivers licenses. Unless, of course, they were held back, which is certainly possible. Bernie was a freshman last year too…
– Second, the only place that the seniors with cars could go out for lunch and get back in time for class is Montoni’s. The freshmen stuck eating cafeteria food are undoubtedly coming out ahead from that angle.
– Third, who is this “they” that Bernie speaks of? The seniors? The faculty? Wall Street? I enjoy a good conspiracy as much as the next guy, Bernie, but it is not interesting if you are not specific about who is trying to keep you down.
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.