Tag Archives: Westview High School

A Sundered Sunday’s Sundry

Link to today’s strip.

As usual, Sunday’s offering was not available for preview.  As I said last week, Sunday strips tend to be outside the continuity of the previous (or upcoming) week, so who knows what we’ll get?  I’m going to guess “band camp.”  It’s been a long while since we enjoyed one of those.   …many, many years in fact.  I’m sure we were presented one within the last year, though.

I doubt we’ll get a continuation of the “Flash Museum” arc, as Saturday showed both Pete and Dullard leaving the place.  I suppose they could babble and babble about the stuff they’ve seen for six panels–it would not come as a surprise.

Note that I said “the stuff they’ve seen.”  We sure as Hell didn’t get to see much of it.  Jay Garrick’s hat, about half of Captain Cold, a distant picture of Gorilla Grodd, and some boomerangs.   Someone who had never heard of the Flash, reading that story…would still never have heard of the Flash.  On Wednesday, this person would learn that a comic book is involved, and on Thursday he’d hear about “Flash villain(s).”  Though whether or not “Flash villain” is a villain opposing the Flash, or a type of villain, he would not know.  Also, is the Flash a person, or an organization like SHIELD?  For being such a big Flash fan, Tom Batiuk doesn’t seem to be able to say much about the man himself.

As Charles mentioned yesterday, Mr. Batiuk seems to have some peculiar ideas about Hollywood, and I’ve long suspected that the entire strip is just Mr. Batiuk saying, “This is my universe, and I can make it work however I want.  Comic books are the most revered art-form.  Anyone who works on a movie is paid enormous amounts of money, but they constantly daydream about what they really want to do–work on comic books.  Females are there to see that the man is supported in all things, unless it’s Funky, because screw him.”

Speaking of money, I’ve occasionally ordered DVDs from Warner Bros online store, so they send me periodic emails about other things.    One of them is a life-size statue of Wonder Woman, made out of some kind of foam and looking pretty realistic.  In order to get one of those, prepare to have $1300 dollars on hand.  Pete’s “dolly” looks less and less like an indulgence and more like an illness.

UPDATE:  Well, today’s offering did involve the flash, though not the one people were nattering on about last week.  The art in this one has a nice sense of space, flows well and looks pretty nice, though the two images of Dinkle do what in film school is called “crossing the axis.”  It’s something you’re not supposed to do, as it tends to subliminally confuse audiences.

The one thing I really want to mention is that image of Funky.  He has now become indistinguishable from his father, which makes that last panel pretty…disturbing.

Well, I see the light at the end of the tunnel is growing dim, so time for me to climb out of the pit before it fades entirely.  Please welcome your new dungeon master, DavidO!  Let’s all look forward to tomorrow, when, uh, a thing, er, might happen…or might not, but as always…um…[slinks away awkwardly]

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A Song of Farce and Ire

The panels in today’s strip read at least as well in reverse order. To paraphrase Nate, who can say what the past four years held for the Class of 2017? The only glimpse we get of WHS ’17 is a few pairs of feet in panel 4 (nicely-rendered, by the way, and feet are hard to draw) . Recall that Cody and Owen handed over the reins of WHS’ in-house media operation directly to some freshmen. I’m supposing Tank and Conner to be underclassmen. As befits these anono-grads’ status, their commencement is held not in a stadium, with drones, but rather in the auditorium, listening to Nate name-check the author of A Game of Thrones.

 

 

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Credit Where It’s Dull

Epicus Doomus
June 1, 2017 at 11:27 am
…[S]houldn’t “Ms. Lopez” be “Mrs. Bushka”? Did Bull die off-camera or something?

Here’s another unanswered question: is Jim being witty or does he just not know what a credit union is? Another question, and this one’s for any teachers out there: are you required to pack up and schlep home all your belongings at the end of every school year? Linda’s got but one box but it looks to be loaded with books; Jim’s got two boxes but still manages to get a hand free to push open the automatic door. Burchett gets to introduce another new character: that janitor who vowed to one day kick the ass of the guy whoever the hell peed in his closet 40 years ago.

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School’s Out Completely

Batiuk’s spent the last few weeks burning off a lot of one-shot gags. You’ve gotta admit, though, that even when they fall flat, you’ll take a half-dozen joke strips over say, a week of Funky exploring an abandoned houseToday’s comic continues in the gag-a-day vein, but Burchett continues to add welcome and pleasing visual details. Especially in that first panel: Cayla is positively coquettish, smiling to herself as she casually lets slip to Nate that hubby Les is going to be…preoccupied. And she’s totally getting through to Nate, too. Cut to a nice shot of the talking school building featuring non-hand lettering on the WHS message board, some nice shade from some leaves, and of course there be bricks.

That slow jam playing we could hear in the background abruptly switches to Yakety Sax! Here comes Les, haulin’ ass, knocking hapless students aside with his valise in his frenzy to get the hell away from there. Unless Les and his wife drive separate cars to work, poor Cayla’s going to need a ride home…

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Don’t Try and Con ‘er

I don’t know about you, but man, RB’s art is still giving me the heebie jeebies. Today it’s that second panel, where Linda is looking right at us with her beady eyes, beady eyebrows, and weird bottom teeth. Her shoulders and elbows are all weird, undulating contours…don’t her arms appear bony? And there’s a ominous, diagonal black shadow behind her: why? And when did she start wearing her ID badge so prominently? Detective Lopez of the Westview PD.

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Pluto-idiocracy

Here’s the one Westview teacher who makes Les look like Mr. Chips, getting his first spoken lines in a year. Burchett’s Jim Kablichnick still resembles Mark Twain, though he’s lost his suspenders (and he used to favor colorful dress shirts). Today’s gag, of course, is lifted from Sunday’s “Name the Canadian Provinces” strip (and from every comic strip that’s featured a kid sitting at a school desk), right down to name-checking another Golden Age Disney character. Smirk it up, Bernie: there can be no incorrect answer (“Write down what you think…”). On the other hand, Kablichnick’s enough of a douchebag to find a rationale to mark every student’s answer incorrect anyway.

Given Rick Burchett’s animation background, it’s weird how statically he’s rendered Jim here: propped up in front of the classroom, pointing his finger at the ceiling. Like Batiuk, Burchett uses some unusual “camera angles.” But unlike TB, RB (let’s just start using that abbreviation) puts his characters in actual, defined space, and not silhouetted in a crosshatched, encroaching black void. Three of his four strips so far have been set in a classroom, the angular walls and neatly tiled ceilings of which loom claustrophobically on all sides. I recognize the books atop the cabinet in the corner of Jim’s class, but am still trying to figure out what those diagonal planes in the left foreground of yesterday’s panel one. All the crazy angles lend some sort of tension to the settings. Kind of like how in the old Batman TV series, the camera shots inside the villians’ hideouts were all tilted askew.

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Think, Tank

Day Two on the job and Rick Burchett is tasked with introducing a new character, and Batiuk even gives this one a name! “Tank” resembles bully emeritus Wedgeman, with his imposing physique, blue-black hair, and freckles/blemishes. Les, acting like a real teacher for once, unhesitatingly  offers Tank an opportunity to redeem his poor grade, but once again is stingingly slapped back to his senses, hard enough this time to make him effect a Jack Benny pose.

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