Tag Archives: writing


Had I known TB was going to gratuitously shill for his next collection of strips in today’s strip, I wouldn’t have plugged his Amazon pre-order page yesterday. Click the link above to the previous day’s post if you want to see it, I’m not linking it again.

So… Durwood first floated this whole “Prelude” idea to Les over a year-and-a-half ago. Les allegedly began working on it shortly thereafter, with his publisher delaying release of The Last Leaf until he could finish it so that they could be released together.  In fact, just last week Darin explicitly tells Les he wants to see what he has written so that he can start on the “illos” for the book.

But in today’s strip, Les is just NOW given the idea for the Prequel/Prelude book that he claimed to have started in mid-2015, a book it was definitely implied he was procrastinating on just LAST WEEK?!

I… I mean… Just… Just move on to the next story arc, please.

The Last Leaf, by the way, is going to be an actual thing. That means that, combined with Prelude and the already-published The Other Shoe, this trilogy of books that Durwood has proposed is going to be a real (expensive) thing too.

And to think I said I wasn’t gonna plug TB’s books today…


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Slackin’ and Snackin’


I can’t help but wonder how much Les’ fitful creative process—including frequent breaks for things like surfing the web, random showers, and binge eating—is a reflection of Batiuk’s own. At any rate, it’s nice to see Les summon the strength to get his own food for a change rather than have Cayla fetch it to him.


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Darin’ Choice

SoSfDavidO here, and I’m gawking at a well-trod troupe at this point, which is sort of like the pronoun game only the complete opposite. Today’s strip might as well have Darin turn and deliver the last line straight past the 4th wall.

Why does Tombat do this? Does he really think new readers are joining in and trying to follow this mess? In catering to them, he’s putting off his longtime readers with dialog that no one sane would ever speak aloud.

The gears in Les’s head are spinning like Darin just dropped some amazingly profound advice or something but it should be obvious the Lisa cash cow can still be milked. Sure, why not write about Lisa? Maybe it’ll get optioned for a movie!



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Quid Amateur Quo

Less than a week ago I marveled at how Batiuk had engineered a Hollywood screenwriting opportunity for recently fired comic book writer Pete. Today’s strip has me marveling at how wrong I was.

April 19, 2015 at 8:47 pm
…The suggested storyline is so absurd it’s insulting. The producers aren’t going to go to the lead actor to get recommendations for script doctors…and in the extreme situation where they do so, they’re not going to accept the suggestion when it turns out to be a rank amateur who just got his ass fired from a crappy comic book company.

Charles, I’ll go ya a couple better: how about an even more rank amateur, who, after dragging out the process of writing the screenplay (which he insisted on doing), decides it’s too much work and walks away, sinking the project while still getting paid? On the recommendation of the star’s new girlfriend?


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Failing Up

No doubt TB means to suggest that a “Netbusters” movie is barely a notch above “straight to cell phone.”

Me, two days ago

OK, I stand corrected: they are equivalent. For once, Batiuk seems to have achieved synchronicity between seemingly divergent plotlines, and the results are just as implausible as you’d expect. Pete, who sat practically mute as his editors shitcanned him, vents at length to his Skype wife Darin (these guys are too cutting edge to just talk over the phone; anyway, Pete’s panel 3 air quotes would be lost in translation).

The Hollywood writers don’t know how to handle superheroes…” This has to be the most howlingly funny and asinine thing that TB has written in years. Comic book adaptions continue to be among the biggest-grossing movies year after year, and probably not on the strength of the writing. Mason Jarr the movie star, because he has just so much clout in this town, decides that the answer is to “bring in some fresh talent” from the comical books. This of course spells opportunity for Pete Reynaldo, freshly chewed up and spit out by New York, whose epic struggles vs. deadlines should play just fine with the studio.


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Fired? Pete’s been fired?

Welcome to CloudFunkyCuckooLand, folks. Batiuk has at long last thrown off the bowlines and sailed away at last from the harbor of continuity and logic.

Sure, the editors tasked him with taking Mister Sponge in a “darker and grittier” direction, but the clone idea was Pete’s own, and he enthusiastically sold it to his bosses. When, as they anticipated, controversy ensues, his editors reassure Pete that his story has “lit up the internet” and put sales of their comic book “over the moon.” They outline a plan (presumably involving Pete) to further boost revenue by spinning the one title into three. When Pete predictably complains about the increased workload (his current output is already enough to trigger Pete’s psychoses), his nerdbosses calmly throw him overboard in favor of the Netbusters guy.

Suddenly jobless and 400 miles from home, Pete is concerned not for himself but for the “poor readers,” represented by Owen in a panel 3 which presumably takes place months hence: the same Owen who was devastated to learn that his absorbent and yellow and porous hero had been “retcloned” has dutifully shelled out for all three of the resulting comics and pronounces them “cool.”


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It’s Badly Drawn Beard Guy’s turn to speak. Mega Comics has “leaked the news” (no doubt via an anonymous Tweet) of the coming Spongeclone Saga, and cover artists are fighting over the gig like it’s Starbuck Jones. Naturally, Pete immediately balks at the prospect of tripling his workload—it takes all his strength to produce one monthly comic, let alone three! His superiors, no doubt acutely aware of Pete’s goldbrick tendencies, have already brought in an acclaimed and expeienced comic book writer “a guy who’s written a movie script for Netbusters,” which avid hate-readers of Batiuk’s strips will know  is where members of the Crankshaft household rent their movies. No doubt TB means to suggest that a “Netbusters” movie is barely a notch above “straight to cell phone.”


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