How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Tom

Link To Today’s Strip

So, after five weeks of plodding ponderous dialog and endless time-wasting the premise is at long last revealed and…believe it or not…it involves comic (sigh) books…again. Chester wants to resurrect the “spirit” of those wonderful old Batom Comics of yesteryear. Bored listless employees, a fabled comic book artist working children’s birthday parties to make ends meet, an annoying cigar-chomping boss…yep, when Batom Comics folded it left a huge gaping void in the industry all right, a void only Pete and his faithful sidekick Boy Lisa can fill. If he’s looking for two boring nerds who daydream and skip work a lot, he totally nailed it.

“Batom”…”atom”…”ic”…sure Chester, makes sense to me. I suppose it’s better than “Bamto Comics” or “Tobam Occmis”…albeit not by a whole lot though. I can see the headlines now…

“Atomic Bomb – Hagglemore Bankrupted By Idiotic Dream, Drinking Heavily”

“Atomic Waste – Unsold Comic Books Worthless As Pulp & Do Not Degrade, Placing Strain On Local Landfills”

“Atomic Pile – Atomic Comics Creditors At Critical Mass As Hagglemore Sighted In Caymans”

“Atomic Fallout – Starbuck Sequels On Hiatus After Creative Team Leaves For Stupid New Gig, Hundreds Left Unemployed, Future Of Franchise In Doubt”

Yes siree, it’s a can’t-miss proposition. Everywhere you go these days all you hear are “these kids today” sighing to themselves over the comic book racks, sadly lamenting how today’s comic books are totally worthless when compared to the old-timey Golden Age comic books they can’t possibly remember. If you don’t believe me just visit your local megaplex and see the throngs of kids ignoring the latest superhero flicks, there’s all the proof you need. Kids today aren’t that much different than their parents were, they just want to sit in the attic with their vape pens and energy drinks and bags of flakka and read some good old fashioned comic books just like dear old dad used to do before the comic book industry sold them out and destroyed their dreams back in 1940 or 1960 or 1980 or thereabouts. By golly, Chester just wants to bring that “spirit” back and judging by the reaction from “young” Pete and Darin he’s really on to something here. “Cool”…”sweet”…he really captures the way the kids speak nowadays, doesn’t he?



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Grim And Bear It

Link To Today’s Strip

Ha ha ha ha. TOM BATIUK, of all people, is doing an arc about how Chester dislikes “grim and gritty” comic book titles. What balls. After turning his once-lighthearted and humor-based comic strip into a litany of death, cancer, amputation and an endless cavalcade of human misery, he’s doing a “story” centering around how “dark” modern comic books are. Two words…”f*ck” and “you”, Tom. I’ve never seen a comic book where the lead character’s parents roundly reject her as she agonizingly dies of cancer, nor have I ever seen one where a trombone prodigy loses her arm in a car accident or one where the once-happy-go-lucky titular character drinks himself into thoughts of suicide either. Leave it to Tombat to inadvertently insult himself in his own strip. What a maroon.

So why did this require a cross-country trip? They couldn’t have had this discussion over the phone? So basically BatNard wasted five entire weeks on this just so he could work a few fictional Batom Comics “props” into the artwork for his own amusement. The self-indulgence is off the scale here and nearly approaches “Lisa’s Story” degrees of head-up-own-assed-ness.


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We’re Jambing…I Hope You Like Jambing Too

Link To Today’s Snore

“Door jamb”??? That’s not a “door jamb”. Sigh. What can you even say about such a stupid and blatant piece of time-killing tripe like this? Maybe BatTrudge has a secret fantasy about an extremely wealthy FW fan who got rich after selling his paperback FW collection and now lives in a FW-themed mansion full of FW-related trinkets, like the soda machine from King Features main office or the label from the bottle of prescription cough syrup Batom slammed before he dreamed up this steaming pile of hogwash. It’s about as plausible as this stupid premise is. I’d be willing to wager that this strip represents the very first time the words “door jamb” have ever been used in a comic strip, unless Crankshaft or Mary Worth had some home remodeling done recently.

Whenever he does one of these idiotic vertical strips I always picture the guy trying to fit it into that day’s comics page, banging his head on his desk and shaking his fist skyward while screaming “BAAATIIIIUK!!!!!”. That’s two of them in just a few weeks, which is two too many IMO. If you really need to kill all this time perhaps a (ahem) “re-assessment” of your “writing” abilities needs to happen (fat chance).

“Holy door jamb”…sigh again. It’s not even a joke. Pete whispers to Boy Lisa…”this guy has Batom in the belfry”…yes it’s a terrible, terrible pun but still 1000% better than…this. Coming tomorrow: Pete gets to use the same urinal Phil Holt used back in the day and Boy Lisa helps himself to a few rolls of official Batom Inc. toilet paper that Chester swiped when he was looting the Batom offices. This segues neatly into a three week long discussion about how the old timey hand-cranked pencil sharpeners were just SO MUCH BETTER than these modern electric ones they force us to use nowadays.


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Chester Has The Runs

Link To Today’s Strip

Big deal. I have a “complete run” of Blue Oyster Cult’s early work but you don’t hear me gloating about it. I hate it when BatNard wallows in his own self-indulgent crapulence like this. How many goddamned universes full of undeveloped characters can one comic strip creator have?

Well, at least we now know why there isn’t any Mrs. Hagglemore, as his mansion walls are literally lined with female repellent. Batty never fails to find new and innovative ways to remind regular FW readers about his cleverness, like those stupid sidewards Batom Comic covers are something we all look back on fondly or something. He wishes. The only one I really “remember” is the SJ wedding one featuring the space penis, although I try to forget it each and every day. Just so you know, no SoSF guest host is going to come out of this totally unscathed, I’m living proof.


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One Of These Days These Comic Books Are Gonna Comic Book All Over Your Comic Books

Link To Today’s Strip

This is already week five of the Great Chester Hagglemore Batom Comics mega-arc  (oh yeah, it’s a mega-arc  at this point) and they’ve only just now arrived at Hagglemore Manor. I suppose he assumes we “like” Pete and Boy Lisa and thus are amused by their annoying patter and irritating banter but oh how very, very wrong he is. Day after day of mindless chatter, beating around the bush and avoiding the point, which has not yet been made entirely clear. That’s right, there’s a real no-fooling company that will PAY YOU to do this! It’s all a matter of knowing the “right people”, I guess.

I (shudder) went back and (ugh) re-read this arc (it amazing how quickly one forgets a FW weekly arc, isn’t it?) and counting this one I found only five strips that had anything to do with the premise. Chester asks about Pete (Sunday strip), John agrees to get them in touch, Chester texts Pete, Pete mooches ride to Ohio, Pete and Darin arrive at Chester’s. The rest of it was all incomprehensible nonsense about Jessica’s old sex life, the decline of fairy tales and petty theft, none of which could have had any less to do with anything. This is week five, so counting that Sunday strip this is the twenty-seventh strip in this arc. So only 18% of the strips in this arc had any relevance to the story and that’s using a very, very loose definition of “relevant” too. He could have told this entire “story” thus far in a mere five days and even then it would have been as thin as his everyday grip on reality. Just amazing.


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What Hath Chester Wrought?

Link To Today’s Strip

Sure Pete, wrought iron work like that seems to be a lost art these days, sort of like how it’s been impossible to find actual jokes in FW since 1981 or so. Sigh. At least they’re finally there, although that driveway looks like it could very well take several more weeks to navigate. And speaking of navigating, that’s a spiffy Batiukmobile they’re in, eh? I recall seeing a few of those over in Albania before communism fell, they’d hand them out to all high-ranking party officials. I’m dying to see an arc centering around Westview’s new and used car lot, “Crazy Hektor’s House Of Off-Brand Motor Cars”. I’m assuming that the proprietor of Westview’s auto parts store hung himself years ago after one too many dreary locals came in looking for a rear flangelator for a ’92 Labda 3-cylinder diesel.

I hate how every FW character needs to wonder everything aloud just to repeat the premise over and over. I mean come on BatNard, we f*cking know where they’re going, they’ve been bantering about it almost non-stop for five weeks now. I really hope there’s a valet or something, as I don’t think I’ll survive a week-long arc about those newfangled backup cameras the new cars have nowadays and how much better it was when you had to turn around to see behind you “back in the day”. It’s a near certainty that we won’t know what Chester wants until Saturday, the question is how will he kill the next four days? My educated guess: moronic comic book banter. But you already knew that.


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The Purity of Fandom is Never Tainted by the Coin of Commerce.

Link to today’s strip. Note: Comics Kingdom has finally awakened.

First of all, let me apologize for recycling a phrase for a blog post title, but I must confess I liked that phrase so much that I thought it deserved a bit of immortality.  Surely, if Tom Batiuk can resurrect the moronic whimsy he concocted when he was ten years old, I can re-employ a phrase from just last week.  Especially when mine is so much better.

Sunday’s strip was not available for preview, probably because it’s terrible and extra time would just mean extra critiques.  My guess this time is that we’ll remain with The Story of Chester Hagglemore, Bounder and Cad, Volume Eighteen, but every time I guess at these things it’s like Bullwinkle trying to pull a rabbit out of a hat.   Except Bullwinkle was funny.  This strip…not so much.

So, here’s a nice painting of the seashore.

Speaking of funny, thus ends my time in the Cylinder of Despair; taking over, starting tomorrow, your master of ceremonies will be Epicus Doomus.  His posts are guaranteed to be funnier than this comic strip.  While admittedly that’s not much of a stretch, Epicus definitely brings the entertainment…while certain cartoonists we might name adamantly refuse to do the same.  Hail Epicus!


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