Cuckoo for Cocoa.

Link to today’s strip

Comic Book Harriet, back in the saddle again. Taking over spurring this dead horse to flop listlessly forward another two weeks. I want to thank TFH for gallantly riding us through three weeks of absolute comic book nonsense. I don’t know if I had it in my heart to handle the cringe of Chester awkwardly trying to buy Ruby’s affections and/or loyalty.

If you weren’t paying attention to the clothing change, you might think that today’s strip was a continuation of Sunday. But no, they’re just plopped in front of the TV again on another day.

A couple questions. Who is playing? Why do they care so much? Must be an Ohio team. The jerseys of the two giants being shouted at by Danny Devito on the TV are on the red spectrum. Scapegoats matches would not be on TV right? The Cleveland Cavaliers have wine red jerseys. Ohio State has scarlet. University of Cincinnati is red. Youngstown State is cardinal. And Miami University in Oxford Ohio (founded in 1809)is also just plain old red.

Something we cannot question is this strip’s weird fixation on hot cocoa. Look at Funky lurching compulsively off the couch in search of hot sugar water. I mean, I really only drink the stuff once in a blue moon, usually around Christmas. Westviewians seem to use in all seasons it as some kind of comfort currency. I looked around, but this doesn’t seem to be a specifically Ohio or Great Lakes thing.

Batiuk does like to have his characters drinking something in strip. Making and offering each other drinks. Coffee usually, sometimes cold beverages, occasionally tea. I’m guessing it gives them a little something to do at in the panel rather than stare at each other seemingly motionless blathering inane dialogue. And I get it. My parent’s marriage entirely revolves around drinking coffee in proximity to each other.

But Cocoa seems to have a special place in his heart. As the beverage of choice when he wants to make his characters unbearably twee and childlike.

But Funky seems to have a special affinity for it. In a really creepy way.

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Binge and Bungle

It must have been a combination of the dramatic lighting plus Holly’s come-hither look: “How about ‘ Mozart in the Jungle‘” sounded to me like some code word for sexytime! I didn’t know it was a series on Amazon. One that I guess TB enjoys watching, perhaps at home in the evening with the missus. Which I suppose is how he was inspired to come up with today’s strip. After a three week story arc set in Atomik Komix Cloud Cuckoo Land, Batty’s finally back to writing what he knows. And here at SoSF, we binge-read and write about Funky Winkerbean, and your guide for the next fortnight will be comicbookharriet!

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Chester M’Boy

hitorque
February 21, 2020 at 2:13 pm
…I FINALLY FIGURED IT OUT!! Chester the Molester is supposed to be Bruce Wayne, but instead of fighting crime through an alter ego, his mission is to right all of the wrongs of the comics industry while saving the entire genre for posterity singlehanded…

Well that would make at least as much sense as whatever has gone on around here this week! Bought off his conscience? Chester’s really not guilty of anything, aside from being a rich nerd. Unless the guilt he feels is over having built his entire fortune on all those comics he stole from the drugstore as a kid. In which case it’s going to take more than selling off one rare comic–which he owns in triplicate–to truly fix his karma.

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Pant the Load Right On Me

I right away had to look up “pantload;” not as a prerequisite for moving it to the Batiuktionary, but because I understood it to be a pejorative. It’s what you might call someone who’s clueless and unpleasant: “Chester’s a real pantload.” Indeed, over at urbandictionary you can find some pretty colorful definitions. More um, sophisticated reference sources, however, support Ruby’s usage: a nicer way to say a “metric shit ton” of a given thing.

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Bye Bye Miss American Buy

Sensing that Ruby isn’t going to be an easy lay after all, Chester resorts to a combination of flattery and bribery. Ruby’s mistrust of the Chiseler is on display again. For him to attempt to ravish her or shake her down for money would be more plausible than him (awkwardly) handing over the Miss American cover art for which he’d paid big bucks.

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Give It Away, Give It Away, Give It Away Now

Maybe Chester recently learned he’s only got a few weeks to live? Why else would the one they called “the Chiseler suddenly acting so generous? If we’re talking about this particular cover, by “rights” it belongs to neither of them: Ruby admitted to having smuggled it out of her old place of work. I guess posession is nine tenths of the law.

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Stranded in a Limousine

“First time in a limo, Ruby?” “In a limo this small.” How squicky is today’s strip? Only when Chester’s tiny Town Car pulls up to the gates of his mansion does Ruby realize that they’ve taken a detour. Rather than just explain his “reason for stopping here first” (preferably before they get there), Chester turns even more creepy than usual, sitting thisclose to Ruby in what is supposed to be a big car. The sight of his O.J.-like black gloves do nothing to put her at ease.

spacemanspiff85
February 17, 2020 at 12:59 am
I really wonder if Batiuk overheard something about Me Too in the news about a year ago and thought “Inappropriate workplace advances? I bet I can get a week’s worth of strips out of that!” and thus this strip was born.

There are tons of ways that TB could have wrought a chuckle out of this setup without invoking #MeToo. But he goes there, naturally, and in the most hamfisted way imaginable: as if  the #MeToo movement had a switchboard with operators standing by to take your call.

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