Oy Vey! Vetik in di Tuchus!

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Ruby, your Yiddish is showing. I don’t know if Batiuk is using the word tuchus to tell us that Ruby is Jewish, or just from New York. I’d give him some minor props if its the former since Jews had an proportionally outsized influence on early comics. For more information see great books like Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics, and the Creation of the Superhero and Up, Up, and Oy Vey! How Jewish History, Culture, and Values Shaped The Comic Book Superhero.

But then again Yiddishisms have migrated their way into the common national slang, especially in New York. For more research on that read The Joys of Yiddish. Either way, one word has hinted at more character and backstory than Mindy has gotten in decades of serving as a prop to display Crankshaft on.

Now that the Amazon deep dive is over, what the frag does Ruby mean by ‘as a woman’? I seriously hope that Batiuk intends to delve into this further with specific examples of how her gender made things more difficult. Otherwise this phrase is empty and meaningless. Because comic creating has always been a pain in the ass, regardless of gender, both in reality and in the reality of this strip.

Batiuk has drawn from the well of comic creators’ misery many, many, many, many times. We had Pete raked over the coals for writing ‘The Amazing Mr. Sponge’ while Lord of the Late loomed over him, and the comic company made demands for a ‘Clone Saga’. We had all those implied-to-be-canon musings by Darin and Pete over how hard it was to be in the Batom pool ‘back in the day’. If either of those situations could have been made appreciably worse by a bra, I’d like to see it. Sure the bosses could have been sexist, but we’ve already seen that they’re willing to bully, demean, and steal the ideas of males.

It’s not that much worse if someone treats you with the same callous regard as the men, but with the addendum that they’re doing it because you’re a woman. That’s not sexism, that’s a sexist who treats everyone like crap.

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No Doubt- Just a Colorist.

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Mindy is the only colorist they have right? Unless they’re outsourcing to some cheap autofill color warehouse. So lets chalk one up to Ruby passive-aggressively damning with faint praise.

Going to give a little credit where it’s due here. Colorists have traditionally been one of the lowest things on the comic totem pole, below writers and pencilers, and either equal or slightly below inkers. The only thing lower are the poor letterers. Also there are a slightly higher percentage of female colorists than there are writers or pencilers. I remember talking to a female Transformers comic colorist at a con several years ago, and she was very self deprecating. Compare that with the rockstar reaction some of the line artists got.

Which is a shame because colorists now have way more of an impact on the comic’s aesthetic than the old days of flat four color printing. Computer printing on glossy pages allows every panel to be it’s own mini painting, sometimes quite literally (Alex Ross! Mah Maaahn!)Most line artists these days realize how collaborative the work is, and will praise their colorists to the heavens. Male or female, they’re now getting their due.

But to counter the ‘accuracy’, some criticism from our own Epicus Doomus yesterday. I wanted to quote it, because I’d been thinking the same thing and he said it much better than I could.

It needs to be pointed out here that Mindy got into the comic book business because she was visiting her boyfriend at work, thus any attempts to portray her as some sort of flag-bearing trailblazer will be, uh, quite disingenuous, at best. Also bear in mind that her prior job involved helping her brother (I think) run a broken down old movie house. Perhaps if he wasn’t so lazy BatYak could have written Mindy as a young woman eager to blaze that trail through the (sigh) comic book business, but he chose otherwise. Like many of his female characters, she pretty much stumbled into it while catering to a man. For reference see: Holly, Becky, Jessica, Cindy.

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Speaking Truth to Powergirl.

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Sorry for the late post. The strip wasn’t available for preview so I wanted to wait for it to drop. Boy I’m sure glad I did! *eye-roll sarcasm*

As a female who enjoys comic books…I’ve pretty much heard it all too. And by heard it all, I’ve had a few scattered males ask me about my ‘unique’ viewpoint on comic books. And my ‘unique’ viewpoint is the radical idea that sometimes there’s a little too much TNA fanservice. That’s it.

It’s a male dominated medium to an extent, but not some kind of misogynistic boys club, and it hasn’t been for a long time. Gail Simone’s been writing comics since 2002! There were a couple female Transformers comic writers in the last couple years.

And Batiuk is willfully erasing female centric history by ignoring the fact that Ruby here would have been a comic writer at the height of the Teen Romance comics. Does he even remember that these exist? Or because they aren’t spandex or space monkeys he doesn’t consider them ‘true’ comics.

Let us celebrate women in comics with a little Wikipedia Copy Pasta

“Comic books, as well, have been produced by a number of female artists.

One publisher in particular, Fiction House, used many female cartoonists, both on staff and through Eisner & Iger, one of the era’s comics “packagers” that would supply comic books on demand to publishers testing the emerging medium. Action and adventure-oriented genres were popular at this time, and Fiction House’s forte was capable and beautiful female protagonists, working as pilots, detectives, or jungle adventuresses. Women working for the publisher include Lily Renée, at the Lambiek Comiclopedia Fran Hopper and future romance artists Ruth Atkinson and Ann Brewster. These stories were frequently written by a female writer, as well: Ruth Roche, later an editor. Before finding fame as a crime novelist, Patricia Highsmith wrote for Black Terror and other comic books.

In the 1950s Marie Severin, sister of artist John Severin, was a frequent EC and Atlas/Marvel colorist, later drawing her own stories as well. Her cartoon style made her a frequent contributor to Marvel’s Not Brand Echh satirical title of the late 1960s. Another prolific artist was Ramona Fradon, who drew Aquaman and was co-creator of Metamorpho.

Later artists and writers include Ann Nocenti (creator of Typhoid Mary and Longshot), Louise Simonson (Power Pack writer), June Brigman (Power Pack artist), Gail Simone (Welcome to Tranquility), Devin Grayson (Batman writer), Becky Cloonan, the first female Batman artist.,[10] Marjorie Liu (The Amazing X-Men writer), Sara Pichelli (Ultimate Spider-Man artist), G. Willow Wilson (Ms. Marvel), Amanda Conner (Power Girl artist), and Kelly Sue DeConnick (Pretty Deadly, Bitch Planet) at Image Comics.”

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Seasoned Storytelling.

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Mindy’s been so dumb the last week, I’m half surprised panel two didn’t go like this:
Mindy: “You drew this on my shirt!? You live in Sri Lanka? Because that’s where it says the shirt came from! I knew it was ‘custom’ but wow,and it only cost me 30 bucks! Does it get tiring drawing on shirts all day?”

And sure you’re seasoned. I bet you’ve got a lovely Blue Emu rub all over your arthritic hands, combined with peppermint essential oils. Embalmed is not the same as seasoned.

As many pointed out yesterday, how many famous old artists and actors does Batiuk intend to shove into the twilight years of his strip? At this point we’re up to five or six random octogenarians wandering in the strip so younger characters can show their comics cred by squeebleing all over them.

That vaguely Maoist hat, combined with a granola munching quirky appearance, makes me suspicious of this plotline though. Like we’re about to get a ‘serious’ story about how a woman was idealistic about America in the old days of institutionalized racism, sexism, and South Asian proxy wars, but now that Trump is in office she’s realized the error of her ways now supports Bolshevism.

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There She Is…Miss American

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Many apologies for the late post.

An odd plot related strip for a Sunday. Batiuk seems to prefer to keep Sundays self-contained and make sure there’s a joke, in order to placate the Sunday only papers and readers. This strip must seem absolutely nonsensical to people who only read the Sunday funnies.

But we learned something today. This elderly gallery owner was also involved in comics. Because everyone everywhere in the Batiukverse was involved with producing comic book related material at some point in their life.

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Nocturnal Dietitians

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So they left an hour after the fair closed…and then drove a funnel cake to the Bedside Manor? How late is it? Our county fair closes at 10:00, and I’m guessing that is about standard. It’s got to be approaching midnight. What kind of nursing home lets people just wander in at midnight?

And poor old Gramps has been abandoned alone in his wheelchair, completely clothed, in the middle of the night. Where’s the nurse on call? The only reason he’s calm and smiling is from huffing the cheap nitrous oxide they slip into his ‘oxygen’ tanks to keep him passive and pliable. What kind of cut-rate elder warehouse is this? The kind where the miserable staff hide from the patients in their break room snitching jello snacks and swapping pills.

I mean, look at the heavy lidded eyes of the lady in panel one and tell me she isn’t baked out of her mind on a delicious cocktail of the nursing home specials, oxycontin, seroquel, vicodin, and Miralax. Dinkle could come marching in with an entire rock band, and she would barely be able to blink.

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Scare Thee Well.

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Well Mindy has not only annoyed all the exhausted carnies cleaning up the grounds by sticking around an hour after close, she’s now terrified them by randomly shouting into the darkness.

And we’re supposed to be touched as Mindy waxes all nostalgic about a fair trip where they stood in one place for upwards of five hours and blew several hundred dollars on a Tawny the Not-Talking Tiger rip off?

I just realized that the Tiger is Mindy. They were both handed out as a prize to someone who hadn’t really done anything to earn them except hang around too long being pathetic. Pete was just as enthusiastic to get Mindy as she was to get the tiger. Both are pretending they’ve won something great when in reality they’ve been given a cheaply made air-filled squeeze toy by a bored uncaring carnie clown who is tired of waiting for his shift to end.

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