Link to today’s strip.

Well, Darin sure looks dumbfounded by today’s revelation, but I suspect that’s his default state anyway.   And across town, at Mega Comics headquarters, that one editor (who looks like Sesame Street’s Grover has shaved his face) looks equally astonished.   He may be thinking, “Haven’t we gone over this road several dozen times in comics?  Spider-Man was a clone for a while…comic books these days seem packed to the gills with clones…”

(That’s my hazy recollection.  Unlike some I could name, I haven’t followed comics for several decades so all my info is second-hand.)

GroverShave may also be thinking something along the lines of, “Say, isn’t this a really stupid idea?  Why would a hero’s arch-enemy clone that hero, rather than kill him?  Is the clone programmed to let Doctor Centipede free just as he’s about to capture him?  Isn’t that kind of annoying, having his schemes stopped all the time by his own creation?  Should Pete go back to his old job of bringing us coffee, while simultaneously shutting up?”

And here we have the number one problem with “tell, don’t show.”  Since we’ve never had a glimpse of The Amazing Mister Sponge (or TAMS for short), much less any hint of his adventures, none of this means anything to anyone.  So what if TAMS is a clone?  It changes nothing.  Our lives, hitherto untouched by TAMS, have not had their courses altered in the slightest by this latest development.   Even the characters here are just chatting–there’s certainly no hint at all of Pete bemoaning that he is being asked to change the nature of his signature character into something else.  There’s no sense of loss, or dreams slipping away, or anything…it’s just another day for Pete, and like most days, it ends with your creations ground down under commercial pressures.

Or so we assume, again.  Pete looks excited in the last panel, but is that because the idea appeals to him, or is he simply desperate to keep his job?  Without a hint, we’re just looking at bad drawings spouting bad dialogue, with nothing to tie either to any human experience.

I hate to say it, but the scenario below has more of a connection with an audience–any audience.

Yes…above, everything revolves around Les, as Tom Batiuk clearly wants.  But at least in this scenario, there’s someone we can hate.  The Amazing Mister Sponge?  I have no opinion about him one way or the other.  I’ve been given no opportunity to form an opinion of any kind…which, given the reception Mr. Batiuk’s work usually gathers, may be by design.




Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

23 responses to “Ex-Sponged

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Why would Mister Sponge’s son’s name be Absorbing Jr.? Is there an Absorbing Sr. too? And look how quickly Boy Lisa went from “co-star” to being totally eliminated from the story.

  2. SpacemanSpiff85

    Thank goodness we were told he cloned a duplicate. As opposed to the other things you normally clone.

  3. Rick Brooks

    I guess this is the ‘joke’?

  4. I think it would be a lot more interesting if Absorbing, Jr. turns against his father and exacts revenge for the humiliation of being named Absorbing, Jr.

  5. I decided to try Googling “Mr. Sponge” and got this result:

    I have to say, Mr. Sponge looks quite dapper. I’d certainly prefer reading about his adventures than those of his “amazing” namesake…

  6. Epicus Doomus

    How did he miss calling the villain “The Wringer” here? “Oh no…your moisture!!!”. That’s the really nutty thing about these weird comic book fantasies, somehow they’re even dumber than the actual strip is. He can go anywhere with it, yet it inevitable ends up at the corner of Stupid and Lame.

  7. On another note, I remember a gag cartoon from “Comics Buyer’s Guide” from decades ago, showing the Marvel Comics villain Absorbing Man (who had the power to transform his body into any substance that he touched, by “absorbing” its properties) beaming with pride as he introduced his previously-unrevealed son, Absorbing Jr.
    I wish I could remember who did that cartoon (was it Fred Hembeck? Chas Gillen?)…so I could suggest they file a cease & desist against Batiuk.

  8. Jon I Am

    Blah blah blah…why do I give a shit about any of this?

    (Pardon my French)

  9. DOlz

    I understand Absorbing Jr., changed his name to Squarepants and has gone on to a very successful career.

  10. Boring conclusion. All that “buildup” for nothing. But we knew that already, so…on a side note, I’m not going to lie, Pete’s got some pretty groovy-looking hair in the first panel. Inconsistent, of course, but still not a bad style. I assume that his pay is good; he earns enough to keep himself well-supplied with enough hair gel to groom himself between panels.

    It was hard, but at last I’ve found the strip’s best character: Pete’s Hair!

  11. Nathan Obral

    This is how self-absorbed “Funky Winkerbean” has become…

  12. @Nathan Obral: Now that’s funny!

  13. SpacemanSpiff85

    Is it possible Pete works for a fake company? The logo looks handwritten on a piece of poster board, and you’d think somebody at a meeting like that would have a computer or tablet with them. Or a female. Or a minority.

  14. More talky-talk that’s meant to make Marvel look ridiculous that backfires and makes Batiuk look like stupid, petty and self-absorbed also-ran who’s bitter because he coulda been a contender….if he had talent and brains.


    So let me guess..in tomorrow’s strip Mister Sponge makes a pack with Satan to save Doctor Centipede at the sacrifice of his clone son?

    Tommy, Tommy, Tommy…..referencing other bad comics doesn’t make yours better.. Garbage in Garbage doesn’t create gold. Just more garbage.

  16. billytheskink

    Mega Comics? Anyone remember when Pete allegedly wrote Superman stories for DC? And before that was employed by Marvel?
    Sounds like someone received a C&D letter…

    Why would a hero’s arch-enemy clone that hero, rather than kill him?
    Didn’t the Nazi’s capture and clone Winston Churchill and was it not the clone who wound up delivering the “We will fight on beaches” speech? Pretty sure I saw that on the History Channel one afternoon.

  17. Professor Fate

    Leaving aside the utter stupid absurdity of the cloning idea (Hey kid I’ve got to clone – Firesign Theater) and the awful joke about Absorbing Jr. Just how is this supposed to make this comic grim and gritty? Really – how does this solve mopey Pete’s problem?

  18. Nathan Obral


    Mega Comics? Anyone remember when Pete allegedly wrote Superman stories for DC? And before that was employed by Marvel?
    Sounds like someone received a C&D letter…

    Or the price that Batom® had to pay in order for Stan Lee to write a forward for his “Complete Funky Winkerbean” series. “Tommy, I’ll write this for you, under the condition that you never ever ever mention Marvel Comics or any of its related characters by name ever again.”

    More likely, however, is that The Walt Disney Company – which bought Marvel Comics not long ago – enforced the trademarks and threw up a C&D letter to Batom® after the last Mopey Pete sighting. (After all, they lobby like fiends to extend the duration of a federal trademark so that Mickey Mouse can never fall into the public domain.)

    I have no clue about TimeWarner and their trademark enforcement of DC properties. But it’s pretty obvious that Batom® created Starbuck Jones as a slam on DC for not granting him permission to bloviate about the Silver Age-era Flash.

    And after how Batom®’s lawyers threw up a C&D against SoSF and TFH, I’m of the position that this is sweet, sweet karma coming back to bite Batom® in the butt.

  19. Jimmy

    Instead of the sponge, I would rather read about that ICBM wrestler I’ve been hearing so much about on this blog. That, or just Epicus Dommus parodies.

    I don’t have any experience in the comic book world, but I do understand marketing. If we came to a pitch without a storyboard, we would be shown the door.

  20. DOlz

    @Nathan Obral, “And after how Batom®’s lawyers threw up a C&D against SoSF and TFH, I’m of the position that this is sweet, sweet karma coming back to bite Batom® in the butt.”

    Without that C&D I might never have heard about SoSF. So I guess I have to thank TB for being a jackass about it. Ah, the power of the Streisand Effect these idiots never learn.

  21. bayoustu

    I’m curious about Comic Book Guy in the header; to what is he reacting so vehemently?! Surely, it can’t be anything Mopey O’ Mope said or did- as he’s never done anything in the history of this strip that would prompt any sort of response other than mild ennui and perhaps a stifled belch. But I’m hoping against hope (Which should be this strip’s motto; or maybe “Betting Against Hope”…) that he WILL break character and do something completely insane involving a Montoni’s pizza, a key platinum issue of Starbuck Jones, and a small patch of brown liquid.