WHY???!

Link To Today’s Strip

Ban Tom Inc., the undisputed master of dropping stories, taking inexplicable breaks then going back to the old story again later, picks up Pete’s “Mister Sponge” comic arc with the issue already published and ready for sale. That sure was fast. And our old pal Owen now represents the army of devoted comic book dorks exploding in outrage over TAMS’ outrageous plot twist (the death of Absorbine Jr. or whatever it was), the very same comic book dorks Bantom was mocking just a few short weeks ago. So, should we be chuckling (ha) at his daffy comic book fan antics or should we be mocking him for being such a huge nerd? Is that way too much thought to be putting into the latest installment of Ban Tom’s ever-expanding list of fictional titles within a fictional title?

“Hot off the rack”. So is there some sort of comic book protocol that dictates that a new comic book must be placed in a comic book rack by a trained comic book professional before it can be sold to a comic book fan? Or is it like a regional thing, like how you can buy fireworks in Pennsylvania but only if you’re from out of state? I know, I know, too much thought again.

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24 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

24 responses to “WHY???!

  1. SpacemanSpiff85

    Only Tom Batiuk would think “a comic book reader is shocked by something” makes for a cliffhanger.
    And wasn’t the whole point of that storyline that the editors were going to spoil the big surprise ahead of time, on Twitter? Then why is Owen so shocked now? I guess Batiuk’s glee at sticking it to the internet made him forget about the plot.

  2. My first thought was Meryl Streep in Into the Woods: “WHOOOOOO CARES?!?”

  3. Nathan Obral

    If Batom®’s goal in life is to make Brooke McEldowney’s tripe tolerable by comparison, then I guess he’s attaining that goal with gusto.

    Batom® Silver Age-era comic book fetish has so monopolized this strip that it just needs to be cancelled outright, if not to salvage for him whatever shards of dignity remain. He literally has run out of ideas.

  4. I’m back. And things still haven’t changed, apparently. (*Sigh*)

  5. Epicus Doomus

    SpacemanSpiff85: excellent point. The whole idea behind killing off Absorbine Jr was to generate a huge internet buzz that would fuel sales. Yet Owen, right in their stated target audience, is totally unaware until he sees the issue.

    And not only that, he does a cliffhanger even though WE already know what Owen is upset about. Thus it’s a fake cliffhanger which, when you think about it, is as dumb as it gets.

  6. Gyre

    Remember, it’s that the Sponge guy is actually a clone. The sidekick getting killed off was this weird dream that Pete had.

    And since this is supposed to be a comic strip that has a lot of continuity and history, I see nothing wrong with pointing out that it was made clear that the Amazing Mr. Sponge was supposed to be this super special comic that was really, really popular. So of course the editors would push the writer to take it in a drastically different direction. Because they seem to operate on the principle of when something’s not just not broken, but actively doing better than most comparable works, you should do your best to completely change it.

  7. @Epicus and SpacemanSpiff – remember, though, Owen is a moron. So there’s that factor.

  8. batgirl

    I guess Owen, being a Good Comics Fan, never looked at the nasty internet, and so only the Naughty Internutters were spoiled and he was spared. Until now.

  9. Here and I thought that Joe Quesada held modern-day comics fans in contempt. We’re staring down the barrel of a long, inane lecture about how spoiled and soft young people are for expecting a consistent continuity when good comics fans accept asspulls and like it.

  10. DOlz

    @batgirl, not only Owen, but John to. Look at his expression in the last panel, it shouts “What did something interesting happen in the comic?” Of course that’s more of TB’s 1/4″ from reality, because comic book store owners never look at the catalog of upcoming titles with descriptions of the stories to decide how many to order.

  11. So, unlike every other comic book with a “shocking revelation” in its story, this one has not a single hint on the cover…you know, the thing people look at when deciding what to buy.

    Yeah. this is totally how reality works.

  12. bad wolf

    Actual comics are ordered a couple of months ahead of time when the distributor puts out a catalog of what’s going to be released. They try to build excitement in the public (who can request the comic ahead of time to make sure the store orders enough) long before day of release. Much like, say, TB does a softball interview or a blog post six months ahead of anything coming in this strip to spoil it.

    “…hot off the rack, which i won’t bother to draw.” Seriously, who does that?

  13. Nathan Obral

    The continuous appearance of bricks in the strip is oddly fitting. After all, Funky Winkerbean is now the Hack-A-Shaq of newspaper comic strips… throwing up brick after brick until the cows come home.

  14. billytheskink

    I don’t always buy comic books (because they haven’t been printing Uncle Scrooge lately), but when I do, I walk 2 yards from the sales counter and read the climax of the story immediately…

  15. captaincab

    Did Batiuk ever used to do this many comic book related stories? Oh well, as lame as this will be, I’ll take “hur hur nerds’ reactions to comics” over the last two week’s insufferably moronic Buddy Blog story.

    @billytheskink :

    “I don’t always buy comic books (because they haven’t been printing Uncle Scrooge lately…”

    The only comics I have time for are the classic Barks and Rosa Scrooge/Donald adventures, IDW’s Godzilla series and the occasional Spiderman or Alan Moore Batman. Speaking of Scrooge comics, Fantagraphics has some amazingly deluxe Barks and Rosa hardcover collections out now, been meaning to pick a few up. It’s an awful shame Rosa can no longer draw due to his failing eyesight. Been following his excellent stories since the 80s when Gladstone was carrying the Disney license. And Barks, what legend. There was a reason George Lucas and Steven Speilberg attended his tribute party at Disney.

  16. sgtsaunders

    In a twisted turn of events behind Pete’s back, the Editors, those Nattering Nabobs of Comic-Book Negativism have rewritten the Death of Mr. Sponge, instead turning Mr. Sponge into a contraceptive.

  17. Professor Fate

    Where is the ad for Girt Magazine! I was thinking of signing up.
    One thing here that continues to bother me – nowhere has the author explained or even hinted at why the clone story line would upset readers so much – there are reasons that the Spider-Man Clone saga is not well regarded among fanboys but here we don’t have a clue or any investment in the storyline so a reader’s reaction to Owen’s outrage is “so?”. Using an over the top analogy this is like somebody telling the story of Moby Dick without mentioning that reason that Ahab is angry is because Moby Dick took his leg.

  18. Also, I guess John took down all the posters and such that used to adorn the place–those two walls look awfully bare.

  19. A rambling podcast which sounds like it was recorded while driving (stoned) by a guy who repeatedly pronounces it “Bat-ti-yuk.” (Skip to 2:35)

    COMIC BOOK NOISE 473: Host Derek Coward talks about Funky Winkerbean and other comic strips.

  20. A little late with this, but this should be the last panel of every FW strip from now on:

    You must have Batiuk blood!
    You must have Batiuk blood!
  21. @TFH – listening to that guy for 20 minutes was like reading Funky Winkerbean.

  22. @beckoningchasm 20 minutes? I lasted less than 10! I sent a rather uncomplimentary tweet and must say I felt chastened by the reply:

  23. Epicus Doomus

    I tried but he lost me maybe ten minutes in. He was meandering like a two-week-long Les & Cayla conversation there and that ain’t good.

  24. I “listened” to the whole thing, but I admit my attention drifted in and out. Like watching “The Star Wars Holiday Special” it was a unique experience that will not be repeated.