The Clone Bores

Link To Today’s Strip

Well, there isn’t much to say about this one as it’s just a continuation of yesterday’s Owen reaction scene featuring the “geek rage” that Tom Ban finds so very amusing. At least someone does, I guess. I mean sure, “teenager wildly overreacts to relatively trivial development” has been a standard FW trope since day one so bagging on today’s strip for that is like complaining about the way Ban Tom draws noses, it’s more or less a constant.

The only real question is where is he going (if anywhere) with this? My guess is he’ll do five days of this then have Owen say he’ll definitely keep buying Mister Sponge anyway as an astonished John looks on like he’s never seen an irrational comic book dork before. It’s the simplest and thus most likely outcome. I guess he could segue into Owen going online and acting like one of the whackadoos and twit tots he was mocking a few weeks ago, but that seems like an awful lot of activity and plot momentum for FW. He could also cut back to Pete and his reaction to the reaction to his comic book, but again, that’s a lot of activity for a weekly FW arc.

What I don’t get is what he’s trying to say about “comic book fans” with this stuff. Are we supposed to laugh along with them for being the lovable little comic book-obsessed scamps they are? Are we supposed to be laughing AT them for being such moronic gullible losers? It’s all very unclear sometimes.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

26 responses to “The Clone Bores

  1. Oh my god, it’s freaking generic plot twist.

  2. DOlz

    On reading Owen’s monologue in the second panel my only thought was, that’s the saddest and most pathetic thing I’ve ever read.

  3. SpacemanSpiff85

    What I’m taking as Batiuk’s message here is that comic books should of course be the focus of your life, and every conversation you have should revolve around them, and all your spare time and money should be spent on them, but if you dare react negatively to them or criticize the writing, you’re a obsessive dork.

  4. Expecting Tom Batiuk to be clear about something is like expecting whales to tap dance.

  5. “Wait a minute! When did Adolf Hitler become the bad guy?!”

  6. Not sure if Owen’s overreaction is meant to be entertaining or a parody of those of us who Batiuk doesn’t particularly care for. I’m veering towards the latter, because Owen hasn’t been entertaining AT ALL since he suddenly “got smart”. Now he’s just another Nordic!

  7. Batiuk is the last person who should be holding people who overreact about comic books in contempt.

  8. JerrytheMacGuy

    From The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror VIII and quoted on

    Comic Book Guy: [Glibly walking down sidewalk while reading comic book] But Aquaman, you cannot marry a woman without gills. You’re from two different worlds!
    [the nuclear missile closes in on him]
    Comic Book Guy: Oohh, I’ve wasted my life…
    [mushroom cloud]

  9. Epicus Doomus

    I think I may have finally figured this whole Mister Sponge arc out. I think that what this may be is a homage of sorts to the good old days when you had to have your major geek breakdowns in a brick and mortar (emphasis: brick) comic book shop on the day an issue hit the racks, as opposed to “now” where every comic book plot twist has been blogged and tweeted a billion times before the issue is even released. He misses the days when you’d rant and rave about a particularly awful plot twist with the one weirdo who worked at the comic book store, unlike today where you rant and rave with ten thousand other weirdos you can’t even see or smell. To each there own, I suppose. But still, it IS an awfully weird and specific thing to yearn for, IMO.

  10. Me, I’m expecting John to take four days to channel Lynn Johnston and simper that only when people are content is a comic book real life. When people get upset, it’s just a funny book so don’t write angry letters about how stupid and passive Cindy is for not suing ABC into the Proterozoic.

  11. @Epicus Doomus: There is an added factor to the nostalgia. Good comics fans flip out when the thing is actually published instead of ‘cheating’ and flipping out about spoilers.

  12. A HREF

    But if he’s a clone then he is the same as the oroginal Amazing Mr. Sponge, right (with a shorten life span as clones often exhibit? And now Owen gets two Mr. Sponges (what is the plural of sponge–sponge or sponges). Kind of like two chullos for the price of one.

  13. billytheskink

    Huh, crazy. I had a similar reaction to Owen’s panel 2 tirade when I first saw that Wally was being referred to as Funky’s cousin instead of his nephew. It’s one of the great dangers of having a worldview rooted in comics…

  14. captaincab

    Again, Monday and Tuesday could have easily been fit into a single strip. But no, let’s just string out Owen’s silly reaction to initially opening a new comic book over 5 days. Lazy and tedious all in one.

  15. Professor Fate

    ah…I might be wrong but wasn’t the plot twist that Mopey Pete was having such a tough time about (art vs commerce don’t ya know) was that the Sponge’s sidekick Absorbing Jr. is the clone? When did the Sponge guy become the clone? If this is the case did the Author forget or thought we would? I’m puzzled.
    Another puzzling thing here is that since love of comic books has been presented in this strip as the most noble and purest love there exists – except for that of the creepy surrogate Mother figures who bring child men cookies and hot chocolate while they read said comic books – I find this mocking of Owen odd. Unless the mocking is because he is reading he wrong comic books.
    All this said, I do wish the author was fixate on something else for a while – baseball cards, or Persian Rugs or records – the storylines would be of course tedious but they would not be burdened with the additional ‘oh god he’s taking about comic books again’ feeling.


    You know…I’m the biggest fan of Spider-Man. When the “Clone Saga” started, did you know what I did? I just stopped reading and went on with my life. And why did I stop reading? Was it because the story jarringly changed my believes about Spider-Man? No, I stopped reading because the writing and the story lines were fucking terrible! That’s why people hated the “Clone Saga” And that is why people hate Funky Winkerbean, Mr. Batiuk.

  17. Nathan Obral

    Considering that Batom® Owen managed to butcher the meaning of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and a non-existent sub plot in “King Kong” in two separate Sunday panels, his “understanding of how the universe works” was always meant to be totally demolished.

  18. Spacemanspiff85

    @Professor Fate:
    I think the travesty was that the sponge who’d been in the strip all along was a clone, so Absorbing wasn’t actually Sponge’s son. Except since the readers have never seen the real Sponge, I don’t see why that really would matter.

  19. Nathan Obral

    Is A&E still running “Intervention?” Because Batom® needs one, and needs it badly.

    The first step to recovery is to admit that you have a problem. And Batom® has completely run out of storyline ideas for “Funky Winkerbean.” Thus, his comic book fetish that has clearly morphed into a full-blown obsession that has monopolized the strip and made him the laughingstock of the entire industry, but he is too self-absorbed and arrogant to notice.

  20. captaincab

    I still haven’t read the Clones storyline but I was around for what was in my opinion, the worst Spiderman arc, “The One More Day” fiasco where Aunt May was on her death bed (after being shot which was one of many consequences due to Peter publically revealing his idenitity on behalf of Team Stark during the Civil War, being the loveable but easily taken advantge of schlub that he is) and Peter saved her and undid everything, *even folks’ memory of the press conference* by selling his soul to the devil.
    J. Michael Stracsynski was so outraged, he demanded that Joe Quesada remove his name from the credits of that issue but Stracsynski compromised when Quesada said he would share co-writing credit and take part of the fall. According to Stracsynski when he confronted him over how stupid it was and how it made no sense, Quesada just kept repeating ‘It doesn’t matter because it’s magic.’ Stracsynski’s then left since “it’s magic!” was obviously a childishly lazy and ludicrous way to undo all conseuqences of the previous arc.

  21. @captaincab: It gets worse. That’s because Joephisto wanted his marriage to go away so people could relate to him again. Yeah. Sure. People can really identify with a thirty-something loser living with his elderly aunt whose sole source of income is selling selfies of himself in a zentai to a guy who looks like Hitler.

  22. I don’t really think any of this has to do with comic books per se. What we’ve been seeing over the last few years is much simpler: Tom Batiuk wakes up on Monday morning, looks over his cast of characters, and thinks Okay, who am I going to make miserable this week? Whose turn is it to get humiliated or discouraged? Other than Les Moore, of course.

    Everything else is just details.

  23. captaincab

    @Paul Jones

    That’s right, forgot that was also his reason. Like which fans were desperate Peter go back to living with Aunt May and being a sad sack loser again unless he thought that would appeal to hardcore fans of the Tobey Maguire/Sam Raimi movies? Which were good movies (in my opinion, 3 not so much, the Andrew Garfield flicks are terrible) but that would be stretching it as they obviously had their own mythology.

  24. Epicus Doomus

    That one parody strip should read “Cody”, not Cory, of course.

  25. bad wolf

    @captaincab–re: OMD–yeah, it sounded like a pretty bonehead move, but in all fairness Stracsynski’s had his share of boners in the comics over the years. I know that B5 carries a lot of weight with readers but… Superman walking across America (which he abandoned halfway through)? Not a huge improvement.

    Marvel and DC have really had to pull some dumb stunts to try to put their toys back the way they were when they started… which in most cases was back to interchangeable white guys from the 50s/60s. Maybe they can only provide the illusion of change for so long until they all end up like Archie.