What a Clone

I know that among the readers here at SoSF are a number of you who “get” comics and the comics industry. While I haven’t picked up a comic book since they cost 12¢ and bore the stamp of the Comics Code Authority (the Silver Age, I reckon), I respect and understand the fandom. So, comic book people, is any of this arc making sense to you? Because it’s giving me a migraine.

Who even said anything about “killing off the clone“? Batiuk almost (almost) succeeds in making me feel sorry for Pete, as once again he is forced to listen in bug-eyed perplexity as this three-headed monster of an editorial team finishes each others’ sentences and even speaks in unison, grinning maniacally the whole while.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

25 responses to “What a Clone

  1. It sounds like a reference to the infamous (and migraine-inducing) Spider-Man Clone Saga.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    “Well Ban Tom, after she’s dead we want her to come back in ghost form so she and Les can work on Les’ many problems…TOGETHER!!!!”

    “But…but…but my readers? What will THEY think if my reality-based comic strip suddenly has a ghost character? What about my integrity????”

    File under “conversations that never happened”. Look at Batiuk, doing an arc about a comic writer being forced into writing various ridiculous attention-seeking contrivances. Just amazing. Note how the “editors” don’t even serve any purpose in this story other than to assume the role of evil corporate overlords, as Ban Tom just physically cannot do an arc about “writing” without including that always-annoying subtext. Every writer is a martyr, every publisher a monster. Sigh, such a self-limiting view of things. Rather disingenuous too, as it’s pretty obvious that no one’s ever pressured him into or out of anything involving FW, ever. If I’m wrong about that I’d love to hear the anecdote, BTW.

  3. Dylan Winslow (@SaintFu23): It sounds like a reference to the infamous (and migraine-inducing) Spider-Man Clone Saga.

    …make that another reference to the infamous Spider-Man Clone Saga. Here’s a strip from Halloween 2011 (also the first appearance of Owen’s chullo):

  4. Guest Page Turner Author

    That is the first comic rendition of a hipster beard that I have seen yet. I’m only 50 years old, so maybe I am missing something. But I am sure that no many how many comic renditions of hipster beards from the 20-teens that I have to look at for the rest of my life, today’s rendition of a hipster beard will probably be the absolute worst!

  5. bayoustu

    In Panel 1, the part of Mopey Pete Rabinowitz is being played by a young proboscis monkey.

  6. So, do you suppose the Strawman Panel had a pre-arranged signal so that they could say that last part in unison, or did Batiuk cut out the part where one of them said “On three, ready…?”

    What can I say, this is where my mind goes in the absence of anything interesting.

  7. Epicus Doomus

    Oh dear God, I actually remember this….

  8. Nathan Obral

    Well, Batom® gave no thought into a plot or continuity when he started this vengeance writing against his own strip’s readership. So why should anyone be surprised that he’s riding this garbage on one side of his pants? Heck, this is so devoid of effort that he in no way is riding by the seat of his pants. Like the entirety of the arc, this is stupid, unfunny and misses the mark on practically every level.

    If this is what Batom® wants to do every day until he gets that gold watch from Brendan Buford in 2022, then he deserves to have no unironic fanbase for FW whatsoever. And, as I’ve said before, I doubt that he actually HAS an unironic fanbase left for FW… even in Northeastern Ohio.

  9. Spacemanspiff85

    Batiuk has repeatedly shown greedy editors interfering with pure, sacred Art, with Les’s script and now this. And yet the only thing they’ve done is suggest not killing off characters. That speaks volumes right there.

  10. Nathan Obral

    Nothing can make me feel bad for Mopey Pete Rogers at this juncture.

    http://www.upper-peninsula-now.com/images/mystery-spot-sign.jpg He could get lost at one of those Mystery Spot tourist attractions or get lumped into the Batom® Witless Protection Program (that houses the majority of characters present on the long-outdated FW website) and I would be hard pressed to bat an eyelash for him.

  11. Epicus Doomus

    Well, Pete Startswitharr isn’t even good at his job. The stories he thought were good didn’t sell and the one he thought was shit has turned out to be his most popular one to date. Plus he’s a patsy who lets his editors bully him around. And he’s always all weary and exhausted looking, like he just climbed out of a coal mine or something. Plus his best friend is Boy Lisa. So no, he isn’t exactly the most likeable character in the strip.

  12. Now this is not only boring, but also creepy. I’m suddenly reminded of ‘The Shining’. (“Play with us, Danny….foreeeeverrrrrr”)

  13. So, not only are the readers horrible people for not praising this vain clod for writing about dreary ciphers no one could possibly care about living lives that are so dreary that no one cares if they succeed or fail, editors are also terrible people for suggesting that the public would actually like to emotionally identify with the wan nobodies doing nothing.

  14. Off topic, but I was just watching the MST3K episode “Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell,” and there’s a torture sequence where Crow suggests, “I will now read every Crankshaft ever published!” as a possible means of causing pain to the hero. Wow.

  15. @beckoningchasm: That’s not off-topic at all! In fact, I think it’s pretty relevant.

  16. Nathan Obral

    Got a headache from reading this latest sequence of Batom®-patented “writing”? Try some Absorbing, Jr. – apply directly to the forehead!

  17. sgtsaunders

    The Durwood lookalike in P3 also looks like he’s been hit in the face with a brick. Comically, of course.

  18. Nathan Obral

    Off topic, but I was just watching the MST3K episode “Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell,” and there’s a torture sequence where Crow suggests, “I will now read every Crankshaft ever published!” as a possible means of causing pain to the hero. Wow.

    I don’t think I’ve seen that episode yet, so I had to confirm it. Their description of “Crankshaft” is the best, and most succinct, one that has ever been printed.

    But it kinda doesn’t surprise me… MST3K was based in Minneapolis. Did the Star-Tribune carry the strip, or had Mike and Trace come across the comic while on one of their college campus tours?

    Also of note is that the same episode also included another Northern Ohio-centric riff… Don Novello is a native of Lorain, Ohio.

    And I just noticed that MST3K name-dropped Funky Winkerbean in the (original) series finale, “Laserblast” (aka the “Are you READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!!!” episode).

  19. billytheskink

    TB: “OK, so here’s what I’m thinking. The guy from Weezer, the Frigo string cheese mascot, and Wooly Willy run the comic book company that Pete Reineking works for and they want him to keep around the clone from Pete’s new Amazing Mister Sponge storyline for future issues just so they can collectively say ‘TOGETHER!!’ using their hive mind.”

    TB’s Editor: “…”

    TB: “Oh, right, you don’t exist. Excellent work then, let’s send this to print.”

  20. The secret purpose of Funky Winkerbean is to list the Nine Billion Names of Pete, thereby bringing about the eschaton.


    You know what is funny about Tom Batiuk referencing “The Clone Saga”?

    One of the big reasons people hated it was because the tone of it was very dark and grim. What used to be an enjoyable comic book started to have scenes of people crying and acting depressed about their situation. Sound familiar?

    Another thing is that people felt that the introduction of clones was going to far out of Spider-Man’s normal adventures. They felt it was something more appropriate for X-Men or Avengers comics. Fans felt the book was straying from it’s original concept. *Cough*

    The Clone Saga also featured a hated character named Judas Traveller. He was an annoying bearded douchebag that wasted our time and spoke in idiotic and confusing speech. Fortunately they had the foresight to realize this character was a waste of time and disposed of him. Funky Winkerbean readers should be so lucky.

  22. captaincab

    @Beckoningchasm and Nathan Obral

    I was just thinking of that Crankshaft riff myself yesterday but couldn’t remember the episode it was in, Deathstalker is a an early 90s direct to video medievel cheese fest and a loudmouthed, obnoxious “hero.”

    Laserblast is the last episode to air on Comedy Central before they moved to Sci Fi and takes place in ’70s California and the lead is a sad sack teen who has a whispy haircut and faded jeans. In one of his early scenes where he’s first shown, Mike exclaims “Funky Winkerbean!” Because yeah, he does look kinda like the early ’70s version of Funky but with blonde hair. Just a few more reasons why MST3K is the greatest show ever made.

  23. Professor Fate

    The Amazing Mr. Sponge – The Clone War Saga!
    Just shoot me.
    Just wondering – seeing as we have been told these strips are done a year in advance – why do they read like first drafts all the time?

  24. bad wolf

    I hate to admit this reminds me of the last chapter of Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle mini. In a rather confusing sequence Mister Miracle (“World’s greatest escape artist”) essentially talks his way out of captivity by telling the warden that instead of fighting (as per the comic book norm), they could just leave ‘together’.

    Except that the quote in MM was more transcendent and less annoying. Anyway i doubt TB would have read any comics from… 2006? Ouch, that series’ the last thing i think of for ‘comics i really enjoyed.’

  25. Rusty Shackleford

    Wait, so Batom hates Editors and the other associated business people that enable writers to earn a profit from their work…so he should be pleased that with the Internet, writers and artists can take their work directly to the public and cut out these evil middlemen if they like.

    Oh wait, no, Batom hates the internet too. Geez, what exactly does he want?