Damsel Under Duress

Link to today’s strip.

Actually, Cigar McBalding’s idea sounds like a good one.  While he’s obviously proposing it for prurient reasons, the Comics Code Authority would curtail anything outrageous, and really, I think it would make the Starbuck Jones comic a bit less one-dimensional.

Which makes it strange that McBalding is proposing it.  I thought he was supposed to be the greedy, money-eyed villain of the Batom Comics company (despite him being, uh, the publisher).  Here he is, actually trying to improve the book.

Of course, I’m thinking of a typical comic book; in the context of this strip, adding a new female character opens up the whole can-o-worms that is “female characters in the Funky Winkerbean world,” which is a place that is really depressing.  Starbuck Jones already has a robot that can bring him hot chocolate and cookies while he’s reading comic books…what else can a woman do?  I guess she can travel the universe, collecting comic books for him, or she can die of cancer.  At all times, though, she must show herself as way inferior to her man.

Ah well, when you’ve got a 50th Anniversary as a goal, it’s a bit late to start learning new tricks.  You just need to get there, pal, any way you can.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

23 responses to “Damsel Under Duress

  1. Epicus Doomus

    BanTom does a nice job here satirizing how “the comics” use women for cheap exploitation. For example, I remember this comic strip from “back in the day” that introduced a new female character and then set about exploiting that character in all kinds of unbelievably cheesy ways. Teen pregnancy, blown up in a post office bombing, the comic strip in question even stooped so low as to give her cancer, which took years to finally kill her off. Then after she died the comic strip in question milked her death for everything it was worth and then some. So kudos to BanTom for addressing an issue a lot of “cartoonists” wouldn’t dare to touch.

  2. Batiuk, trust me, you are the last person on the comics page who should be opening up this particular can of worms….

    Okay, second to last. Brooke McEldowney has you beat there.

  3. Epicus Doomus

    Is “Jupiter Moon” some sort of obscure play on words that I’m not getting, or is it just another random Batiukism? Because if it’s the latter, it’s yet another example of how incredibly limited the guy’s imagination is.

  4. “Ahh come on boys, what else are these prepubescent kids reading these books for, anyways?”

  5. billytheskink

    TB, today’s strip is out of this world! This confirms my suspicion that most of your writing comes from Uranus.

  6. Once again, The Author refuses to let reality intrude on his fantasy (“It’s called writing”). In his mythical universe, Batom Comics began after the publication of “Seduction of the Innocent”, the 1954 book that caused the furor over comic book content and led to the establishment of the Comic Code and the industry-run Comics Code Authority that ensured that barely-clad damsels would not pollute the minds of Upstanding American Youth. I’m about the same age as The Author and remember the comics of that era well. The comics were completely devoid of even the hint of the most tame sexual overtone. Lois Lane may have been billed as Superman’s girlfriend but they didn’t show affection by even so much as holding hands. A quick look at the 1950s and early 1960s outfits of Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Sue Storm of the Fantastic Four, or the first iteration of the Scarlet Witch indicate that Jupiter Moon would never have made it through the galleys.

  7. SpacemanSpiff85

    I wonder if this is just setting up future “storylines” where Pete daydreams himself daydreaming about Les and Lisa as Starbuck and Jupiter.

  8. That should read “Comics Code”. The Bluetooth keyboard strikes again!

  9. @SpacemanSpiff85 – Please, no! Don’t give him any ideas!

  10. Great. Super. We get to have Batiuk whine about girls entering his clubhouse and corrupting the purity of being a misunderstood loner. Also, my brain keeps hearing a BnL lyric about boom anime babes who make Ed Robertson think the wrong thing.

  11. @Epicus Doomus: This means that Starbuck will currently be travelling with a black woman while he pines away for Jupiter.

  12. It’s not at all clear exactly what’s supposed to be happening here. Are we supposed to be seeing the actual back story of the Starbuck Jones comic book, with Pete Rudolph and Durwood acting the roles of the original artists, or are we seeing a sepia-toned dramatization of the current work they’re doing on the movie, with Baldy McCigarchewer playing the role of the evil movie producer? Would they actually add a major female character to the film this late in the production? Will they be casting Cindy in the role of Jupiter Moon? Will Jupiter Moon ever be mentioned again after this week?

  13. ComicBookHarriet

    @ Epicus. Most of the Moons of Jupiter are named after Jupiter’s sexual conquests, though some are his daughters. Most of them had miserable lives of dying, being eaten, going crazy, turning into cows, turning into bears, kidnapped by eagles, or just plain bursting into flames.

    Easy to see how that would fit into Batuik’s wheelhouse.

  14. HeyItsDave

    In which Durwood and Beavis flesh out their boss’ idea.

  15. Professor Fate

    And here we see that self awareness is so not the Author’s strong suit – as noted his treatment of his female characters is extremely problematic So making snarky remarks about damsel in distress is pretty damn clueless on his part,

  16. Howtheduck

    Possibly this is a reference what is called “Good Girl Art” from the 1940s and 50s. Matt Baker’s Phantom Lady is the classic example of the comic book heroine who operated in a state of undress.


    Yeah, God forbid you name her Jupiter Jones. The Three Investigators will sue your for every penny.

  18. ComicBookHarriet

    Bravo, heyitsdave, BRAVO.

  19. Frank Bolton

    Interesting how Pete assumes that the new female companion character will be a damsel in distress. Because that’s so much less exploitative and unoriginal the the boss’s idea.

    Batiuk is so awesome at turning characters unsympathetic in record time that a month-long Buddy arc would probably end with me wanting him to get rabies and get shot Old Yeller style.

  20. Hannibal's Lectern

    “Jupiter Moon” is the overweight, gassy sister of “Sailor Moon.”

    Meanwhile, over in the Crankyverse, Bathack demonstrates that he can both lovingly trace a NASA stock photo (pre-launch of the Delta IV Heavy/Orion spacecraft test in 2014) and replicate the drawing style of “Pluggers.”

  21. Epicus Doomus

    I guess we should consider ourselves fortunate that BanMan kept Lisa’s clothes on, as that was the one bridge he didn’t cross with her. Of course she would have no doubt been absolutely stunning, but that’s neither here nor there.

  22. @Frank Bolton: My thoughts exactly. As soon as a female character is suggested, Pete’s immediate reaction is not a partner, or even an assistant, who can actively participate in Starbuck Jones’ adventures, but a helpless female who exists only to be rescued by a man. How revealing…

  23. Hmm… Continuity Police Alert: Are to take this to mean that the SJ comic existed in the Golden or Silver Age of Comics? If so, then it would be up to some 400-800 issues already. Yet we are to believe that Cory had a complete run in a single box under his bed? Not on your life, not if they were bagged, and not unless they were only around 8 pages apiece, and printed on thin parchment paper… 4 boxes, bare minimum.