Cadet Collection

If you find reading Funky Winkerbean seven days a week to be an exercise in confusion and frustration, imagine what the reader experience must be like for those who only get the newspaper on Sundays. We daily readers at least have some sort of context, not that it helps much.

If Batiuk really cared about telling this story in a coherent manner, the extra real estate of the Sunday panels would afford him space to provide character and story development. Instead, he squanders precious ink and newsprint on another comic book cover. At least this one is an original (by DC and Marvel artist and fellow Ohioan Paul Galacy) and not some obscure title from a longbox under TB’s bed. So he’s able to work in some tangential connection to the “plot”: based on hair color, the “Lunar Cadets” appear to be stand-ins for Mason, Cindy, and Pete. Meanwhile, the real Mason, Cindy and Pete are relegated to a Family Circus-like bubble at the top, and most of that space is taken up by exposition and a reference to yet another comic franchise.

The artwork itself is fine; well, aside from the dull, muddy color pallette. But if the artist is going for a 50’s or 60’s feel, it would have been a nice touch to have the LUNAR CADETS banner hand-lettered, instead of using type that has clearly been digitally set and stretched.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

25 responses to “Cadet Collection

  1. Chyron HR

    Does he share an apartment with Kirk Alyn, the “man who played Superman”?

  2. Epicus Doomus

    Tom Batiuk, the guy who writes the Funky Winkerbean comic strip, is the single worst storyteller who has ever or will ever live. Tom Batiuk, the guy who writes the Funky Winkerbean comic strip, might as well put another hand-made ceramic Lisa head on the shelf he was saving for the Pulitzer because it ain’t gonna happen. Tom Batiuk, the guy who writes the Funky Winkerbean comic strip, often resorts to filler dialog when Tom Batiuk, the guy who writes the Funky Winkerbean comic strip, doesn’t feel like being coherent that day, week, month or year. In short, Tom Batiuk, the guy who writes the Funky Winkerbean comic strip, is a real hack.

  3. Half the comic is spent retreading what happened in the day’s previous strip. The exposition is so clunky it’s like getting hit in the head with a hammer.

  4. So “The Lunar Cadets” are at 138 issues when comics cost 15 cents. That means that comic must have started…so the continuity…oh who cares. I’d really like to know what Tom Batiuk hopes to achieve by all this, except if I asked I think he would react to the word “achieve” like a vampire faced with a cross.

  5. SpacemanSpiff85

    So they just showed up outside what I assume is the return address given for all that Starbuck Jones crap being sold online? And I assume they’re just going to knock on the guy’s door and ask him if he’s Cliff Anger? Man, I really hope he owns a gun.

  6. Rusty

    Did someone post a week or so ago how an editor instructed young Tommy B. to constantly repeat character names, as if it was some sage advice? Anyways, I find the strip so tedious now I can barely muster the enthusiasm to comment here anymore. Curse you, Batiuk.

  7. HeyItsDave

    “The only comic book that matters.” If that line doesn’t sum up T-Bats’ attitude about this Starbuck Jones shit, nothing does.

  8. SpacemanSpiff85

    Here’s a fun totally out of context quote from Batiuk’s blog:
    “It was a classic case of continuity interruptus, which, as we all know, can leave you feeling rather unfulfilled.”

  9. How can you be together again for the first time?

  10. “How Can You Be In Two Places at Once When You’re Not Anywhere at All?”

  11. billytheskink

    TB is darn lucky that the Comics Code Authority never held sway over the funny pages.

  12. Tom Batiuk has sucked the joy out of hating his work, not by making it good (again? nah!) but by making it irrelevant and uninteresting to all of humanity but his 10-year-old self. I’d call it intellectual masturbation, but it’s neither mature nor intellectual. To say I’ve grown weary of the dreary Tom Batiuk is the understatement of the 21st century.

    Snarking on Bantom’s drivel has been fun, but, if I’m honest, only because there was, once, the faintest hope that the work would improve. That hope has died. Batiuk is now obviously marking time.

    I surrender. Tom Batiuk, your bullshit has forced me to stand in line. You are indeed the worst professional cartoonist in history, maybe even worse than that alcoholic right-wing duck guy, although what he puts out aren’t proper cartoons. You “win.” Now fuck off. I’m done.

    For now.

  13. It would almost be worth it if he told them “All it was to me was a paycheck”…..too bad that we’re in for a long, dull rant about how EVIL PRODUCERS and EVIL AGENTS stole Cliff’s money.

  14. Professor Fate

    Okay maybe the Internet is evillllll and not to be used or trusted but shouldn’t they have at least phoned ahead to say they were coming? But no they are going to burst in upon an old man because well comic books I suppose. “Are you the actor who played Starbucks Jones?” “I’m calling the police!” Is pretty much how this exchange would go in real life.

  15. Well, at least we see them actually doing something instead of talking about it much later. Granted, it’s barely a half panel, with the other half taken up by repetition of name, occupation and title to make SURE the reader totally understands exactly what is happening, but still…

  16. Okay TB, I get it. The “Lunar Cadets” are really space cadets as is just about everyone from Westview. Clever…very clever. Now our hapless explorers will discover a dead body in the apartment and this Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew mashup can continue for another month or so.

  17. Smirks 'R Us

    That’s a coincidence Pete, my “overrated, waste of ink Hack” sense is tingling…big time.

  18. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    “Is this where Cliff Hanger, the Hollywood Movie Actor who played Starbuck Jones in the original Starbuck Jones movie, which is the movie we’re working on now, and in which I play the role of Starbuck Jones, lives?”


    “What do you mean ‘maybe’?? We drove all the way to New York – which apparently isn’t even IN Ohio – and you’re not sure if this is where he lives?”

    “Well, I… umm…”

    “Did you at least send him an e-mail, or call him, first of all to find out if he was the one selling this junk, and second of all to find out if we could visit him today??”

    “I just… ummmm… I thought that I… that we… uh…”

    “Any idea, even, what floor he’d be on?? I guess not!”

    “Okay, so if he doesn’t live here, there are a bunch of other buildings we could try! Lookit all of them!”

    “Jesus Christ, this is ridiculous. Come on, Holly, we’re going back to California!”



  19. @ Double Sided Scooby Snack,

    The dialogue you’ve provided demonstrates how far from reality the actual storyline has drifted. Further upthread, oddnoc mentioned that only The Author’s 10-year-old self would be interested in the strip. There’s a total lack of attention to even the most elementary aspects of coherent storytelling.

    The question comes back to “why?”. Why continue to attempt extensive storylines if the task of carrying them out is too taxing? The possible machinations involved in locating Cliff Anger could, in the hands of an engaged writer, have made an interesting story. As it is we’re left with slap-dash work that fails to capture the attention of either The Author or the reader (unless the intended hook is actually “What the heck was he thinking?”).

  20. Sometimes no Starsuck Sense is required.

  21. John

    “Is this where Cliff Anger, the actor who played Starbuck Jones is?”

    “Um, no. I had to make a pit stop. Dude, my back teeth are SWIMMING.”


    “Well -excuse- me for having biological functions!”


    Yes, it’s gross. But one has to admit, it’d make for a much punchier strip.

  22. John

    Seriously, though. I’m old enough that I can remember that if, say, someone was giving away animation cells featuring Bugs Bunny, there was a good chance they’d worked for Warner Brothers Animation. But that was over four DECADES ago! Lots of people are in the props and memorabilia scene! To assume that only the main performer would be selling this swag is -literally- crazy. o_o

  23. Breaking news, snarkers: the SoSF 6th Anniversary Guest Author for a Day Contest is officially underway!

  24. Howtheduck

    I am a big Paul Gulacy fan, so I really enjoyed the art.