Quote Unquote

Link to today’s strip.

So, question for the group:  Why the quotes around “save” in panel one?  Let’s not beat around the bush, here…had this been a young John, or Pete, we’d be told how these comics were saved, no quotes, from destruction.  Chester, however, has his actions quoted, implying that they weren’t saved at all.  But we see him carefully putting them away in boxes.

Again, I’m not condoning petty thievery, but this seems remarkably harmless.  I’m shocked that Batiuk didn’t have Chester’s actions bankrupt Danford’s store.

It’s exactly what a commentor pointed out here a couple of weeks ago–all of Tom Batiuk’s good characters are impossibly good, and all of his bad characters are impossibly bad, so even though they do the same things, those things must be judged “good” or “bad” on the actor, and not the act.   Chester could save orphans from a burning building, and we’d be told how “naturally, after Chester ‘saved’ the orphans…” he was still a bad guy.

I don’t know what this is called, but “writing” it ain’t.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

25 responses to “Quote Unquote

  1. spacemanspiff85

    How the heck old is Chester supposed to be? According to the ten seconds I checked on Google the Golden Age was from the 1930s to around 1950. If Chester got copies of “most” of those comics then he’d have to have been born before 1930, probably, and have swept that drugstore for about 20 years. But he’s drawn looking like he could be Funky’s child, somehow.

    • The reference is a mess, absolutely. It could’ve been patched if the strip had said “Golden Age of Batom Comics”. I know the Funky Blog said Batom Comics closed in 1971 but Batiuk has the authorial privilege to change his mind about that and when its good times were.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    All valid points. When Holly “obtained” rare comic book artwork that was clearly mislabeled she pounced all over it AND gave the owner a heart attack, which was portrayed as a humorous and amusing comic book situation. Chester steals some comic books and HIS motives are somehow sinister. At least he didn’t almost kill anyone.

  3. billytheskink

    Pam Crankshaft gets a soda but Chris Crankshaft doesn’t even get to come to the drugstore? Ed was a monster even back in the day.

    More likely… TB totally forgot that Crankshaft has two daughters.

  4. erdmann

    Is it Christmas already? I don’t even know which package to unwrap first!

    1) Mr. Crankshaft and his daughter. Presumably, this is the horrible Ed Crankshaft and one of his two daughters. The oldest girl was a student at Kent State at time of the shootings in 1970, so she would have been born circa 1950. She appears to be about 10 here, I guess, placing the events about 1960.

    2) Batom Comics shirt. Clothing merchandising tie-ins have been around almost as long comic books. Batom (according to Batiuk’s blog) published from 1954 to 1971. I can’t say for certain no publisher during that time marketed a shirt displaying just its logo, but it seems anachronistic.

    3) Chester’s age. He looks about the same age as the girl. Why was he working at such a young age? How was that even legal? Is he supposed to be nearly 70 now?

    4) “But it was enough for Chester to amass multiple copies of most Golden Age comics.” His outright theft wasn’t enough to have an significant impact on the drug store’s finances, yet it allowed him to carry off what must have been hundreds, perhaps thousands, of comics published between the late 1930s and the early 1950s. Did the store owner pile unsold comics in the back room for decades before finally deciding to get his refunds?

    Sorry to go on so long, but it’s been a rough day and I needed to rant.

    • Jimmy

      If one factors in the time jump that may or may not have happened, Chester is more likely an octogenarian at least.

      • comicbookharriet

        The time jump leads to a lot of confusion. Both strips take place in the present day (2018). But ten years apart. This is immutable fact.

  5. Thus do Batiuk’s poor grasp on basic arithmetic and belief that things are only wrong if people we don’t like do them collide.

  6. Chyron HR

    “And despite the fact that nobody wanted to buy these comic books at the retail price, Chester knew that they would each be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars when his grandson Chester Hagglemore III sold them in the 21st century.”

  7. Rusty Shackleford

    I’m hoping they show Chester making an egg cream for a young Lisa, and he secretly puts his cream in it. Panel 2 shows Les lecturing Summer about how her Mom loved getting an Egg Cream at Danfords.

  8. Gerard Plourde

    Of all of the inconsistencies and anomalies that this arc contains, the one I find most startling is his statement that Chester was acquiring Golden Age comics. As has been pointed out, the term “Golden Age of Comics” refers to the era of thr 1930’s to about 1950. Even allowing for The Author’s elastic concept of time, there’s no way that these events could be occurring at that time. As even the most casual comic book fan knows, the post “Seduction of the Innocent” comic book revival is known as the Silver Age and, I can’t believe I’m typing this given The Author’s love of the character, is generally accepted to have begun with the introduction of the “new” Flash in 1956. So we are left with the almost inconceivable (nod to Wallace Shawn) thought that The Author doesn’t know comic book history.

    • DOlz

      Or in a nod to Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin), you keep talking about comic book history, but I do not think you know what it is.

    • erdmann

      It indeed seems strange that, given his love of the character, Batiuk didn’t tie the origin of Chester’s fortune to the rescue (and later sale) of multiple, mint-condition copies of early Silver Age Flash appearances. Flash #123 and The Brave and the Bold #28 especially fit neatly into what may (or may not) be the timing of this flashback.

  9. sgtsaunders

    Chester “amassed” copies of the ones that didn’t sell. So he started out with about 50 Prince Valiants. Big deal.

  10. hitorque

    1. So how freaking old is Chester to be able to stockpile Golden Age comics when they were new??

    2. What 12-year-old boy in 1950-something would have the foresight to know that coverless comics would presumably become worth millions someday? Because that last panel clearly shows he’s “managing an investment” instead of actually reading them, cutting out the pictures, smearing marmalade on the pages, etc…

    • batgirl

      These aren’t the coverless ones, though. These are the ones he spared from having their covers torn off by stealing them. Because unlike other 12 yr olds, he didn’t want to just read the coverless ones for free.

  11. hitorque

    3. Extra credit for Batiuk making “Flashback Krankenschaaft” look *nothing* like “Toledo Mud Hens” Krankenschaaft…

    • Charles

      And why does it always have to be someone like Crankshaft and his daughter? I swear to God when I first made the observation that “There are 200 people in the Funkyverse and they’re all within two degrees of separation” I was joking.

  12. comicbookharriet

    As a comics nerd, I was temporarily too enraged to even think about typing a comment. Also, I had broken my keyboard in half over my knee. So, thank you to the multiple people that pointed out that the Golden Age of comics ended AT MAXIMUM in the 50’s. (With most of the valuable and noteworthy issues coming out no later than the mid 40’s) But anyone would think this was Chester working as a kid in the 60’s.

    Tom Batuik knows full well when The Golden Age of comics happened. He thinks his readers are incredibly stupid, and that saying Chester collected valuable ‘Silver Age’ comics wouldn’t get the point of Gold=Money across. So he simultaneously makes himself seem like a ‘comics insider’ in-the-know while the information he presents is LIES AND BULLSHIT. And I want to kill him.

    • DOlz

      Take a deep breath. If you really want to picture TB suffering, just image him in a locked room with no milk or cookies and only a pile of “The Great Grape Ape” to read.

    • Gerard Plourde

      I fully understand your anger and frustration, but he’s really not worth it. I fully agree with your observation that he just unwittingly showed the low regard he has for his readers. Given the loving attention he gives to each issue of the Silver Age Flash, it’s downright weird that he wouldn’t want to enlighten his Funky readers about real comic book history. The only explanation I can come up with is that he regards it as arcane knowledge that should only be shared with initiated true believers. And how weird is that?

      • Rusty Shackleford

        I’m just amazed he gets paid for this crap.

      • Very weird indeed. It’s as if he’s trying to turn old DC comics into the basis of a mystery cult. Okay, forget “as if”….he appears to want to be the high priest of the First Church Of Barry Allen….