Grim And Bear It

Link To Today’s Strip

Ha ha ha ha. TOM BATIUK, of all people, is doing an arc about how Chester dislikes “grim and gritty” comic book titles. What balls. After turning his once-lighthearted and humor-based comic strip into a litany of death, cancer, amputation and an endless cavalcade of human misery, he’s doing a “story” centering around how “dark” modern comic books are. Two words…”f*ck” and “you”, Tom. I’ve never seen a comic book where the lead character’s parents roundly reject her as she agonizingly dies of cancer, nor have I ever seen one where a trombone prodigy loses her arm in a car accident or one where the once-happy-go-lucky titular character drinks himself into thoughts of suicide either. Leave it to Tombat to inadvertently insult himself in his own strip. What a maroon.

So why did this require a cross-country trip? They couldn’t have had this discussion over the phone? So basically BatNard wasted five entire weeks on this just so he could work a few fictional Batom Comics “props” into the artwork for his own amusement. The self-indulgence is off the scale here and nearly approaches “Lisa’s Story” degrees of head-up-own-assed-ness.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

19 responses to “Grim And Bear It

  1. The Dreamer

    So is Chester going use his fortune to buy MegaComics and install Pete as the new Stan Lee and Darrin as Jack Kirby? Pete and Darrin get to take over the comic book world?

  2. Dear Mr. Batiuk–
    For most of us, the legacy we leave behind is rarely the one we would have chosen. But we rarely get to chose that legacy; the work we do does that for us.
    You had a legacy once, that of a third-rate gag-a-day cartoonist. That’s not meant to be mean; you had a certain talent, your jokes “worked,” but your strips were never going to be spoken of in the same tones as Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes, or even BC and Beetle Bailey.
    Then you decided that entertaining people was for fools, and that awards were what mattered. And you chased that bird until, blindly, you crashed into a brick wall. And found that brick walls couldn’t be broken by smirks and weak word-play.
    So now you have, apparently, decided that your legacy is not going to be the strips or the nominations, but in somehow spawning an entire imaginary comic book industry. I’m guessing that you think people are going to be referencing Starbuck Jones and Mister Sponge after you’re gone, because of all this groundwork you’re laying in the waning days of your flagship strip.
    Mr. Batiuk, you’ve burned too many bridges for that to work. As I mentioned yesterday, your work lately reminds me of the product of a serial killer, and I don’t say that jokingly. Your constant flagging of “Batom Comics” reminds me of someone desperately shouting his godhood to the heavens while the ship beneath him, afire in the rigging and sails, is sinking below the waves.
    You need help.

  3. billytheskink

    I kinda like panel 3, if only because it is a slap in the face to Masone, Marrianne, Durwood, etc.

  4. spacemanspiff85

    You know what I think the worst part of all this is? The fact that this somehow still gets printed. I honestly can’t imagine how there’s someone who looked at this week’s strips and thought “yes, we’ll pay this guy and spend money to have this printed”. The only explanation is that nobody reviews or even looks at this crap before it’s printed, and I don’t mean that jokingly at all.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I’ve wondered this for years. The comics page is so uncompetitive once you get accepted. People say this so because readers don’t like change, they want their comics to stay the same, but maybe they aren’t giving their readers enough credit?

      FW has become like the typical sitcom that should have been cancelled years ago. Try this test: If you see someone reading a newspaper or browsing comics kingdom, ask them what they think of FW. I usually hear that they don’t get FW, but they like Crankshaft. (My testing was at a local doughnut shop, so the age skews towards senior citizens.). One guy said he missed Calvin and that comics today just aren’t funny, and they should be.

      I don’t think comics have to be funny every day, as long as the topic is interesting, and done creatively. But I would prefer to get a laugh on most days to help motivate me to get going to work.

  5. It’s sort of annoying to see a lack of self-awareness this profound. The man who had a title character shot rather than let some other writer use him has no kick coming when talking about the Gods Of Grim. The man who had some bitch more or less get away with destroying her kid sister’s life and the life of her boyfriend because she was supposed to have one first has not a leg to stand on there.

    • Gerard Plourde

      Thanks for that added context. I tend to forget that the first evidence of the dysfunction goes all the way back to John Darling..

  6. erdmann

    Panel 2: Even Dopey and Dillweed don’t like where this is heading and they’re dumber than dryer lint.

  7. TB is still really upset he didn’t get that callback to DC or Marvel.

  8. redsnifit

    Panel 3 has the most lazily-drawn newspaper I’ve ever seen.

    • comicbookharriet

      “Starbuck Jones to Top of Labor Day Weekend”

      That is a very clumsy and grammatically strange title… But it is nice to finally know something about the general reception the movie got. Granted, The Hitman’s Bodyguard was top of the Labor Day weekend this year, so no sure sign of success.

  9. Jimmy

    Now I’m confused. Didn’t he establish yesterday that Batom Comics went out of business? So, how is it still publishing?

    Also, why is this the first mention that Starbuck Jones was a roaring success?

    • redsnifit

      Iirc the original blog posts said that Batom was bought out by Mega Comics in ’72. One of the few things that hasn’t been retconned.

      • comicbookharriet

        Other comics companies used to regularly buy out a failing company’s stable of characters. For example DC bought Captain Marvel (the guy) from Fawcett in, and the characters from Charlton, like Blue Beetle, in the 80’s.

  10. bobanero

    Did Pete Ritter actually write the screenplay, or is this more revisionism? It’s been so long ago, but I thought I remembered that he was just brought in as a script doctor or some other such excuse for him to move to LA, and that the movie production was already in progress at that time.

  11. louder

    So, if I get this right, Petey wrote a movie hit, top grosser for Labor Day Weekend, which means the movie made well of 100 million, and he lives like he’s in college, bumming rides, second-rate apartment. Yeah, right… Does BatHack understand anything about Hollywood? Maybe Pete has the crappiest agent in the world because he should be living the life, not hanging around Cancerville and its environs.

  12. Gerard Plourde

    So now we’re to assume that all of the Batom titles were continued by Mega Comics? In which case, why did it take so long for a new Starbuck Jones movie to be made? And wouldn’t comics fans have wanted to know about the Silver Age serial’s star? And how likely is it that Cliff Anger would have been before McCarthy’s committee in what should have been the middle of the Army/McCarthy hearings?

    Historical continuity- another thing lacking in this strip.

  13. hitorque

    1. I don’t care how full of himself Pete is… Even he has to know being credited as the *SOLE* reason why “Starbuck Jonez: The Prequel Reboot to the Origin Story Trilogy” made more money than ten Black Panthers is getting sunshine blown up his ass…

    2. I guess now isn’t a good time to tell Chester that Pete isn’t the original author of the script — He was just brought in to fix it up after Masone fired all the writers…

    2a. It’s funny because nobody remembers Pete got fucking FIRED from his last comics job (Mr. Sponge) for his incessant whining, complaining, spoiling of unreleased storylines, talking to his boyfriend all day during work hours, and talking shit about his editors when he thought they weren’t listening. Does Chester have any clue what kind of problem employee he’s about to give a Brinks Truck full of money to??

    3. It’s a shame Chester never got the notion to track down Phil Holt and make him the point man for his “Make Comics Great Again” crusade before he died penniless and bitter… I’m sure the ghost of Phil will make another appearance just so he can get the redass again over how much money top industry people are making these days…


  14. Professor Fate

    As elsewhere noted the man’s got a lot of damn gall to be bitching about grim and gritty after he’s been torturing his cast (Les Moore excepted) for YEARS – just right now we have the man who raised Boy Lisa helpless in a wheel chair after a stroke whose wife admitted she didn’t love him, Bull’s memory and personality slowing fading away under the effects of CTE (along with Bull’s new best Friend as well), Funky old and fat and an alcoholic to boot, Wally Winkerbean living in one room apartment struggling with PTSD.
    And that’s not counting the earlier death by inches of the blessed St Lisa – was also victim of date rape – along with knocking off a few other minor characters along the way.
    And there was the threatened suicide by the lead female actor in the highly successful Starbuck Jones movie driven to desperation by the ‘internet’.
    Seriously the writers of Peyton Place would have told him “hey lighten up”
    I think that the sign at the entrance to the town said ‘Welcome to Westview – remember cut up the vein”