The Song That Never Ends

Link to today’s strip.

I get the intended joke: band never ends.  Students unfortunate enough to play an instrument never get their lives back from the one-armed bandit.  The thing is, it’s not funny, it’s depressing, which lines right up with everything about this strip.  Is this really how Tom Batiuk wants to shape his legacy?  That he made the world a worse place by placing his work in it?  Cos that’s what’s happening right now, on film and in the studio.

I want to add this quote from Batiuk’s blog:

“As long as I’m at it, the whole Pop Art movement was wrong as well. The artists of the Pop Art movement treated the comics as something disposable and shallow even as they tried to emulate them. “

I hate to break this to him, but most of the creators of comic books thought they were disposable and shallow.   Stan Lee, for example, wanted to write the Great American Novel and saw comic books as a way to earn a living in the meantime.

I also want to quote this, from a Flash Friday episode, before he corrects it:

“Stories don’t come in a much scope than that.”

Yes folks, that’s [sic] and I find it hilarious…more so than anything this strip has offered up.

One notable aspect of today’s strip is that Becky’s sleeve is nowhere in evidence.   Someone slipped up in quality control!  Also, Dinkle is nowhere to be found, so that’s a bonus point.  I do like the way Becky rotates through the panels, it helps to alleviate the boring nature of the strip by at least adding some visual interest.

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17 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

17 responses to “The Song That Never Ends

  1. spacemanspiff85

    Batiuk has those kinds of “errors” pretty often on his blog, where it’s hard to even grasp what he was getting at. What I think is funnier is that you think he actually corrects anything he creates.

    • Ooo, that’s gonna leave a mark! On me, but I deserve it.

      • spacemanspiff85

        Honestly, the writing classes he gives have to be just “Do your first draft in ink and then mail it off to the syndicate. It’s called writing. Then you can get back to reading Flash comics.”.

  2. Gerard Plourde

    I read and was baffled by his screed against Pop Art. I couldn’t see how he thought that the work of Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns trivialized comic illustration. If anything, it made “highbrow” critics pay attention to the skill and talent of those who worked in the medium.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      True, and I was wondering what Batty had such an axe to grind over this.

      Batty has really become a bitter old man.

      • Gerard Plourde

        If his report of his contemporaneous reaction to the debut of Adam West’s Batman is accurate, his fanatical devotion to the transcendent salvific power of comic books, which forms a recurring theme in his work, appears to be practically life-long. He’s a true believer and anyone who, in his view, doesn’t share his reverence is committing blasphemy.

  3. Jimmy

    I think this joke actually hit. I’m a youth coach and not a band parent, but if it’s anything like youth athletics, it never ends.

  4. billytheskink

    TB acts as if every comic was disposable and shallow before he made Lisa pregnant. Maybe he’s just mad Warhol never sampled his work.

    • Epicus Doomus

      And the funny thing about that is how the pregnancy arc was as trite, shallow and predictable as possible. Shocked reactions, goofy “misunderstandings”, cornball childbirth class gags and the obvious ending…not even a kernel of real originality to be found. He (still) carries on like those prestige arcs were paradigm-shifting works that altered the course of comic strip history but they were (and continue to be) nothing but half-assed melodrama, unique only because most other comic strips try harder.

      • spacemanspiff85

        He acts like Lisa’s Story is widely regarded as right up there with Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns, which is sad. The pinnacle of him at his most serious and “literary” was Masky McDeath, which really says it all.

        • spacemanspiff85

          I really wonder how that went, honestly.
          “It’s going to be a really touching moment, I’ve been building towards it for months. This is what people are going to remember me for. Should I just have Lisa go silently? Maybe have her last words be ‘I love you”. Oh, I know I’ll go with a dorky guy in a suit wearing a mask, standing in clouds.”
          It makes me wonder if he originally wanted Lisa to be escorted to the afterlife by Barry Allen or Detective Chimp but couldn’t get permission, and just threw Masky in at the last minute.

          • William Thompson

            Or if he wanted the sight of Masky McDeath to inspire a musical: “Fan Tom of the Opera House,” I guess.

  5. The Nelson Puppet

    The spirit of Roy Lichtenstein asked to speak through me. He says, “FUCK YOU, TOM BATIUK!”

  6. The worst of it is not that Becky has announced that life as a band parent is an unrewarding and endless slog that you can never recover from. The worst of it that she does so with a smile because it’s all she knows. She can’t conceive of a normal life where people relax because she’s been driven crazy.

    As for Batiuk’s angry screed about Pop Art and the campy sixties Bat-Man, they out him as what he is: a cautionary example about taking something too damned seriously. He IS what he complains about and doesn’t even know it, the poor stupid fuck!!!

  7. Rusty Shackleford

    Ok, I was in band in HS. A drawing of Dinkle in full uniform was painted on the band director’s door. We would march in the Memorial Day parade, in June we played at the commencement ceremony. Then 2 weeks later we started practicing for the 4th of July parade and our yearly trip to Cedar Point. And then by August we began daily practice…

    The point is, that was a lot of words, but it wasn’t funny, like today’s strip.

  8. Interestingly, in that rant on the FW blog, Batty reproduces Roy Lichtenstein’s Drowning Girl…without attribution. Because Pop Art is just so disposable and shallow, I guess.

    • redsnifit

      It’s actually fairly fitting given Drowning Girl was itself borderline plagiarism.

      I’m not quite sure if this is what Batiuk’s griping about or not, but there’s some justifiable salt among comic artists about how comics were seen as “low” art and their illustrators were paid peanuts, only for people like Lichtenstein to more or less draw over them, present them in a different context, and sell them for millions while being praised as revolutionary.