My Myth Take

Time and again, I promise myself that I will not allow Tom Batiuk to send me down the Google hole. Usually I’m compelled to search for context for a reference he’s made to some obscure (to me) silver age comic book. Sometimes I’ll search Grandpa Google for a particularly odd or stilted expression uttered by a character, to determine whether anyone IRL has said or would say it, before committing it to the Batiuktionary. Why, just last week I spent a good part of my morning querying why anyone would bring two rackets to play tennis. Though it pains me, I feel that it’s my duty to you, the reader, to at least try and comprehend the author’s intentions before proceeding to pee all over his life’s work.

I doubt I’m the only one completely flummoxed by today’s comic. This one sent me first to Google: “…with only hope to assuage him” is such a weirdly constructed phrase that it has to be a literary quotation, right? Not as far as I can tell. Next stop was Wikipedia, to read up on Pandora: not the music streaming and automated music recommendation internet radio service; that’s just part of the gag, see? And hey, props to Batiuk: I learned something. “Pandora’s Box” was actually a jar (not Jarre): sixteenth-century Erasmus of Rotterdam, when he translated the Greek legend of Pandora into Latin, translated pithos, meaning a large storage jar, into the Latin word pyxis, meaning “box”. When naughty Pandora opened that jar and unleashed evil into the world,

Only Hope was left within her unbreakable house, she remained under the lip of the jar, and did not fly away. Before [she could], Pandora replaced the lid of the jar.

The Wiki includes the image you see here of “Hermes carrying Pandora down from Mount Olympus,” which I suppose is where the “downhill” part comes in. Who knows? I’ve already spent too much time thinking about and composing a long-winded post which you probably won’t read before going straight to the comments, and I don’t blame you.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

11 responses to “My Myth Take

  1. spacemanspiff85

    So Barlow opened for a mythical figure, who as far as I know isn’t associated at all with music? That’s bizarre.

  2. If I may paraphrase Commander Joseph Henderson, San Francisco: “Well, that’s real good, Batiuk. I never knew they put Greek mythology in comic books.”

  3. Epicus Doomus

    The saddest and most alarming thing about this is that it doesn’t represent the lowest Batiuk can go. As horrific as this smug obnoxious self-smirkery is it’s still better than his Lisa boo-hooery. And this shouldn’t be considered “better” than anything…ever.

    • spacemanspiff85

      At least the Lisa crap has some effort and thought put into it. This is “101 Music Puns for Dummies” put to incredibly bland, repetitive, and boring art.

  4. billytheskink

    Ooooh, oooooh! Hey, can I have a syndicated comic strip just like Tom Batiuk? I, too, can draw really verbose gags about Lynn Dickey, John Roche, Matilda McDuck, and others that less than 3.7% of the American public is intimately familiar with.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Batty says he cares for this art form. If this is true, he should immediately resign and give his spot up for someone who really cares.

  5. erdmann

    Hope was actually supposed to be capitalized; she was an Austrian prostitute Barlow visited frequently.

  6. Not only does Batiuk think that mythology gags are gags using mythology, he has Chester on the other side getting sentimental and weird and eventually asking Pete and Boy Lisa to honor his dad by developing a character with super gardening powers. ,

  7. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    Okay, pencils down. I’ve figured today’s episode out.

    Batty was reading the comments on this and other forums, and threw his usual hissy snit. As always, he gave the cat a swift kick in the rump. This time, kitty came down on his keyboard, and her furry little paws generated the random line in the last panel.

    There is no other possible explanation.

  8. Hannibal's Lectern

    As of 9am CDT, I am getting the message “’s server IP address could not be found.” Evidently this crap was too much for even a soulless data-processing machine to handle. (Un)luckily there was a copy of it on Curmudgeon, so I got to see the incomprehensible drivel.

    I don’t see how anyone could make anything remotely funny from this… unless, of course, Pandora were to stuff Dinkle into her… jar. Or, for that matter, into Jarré, via the orifice of her choice.

  9. Will

    I think I figured out why I hate the Claude Barlow stuff so much. It’s the same shtick that Peter Shickele does with PDQ Bach, but without actually being funny.