There’s No Thumb Big Enough For This.

Link to Today’s Comic.

Count on Batiuk to take a relate-able peeve, hatred for kid sidekicks, and present it in such a way that we all feel both offended and annoyed.

I’m a Transformer’s fan, I know how bad the little kid sidekick can be. I’ve lived through Daniel Witwicky for Primus’ sake. One of my best friends couldn’t enjoy Reboot, (the greatest cartoon of all time, I said it, fight me,) because Enzo grated on her nerves like jalapeno sandpaper. Her unbearable pain was hilarious to witness, and gives me a model of how this could have been presented better.

But TommyBats decided to frame the innocuous punchline in a box of unfortunate implications, by turning Pete into the most overbearing mansplainer since Mark Trail. If Chester had just come up with the sidekick on his own, then Pete could have complained without the specter of mysoginy haunting the exchange.

Interesting to see that Mindy has not only been rendered a silent object by Pete’s temper tantrum, she’s beginning to fracture into some kind of Cubist, Surrealist monstrosity.

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26 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

26 responses to “There’s No Thumb Big Enough For This.

  1. Epicus Doomus

    If he hates “sidekick” characters so much why is he almost always with Boy Lisa? Zing! I do know how Pete feels, as whenever there used to be a strip featuring him and his boring pal I’d wad it up and throw it in the fireplace, but that became too expensive when everything went online.

  2. countoftowergrove

    Panel 3 Mindy contemplates running for her life.

  3. DOlz

    Pete its 2018 you can admit you covered up Robin so you could have Batman to yourself.

    By the by, I’m still waiting for the true origin story of Batman. You know the one where he started his career as a Batboy on the Gotham Gobblers. It was there he got sick of seeing balls killed and bases stolen with no one held accountable and so became the scourge of crime.

  4. billytheskink

    1. Chimps are not adolescent apes, so Charger Chimp would not necessarily be a kid. Pete’s the writer, he can make CC any age or maturity level that he wants.

    2. Chester’s vision for Charger Chimp was as the Tonto to Atomic Ape’s “Lone Ranger of space”. While certainly depicted as a sidekick, Tonto has generally not been depicted as being a kid or even significantly younger than the Lone Ranger.

    3. The “Lone Ranger of space” concept came from Pete himself to begin with, surely he is aware that the Lone Ranger’s sidekick is pretty much as famous and as important to most Lone Ranger stories as the title character.

    4. Pete sure didn’t struggle writing kid sidekicks when he was penning The Amazing Mr. Sponge.

    5. Pete’s Batom Comics flashback fever dream version of himself doesn’t seem to relish being ordered to kill off Absorbing Junior.

    6. While I have cartoons I would place above Reboot, I was reminded of that show when watching and saw its influence in Tron: Uprising a few years back. Regrettably, Disney cancelled the show after a single season. The axed Motorcity at the same time, which was also lamentable, especially given that this comic strip continues to be published.

    7. Thinking of kid sidekicks who are distractions in cartoons, I’m reminded of Moki from Hanna-Barbera’s Greatest Adventures: Stories from the Bible who was written so obnoxiously that even the great (and then quite young) Rob Paulsen’s voice work couldn’t make him tolerable.

    8. Pete is an immature and irredeemable shmuck. My thumb deserves better than to be placed on his face.

  5. erdmann

    Panel 4
    Mindy: Who the hell said anything about him being a kid? Sure, he’s cute and cuddly, but I also envision him as being an adult, a successful author who chronicles Atomic Ape’s adventures, and a single father. He’s also all male, if you catch my drift, which obviously you can’t, you big baby.

    Confession time: I’ve never been a big fan of kid sidekicks, either, and I still dislike Jimmy Olsen, but good lord. Dopey Pete needs his meds adjusted.

  6. spacemanspiff85

    1. This is point where she backs away, blocks his number, and looks into getting a restraining order.
    2. Does Pete/Batiuk realize that work is about doing what your customers like, not what you personally like? I mean, he so clearly doesn’t, but I had to ask.
    3. So this explains why Summer no longer exists.

  7. The Nelson Puppet

    From: Law Firm representing The Bob Denver Estate
    To: Tom Batiuk, King Features Syndicate

    Re: Cease and Desist Notice

    We hereby demand that you cease and desist using the cartoon depiction of Bob Denver in the role of “Pete” in your “comic strip”, Funky Winkerbean.

  8. I don’t know why you hate kid appeal characters but I have a fair idea of why Batiuk does: the kid appeal character grounds his hero in reality and reality is what Batiuk is escaping from. Reality offers him a vision of himself not as a victim but as a spoiled, selfish brat wasting his life on shiny trash when he could be applying himself to something useful.

  9. Gerard Plourde

    How odd that Pete would develop such a visceral response and then, according to previous disclosures, go on to work on “The Amazing Mr. Sponge” whose kid sidekick is Absorbing Jr.

  10. ComicTrek

    Okay, I’ll agree that about 70% of kiddie sidekicks are bad, but only mostly because they’re not written well.
    Just like you, Pete…

  11. hitorque

    1. Girl, GET THE FUCK OUT before he forces you at gunpoint to legally change your name to “Barbara Gordon”! This is not an endearing episode of manchild comics geekery, this is not a tortured creative genius whose quirks we must tolerate because he’s so great at his job, this is GODDAMNED PSYCHOPATHY RUN AMOK… You sure can pick ‘em, can’t you Generic Funkyverse Woman?

    2. I don’t seem to remember all this hyper-obsessive bitching and moaning back when he was writing Mr. Sponge and Absorbine Junior?

    3. Pete (and to a lesser extent Chester) are pretty damned presumptuous trying to apply their hardline comics ‘rules’ to the rest of the readership…

    4. For the record, getting your girlfriend hired into your office is never, ever, EVER a good idea, unless you have one of those “quickie in the copier room/doing it on the boss’ desk after hours” -fetishes…

    5. All that aside, “Charger Chimp” is the stupidest fucking idea I’ve ever heard in the comics world, even by stream-of-consciousness pulled-out-of-the-ass standards… Sounds like a rejected MOPAR advertising mascot…

  12. hitorque

    6. Wow… Damn…. If **ONLY** there were some Batman-only comics DC could have printed during Pete’s formative years in the early 90s… He wouldn’t be such a whiny emo douche today.

    7. But in a way I understand… Hell, the only reason why I stopped reading Superman was because Krypto the dog WAS LITERALLY IN EVERY ISSUE SO I HAD TO GET SOME SCISSORS AND CUT HIM OUT OF EVERY PANEL ON EVERY PAGE AND AFTER THAT SUPERMAN WAS PERFECT!

  13. hitorque

    8. Seriously, somebody needs to shoot this motherfucker.

  14. Professor Fate

    1 – Teen Titans Libel!
    2 – okay assuming Mopey Pete is what 30? that means when he was reading comics say when he was ten – that was the 90’s – by that time Batman was pretty much operating Solo – Dick Grayson was now Nightwing and Robin wasn’t a regular member of the cast (forget who it is now but i’m not going to look it up – life’s too short) So this is actually the Author’s hobby horse from when he was young.
    3 – As other’s have noted – the Lone Ranger’s sidekick was not a kid or even cute so reading Pete’s frankly deranged tangent gives one the feeling you get when you ask a friend about how he likes the weather today and you get a diatribe on chemtrails.
    And 4 – TAKE IT UP WITH THE BOSS YOU LITTLE PASSIVE AGRESSIVE PIECE OF S-T. He’s the one who said ‘yes that’s a great idea” so if you want to not have a kid side kick talk to him.
    Granted he’s not the most loathsome FW cast member but he’s pulling himself up a few rungs with this arc.

  15. Epicus Doomus

    It’s funny how instead of facing a stupid-yet-semi-believable problem (Mindy stealing his thunder by impressing the boss) BatNard decided to make it all about one of Pete’s bizarre comic book tics, one that flies right in the face of continuity and history no less. Pete can’t “do sidekicks”…OK, sure Tom. I guess Rip Tide, Scuba Cop works alone, right?

    • Professor Fate

      Rip Tide Scuba Cop and his partner “Slap the Wonder Seal.” (from old Johnny Caron routine Tea time movie.