Batton down the hatches

And today’s strip is on from insulting Flash Freeman to… this… whatever this is is supposed to be.

I get the self-referential bit, of course, but what is its purpose? Is this lamenting the declining popularity of newspaper comics in the most confusing way possible? (maybe) Is this based on TB’s experience being ignored at real life comic convention functions? (definitely) What is Thatsnought’s reference to “the original guy who did that strip” all about? (probably nothing)

And Three O’Clock High? Is that supposed to be a stand in for Funky Winkerbean? Just Act I Funky Winkerbean? TB’s first published comic strip (the anti-Archie) Rapping Around?
Is it an intentional reference to the lightly-remembered 80s teen comedy of the same name that starred the guy who played the 3D glasses-wearing guy from Biff Tannen’s gang in Back To The Future? (unclear)

Whatever it is… it stinks. (apologies to Jay Sherman)

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21 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

21 responses to “Batton down the hatches

  1. I think it’s more self-pity, as well as “today’s youth don’t know quality when they see it, hence today’s youth are riddled with a fetid stench.”

    Got to admit, it’s kind of baffling.

    • gleeb

      Except that one of those youth is Crazy Harry, Batiuk’s “cool”, air-guitar-playing, job-abandoning character.

  2. spacemanspiff85

    The only thing I can think of here is this is some joke about how a lot of comic strips generally aren’t written by their creators anymore. Like, maybe Batiuk is bragging about how he still writes his own strip, which, I would not be bragging about that if I was him. It still doesn’t make sense why Thatsnot wouldn’t just say “Who created that strip?” or why the guy has a weird Bizarro version of the name Tom Batiuk, but I stopped expecting this strip to make any sense about the same time I started reading it.

  3. Epicus Doomus

    It’s not the worst idea he’s ever had but the execution is baffling. I don’t get the joke here. And I can’t explain why Free Comic Book Day morphed into WestviewCon either. This is one of the more confounding weekly arcs I can remember, it’s all “inside” jokes that he apparently wrote to amuse himself and no one else. Which is fine, I suppose, as long as someone’s willing to pay you for it, but as far as entertainment value is concerned…uh, yeah.

    • spacemanspiff85

      Yeah, I mean it doesn’t count as an inside joke if you’re the only one in on it. At best it’s not a joke at all, at worst it’s insanity.

  4. billytheskink

    Since “Batton” doesn’t have a tablecloth or a sign telling Free Comic Book Day goers who he is, did he just show up uninvited with his card table and bottled water and set up shop? Is that how TB does his “appearances” at comics conventions?

    • Epicus Doomus

      If he wanted to do a WestviewCon arc he should have just done so, it’d actually have been one of his, uh…”better” ideas of recent vintage. Sure, he would have botched it all up and everything but at least there would have been some logic to this premise. The Gang seems all confused about “Battom” and why he’s there, which makes no sense whatsoever given the fact that everyone else there is an invited guest they all have some sort of connection to.

  5. The Nelson Puppet

    Batiuk’s humblebragging again. Why does TB have such a fixation on autograph signings?

    • spacemanspiff85

      My theory: a high school athlete once taunted him by saying nobody was ever going to be asking him for his autograph.

  6. The Nelson Puppet

    “Thomas Batten” looks like a dollar-store version of Les Moore, complete with shabby tweed blazer.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Write for the newspapers, you get a card table you loser.

      Write a masterpiece like Lisa’s story and you get real table with a professionally designed poster to advertise your wares.

  7. I choose to believe Batton Thomas just came in to Komix Korner, set up his card table and water bottle, and sat down four months ago. He folded his arms, and put on an expression that’s simultaneously lonely, disapproving, sad, and needy. He’s refused to speak to anyone, or to leave, ever since. That it’s Free Comics Day Month is coincidence and has nothing to do with the project.

  8. Paul Jones

    Tomorrow, more self-pity about how no one seems to approve of his attempts to enlighten them as to how grim and horrible the world is and how they, for reasons unknown to him, want to laugh once in a while. I’d have called this “Snarky Fodderbean” back in the day.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Yeah, Lynn Johnston already had that job and she did it well. She wouldn’t have permitted even a smirk in her misery laden fantasyland.

      • Paul Jones

        It’s a good thing that Les Moore never met Michael Patterson. If they got together, their combined stylistic suck would kill the English language and we’d be reduced to yelling BOXCAR!!! all the time.

  9. Miskatonic Sophomore

    Maybe the strip is beginning to vanish into the vortex of its creator’s navel. We can but hope.

  10. Based on the image in the masthead, it looks like BT will be speaking tomorrow and offer his own half-assed version of the “Three O’Clock High” backstory. I have to say that I’m curious as to how much space there is inside the Komix Korner. We’ve seen four different tables set up with signage, and Mr Thomas’ table is far enough away from the others that our gang is only now noticing him. When you count that DSH also needs space to display his expansive inventory of (non-free) comic books and various comic nerd gewgaws, that’s a lot of floor space. Maybe he’s using Tardis technology to allow the interior space to expand indefinitely.

  11. Rusty Shackleford

    I really have to go see Batty in person so I can ask him what happened to the funny guy who used to write Funky Winkerbean.

  12. timbuys

    Without seeking to distract from everyone else’s incisive commentary regarding whatever the hell today’s installment is supposed to be about, I point everyone’s attention to the drawing of a butt in the far right of today’s perspective bending single panel.

    Someone took some time to put a lot of detail into that.

  13. Jimmy

    I don’t think Bernie’s Buddy understood the Dorian Gray story very well. I bet somewhere in his house is a picture that keeps getting younger.