What’s Black-and-White and Dreaded All Over?

Honestly, I kinda dig the newspaper montage in the throwaway panel of today’s strip… such famous banners as the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Herald (known as the Herald-Express in the 40s), San Francisco Call (known as the Call-Bulletin in the 40s), and… uh, the Oxnard Daily Courier (known as the Press-Courier in the 40s). The “His Famous Smile Is Gone” headline is actually a pretty upper-middle shelf bit of stupidly maudlin 1940s newspapering. What I like ends there, though…

WILSON BELLOWS INKPOT?! Are you kidding me, Batiuk?! “Butter Brickle” was too silly a name, had to be changed to the essentially nonexistent surname “Brinkel”… but some William Randolph Hearst-Snidely Whiplash mash-up robber barron (oh, there’s a 1940s trope, not an 1890s one… no sir!) named “Bellows” AND “Inkpot” is kosher?

Why, that’s almost as asinine as Jessica, who was in the same high school class as her husband Durwood (born in 1986) comparing yellow newspaper journalism with modern online sensationalism as if she didn’t grow up with supermarket tabloids and Les Moore writing a book about her vapid TV host father’s murder. Almost…

17 Comments

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17 responses to “What’s Black-and-White and Dreaded All Over?

  1. Epicus Doomus

    “Wilson Bellows Inkpot” is possibly the dumbest FW name ever and lest we forget, the strip is titled “Funky Winkerbean”. I thought the same thing: Jessica is forty years old, surely she remembers or is at least aware of the existence of newspapers. She comes across like a ten year old here, a really dimwitted ten year old. “Gee, it was like these newfangled gizmos the kids like me are obsessed with, but on paper and stuff!”…shut the f*ck up and set up the goddamned tripod already, you idiot.

    “The press exploits lurid scandals involving famous people for profit and always has”…there’s a cutting edge observation ripped straight from today’s wacky culture, eh? I guess it’s OK for HIM because HIS lurid scandal is just make-believe, unlike those “real” lurid scandals those unscrupulous types profit from. Or something, it’s hard to really tell anymore.

  2. ian'sdrunkenbeard

  3. Paul Jones

    And of course, you know why he sympathizes with the man he’s about to make into a clueless stooge who more or less railroaded himself for murder: he sees himself as the victim of on-line bullying because people tell him about the evil concepts ‘plausibility’ and ‘not making heroes of characters who people want to see suffer horribly.’

  4. Max Power

    Who wouldn’t want to see this headline about Les: “His Famous Smirk Is Gone”?

  5. Rusty Shackleford

    Don’t quit your day job Cindy…whatever that is.

  6. Count of Tower Grove

    Why the intrusive portrait of a fortyish Fungy Wankerstain? Does Todd need to remind himself who the eponymous character is? BTW, on CK “Wankerstain” is now being reviewed.

  7. bayoustu

    Oh, come on, Batty!! In the first panel, he’s “WILSON Bellows Inkpot” in the very next panel, he’s “WILLIAM Bellows Inkpot”! Were they twins?! Or is this more Reynolds/Roberts Brickle/Brinkle ineptitude?! In the space of ONE PANEL! That’s some quality control right there!

    • Holy crap, great catch @bayoustu!

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Wow, I missed that too. Reminds me of the extra finger on one of the characters in Mary Worth last month.

      No quality, no attention to detail, and apparently no proofreaders. Does the syndicate dock their pay when they screw up like that?

  8. bayoustu

    Thanks, TFH! Just call me a beady-eyed nitpicker!

  9. Professor Fate

    Wilson/Willam – yep not a proofreader in sight.
    Nor an editor
    And how much worse could Inkpot make butter’s life he was already on trial for murder? It’s like worrying about the headache you have when you’ve just been told you have a fatal disease.

    • Professor Fate

      Upon further review – Inkpot making Brinkle’s life a misery would only make sense if Butter was found not guilty as only then would Inkpot, sorry William Randolph Hearst (is that why he screwed up the name?) i.e. Charles Foster Kane have the TIME to destroy Butter’s life. Besides it’s hard to slander a man found guilty of murder.

  10. comicbookharriet

    How dare journalists rake Hollywood types over their coals for their ‘Immoral’ lifestyles! If it weren’t for those awful money-grubbing journalists we would still be getting Kevin Spacey movies produced by Harvey Weinstein.

  11. Gerard Plourde

    I also wonder how much of a watchdog role the press, especially the local papers would actually have played. The studios were the biggest employers in town and through vertical integration also ran the major movie chains, so the papers were dependent on the advertising revenue.

    Also, if Inkpot is supposed to be Hearst, I think he both attended and hosted parties with Hollywood people.

    And, as an aside, was the inclusion of the carousel and the chimpanzee among Brinkel’s eccentricities a nod to Michael Jackson?

    • Maxine of Arc

      A lot depends on whether this is supposed to be taking place in the 20s or the 40s. Goodness knows Batiuk doesn’t seem to know.

  12. Charles

    And if Butter had a competent attorney, or more likely, if Batiuk had any idea how the legal system works, none of the members of the jury would have read a single thing the man-with-multiple-names printed about the case.

    I also love that quote in the first panel. When did the guy have the opportunity to say that to Butter, and who witnessed it to corroborate it?

    Plus, Butter Brinkle in the splash panel looks waaaay too much like Harvey Weinstein for comfort. I’d love to think that’s unintentional, but Christ…