Hammett Up, Cliff

Today’s strip gets a “time travel” tag and a “retcon” tag, because both of those things appear to be happening!

This is lifted wholesale from the Fatty Arbuckle case, by the way. Dashiell Hammett actually was a Pinkerton man in the late 1910s and early 1920s and he did claim to be a part of the Pinkerton team hired by Arbuckle’s defense attorneys, though some historians doubt his involvement was significant if it even happened at all.

How this squares with the timeline of silent film star 1940s icon Butter Brickle Brinkel’s trial is unclear… but all timelines in the Batiukverse are about as clear as an oil spill.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

20 responses to “Hammett Up, Cliff

  1. Epicus Doomus

    So I guess Cliff was just trying to be cute with that “Sam Spade” silliness, eh? Well color me amused. At least he managed to cram another 1930s-1940s reference in there, just in case the theme here isn’t quite clear yet.

  2. Let me take a wild guess–

    Cliff: “Yep, old Dashiell hunkered out them clues, and plain laid out how ol’ Butters was innocent…but then, by cracky, Butters had become toxic to the public, so as the studio wanted to put it all behind them, And they told Dashiell, they told him, listen up, here, Dashiell, they said, IF that’s your real name, if you publish this, why, we’ll never make any movies from your books, ever again. That’s what they told him, all right, and I got that straight from the mouse’s ear–Mickey, of course, always willing to do an actor a straight.”

    Cindy: “Well, of course, Dashiell Hammett could have just approached another studio. Warner Bros famously made–”

    Cliff: “Excuse me? Did I just hear a woman speak? Why–why the sheer unadulterated gall! You’re nothing like Feyd! Lovely Feyd! — WHERE’S MY DOCTOR?”

  3. spacemanspiff85

    Since Batiuk has apparently given up on any kind of rational approach to time, here’s my guess to what actually happened-Ed Crankshaft was delivering Montoni’s pizzas that Butter ordered via the pizza app, backed into the mailbox which happened to have a gun Butter ordered from Fleabay, which turned out to be loaded, which went off and shot Valerie. Ed will wink and say “How’s that for a backfire!”.

  4. Jimmy

    Two things:

    1) These bowler hats are incongruous.
    2) Will someone please share yesterday’s strip? I’m sure it doesn’t matter, but I see a broken link from the previous post.

    • billytheskink

      I’ve replaced the Seattle PI link with the SOSF archive link in yesterday’s post. That should clear up any issues.

  5. billytheskink

    Remember when this thing was about how Cliff knew Butter Brinkel-Brickle, not Dashiell Hammett? I know someone who doesn’t. I’m told he writes a comic strip…

    • Epicus Doomus

      The first person they interview is a guy who knew a guy who was hired by a guy who worked for Brinkel. That’s, uh…pretty tenuous, IMO. And to date this is the entirety of Cindy and Jessica’s research into the case, mind you, third-hand information from a hundred-and-eleven year old guy who until a few years ago lived in total dishevelment and obscurity for sixty years.

    • Cabbage Jack

      So a guy who was a Pinkerton in the 1910’s-1920’s is hired in the 1940’s to exonerate a silent film star who talks in his movies to find out if the murder that took place in the 1940’s was done by the guy famous in the 1920’s or by a “rival film studio as a warning” (the warned being we’ll frame you for murder if someone who isn’t you leaves our studio?) and all this great ‘scoop’ is being pulled together buy a guy who was a film star in the 1930’s and then lived in Soviet Russia in the 1940’s?

      I’m looking forward to the cameo by “that Cranky Kid who’s always playing integrated stickball on Butter Brinkel nee Brickle’s stoop”

  6. Paul Jones

    We’re starting to get an idea of why the strip itself is so poorly researched. Batiuk’s idea of doing so must also be :scooping up anecdotes from biased and ignorant sources that confirm his own biases.”

  7. Count of Tower Grove

    You can always tell Pinkertons by their bowler hats.

    • Professor Fate

      Well in the late 10’s and early 20’s bowler hats were not uncommon and everybody wore hats back then so these guys wouldn’t be too out of place in that ear. In the 40’s they would stick out like sore thumb.

  8. Jim in Wisc.

    So, this is supposedly taking place in the early 1940s (at least according to what L’Auteur Glorieux wrote in the June 27th strip), some 20 years after Hammett left his job with the Pinkertons, and while he was serving in the US Army … some 2,500 miles away in the Aleutian Islands?

    • Professor Fate

      Yes that is a poser. Really the continuity problems with this arc are reaching Hawkman-like levels. And while it took years for Hawkman to get as fouled up as it is, the Author has manage to complete confuse thinks in just a few weeks. It’s rather amazing in its own train wreck way.
      Still hoping the Ape did.

      • Professor Fate

        sorry that should read ‘achieve complete confusion’ never type before the 3rd cup of coffee.


    Apparently time in the Funkiverse–like a Montoni’s pizza–is a flat, poorly constructed, boring circle.