On This August Occasion

Link to today’s strip (eventually).

The occasion being, of course, the first of August…and the strip thus unavailable for preview.

Of course, we know how it’s going to go.   Kitch Swoon’s going to talk more about using Dullard’s work in her gallery.  This will probably lead to collectors bidding for his work, and a wealthy life for Dullard.  Batiuk has used this strip to construct his ideal fantasy world, where the real world has no presence at all.  A world where the terrible comics that AK publishes are somehow wildly successful.

That’s one aspect of this strip that truly puzzles me.  He’s got his own invented world, and his own invented comic book publishing house.  He could do literally any titles he wished (providing he doesn’t violate copyright law) and he comes up with stuff that just looks terrible and dull.*  I cannot imagine a comic-book reader, in any era, doing anything with these titles other than turning up his nose.  Back when I was reading comics, the only one of these I would have looked at would be The Scorch, and that would only be after I’d already read everything else that month.

Where are the AK versions of Superman, Batman, or the Flash?  Isn’t that the sort of book that Batiuk wanted to work on back in the day?  So why doesn’t he create his own versions now (other than fears that his knock-offs would be mocked without mercy)?  Wasn’t that Chester’s vision–creating stalwart and true heroes, like the ones he loved as a child?  Why is it that the two dullest sounding AK titles–Rip Tide and the Inedible Pulp–are the only ones with more than one cover showcased in the strip?

Why does Batiuk’s imagination seem so small?

*The Inedible Pulp, Rip Tide-Scuba Cop, Atomic Ape, The Scorch…these are the ones I remember, am I forgetting any?  And if I am forgetting, well, guess why.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

21 responses to “On This August Occasion

  1. billytheskink

    You aren’t forgetting any of Atomik Komix’s titles, those are the only 4 books we’ve seen them publish. I mean, they only employ 3 people…

    Did these three really put their entire conversation on hold just so they could continue it at another location? Kitch had to take these two (one of whom is NOT an artist) to her gallery just to ask to exhibit some of Atomik Komix’s work? And shouldn’t she be asking Chester about this? It’s his artwork from an ownership standpoint.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Chester gifted Pete and Boy Lisa with dream jobs in paradise and handed them total artistic freedom. Yet they respect him so little that they think nothing of leaving their jobs in the middle of the work day to go cut lucrative side deals involving trademarked properties Chester owns. It’s a nearly Les-like display of arrogance on display here.

      An arc about a comic book artist having his work displayed in a snooty art gallery…who is this for, exactly? It’s a topic and a premise that couldn’t possibly hold any appeal for anyone else on Earth.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    “Why does Batiuk’s imagination seem so small?”

    You need an electron microscope to find his imagination. Multiple sub-universes full of daffy zany characters like Starbuck Jones and Rip Tide, yet all he ever does with them is engage in these plodding comic book geek wish-fulfillment fantasies involving boring auctions, tedious book signings, worthless memorabilia fetishization and moronic art shows. Did they really need to leave work in the middle of the day and walk to this art gallery to make this happen? What purpose did THAT serve?

    • spacemanspiff85

      Batiuk has the opposite of imagination. He can take an exciting premise and turn it boring. “I get to use Dick Tracy in my own strip! I know! I’ll have him carry a box of comics!”

      • Epicus Doomus

        I mean just a few weeks ago he featured a whiskey-drinking cigar-smoking prop laser gun-toting talking chimpanzee murderer and made THAT boring and tedious. If he can’t make that even mildly amusing what chance is there for a story about an art gallery full of comic books?

    • William Thompson

      The walk helped tire out the kiddies so they’ll take their afternoon nap.

  3. The Nelson Puppet

    Wow! AtOmICK cOMiCKX is ART! Roy Lichtenstein must be looking up from Hell in envy!

  4. Paul Jones

    The most galling thing is that we’re never actually going to SEE the gallery showing because Batiuk’s imagination is sterile. He can make facile gags about implausible disasters but he cannot show people succeeding.

  5. erdmann

    Maybe it will be revealed that Chester has already sold all the original art and pocketed the proceeds. Just imagine: an Atomic Ape double splash could probably bring in 10, maybe 12 cents, easy. Add that to the money he made selling the art from the first issue of Scuba Cop and Chester can finally buy that last Butterfinger in the office vendo.

    • Maxine of Arc

      Do they even have original art? We saw Mindy coloring on a tablet or something. Many artists have gone mostly or entirely digital for their drawing now.

      • Professor Fate

        I was thinking that as well – it does look like most folks are using tablets these day and Mindy for sure was using one.
        Still maybe as part of their conscious retro style Boy Lisa is still using pen and paper to physically draw the art work -Mind then would I guess scan it and do the coloring that way (I think my knowledge of this is limited)
        still the idea that Boy Lisa’s art would be exhibited is absurd – nobody has prior to this has talked about his drawings as being anything special.
        One does miss the drunken ape.

        • Maxine of Arc

          The artists I follow who use digital lay out their pages and do initial drawings on paper, then scan and use the tablet to complete the linework, tweak the figures, add lettering and color, etc. There are a few who do the whole thing on paper but they’re mostly super old school guys like Stan Sakai.

          • Bad Wolf

            This is normal for a comic strip but less so for comic books, i think inkers still get a lot of work, although the work was being increasingly scanned direct from pencils.

            Did i miss someone doing inks at AK? God knows Pete’s never going to soil his hands with honest work.

  6. Banana Jr. 6000

    Why is she smirking? There is literally no reason for her to be smirking! This is just a conversation, with no attempt at wordplay or humor! Unless she’s running some kind of scam and that face means she’s thinking “heh heh heh… suckers”, her reaction makes no sense.

    Am I missing the joke? “I never saw that coming”? “He’s just being modest”? I don’t get it.

  7. Ray

    Man, why the hell does Peete ALWAYS look so damn haggard?

    • Chyron HR

      That’s one of the two ways you can tell it’s Pete and not Summer. (The other way is if they appeared in the strip in the past five years.)

    • billytheskink

      The real sad thing is that he looked just as haggard when he was a teenager.

  8. Panel 3: a hatchet face and two smirks!

  9. On the FW blog, Batty shares his snaps from San Diego Comic-Con. Clearly, he cares little for Comic-Con etiquette which requires asking cosplayers for their permission to take pics.

    • Maxine of Arc

      Comic-Con etiquette, etiquette in general, basic principles of photography, and not coming off like a sleaze taking pictures of unsuspecting women’s butts.