Oy Vey! Vetik in di Tuchus!

Link to today’s strip

Ruby, your Yiddish is showing. I don’t know if Batiuk is using the word tuchus to tell us that Ruby is Jewish, or just from New York. I’d give him some minor props if its the former since Jews had an proportionally outsized influence on early comics. For more information see great books like Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics, and the Creation of the Superhero and Up, Up, and Oy Vey! How Jewish History, Culture, and Values Shaped The Comic Book Superhero.

But then again Yiddishisms have migrated their way into the common national slang, especially in New York. For more research on that read The Joys of Yiddish. Either way, one word has hinted at more character and backstory than Mindy has gotten in decades of serving as a prop to display Crankshaft on.

Now that the Amazon deep dive is over, what the frag does Ruby mean by ‘as a woman’? I seriously hope that Batiuk intends to delve into this further with specific examples of how her gender made things more difficult. Otherwise this phrase is empty and meaningless. Because comic creating has always been a pain in the ass, regardless of gender, both in reality and in the reality of this strip.

Batiuk has drawn from the well of comic creators’ misery many, many, many, many times. We had Pete raked over the coals for writing ‘The Amazing Mr. Sponge’ while Lord of the Late loomed over him, and the comic company made demands for a ‘Clone Saga’. We had all those implied-to-be-canon musings by Darin and Pete over how hard it was to be in the Batom pool ‘back in the day’. If either of those situations could have been made appreciably worse by a bra, I’d like to see it. Sure the bosses could have been sexist, but we’ve already seen that they’re willing to bully, demean, and steal the ideas of males.

It’s not that much worse if someone treats you with the same callous regard as the men, but with the addendum that they’re doing it because you’re a woman. That’s not sexism, that’s a sexist who treats everyone like crap.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

17 responses to “Oy Vey! Vetik in di Tuchus!

  1. Epicus Doomus

    That’s a tuchus pain Mindy knows all too well there, Ruby. One day Mindy was just minding her business, visiting her boyfriend at work and coloring in one of Boy Lisa’s insufferable doodles and all of a sudden bam, she’s a professional comic book color-inner, just like that. From that point on it was gender-based indignity after gender-based indignity…the filthy bathroom, all day coffee breaks, her fiance’s woeful throwing arm…but she persevered and today Mindy is Employee Number Three at Atomik Komix, home of Rip Tide and The Inedible Pulp. Don’t give up on your dreams just because you were born a woman, ladies, you can overcome that these days.

  2. I would think that patting himself on the back so often might make Tom Batiuk kind of sore, but I guess the quest for awards doesn’t leave time for physical pain.

  3. billytheskink

    Ruby Lith loved what she was doing AND she keeps up with the new stuff?! She’s like the anti-TB!

  4. spacemanspiff85

    I’m pretty sure there’s nothing more to Batiuk’s use of tuchus than that he thinks it’s a funny word.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      It’s sort of a stock way to introduce that a character is Jewish. A little outdated IMO, but it works considering that Ruby might be 120 years old.

      • spacemanspiff85

        I just find it hard to believe that Batiuk would put that level of character development into a character who exists solely because thinks “Ruby Lith” is a funny name. Look how much Darin has been featured, and there’s very little to his character beyond “likes comics” and “Lisa’s bio-son”.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          It makes sense when you think about the strip’s storytelling priorities. As of tomorrow, this lame conversation will get more time than talking murder chimp and the Pete-Mindy engagement put together. So why wouldn’t it get more character development too?

  5. Charles

    You know, I’d really like to see Mindy contribute something here, even if it is to say that Darin and Mopey are perfect gentlemen to her and things have gotten better since the biddy was doing her work decades ago. She’d at least have a purpose here beyond being the filibuster-enabler that she’s been so far. That might, you know, shed some light on this tiny community that Batiuk’s established and writes about, rather than simply do a “I Remember When” with someone who didn’t exist before this week and won’t ever exist again unless it’s to talk about how awesome she is.

  6. Paul Jones

    I wonder what they were worried about? Did they think that she was going to stab the comics when she got angry?

  7. Gerard Plourde

    “Even though for a woman, the comic book industry could be a real pain in the tuchus.”

    Unlike the rest of corporate America, where being a woman was (and remains) a veritable walk in the park.

    I guess TomBa thinks that a one-liner inserted into a one week arc is sufficient to allow him to claim to be advancing awareness of women’s role in the history of the comics industry.

  8. Scott Lovrine

    I think Ruby is based on long time Aquaman artist Ramona Fradon.

  9. Banana Jr. 6000

    On a side note, I’m glad Comic Book Harriet got this story arc. Her historical knowledge has added a lot to the discussion.

    • billytheskink

      Much agreed. We are quite fortunate to have CBH when these arcs strike, and it is especially welcome to have her at the helm.

  10. Professor Fate

    As with so many of the Author’s arcs – right now all in my head I hear Steve Martin from Planes Trains and Automobiles “And by the way, you know, when you’re telling these little stories? Here’s a good idea – have a POINT. It makes it SO much more interesting.”
    I mean GET ON WITH IT – really just what are trying to say here? And oh some examples of how bad it was in the old days for women comic book artists wouldn’t hurt – it just might add a bit of depth to a character whose only really defining characteristic is she has granny glasses and a weird hat.
    it couldn’t hurt.
    and personally I would have liked her to make a snide comment about Mindy’s work along the lines of ‘are you using crayons?” I’m tired of everybody being all sweetness and comic book light except for Les.
    everybody’s smug – a little anger wouldn’t hurt at all I think.

  11. Smirks 'R Us

    today’s Crankshaft is a window on the soul of dear ol’ BatHack and how he must feel very time he tunes into our little neck of the woods. Wish I know how to link it here.