I Like My Coffee Like I Like My Women. Bitter. Tainted. Washed Up.

Link to today’s strip

That must be one of those ultra hipster coffee shops that adds CBD oil to the ‘special’ brew, because Mindy in panel 3 is baked out of her skull. And the sapphic undertones come back in full force as Ruby leers at Mindy and confesses she wishes that she were young again, and Mindy, grinning, labels her a ‘girl’, promising to make her fantasy reality.

And it is Batiukian in the extreme that Ruby’s protest of her ‘coffee girl’ duties was passive aggressive and petty. If he wanted Ruby to be a real crusader, she would have flat out refused to fulfill the chauvinistic expectations of the men around her. But no, she was miserable, remained miserable, and now wishes she had been born in a different decade because her own was unabated misery.

I’ve read so many compelling interviews this week, interviews with Lily Renee, Valerie (Violet) Barclay, Ramona Fradon, and Marie Severin. You know what these women wanted to talk about? What they got passionate talking about? Art. Writing. Their Work.

They didn’t want to spend hours complaining about how every man in their life was a miserable bastard. We’ve seen one picture of one character Ruby Lith drew. We know more about all the men who ruined her life than the art that was supposedly her passion.

An interesting interview with Fradon started this way.

Bradley: I suppose one of the first questions you get hit with is: Was it hard to be a woman in the comic industry? Did the guys treat you poorly, etc.? But I also know you haven’t had a negative thing to say about that aspect, and that’s awesome, so let’s skip that part, and talk about the work.

You like mysteries. So do we. Please tell us about working on House of Mystery with Joe Orlando. Is there a standout story for you from that period? Also, what other mystery-type books did you get to work with?

Ramona:

    Thanks for not asking me that.

As for the mysteries, I enjoyed working with Joe Orlando. He was a great editor. He was more interested in the art work than other editors I had and he taught me a lot, especially about inking. The mysteries were written very melodramatically and I preferred working on them more than the superheroes.

She enjoyed working with a man. A man who was a ‘great editor’ who pushed her to do even better work. Please stop asking her the same tired questions about her presumed persecution. Ask her about her ART. Ask her about her CHARACTERS. Let her know that you care about her contribution because she is a great comics artist in her own right, not because her sex makes her a curiosity.

Bradley: As cool as Metamorpho is himself, I’m a big Sapphire fan. I really think Sapphire Stagg is one of the hottest chicks in comics. Is there some Ramona in Sapphire?

Ramona: Of course Sapphire was me.

Bradley: Just fun to hear you say it.
Another goofy character you worked on was Plastic Man. Was there any key difference, enjoyment, or advantage between working on Metamorpho vs. Plastic Man?

Ramona: Plastic Man was fun in a different way. His stories were satirical and he was a total goof, while Metamorpho was sexy and involved a lot of interaction among the characters. I enjoyed them both but in different ways.

Bradley: Metamorpho sexy? You really are Sapphire!

22 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

22 responses to “I Like My Coffee Like I Like My Women. Bitter. Tainted. Washed Up.

  1. Once again, you provide an education I didn’t think I needed. And I thank you for that.

    [Batman TV announcer voice] But, wait, what’s this? The link shows an error page! Is this the work of an insidious foe, ready to spring a trap on CBH? Tune in tomorrow, same Batiuk-time, same Batiuk-channel! [/Batman TV announcer voice]

  2. comicbookharriet

    Biff! Pow! Link Fixed!
    [Batiuk Insignia Spins]
    [wRaaaannnnaaannieaaaahnaaanaaaahh!]

  3. Epicus Doomus

    So Ruby fought back against blatantly unfair workplace gender bias by pulling a stupid prank on her tormentors. You GO, girl! Once again BatYak unknowingly trivializes a real issue via his blend of wry sarcasm and droning idiocy. Nicely done.

  4. billytheskink

    And Ruby continued cleaning her paint brushes in the coffee even after leaving the comics industry to work at Irma’s diner.

  5. spacemanspiff85

    “Oh, and my favorite paints were lead based.”

  6. spacemanspiff85

    I love how basically the entire extent of what Batiuk thinks the challenges women face in the workplace is “men expect you to find a husband” and “they want you to make the coffee”.

  7. Jimmy

    Sorry if this has already been stated, but Chairman Mao started to bore me about two weeks ago when this arc started. Can’t believe it’s still going.

  8. The Nelson Puppet

    But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
    You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow

  9. ian'sdrunkenbeard

  10. Paul Jones

    An act of petty, passive-aggressive and impotent vengeance after years of mistreatment: truly an example to working women everywhere.

    This is the trouble I have with his thinking that every flashback has to conclude with the phrase “And then……the rubble burned down”; not only it is a disservice to the people who actually lived the lives he’s distorting, he’s using their mistreatment as an excuse for misconduct. The personification of that irritating trait is, of course, Ed Crankshaft.

  11. Chyron HR

    Remember contemporary issues facing young adults? It’s a comic about the contemporary issues facing young adults.

  12. Doc

    That’s Crankshaft in a wig in panel 3. Batiuk is getting pretty lazy…

  13. Gerard Plourde

    CBH’s outstanding history lesson continues.

    With such a rich and interesting topic, TomBa’s lack of curiosity and engagement are on full display. In Ruby Lith he could have created a true homage to all of the women CBH has spotlighted. Instead, we get the usual one-dimensional, angry and passive-aggressive author avatar.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      He sees what he thinks others want him to see.

      So bitter from just having to make coffee, wow, so inspiring. Girl you are fierce, no keep blabbing.

      The dialog in FW and Crankshaft has been so awkward lately that a commenter on CK thinks Batty has outsourced the writing to a non English speaking country. It would explain a lot.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        It’s not just the writing. The entire tone of this strip is all over the place.

        Panel 1 is okay, other than the tedious subject matter. Ruby looks like she’s telling a sad story. Fine.

        Panel 2 should be the punchline. Or, the setup to a punchline in panel 3. She washed out her paintbrushes in other people’s drinks? Wouldn’t that hurt them? Wouldn’t their coffee look and taste like cadmium blue?

        It works if the third panel explains it, like “Didn’t they notice?” / “No, I also washed them in the water cooler.” By itself, It raises questions. It crosses a line, from minor workplace revenge into reckless endangerment charges.

        Then there’s panel 3. Ugh. Let’s start with Ruby.

        Ruby, that’s not what “full disclosure” means. It means “I will now reveal a bit of personal information that is relevant to this conversation, that would be dishonest to conceal.” It does not mean “I am sharing my feelings with you.” Phrasing like “to be honest” would be better and more natural.

        Second, “I wish I was a girl now”? After your comics career ended, did you have gender reassignment surgery you haven’t told us about yet? The phrasing is so awkward, it’s unclear what is being admitted.

        And Ruby’s hangup about the word “girl” is completely backwards. In my experience, professional women want to be called women rather than girls. A woman who wants to be taken seriously in a male-dominated workplace wouldn’t also want to be referred to by the juvenile term for their gender. It’s inconsistent.

        Finally, wanting to be called “girl” at her advanced age is just unrealistic. That she demands this is either some kind of fetish, or severe immaturity.

        Next, let’s look at Mindy. If someone said to you in real life “I used to wash my paintbrushes in other people’s coffee. Full disclosure, I wish I was a girl now”, would your reaction be anything other than “wait, what?” But no, Mindy completely understands this, and knows how to reply with empathy. These aren’t characters, these are two voices in one person’s head having a conversation.

        Her dialog is equally stilted. She’s trying to indulge Ruby’s “I want to be a girl” feeling by calling her that, but she could do it in a way humans talk? How about “You go, girl” or “Rock on, girl”?

        Then there’s how she’s drawn. Why the bedroom eyes and enrapturement after she looked so bored with Ruby the last couple days? Can we get a little consistency, please, so I know where the hell this story is going?

        Which is this strip’s worst offense of all: completely failing to advance the story.

        When is somebody going to address the elephant in the room, which is that no one has ever treated Mindy with anything less than respect? Even though she was hired for being somebody’s girlfriend? That’s what makes all this whining so tedious.

        For example, Ruby’s third panel could have been “I wish I was your age now”, which acknowledges change, and shifts the conversation. Or Mindy could get tired of listening to this (as her expressions have occasionally suggested) and call out Ruby for being a bitter old crone. Or she could thank Ruby for enduring all that so other women could get comic book jobs later. But that would move the story towards a conclusion, and I suspect Mr. Batiuk has another week of whining in him.

        Or there could be, I dunno, a joke somewhere? This is the second day of three where I pointed out a joke that could have been made from the setup.

        Instead the payoff is… Ruby wants to be young again. No shit, we all do. Is that really it? An old woman who experienced gender-based harassment wishes she lived in a more enlightened age? Go stand in a very long line, Ruby. Your story is not unique, interesting, or even that harsh compared to what others your age have gone through.

  14. Rusty Shackleford

    Hmm, weird for Batty to bring this up because in Crankshaft he is always asking Lena to make coffee and bake brownies for those unappreciative men.

    • Batgirl

      What does Cayla do but bring cocoa and cookies to Les? What did Holly do for Mason Jarre but bring him milk and cookies while he read comic books? What is TB’s ideal of a woman but someone who brings kiddie drinks and snacks to her man-baby?
      But making coffee? Well, that’s just way over the line.

  15. Lord Flatulence

    I thought she was Dinkle in a wig.

  16. Jimmy

    Plastic Man was made for a comic reader like me. I didn’t really care for super hero comics, but I liked comedy. I remember the TV show but not the comic.