Imaginationbland

Link To Today’s Strip

“You know how little kids sometimes have imaginary friends? Well, I thought it’d be very funny if a small child’s imaginary friend ditched him…ON CHRISTMAS! Imagine him there, sitting under the tree all upset…tee hee hee!”

“Tom, I told you you’ve gotta crack the window when you’re working with airplane glue!”

As much as I’ve grown to dislike little baby Skyler I can’t help but feel sorry for the little dolt after this one. His moronic parents played fast and loose with his early development as they ran around filming and drawing things and now the chickens have come home to roost, as they say. In his desperate attempt to shoehorn in a woefully awful wordplay-based gag, BatYuck has inadvertently painted a heartbreaking story about a sad, troubled little boy who’s obviously confused and baffled by this sudden burst of attention from his previously disinterested parents.

But man, what a shitty woefully awful wordplay-based gag it is, huh? “Ghosted” by his “imaginary friend”…duh. I wonder how long he’s had that one boinging around in that modestly sincere head of his. And what compelled him to use THIS as a Christmas strip? This little Skyler mini-arc is downright dismal and not in a hilarious “For Better Or For Worse” way but an Act III FW way, which is much worse.

27 Comments

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27 responses to “Imaginationbland

  1. spacemanspiff85

    Ha, ha! The little kid is seething silently in rage on Christmas morning because the hallucination he talks to has vanished! I’m sure this will only get funnier next week when Skyler cuts open his parents to see if his imaginary friend is inside them.

    • Epicus Doomus

      One gets the feeling that things probably aren’t going to turn out too well for little baby Skyler. Public school is going to eat that kid alive. LBS is six years old now, believe it or not, but something tells me BatYap will have him remain two and a half forever.

      • spacemanspiff85

        I can predict that Skyler’s life will definitely involve people being eaten alive, based on this strip.
        I mean seriously, if Batiuk didn’t have him drawn like this it would be totally okay. Make him look comically confused or something. The dialogue says “Family Circus level whimsy” and the art says “young Dexter Morgan”.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Counterpoint: Skyler will exceptionally well-prepared for life in Westview. He’s already experiencing indifferent loved ones, personal disappointment, and making godawful wordplay. I can see him being a cynical bastard, which is exactly the right armor for this world. Hell, the strip could use this character. Get rid of these generic, wide-eyed kids that quietly absorb every insult, and get one who knows the score:

        LES: “None of you know what a newspaper is? (Smirk) Well, a newspaper-”

        SKYLER: “Isn’t it your job to teach us that, Mr. Journalism Teacher, or are you too busy writing spank material about your wife who died in 1997? Get over it, putz, my parents abandoned me before I could crawl so they could hang out with Cliff Anger. Now give me my diploma while I’m still young enough to wash off the stench of Montoni’s that permeates this dump.”

  2. Of course he has an imaginary friend. He has no real friends. He has no real parents. He’s got an exhausted grandma…yeah, that will tie him to reality.

    Also, he’s in Westview. Of course he has an imaginary friend. And of course that friend has seen something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky, but had somewhere to get to, and sailed calmly out of Ohio.

    • comicbookharriet

      It’s not poor Skyler’s fault that there are no other five year olds in a 30 mile radius.

      • Epicus Doomus

        I just realized that Les is technically Skyler’s step-bio-grandfather. His other grandfathers include Fred Fairgood and John Darling, who was murdered. The kid is carrying some weight on those sulking shoulders.

    • spacemanspiff85

      What are the odds his imaginary friend is Lisa? I mean she’s already Les’s imaginary friend.

  3. William Thompson

    Dullard, Messica, get up off your lazy, worthless asses and talk to your child.

    • spacemanspiff85

      Not even his imaginary friend can stand to talk to him anymore, what makes you think they want to?

      • William Thompson

        You’re right. Talking to Skyler might be more therapeutic for them than for him. I can hear them shriek “Change!” the way Maynard G. Krebs yelped “Work!”

  4. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    “He says his friend can’t come over because his parents think we’re a bad influence.”

  5. William Thompson

    Look at that pout! Diddums lose the Puwwiter Pwize again, Tommy?

  6. Jimmy

    This is truly a sad strip, even by FW standards, though Batiuk meant it to be funny.

    • Epicus Doomus

      That’s what makes him unique. He can spend twenty weeks on a murder mystery arc where you know it’s the chimp on the second day, then he delivers a sad and sobering glimpse of the consequences of Jessica and Boy Lisa’s crappy parenting LITERALLY without even trying. Jessica’s bizarre stilted dialog, as if she barely even knows her son, then Boy Lisa turning his son’s emotional troubles into a dumb joke as Skyler sulks forlornly in the background…it’s brutal and none of it was by design.

      • spacemanspiff85

        I’m honestly surprised she didn’t refer to him as “your son” or “Skyler, Jessica, John Darling, who was murdered,’s daughter’s, son”.

  7. Epicus Doomus

    An old, old SoSF reference for the holidays. I guess you really had to be there.

  8. billytheskink

    Usually I don’t hope that anyone reads this comic strip, but today… I really hope someone at CPS is reading.

  9. Paul Jones

    Of course, given the setting, there’s a darker implication implicit within this “I learned a new slang word but I’m too stupid to understand when or where its use would be appropriate” deal: his imaginary friend found imaginary life unbearable and decided to end it all. Look for an imaginary football helmet in an imaginary car wreck.

  10. Rusty Shackleford

    He’s not taking up childhood mental disorders as his new cause du jour is he?

    Well the 2020 awards season is fast approaching.

  11. Banana Jr. 6000

    Some days I wonder if Batiuk is just trolling us all. Because this strip is a little too perfectly aligned with our interpretation of these characters.

    “Skyler was ghosted by his imaginary friend” is a joke one of us would make about a child unfortunate enough to grow up in this hopeless suburb with these neglectful parents. And here it is presented guilelessly, as mere bad wordplay, and yet the subtext is spot-on.

    But Tom Batiuk doesn’t think his characters are bad parents… or does he?

  12. Professor Fate

    Yes this is a very sad and disturbing portrait of a massively dysfunctional family unit and its effect on the child. But still, considering these people , can you blame the imaginary friend for leaving?

  13. This joke would work if it were delivered by Rodney Dangerfield talking about his childhood, but when the joke is about an “actual” child it comes across as pathetic and cruel.

  14. Charles

    I don’t normally buy into the idea that a lot of you do that Batiuk has these drawn far in advance and then fills in the word balloons much later, but I’m totally seeing it in this strip. It looks to me to be a strip where Skyler’s upset that he didn’t get ALL the presents he wanted and is angry at both his parents because they’ve failed him. (The decided lack of gifts strewn on the floor beyond a bear, a coloring book and a toy car would suggest this) But when it came time to write the dialogue, Batiuk realized that he already told a similar joke this week and having two of them would make Skyler out to be a little entitled asshole and he doesn’t want Lisa’s grandchild playing that role.

    Instead, he has Skyler slide into psychosis in order to deal with his constant abandonment issues. Typical Batiuk, tries to fix a problem and creates an even larger one.

    Although I’d also like to think Skyler’s squeezing one out on one of his gifts because he found out that his dad bought his boss a gift that was more expensive than all of Skyler’s gifts put together.

    • Charles

      Also, why the hell can’t Jessica haul her dumb ass off the sofa and go ask her child why he’s unhappy? I mean, she’s his mom, so for Batiuk that’s her job. It’d be a totally different story if it was Darin – after all as a father, he’s constantly pushing parental responsibilities off on others.