As if none of us saw this coming. Kitch Swoon and that nice-sized check of hers are not destined to fill Skyler’s college coffers. Y’know, why not have Monday’s strip showing the gallery owner arriving at Atomik Komix and laying the check on Ruby? Then Batiuk would have another five or six days to tell an actual story. But I understand her delivering the check in person, given what we know about the Postal Service in Westview. This is the story, folks: let’s take this week to set up those starry-eyed fortysomething Fairgood “kids” for a little disappointment and humiliation. Darin has to lean back so hard against Jessica’s pushing that it looks like she’s got him on a handtruck.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

32 responses to “Lith-teria

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Not only is it another weird AK tangent that has nothing to do with anything AND another sub-“I Love Lucy”-esque sitcom-like contrivance centering around the antics of an overeager and ditzy wife, but it makes no sense on a whole other level too, as if comic (sigh) book artwork is so lucrative then why is Jessica so cash-thirsty? Boy Lisa ditched his pizza app career years ago, this whole doodling thing really ought to be paying off for him by now. Boy Lisa and Jessica are perpetually “young kids just starting out”, even though they’re both like 45 years old by now.

    • Yeah, Durwood’s career trajectory has really been remarkable. From drawing really terrible comic strips in High School, to unemployed MBA to software developer to storyboard artist to renowned comic book artist, with no discernible training in any of it (it was before my time, but I assume that we never saw him attending college anywhere).

      • William Thompson

        I want to see the impact crater Dullard makes at the end of his career trajectory. Although if he burns up on re-entry, well, he always was a flash in the pan.

  2. “I’m looking for the artist whose check I have. Instead of just giving you the name of the artist whose check I have, I’ll just wander around until I spot the artist whose check I have.”

  3. William Thompson

    “I’m looking for the artist whose check I have”? Is that Chekhov’s check? If it’s introduced in the first act, will it bounce by the end of the second act? Will it bring tragedy to Ruby Lich before the end of the play?

  4. Banana Jr. 6000

    This is all very unprofessional. When you’re paying someone for outside work, you don’t show up at their full-time job, wave the check around their office, hint at its value, and then announce the winner like it’s a game show.

    But it is nice to see something bad happen to these two wastes of ink. Kitschy will probably have a bigger check for them tomorrow, but in the meantime let’s enjoy their suffering.

    • I’m just impressed that the “nice-sized check” didn’t turn out to be one of those six-foot-long oversized publicity-photograph novelty checks, made out for, like, $32.44.

  5. erdmann

    “I’m looking for the artist whose check I have,” she says, instead of “I’ve got a check for Ruby.” It’s called writing badly. Very, very badly.

    • Epicus Doomus

      It’s bad even by Batiukian standards. It’s a story about someone delivering a check to an office yet somehow he made it both unbelievably stupid AND even duller than it’d be in real life.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Yeah, Chairman Ruby is another well developed, interesting and rich character. How does he do it? What is his secret sauce?

  6. Captain Gladys Stoatpamphlet

    The premise is so vague and awkward; you get the impression that it’s a tax refund that was delivered to the wrong address.

  7. William Thompson

    Batiuk is going to tell us that, somehow, despite all evidence to the contrary, this grave disappointment is in fact a major growth experience for the Blondsey Twins. Through the pain, deprivation and humiliation they shall become better persons and thus truly deserve the wealth and Pulitzer Prizes Batiuk will soon shower upon them.

  8. billytheskink

    Meh, Durwood will probably be bequeathed all of Ruby’s valuable artwork for no conceivable reason when she dies anyways. That’s how this strip go these days.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Undoubtedly. Ruby dies, leaves artwork to Boy Lisa and Jessica. They die and Pete and Mindy inherit it. They die and leave it to Skyler, who auctions it off and gives the money to Les, who sits on his front porch with some lemonade as he counts his cancer money. Sounds about right.

  9. William Thompson

    That disturbing smile that Kitsch Ensink shows in the SoSF banner looks like a warning that Dullard will have good, profitable news by Sunday. “The guests, critics and patrons came for Ruby Lich’s work, young boomer, but they stayed to bask in your work! Thanks to you I can now open a prestigious chain of storefront galleries! And I want you to churn out Starbuck Jones and Inedible Pulp artwork to fill them!”

  10. Doghouse Reilly

    Duh-duh-DUHHH (with emphasis on the “duh”)!
    By the by, how exactly did Ms. Swoon know that Ms. Lith was working for Mr. Hagglemore’s “House of Bad Ideas”? At the gallery show she put on, Ruby was an unemployed artist who displayed commissioned reworks of her old artwork. She wasn’t hired by Atomik until a couple of months later to draw “Mr. Peabody and Shermanella”…I mean, “Wayback Wendy.”

  11. Paul Jones

    Even though I know that the rest of the arc is going to be stupid, ham-fisted and riddled with biases and inaccuracy, the look on Boy Lisa’s stupid face is almost a reward.

  12. Count of Tower Grove

    What the fuck is this supposed to be, “Stopping by the Atomik Komix on Snowy Afternoon?” The Lard of Langwidge needs to enroll in an exposition class with Walleye and Adilly.

  13. William Thompson

    Rubella needs to lose the Turkey Hat. That red pop-up button won’t be activated by anything less than a fully-baked idea, not her half-baked ones.

    • Batiuk needs to lose his characters. Sunday’s strip should be high school Funky, waking up. “Wow, what a terrible nightmare!” He then goes and shoots Les and Lisa.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        There’s never any conflict between his characters, is there? None of his characters ever disagree, argue, get offended, get angry, or say no to anything. Then Batiuk tries to pass off opening an envelope, and Les’ passive-aggressiveness, as drama.

        There’s a lot of potential conflict this week. Darin and Jessica have just lost a financial windfall, and Darin gave away an earlier one. Jessica has some nerve feigning concern for Skyler’s future when she’s neglecting the child at this very moment, so she can go waste money on Take Your Guy To Lunch Day. Kitsch is basically rubbing this check in everyone’s face. Chester shouldn’t be tolerating this woman prancing around his workplace, competing for his paid employees, and wasting their time. And Pete should have noticed that Mindy disappeared two days ago.

        Nope! None of this will be addressed. They’ll all just stand around, grinning stupidly at each other, filling space until Saturday when this non-story can end.

        • I dunno, Les seems to get offended a great deal. “Clicks on the copier” comes to mind. And of course–

          “I screwed up.”
          “Yes, you did.”

          Surely THE moment that defines Act III.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            True, but Les’ behavior doesn’t drive any kind of narrative. Nobody calls him out on his complaining, or even asks what his problem is. We don’t even get any internal conflict because the strip never tells us what Les’ problem is either. Compare Les to Lucy Van Pelt or Steve Dallas or Calvin or even Garfield, who were often at odds with other characters in ways that were interesting.

      • Professor Fate

        Twice just to make sure

  14. Professor Fate

    Well cue the sad trombone. As if anybody with the brains god gave a rabbit didn’t see this coming.
    And when the hell did Jess get so venal? She didn’t blink when Boy Lisa left the staff of a multi-million dollar film to work making ersatz silver age DC comics in an empty building in Ohio somewhere followed by her leaving her job as camera person for an inexplicably successful documentary film maker to live in said middle of Ohio town. So when the hell did money start to matter to her? And oh yes she didn’t say word one when Boy Lisa gave the windfall money they got from the comic artist what died and gave him all his art to the Les’s charity/scam in the name of St Lisa. Really if you were actually doing something you cared about you might foreshadow this a bit? And this is one of the things that editors would point out but we all know how much the author listens them.
    Tomorrow – in an unexpected twist the old lady dies of a heart attack upon seeing the size of the check and it turns out she willed everything she owned to Boy Lisa for restoring her to the world of comics, so they only have to wait a little while for the money.

  15. William Thompson

    Ruby Lich’s expression says “Busted!” But why? Is “she” in fact Reuben Lich, fugitive from justice, who murdered his twin sister fifty years ago and assumed her identity, relying on his lack of artistic skills to complete the charade? Or does she recognize Kitschy’s voice? “I am Inkpot Toyota! You poisoned my father’s coffee! Prepare to die!” Or did Kitschy’s coo wake her from a deep, dialog-induced sleep and she can’t believe her life has led to this dead end?

  16. Gerard Plourde

    Also, it seems that Pete, rather than sharing Darin’s shock and misery, appears happy that Ruby is getting the big check.

    It seems pretty certain that we’re in for a very superficial “righting of past wrongs” arc.

    Following this strip has me increasingly identifying with Marvin the Robot from “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”.

  17. William Thompson

    Kitschy Coo: “Ruby? Ruby Lith?”

    Ruby Lith: “Mom?”

  18. hitorque

    What the fuck does Jess care? She’s already wealthy….