A Price Above Ruby’s

Well, good for Ruby Lith. Like cracked actor Cliff Anger, Ruby’s another living Twentieth Century relic who held on into the Twenty-First long enough to finally garner some long overdue recognition. I hope her excitement over this check doesn’t trigger a coronary, which would look something like this:

I also hope Ruby’s allowing for inflation here, since her “original pay date” dates to around the Truman Era. Meanwhile, the expressions of escalating dismay on the faces of Darin and Jessica are the most satisfying thing we’ll see all week.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

26 responses to “A Price Above Ruby’s

  1. Banana Jr. 6000

    “It’s a hundred times more than my original page rate!” Yeah, thanks for putting that in terms the average reader can understand.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Batom writes like a recent immigrant who’s still working on getting a handle on proper syntax. “Page rate”…LOL.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    At first I was like “what the f*ck is a page rate satisfactory?”, as I assumed it was some sort of “insider” show business lingo, like movie options and book launch tours and kill fees. “Yeah, my page rate satisfactory is over six and a half parsecs this quarter!”. Then I got the joke. When the joke is worded in a way that requires that much thought it’s a sure sign that it blows, but we all already knew that going in.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Agh, it is this one inch from reality attention to detail that makes this strip worthy of a….well worthy of something.

      Meanwhile, over at Crankshaft, Ed ruins the ice sculpture festival, which OMG, is based on a real festival in Medina, Ohio.

  3. William Thompson

    Okay, what were comic-book artists paid back then for a cover illustration, and what are they paid these days? We need the informed input of a comic-book artist. Quick, call Batiuk and ask him if he’s still on speaking terms with one!

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I’m embarrassed to say I Googled it. It seems to be $20 per page in the 1950s, which is about $200 now due to inflation, times 100 is $20,000. Again, you can buy authenticated, autographed Stan Lee drawings on eBay for a tenth of that. And it still isn’t sending-Skyler-to-college money.

  4. I’m amazed that Batiuk thinks someone out there would find this interesting.

    I’m even more amazed that he finds it interesting. I assume he must, right?

  5. billytheskink

    If real life comic art demand was anything like this I’d be living off the money I made from selling my dad’s Magnus: Robot Fighter books that stayed in fair condition. Eh, I’ll still take real life.

  6. Gerard Plourde

    And again, from Pete’s expression it appears he’s happy with the news. He doesn’t seem to share Darin’s and Jessica’s anxiety about not getting this windfall.

  7. Paul Jones

    All that stands between us and the sideways Sunday is wondering which unsympathetic twerp says something stupid and arch.

  8. Count of Tower Grove

    BWAWHAHAWHAWHAW! It’s funny because Durward and Jerky look like Bill Buckner in 1986!

  9. Eldon of Galt

    Thanks to Banana Jr. 6000 for checking on the pay rates. But we don’t have to account for inflation. Ruby is citing 100 times the original pay rate. So that’s a check for about $2000. Real life-transforming money there.

    • Gerard Plourde

      Why do I get the impression that we may know more about comic book artists’ 1950s pay rates than TomBa does?

      • Maxine of Arc

        Now now, just because we know more about filmmaking, CTE, accident investigation, 1920s Hollywood, screenwriting, and the modern comic market than TomBa does, don’t assume.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Good point: we can’t assume Ruby is adjusting for inflation. It was a spur of the moment comment from her, so it’s not like she did the math on it.

      Which also shows how poorly written the dialog is. Someone surprised to by a large amount of money would compare it to something more readily at hand, like “enough to buy a new car.” And when Dumb and Dumber do that, saying it’s enough to send Skyler to college, their vague amount contradicts Ruby’s vague amount.

      I was adjusting for inflation because I wanted to calculate the most ambitious amount it could be.

  10. Professor Fate

    Thinking about the pattern of: “another living Twentieth Century relic who held on into the Twenty-First long enough to finally garner some long overdue recognition.” it seems to me that this is yet more wish fulfillment fantasy on the Author’s part as well he’s a living Twentieth Century Relic isn’t he? And his obvious desperate desperate need for awards and recognition is so raw and naked that he might was well be a character in his own strip so his parade of old folks makes a creepy sense. Now I don’t think he’s actually conscious of any of this – part the art of being Batiuk is being completely unaware of ones own sub-conscious when it manifests itself in your work. I’m sure other folks have noted this but it is a weird trope of his yes?

  11. hitorque

    Darrin and Jess are just some money-grubbing pieces of shit after all their years of undeserved yet VERY LUCRATIVE professional successes. They are the very definition of “failing upwards”… It’s fun to see how self-conscious Westview characters get when they’re company of people who God forbid actually WORKED FOR A LIVING AND SURVIVED ON THEIR ON TALENTS AND ABILITIES INSTEAD OF WAITING FOR THE NEXT CRONY HIRE OPPORTUNITY.

    Nevermind the fact that I bet dollars to yen that stupid brat kid will get a free ride to Harvard if he ever makes it to teenage years… The Funkyverse Nepotism Mafia is undefeated.

    • Charles

      Nevermind the fact that I bet dollars to yen that stupid brat kid will get a free ride to Harvard if he ever makes it to teenage years…

      That kid’s going to Kent State. It’s always Kent State. That’s Westview’s Harvard.

  12. hitorque

    What pisses me off more than characters getting gold bars, The Mona Lisa and the Hope Diamond delivered to them as commonly as one might get delivered a pizza is the dumbassed super-lazy return to status quo by the author who never *REMEMBERS* he bestowed that stuff on them in the first place. So these characters have to push a reset button and somehow go back to being poors again so they can express genuine surprise over their next undeserved windfall…

    Even by my most conservative estimate, there’s no way in HELL Darrin isn’t a millionaire by now, and nevermind the fact that he is literally the highest paid comic book artist in the nation. I dunno, maybe Darrin is putting all his fat paychecks into some offshore account and telling Jess he’s barely getting paid a living wage??

    • Charles

      Even by my most conservative estimate, there’s no way in HELL Darrin isn’t a millionaire by now,

      This is complicated by the fact that Batiuk has absolutely no idea what a storyboard artist does, but storyboard artists really don’t make a huge amount of money, comparatively speaking. Plus, he was living in Los Angeles with a boat anchor of a wife who apparently loves money.

      I have no idea how much Chester would be paying him as an artist, but seeing as he was a throw-in with Mopey instead of someone pursued specifically, and that neither Mopey nor Darin spoke of how much more money they’d be making as a reason for dumping Starbuck Jones for Atomik Komix, I don’t think that’s a whole lot of money either.

      But it doesn’t matter. Darin will never be cash-strapped, because that’s just not how things happen for the author-avatar. Notice how all those school levies never once led to Les, Cayla, Linda or Bull ever suggesting that they needed to cut back on their expenses.

      • Hitorque

        1. If Darrin could have made more money in Hollywood getting overpaid cushy gigs as Masone’s lapdog, he would have stayed.

        2. Even though he donated those Phil Holt covers to Lisa’s Legacy, he’s a fuckin’ idiot if he didn’t collect at least ten points commission.

        3. Remember Darrin was put in charge of creating toys and other merch for the movie, so he’s getting a piece of that, too

  13. Charles

    Thing that gets me is that these people are getting paid completely unaware that they were in line to get a check.

    I mean, they submitted their artwork to a gallery for a sale and the thing sold. Why are they so surprised that they get paid for that? Why do they not even seem to realize how this works?