Neo-Lith-ic

Banana Jr. 6000
February 6, 2020 at 11:04 am
Chester shouldn’t be tolerating this woman prancing around his workplace, competing for his paid employees, and wasting their time.

Doghouse Reilly
February 9, 2020 at 1:55 am
So, are we to assume that “Ms. Swoon” and her “Dibbs Gallery” are now going to specialize full-time in comic book art? In a small town in Ohio?

What we’d hoped to be a mercifully short Atomik Komix story arc overstays its welcome today. It’s interesting that yesterday, when Darin, who’s been professionally drawing comic book for about two years, inquires if Swoosie Kitch would be interested in selling his art, she unhesitatingly replies “I’ll take all you have.” But when she offers to do the same for bona fide (and fellow female) comics legend Ruby Lith, Kitch is interested only in Ruby’s “older original art.”

28 Comments

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28 responses to “Neo-Lith-ic

  1. Gerard Plourde

    So we’ve morphed into “publishers were evil scum who exploited true artists “ territory. Given the space TomBa has donated to his blog lately about his struggle with his distributors, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. The only question is how superficial the treatment will be here.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Poor, poor oppressed comic book/strip artists, forever doomed to labor under the cruel vindictive thumb of their vile and soulless corporate masters. Thank God Batiuk stepped up and single-handedly revolutionized the industry with his innovations, otherwise we might still fret over who owns the rights to Dagwood and the dog in FBOFW.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Of course, this is all about Tom Batiuk’s own lawsuit against his syndicate, in which he asked for ownership of the characters, all copyright and trademarks since 1971, and a pony. Seriously, Batiuk comes off as the unreasonable one, complaining that he “had to provide seven comic strips per week” and “prohibited him from working for any other syndicate.” Poor baby.

        He also says “forever.” I’m pretty sure there’s an out clause for, you know, dying. Or simply retiring, something other cartoonists have been known to do. Maybe Batiuk doesn’t want someone else to draw the strip, but Charles Schulz was able to negotiate that, and most strips are simply left to die when their creators do. Crock comes to mind, though his son did draw it for a short time.

        The continuing life of this lifeless strip seems like a feeble attempt at sticking it to the man, by an artist who’s too stubborn to realize he can quit. Which he honestly should do. The man obviously cares about comic books more than these characters, so why doesn’t he semi-retire and do that? He’d be much happier.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Pedantic note: Farley the dog of FBOFW died while heroically saving baby April Patterson from drowning. So I don’t think it matters who owns his rights, any more than it matters who owns the rights to Bull Bushka and John Darling.

        • Epicus Doomus

          But who would I contact re: my “Farley Died For April’s Sins…Never Forget” T-shirts on Etsy?

  2. William Thompson

    Please don’t let Mindy return to Mopey with engraved invitations to lunch at a swank restaurant. That will end badly, and not just because Mopey will use his sleeve as a napkin. You know they’ll encounter some comic-book type over their hamburgers de luxe. My guess would be the kid who wowed the adults at Batomic Comics in the Fifties. Sure, he’s been reduced to washing dishes as retirement age approaches, but he’s still got the spirit of a True Believer, Give him a workspace at Atomik Komix and he’ll have his superheroes smashing Reds and exposing Nazi fugitives in no time!

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Side question: why was Pete even included in last week’s arc? He never said anything, and, not being an artist, wasn’t in the running for Kitschy’s check. Batiuk could have drawn him out of the story when he drew Mindy out, and the audience could assume they just left together. I know Pete can’t pry his eyes off anything comic book-related, and Mindy would have been another character to cram into an already crowded panel, but it’s just weird that she left and he didn’t.

  3. Epicus Doomus

    Oh God, I never imagined this would be a two-weeker. His weird comic book fantasy world tangents are growing duller by the day, which shouldn’t even be possible at this point in the game. What is the fascination with these eighty year old comic book people? Kitsch Swoon is suddenly one of FW’s main players, just completely out of nowhere. Meanwhile over at KK, Crazy Harry silently weeps.

  4. billytheskink

    If Ruby’s artwork is really in demand, Ms. Swoon would take any of it. Nobody told Picasso “New work? No thanks. You got any of that Blue Period stuff lying around, though?”

  5. Doghouse Reilly

    Well, I’d think that Battyuk heard someone mention about Ruby’s gallery work being re-created commissions and went back to fix that slip in today’s strip, but I guess that’s unlikely. Bear in mind, many Golden Age comic artists (Irwin Hasen, Carmine Infantino, Mart Nodell, Ramona Fradon and others) made money with re-creations of vintage work and new illustrations of their old characters.
    Now, anyone want to take a guess as to where exactly Ruby hid that cover on her person in order to sneak it out of the office (reference Divine at the market in “Pink Flamingos”)?

  6. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    “Blah blah blah we had it so bad blah blah blah it was so hard blah blah dee blah blah they were mean to us blah blah blah it was tough back then blah blah we were just slaves blah dee blah blah boo hoo blah blah especially women blah blah blah blah oh woe is me blah blah they beat us every day blah blah writing is hard blah blah blah drawing is hard blah blah we got paid pennies blah blah sometimes didn’t get paid at all blah blah blah blah. Wanna see pictures of my 20 cats??”

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Yep, he has a dream job, but complains about it all the time. And Ruby, the strong woman (aren’t they all these days?), made it, but still b1tches about the men from back then. Instead of living like a mentally ill cat lady, how about mentoring young artists? Nah, easier to complain.

      • William Thompson

        Look at the kind of artists who infest this strip. You’re better off with twice as many cats.

        • William Thompson

          Hi, Debbie Downvoter! Want a cookie? I’ll bake you a big one as soon as my cats finish making the dough.

  7. Paul Jones

    What Comrade Batiuk fails to realize when he moans about how he’s being shafted is that most people don’t give a hot damn who actually owns the rights to a property because they live in the real world. If people sell the rights to something, most of the time, they don’t get to sue if that something turns out to make a shit-load of cash.

  8. comicbookharriet

    I predicted way back when Ruby was first introduced that eventually Chester would bring out a hoard of her old art he’d bought. Wonder If my prediction will finally come true?

  9. sgtsaunders

    Today’s episode apparently kicks off Copyright Week with a work-for-hire heist!

  10. Count of Tower Grove

    Kitch Enade looks like she’s about to scold Rubella for trading in stolen goods decades after the statute of limitations ran out. One would think this was a smirk worthy line of putting one over on the man!

  11. hitorque

    If you want to pretend that ‘ruby’ in her hat is actually a star, then all of a sudden Ruby looks like an idealist-turned-cynical holdover from Chairman Mao’s Glorious Revolution and this strip sucks slightly less…

    • William Thompson

      It could be the gem in an Arabic magician’s turban, but that would require Batiuk to draw something more detailed than a black-blob hat. And to hint at magic and wonder, rather than bludgeon the readers with his venal obsessions.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      It wasn’t that all along? I legit thought Ruby was some kind of old-school commie sympathizer.

      • William Thompson

        That thing on her hat looks like a red dot to me. Batiuk had a preliminary sketch on his blog where she wore a large star on her hat, but for all I know it meant she used to pump gas for Texaco. Which would fit in with this strip’s gassy style of speech.

  12. Professor Fate

    Once again the Author tackles an issue and makes it stupid. His heart may be in the right place (not 100% sure as some his arcs dealing with ‘important issues’ for example the Gay Prom goers and the CTE train wreck reek of cynical calculation) but his head is full of old bones and mothballs.
    And oh yes might I suggest that the reason that Ruby what’s her name gallery still exists is that she has a large online presence – something Atomix comix would do well to consider. But this is the Author’s fantasy life. No realism wanted here.

    • William Thompson

      Speaking of realism, why don’t we see any evidence of AK fans? Or even AK readers? No fan letters, no fanzines or websites? No media tie-ins? What, did the radioactive decoder rings kill off the readership? I’d ask why no professional writers, artists or agents try to sell material to Hagglemore, but it’s been clear all along that Batiuk doesn’t understand that writing and publishing are businesses that have nothing to do with his fantasies.

      For that matter, why don’t we see any AK artwork hung in the building? All we get is that dumbass radiation symbol. Batiuk is so humorless that he can’t complement that with Bert the Turtle and Firecracker Monkey sketches. We can’t even get a lame “Duck on the Cover” visual joke.

  13. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    Seriously, are we still on these idiots? Welcome to the Wish Fulfillment Clubhouse. We make komix here! The bestest komix in the whole wide world! You never see anything being sold, and (other than this foolishness) you never see anyone getting paid. Anyone can walk through the door and be “hired.” Come join our komix klub! Wanna be a colorist? Sure! We need one! You can be a WRITER too! Or you can make “art pages.” People with slapnuts hilarious names will drop in off the street and shower you with money! And MORE money! Wheeeeeeee!

    I guess BatWit needs to go off on how terrible, awful, and miserly the “big boy” komix industry is. You know – The industry that wouldn’t hire HIM.

  14. Smirks 'R Us

    Looks like BatHack did another drive-by. I may have to change my handle to “Downvotes ‘R Us”.