Stranded in a Limousine

“First time in a limo, Ruby?” “In a limo this small.” How squicky is today’s strip? Only when Chester’s tiny Town Car pulls up to the gates of his mansion does Ruby realize that they’ve taken a detour. Rather than just explain his “reason for stopping here first” (preferably before they get there), Chester turns even more creepy than usual, sitting thisclose to Ruby in what is supposed to be a big car. The sight of his O.J.-like black gloves do nothing to put her at ease.

February 17, 2020 at 12:59 am
I really wonder if Batiuk overheard something about Me Too in the news about a year ago and thought “Inappropriate workplace advances? I bet I can get a week’s worth of strips out of that!” and thus this strip was born.

There are tons of ways that TB could have wrought a chuckle out of this setup without invoking #MeToo. But he goes there, naturally, and in the most hamfisted way imaginable: as if  the #MeToo movement had a switchboard with operators standing by to take your call.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

31 responses to “Stranded in a Limousine

  1. William Thompson

    Has Batiuk turned Hagglemore into a whipping boy for all those nasty, snooty publishers who turned him down? Am I properly using the term “whipping boy”? Would anyone object if Hagglemore was bullwhipped?

    Aw, come on, Haggles is a fluffy little bunny! He’s arranged a Miss American costume party with Rubella as the guest of honor. Everyone will be there dressed as one of her characters. And won’t Haggles blush when he’s given a chaste peck on the cheek.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    A ham-fisted clumsily-worded “topical” gag shoehorned into an arc about a geriatric comic book artist…the levels of unintentional irony here are too nauseating to ponder. He probably could have found a way to do whatever this is while omitting the ickyness, but as usual he just plowed right ahead and got the word balloons filled as quickly as possible with nary a thought given to how totally stupid (and really gross) it was.

    • William Thompson

      Especially because the pay-off is likely to be “Haggles gives Rubella all her old art work, which he collected over the decades. Ain’t he a sweetheart?”

      • hitorque

        “But first Haggles will burn a week showing us his entire stockpile of priceless obscure comics memorabilia that will impress no one!!”

  3. William Thompson

    It’s a misunderstanding, because girls are just so touchy and suspicious these days!

  4. billytheskink

    I have good memories of my father quoting that Bud Light “first time in a limo” commercial to get me to stop playing with the motorized windows in our family’s first car that had motorized windows.

    I do not have good memories of reading Funky Winkerbean, except for that time DSH got arrested.

    • hitorque

      Damn, I haven’t seen that commercial since high school i think?

      The 1990s truly were the golden age of advertising between the cola wars, the beer wars, and the all-important super-bloody shoe wars…

  5. Gerard Plourde

    Just when you thought that TomBa’s storytelling couldn’t get any worse, he manages to come up with increasingly labored situations (I don’t see enough development or continuity to call it a plot). I wonder how long he’s going to stretch this out.

  6. AmigoLupus

    Batiuk? Never doing proper research before using certain terms? Say it ain’t so!

  7. Doghouse Reilly

    Since no person or actual organization called “Me Too” exists, exactly who does Ruby think she has on her phone? Wouldn’t “911” or “the local police” or “my attorney” make more sense?
    Also, Chester runs a comic book “company” with a “staff” of four employees, but he continues to employ a chauffeur?
    Is this getting as stupid as it is smarmy, or vice versa?

    • comicbookharriet

      She’s more likely to have Life Alert on speed dial.

    • hitorque

      FWIW, Atomikkk Komixxx is just one of Chester’s vanity projects to feed his pathological geekdom… As a kid he had the otherworldly foresight to invest in (er, I mean *steal*) boxes of unsold new comics destined to be priceless collector’s items decades later (he didn’t even have to wait until the prices skyrocketed in the 1990s to cash in five figures like everyone else; he did it in his 20s which presumably means late 1970s/early 80s, I guess?). Which he then flipped into real estate and the stock market and venture capitalism and now he’s so filthy rich the only “work” he has to do is check the Dow Jones every morning.

      In the regular, sane world, some inexperienced party crasher with millions to burn and some VERY rigid ideas on how such-and-such industry “is supposed to be” would be a 100% nightmare. But since it’s the comic industry Batiuk treats him like a Genie or Daddy Warbux…

  8. AmigoLupus

    Setting aside the gross misuse of the #MeToo movement by Batiuk, what bugs me is there’s a capitalistic bent to this entire arc.

    Chester bought a bunch of copyrights to old comic book characters, presumably at cheap. He then failed to do anything with them for decades to the point that he forgot he even made a company for the sole purpose of sitting on copyrights, which, y’know, is pretty fucking evil. You know who did the same thing Chester did? Harmony Gold! That company spent a bunch of money to extend their grip on the copyrights to Macross just so they can keep others away from it all while doing nothing with the property.

    Batiuk thinks we’re supposed to like Chester for doing this.

    The other thing is how Batiuk can’t think of any other way to resolve Ruby’s problem than having some rich jerk come around and throw their money to make the problem go away. Ruby is a complete non-entity in this story. Her struggles and concerns? Who cares! The only thing Chester is concerned about is how giving Ruby the rights to her character would make him even more money.

    I’m sure Funky Historians here probably know better if other characters get their problems taken care of by having someone rich just come around to make their dreams come true *coughlesmoorecough*

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Interesting story. Harmony Gold seems to practice Batty Capitalism: spend tons of money on old crap and then do nothing with it.

      Great business model. But seriously, there has to be more to this story. I need to do some reading on this.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      And, the source of the windfall is always comic book-reated. When Batiuk wanted to give Darrin a bunch of money, he had Phil Holt show up and die. When he wants to fund the endless Atomik Komix wankery, the unlimited bank accounts of Chester and Kitsch save the day. Judge Parker puts more effort into rewarding its insufferable lead characters.

      • hitorque

        I had to quit Judge Parker and Rex Morgan… I got tired of seeing strangers offer them lucrative cushy part-time jobs or giving their kids free scholarships or wanting to start lucrative business partnerships or seven-figure book deals or selling them vacation homes, luxury cars, boats and RVs at 99% discount (which they always flip for full price+markup by the end of the plot), the list goes on and on…

        And don’t get me started on JP trying to remake itself into some kind of half-assed Jason Bourne thriller…

    • hitorque

      Sadly, most plots of legacy comics revolve around “some rich jerk throwing their money around or giving something valuable to a main character”…

      SEE: Apartment 3-G’s awful last years, Rex Morgan (which had it’s own extended “Underpaid golden age comic artist retired and living on pennies discovers his old artwork is worth millions” -story arc), Judge Parker, Luann, that stupid colonizing Phantom, etc…

      And Batiuk isn’t even doing anything new here — Before this storyline, Masone and his Starbuck Jones movie production with an unlimited budget was the one throwing money and lucrative crony jobs around… And before that, some college was going to pay Bull six figures to be their new coach, etc.

  9. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    “I want to show you the mansion that you bought me.”
    “I purchased it after I sold ‘Miss American’ #1 for $20,000,000. Bwaah ha ha ha!”

  10. Paul Jones

    This is to be expected of Batiuk because he hit the ground running with the idea that Women’s Lib was a sort of real-life “United Girls Against Jughead.”

  11. Rusty Shackleford

    Another lame attempt by Batty to show that his strip is fresh and timely.

    I can already see his next puff piece interview: “well I’m an artist and so I see the world differently, take metoo for example, I dealt with that in my prestige strip….”

  12. Banana Jr. 6000

    And, Chester just give Ruby Lith the rights to Miss American. That is an enormously extravagant gift for an employer to give an employee, and it further supports the implied scenario.

  13. “as if the #MeToo movement had a switchboard with operators standing by to hand out awards.”


  14. Count of Tower Grove

    BWAWHAWHAWHAW! It’s funny because if Todd was a hip as he thinks he is, Rubella’s speed dial would be “pound sign me too!”
    That’s right, “pound sign,” not “hashtag.”

  15. hitorque

    1. It’s funny because Ruby almost certainly lives in some derelict apartment downtown in a shithole warzone neighborhood like all the other “forgotten for decades until they were re-discovered” seniors in the Funkyverse and she evidently didn’t say jack shit the entire 40-minute drive to Hunting Valley until pulling into the driveway (trust me, if Chester Hagglemore exists then he’s guaranteed to live in Hunting Valley).

    2. And yes, Chester is a sociopathic dick for not telling her anything for the whole 40-minute drive, too… And these sly, I’m-in-the-mood-to-fuck faces he’s been giving her are as punchable as anything we’ve EVER seen from Les Moore.

    3. “Speed dial?” Seriously?? What’s wrong with “Just so you know, I’ve been hashtagging #metoo on Twitter with my location on the entire time?” I mean FFS, at least get the medium correct!

  16. Buckeye Feculence

    The artist needs better aim with his dialogue balloons. In the first panel, it looks like the gate saying it doesn’t live there.

  17. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    “Keep it in your pants, Hagglestein. I have pepper spray and the MeToo Movement on speed dial!”

    “No worries. I’m a homosexual pedophile.”

  18. Westview Radiology

    This is nausea producing on so many levels…..