And he just can’t hide it…

Let’s all bid a hopeful farewell to Batton and, especially, Les in today’s strip. Les will sadly and undoubtedly return (please not for a good long while!), but what of Batton? This week’s story arc served to make him even les relevant than he seemed when he first appeared, and that’s saying something.

Not that doing interesting and relevant things is really a requirement to appear in Funky Winkerbean these days, but unless Batton gets cancer or (a year from now) the COVID-19 it is hard to see what else TB has for him to do. He’s appeared at Free Comic Book Day and he’s stood in front of Les’ class. What else is there? Well, if Batton ever does return, it’s a sure bet it will be during one of my stints writing this blog. I’m two for two so far, lucky me.

Now if Tom Batiuk himself is excited about writing this strip, he sure can hide it. He lost control years ago, and he probably likes it…

24 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

24 responses to “And he just can’t hide it…

  1. Epicus Doomus

    I am fully expecting the bulk of next year’s strips to feature a lot of leaves, a shit-ton of squirrels and lots and lots of weather. Unless something really amazing happens within view of that studio window it’s gonna be a really mundane year even by FW standards.

    If I never see Les from behind again it’s still gonna be way, way too soon. Gak. It’s so funny how the character based on himself is, of course, a giant sad-sack with a wry wistful attitude, because of course he is. Somehow winning over Les’ dreary students with some interesting and/or hilarious anecdotes might have been interesting, but, well, you know.

  2. Banana Jr. 6000

    Wow, what an abrupt jump. Is this next Saturday’s strip? It feels like we skipped a week.

    This arc was so boring, it starred two versions of Tom Batiuk and even Tom Batiuk didn’t want to finish it.

  3. billytheskink

    The school janitor in the background of panel 1 appears to find 100X as much fulfillment in his job as these two shmucks do in theirs. Remarkable how TB and Ayers were able to capture that…

  4. William Thompson

    So Batiuk couldn’t use either of his mouthpieces to say something profound or informative about the importance of being a cartoonist? That’s no surprise, coming from the man who reached into the shallows of his soul and gave us Starbuck “It’s nice to be nice” Jones.

    • justifiable

      Because that’s never the point of any of these arcs – they’ve always been about Todd’s getting the last word in his eternal conflict with DC and Marvel. Look at the ongoing theme, which is always to present Tom Batiuk as an unappreciated talent, cruelly rejected by those ignoramuses who are incapable of recognizing his genius and giving him the accolades and placement he knows he deserves. All you need to do is write “DC” or “Marvel” on the foreheads of any of the staring walking-dead class and you’ll have an idea of what his decades-long rage against them for refusing to hire him – and publish his adolescent brainchild, Starsux Jones – must look like.

      The irony is that the harder he pushes to get the last word in a conflict they stopped caring about the minute they said “no thanks, have you considered applying at Harvey?” the more he validates their decision to show him the door.

      • Jimmy

        Confession: I used to prefer Harvey Comics to the superhero genre.

        • I still do. I’m disappointed the Dark Horse reprints of Harvey Comics seem to have completely dried up, especially as I didn’t get the Richie Rich collection and based on the prices charged for used copies, that one was printed on gold-crusted diamonds.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Batiuk couldn’t say something profound or informative about the importance of being a cartoonist?

      He didn’t even say anything superficial or uninformative.

  5. Doghouse Reilly

    Well, that was…anticlimactic. In typical Battyuk fashion, he sets up a premise on Monday, wastes two days on throwaway jokes, offers a one-panel sight gag on Thursday, moves the premise along with one minuscule bit of dialogue on Friday, and come Saturday, it’s over.
    Never do we see B. Thom sharing with his captivated audience about the rich history of newspaper comic strips (the birth of “yellow journalism”; how syndicates work; censorship issues; politics and cartoonists; tackling issues like, say, cancer). No, to actually write something like that would be time consuming. Just wrap it up after the fact and depict the gory remains, with “Broom” Bushka sweeping it up in the background.
    So, did Batton arrive early in the morning and hung around all day on his own, or did Les make him sit through his whole “teaching” day (there’s no way his workload is just one journalism class, is there?) so he could show him out in the late afternoon? Oh, well, at least he was still “excited” to hang around a bunch of teenagers…wait a minute…

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Well, that was…anticlimactic.

      It was also-exposition, anti-rising action, and anti-denouement.

      I know I just used that joke, but it works so perfectly in both places.

  6. The Nelson Puppet

    I’m sure we’ll see Batton Thomas accept an armful of awards at some point.

    • Hitorque

      This is the Funkyverse which means Batton Thomas is going to drop dead alone and unloved six weeks from now, and only then will the nation see him for the satirical genius he was…

      And naturally Chester or Darrin will buy exclusive rights to all of Batton’s creative properties for $1 from some old senile attorney handling the estate who doesn’t know any better…

  7. Epicus Doomus

    You know, Les has been a teacher at WHS for centuries thus you’d think he’d be somewhat more in tune with what “these kids today” are into thus it’s sort of inconsistent and unlikely that he’d be surprised that his class had no idea what “Three O’Clock High” was. He’s been behaving like he was just suddenly airlifted in from 1980 or something. Maybe he should spend more time at work and less time gallivanting around with that idiot Mason. I just despise him so much.

    And today he wraps things up with kindly old Batt Tom not really giving a shit, which sort of belies the fact that he’s expressing this kindly sentiment in a comic strip arc about comic strips not being popular anymore, which is another one of those perfect Batiukian conundrums.

  8. Paul Jones

    When people show you an ideal teacher, it says a lot about them. Batiuk and Evans show us befuddled idiots who really don’t understand the world they live in and feel a aflse sense of superiority to their students for not caring about trivia. Lynn Johnston shows you a ditz who mollycoddles a discipline problem while leaving everyone else to fend for themselves.

  9. gleeb

    I will again say that there is no force in Hell or on Earth that can make me read Tom Batiuk’s god-forsaken blog.

  10. I am not a professional educator, but I imagine that if I was teaching a high school journalism class, and I had lined up a syndicated comic strip artist to come speak to my class, I would dedicate at least one previous class to talking about comic strips in general, bring in the comics page from the Westview Gazette, and show some samples of “3 O’Clock High” before throwing the speaker in front of the class. If he’s facing a room full of blank stares, that’s not the kid’s fault, the blame lies firmly on the teacher.

  11. Perfect Tommy

    When somebody writes Les’ theme song, it’s going to be called Seventy Six Sad Trombones.

  12. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    I must say, this ranked right up there with one of the more pointless arcs is the glorious history of pointless arcs. Guessing here’s the rest of what happened “off camera” –

    “What’s the name of your comic book?”

    “Well, it’s not a book. It’s a daily comic strip.”

    [Long, awkward silence.]

    “Are you more of a reporter, columnist, or editor?”

    “Um… No. I draw a comic strip.”

    “Thatsnought journalism.”

    [Even longer, more awkward silence.]

    “So, class, any more questions?”

    [All kids staring at their phones again.]

    “Okay! Big round of applause for our guest speaker!”

    [Kids stare at phones, occasional scrolling.]

    “Thanks, Batton. Same time next week?”

    “Oh goody! I’m excited!”

  13. Charles

    “I’m still excited about it!”

    I can tell. All that excitement just burst right off the page this entire week. This is a man in love with his craft, let me tell you. Why, he couldn’t wait to tell all those kids about the wonders and thrills that is writing his own comic strip! The way he sat there while they stared blankly at them… the way they had to be prompted into asking you questions by the idiot who set you up for this disaster.

    Actually, if feeling sorry for yourself all the time is one of the perks of being a comic strip writer, I guess I can understand why that so excites him.

    • Gerard Plourde

      You’ve pinpointed exactly the theme of the week’s arc. From start to finish it was an exercise in self pity.