Flagrant Foul

Link to today’s strip

If this is how Batiuk imagines the comic book creative process, then it’s no wonder he couldn’t get a job writing them. Pete is constantly spewing new characters based on whatever wanders through his field of vision. Even going back to his time being harried by Lord of the Late, some word association would lead him down a nightmare pun hole to a new asinine character.

I don’t need to tell any of you that compelling and exciting stories are built on conflict and plot. Maybe, in the old days, you had Plastic Man and Matter Eater Lad wackiness every month. But that was when comics were mass produced to be consumed and disposed of by children. Kids have YouTube unboxing videos to watch now. Comic books are for a niche market of teen and adult readers who will mock relentlessly stupid gimmick characters made from dumb word associations.

Speaking of stupid gimmick characters made from dumb word associations, have you guys seen Marvel’s ‘The New Warriors’? I guess morons like Pete CAN get jobs in comics.

59 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

59 responses to “Flagrant Foul

  1. William Thompson

    Funny how Rubella’s record player and records vanished. And, Mopey? Lay off the sporto lingo, bozo.

  2. William Thompson

    “Starduster!” Mopey Pete says. “And I’ll name his rocket ship the Rambler! It’ll look just like Grandpa’s old station wagon!” Be sure to paint it lemon yellow, loser.

  3. Epicus Doomus

    Sit around all bored and miserable, then have random mediocre ideas inspired by random happenstance events…someone’s creative process is showing again. If this is an example of how “comic book writers” come up with ideas them maybe it’s time to let the business die, as no one’s really trying anyway. Note how I didn’t say “comic strip writers” even though it’s what I really meant.

    • Charles

      I think it’s interesting that here we have Mopey, who in his previous comic-writing job was constantly tormented with writer’s block, has decided that he can now handle the writing duties of five comic books per month. (Atomic Ape, The Scorch!(wtf), Rip Tide:Scuba Cop, The Inedible Pulp and now this thing) Guess he’s lucky that he has a boss who doesn’t care about the quality of the stuff his company produces. Tune in next month as Rip Tide is vexed by his favorite radio station following up AC/DC with INXS!

      • Epicus Doomus

        “Hey Stan! Look out for that spider, man!”

        “Hmmmmm! That could be a thing and…wait a minute, that could be ANOTHER thing! This feeling must be what the word “fantastic” is for and…hey! Golly I’m hot tonight!”

      • Hitorque

        Chester is the one who promised Pete 100% creative autonomy in his contract, so he needs to get his ass kicked first…

  4. Captain Gladys Stoatpamphlet

    “Thanks for the layup”? Like in basketball? Did he mean assist? Is that supposed to signify Pete being an unathletic nerd, or is it unintentional?

  5. justifiable

    Has Daniel Kibblesmith lost his mind? Because what the righteous fuck.

    • Doghouse Reilly (Philadelphia)

      Oh, believe me, Justifiable, those pics are just the tip of the New Warriors iceberg. Safespace and Snowflake are siblings, the former said to be a “stereotypic jock” who creates pink force fields–but only to defend other people–and Snowflake is the “non gender-binary” wielder of flake-shaped shuriken. And I’ve haven’t even mentioned their teammate with a magic backpack, or the one who got his powers from “experimental Internet gas,” or the vampire code-named B Negative.
      Suddenly the adventures of Matter-Eater Lad, Bouncing Boy, Infectious Lass, and Arm-Fall-Off Boy read like Gibbons and Moore’s “Watchmen.”

      • justifiable

        I read it, hoping it was a joke, but my eyes started crossing at “experimental Internet gas.” My guess is that’s what Kibblesmith is huffing. Either that or his dog is a methane fart factory. If you want to create an inclusive character who’s nonbinary or genderqueer, put some effort into it so it so it’s an integral part of the character’s makeup. Hell, even a fluctuating fluid-gender superpower could be provocative – but there’s no way any of this comes off as anything but the worst sort of lazy-ass contemptuously sniggering-up-your-sleeve insincerity.

        • Hitorque

          On the plus side, anything that sends a shitstain like Joe Rogan into a tizzy can’t be all bad…

      • erdmann

        And the nominees for “Forgotten Characters Most Likely to be Used as Cannon Fodder in Marvel’s 2025 Companywide Crossover” are….

      • Hitorque

        Marvel *HAS* to be trolling the geeks and 4chan losers with this stunt… Or maybe the author lost an epic bet?

  6. CRM114

    Good thing she wasn’t listening to “Mairzy Doats and dozy Doats”.

  7. Rusty Shackleford

    Well Batty, you listen to crappy music and that leads you to produce crappy strips.

    • justifiable

      I don’t like Stardust,no matter who plays it, arranges it and sings it. I have never liked it, and I’m glad that in fact I loathe it, because otherwise it would be dead to me now. Fuck you, Todd, I still win this one.

  8. Banana Jr. 6000

    Grandpa Google tells me that Starduster is already the name of an ultralight airplane, a G.I. Joe character, a J-pop song, at least two movies, several books, and a ship in the friggin’ Star Wars universe.

    But you go, Pete, you creative genius you. You make that crappy sideways Sunday comic book cover, with an inset of you smirking at your own greatness. And then never mention it again until 2027 and expect us all to remember instantly.

    • billytheskink

      The G.I. Joe character was given away via mail-in offer from a late 80s G.I. Joe cereal. His bio card states that he was a circus trapeze artist named Edward Skyler before joining the Joes, and his speciality is, uh, air recon. He was dressed like the cop from The Village People and had an enormous ugly gray jetpack.

      Therefore he’s 10,000% cooler and more interesting than anything Pete will come up with.

      • His name was Edward Skyler? Now, where have I seen the name “Skyler” before…I know I’ve seen it somewhere…but if Stardust needs a toddler side-kick….

  9. Doghouse Reilly (Philadelphia)

    Which one is more likely, I wonder:

    “His name will be Starduster…and he will zoom across the galaxy standing on a Cosmic Roomba, powered by the very stardust it scoops up! And he’ll be all bright and chrome-like and in no way resemble the Silver Surfer!”

    Or perhaps “Starduster…let’s see, he’ll need a last name. I have it! Starduster Smith! He’ll zoom across the galaxy, stardust guns a-blazin’, and he’ll be accompanied on his outer space exploits by the beautiful Uranus Ormine and his mechanical ‘manservent’ E-Zeke-L. And there’s no way anyone will confuse him with Starbuck Jones!”

    Yeah, all comic book creators come up with “new” characters and have their companies put out books with said characters at the drop of a hat. Wolverine instantly had his own book, rather than debuting in an “Incredible Hulk” storyline and then turn-up again a year later in “Giant Size X-Men” #1.

    I’m very disappointed that Ruby’s record collection didn’t “inspire” him to come up a patriotic WWII hero named Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B, or a swampy man-beast known as “Sleepy” Lagoon, or the chemically preserved, telepathic head of Hitler, now known as Der Fuhrer’s Face, or…I’ll stop now, before Battyuk gets ideas for 2021 strips.

    • William Thompson

      Starduster! He grabs comets and uses them like feather-dusters! Watch him sweep the spacelanes of cosmic debris, until you can see the white and yellow lines painted on their blacktop!

    • Saturnino

      “and he will zoom across the galaxy standing on a Cosmic Roomba, powered by the very stardust it scoops up!”

      That would be a Gen 4 Roomba

  10. “I’ll have a new spaceman hero called Starduster! And his last name can be Jones! No one’s ever done anything similar to that!”

  11. ian'sdrunkenbeard

  12. erdmann

    Tomorrow: Chester announces he already owns the rights to Golden Age character Stardust, the Super Wizard. Monday: infamous (and long dead) Stardust creator Fletcher Hanks arrives and is promptly hired to work with Dopey on the new title.
    By the way, if you’re not familiar with Hanks and his work and your idea of a fun rainy afternoon is a Manos/Birdemic double feature, you owe it to yourself to check him out on Grampa Google.

    • Doghouse Reilly (Philadelphia)

      Stardust would, I think, be more inclined after a look around the Atomix office to send Mopey, Dullwin, Chester and the gurrls to a frozen outer space prison and leave them in a block of “cosmic ice” for their crimes against humanity. Thumbs up for recalling the great Fletcher Hanks and his gonzo superhero creations.

    • Scott J Lovrine

      I agree that Stardust the Super Wizard should be checked out. I imagine Batiuk’s art samples when trying out for comics looked a lot like the work of Fletcher Hanks.

      I’m surprised Pete needed to hear the song, “Stardust,” to “create” Starduster. Besides the aforementioned Super Wizard, Marvel had two characters named Stardust, AC Comics Femforce had one, and there’s Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel, Stardust.

      Pete has read comics, hasn’t he?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      According to the Wikipedia page, Stardust the Super Wizard is in the public domain, and has been used many times by other comics publishers.

  13. Hitorque

    1. Well done Pete… You’ve got a name and nothing else. Good luck making “Starduster” stand out from the other 29,125 other spacefaring heroes in the comics multiverse… Disney’s attorneys are lining up at the gate as we speak.

    2. Lemme guess — Chester comes in tomorrow and announces “Starduster” is already copyrighted so they make the name “Stardussterrr” and it’s all good….

    3. I guess we’re lucky since Pete Rattabastardo could have very easily made some sentient pile of spoiled, discarded hoagies into the next big thing in comics…

    • Hitorque

      4. Didn’t Chester buy the rights to literally hundreds of obscure discarded superheroes? Certainly at least ONE of them is some kind of swashbuckling space renegade with his/her own backstory that he can reboot instead of trying to reinvent the wheel for the 100,000th time, right?

      5. Is there any way this isn’t a 100% ripoff of Starsucke Jonese or some other easily recognizable character?

      • justifiable

        Todd is so far behind the 8 ball that it’s not funny. Mystery Men and Deadpool 2 will never not beat his sorry ass like a gong when it comes to trolling superheroes and mutants, and the best his unimaginative ass could come up with is the derivative “Incredible Pulp”?

        I still can’t tell which is my favorite, PMS Avenger or Ballerina Man.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Ripoff of Starbuck Jones? What is there to rip off? We know absolutely nothing about this character or his woeld, despite this strip talking about it ad nauseum.

        Besides, all Batiuk’s characters have the same superpower: telling you how great they are.

  14. Paul Jones

    I wonder if this is how the original Batom Comics got into trouble. If the two whining idiots back in the day were as smart as Pete and Boy Lisa, they might have stupided their way into a plagiarism lawsuit.

  15. Banana Jr. 6000

    Anyone notice that Ruby’s red star disappeared? Her black beret now has.a vague red circle when it was clearly a red star before.

    • justifiable

      It was never there to begin with.

      It’s not a beret, it’s a crap rendition of a Russian Civil War era (c.1917) Red Army/Bolshevik Commissar’s hat, because Ayers can’t tell a Mao cap from a hole in the wall. It should have a Soviet red star badge above the visor, but naturally Todd went for a circle, because why even bother to depict it accurately?

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Yeah, you’re right that the red symbol on Ruby’s hat is usually circular or formless. But zoom in on Panel 2 here:

        That definitely looks like a red star. Then again, panel 1 is has a white circle in the same place. Which is the moral of the story: this whole world is so sloppy and inconsistent that there’s no point trying to find meaning in such details.

        • justifiable

          What you’re seeing is the colorist being sloppy – not filling in the circle in P1, a bad fill in P2. There are a couple of other times when they’ve either made a similar hash of it, but trust me – it’s not a star. Todd dialed back what should have been a Soviet star for something that I can only presume he imagines is some kind of “Marxist/Leninist lite” imagery, in which he can imply her political leanings, without having to be specific about them.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            It looked like a star to me until recently, but that may be pariedolia on my part. You answered my original question anyway: I wondered if he toned down Ruby’s communist look recently. It turns out he did straight from the very beginning.

      • William Thompson

        It looks to me like a mod Sixties Carnaby-Street relic, which would fit Rubella’s character–obnoxious and behind the times. As for the “red star,” I’ve never seen it in the daily strip. All I see is a small cluster of pixels, as ill-defined as a blonde Funkyverse woman’s face.

        • justifiable

          Look at Todd’s original sketch – Ayers either mated it with a Mao cap or some Jiffy Pop to produce whatever the hell he’s drawing now, but it started out life as a Civil War era Bolshevik commissar’s hat – with the Soviet star dumbed down, of course.
          The extra height Ayers has put in there definitely makes it look like a Carnaby Street holdover, but dollars to donuts neither Todd nor Ayers would have any idea what you’re referring to. Carnaby Street was the Ultima Thule of trendsetting hip mid-60’s fashion, which is the last thing you’d ever associate Ruby with.

          • William Thompson

            It bears an equal resemblance (as much as Batiuk’s art resembles anything) to some Russian Imperial Army hats, which also had badges in the same location as the Bolshevik hat. On that basis I could argue that Rubella thinks she’s a long-lost heiress to the Romanov throne, which admittedly isn’t quite insane enough for this strip.

  16. robertodobbs

    A “Starduster” is also one of the most popular antennas used in 2-way radio communications. A lot of people used them for their Citizen’s Band base stations in the 1970s.

  17. Gerard Plourde

    It’s strips like this one that display the frustrating effect of TomBa’s lack of effort – his focus on setting up Pete’s free association stroke of inspiration simultaneously sets up and ignores a potentially rich storyline. As others have pointed out “Starduster” as conceived by Pete is practically identical to the Funkyverse’s already existing Starbuck Jones. Imagine the potential for depth and nuance a competently told storyline pitting Chester and Atomik against the owners of the Starbuck Jones character would have (not to mention the opportunity to refer to Batom Comics’ similar battle). We can rest assured that that’s not happening here.

  18. Count of Tower Grove

    Will Starduster wield a feather duster or a Swiffer?

  19. batgirl

    Maybe Starduster is like a Cosmic Cropduster, spraying poisonous chemicals over other worlds.