Gone To Starseed

Link to today’s strip

We’ve been learning too much this week. All of us! The comments have been crammed with factoids about vinyl and Marvel, basketball and Bolsheviks, GI Joe and Ohio, lounge singers and long sandwiches.

And today, we learn that every atom in our bodies with an atomic number higher than hydrogen was originally forged in the heart of our universe’s first stars.

And due to the carbon cycle, probably every cell of our body is full of recycled shit. Just like this strip.

So, for everyone’s viewing pleasure, I have random panels of Stardust The Super Wizard and his weird tiny head and single facial expression. I will trust our team of crack commenters to regale us with wonderful Fletcher Hanks factoids!

And, my personal favorite:


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

25 responses to “Gone To Starseed

  1. Epicus Doomus

    “Look out, Starduster, it’s your arch-nemesis, The Vacuum!”

    “BWAHHH HA HA! With these new attachments you’ll NEVER stop me, Dusty!”

    Is Atomik Komix hiring or can I just walk right in?

  2. William Thompson

    This strip is like a warning sign of an impending Sideways Sunday embarrassment. Hey, Todd! Take off the training wheels and do your own “Steve Starduster” artwork!

  3. William Thompson

    Aw, Dullard, Carl Sagan would be so proud!

  4. Doghouse Reilly (Philadelphia)

    I don’t know what’s more unbelievable, Mopey Pete calling anyone else “Mister Wet Blanket” or the idea that these two artistes haven’t yet tried to push a villain named “Mister Wet Blanket” to go up against either the Insipid Pulp or Scuba-Duba Cop.

    “Actually made of stardust,” huh? Good to know you’re crafting a protagonist whose rogues gallery can include the Swiffer, Captain Hay Fever, Mophead, and his on-again, off-again love interest Dust Bunny.

    Incidentally, Dullwit, the line goes “We are stardust, we are golden, and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.” I think you owe Joni Mitchell royalty money.

  5. billytheskink

    Durwood just doesn’t want to draw anything new. Or anything at all, if possible.

  6. billytheskink

    Also, I’m surprised De Structo isn’t the head of The Fifth Column.

    • justifiable

      I sprayed chocolate cake all over my keyboard at that, damn you. Acromegaly seems to be Hanks’ default drawing style, which is just beyond disturbing.

  7. Any of these Stardust panels, integrated into any random Funky Winkerbean strip, would improve it immeasurably.

    I keep wondering why Pete’s creations are so utterly dull and forgettable, and I think I know why. Pete can’t create anything that would challenge Batiuk’s own creations, like Mister Sponge and so forth. And Batiuk’s creations are so terrible, that the only direction for Pete to go is straight down.

  8. Gerard Plourde

    With a nod to William Thompson above – I was wondering if TomBa was watching the original Cosmos series on his VCR when he came up with this.

    • William Thompson

      My guess would be he read the phrase in a TV Guide article, then checked the listings for a rerun of Gene Autry in “The Phantom Empire.”

  9. Paul Jones

    The “right” answer would be “My concept is a humanoid cloud of stardust, not a chemistry lesson.” Pete is too stupid to come up with a “witty” comeback because Batiuk has cast him as a “lovable” loser.

  10. The only factoids I remember about Fletcher Hanks is that he was, apparently, a terribly abusive person, and that Tom Hanks is no relation.

    • justifiable

      Oh, he was a real prince. Apparently his indulgent mother spoiled him rotten, and even paid for his training at the W.L. Evans School of Cartooning and Caricature – which was also Chester Gould’s and Hank Ketcham’s alma mater. There was plenty of demand for cartoonists in newspapers and magazines in the late teens-20’s, but no formal training, which led some cartoonists like the Cleveland Leader‘s Evans to start their own correspondence schools. It was $1 a lesson for a course of 20, and the assignments were mail order (“head too big” was a recurring note on Hanks’ work). In the late 20’s Hanks found work as a muralist in Westchester, NY but spent his take-home pay on booze. He became a violently abusive alcoholic, so that his teenage son had to support the family by selling the vegetables he’d raised. One day he found good old dad had quite literally stolen his piggy bank and deserted the family for good – his wife figured it was a small price to pay for never having to see him again.

  11. I absolutely love it when Comicbook Harriet’s shift happens to coincide with an Atomik Komix story arc. I had never heard of Fletcher Hanks…the only factoid I can contribute is that I think I need to buy this book: Turn Loose Our Death Rays And Kill Them All!: The Complete Works Of Fletcher Hanks

    • I had a copy of “Civilized Planets” for a long time. The thing is, once you get past Hanks’ initial weirdness, he’s more than a little dull. The stories tend to be the same thing, over and over again.

      • comicbookharriet

        He froze to death penniless on a park bench.

        His comics remind me of the movies of Neil Breen. Violent retribution done by an all powerful hero with little care for collateral damage.

  12. Rusty Shackleford

    Check out Batty’s blog. More comic book crap planned for this fall.

    • Gerard Plourde

      “Sundown Kid”? Couldn’t Chester buy the rights for the old BaTom titles “Kid Kidd’” and “Arizona Ranger”?

      And, while expecting reality in the strip borders the inconceivable, would there really be a market for what looks like a character straight out of the 50s?

      • Well, if nothing else it shows that Burchett could, when he wanted to, draw. It would be interesting to read an honest interview with him. “So, how long after starting FW did you feel your life draining from you?”

        But that is a dumb cover. “Put your head in that noose, pardner, or we shoot you!” So, a choice between death and…death?

        • comicbookharriet

          Naw. I kinda like the cover. The view through the noose in a nice touch, and the nonsequiter from the bad guy isn’t out of the ordinary for the era it is riffing on.

          Poor Burchett. You just want to sidle up next to him in a dingy studio with a 20 in your pocket for commissions and ask, “What’s an artist like you doin’ in a place like this?”

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      So Batiuk is not only making more pointless comic book characters and covers, he’s planning and announcing them months in advance. That’s more effort than he’s put into the main product in years. When was the last time he made a blog post about anything going on in the strip? It’s insulting, really.

      Why does King Features Syndicate tolerate this? They’re paying for a strip called Funky Winkerbean, not What Tom Feels Like Drawing . When you hire an artist, you have a right to demand they produce what you paid for. Contracted artists do not have the freedom to produce whatever they want, and they shouldn’t have it. Occasional flights of fancy are one thing, but he abuses the privilege.

      Tom Batiuk, more than any creator not named Adam Sandler, needs to hear the word “no.” No more comic books. No more awards. No more Lisa stories, unless it’s about finally getting over her death. No more plugs for Luigi’s Restaurant, The Last Leaf, the Ohio Music Educator’s Association, , Dinkles, or any of the other usual plugola. No more abandoning arcs without actually finishing them. And finally, no more 11 month lead times. In an age when entire 22-minute animated TV shows can be conceived and completed in a few weeks, a simple comic strip needs to be more timely.

  13. Maxine of Arc

    I don’t think I can really stress this enough: NOBODY WOULD EVER READ THIS CRAP AND TOMBA HASN’T BEEN IN A COMIX SHOP IN 40 YEARS.

  14. Professor Fate

    https://youtu.be/ckMeurmYxG4 a song that I think sums up what we are all thinking when the author goes off on comic books.

  15. batgirl

    Marvel has a villain(?) called Stardust, one of the Heralds of Galactus, who is made of plasma and thus indestructible. Just throwing that in there.