Mr. Lame

Mr. Monster“? And he’s just a guy in a goofy looking spaceman outfit, and nothing remotely monster themed? Batiuk is really scraping the bottom of the barrel with his fictional superheroes here. Which probably means he’ll still have fifty more, before his strip finally ends. Each somehow worse than the last. I thought for sure this guy’s name was “McMonster”, which makes as much sense as “Mr. Monster”. Again, I can’t imagine how that would be at all legible in the newspaper.
Also, I don’t think Batiuk understands how to properly honor a beloved local tradition, or whatever he’s attempting to do with these “Pizza Monster” strips. Drawing attention to how silly it is is not the way to go.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

52 responses to “Mr. Lame

  1. Captain Gladys Stoatpamphlet

    This is just pathetic. Just look at Frankenstein* trying to avert his gaze.

    * Frankenstein’s Monster, but there are too many monsters already.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    Now I’m completely lost. So this is “really” supposed to be happening? It’s not just some weird fantasy sequence? Who the f*ck is Mr. Monster? Who the f*ck names a character “Mr. Monster”? Is he actually carrying a gun there? Just what the f*ck is going on here?

    And if I never see that font again it’ll be way too soon. Blech. Who’s Gilbert? When you have to research the references to get the strip it’s generally not a positive sign.

    • Captain Gladys Stoatpamphlet

      More echoes of Pizzagate.

      • The Nelson Puppet

        Pizzagate – Now THAT’S one hell of a prestige arc for Batiuk. The pedophile child-trafficking ring takes place in the basement of Montoni’s, masterminded by creepy evil DSH John.

    • billytheskink

      Mr. Monster does have a Wikipedia page. But so does the television series Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters from Beverly Hills.

      Heck, even this website is mentioned on Wikipedia.

      • Epicus Doomus

        I can’t believe he has a gun. Or needs a gun to handle a monster made of cardboard. Seems like overkill to me.

        Re: Wikipedia, that fact never fails to make me smile. I wonder who added it? Wasn’t me.

    • “Who’s Gilbert?”

      That’s an avenue into Batiuk’s worldview. He thinks every single reader, all over the world, is going to react by saying, “Oh, it’s Michael Gilbert’s Mr. Monster! This should get interesting now!”

      No one lives in a world like that. If I post about something that interests me, I generally make sure I include some reference to the thing in question.

      Not Tom Batiuk.

  3. billytheskink

    This… THIS was written by a guy who dismissed Snoopy’s siblings and the Moon Maid from Dick Tracy to the “Dumb Character Phantom Zone”.

    • William Thompson

      Batiuk wrote there “I felt that I had barely scratched the surface of [Cindy Summers’s] potential as a character.” He did scratch it, and gave her tetanus.

    • erdmann

      Wait, Batiuk calls out Snoopy’s brothers but not his sister, Belle? Or her unnamed teenage son who looked like the Pink Panther?
      Seriously, though, Schulz later expressed regret over introducing Snoopy’s siblings because it altered the character’s relationship to the kids in the strip.
      Still, they’re all better characters than any added to this strip in the last decade or so… with the obvious exception of Zanzibar.

      • Epicus Doomus

        The two best new Act III characters aren’t even human. And they TOWER over the rest of them. if you really think about it you can make the case that Owen…f*cking Owen…is actually the best of the whole Act III lot. That’s just sad.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        The insulated pizza bag is my favorite and is the most interesting.

        • comicbookharriet

          What’s the difference between Les Moore and an insulated pizza bag?

          And insulated pizza bag has something to keep it warm.

    • newagepalimpsest

      I love the concept of the Dumb Character Phantom Zone! I do still like Moon Maid because she’s kind of like a lifeline to a time in the strip’s history where people were still working out what you would and wouldn’t play well in a strip about cops and robbers (in an era where everybody was doing cops and robbers.)

      And I will say that the (perhaps accidental) drama that the current creative team have going on with Moon Maid is way more exciting than just “Hmm, what stuff do we have going on here that kids these days might like?”

  4. erdmann

    Actually, Mr. Monster is a “real” comic book character created by Michael T. Gilbert about 36 years ago to parody horror and super-hero comics. He’s based on an ultra-obscure character who appeared twice in Canadian comics in the 1940s.
    He and his creator both deserve better than appearing in this strip.

    • William Thompson

      Batiuk would have done better to rip off Gilbert Sheldon. Westview would e a better place if the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers paid a visit.

    • J.J. O'Malley

      As a comic book reader with over 50 years of geek credentials, this is….just sad. Good old Mr. M. (aka “Doc” Stearn)–who’s defended mankind from supernatural menaces since the Reagan Administration for Eclipse, Image, Dark Horse and other ‘indie” (non-DC or Marvel) comics–indeed is slumming it with this craptastic crossover, one than has to turn out to be some sort of dream from a Montoni’s-stuffed Skunk Head John or Mopey Pete’s imagination.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      A funky felt tip during the week? Has this been done before?

      • newagepalimpsest

        I was wondering that too, but I’m sure that billytheskink will catch us up if it’s important.

  5. William Thompson

    I will be sorely vexed if the Pizza Monster and Mr. Monster don’t end up fighting over who gets the pizza-delivery job that Adeela left open.

  6. TryingTires

    Pizza Monster accurately depicts my feelings upon reading this

  7. Banana Jr. 6000

    So now the TV special is It’s The Pizza Box Monster, Funky Winkerbean! With Special Guest Appearance by Mr. Monster. How is this so insane and yet so boring?

  8. Jimmy

    Maybe this is an allegory extended from last week.

    Montoni’s is Adela, or whatever her name is.
    The pizza monster is ICE
    Mr. Monster is Bill Clinton

  9. Gerard Plourde

    So was it Mr. Monster that Funky called and told to be ready? (I know that I’m analyzing this far more than it deserves.)

    • It’s too bad that It’s the Great Pizza(box) Monster and Mr. Monster, Funky Winkerbean! won’t be seen on network TV this year. The exclusive rights were apparently bought by PineApple TV, part of the Batuik International Communications/Comicbooks Conglomerate LLC family.

  10. Mr. A

    Haiku of the Day

    Monster faces foe!
    In the brawl, the box-head thinks:
    “Should add some eye-holes.”

  11. Mr. A

    Honestly I’d kind of love it if we just kept piling on more characters here. Like, on Wednesday, Mr. Monster is in turn accosted by his greatest foe, the villainous…um…[checks ComicVine]…his vampire mom? I think?

  12. Olive McSweeney, LLC

    Attention Mr. Batiuk: You couldn’t make as a super hero comic book “writer.“ Stop trying. And stop subjecting the world to your constant wallowing in misery and revenge.

  13. William Thompson

    Mr. Monster is one of Batiuk’s characters, probably Dead Skunkhead John or Chester Pester, dressed up in a Mr. Monster costume. Because of course if anyone’s a fan of a non-heroic character, it’s a man-child lost in the world of comic books.

  14. The Nelson Puppet


    • newagepalimpsest

      There’s probably a… well, more than one generation out there who only know Dennis the Menace as Dairy Queen’s mascot. His character design even has that vibe that you generally only see with mascots that haven’t gotten much attention since the proprietor’s grandfather hired AdVerCorp back at the turn of the century.

  15. Charles

    Hanging a lampshade on it doesn’t make it any less stupid, Tom.

    Throw me in with everyone who can’t believe he’s shown Mr. Monster carrying a goddamn handgun into Montoni’s for Christ’s sake.

    • William Thompson

      I had to look at the shitty artwork again to realize that Mr. Monster has a gun. At first I thought it was a clumsy attempt to draw a logo on his chest,

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      It is absolutely baffling. This story has been presented as a real-world mystery of identifying who the Pizza Box Monster really is. That doesn’t call for a gun, real or pretend. The Mr. Monster character costume doesn’t lend itself to carrying a gun: he’s not a detective or something like that. And the strip has previously disavowed its own past use of guns for humor. (In a very cowardly way, by claiming Les’ hall monitor machine guns were cardboard and played the school fight song.) The handgun is absolutely superfluous, and adds even more confusion to an already confusing tone.

  16. Rusty Shackleford

    Said the guy wearing pizza boxes…

    Geeze, Funky. Lighten up a bit.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      This whole arc needs to lighten up. It acts like the pizza box monster is one of the serious issues that face young people today. When Snoopy fights the Red Baron, he takes it seriously, but we know it’s all in his imagination. The humor is in the juxtaposition of tone. This strip can’t even get that right. Everything is too tonally serious. Funky acts like he’s just tired of hiring obscure comic book characters to spray his restaurant for pizza box monsters. Could anything in this strip be fun, ever?

  17. Count of Tower Grove

    Such a tragedy of sadness.

  18. Banana Jr. 6000

    Chekhov’s Gun: “If a gun appears in the first chapter, it absolutely must be fired.”

    Batiuk’s Gun: “If a gun appears in the first chapter, it will not be fired or have any relevance to the story, and 20 years later I’ll claim it was made of cardboard.”

  19. batgirl

    The only way this Pizza Monster thing works is if the proprietor is in on the gag and knows the timing – because he has to have a pizza boxed and ready. (Does Montoni’s do Pizza by the Slice?)
    But Funky last Halloween was scared and bewildered. This year he’s angry and vengeful. He’s going to show that Pizza Monster! No pizza for you, just a Cosplayer Posse lying in ambush!
    Maybe they’ll let him go in return for his quick-change secrets. Stripping out of 20+ cardboard boxes in the time it takes an overweight man to walk to the door?
    FWIW, I’m guessing that it’s Cory in the boxes, because there was no Pizza Monster while he was in the military.

    • newagepalimpsest

      The guy at the counter earlier in the week does look a lot like Cory… But then who was phone Mr. Monster?

  20. I’m sure this is supposed to be amusing and whimsical, but it comes across as really strained. Like a clown with a headache trying to make balloon animals. “This one is, uh, a large intestine. The lumps aren’t good news.”

    And can anyone discern a reason for the sideways panels? It’s not even a single panel, which is Batiuk’s typical “reason” for doing that.

    • batgirl

      Sideways panel so we can see AAALLLL the pizza boxes that say Montoni’s.
      Except we can’t, but that’s typical for TB, not carrying through.

  21. Maxine of Arc

    I’m gonna bet a shiny nickel we never see Adeela again.

  22. Banana Jr. 6000

    And Batiuk is still posting strips from the 1993 Bill Clinton story on his blog.