Krabby Petey

Banana Jr. 6000
December 4, 2020 at 12:36 pm 
…The joke is so mild and so botched, and the reaction is so ridiculously oversold, that the strip should be funny for how misguided it is.

Does anyone else think that Darin in the last panel looks like he was drawn by MAD’s Maddest Artist, Don Martin?

Tom Batiuk has frequently expressed, in his work and in interviews, that even though we call them “comics,” they don’t necessarily have to be “funny.” “I don’t see why a comic strip can’t carry the weight of substantial ideas,” he once said. But even a storyteller like Batiuk must cleanse the palate with the occasional standalone gag, or even a week’s worth of them. Everything about Pete’s “holiday joke” is lame, and the smugness with which he delivers it is just off the charts. Of course, the response is a hearty HA! HA! HA! from all but one of the Atomik staff.  At first, it looked to me as if Chester was the one admonishing Pete to “stick to writing drama,” which would make sense as he’s Pete’s boss. Naturally, as his fiancé, Mindy must come to Pete’s defense. But nobody knows better that his real soulmate, Darin, that flighty, distractible Pete needs help with focus. And anyway, his jokes suck.

Something that does not suck is the way Beckoning Chasm goes to work on Funky Winkerbean with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch, and his authoring stint begins with Monday’s comic. Stay safe and well and happy, people. –TFH


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

26 responses to “Krabby Petey

  1. It’s not only the worst joke ever, it blatantly rips off when the joke was done well–“The Nightmare Before Christmas. (1993)” “Why, you don’t have claws, you have hands!”

    You know how this joke would have worked? If it was Chester telling it. Everyone would have been too petrified to fail to laugh. because Chester is, like, The Boss, and failing to laugh would have been the road to a pink slip.

    But no, we’ve got the worst writer in the Funkyverse (aside from Batiuk) telling it and everyone has to laugh because…?


  2. Banana Jr. 6000

    Don’t stick to drama, Pete. You suck at that, too.

    • billytheskink

      This is quite true. Though within the context of the Batiukverse Pete has long since lapped Durwood’s career accomplishments to the point that I don’t understand why he even put up with Durwood’s guff.

      Pete has written top tier titles for Marvel, DC (he even wrote for Superman!), and Batiukverse big dog Mega Comics before he started slumming at Atomik. He wrote the smash hit Starbuck Jones film and its sure smash hit sequel. And above all and unlike Durwood, he’s NEVER worked at Montoni’s (to be fair, he tried to in high school, Tony wouldn’t hire him and even gave Komix Korner a break on rent so Pete could keep his part time job at the store).

      Durwood’s career is: MBA, laid off, Montoni’s, “pizza app”, and now two jobs he’s gotten for no reason other than because he knows Pete. Boy Lisa here should be laughing if Pete cracks his knuckles, much less when he tells bad jokes.

  3. Banana Jr. 6000

    Yes, this strip needs more Don Martin:

  4. Epicus Doomus

    Of course there’s no such thing as “Christmas Crab” thus the premise of Pete’s attempted joke is flawed and quite stupid, something BatYack is very, very, very familiar with. And the actual gag is Boy Lisa’s exasperation over a personality trait that’s never, ever been associated with Pete in any way, shape or form until today, which just reinforces my above point re: flawed premises and blinding stupidity.

    I mean when you hear “Pete” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Comic books, mopey, dreary, bags under his eyes, friends with Boy Lisa. “Tells awful jokes” is nowhere on that list. And besides, that’s a given anyhow.

    • Mr. A

      I’d argue that Boy Lisa’s exasperation is itself an unprecedented personality trait. He should be laughing along with the others, as he did in this strip.

  5. Gerard Plourde

    I suppose this strip signals the start of TomBa’s “Holiday Hijinks”.

  6. ComicBookHarriet

    This joke is just terrible. It could work, but the delivery is ATROCIOUS.
    First of all, no one looks at their roof enough to notice the footprints of anything smaller than a yeti.
    Second, by saying ‘sandy claws footprints’ you sacrifice the duality of the pun. Santa Claus would have feet, but ‘The Christmas Crab has claws, and legs, but no one thinks of crabs having feet. And if it’s the CRAB then ‘sandy claws footprints’ makes it seem like a crab’s claws are also it’s feet. In a good pun, both meanings of the pun remain consistent.
    Allow me to rewrite:
    How do you know when the Christmas Crab has visited your house?
    You find Sandy Claws by the fireplace.

  7. J.J. O'Malley

    A major problem in today’s side-splitter–at least, a problem to me–is that once again Battyurk can’t determine how to finish off a “punchline.” The logical place to end the strip would have been on panel four, with Mopey’s officemates laughing (out of politeness?) at what he just said and his one true soulmate (Derwood) trying to put him back in his place. But no, Tommy Boy has to stretch it out for more “Wow, that was funny”/”No, it wasn’t” shenanigans. Just deliver the lame and unoriginal pun, take your bow, and walk off the stage so that the average newspaper reader can brace themselves for whatever the Keane kids are up to in the next cartoon down the page.

  8. none

    As seen previously with that Stardusters week: Yet again, when faced with the slightest atom of dissonance with his ideas, Pete crosses his arms and scowls like a god damned Kindergarten child.

    Meanwhile, exactly what kind of drama should he stick to writing? Does anyone know? Last I checked, the only thing he creates are comic book covers on the basis of things that he randomly heard or places he’s randomly been. Oh wait, there’s Sophomoric Sightings, right? Is that drama? The Funky Winkerbean Act I strip within Funky Winkerbean Act III? No, I don’t think so. Anything else? Anyone?

  9. The Nelson Puppet

    Wow, the “art” in this “comic strip” is AWFUL!

  10. William Thompson

    On this day in history, 6 December 1957, America responded to the Sputnik I and II launches by attempting to place its own first satellite in orbit. Thanks to an ingenious hook-up of cable and microwave transmissions, people around America were able to watch the action at Cape Canaveral live on their TV sets. They heard the countdown, saw the first stage of the Vanguard test vehicle ignite, and witnessed a huge fireball as the rocket blew up on the launch pad. It was a diplomatic and publicity disaster of epic proportions, quickly labelled “Flopnik” and “Kaputnik” by an amused world.

    What I’m saying is, Batiuk chooses to celebrate some weird anniversaries, but when it comes to disasters he can’t be topped.

  11. Dood

    Meanwhile, Ruby Lith dreams of bringing the Wobblies and the Knights of Labor closer together.

  12. Charles

    Man, Darin’s response is textbook malignant narcissism. Let’s forget that Mopey’s joke, that he came up with himself, is incredibly stupid and focus instead on the fact that it led to everyone in the room except Darin laughing at it uproariously. Chester and Mindy are even throwing their heads back and closing their eyes they’re laughing so hard. This is a joke that they all appreciated and enjoyed.

    A malignant narcissist would hate the attention that Mopey’s getting for his joke, feeling threatened. So what does Darin do? He shits all over Mopey’s joke. He tries to neutralize the positive response to it. And when Mindy tells Darin that she liked the joke, Darin discourages her from having that reaction. He’s desperately trying to have everyone view Mopey as a humorless bore, right after Mopey has managed to get everyone laughing at a joke. He can’t let that moment stand, he has to kill it, because Mopey can’t be better at something than Darin. He simply cannot let Mopey have his moment.

    And he’s partially succeeded here, by having the attention of the group moved off Mopey’s joke and placed on what Darin’s saying. No one’s reacting to Mopey anymore, in fact, if they do, they’re dopes laughing at a joke Darin has claimed is dumb. They’re now focused on Darin, which is why a malignant narcissist would shit all over someone’s successful joke in the first place.

    I’ve said it before, it’s amazing how much Batiuk makes his characters awful without seemingly intending on doing so.

    (I mean, I think the point here is to tell a joke, and since Batiuk doesn’t have any confidence in his terrible joke-telling, to lampshade the terribleness of the joke just in case anyone believes HE thought it was clever. Expertly portraying one of his favorite characters as a malignant narcissist in the process is something he just does effortlessly and unconsciously)

    • William Thompson

      Basically, this is just more evidence that Darrin is Batiuk’s new author-avatar. It makes sense that Batiuk needs to replace Creepy Les; one thing that galls a narcissist is a reminder that they’re getting older. Within the limitations of the artwork, Darrin looks a lot younger than Les. (Maybe this is why both Summer and Skyler vanished. Having a child implies that the child will grow up, which is another sign of aging–and Summer poses the thret of turning Les into a grandfather.)

    • William Thompson

      Would narcissism help explain the Los Angeles Fire story? This is a story where, almost unnoticed, Batiuk had Les admit he’d been w-w-w-w-wrong about something (he’d hated Marianne Winters as the choice to play Lisa in the Dead Lisa movie.) Maybe Batiuk needed an apocalypse as a suitable background for such a painful admission from his hero. And the BS antics of rescuing Marianne and Cindy from the fire added to the image of Les being such a manly man that he could afford to humble himself momentarily (and while there was no one but Marianne to witness his apology.)

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Or maybe he’s just giving us all the finger.

        The “gag” strips today and Thursday have a bitter, sarcastic tone of “you want a joke? I’ll give you a joke so funny everyone will laugh their heads off! Ha ha ha!” Today’s cartoon is what Chevy Chase would draw in the empty Walley World parking lot. It’s what Tom Batiuk would draw if someone told him he had to do more gags and less sideways comic book covers, when that’s not what he wants to do.

        And why would Batiuk slam on the brakes in the middle of the Wagerian opera that is Lisa’s Story to pointlessly burn down Los Angeles? That story kissed Les’ ass like it was angel food cake, took us on a endless tour of every place Lisa ever blew her nose, and walked us through every dull step of the process. And then it all just stopped. Because “oh well, global warming I guess.” Even the oft-referenced Starbuck Jones sequel, another author’s favorite, got caught up in the maelstrom. This from a guy who can’t lift a finger to acknowledge the existence of COVID.

        I wonder if he actually got some editorial pushback, and the last six months have been a tantrum about that.

  13. Excellent observations, Charles (come back and write for us!)

    Keeping in mind what Charles has laid out above, look at the effect the Darin’s boorishness has had on his best friend, especially Pete’s body language: “[A]rm crossing means we are feeling anxious, resistant, tense, insecure, afraid, or responding to distress.”

  14. Mr. A

    I’m mildly curious about who Pete is e-mailing, given that everyone else in the company is already in the room.

  15. Banana Jr. 6000

    Some days, I think Tom Batiuk hates the idea of laughter itself.

  16. William Thompson

    I got sandy claws all around the litter box.

  17. Hitorque

    Pete not only sucks at drama as well, he sucks at life, too…

    I mean honestly… I’d be hard pressed to fake laugh at this “joke” if even a first grader told it… And Pete is supposed to be a grown assed man?

    And fuck you Mindy for encouraging this childishness… Demand better from the man in your life.

  18. Hitorque

    1. So are we just going to forget that Lisa movie project ever happened, or what?

    2. What the fuckin’ hell is Chester the Molester doing there? I thought the agreement with Pete+Darrin’s high six-figure contract was they’d have 100% editorial autonomy? Yeah Chester might write the checks but when the hell did he appoint himself boss of the office? Besides, doesn’t he have like a thousand other business interests and stock market accounts to look after?

    • batgirl

      Atomik Komix is Chester’s passion project. He’s all over it, designing the logo, hauling in old inkers and pencillers from the Silver Age, buying stuff off ebay for prizes…
      I’d be really surprised if he handed control over to Pete & D-boy. He shows up onsite as often as Dinkle shows up in the band classroom.

    • Westview Radiology

      Meant to up vote