Man, I really hate it when I’m at the creepy local comic book shop trying to buy a copy of a ridiculously-titled comic book I’ve never heard of before and some Owen-esque little dirtbag excitedly blurts out the entire plot before I even complete the transaction, I’ll tell you what. So obviously I TOTALLY RELATED to this one!
Just kidding. Only two people on the planet relate to this one and they’re the guy who writes this dreck and the guy he buys his comic books from. Almost all FW gags are bad and quite a few of them are really hokey, but this is kind of the worst of both worlds. This gag was tiresome back when people were spoiling Shakespeare’s plays.
And check it out, is that a two dollar bill in that asshole’s hand? That would be the most Komix Korner thing ever, some big spender whipping out a fat stack of twos and buying every issue of “Rip Tide: Scuba Cop” in the place. You know, speaking of “Rip Tide: Scuba Cop” I gotta admit…that title just very well might be the single greatest thing he’s done in Act III. It really sticks with you, ya know? Way more so than “Starbuck Jones” (I’ve always wondered if that was an inside coffee gag but I think it was more of a dumb coincidence) or (gak) “The Inedible Pulp”. I quite frankly want to see more Rip, but I’m not holding my breath. Get it?
33 responses to “Pulp Frisson”
That isn’t a two-dollar bill. The squiggle indicates that it’s a Forever Dollar. It’s a lot like a Forever postage stamp, where one stamp will always cover the cost of mailing a first-class letter. Here, a Forever Dollar is always the right amount for one Komix Korner purchase. It saves Batiuk from the agony of dealing with numbers.
The thing is, this is stupid. YES, I know I could say this about every FW story ever, but the thing that’s been pounded down in this strip since Act III is that comic books are Holy books and must be worshiped as such. So the amazingly moronic idea that the *cough*
Sorry, let me clear my throat. YOUREAHACKTOMBATIUK.
So, the idea that the “Inedible Pulp” might be a knock-off would be a turn-on to comic buyers, since they are (apparently) attracted like moths to any errant flame.
You know what would be a better name for a thing made from comic books? The Indelible Pulp. Think of that. It both sets up pulp stories as awesome and says you can’t alter them, you bastard. I bet Batiuk reads this and punches himself for his shortsightedness.
If Batiuk is going to punch himself for something, it should be for forgetting that he wrote this less than nine months ago:
it’s one thing to write about his self-contradictions, it’s another to see them in the same space.
Is “40 year old balding child” a tag here? There’s this and the Jfff In Murania, so there’s bound to be many others I can’t/don’t want to recall offhand.
If Batton Thomas can forget Mopey Pet’s surname, he can swap Indelable for Inedible.
Calling him The Inedible Pulp implies the existence of an Edible Pulp, or at least something that would be inclined to eat The Inedible Pulp if he wasn’t inedible, or has actually tried and failed to eat him.
Why is his lack of edibleness what explicitly defines him? Perhaps we would have thought he could or even should be eaten if he didn’t have that modifier?
I’d have preferred The Can’t-Be-Turned-Into-Bacon Pulp, myself. Or maybe The Not-Evolving-Into-a-Crab Pulp. Make your own!
First, a disclaimer – I am not a collector of comics personally, but I know collectors and have been in my share of comic book stores. From what I know of collectors, the draw is more than knowing the plot. TomBa himself has spent Fridays reviewing and critiquing the storylines and the artwork of decades-old issues of The Flash with no regard to disclosing the entire plot . The old guy (who may be artist/writer/author avatar Batton Thomas) is in the store to add to his collection and we’re to believe that he’s rejecting a book he selected because someone told him the ending? He’s acting like an eight year old (with apologies to eight year olds, who probably aren’t that immature).
I think the character is rejecting the book not because the ending was spoiled, but because it has an “alternate universe” plot. Apparently Batiuk is opposed to those. Which is like an NBA fan being against the slam dunk and the three-point shot.
He didn’t seem to mind the use of Earth 2 in the Silver Age DC Comics that allowed for new stories and crossovers featuring Golden Age heroes (Dr, Fate, the original Flash, The Justice Society, etc.). But inconsistency is TomBa’s hallmark.
That’s what baffles me. Who the hell would think comic book multiverses are a bad thing? They allow an exponential number of new storytelling possibilities! Superheroes can die and come back, exist in different eras, be portrayed by different characters in universe (Hal Jordan vs Guy Gardner), participate in crossovers with each other, appear in different styles and media, and so forth. It’s one of the mechanisms that makes today’s comic book-saturated world work!
I don’t get it. I really, really don’t.
“Acting like an eight-year-old” is exactly right. Because the adults in this world consume comic books exactly like eight-year olds do. Today’s strip spells out that this middle-aged customer buys comic books to read the story, and for no other reason. When the story is ruined, it has no further value for him. There’s no analysis, as you mentioned, or appreciating the art. Or any collector value, apparently. Which is very strange in the Funkyverse, where so many plots revolve around that.
Furthermore, “Inedible Pulp” is clearly a ripoff of the Hulk, so we’re talking about a children’s story being the center of this. Shouldn’t somebody in this comics-obsessed town be into manga, or something? Notice you never see material like that in the background of this oh-so-great comic books store. It’s all kids stuff. Or appropriated real-life characters lake Batman and Iron Man. Which just adds to the off-putting feel of this establishment.
Your point about the absence of manga is well-taken. I wonder if that means he rejects their legitimacy as “real comics”, akin to his dislike of alternate universes.
The only time manga has come up in Funky Winkerbean that I can recall is back in late Act II when Roberta Blackburn arranged for DSH to be arrested right at the Komix Korner cash register for selling “adult” manga to an undercover police offer dressed like DB Cooper. Lawyerin’ Lisa wound up defending DSH in the subsequent court case, winning over the jury with a sanctimonious (and suspiciously familiar) defense of comics as a medium suitable for portraying serious and adult things.
So before Lisa died, she got saddled with all of the “RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES!” stories?
Please tell me that she and Crazy Harry hopped on a plane and went to Comiket.
It’s very possible. Batiuk is so closed-minded about his comic book fandom that all his fictional characters have to adhere to it also. No one is allowed to enjoy anything different. Or even stock it in the store, to create the impression that a realistic customer base exists.
What we all thought was the “real” Pulp has actually been the “Dark Pulp” for a whole year? And this was a big reveal and not something that anybody noticed?
That checks out as something Pete (and TB himself) would would
I was away for a couple of days, so please indulge me while I catch up on this week’s action-packed storyline: Unknown older gentleman asks Skunky about a life Iron Man statue (Why on Earth would Skunky have such a high-priced item in his rinky-dink store?), and then suggests he has $8,000 to spend on “a lot of comic books” (or, alternately, a really nice of of “Amazing Spider-Man” #4, the first appearance of Sandman). Now today we see said stranger forking over a two-dollar (?) bill and maybe a one to buy a recent issue of an Atomix rip-off title, and an obnoxious fanboy decides to ruin the story’s twist for him, at which point the sale is cancelled. Hilarity ensues.
Can I ask: Is almost-buyer really supposed to be Murania visitor and “Crankshaft” regular Jiff, who out of the blue has come to Westview to indulge his sometimes-visible inner child? Why is he buying comics all of a sudden? Why recent comics? And hy does Battyuk, a supposed comics fan, enjoy portraying other collectors/readers like Spoiler Lad here in the worst possible light? Shouldn’t “Inedible Pulp” back issues be in the Dollar Bin by now? Will Skunky tell Becky he blew an $8,000 statue sale? Why does Komix Korner have more customers in a single panel than Montoni’s had in a week-long decorating arc? Inquiring minds want to know.
It makes perfect sense that Jff (if this is him) would be interested in new Batom Comics titles, but TB has gotten so bad at portraying connections between characters that it also makes perfect sense that a reader would be puzzled by Jff buying a copy of Pulp.
Leaving aside that Batom Comics’ titles are all supposed to be retro Silver Age-style comics like the ones that Jff (and TB) grew up with, Jff would be interested in Pulp and presumably other Batom titles because his daughter is Batom’s colorist and writes their Mr. Peabody-ripoff title. His daughter’s fiancé (such as “engagement tigers” are binding in that regard) is Batom’s head writer and the screenwriter that brought his beloved Stabuck Jones to the big screen in blockbuster fashion. His niece’s husband is Batom’s main artist. Frankly, I’m surprised Jff doesn’t work for Batom Comics now too, or at least hang around the office regularly hoping to get Flash Freeman’s autograph.
But with TB, these connections are either dropped and seemingly forgotten (Pete not remembering that Mindy dated his 2nd best friend in high school, Mindy and Jessica never being shown as cousins) or are made unrealistically conspicuous (“My father, John Darling”, Darin’s “bio-dad”). Real life is not like that and comics life doesn’t have to be either. My father worked for a local international foods-focused grocery chain for 30 years. If TB wrote my life, I would either wander into one of their locations curious as to what all this Spanish-sounding stuff was or I would tell every employee in the store who would listen that my dad worked there for 30 years.
If that guy is Jfff, why isn’t he getting comp copies of the entire Atomik line, given that he’s related to a staff member and that staff member is engaged to the head writer?
Just another example either of TomBa’s push-it-out-the-door work ethic or his weird inability to remember all of the connections he’s created.
Cushlamachree, I completely forgot about these ridiculous family connections (I said I’d been away for a while). You would think that if this is Jiff he might say something out loud like “Say, Atomix Comics! That’s the company my daughter and her fiancee work for! Do you know them? Their offices are nearby!” But then, that would require logical consistency and an ability to write in the manner that most normal people communicate, traits that TB always seems to lack in this work.
Is the row of model figures the exact same as was on Cory’s shelf in his old bedroom?
Weirdly similar! Very nice catch.
Are comic book shops still a big thing? In my hobby (model railroading), most local hobby shops are gone and so things are all done online.
There are a few out my way, but most of them have become general purpose hobby and game shops that also happen to sell comic books. Sometimes they have store space dedicated to game tournaments (now there’s an idea for a Funky Gets Mad at Youths storyline.)
In my part of Southern New Jersey there are still a number (maybe 5 or 6 that I know of) of comics/games shops (I don’t know of any comics shops that don’t also sell games, but there are some games stores that don’t sell comics) and also at least two hobby shops that specialize in model trains. And yes, all of the comics or games shops also have playing spaces and regular games there.
Over on Crankshaft we have the Batty-trope where old person asks for help from a young person on how to operate an ancient piece of technology. Then the old person acts like a jerk towards the person who is trying to help them. Cute gag!
This story is crappy on a 1/1 ratio.
Mrs. Scuba Cop is telling him there’s a difference between Rip Tide and Ripping Tide.
Mrs. Scuba Cop is actually separated from her husband at present. Seems that constantly worrying over the rise of maritime crime in the past few years has left Rip Tide more like Ebb Tide in the boudoir…if you know what I mean, and I think you do.
“Shut up Owen, everyone knows that it was a conspiracy set up by Princess Printing Press as revenge for when Pulp gave her an Engagement Rock and then forgot her birthday!”
For all his continual blather about comic books and such, the Author unfailingly presents comic book readers as real jerks. Rather odd that yes?