Cripes, What a Black Hole!

How bad was the past week of Les strips? Bad enough to make today’s appearance by Mister Kablichnick feel like a refresing palate cleanser. I was ready to add “doughnut of doom” to the Batiuktionary, figuring that the term was coined by TB to set up the “punchline.” But Grandpa Google turned up this April 2019 New York Times article that uses the phrase, as well as the image Jim that is showing the students.

It’s been a pleasure sharing the pain with you lo these last two weeks. Beckoning Chasm steps into the wheelhouse starting Monday!

32 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

32 responses to “Cripes, What a Black Hole!

  1. But weren’t the “vendos of death” removed some years ago?

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Yep. But you expect Batty to remember?

    • They were, in April 2012:

      • Epicus Doomus

        Ah, Owen, that detestable little sleazebag. Sometimes I kinda miss ol’ chullo-head. Not very much, mind you, but still. What are the odds that he ever appears again? I’d estimate they’re not good.

        • ComicBookHarriet

          I miss Owen. As little personality as he was given, he was miles ahead of the frumpy 40 year-old man-child named Bernie, wandering through half an arc a year, barely distinguishable from the Boomer main characters.

          He’s like that terrifying adult man with the glandular disorder they got to play Isaac in Children of the Corn.

      • J.J. O'Malley

        You mean they did a “reno” where the “vendos” were?

    • But by 2017, they had reappeared:

      • Mr. A

        And I’m assuming that the students haven’t moved up a grade since Act III began. So, “since [they] were freshmen” indicates a time that is before 2007, and simultaneously no earlier than 2017?

        I honestly don’t want to give Batiuk grief for his use of Comic-Book Time, because so many other works of fiction do the same thing. But sometimes I can’t stop myself from thinking about it, and that’s when the madness creeps in…

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          I don’t either, but Tom Batiuk brings it on himself. He spends so much time praising himself for depicting the realistic passage of time in his comic strips. But he gets every little detail wrong. People from the same high school class are 20 years apart. Dinkle loses his hearing and miraculously regains it. Lisa rises from the dead to make a phone call and divert a flight. Summer and Keisha have been “college roommates” for most of a decade now. The same kids go to Westview for years and years and years. The time jumps make no sense. Ed Crankshaft is easily 100 years old. Other characters are perenially “young and starting out” well into their 40s.The mistakes go on and on and on, despite the 11-month lead time he’s so proud of. Don’t even get me started on his depictions of Los Angeles.

      • gleeb

        Classic Bernie Silver!

  2. Epicus Doomus

    I know all about the black hole at the center of the Funkyverse. When Lisa got pregnant the whole comic strip imploded in upon itself in a spectacularly boring display of tedium and self-reverence the likes of which the comics page hadn’t seen since that time Thel finally got fed up with those f*cking kids and that damn dog and started hitting the box wine pretty hard. Then when Lisa died the whole mess cooled and congealed into the yawn-inducing trough of nausea it is today.

  3. William Thompson

    What the Funky? Messier 87 is fifty-five million light years from earth, not fifty-five light-years. I know Batiuk is obsessed with thinking small, but shrinking the universe by a factor of a million is extreme even for him.

    • Great catch! Don’t hold your breath waiting for a correction in the BattyBlog.

    • Mr. A

      Not just a black hole fifty-five light-years from earth, but a black hole in another galaxy fifty-five light-years from earth.

      Does anyone besides Batiuk read this strip before it goes to print?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Messier 87 is 250,000 light years in diameter. If it were also only 55 light-years away from Earth, it would be swallowing us all right now. All of the human race, all that was and ever would be, trapped in a gravity well so powerful that not even light can escape. All of our literature, culture, and knowledge would be lost. Billions would die. It almost makes Lisa’s death seem trivial.

      • Mr. A

        As much as I hate to spoil the joke, the black hole is actually a lot smaller than that. The diameter of its accretion disk is approximately 250,000 AU (astronomical units, a.k.a. the approximate distance between the Sun and the Earth), or 0.39 ly. The actual event horizon of the black hole (the point past which not even light can escape) is smaller still—the estimated diameter is something like 240 AU.

        Not that it matters, since the intense X-rays, gamma rays, and moving-at-near-light-speed plasma jets that the black hole produces would destroy the Earth and kill us all anyway…

        Wikipedia article

  4. Banana Jr. 6000

    A black hole is a giant sucking mass of infinite density where time stops and escape is impossible. I feel like we’ve covered this topic already this week.

  5. Gerard Plourde

    I guess the point of today’s strip is the joke (?) about vending machine items that remain forever unpurchased and are never removed by the supplier. We really have gotten through the bottom of the barrel and have started scraping the detritus underneath, haven’t we?

  6. Negative Vibe Merchant

    I can’t believe this asshole didn’t mention the apple fritter of annihilation and the croissant of catastrophe.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      The Muffin of Misfortune!
      The Waffles of Woe!
      The Scone of Suffering!
      The Bummer Bagel!

  7. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    Today’s gag would’ve been OK, but he had to shoehorn that “vendo” in there. It reads better if you delete it! Did he do that just to piss me off?

  8. Hitorque

    “donut of doom”?

    Somehow I get the feeling that ain’t what the boys at NASA are calling it… And you’re supposed to be a science teacher??

    • LTPFTR

      The boys at NASA (and the ladies, too) are all kinds of whimsical. They really do try to make the science they do accessible to everyone. Which is why it’s a shame that it shows up in this pile of dreck.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Newspaper comics and science have some interesting overlap. Charlie Brown and Snoopy were mascots for the Apollo missions. Calvin’s “horrendous space kablooie” got some use in the scientific community, as a more interesting description of the big bang. Gary Larson got an insect named after him. Though my personal favorite is the Thagomizer. Turns out it really WAS named after the late Thag Simmons.