Batton Exchange

Welcome to Son Of Stuck Funky’s week-long 11th anniversary spectacular! Well, it will be tacular, at least, we shall see on the spec… Today’s strip kicks thing off with a bang flash! You can have that one for free, TB. Hey, maybe I’ll even pay YOU to take it.

So, I’m billytheskink, and I am (apparently) contractually obligated to take over the author’s seat here at SOSF whenever Batton Thomas makes his annual appearance. I really should have read the fine print. But really, I covered both of Batton’s previous appearances, April-May 2019 (he crashed DSH’s Free Comic Book Day) and April 2020 (Les invited him to mope in front of his class), naturally. One could argue that he also appeared back in January of this year, moping about Komix Korner mere days before my last stint here started, but one could also argue that old moper was Jff Murdock.

Apparently Batton “used to be famous”. I guess that is why he only started appearing in Funky Winkerbean in 2019.

37 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

37 responses to “Batton Exchange

  1. J.J. O'Malley

    So, now we can see at last the business acumen of Skunk-Head John that has made the Komix Korner the thriving enterprise it is; he leaves 60-year-old key Silver Age issues that in good condition are anywhere from a couple of thousand dollars to over $50,000 just lying around, unbagged and free for anyone to paw over, on his shelves. This better be a dream sequence or an oddly priced reprint, or else add “running a comic book store” to the list of things Battyuk knows nothing about.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Looks like it’s a reference to an actual reprint done last year, where the replicated the entire issue, ads and all.
      https://13thdimension.com/landmark-the-flash-123-to-be-re-released-as-facsimile-edition/

      I’ve seen this before. My friend has a reprint copy of Action Comics 1. So buyer beware in the future.

      • J.J. O'Malley

        Believe it or not, I actually bought that $3.99 facsimile edition to give to one of my grandnephews. Flash #123 has been reprinted several times over the years–just like Action #1, Detective #27, Showcase #4, etc.–but the cover price has always been updated and a UPC occasionally added so that no one can (easily) palm it off as the original. This one actually says 10 cents, so either Battyuk has no concept of comic book prices or Skunky is about to get fleeced by one of his idols.

        • William Thompson

          Or Batiuk is about to spend the rest of the week in explaining what you have just said, but with Skunkhead revealing his knowledge to Batshit Thomas like a prophet delivering God’s word to one of his acolytes.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    Well, being the designated Batton Thomas guy is slightly better than being the designated Dinkle guy, although not by much. We’ll never have a designated Les host, though, as I’d never do that to anyone.

    Yeah, the comic book-drenched nostalgia and etc. Remember the good old days when you’d buy a comic book for a nice shiny silver dime, go home, scamper up to the attic, hide in your little fort with a flashlight, some milk and cookies and your new comic book which would magically whisk you away to a fantastical fantasy world full of action and heroes and (zzzzzzzzzz). Stuff like this is what personal blogs are for, while (ideally) a daily comic strip should probably have a, uh, broader overall appeal, let’s say. But it’s never stopped ol’ BatYam before.

  3. William Thompson

    “Well, hello, old friend! What a surprise to find you tucked away in the shelves of a used-comic-book shop! And with this cheery introduction, let me spend the next month regaling one and all with the tall of yet another horribly miserable and degrading experience in the prolonged failure of my life!”

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Batty mentioned reconnecting with old friends in a recent blog posting and shows some Flash covers along with the first two Funky Winkerbean paperbacks.

      It was interesting to read about the FW covers and how he created them. It also shows he never had much formal art training. Well at least he owns up to his mistakes here and says he learned from them—can’t fault him for that.

  4. billytheskink

    We’ve gone from interchangeable heavyset blondes to interchangeable bespectacled gray-haired comic book nerds. It’s not an improvement.

  5. William Thompson

    Is that a real comic-book cover? I get the feeling that Batton Thomas is going to tell us how he singlehandedly invented the parallel-time/alternate-universe story, only to be robbed of payment and credit in this universe. And, deservedly so, in every other timeline.

    (Footnote: I believe the first parallel-time/alternate history story was Murray Leinster’s “Sidewise in Time,” from 1934.)

    • Gerard Plourde

      Yes. That is the real cover from Flash #123 (September 1961).

      • ComicBookHarriet

        It’s a famous cover, that’s been replicated and referenced many many times since it first came out. It might be the sixth or seventh most famous DC cover of all time. I’m sure Batty boy here will bore us to death about it all week long.

        • Mr. A

          Boy, Banana’s comment from April 1st was more spot-on than I thought.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            I’m amazed Batiuk hasn’t gotten a cease and desist letter from DC Comics about his constant, blatant use of their intellectual property. It is a principle of IP law that if you don’t defend your intellectual property, you can lose it to the public domain. Which forces big media companies to be petty, litigous jerks about things like unlicensed birthday cakes and fundraiser t-shirts. And what Batiuk does is NOT fair use.

        • Gerard Plourde

          Does that mark the real beginning of inserting the Golden Age characters into the Silver Age by way of Earth 2? I was an unsophisticated 7 year old consumer at the time mostly reading Batman and Superman (with side trips to The Brave and the Bold and House of Mystery).

  6. Banana Jr. 6000

    So now Batiuk is inserting himself into the strip so he can talk to comic books. Seriously, is he all right?

    • Gerard Plourde

      I wonder if this is a way to insert excerpts from the “Flash Fridays” posts into FW.

      • spacemanspiff85

        I’m sure it is. Batiuk’s passion is clearly rambling about old comics and not writing the one he’s paid to write. I’ve wondered for a while why he didn’t just give up and have his strips become nothing but people rambling on about comics. It’s not like he puts any effort into the comic now.

    • J.J. O'Malley

      Why stop at talking?

      Tomorrow’s Strip: Batton Thomas fulfills a childhood fantasy by fondling the Golden Age and Sliver Age Flashes simultaneously as he rubs the book over his naked chest. Call it “Flesh of Two Worlds.”

  7. Mr. A

    Wait…we’re really not going back to Dinkle? We spent four weeks on that storyline (I’m including Crankshaft), and the upshot was “Dinkle found yet another set of musicians to be a hardass to”? And what happened to those panels of Dinkle actually playing the organ?

    I don’t get it. I just don’t get it.

  8. Hitorque

    1. Not this sad sack piece of shit again… What’s he even doing in Westview? I’m pretty sure he doesn’t even live anywhere in Ohio, iirc…

    2. No other customers in Komixxx Korner, take a drink…

    3. 70-year-old jizzing himself at the sight of comic book nostalgia, take a drink…

    4. The Flash or Batman being the only DC heroes to exist in the Funkyverse, take a drink…

    5. A Funkyverse character greeting a recurring guest character with “famous/world famous/award-winning/bestselling/etc.” as an honorific, take a drink…

    5a. Said “world famous” guest character responding with some mopey unfunny self-depreciating one-liner, take a drink…

    6. Oh and John, unless you’re throwing around shade, it’s not smart to greet a cartoonist who walked into your little comics store as “World famous” and not immediately request a photo and autograph…

    7. Can we just skip the next seven weeks and get to the part where Barton Thomas reinvigorates his love for his work and his love for life by accepting a job at Atomikkk Komixxx and flirting around with that old Commie broad?

    8. I give less than a damn — I’m going to keep on asking for an update on Lisa’s Movie Project 2.0 and a final damage/casualty report from Southern California until I get it…

  9. The Nelson Gossip

    “That so-called comic book store is nothing but a front for pedophiles to trade child porn! Look at that creepy old man going in there…he knew EXACTLY what he was looking for. I’ll bet he’s a flasher.”

  10. erdmann

    Surely that’s supposed to be a reprint. No dealer would have such a significant (and significantly valuable) issue out on the rack like that. So, why does this old codger speak to it so lovingly? Does he think it’s the real Flash #123? Even if it’s not marked as a facsimile edition (which “exact” reprints generally have been since some unfortunate incidents in the ‘70s), it’s still going to look, feel and even smell different from the original. Maybe the old boy’s mind “is no longer in mint condition.”

    • Mr. A

      Eh, his nostalgia is plausible even if he knows it’s a copy of the real thing.

      • erdmann

        Good point. I must admit to eagerly buying new copies of books I owned as a kid. Of course, if you ask my wife, I’m nutty as a pecan log roll.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      And it wouldn’t even be on that kind of rack. Those appear to be regular magazine or newspaper racks, not displays that are designed to protect the condition of the books. Everything’s just hanging out of it and getting bent. Google any picture of a comic book store and you’ll see the huge difference in how the merchandise is stored and displayed.

      For all the time Batiuk puts into his comic book store fetish, it amazes me how crappy it all looks. This whole store looks like it was made out of discarded furniture. And the entry looks like it’s to somebody’s apartment. I guess he’s gotta go for that “just starting out” aesthetic, even though all his characters are in their 50s, and it inadvertently mocks what they’re trying to celebrate.

  11. It always strikes me as weird when an author avatar shows up, especially one as blatant as “Batton Thomas.” What is the point? “People aren’t looking at me enough.”

    • firedmyass

      In all my time on the internet, this may be the most off-putting self-insertion I ever seen.

      • J.J. O'Malley

        Oh, I’ve wacthed plenty of off-putting “self-insertions” on the Internet, if you know what I mean ‘cuz I’m not sure I do.

  12. Professor Fate

    My first thought when I saw this was “Oh dear lord not the Flash” – aside from his wallowing like a hippo in a mud pond in the memory of dead St. Lisa, I find the author’s excursions into his comic book nostalgia fetish the most insufferable to deal with.
    Seriously, as a reader what are we supposed to be feeling here? Does he really expect us to be going ‘Oh my god it’s The Flash of Two Worlds!” Yes we know that. Anyone with a moderate knowledge of comic books knows this issue- it established the idea of parallel worlds and what now seems to be a the bi-annual ‘crisis’ of said worlds from DC. (and if you don’t know that this last panel is meaningless) But seriously are we going to LEARN anything about this issue or perhaps its effect on the formerly world famous comic strip artist looking at it? Of course not – we won’t learn that this book inspired this sad sack, it will be simply an object of sterile worship like it was the statue of a Mesopotamian god- with milk and cookies as the sacramental meal.
    Full disclosure I remember reading this story – as it was reprinted in a giant sized comic in my Grandmother’s Apt in 63 or 64 – and later. it was one of the things she kept for me and it reminds me of her.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      What’s bizarre is that Funky Winkerbean is on record as being AGAINST parallel comic book universes:

      • Gerard Plourde

        The irony is that the idea of universes outside of our own was present in comics as far back as the 1950s. I remember seeing a panel in a Mystery In Space story (either a Space Cabbie or an Adam Strange story) where a character is looking at a map showing multiple universes.

        • J.J. O'Malley

          Serious upvote for the mention of Space Cabbie. Where is HIS action figure with to-scale taxicab?

        • batgirl

          And upvote from me for Adam Strange. Never heard of Space Cabbie though – maybe I’ll have a look for that rabbit hole…

  13. I’m starting to think that nothing is going to catch on fire or explode or get cancer this year…

  14. Charles

    “Used to be, anyway.”

    What an asshole.