Do you bereave in magic?

Can you believe it?
'Twas eleven years ago
That this site began

Let us all wish a
Happy anniversary

Haiku all around!
It is how I celebrate things
I'm fun at parties
Now to Today's strip
Will DC send to TB
A cease and desist?

Young Batton enthralled
By Flash's famous power
Doing magic tricks?

Instead of the Flash
Batton imagines himself
In an audience

Batton's take away
From this famous Flash issue
Explains TB well

If Batton likes this
Doug Henning must be mind-blowing
Much less Copperfield
Thank you commenters
For the last eleven years
And what is to come


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

47 responses to “Do you bereave in magic?

  1. RudimentaryLathe?

    Happy Anniversary! 🤗

    And what a strip to celebrate it: comic book wankery AND a sideways panel. 🤮

    Also…did Batty just reprint old Flash art and put his own copyright on it? 😶

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Yes, he did.

      • billytheskink

        Not even a “tip of the Funky felt tip”…

        • Epicus Doomus

          I keep waiting for him to go after us in the strip. He would have definitely done it back in Act II, where everything was fair game. Willythestink, Spacedoutspit85, Comic Strip Harpy, Blech-oning Spasm, Epic Doofus and TF Hacky. I mean it practically writes itself.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    Eleven years…I wasn’t even here at that point. I mean “here” at SoSF, not on Earth, as I was already firmly entrenched there. And by “there” I mean here, of course. Earth, not SoSF.

    But man oh man, have the FW years just trudged by or what? It’s been sort of like watching the heat death of the universe unfolding over hundreds of millions of eons. The fascinating thing is that if you add them all up, something like twenty things have actually “happened” over that span. And that’s if you define “happened” very, very loosely.

    Special thanks to all past and present guest hosts, (are you still out there HeyIt’sDave???), commenters and of course to TFH, who hosted this blog solo for years at a stretch and gave this old snarker a shot at guest hosting when it all finally caught up to him. I’ve done three weeks and felt like I’d been beaten with a bag full of clementines, I can’t even fathom what full years would be like. But know I’d do it if I had to, as nothing is going to stop this train short of an EMP attack or something like that. That I promise.

    • I think I had a three week arc once. I say “I think” because blessed memory has blotted it out.

      • ComicBookHarriet

        I did three weeks once. The doctors say, with medication and meditation and mediation, I’m learning to cope.

        Also, every time I think of HeyIt’sDave I feel a pang of wistfulness and can hear “My Heart Will Go On” playing softly in the back of my mind. Like a western starring Clint Eastwood, he was a mysterious stranger who rides in one day, dominates the town, and then disappears into the rosy sagebrush sunset.

        • Epicus Doomus

          At first you always think it’ll be no big deal, after all, what’s one more lousy week? And as much as I enjoy myself here, by Tuesday you’re all like “why did I do this?”. And by Wednesday you get all Charlie Brown-like…”AAAUUUGH!”.

  3. William Thompson

    “And never, not even once, have I ever looked upon any story with a critical eye! Never have I said This has been done to death or People don’t talk like that or Isn’t it lucky that Superduperman doesn’t need any brains to defeat his enemies? Because who wants to spoil the pure infantile magic of my favorite comic books with common sense?”

  4. So I keep having this vision of TB thinking that Baton Tomato’s droning explanation of his comic book obsession and mythologies and immortal wounds blah blah blah is akin to Doc Brown telling how he fell off his toilet, hit his head, and came up with the flux capacitor. Except Doc Brown took something like seven seconds to describe how he CREATED TIME TRAVEL.

  5. I hate to say this, because I don’t like the image (and you won’t either) but this entire arc is like watching Tom Batiuk masturbating. One billion apologies for that.

  6. Banana Jr. 6000

    This is not fair use
    DC should send King features
    A cease and desist

  7. billytheskink

    But seriously…
    Flash doing a magic show?
    That’s what’s cool ’bout this?

    Who is that with Flash?
    Short hair, long neck, wearing cape
    Is it Mon Mothma?

    This arc came about
    Because TB wanted to
    Promote his blog, right?

    What I get from this
    Is that The Flash 123
    Killed Batton’s parents

  8. J.J. O'Malley

    First, happy anniversary to this delightful blog and all the fine folk who have endured FW over the past 11 years and given us all a chance to vent.

    Second, I just checked my hardback copy of DC’s The Flash Archives, Vol. 3, and the “Flash of Two Worlds” story was a full 25 pages long. At the rate that BattThom is relating losing his graphic virginity to this book to Skunky, it looks like he won’t be done until…let’s see, six days a week plus tribute cover Sundays…I figure he’ll wrap this up on Thursday, May 6. The next day he’ll probably find a reprint copy of 1963’s Justice League of America #21 on the shelf and start recounting his orgasmic reaction to the first JLA/JSA team-up.

    Third, is it just me or does Flash’s Central City seem to have a awful lot of orphans? Maybe he should be trying to catch more crooks and stop more disasters instead of putting on magic shows for them.

  9. newagepalimpsest

    Happy Anniversary
    A decade of tears and thrills
    But mostly cancer

    Mist on the water
    Pay for the komix please sir
    My child needs pizza

  10. erdmann

    I can’t do haiku
    At limericks I suck
    Happy B-day SOSF
    And the very best luck.

    So, the thing about the issue that stands out is an orphans’ benefit? Not the return of the Golden Age Flash or the concept of parallel Earths?
    Sure. It’s just like when I first saw “Star Wars” and was most impressed by the font used in the opening crawl.

  11. Dug Henning

    Magic is ILLUSION!

    And Batiuk must be under the ILLUSION anyone gives a fuck about this shit.

  12. Mr. A

    OK, we get it, Batton likes this comic book. We don’t need a third day of him describing his own worshipful attitude towards a piece of media.

    Could we at least cut to child-Batton imagining himself as the Flash, or imagining his future career in comics, or drawing his own comics? Anything.

    • billytheskink

      We don’t even get child-Batton imagining himself as an orphan watching the Flash’s magic show, just a “tell don’t show” of Batton explicitly saying that this comic book made him picture himself as an orphan watching a magic show.

      A better writer could make this bizarre childhood fantasy something whimsical and endearingly weird, I mean that’s half of what Will Henry and Francesco Marciuliano do on a daily basis in their comic strips, but Batiuk can only manage baffling but boring.

  13. ComicBookHarriet

    Now I understand the bereavement pun. But at first I thought you were referencing Pat Morita hosting Britannica’s ‘Tales from Around the World’

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY SOSF! Thanks for all the years of high quality snark.

  14. sgtsaunders

    Dude should get out more. Seriously.

  15. Rusty Shackleford

    Happy Anniversary!

    I was glad to find out there were others who read FW the way I did.

    I think it was Double Sided Scooby Snack who led me here from CK.

    Now if only there was a place where people snarked on Mary Worth…just kidding, I read MaryWorthandMe too.

    We need to do something similar to their annual Worthy Awards…those are always really fun.

    Anyways, thanks everyone for all of the laughs.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      I second the Worthy Awards idea!

      And I also took a circuitous route here. From Funkywatch on Comics Alliance, to the Curmudgeon, to this beautiful patch of ironic enjoyment.

      Poor Double Sided Scooby Snack. Seems like he got deported by ICE back in October for illicitly crossing the borders of tasteful humor one too many times. Shame, when he was stepped back from the edge of edgelording it over everyone, he was a funny guy.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Yeah, he tended to push things too far. But otherwise very funny. I knew he would get banned sooner or later.

    • Sourbelly

      I was thinking about a Worthy Awards for SOSF just yesterday, after reading Batton’s ‘immortal wound” rant. That’s Panel of the Year material!

      • Rusty Shackleford

        We could also vote on the character we would most like to see get cancer!

        Or the most awkward phrasing inside a word balloon.

  16. Gerard Plourde

    Happy anniversary! Fortune certainly smiled on me the day I discovered this dedicated band.

    Turning to today’s strip – previously Batton Thomas said that #123 made him want to be a cartoonist, which implies the act of creating. Today he weirdly says that rereading #123 makes him want to sit in the audience and watch The Flash perform. That reaction seems entirely different from someone who would want to draw the visuals, who, I think would be spending his time with a sketch pad and pencil observing and trying to copy the style of the work.

  17. Thanks to each and every one of you for the anniversary wishes, and for your faithful readership, comments, and insights. And thanks to Epicus and our staff of volunteer snarkers. Excelsior!

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Thanks for everything TFH! Thank you for setting up this haven when the old site got shut down. Running it alone for so many years. And especially, thank you for recognizing your imminent burnout when it loomed, and changing this into a rotation instead of just quitting. It’s kept the place vibrant, and (selfishly) given me a creative outlet every few months.

  18. Professor Fate

    Happy Anniversary! Ten years. Wow. Well thank you enduring that and for giving me a safe to rant and rave at the author’s many many sins against story telling.

    And the slow painful arc drags one. Which is grimly ironic since the storyline is about the Flash. And as we are presented with a bit of the actual comic it reminds one that the silver age Flash along with the rest of the sliver age DC line up featured strictly two dimensional characters with some of the clunkiest dialogue this side o’ the Pecos. And it was obviously for kids – not that in as of itself it a bad thing- the Wind in the Willows is a children’s book as is The Phantom Tollbooth – but here it’s off putting. Being deliberately juvenile rather than writing for the audience as it where. Deep it ain’t and to be honest TB celebrating this as the be all and end all of the comic book is painful. Yeah the story is wonderful but how many other Flash stories were just hammered out dreck like the fat Flash issue? A lot.
    Speaking of off putting the face on TB’s stand in here is not pleasant to look at. It is almost as if he’s about to say ‘ I make a boom boom’.
    And oh yes – in the story The Flash vanishes from the stage (and goes to Earth-2) and does not return for long time. When he does the orphans are long gone no doubt feeling well and truly ripped off. I’d like to think they went and vandalized the Flash Museum afterwards. It’s the romantic in me.

  19. Maxine of Arc

    Happy anniversary, SoSF! Happy to be here, however belatedly.
    Is he going to recap EVERY SINGLE PAGE OF A COMIC BOOK?

  20. Happy Anniversary! I first discovered this site during the “Ghost Lisa phones in a bomb threat from beyond the grave” arc. I think I followed a link directly or indirectly from the TV Tropes site. I’ve been reading it pretty much every day since. My snarking game is nowhere near the level of the rest of you, but I do manage to get in a zinger once in a while.

    Much appreciation to TFH and all the guest snarkers who have been keeping this going and providing excellent content every day, even when they had very little to work with. A toast to 11 more years of SoSF or until TB’s retirement, whichever comes first!

  21. Perfect Tommy

    It’s not bad enough
    Comic turned ninety degrees
    A pain in my neck

    Happy Anniversary!

  22. Happy Anniversary! It’s been a great and sometimes a death defying ride.

    As for today’s strip? It sounds like the beginnings of a great farewell speech if it is truly a farewell. If not, it’s another space filler from TB.

  23. Gerard Plourde

    How’s this for irony – here’s an excerpt from today’s “Flash Friday” critique of Flash #272 on TomBa’s blog (including a gratuitous swipe at Robert McKee).

    “there’s a problem with the story. There isn’t one. Now I’ve never been a big adherent of proscribed storytelling techniques such as those presented in Robert McKee’s legendary tome on how to write stories, oddly enough called Story. But there needs to be something that resembles a beginning, middle, and end, and we have none of that here. What we have here are a string of unrelated incidents…”

    • Gerard Plourde

      Quick addendum – does TomBa really mean “proscribed” or did he want to say “prescribed”?

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Probably “prescribed”, but there’s a much greater offense in that sentence. Tom Batiuk says he’s “not a big adherent of storytelling techniques.” You know, like characterization, plot, conflict, resolution, or basically anything that goes into an actual story. His writing certainly does suggest a disinterest in those things.

    • Professor Fate

      “What we have here are a string of unrelated incidents…”
      Seeing as that could describe any FW ‘story’ arc, you know somewhere Irony is screaming in pain.
      And oh yes this is from McKee’s IMBD page:

      “Peter Jackson (writer/director of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Hobbit) has lauded him as “The Guru of Gurus.” For the writers of Pixar (creators of Toy Story 1, 2, & 3, Finding Nemo), McKee’s Story Seminar is a rite of passage. Emmy Award-Winner Brian Cox also portrayed McKee in the Oscar-nominated film Adaptation.

      McKee’s former students include over 60 Academy Award Winners, 200 Academy Award Nominees, 200 Emmy Award Winners, 1000 Emmy Award Nominees, 100 WGA (Writers Guild of America) Award Winners, 250 WGA Award Nominees, and 50 DGA (Directors Guild of America) Award Winners, 100 DGA Award Nominees.”

      Jealous Much there Tom? It really does feel like there is something very very crabbed and ugly lurking underneath his public persona.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        I doubt Tom Batiuk has ever taken a writing class or workshop in his life. He thinks he already knows everything.

  24. spacemanspiff85

    Happy anniversary!
    I feel like it’s only a matter of time before Batiuk has Les write “his life’s memoirs” and the strip just becomes people holding up copies of “The Complete Funky Winkerbean” with the ramblings from the introductions pasted into world balloons.

  25. Mela

    Happy anniversary! I can’t remember when I wandered into the site, but I know I enjoyed lurking a long time before posting anything. Y’all make me laugh a lot, so thanks for that.

  26. hitorque

    Flash is a magician?!

    Forgive me because I’m not that comics-savvy, but I thought god damned Barry Allen or Wally West or whoever was a fucking SUPERHERO BLESSED WITH FASTER THAN LIGHT RUNNING SPEED WHO USED THOSE POWERS TO FIGHT THE FORCES OF EVILDOERS, PROTECT THE DEFENSELESS AND BECOME A SYMBOL OF RIGHTEOUSNESS AND JUSTICE! — Hell, maybe there’s even some kind of league of fellow justice-minded superheroes for West to join…

    Silly me… When my friends and I discussed comics as kids, it was usually like “This or that superhero did something really really cool!” But then again, I’m not the comics aficionado that Batton and John are? FFS… If a magic show entertaining kids floats Batton’s boat, he’ll be positively orgasmic the first time he reads Zatanna….

    • J.J. O'Malley

      To be fair, BattThom here seems to misremembering that in the original story Flash volunteers to fill in for an AWOL magician who was supposed to head the orphans’ show, and it was the Scarlet Speedster’s attempt to one-up the Indian Rope Trick that transported him from Earth-One to Earth-Two.

      What gets me about this past week–and I don’t know in anyone has brought this up–is that Batton has spent the time retelling “Flash of Two Worlds,” a milestone Silver Age story and the tale that introduced the concept of the original DC Multiverse, to Skunky, who has to have read it multiple times and own it in several permutations. It’s like going to a Star Trek convention and asking the attendees if they ever saw the episode where Spock got the urge to go home to Vulcan and mate, then re-read the script to them.

      On an unrelated note…how could male comic readers of a certain age NOT become excited the first time they encountered Silver Age Zatanna: there’s something about a gal in tuxedo jacket, fishnets and high heels, not to mention imagining the thrill of having her whisper sweet nothings in your ear backwards.

      • Gerard Plourde

        I normally would cut a person slack for misremembering a detail in retelling a story. I might even do that for TomBa doing a critique of Flash #123 in a “Flash Friday” entry. But this is work product – he’s paid to produce this work and has shown recently that he can be compulsive about some details (choir gender in the just-concluded Dinkle-centered arc). It’s just another example of the sloppy slap-dash attitude he displays regularly.