Well, we aren’t reviewing individual pages of The Flash #123 in today’s strip, I guess we’ll pick that up next week. I’m kidding about that last part, let’s not actually pick this up next week, please. Please…
I’d admire Batton’s commitment to enjoying reading his favorite comics to the point that he’s essentially worn out what is now a very valuable comic book in good condition… but willingness to appreciate consumable art in a consumable way instead of foolishly betting on a longbow retirement plan is not what this dead snail of a story arc is about. It is, ostensibly, about drawing inspiration from The Flash #123, but we have seen no evidence of that. Batton just keeps saying nice things about the issue in increasingly dumb and boring ways. There is barely a hint of how or why #123 was such an inspiration, just the vague reference to “a plan”. Speaking of… are we ever going to hear about Batton’s plan? Do we even want to?
No, and no. So, what am I complaining for?
26 responses to “Here Comes Inspiration!”
Batton’s plan is, clearly, to find a young boy who reminds him of his younger self, dress him in New-Frontier vintage clothing, and make sure he is only seen by pederasts like Dead Skunkhead.
Who’s the f*cking kid? Batton Jr.? I certainly hope this Batton guy didn’t breed. Anyhow, yeah, Lord knows I’ve lived through thousands of crappy FW arcs but this one was just a demoralizing beatdown. He even manages to make his most favorite things in the whole wide world boring. It’s uncanny.
So just as Young Jfff appeared during the wildfire/Phantom Empire portion of last year’s California road trip, now we have the magical appearance of Batton’s younger self to accompany him out of the comic book store. I sense a trend here and guess we can expect Darin and Pete to be accompanied by their younger selves the next time they visit the Flash Museum in Central City, which in the Funkyverse is a real place.
Well I’ll be damned…is THAT what’s supposed to be going on here? He’s re-hashing that old trope again too? I never even considered that, yeesh.
Inner Child Batton really needs to be translucent, or sepia-toned, or something. Or if not that, we need very clear indications that he appeared from nowhere and that nobody besides Old Batton can see him. At the very least, Old Batton and Inner Child Batton should say “I will” in unison, using a single speech bubble.
Seriously, I didn’t get this one at all at first. Why not just have Batton bring his grandson to the Korner instead? “The new generation” of Flash fans and etc. Sigh.
Because that would require him to think about someone other than himself.
ps: Happy belated 11th, site, and good April Fools joke.
Introducing a new generation to previous iterations of the Flash mythos would be an interesting and potentially creative exercise that could engage readers. For some reason storylines like that seem to be totally beyond TomBa’s purview.
none’s explanation above seems to be the most likely.
Because kidstodayareterrible that’s why.
The strip with Harry saying that Atomik ‘puts the uni in universe’ did have a father and son at the comic shop.
Though in light of this and the ghostkid Jfff arc, maybe that wasn’t a father and son. Maybe it was a sad nebbish guy and his tragic inner child. They even looked more alike than Batton and ghostkid Batton.
I also think “none” is on point here. There is no point of view anywhere in Funky Winkerbean. Everyone’s is exactly the same. Skunkhead doesn’t even react when Batton says he damaged a comic book worth tens of thousands of dollars. That should at least get an “oof” out of someone who runs a comic book store, in a town where the local economy revolves around comic books.
Batiuk should do this with the entire cast. Big Funky and L’il Funky…Big Les and L’il Less…Big Dinkle and L’il Dinkle…One Arm Becky and L’il Two Arm Becky…
Hey, it worked for Little Archie!
I wouldn’t mind having Miss teenage pyromaniac Holly back with that little tight majorette outfit and them thicc thighs…
DSH John’s words in panel 1 were clearly resized in Photoshop. He could have just said “So you’re buying it again?” which would have fit.
Even Elton John is going “Do your glasses have to be that big, Batton?”
Jesus Fucking Goddamned Christ!!!!!
Batiuk’s thought seems to be that comic books should be read and enjoyed, not sealed in plastic like some kind of museum piece. Remember how horrified Chester was when Holly opened the bag that contained some Starbuck Jones crap? Because that lowered the value of the “collector’s item.”
I actually agree with Batiuk’s basic premise, but Jumpin Jehoshaphat, tone it down from 100,123 back down to 5 or 6. And if you really believe that, stop treating comic books like they’re filled with magic spells that will instantly ensure your future.
And yet, selling your comic book collection is practically a retirement plan in this town.
Not to play Battyuk’s Advocate here, but to be fair that’s a “special classic reprint issue” of Flash #123 that Batton is pawing over, mooning over, and Lord-only-knows-what-else over, not an original 1961 printing (God forbid Skunky should have a $20,000 sale instead of a $4.99 one).
“You can read both sides of a page without turning it”? What the heck does that mean? Does he have extra-greasy fingers, or what?
I confess I’m a little shocked that BattThom has stopped recounting the plot, of which John is surely aware, to him. I was so looking forward to watching an old man act out two different Flashes, as well as the issue’s villainous trio of the Fiddler, the Shade, and the Thinker.
And, yes, of course TB decided to end (one can only hope) this arc with his beloved “man alongside inner man-child” trope. To me, it would have made more sense to just have Lil’ Batton walking off in panel two, like at the end of that “Twilight Zone” episode where the newlywed couple revisits the “mama’s boy” groom’s late mother’s house and he reverts to boyhood.
Geez, I have a room in my house dedicated to storing dozens of comic book longboxes, and even I’m relieved this is over. Now, back to Harry Dinkle Fingers His Organ to Please the Ladies.
“Geez, I have a room in my house dedicated to storing dozens of comic book longboxes, and even I’m relieved this is over.”
Batiuk has written a week’s worth of material that is only MORE uncomfortable and off-putting the more you’re into comics. Jay Garrick is probably in my top five favorite super heroes, and this whole week has been like a personal attack.
Gonna go curl up with my old Geoff Johns JSA trade paperbacks and try to forget this nonsense.
You make an excellent point about this week being off-putting. While it is true that Silver Age comics didn’t exhibit the complex plots and deep character development that now has become standard, they absolutely delivered stories that kept the reader engaged in the adventure throughout. None of that excitement came through in the character’s statements. If, as J.J. suggested, the character got carried away and acted out the plot of “The Flash of Two Worlds”, that could have been fun, endearing, and something that the reader could probably identify with.
To be fair, I think that TomBa wanted to elicit that feeling, but bad writing tripped him up. In Friday’s installment, the character says, “When I reread this book…I enter that community center…take my seat…and wait for the magic to happen.”, leaving us with the image that Batton Thomas wants to be one of the orphans left behind watching an empty stage wondering what happened to The Flash. Trying for immediacy, TomBa forgets that they didn’t experience the adventure that the reader of #123 did, and we’re left with the image of a weird character and a half-written (to be generous) storyline.
I know nothing about comic books and their history. But this arc seems to completely miss the point of why Flash #123 is relevant.
It doesn’t mention that this edition was the dawn of multiple comic book universes, a development Batiuk normally complains about. It doesn’t mention that it heralded the return of Silver Age characters, saying only it taught him “comic books have a past”, which is obvious to anyone who’s not entirely self-absorbed or toxically stupid. It doesn’t mention collectible value, in a universe where so many stories revolve around comic book collecting. “Batton Thomas” proudly admits to degrading his own original copy, even though reprints have long existed, and the original book is worth thousands of dollars even in poor condition. His only mention of the plot is Flash filling in at a magic show, which is pretty much just the first couple pages of the story.
I don’t get it. I just don’t.
You’re right. It even misses the point of explaining how Flash #123 is relevant to Batton Thomas personally.
Exactly. Batty always skirts the issue and fills up those word balloons, but never gets around to saying anything.
And that cheap ghost character bit was overused with ghost Lisa. Stop it Batty (swats a rolled up newspaper).
“Now where did that young boy come from? See, I told you there’s a pedo ring operating out of that so-called comic book store!”