Stag Gag

Gerard Plourde
May 26, 2021 at 10:50 am
Does anyone else think it’s weird that TomBa thinks adult male bonding behavior includes WEEKLY GROUP viewing of porn?…I can imagine guys getting together for drinks at the end of work…but I find it hard to believe that this would happen outside of some member of the group’s office bachelor party.

Hitorque
May 26, 2021 at 12:00 pm
I don’t get it either…. Teenagers and maybe college students is understandable, but grown-ass men in their 30s and older watching erotica all huddled together in a dark office seems creepy as hell…

bobanero
May 26, 2021 at 9:08 am
The joke’s on her. This week’s feature is “Bambi”.

We can breathe easier knowing that getting together with coworkers to watch porn in the office after work probably isn’t something that happened even in the pre- “Women’s Lib” real world. It was merely a premise to set up  Ruby’s little joke on the guys. Ruby’s smug smirk bugs me, but I do like Pipe Smoking Guy. Kind of reminds me of a Thurber drawing.

39 Comments

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39 responses to “Stag Gag

  1. You know, just spitballin’ here, but this arc kind of makes Ruby the worst person. Not that there’s any shortage of those, here.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Swapping out the weekly porno flick is nothing. Ruby’s already admitted to poisoning these men:

      As you can see from today’s flashback image, Ruby’s “brush washing” had been going on for a couple years now. Its effects on her coworkers were beginning to show. You can see the signs of brain damage, and lead exposure can also cause serious harm to the reproductive organs.

      Not long after this photo was taken, the stag movies stopped, due to lack of interest. Most of these men died around age 50, from anemia, high blood pressure, renal failure, and other out-of-nowhere medical problems. People knew there was a link to the old Batom Comics bullpen, but a definitive explanation could never be found.

      • Jimmy

        I am a bit slow, so help me out here. Is the above a real strip?

        • Mr. A

          Yes, it’s the 2019-08-31 strip. Post

          • The Duck of Death

            And we’re supposed to sympathize with this character who literally poisoned her co-workers with cadmium and cobalt and other toxins from the pigments she was using. SHE’s the sympathetic one.

            That’s so Batiuk!™

  2. none

    “… and I told her to bring the flick for this week!”
    “You did? Where do you think she’ll be able to g-”
    “Oh shut up, it’ll be fine. Just watch.”

    “Huh, so she put up Bambi. What a joker. Guess we have no choice but to sit here and watch it. Yup. We’re all totally helpless here, and it looks like she’s going to stand there with that smirk on her face the whole time. What a shame, I was all ready to watch some hardcore pornography with all my middle aged male coworkers. But that’s ruined now! Totally ruined. Nothing we can do but sit and watch for the next ninety minutes. Sigh.”
    “But we’ll still invite her to next week’s showing, right?”
    “Of course. And of course she’ll show up too. What’s she going to do, refuse? Impossible. Won’t happen. Never could happen.”
    “Right, dames just can’t say no. Just like we can’t walk out now. But anyway, don’t you think we should just not bother invi-”
    “Oh shut up, it’ll be fine. Just watch. Just shut up and watch.”

    • Hitorque

      “HA! If she thinks because it’s Bambi we *won’t* still drop our suspenders and start beating our meat, the joke’s on her!!”

      • none

        Ruby causing some furries to awaken is definitely another crime to which she needs to held accountable.

  3. unca scrooge

    I got a job as an Accountant with the City of Seattle in late 1978. The accounting office was right net to the city architect’s office, a small all-guy office except for their secretary. The City Architect kept a rather large box of men’s magazines – Playboy, Penthouse, Hustler, etc.- under his desk. A very politically incorrect group, even for that time, they handed out the monthly “Brown Star” award (a ribbon attached to a picture of a woman from a movie called “Pretty Peaches”) to the crudest architect for that month. They disbanded the award of after the same guy won it seven months in a row. I don’t think they ever got together to watch porn but they certainly discussed movies they had seen. Had this same group been together thirty years before, I could see them getting together to watch porn, mainly because they weren’t readily available. But weekly or at work – no way.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      I worked in a nearly all female office for several years. Conversations in there could get insanely racy. One lady hosted a MLM sales party selling ‘adult’ items. The ladies all got tipsy and used my assistant manager’s cell to leave obscene voice mails on my phone about some of the products because I was the office virgin.

      It was just a joke, and I thought it was funny, but if I was the easily offended, power tripping, type I probably could have had them reprimanded for harassment.

  4. William Thompson

    Maybe Bathack got the idea that “men bond by watching stag films” from that first-season episode of M*A*S*H where the male cast did just that, to the annoyance of Hot Lips Houlihan. Count on Batty to research human behavior by watching a sitcom.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Yep, I believe you are correct. Then he applies the ham fist and voila, a week’s worth of strips.

    • Epicus Doomus

      When I first saw the phrase “stag films” that episode of MASH was the first thing that came to mind for me as well. Looks like BatTom has been catching up on his MeTV lately.

  5. Mr. A

    “One time”…so this is different from the time she agreed to come because it was nothing she hadn’t seen before? How many of these porn nights did she attend before she got a chance to pull this trick on them? One? Three? Twelve? Do the guys look shocked because the dog finally bit back, or because Ruby had been showing up for so long that they genuinely thought she was cool with it?

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Well she isn’t the brightest bulb and it appears she isn’t a hard worker either…just spends the day blabbing and complaining.

    • Hitorque

      That’s my question as well…

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Yeah, Ruby is being incredibly disingenuous here. She doesn’t refuse the invitation into the men’s social circle, nor does she object to the nature of the proceedings. She just silently goes along with it, and then one day ruins the gathering for no clear reason. Because that’s how you overthrow male chauvanism: by being cryptic and passive-aggressive.

  6. billytheskink

    Pete and Durwood’s old Batom Comics fever dreams really undersold what it was like working in the comics bullpen back in the day, apparently. Well, other than the part where they never did any work, Ruby’s stories are definitely living up to that aspect.

    • William Thompson

      Plus the part where the writers and artists didn’t congregate in the publisher’s office to form that “bullpen.”

  7. Hitorque

    Dumb…

    • Gerard Plourde

      Agreed. I guess TomBa free associated the connection of Bambi – stag – stag film and tried to construct a joke around it. With no editor to dissuade him, we got the dumb (and creepy) gag-a-day joke that played out over two days

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Tom Batiuk’s writing is very, very contrived. He always starts with the punchline, or wherever he wants the scene to go, and invents a scene that leads up to it. Especially with Les Moore. Les is always doing stupid and dangerous things, which never end up hurting him. No one even tries to stop him. It’s like the whole cast knows Batiuk would never put Les in any actual danger. So every time he wants to charge into traffic, they just let him.

        It’s the same thing with jokes. Batiuk thought up “stag film”, and constructed a scenario where his oh-so-spunky heroine could outwit the mean old men in the silver age comic bullpen Even though she was just seen passively taking abuse from the same people. The whole thing makes no narrative sense, for the reasons Mr. A and “none” explained above. The scene doesn’t feel real. Because it’s not.

  8. Charles

    “I can’t believe they would actually show stag films in the artists’ bullpen!”

    Why not, Mindy? Your entire character has been reduced to eliciting these kinds of stories from Ruby. Have you not been listening this whole time?

  9. Hannibal’s Lectern

    Quick poll: is there anyone among us who does not believe that somewhere in the depths of Walt’s vaults there is a hard-core version of “Banbi”?

    (Show of hands)

    That’s what I thought…

    • The Duck of Death

      Well, there is the famous “Disneyland Memorial Orgy” drawn (anonymously) by Wally Wood in the late 60s. Just looked it up and it shows practically every Disney character, Thumper included, gettin’ some, but Bambi is conspicuously absent.

    • Hitorque

      Probably right next to his self-narrated edition of “The International Jew”

  10. ComicBookHarriet

    I now choose to believe that Ruby is a proto-furry.

  11. Doghouse Reilly (Minneapolis)

    He’s stealing ideas from Three’s Company/Man About the House now?

  12. Professor Fate

    Stag Film. Bambi. Oh I get it Ha-ha.
    To quote Tom Servo “kill me please”

  13. batgirl

    Just looking at that #1 strip – TB is really, really dedicated to the Smurfette Principle (see TV Tropes – we can send out search parties if you’re not back for dinner).
    Despite plenty of evidence for multiple women working in comics (and no bullpen), Ruby is The Girl – the only woman who ever worked in comics. Donna was retconned to be The (only) Girl Who Played Videogames. Mindy is The Girl at Atomic Comix. Poor dead Livinia was The Girl in Funky’s gang.
    None of these women appear to have female friends or co-workers. They don’t coordinate with other women to better their situation, because they are the only ones in their situation. They just quip wryly and endure until they’ve lived long enough to tell someone else how it Used To Be.

    As I think Banana Fr pointed out, there’s no awareness of the actual struggle to achieve equitable treatment, rights and pay. Of how women risked job loss and harassment, banded together and _fought_ together with marches and protests and arrests. Nope. It just kinda happened, like getting an award if you churn out work for 50 years.

  14. I don’t hate today’s gag, but doesn’t it seem like it would have been more topical in That Other Strip?

    Strip Club Owner: Okay, so I see that the projector is included in the sale… Do you ever show stag flicks here?
    Max: Oh yeah!
    *the third panel is a bunch of kids watching “Bambi” at the kiddie matinee*

    And “ideas not deemed good enough for CRANKSHAFT” would explain a lot about this entire year in FW…

  15. Hitorque

    You’d think she’d be clever enough to dig up some, shall we say “masculine” erotica or a Soviet propaganda flick and tip off the FBI with advance notice about some big secret meeting of pinko hedonistic artists and subversives trying to defile American kids through comic books… At least that would have been actually funny…

  16. Jeff M

    Annoyed Film Archivist gripes: The whole “they watched stag films every week” thing itself makes no sense. In the 50s, there wasn’t some place you could just go and get a different porn movie every Friday; they were illegal and hard to come by – even if they were just nudie films. They were made by sleazy guys who would process them in their bathtubs because Kodak wouldn’t print porn, and sold by word of mouth. Instead, at, say, an Elks lodge, there would be “the” stag film, which they would haul out for bachelor parties or smokers. I have a couple on 16mm, which are literally just random pieces of nudie films mixed with hardcore porn, strung together to make an 8 minute reel. Those are actual stag films. “So, Bob, there’s a smoker Friday – make sure to bring *that* movie!” Not “So, which reel of 16mm porn should we rent at the local porn film shop?” Argh….

    • Gerard Plourde

      I completely forgot about that gigantic problem. It was only after the Supreme Court decided Miller v. California in 1973 that those films were deemed fully protected by the First Amendment.