Well, the perspective shifts in today’s strip seem noteworthy as an example of terrible artwork, as Dullard’s desk seems to scoot across space so he can…uh, weakly comment on dull things. I’m surprised the force of his motion didn’t knock Flash and Ruby, happily reminiscing, into the next building. That would have tied up their stories nearly, and they wouldn’t have to stand there smiling at each other.
Oh God. I think I foresee what’s in the wings.
Flash and Ruby are going to get married.
Tell me I’m wrong.
Please, tell me I’m wrong.
For the love of God, Montresor, please tell me I’m wrong!
49 responses to “Flap Goes the Yap”
“Hey Pete, I have an idea about how we can properly observe and honor Flash and Ruby’s moronic comic book careers! Wanna hear it?”
“Why sure Mindy!”
(Boy Lisa not in strip)
See how much better that is? No imbecilic exposition, no wry sitcom-like patter, no grotesquely disturbing head swivel, no Boy Lisa pity dialog, just a story that gets us one day closer to Saturday, which is the goal here, is it not? Interesting to note how Mindy, THE GIRL, can’t merely propose an idea but has to resort to mild subterfuge instead, because WOMEN AMIRITE. They’re just not like us, fellas.
And of course the “idea” will involve the marriage of Flush and Rubella, because that’s how girls think. Stage two of that idea is that Mindiot’s plans to trap Mopey Pete into marrying her in the same ceremony. (Batiuk has already done a Starsux Jones wedding, so he’s bound to repeat it.)
Stage three is that Flash dies, and leaves a million dollars worth of comic book shlock to Pete and Darrin for no reason.
My prediction: Pete, Darin, and Mindy will produce and publish a nonfiction comic book about all the great things that Flash and Ruby did in the comics industry. Just like Lisa’s Story, it will be paired with a real-world FW book of the same name, which will collect all the Batom/Capitol/Atomik Comix-related storylines, including this one. It will be titled A Tip of the Pen.
I think this is a good guess. Batiuk would love to spend weeks droning on about the Batom/Capitol/Atomix Comics backstory. It’s surprisingly elaborate, especially compared to how perfunctory everything else is in this world.
And what a perfect Act III arc this would be: a story about making a comic book about people who make comic books.
I wouldn’t be surprised if your speculation is accurate. He’s already written a fairly complete history of Batom Comics that appears on the FW blog.
When I first saw the strip a wedding never even occurred to me, then I read BC’s post…(shudder). BatHam LOVES pairing everyone off. Quick: name all the single FW characters. If you don’t count Summer and Keisha together that’s two, then who’s left? Adeela? Cody? Kablinchik? I guess Linda is technically single now, but there aren’t many is what I’m saying.
“Yes, Beckoning Chasm, for the love of God.”
Gently slots the final lovingly rendered brick into the Westview Highschool Basement wall.
Edgar A. would be proud.
I don’t understand the punch line. Please don’t explain it to me.
BeckoningChasm, I really hope you’re wrong about where this is headed, because I’ve already had too much of Flatch Floppyhead. Tombat has this preternatural ability to create characters who are INSTANTLY intolerable.
Yeah it sure is a shame that Ruby never got anything for her artwork except Chester paying her to take her art back and Ktich giving her a massive check for nothing, which she waved around like a fucking cheerleader’s pompom. What a pity that is.
Come to speak of it, it’s a bit surprising that he didn’t pull some bullshit about all that money going right back to some senior facility or other kind of healthcare stuff, but I guess since she’s a comic book artist that means she has special longevity powers or something. Just like Frank Bolle had, right? Oh, we probably shouldn’t mention that, should we…
So, we’re going to have a story arc about aging comic creators finally getting the praise and public recognition that they so richly deserve? That feels a bit on the nose.
Then again, Batiuk has had a fair bit of public recognition over the years, so maybe this is more about “legitimizing” his appreciation of classic comic books, by proxy?
Ultimately I’m just guessing here. Not like I ever met the guy.
No one’s getting married here until DSH procures a minister willing to cosplay as Mr. Sponge.
And Absorbing Jr will be along for the honeymoon.
I see what you did there.
I just remembered: shouldn’t Darin be wearing glasses?
I told y’all when it happened that you could bet your mortgage on Darrin not having any glasses on next time we saw him…
This strip is like a truck full of nuclear waste and a munitions truck crashing into a sewage treatment plant during an earthquake and a prison breakout.
“Flash never got the recognition he deserved?” WTF??? The second he showed up, Darren and Pete gave him the Wayne’s World “we’re not worthy” salute! Because that’s a timeless gag, don’t ya know. Someone at Comicon also accused Freeman of taking credit that should have gone to the late and not-at-all-lamented Phil Holt. This is like saying Lisa doesn’t get the attention she deserves. And apparently he’s such a big character in the strip, that it didn’t bother re-introducing him on Monday.
Since when does Mindumb care about Flash Freeman? Her only interest in comic book history is Ruby’s stories about being hooted at during the Cold War. Now she’s just as invested in ancient, petty comic book trivia as the rest of the cast.
Ruby just whined for a week about how those mean old boys in the comic book bullpen, which would have included Flash Freeman, sexually harassed her and denied her credit for the work she did. And now the hot issue is that FLASH isn’t getting the respect HE deserves? Also, Chester gifted Ruby a shitload of comic book art and IP rights, to try and atone for the injustices she suffered. Even though he didn’t cause them, and it cost him a lot of money personally. Could the story at least acknowledge this?
And for the love of God, Batiuk, stop trying to write dialog for women! I don’t know what’s the most insulting: that Pete needs to be manipulated into honoring a man he already worships; that this scene in any way represents realistic female behavior; that an onlooker would think it’s clever; or that these two obnoxious 95-year-olds are apparently having a meet cute.
Rudy Lith and Funky Flashman are late Golden Age/early Silver Age comic book creators whose bodies of work appear to be well known within the fan community. In the normal (real) world, they would be regular attendees at conventions around the country and therein have a chance to make money selling art sketches (well, in Rudy’s case) or autographs. What they could NOT do–and what I fear might happen here–is reprint old stories or create new books with their old characters, since (except for Miss American) the rights probably belong to other companies. Or is Min-dull going to suggest that Chester pony up more publishing money so that Atomik can put out yet ANOTHER Number One issue featuring new pages crafted by the Geriatric Duo?
Please tell me there’s not going to be a San Diego-set story arc with a Comic-Con wedding (especially since this year’s SDCC is an online event)?
Of course they’re going to Comic-Con! Tom Batiuk would never miss an opportunity to talk in circles about comic books, flesh out the overly detailed story of his ideal comic book house, use other people’s copyrighted characters, and praise himself by proxy.
You know someone who doesn’t get his due recognition in the Funkyverse?? Jerome “Bull” Bushka. There I said it… First star athlete (all-district and presumably all-state) at Westview to go on to college and pro success, if you count the three weeks he spent in Cardinals training camp, came back home to coach the losingest high school in Ohio history and won Ohio State championships in both girls basketball and football (which was nothing short of a miracle) **AND** as a coach he has the ONLY football victories against Westview blood rival Big Walnut Tech, which brought Westview’s all time record against BWT to 3 wins, 559 losses, and 7 ties.
And did you know that since he died, not one of the legacy characters (in other words his own freaking high school classmates) has even mentioned his name? Nor any of the staff at Westview, the former band director, his former players or anyone else in the community he loved so much… Where is Bull’s bestselling inspirational biography? His ESPN 30 for 30? His key to the city? His recognition from the governor? Why aren’t Pete+Darrin crafting a special issue about his life at Atomikkk Comixxx? I mean for fuck’s sake, even Lisa Moore’s life story got a “graphic novel” version, courtesy of Darrin…
No argument here. It’s amazing what we’re supposed to care about in this universe. You’re right, nobody’s mentioned Bull once. But we’re going to spend weeks watching these tertiary characters get their egos indulged, when they get this constantly anyway. To say nothing of the Cult of Dead Lisa that permeates everything in Westview.
Bull gets damnatio memoriae. And when he was alive, his tragic mental condition was played for cheap laughs. But that’s what he gets for being a jock in Westview, and not a noble Silver Age comic book creator, or a self-proclaimed Byronic hero. Funky Winkerbean is like a bitter 14-year-old’s revenge fantasy.
“Funky Winkerbean is like a bitter 14-year-old’s revenge fantasy.”
This statement pretty much summarizes Act 3.
Commemorating Bull would also mean beady-eyed nitpickers pointing out the countless instances in the early days of the komik where Bull was exactly the ham-handed bully he later denied being. Meaning he was also a liar.
True, but at least Bull tried to make amends and become a better person after high school… Nobody still waves Funkensteiger’s former alcoholism in his face, and nobody even notices anymore that Les and Dinkle have been the same unchanged insufferable douchebags for 40 years, or that Cindye is still the same mentally fragile, self-serving bitch queen hiding behind a 20-foot wall of her own inadequacy….
Do you think Bull left any videotaped advice for everyone?
Asking for a friend.
By all appearances in this strip, Bull was one of Westview’s most accomplished and decorated residents and he died in what was presented to the public as a shocking and tragic accident.
Yet his obituary didn’t even make the front page of the local fishwrap… and the strip it appeared in was really about how Cindy was popular in high school!
Ugh, I’d bleached that funeral from my memory…
1. WTF is Masone even doing there?! He’d never met Bull before…
2. Yep, a millionaire celebrity who just breezed into town on her private Gulfstream G6 with her Hollywood A-list husband in tow reminding us how popular she was in high school 40+ years ago while pretending to mourn a classmate she hardly ever talked to after graduation… Totally normal and not emotionally unhinged in the slightest. God should have sent a lightning bolt straight through Cindy’s conceited dome for having so much ego-stroking hubris it’s one step away from masturbating herself in a mirror while making others watch. I wish she’d said that shit to Bull’s widow and daughter just so Cindy could have gotten the ever lovin’ piss slapped out of her.
The botching of the Bull Bushka death arc infuriated me more than the women in comics arc. And I hated the women in comics arc with the heat of a thousand pizza ovens.
Flash: “Race you to the bedroom!”
Flash and Ruby are going to get married.
Gotta admit, that hadn’t occurred to me. My thought is that Mopey’s going to throw together some kind of shindig, probably at ComicCon, for these two similar to what he and Mason did for Cliff Anger a few years ago. I suspect they won’t advertise it by putting a coded message in newspapers, however.
Them getting married is a possibility though, which is absurd, but not totally unexpected. Since Batiuk doesn’t create backstories for these characters beyond the barest minimum to play the role he’s decided for them, it’s a cinch that Flash and Ruby aren’t married and don’t have families and would be totally down with the idea of uprooting their lives at this point to get married, because, after all, they don’t really have private lives to disrupt.
My question is, how do they not already know each other? Comic book publishing isn’t that big an industry, they were in it for a very long time, and they’re both already in Westview.
I don’t know of anyone who got recognition for comic book work.
Which raises another question: do these two people even WANT recognition?
We’ve heard Ruby Lith complain at length about her comic book career. She never mentioned wanting more recognition. She wanted to not be harassed, minimized, or discriminated against because of her gender.
But it’s Flash’s presence that really ruins this story. Mindy saying “Ruby deserves more recognition”, without Flash, would have made a lot more sense. She had just been listening to Ruby’s tales, and we’ve seen these characters bond in past arcs. It’s plausible that Ruby really didn’t get the recognition she deserved, and that Mindy would be motivated to help her get it. Instead, she’s suddenly invested in Flash Freeman’s ego. When Flash already gets plenty of recognition.
So this story will probably end up with Flash being feted all over Comic-Con. Ruby will be dragged along as a historical footnote, like Andrew Ridgeley. Which is the opposite of what she wanted, which was to be treated as an equal. The story will completely fail to notice this.
This week is a great example of Batiuk’s inability to distinguish his characters from each other, or from himself. Batiuk craves recognition, so he assumes all his characters do too, and he makes sure they constantly get it. It never occurs to him, or any of his characters, that some people don’t need their egos constantly stroked with awards, praise, monuments, movie deals, meet-and-greets, public book signings, and media contracts. It’s practically all the strip is about anymore.
When Charles Ives won a Pulitzer, he gave the money away, saying “Prizes are for boys, and I’m all grown up.”
Ruby was INTRODUCED as part of an art show celebrating her work. The very first time we saw her she was being recognized as an artist.
With the exception of Stan Lee and his kajillion movie cameos…but generally speaking, yes. People who write and draw comic books are not celebrities. They are only “recognized” by the people who care about comic books in the first place. Are Flash and Ruby somehow underappreciated or unknown within the comic book subculture? I don’t think Batiuk has given us strong evidence of that.
P.S. Obviously Ruby was underappreciated by her employers and co-workers back in the day. I’m referring to the reactions of present-day comic book fans. Granted, we’ve never seen Ruby receive heaps of praise from adoring fans (besides Mindy), but I don’t think we’ve seen anyone actively snub or overlook her, either.
Gimme a freakin’ break. Comic artists have been celebrated to the moon and back, especially now that comic-themed movies are some of the biggest moneymakers worldwide. Plus, they got paid for safe work that they could do at home; it’s not as if they toiled in coal mines. They did a job for pay like all of us. You don’t get a tickertape parade for doing excellent work at your job. You’d think the sonsabítches cured cancer or something.
I say this as someone who grew up completely steeped in MAD and other parody comics, plus Heavy Metal magazine and Tintin, among many other comics I adored. Many of those writers and artists have been lifelong heroes of mine and have changed the way I see the world.
But my point is, all of these artists HAVE been celebrated. Books have been written about them. Harvey Kurtzman, the first editor of MAD, has a prestigious comics award named after him. The eminent golden and silver age comics artists had long, productive careers and often many sidelines in graphic design and advertising. Today, many of them make a very good living selling hand-drawn artwork or limited edition prints.
Enough with the hand-wringing, Tommy boy. What you’re really trying to say is that YOU are not celebrated enough. And there’s a reason for that. It’s cause your work stínks.
And today on the Funkyblog, Batiuk re-prints the letter his editor wrote nominating him for the 1998 Pulitzer Prize.
He was not a finalist.
And wow, his own syndicate recommends him in order to hype one of their own strips. That tells you all you need to know.
I knew the nomination was based on croneyism instead of artistic merit.
The Pulitzer, like a lot of awards, solicits open nominations. So, yeah, a lot of crony nominations happen, but this doesn’t mean squat anyway. The Pulitzer FAQ says this:
Since 1980, when we began to announce nominated finalists, we have used the term “nominee” for entrants who became finalists. We discourage someone saying he or she was “nominated” for a Pulitzer simply because an entry was sent to us.
Tom isn’t saying that, but he’s sure as heck implying it.
Right, but he mentions on his blog that he was a finalist and so my complaint is not valid. Apparently the committee did appreciate his work.
See the entry from 2008:
I knew he was a finalist in 1987, but I didn’t know about 2008. No wonder he’s always dragging Lisa back into the proceedings.
He was not a finalist in 1998, the year of the letter he depicted in his blog. But I suppose that was a bit nitpicky of me.
I think what Batiuk means is that these artists/writers from fifty years ago are not still being celebrated today as if they were working and producing works worthy of praise and recognition.
It’s as though he feels that the problem with the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award is that you can only win it once. These guys got the recognition and praise they deserved for their careers years ago, but they really just need to get it all over again. It’s not a valid celebration if it happened years ago.
I mean, come on. Nobody’s congratulated me or recognized me for graduating from high school! So what if it happened decades ago! Nobody’s talking about my achievement now!
Does the worship of comics qualify for tax exempt status?
This worship of comic books is pushing my mind to strange places:
“and now we will sacrifice the Virgin to the god of comic books”
“Sorry Pete Luck of the draw, the virgin doesn’t have to be female”
Curse you Minty! Curse your old fashioned values! Curse our unexplainably long engagement!