I’m amazed that this tedious anecdote amazes John, who’s literally surrounded at all times by thousands of vintage comic books that have the prices printed right there on the covers. On top of that the whole town is overrun with legendary old comic book codgers who just stroll right on into local comic book businesses and freely share comic book anecdotes with nary a second’s worth of thought. Not to mention the fact that he’s like at least fifty years old himself. Yet there he is, stunned by the buying power of a dime back in 1946 or whatever. Why, if I didn’t know any better I’d have to conclude that this John character is something of a total imbecile.
40 responses to “Dropping Mad Dimes”
Not to mention he just sold a reprint of Flash #123 which had the vintage price on it–something he pointed out to the customer (Batton Thomas again). I, too, have to assume John is retarded.
If he wasn’t so damn lazy BatHam could have had them have an actual comic book conversation that might be more indicative of the fact that John is Westview’s NUMBER ONE comic book nerd. But instead he’s a slack-jawed idiot for absolutely no reason at all, indicating that he knows next to nothing about his alleged hobby/profession, all because BatYarn couldn’t take three minutes to dream up a few lines of plausible dialog for the character he’s spent the entirety of Act III developing.
I think he just couldn’t pass up the “punchline” that he had concocted, despite the fact that it simply doesn’t work with these characters. As Charles said the other day, it’s “First thought, best thought” and no looking back allowed.
It would make sense for, say, Mindy to have this line. No doubt she will have it when Chester hires Batton Thomas next month. Because a punchline like that is simply too good to waste.
Yeah, it’s worse though. It’s as if John isn’t really a character. He’s just a cipher upon which Batiuk imposes whatever he needs for the individual strip. There’s no sense of what John would know based on who he is, because he’s no one. Batiuk doesn’t look at him as an independent entity with a backstory and a personality. He’s whatever Batiuk needs him to be at the time. If for some crazy reason Batiuk needs him to not like comic books at all in order to make a punchline, John won’t like comic books at all.
If the punchline demands it, Les won’t know anything about cancer, Becky won’t know anything about music and Summer won’t know anything about basketball.
All of the characters are blank slates that can be used in service of whatever joke Batiuk farted out that morning. Funky is especially malleable. Now he’s expanding Montoni’s and being interviewed by pizza magazines! Now he forgot to order cheese! Now he’s obsessed with basketball on TV! Now he’s lying about his age to win a medal! Now he’s an incredibly kind boss who calls in a favor to rescue his jailed employee! Now he’s a rude, condescending prick monopolizing an AA meeting! Now he’s worried about ordinary surgery! Now he thinks he’s Jerry Seinfeld! Now he’s anti-renovation! There’s nothing underlying all this.
Even Les isn’t exempt from being twisted into whatever hackneyed bullshit Batiuk wants to spew. That superhero wedding was one of the worst plot elements ever. Years of buildup to them getting married – a relationship that is now the central story of a 50-year run – and Batiuk can’t keep his goddam comic books out of it. He’s gotta put ’em in the stupid Wal-Mart superhero costumes. When Les nor Lisa ever showed any interest in comic books. When it’s completely contrary to their relationship. That was horrible.
You wasted thirty cents on comic books, when you could have bought some of the earliest plastic model kits? Loser!
John’s skunk-skin cap must have shrunk in the summer heat. How in the name of William C. Gaines does a freakin’ COMIC BOOK STORE OWNER not know that Golden and early Silver Age magazines were usually ten cents? Did he never read Dick Lupoff and Don Thompson’s seminal 1970 comics history “All in Color for a Dime”? Besides, isn’t he in his 50s or 60s? He sure looks like it.
DSH John really isn’t into comic books. The store is an elaborate front to lure children inside.
Yet actual children, if they interact with the comic book universe at all, do it by watching capeshit movies and playing video games. Comic book stores are the worst possible front for a pedo. DSH John can’t even do that right.
DSH John wouldn’t get these jokes so much if his store didn’t LOOK like a pedophile den. The only way in or out is a closed, opaque door up a narrow flight of stairs. It’s on the second floor, so you can’t even escape out one of the few windows. Nobody outside can see in. It’s too far from anything else for noises to be heard. There are no professional comic book store fixtures anywhere in the store. The employees are two 50-something men who show zero interest in their wives.
Komix Korner is the most uninviting storefront I’ve ever seen. I’m sure this is just Batiuk’s preferred tropes of “young people just starting out”, “we’re so quirky”, and “everything must revolve around Montoni’s” again. As usual, Batiuk implies a lot of dark things he doesn’t intend to.
Okay not only is the most boring anecdote in the history of boring anecdotes, The response seizes on the the most boring aspect, making it even more boring. The strip feels like it is slipping over an event horizon into a black hole of boredom that is tearing a hole in the space time continuity but d,ue to the time dilation effect at the event horizon, for the observers (us), it is taking a longer and longer time for each story arc to reach its anticlimax and vanish.
Things used to cost less in the old days than they do today. That is a humorous thing. Have I passed the Turing Test, yet?
Oh, and Batton Thomas, you can shut up too.
I interpreted this as DSH being surprised that people used to pay anything at all for comic books…
“I wouldn’t pass up a chance to get free comic books”? You’re supposed to be an A-list movie star, Mason! An A-list movie star who is also the star of the biggest comic book movie ever! Do you think Chris Pratt goes to suburban Cleveland to get a free $3 comic book from the worst store in America? You should be able to get a free comic-book themed Porsche if you want it.
I get it, but I could easily see Masone doing this for the buzz and to bolster his “geek cred” amongst the hardcore Starbuck Jones fans… After all, he does have an ongoing trilogy of movies to promote…
But then again Masone did come up with the half-assed idea (and the studio execs and advertisers were 100% okay with it, because reasons) to premiere his billion-dollar movie at the freaking Valentine because GRASSROOTS!!!! or some such nonsense…
We’re definitely deep in the realm of space filler with this strip. As Epicus points out, John is allegedly the long-time proprietor of what is apparently the only comics emporium in Westview. How he could be unaware of 5he cover price of comics in the 1950s is unthinkable.
To say that TomBa is mailing it in implies more effort than is display here. And yet he claims he scripts theses stories about a year in advance.
Panel 1 is clunky and awkward. We don’t need to rehash every single point from yesterday’s strip. Just say “I would walk down to the drugstore…” and continue from there. Even the readers who skipped the previous strip can infer from context. And if they can’t, that’s what the art is for! Do a flashback to kid-Batton, and put old-Batton’s head in the bottom corner to show he’s talking.
P2 Skunky: “Those were the days.”
P3 Batty Sue: “Yeah, back then, a kid just could just walk alone downtown…”
P3 Skunky: “No, that you could get three whole books for thirty cents!”
It’s mostly the same set up, same punchline, and it doesn’t make Skunky look quite so abysmally stupid and makes him comically (herp de derp) fixated on comic books, as his character should be.
This shouldn’t be so difficult for the man. But somehow, practically every day, he proves otherwise.
DSH mouth says, “That’s amazing.” but his face says, “For Pete’s sake dude, I didn’t ask, and don’t care. Now let me get back to my online poker game.”
I could understand Batton Thomas’s parents letting him walk through the city alone, in any era, as long as there was a decent chance they’d never see him again.
I would hope a fourteen year old could handle walking down to the Rexall by himself to buy Flash #123 for a dime in 1961.
When Batton was 8 years old, his parents moved to Ashtabula. When he was 12, he found them…
Another day, another example of Old Man Yells At Cloud Syndrome. He forgets that the past wasn’t as safe as he thought it was and he laments that prices rise at the same rate wages do.
Just what is that figurine in panel #3, the one just beyond Batton Thomas, supposed to be? An anthropomorphic space türd? Mr. Hankey’s brother on steroids? 💩
It’s a Japanese character called Domo Kun.
Thanks. I read up a little on the character. Apparently I’m not alone thinking Domo resembles poop.
I guess stop-motion fits under the category of anime.
The big mystery is how Batiuk or Ayers ever heard about Domo-Kun.
You know what actually WOULD be interesting? Having Batty Sue (brilliant, I’m stealing it) discuss his feelings about modern comics. I believe Crazy Harry once lectured some kids about how in the Olden Days, superheroes were strong and stoic, not dark and tortured. What does Batton Thomas think about the female Thor? About the black female Captain America? About Marvel’s “New Warriors,” Snowflake and Safespace?
We won’t hear a peep about those topics, though. I bet I know why: Batiuk hates these new developments, but doesn’t dare say it lest he somehow look less than perfectly woke.
Because he’s the worst kind of bloviator: the kind that’s also a gutless wonder. He’ll bore you to death with his opinions, but he’s terrified of saying anything that’s not safe, bland, boring, predigested, and preapproved by Right-Thinking People everywhere.
What a crashing bore.
He’s also the worst kind of “hypocrite.” Tom Batiuk puts his characters through more pointless wangsty suffering than every other comic creator combined. So he’s got some nerve complaining about comic book superheroes being too dark and edgy nowadays.
Batiuk – to borrow a TR quote about Taft “he means well, feebly.” as shown by his prestige arcs most notably the gay students attend the prom arc that did even bother to name the students and quickly shifted the focus away from the students themselves.
And he has hated Marvel for YEARS – saying he was glad he bought the Flash issue where the Flash got fat rather than the first Spiderman. He’s in end a cranky old boomer (full disclosure I’m 64) who hates the change from the strong stoic (read bland whitebread) heroes to a bit more rounded characters (they are comic characters after all this ain’t Dostoevsky we are talking about) And of course they rejected his art.
Time has passed him by. Well it’s passed me by too. Time to grow up there Tom.
And the change from bland whitebread superheroes to more well-rounded ones isn’t even new. Michael Keaton’s Batman was in 1989. The Watchmen books are older than that. The Bronze Age of comic books, which saw more complex protagonists and moral ambiguity, is even older than that! Tom Batiuk wants to lecture his audience about comic books, while ignoring most of their history and lore because he personally doesn’t like it. What a tedious, narrow-minded, obsessive bore.
Mary Worth gets a ménage à trois, we get this stupidity. I never thought I would envy Mary Worth!
I’m running out right now to get a lab coat.
Here’s how this conversation has gone so far: “Hi, Comic Related Person!” “I used to buy comic books!”
What am I reading anymore? Can we go back to church cats? I follow Hodge the Southward Cathedral Cat on Instagram now thanks to CBH.
Over in the BattyBlog, Batty talks about Dinkle and getting award at the Midwest Band conference in Chicago.
I agree that Dinkle is his most recognized and enduring character. Nobody gives a crap about Lisa, Becky, Funky, Wally, Adeela and all the other crappy characters with their serious problems. It’s only his act 1 silly characters that matter…like Dinkle and Crankshaft. That should be a lesson for Batty.
Good Lord, that is horrible writing!
He starts the article by saying “As all of the aforementioned was going on”. What aforementioned? He obviously extracted this from a longer narrative where something was going on, but he doesn’t tell us what it is. As an excerpt, it makes no sense. I went to journalism school, and they train you to clarify any vague pronouns in a quote. You would do “as (the Lisa cancer story) was going on….”
But he doesn’t need this phrase anyway, because the sentence ends “…Dinkle’s adventures with the band were a continuing running side story under everything.” He says the same thing twice! And he doesn’t tell what it was either time! Or even when! The blog articles are about different subjects and timeframes, like most blogs are, so it’s not clear what this is supposed to follow from.
“I continued in my role as a de facto band chaperone, as I traveled the country giving talks about Harry.” Huh? Chaperones are adults who oversee a traveling group, typically of underage children. If Harry Dinkle was a real person who traveled with Batiuk, neither of them would be a chaperone. Or did Batiuk bring an actual band with him to give Dinkle speeches?
“I was awarded their Medal of Honor, although I realize that I was only a stand-in for Harry.” Why does this need to be explained? Of course Batiuk is being honored because of a character he created, and not because of his contributions to music.
“Although things were about to change, for now…” What I’m saying is, basically, Tom Batiuk, in certain circumstances, kind of likes using weasel words.
“Harry continued to reign as my most recognizable and enduring character.” I guess he thinks Lisa is his most recognizable and enduring character now?
As always the blog posts show the vast gap between the comic strip he thinks he is creating and the train wreck that we read.
Somehow Batty has gotten the impression that A) to be really important, you must be “serious, not comic,” and B) comedy in itself is fundamentally unserious. Both are untrue in any artistic field, but especially in comic art.
“I guess he thinks Lisa is his most recognizable and enduring character now?”
That seems to be what he’s implying in that excerpt lifted entirely and without adaptive editing from the Introduction to Volume 9 of The Complete Funky Winkerbean, but given that Dinkle has a shoe brand and will apparently be making an appearance at the Rose Parade in January, he still holds the title.
1. Oh come the hell on — This was Akron in the 1950s, not Newark or East St. Louis or Gary, Indiana… A kid biking through “downtown” wouldn’t have been any big deal at all…
2. Don’t forget folks, this is supposed to be a Hall-of-Fame comics geek nerd loser and an unquestioned expert in his field yet he doesn’t know what comics cost in the 1950s despite having a shelves and racks full of them in his own fucking store, because reasons…
2a. I don’t get it — DSH John is probably around my age (mid-40s), so even *HE* should personally remember from his childhood 20-cent postage stamps, 35-cent sodas, $1.25 for a gallon of petrol, new cars for $8,000, new homes for $75,000, and $20,000 being the national average of worker salaries…
2b. For fuck’s sake — IF NOTHING ELSE, I presume John *DID* grow up around a father or a grandfather, uncle, retired neighbor or even a schoolteacher who was more than happy to tell them how much things cost when they were growing up… So why his feigned surprise?