#abitlame

Hey, no Batton Thomas for Mr. Theskink in today’s strip! Nope, just comic people younger than Batton talking about comic people even older than Batton. That’s… better? I’ll let you all tell me.

There is, of course, an actual Hall Of Fame class inducted at the San Diego Comic-Con every year, which is part of the Eisner Awards. Not sure why TB didn’t drop the Eisner name in there before “Hall Of Fame”, but I guess that isn’t critically germane to the plot… that age-old story of a trio of 5th rate comic book company employees getting an e-mail about the acceptance of their nomination of people far more talented than them for the Eisner Awards Hall Of Fame.

Check out that list of real life Hall Of Famers, though. That’s impressive company. Even the A and B names on the first page of inductees alone is a who’s who of comic legends (I did notice the conspicuous absence of a certain B name). It says a lot about how TB wants Ruby and Flash to viewed in the Batiukverse… we’re talking Les-level here. Wowzers!

40 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

40 responses to “#abitlame

  1. The Duck of Death

    Batty hates dramatic tension more than dogs hate vacuum cleaners. He averts it at every opportunity. Harry Dinkle: “Oh gosh! I hope I’m not too late to get into the Rose Parade! Oh, good, I got in.” “Hey, let’s ask San Diego Comicon if they’ll honor Flash and Ruby! Oh good, they will.” “Oh no, my wife and the mother of my small child died! And now it’s 10 years later and my daughter doesn’t seem to have missed her mother at all, whew!”

  2. Epicus Doomus

    Um, yeah, here’s thing about Ruby and that Flash asshole…

    (Hurls computer across room in disgust)

    Anyhow, yeah, there’s BIG DOINGS AFOOT at Atomik Komix, as Comic Con is finally at long last going to honor elderly comic book nerds Flash and Ruby for their contributions to comic book making, which are apparently comic book…I mean substantial. I mean I can’t verify that but it’s what I’ve gleaned from this story arc so far. I’ve also gleaned the ability to type “comic books” really really quickly, a skill I’m pretty much ambivalent about.

  3. William Thompson

    This is one of those times I wish we had solid proof that Ruby Lith was a foaming at the mouth Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist, and not some ditz in an outdated Carnaby-Street cap. Because I’d love to see her lead a bloody purge against the comic-book apparatchiks of Westview. Instead, of course, she will go to San Diego and watch in adoring silence as Flush Freeman bloviates before a worshipful crowd of nerds.

  4. J.J. O'Malley

    One has to assume that, while it’s one thing to mention San Diego and describe Flash and Ruby’s awards as “Hall of Fame,” Battyuk didn’t wish to anger the SDCC overlords by specifically tying this plotline to the Eisner Awards (I honestly don’t recall if Les’ nomination a couple of years ago was listed as such, nor do I care enough to Grandpa Google it).

    I notice that, among the HOF nominees this year, there’s a pioneering female comics artist (Ruth Atkinson), a veteran of the Marvel “Bullpen” (Don Heck), and the creator of a beloved comic strip (Hank Ketcham). I wonder is TB is a tad envious.

    As for today’s strip itself: It looks like Mopey is simply reading news off a website, as if the SD crew didn’t bother to notify him first; I just love Durwood’s clenched fists of joy, like a child wishing on Christmas Eve; and I’m wondering if Min-Dull actually felt the need to say “Hashtag” to her co-workers because she thinks it’s a hip phrase all the kids are using these days?

    Another week of comic book minutiae; this is going to be a tough slough, isn’t it?

  5. The artwork in this is so absolutely terrible…but apparently the “editors” (ha ha ha ha) thought it was ALL REET! so into the newspaper it goes.

    Terrible artwork can have a certain charm to it…there’s a YouTube animator called PilotRedSun whose artwork looks like it was drawn with his non-dominant hand, but it’s cool and charming in a way that this mess could never, ever achieve.

    • The Duck of Death

      John Callahan, James Thurber, and Roz Chast spring to mind, among many other artists who “weren’t good at drawing” but were/are actually geniuses. Why? The same reason some of my favorite singers “can’t sing.” Art is supposed to convey emotion. It’s supposed to move you in some way. If it does this, then in my opinion, it can never be “bad” art.

      Ayers does bad art.

      • ComicBookHarriet

        Kate Beaton, who drew the webcomic Hark! A Vagrant, and Allie Brosh who had the Hyperbole and a Half blog are others who use their lack of ‘talent’ to convey so much humor. Several Hark! A Vagrant strips leave me breathless from laughter, and it’s all down to the weird art.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Allie Brosh FTW.

        • Mr. A

          Great picks. Though I guess I never thought of Beaton as “bad at drawing” in the conventional sense. I mean, a good portion of her online work does have that dashed-off sketchbook/doodle quality, but there’s more polished stuff too. (More polished than Thurber ever managed, at any rate.)

    • Sourbelly

      Darrin looks like a different character in each panel today – sort of a Fred from Scooby Doo look in panel 3. And Ayers has pretty much given up on backgrounds at this point. I guess that’s for the best, considering that his attempt at a window in panel two looks like it’s taped to the back of Minty Pete’s head.

  6. Mr. A

    The “punchline” is that Mindy said a hashtag out loud, because those kooky young people love their internets. At the risk of repeating myself: ugh.

    Or maybe it’s supposed to be sincere? Is this Batiuk’s knockoff version of “#MeToo”? That would fit his style.

    I don’t know what to think, and frankly I don’t care to spend more time thinking about it.

    • none

      I feel the need to say it any time the subject is pertinent – Let’s not forget that he referred to it as “#metwo” in his blog. As a verb. As a verb which is supposed to convey a woman’s instant retaliatory reaction to sexist behavior by a man.

      Within a sentence featuring the lone critical word being misspelled, he was able to demonstrate his complete ignorance of how hashtags work and the underlying theme of that specific hashtag. It’s a miracle that he flies so low under anyone’s radar that the offending blog post – again, which shows his complete ignorance behind what #metoo was all about – didn’t get him outright cancelled on social media platforms.

      But, again, he fails in a fashion in which other people would pray for a similar level of success, and he doesn’t suffer one iota for it.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Remember this strip?

        This word balloon should have used the # symbol! #metoo is a movement known only by its hashtag. Calling it #metoo in Ruby’s word balloon would have indicated it as a proper noun. The quotation marks do that job passably, but since Batiuk wants to be so hip about these things, #metoo would have been better.

        And today, he sticks a # in a word balloon for absolutely no reason. Mindy saying “#abouttime” means nothing more than if she had simply said “it’s about time.” The # is just Twitter shorthand for the phrase as it’s commonly used. If Mindumb was saying it aloud, then “hashtag abouttime!” would more clearly convey that.

        What’s even going on here? Other than a pretentious hack cartoonist trying seem “with it” and getting it completely wrong.

  7. Banana Jr. 6000

    Sheesh, can Tom Batiuk wish-fulfill himself any harder? I guess the Eisner Award isn’t good enough for him anymore. Now he’s demanding the Hall of Fame. Just in case of you San Diego Comic-Con people didn’t catch the subtle message in today’s strip?

  8. Banana Jr. 6000

    Also, what the hell is on Pete’s computer screen in panel 1? Yes, that’s the Comicon logo, but what’s with the page layout? That’s not what an email looks like! That’s what a home listing on Zillow looks like. Which is what Pete should be doing on the Internet, because he’s been engaged for almost two years now.

  9. billytheskink

    I like Pete’s use of “agreed”, like he was negotiating with Comic-Con or something.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Yeah, that’s not how this works at all. Most Halls of Fame I’m aware of have eligibility rules, a multi-stage selection process, votes from multiple committees, and other formalities. They go to great lengths to protect the sanctity of their choices. Which is very much not happening here. Really, Pete Reynolds sent one email and got two of his friends inducted? Their enshrinement would be a joke, like Bud Selig’s.

  10. Hitorque

    1. Please don’t talk in hashtags when you aren’t even on Twitter or Instagram, Mindy… That’s something a 13-year-old would do.

    1a. Just your daily reminder that Atomikkk Komixxx which is so cutting edge retro and has so much geek street cred among the non-ironic hipsters has NO social media presence whatsoever…

    1b. Just your daily reminder that Atomikkk Komixxx COULD HAVE FUCKING HONORED THESE TWO FOSSILS ANYTIME THEY WANTED UP TO NOW(!) Doesn’t charity begin at home or something? Don’t be bitching and moaning about what a shame it is that they’re so unappreciated when you haven’t even done anything in your own fuckin’ office…

    2. These three assholes pretending to be surprised and happy for the fossils when they know damn well Pete called in a mafia favor to make it happen is peak Funkyverse…

    2a. We really need to have a chat about Pete’s influence over the comics industry, which has somehow grown wider than Masone Jarre’s influence over Hollywood?

    3. Fine, so the two antiques get their 30 seconds of attention at ComiCon from a few sweaty nerds and teenage girls showing an obscene amount of skin, none of these kiddies will know who the hell they are or why they should care, and they will be instantly shoved down the memory hole by the audio/visual tidal wave of cosplay, celebrity appearances, video game teasers, movie sneak previews and teenage girls showing an obscene amount of skin… So mission accomplished, I guess?

    4. Is it too late for Pete to get Batton Thomas in on this circle jerk party? Or are they saving him for the next time Batiuk needs to honor some other long-neglected cartoonist at ComiCon?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      1b. Recognition in Funky Winkerbean is all about industry approval! You’re just not a good content creator unless you’ve got a publishing contract. Even if you’re a nursing home band. Being genuinely appreciated by their coworkers would be meaningless; all accolades must come from the comic book industry or they don’t count!

      3. Funky Winkerbean will never acknowledge that Comicon is about anything other than silver age superhero comic books. And the movies that spring from them.

      4. Batiuk is saving Batton Thomas, so he can do his favorite plotline – somebody wins a comic book award – again later. I think he’s only honoring Flash and Ruby at the same time because he wants to pair them off.

  11. The Nelson Puppet

    Awards, the NecroComicon, book signings, comic books, pizza, these are a few of Batiuk’s favorite things…

  12. Dick’s gray son

    Big fucking whoop. They haven’t been nominated for a Peeyoulitzer, have they???

  13. Banana Jr. 6000

    Wait a minute. What’s a “hall of fame award”? Is that the same as being elected to the Hall of Fame? It sounds like some kind of lesser recognition, like a Lifetime Achievement Award to an actual Oscar. I’m sure this is just Tom Batiuk’s usual poor word choice, though.

  14. Banana Jr. 6000

    Also: “About time”? Mindy just asked for this three weeks ago! Roberto Clemente didn’t get elected to the Hall of Fame this fast. (Seriously. His special election was announced two months and 20 days after his fatal plane crash.)

    But Flash AND Ruby are both soooooooooo special they’ve got to straight to the front of the line, I guess. Even though the HoF would know of them, and didn’t elect them before. A normal deliberation period would more than three weeks. And it would conclude more than three weeks before the induxtion ceremony. A quarter inch from reality, folks!

    • Flash, Ruby and Phil Holt were not only not previously nominated, they were COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN by the industry. Think about that.

      Only through the action of Batiuk’s “hero” characters were they properly honored.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Ruby has valid reasons for being forgotten by the industry. She was constantly being undermined, had to change her name to a man’s, and was denied credit for things, all because of her gender. It is plausible that the hall of fame doesn’t know everything she did in her career, and learning about it would strengthen her case.

        You’re right about Freeman and Holt, though. There’s nothing Pete could tell the HoF about them that they don’t already know.

        Batiuk could have made a good story out of this if:

        (1) Mindy lobbies the Hall of Fame on Ruby’s behalf instead of making Pete do it. Mindy is the only one who knows the information, and has a bond with Ruby. Leave Freeman out of it. He’s been honored enough, and Mindy has no reason to care about him.

        (2) The Hall of Fame would be impressed but needs proof. This inspires Mindy to do research on the comic books Ruby contributed to, and meet with some nonagenarian comic book creators to tell stories about her. Can you imagine seeing these things in Funky Winkerbean? I can!

        (3) Eventually, the Hall of Fame would be persuaded to add Ruby Lith. This will be done in the context of honoring people who may have been overlooked because of their gender or race, something a lot of awards bodies are doing. And Ruby would have legitimately earned it.

        This approach removes the problematic subtext of Pete using his clout to get Ruby a crony enshrinement. It explains why she got in now when she didn’t before. It leaves out the superfluous Flash Freeman. It gets rid of that stupid “feminine wiles” bit. And it lets two female characters legitimately accomplish something, further supporting the theme. And it would let Batiuk do all the comic book award circlejerking he wants to.

        • Yeah, but removing Flash means that he and Ruby can’t announce their engagement at ComiCon. I remain convinced that will happen; there’s no other reason that Batiuk keeps trotting them out as a pair.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            You’re probably right, but that’s just another stupid, forced plot point the story would be better off without. If Batiuk wants to pair off Ruby, he should pair her with Mindy. Those two have more lesbian subtext than any two seasons of Xena: Warrior Princess. Come to think of it, that would prevent two awful marriages.

      • Charles

        Seriously, if there’s anything I’ve learned from being on the periphery of several industries, it’s that people in those industries are remarkably aware of what’s going on in their professions. You won’t find a successful filmmaker who’s never heard of Stanley Kubrick. You won’t find a successful musician who’s not aware of Robert Johnson. You won’t meet a doctor who doesn’t have at least passing familiarity with any medical condition you’d be able to come up with, and you won’t meet a lawyer who’s not familiar with every Supreme Court case that’s still relevant today.

        All of which is to say that if Flash hasn’t been recognized before now, Mopey pointing him out to Comic-Con isn’t going to make any difference. They know what he did. They’re familiar with his work. They don’t think it was sufficient. It’s not as if they just overlooked him.

        Ruby could conceivably be different as they might not have, in the past, considered her contributions worthy, unwilling to acknowledge the different treatment she received in the industry. But I’d bet a dozen donuts that Batiuk’s not going to suggest that that’s the case. No, everyone just flat out forgot the woman who created Battom’s version of Wonder Woman.

    • hitorque

      Oh, I’d love to see who SDCC was planning to honor before they got bumped off the list because Pete Corleone made a phone call…

  15. Perfect Tommy

    Women’s suffrage. VE/VJ day. Polio vaccine. The moon landings.
    Compared to the rapturous joy expressed in P3, they all pale in comparison.
    Nothing can eclipse the pure sanctity that is comics and the deities that create them. #FFS.

    • hitorque

      Can you imagine Marlon Brando and Robert Duvall high-fiving and doing an end-zone dance into a backflip when they heard the big news that Johnny Fontaine got the lead role in that new war picture?

  16. Gerard Plourde

    More proof (as if we needed it) that Act 3 is all about fantasy wish fulfillment. There’s no ongoing plot to any of this, just isolated barely coherent vignettes.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      So, in a way, have we nearly come full circle to how Funky Winkerbean began? It was a gag-a-day strip about high schoolers, now it’s a gag-a-week strip about seniors.

      “Last scene of all,
      That ends this strange eventful history,
      Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
      Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.”

      • J.J. O'Malley

        All the world’s a pizza parlor, and all the men and women merely customers putting money into the newly disinfected jukebox and sitting between clear plastic dividers.

  17. bayoustu

    RE: The Hall of Fame inductees- is it my imagination or is John Broome (HoF Class of 2008) Flash Freeman?!

  18. My new Funky fan-theory is that Darrin is the creature from The Thing. That’s why he keeps changing shape entirely in each panel, and why he has completely forgotten about the glasses that he was supposed to have.

    • Gerard Plourde

      A great theory. Sadly, it’s much too interesting and creative to fit in the world of Westview and and Centerville.

  19. Suicide Squirrel

    I noticed Batiuk’s alleged pal and Funky Winkerbean guest artist, John Byrne, has been in the Hall of Fame since 2015. I wonder if that has anything to do with the character profiles Byrne drew disappearing from the funkywinkerbean.com website?

    Batiuk: You’re no better than me, John! Take your drawings and get out!”
    *sob* *whimper*

    Rage, Batiuk, rage.