“Really good news” for Ruby and Flash in today’s strip! We learned the “really good news” yesterday, of course, and Ruby and Flash will have to wait to learn it until… well, hopefully sometime this week. Please let them learn it sometime this week!
“What is the point of this strip?” is a question that could be asked about Funky Winkerbean almost daily, yes, and it is a question that is never going to lead to any satisfying answers… but let’s pontificate anyway on today’s long panel of pointlessness. Is there really any reason at all to not have Durwood, Mindy, and Mopey Pete tell Ruby and Flash in this strip that they will be honored at Comic-Con in a month? Not revealing the news to them today does absolutely nothing. There is no suspense for the reader because we all learned the news yesterday. There is no suspense or anticipation for the characters because they have barely expressed the need or even want to be recognized for their work. Ruby and Flash have been glorified props in nearly every strip they have appeared in, existing almost solely to help Atomik Komix’s hard-shirking employees shirk even harder. Why wouldn’t Comic-Con and the Eisner Awards reach out to Ruby and Flash directly instead of relaying the news to Pete? Why wouldn’t these three wait for the Eisner folks to inform Ruby and Flash even if they got the news first? Why would Ruby offer her sad-sack take on the state of the comics industry as a response to the question “guess what?” posed by a coworker? Shouldn’t everyone who works at Atomik Komix be well aware of the sales of both their titles and the titles of their competitors? And what is Flash even doing here? He doesn’t work for Atomik Komix. Please tell me he’s not going to become a fixture, the Dinkle to Pete’s Lefty…
All this is doing is padding out the week worse than I padded out the preceding paragraph by asking hopeless and rhetorical questions. Oh, silly me, the point of this strip was in front of me the whole time!
32 responses to “All The News That’s Fit To Sit”
Amid the blatant premise rehashing he took the time to remind us that even the comic book business isn’t immune to the forces of This Economy, The Universe and the inexorable misery of loving something too much. Ruby was plucked out of total obscurity and handed a comic book job out of nowhere, but that doesn’t mean she has to like it. Ditto Boy Lisa, who (surprise) blandly agrees.
Coming tomorrow: we’re suddenly at the CCCBHOF induction ceremony, which is already over. Stunned FW readers experience mild whiplash from the suddenness of the premise abruptly being resolved. No one knows what to do.
I always interpreted the phrase “in the tank” as “supports a position without question.” As in, “Tom Batiuk is in the tank for Flash comics.” And I don’t think I’m wrong. It’s just one more example of Tom Batiuk’s inability to process slang terms.
I wasn’t aware that Ruby was such a Debbie Downer, or a Dismal Dora if you prefer. Pete says “guess what?” and Ruby’s first thought is that her entire profession is on dangerously thin ice…again, no less.
“Guess what, Ruby?”
(Ruby grabs cat food can, opens it and begins eating) “Not now, I gotta get some protein in me before I head out and donate some plasma, cuz the hard times they are a-comin!”
That’s a really defeatist point of view, even by FW standards.
“The comic book business is in the tank again.” Well, then, by all means the entire four-person Atomik staff should stand around while three of them play “delay giving the senior citizens the good news” instead of producing their tired Silver Age rehash books. Is Chester out procuring more rare collectibles with the company’s profits, or is he sitting in his office wondering why the titles are constantly behind schedule? And, of course, everyone is going to be taking off next month to go to San Diego (even though the real-life SDCC will be virtual again this year)..
Funny how the only sympathetic and/or interesting character seen in today’s strip is the Holtron computer.
Nah, Holtron’s a complete asshole too.
Yeah, Batty really does have a flair for creating unlikeable characters and pointless filler.
He should get a job writing for Family Guy!
“The comic book business is in the tank again”? Well, we did just have a 15-month mass societal shutdown. You mean Funky had to move the Montoni’s jukebox AND people aren’t buying as many silver age comic books as they normally do? Horrors!
The answer to “What is the point of this strip?” is almost always “to fill up space” when it comes to Funky Winkerbean. I think it won’t be very long when he has every other day just be someone either silently walking to tell someone else what they found out the day before, or just a silent panel of someone catching their breath or thinking about what they were just told.
Well one good thing about this strip is that we probably won’t have to hear any elaboration about how the comic book industry is going down the tubes. As far as I know, none of these characters are in AA.
What the fuck does it matter if the industry is struggling economically? It’s not like they’ll lose their cushy jobs and grossly overinflated paycheck or something. Chester Hagglemore clearly started this vanity project to publish his own personal boutique niche faux-retro comics, and he doesn’t give a shit about making money or the bottom line at Atomikkk Komixxx… For starters, he’s got a couple dozen other business ventures or hedge funds making him more money than he can spend… Secondly, if Atomikkk had to turn a profit he’d be running it as an honest to God professional company with a real staff and real bosses cracking the whip because there’s real deadlines and real accountability and real competition with winners and losers… Instead all we see is these lackadaisical pinheads showing up whenever, taking three hour lunches, pretending to work occasionally when in reality they’re sitting around with their thumbs up their asses all day talking about the olden days of comics or how hot their wives are… I’ve seen comatose people with better work ethics than this!
If someone just started reading this today, they’d think Atomikkk Komixxx was some sort of charity volunteer outfit where some desperate geek losers banded together in their free time to create content purely for the sake of creating content; and never believe the fact that Pete+Darrin ARE LITERALLY THE HIGHEST PAID ASSHOLES IN THE INDUSTRY (!)
Hmmmm. Now that you mention it, we’ve never heard word one about sales and marketing. Are they actually printing and shipping any product, or are they just playing Comix: The RPG with Chester’s big bucks?
No, no, <i<Funky Winkerbean is just showing you the correct way comic book companies should to work. The only employees they need are artists, colorists, and writers. And all they have to do is think up new characters, and design new covers. Sales, marketing, management, administration, legal, logistics, and human resources are all wastes of money. The books just magically print and ship themselves!
Also, I’m showing you the incorrect way to use HTML tags.
Well **in theory** Chester is supposed to take care of all the boring stuff in the daily operations like dealing with vendors, distributors, accounting, bills, procurement, supplies, etc… And he no doubt would have outsourced the company website and social media accounts to the appropriate firms, conveniently allowing our resident comics geeks to keep living the dream by sitting on their asses talking about comics and debating which fossils from the olden days never got their ‘just due’…
And you’d never know it from his level of professionalism, but Pete Corleone is supposed to be steering the Atomikkk Komixxx ship as managing editor or whatever….
Chester isn’t doing squat. He’s a trust fund brat who wants to spend his money and get his precious comic books, not do the work of five people. It’s a lame handwave.
This is more wish fulfillment for Tom Batiuk. He hates the business side of things, because they’re the ones who won’t give him what he wants. They’re the people at King Features Syndicate who wouldn’t just hand him the rights to his characters when he stomped his feet and demanded them. They’re the people at Marvel who wouldn’t hire him off the street and immediately promote him to Spider-Man. They’re the Comics Code people he also blames for his failure to get that job. So he insists on a “creative people only” comic book company, where the creative people have zero oversight. As if that could possibly work, especially when the creatives are these dullards.
However, given that the strip itself is basically “creative people only with zero oversight” and is still carried by hundreds of newspapers, it’s not exactly unreasonable to assume that it can exist in his headcannon either.
So Mopey says “Guess what!” to Ruby and Flash with a look of excitement in his face and she nonsensically thinks it means something terrible.
[Huge smile on his face] “Guess what!”
[Gleefully explaining] “I ran over your puppy on the way here!”
The sad thing is that he literally could have put anything in there and it would have been funnier than that.
“Hey Ruby! Guess what!”
“You won People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive?”
Also, Flash and Ruby should watch out because it appears that Darin has a seriously raging case of the mumps.
I’m surprised Ruby and Flash didn’t hear the news yesterday, when these three young knuckleheads were practically shouting about it. The office isn’t that big, right? But maybe they were busy whispering sweet nothings into each other’s ears.
Well, it’s weird all around that two people who are being inducted into the Hall of Fame didn’t hear about it first from the Hall of Fame itself. They had to hear it from some asshole who read about it on the internet.
Would Ruby and Flash have never heard of and completely missed the ceremony if Mopey had a raging porn-surfing-at-work addiction? Quite possibly!
It’s even weirder that the guy who rigged the election for them didn’t hear about it from the Hall of Fame first.
Did Durwood forget to put his dentures in?
Meanwhile over on Crankshaft, we start the week talking about toilet paper.
I’m normally a fan of potty humor but Batty cannot even do this right. And stop doing covid related bits, you’re too late and nobody wants to hear about it. Why does Crankshaft have to be written a year in advance anyways? Was it really that hard to substitute some newer strips during covid?
1. I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen a grown ass man start a serious adult conversation with “GUESS WHAT?!”
2. Oh and fuck you Pete for not having the decency to at least let them hear it through “official channels” first… Oh no, you just had to let them know up front that their ‘great honor’ was not earned through a lifetime of merit but some backroom politicking…
I guess this is Tom Batiuk’s idea of “as you know.”
Normally, “as you know” is a very lame way to do exposition, where the characters tell each other things they already know so the audience can hear them. Here, it’s like… characters are withholding information from each other so the audience can hear them again? But that’s not happening either, because if you missed yesterday’s strip, today’s strip won’t tell you what’s about to happen. So it’s not even reiterating.
I guess we’re just supposed to be super-excited that these fictional characters are winning a fictional award that another fictional character fictionally rigged for them.
In other news today, the Funkyblog’s wheel of randomness landed on “insane metaphor.”
I’ve tried to be careful about spoilers, but, hey, this stuff has been out there for decades. If you haven’t read it by now, you’ve certainly had what the judicial system refers to as “implied access.”
Whaaaat? Implied access has to do with property easements. A court can rule that the power company has “implied access” to enter someone’s private property if it’s necessary to reach one of their substations. Even more confusingly, “implied access” is a popular sovereign citizen concept, where they think they can revoke the police’s permission to serve a warrant on them. (PRO TIP: It doesn’t work.)
I guess Batiuk is trying to say the book is old enough that he’s not going to worry about spoilers. Why can’t he just say that? “Due to the book’s age, I’m not going to worry about spoilers, so consider this your spoiler alert.” Most writers just say “spoiler alert” and are done with it. Everybody knows what it means. But everything Tom Batiuk does has to be flowery and overwritten to the point of incoherence.
Oh, and guess what? There are no spoilers. The blog post reveals less about the book’s plot than its Wikipedia entry does. It’s just more of Batiuk’s usual masturbatory praise prose, like “Asimov insinuates elements from the robot stories as he begins the process of weaving his science fiction novels into one great tapestry.” That sounds like something Hedley Lamarr would say.
Sir Humphrey would be green with envy.
You can’t call this Dramatic Irony, since 60% of the characters know as much as we know. Partial Dramatic Irony? Total Waste of Time?
Anyway, at least today’s strip gives Ayers a chance to show off his Hatchet Face chops – three in one panel!
More filler. Which scenario is more likely – Continued output like this for the foreseeable future or retirement on achieving the 50th anniversary?
“Continued output like this,” because retirement would mean Batiuk has to clean up his work area, put away his Sharpies and dust his empty award shelf. The continued-output option requires much less effort.
Batiuk said in his blog he’s writing a new story that will happen at the Palm Restaurant in New York City. Where he once signed a contract to draw his comic strips, and where the walls were covered with drawings of his artistic heroes. If that’s not “continued output like this”, I don’t know what is.
Yeah. I agree with both you and William Thompson. Thankfully for all of us beedy-eyed nit pickers, the output will probably continue.