The Pub-Lush-ing Industry

I think a considerable amount of time has passed between yesterday’s strip and today’s strip, because I’m pretty sure everyone today is three sheets to the wind and that Chester is holding the group’s 17th bottle of color-changing champagne (Also, Durwood changed his shirt). The only other explanation for “hobnailing” is that Flash is going full Crankshaft-mode here, and I refuse to believe that because the mere thought makes me physically ill. There is no explanation for everything Pete is doing regardless of the circumstances.

40 Comments

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40 responses to “The Pub-Lush-ing Industry

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Oh, I get it. Flash and Ruby are supposed to be total imbeciles, as even at their age and with all their comic book experience they’re still witless rubes who are blissfully unaware of what a “hall of fame” even is. I mean they’ve only been in the profession for a combined three hundred years or so, right? Sigh.

    It took me a few seconds to realize that “hobnailing” is supposed to be a malapropism, unless Flash is trying to imply that the CCCBHOF is some sort of neo-fascist comic book hate group of some kind, browsing the Comic Con booths in lockstep in their Doc Martens and busting heads. But I don’t think that’s it. It’s just plain old BatYam try-hard.

  2. William Thompson

    Rubella should go with a real costume. I recondemn the Lenin look, to go with her revolting personality.

  3. It’s all crap. Crap and garbage, and sewage as long as we’re cataloging it.

    Batiuk gained complete control of his characters, and his reaction is to push them into fantasy wish fulfillment (as I and several others have noted). Everyone gets an award, everyone gets full employment without any consequent need to produce, it’s all happy lands and happy graves from here on out!

    • batgirl

      I was thinking of TB as Jerome Bixby’s Anthony (“It’s a Good Life”) and Westview/Centerville as Peaksville.- sending characters he was bored with off to the cornfield, rewarding characters he liked/identified with. But his control doesn’t go all the way, and that’s what I don’t understand. His pet characters share his tastes (comic books! Radio Ranch! and, um, comic books!) and they get their dream jobs of creating comic books, creating comic book movies, showing Radio Ranch every night, and, um, reading comic books with cookies and cocoa. Then he makes a point of showing us that a) the general public doesn’t appreciate these fine things, and b) the general fandom are jerks and losers who don’t appreciate these fine things the right way. The only true/good fans are sad lonely elderly men whose only happy memories are of reading comics in the attic or listening to radio serials.
      Why doesn’t TB write himself an appreciative fanbase? The Valentine shutdown arc, for instance. Sure, it’s realistic that if Max showed nothing but a long-dead serial (with apparently no feature following it), that the Valentine would go bust – but nothing would have stopped TB from writing an arc where Max’s persistence paid off and local eyes were opened to the excitement of Radio Ranch and kids (or sad lonely elderly men, with which Centreville is well supplied) crowded the place every matinee.
      The only obstacle, I think, is that TB doesn’t want to share his passions with the general (even fictional) public. He wants the things he loves to be special and elite, secret joys that only a few deserve. He doesn’t so much want you to admire what he admires, as he wants you to admire him/his avatars for admiring it.
      I’ve been chewing this over for a couple of weeks, and I don’t know if I’ve made it clear even to myself.

  4. billytheskink

    Malapropisms generally don’t work like this, the substitution of a more obscure word for a less obscure one. I guess that makes sense here, as “generally don’t work” is exactly what all of these people do.

    • Epicus Doomus

      As far as I can remember malapropisms aren’t really what Flash is known for, so there’s nothing anchoring the gag other than Batom’s overwhelming need to be cutesy whenever possible. Then again, what IS Flash known for aside from loitering? I’m sure his comic book past was mentioned during some long-forgotten arc but I’ll be damned if I can remember it now. He could have used this arc to maybe flesh the character out a tiny bit but, as usual, he found the wryest possible opening and squeezed through it, yet again.

      • Mr. A

        Here are the things we know about Flash Freeman:

        – He was the head writer for Batom Comics, where he co-created Starbuck Jones with artist Phil Holt.
        – He also had to work with a different artist who kept missing deadlines (“Turtle Thompson”), and it drove him nuts.
        – In 2019, he was apparently unfamiliar with “Free Comic Book Day”, yet he somehow wound up with his own booth at the Komix Korner.
        He likes prime rib.

        That’s about it.

        • Epicus Doomus

          I SHOULD know all this, but FW has a unique way of erasing itself from my memory almost instantly. Plus there are a plethora of elderly comic book-related figures in the strip, so I always get them all mixed up.

      • Gerard Plourde

        According to TomBa’s history of Batom comics as written on the FW Blog, Flash Freeman is the creator of both Starbucks Jones and The Amazing Mr. Sponge.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          So why isn’t he in the Hall of Fame already? That’s another reason Flash Freeman’s involvement in this story makes no sense. Ruby Lith was overlooked during her career, so it’s believable that she might come to the attention of an awards committee once more is known. But Flash is implied to be the Stan Lee of this universe. He’s been accused of taking accolades from Phil Holt. So… how? Sometimes people are omitted from awards for political reasons (Exhibit A). Why he isn’t there already would be a much more interesting story than the one we’re getting.

          • Gerard Plourde

            Excellent point. It also raises the question why he wasn’t involved in the movie franchise since they went to the trouble of hunting down bitter recluse and possible former Soviet agent provocateur Cliff Anger.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        It’s the Westview hive mind again. Any character can have any trait at any time. Batiuk loves his “like my old bus driver used to say” shtick, but if he needs to fill a word balloon, he’ll let any character say the same dumbass things. Sally in Peanuts did that, but she was the only character who did that. It gave her a rare quality you never see in the Funkyverse: a personality.

        And this comic strip does reveal something about Flash’s character. He’s full of phony humility. Again, just like everybody else in Westview. “Lucky me, I get to hobnob with the elite!” No, stupid, when you’re elected to the Hall of Fame, you ARE the elite. People want to hobnob with you. Sheesh, Beavis and Butt-head here gave you the “we’re not worthy” salute when you showed up.

        He was happy to accept that, he was happy to accept his rigged Hall of Fame award, and now he’s all humblebraggy about it. To hell with this guy. And to hell with Ruby too, for doing the same thing. You know what an awards ceremony is, you snotty old crone, you just want to hear how all the dressed-up people are going to tell you how great you are. To which Pete adopts yet another universal Funky Winkerbean trait: randomly and pointlessly insulting people. Even though he just helped her get elected to the thing.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Ugh. HTML tag fail again.

        • hitorque

          Damn, it’s been a long-ass time since “Wayne’s World” references showed up on the pop culture radar…

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            The above comic strip is from 2018. Funky Winkerbean has borrowed from Wayne’s World even more recently than that:

            And if Batiuk is going to borrow this blatantly, can he at least get the goddam catchphrase right? It’s “WE’RE not worthy.” Removing the contraction doesn’t make it original. And changing it defeats the purpose of referencing it. And he gets the all tone wrong. The Alice Cooper scene was poking fun at that fanboy attitude. In Funky Winkerbean it’s done with deadly seriousness.

          • hitorque

            Yeah, that second time Pete did it made even less sense… Unless DSH John is somehow the biggest single distributor of Atomikkk Komixxx in the U.S.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            Unless DSH John is somehow the biggest single distributor of Atomikkk Komixxx in the U.S.

            He might be.

    • Mr. A

      The puns have devolved. The meaning of the substituted word is no longer relevant; it just has to sound alike.

      Granted, a game of “words that sound like other words” can be mildly diverting in a live setting, when the players string together half-a-dozen words off the top of their head in the span of a few seconds. But this is one word, in writing, prepared a year in advance. I am not entertained.

  5. Banana Jr. 6000

    The entire staff of Atomik Komix is drunk, and they’re still not the tiniest bit entertaining.

  6. Mr. A

    I now have a strange desire to see someone in Ruby Lith cosplay.

    • hitorque

      Anybody who wants to stroll outside with a black cap, sweater and heavy ass itchy thick woolen scarf in the middle of a heatwave should be arrested…

  7. Lord Flatulence

    Someone please explain “hobnailing.” I don’t get it.

    • Suicide Squirrel

      Hobnob.

      The only thing that should be hobnailed is Batyuk’s head to his drawing table. What a terrible joke. Batyuk relies on malapropisms too much.

  8. Sourbelly

    “Do I have to have a costume?” Hey, Ruby, a less awkward way to say it in English would be, “Do I need a costume?” Regardless, it’s a stupid, nonsensical question. As for Minty’s response, well, it gets a smirk out of today’s blonde female stand-in for whoever, so…whatever.

  9. J.J. O'Malley

    Well, the “hobnail” definition on the dictionary site I looked at begins with “A large-headed nail,” so I’m assuming that’s how Flash sees himself. And how nice of Ruby to stereotype the generations of comic fans who kept her (presumably) out of poverty over the decades of costume-wearing weirdos. Oh, and look, everyone, Chester’s come out of his private office and is ready to spend the afternoon (morning? evening?) celebrating with the entire Atomik staff instead of rightly asking them where next month’s books are.

    By the by, what sort of comic book publishing company has not only champagne, but champagne glasses, lying around?

  10. The Dreamer

    Evidently nobody told TomBat that this summers San Diego Comic Con is a virtual (online) event Some parts of California are still being hit hard by COVID It will be funny if TomBat has drawn a series of strips for July where he has the whole gang flying to San Diego for Ruby and Flash to.accept HOF induction at an event thats not taking place in person!

    • J.J. O'Malley

      Yeah, but he had Mopey, Min-dull, her dad and others (?) fly out to a COVID- and wildfire-ravaged SoCal last year for the classic “Kingdom of Murania” storyline, so he’s never going to let “current” events and the reality therein get in the way of a plot he devised a year or two earlier.

  11. Suicide Squirrel

    I think Chester is celebrating because they actually accomplished something. It’s not what they’re paid to do, but they accomplished something nevertheless.

    I was kind of hoping Chester was going to burst through the door sometime this week and yell “WHY IS NOTHING GETTING DONE”?!

    This HOF adventure is another one of Minduh’s tangents. She’s been nothing but a distraction since she was hired.

  12. Banana Jr. 6000

    Maybe Flash is a Georgia Bulldogs fan. Their 2001 football game against Tennessee is known as the hobnail boot game, from an insane rant Georgia’s radio announcer went on when their team scored the winning touchdown. Skip to 2:50 to hear it.

    • hitorque

      That is the **LEGENDARY** radio voice of the Georgia Bulldogs and Atlanta Falcons, Larry Munson (rest in power) who I used to listen to on WQXI 680AM as a college student in the late 90s… He also had a daily afternoon call-in show that he hosted with former Kentucky great Jeff Van Note… Fun times, and they just don’t make radio voices like that anymore…

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Nah, I think every college sports radio announcer in the south is imitating Larry Munson. They all share his best qualities: a fanatical loyalty to their school; a voice like fine sippin’ whiskey; and being absolutely batshit insane.

  13. Banana Jr. 6000

    I believe that all Funky Winkerbean strips start in a template form:

    Darren and Mindy are thinking “smirk” and “look lovingly at my assigned boyfriend”, respectively.

  14. hitorque

    And to think this whole chain of events started because some comics geek loser didn’t have the stones to say ‘no’ to the first real girlfriend he’s ever had in his life and her dumbassed request…

    • hitorque

      But as an aside, did we REALLY need that bullshit? Couldn’t Batiuk have created some genuine and legit way for these fossils to be honored without Peter Coreleone’s direct intervention?

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Or Pete could, you know, actually do something. The entire story could have been about Pete’s actions to get Flash and Ruby inducted. Did he have to make a formal nomination? Can only certain people make nominations, and he had to get someone else involved? Did he lobby the selection committee in an open election, or did he dishonestly use his influence? Does he even have any influence? Did someone else lose out on the Hall of Fame as a result? Why wasn’t Flash already in the Hall of Fame, given his backstory? Why did Mindy care about getting Flash nominated when they’ve had no prior interaction?

        There’s enough for an interesting story here. Too bad Batiuk has no interest in telling it.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      The inability to say “no” is another common theme in Westview. Both Lisa movies started because Les couldn’t say no to the request, even though he felt he had to protect Lisa’s memory from it. Even though he has no difficulty being a snippy jerk the rest of the time.

  15. Well, this week’s crap is at least better than Crankshaft, where Ed is going on and on about bowel movements.