Something’s got a Holt on me

If there was a contest to use the most words possible to say “Flash and Phil didn’t like each other”, today’s strip would definitely be a contender. Same for a most exposition crammed into a single panel contest, with panel 1 making a game effort. The only place such contests could possibly exist is, of course, the Batiukverse… so please forgive me if similar contests appear in this strip a year from now.

All that exposition in the first panel and Flash doesn’t realize the hall of fame awards given out at Comic-Con honor the deceased on the regular? Seems like having Comic-Con remotely would work well in Flash’s hypothetical honoring a live Phil Holt scenario, but since Flash doesn’t even know that dead people regularly get honored at this and other hall of fame ceremonies then it stands to reason that he wouldn’t know that Comic-Con and other events are held remotely. And by “Flash” in the previous sentence, I mean TB.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

41 responses to “Something’s got a Holt on me

  1. Epicus Doomus

    “I would NEVER consent to be in the same room with that contemptible swine of a man! I’m GLAD he’s dead! I only wish I could have been there to spit in his face as he took his last pitiful breath!”

    “Gee, Flash, what’d he do? How bad could it have been?”


    This arc might have had more, uh, impact if Phil wasn’t already, you know, dead. But BatHam just had to do that stupid charity auction arc that ended with LES F*CKING MOORE’S sham cancer charity profiting from Phil’s lifetime of comic book toil. Too bad he killed him off before he dreamed up a whole back story for this Flash asshole, eh?

    • Gerard Plourde

      I do wonder where this mess is going. Will he forget that he killed off Holt?

      • bad wolf

        That’s the only thing that makes sense to me–the mysterious figure looking at the SDCC website on Saturday was the angry former artist that he’s going to have some contretemps with at the con. So if Phil’s dead… why is Flash beating a dead horse like this?

  2. William Thompson

    Somehow, this will end with all the characters standing on a stage before all the ComicCon/HOFInduction crowd, hands held high and clasped in solidarity amid tumultuous cheers and applause. That’s the way the Starsux Jones sizzle-reel scene climaxed at the other ComicCon years ago, and if there’s one thing Batiuk loves it’s the adulation of the masses.

    Oh, and half the women in the crowd will be dressed as Wayback Wendy and Jupiter Moon.

  3. Good grief, why even bother with the drawing? Just cram some quotation remarks around those zeppelins and run it as a text episode.

  4. none

    At least it isn’t a god damned sideways single panel.

    There’s bad blood, and all those words tell about it, and none of them show it. It’s called writing.

    • William Thompson

      This way, Batiuk won’t have to show anything. He tells us there’s bad blood, he’ll tell us the two goofballs are about to collide, and then he’ll tell us they collided and squirrel!

      • Professor Fate

        One does have to admire on some level the Author’s dedication to anti-narrative. The reader’s expectations are constantly undercut, here by not telling the story of why and Flash and Phil fell out in the first place. It is something a reader would like to know, hell Boy Lisa asks him outright what caused the falling out but Flash responds to this DIRECT question (a big no-no in the funkyverse) by jabbering about the awards ceremony and how while he’d like Phil to be there, they would need separate rooms. (Beady eyed nit picker note – Flash says their relationship had deteriorated which is in past tense. Does that mean it’s changed? Granted Phil is dead – we think- but that wouldn’t change their relationship now would it? )
        My guess is we’re not going to find out except in the most elliptical of manners what happened. If this was anybody else I’d presume it was on purpose, a deliberate attempt to undercut in an almost Dada manner the readers expectations, but in this case my guess is that the author has not invested enough time into thinking out this story arc (what a shock that is) and doesn’t really have the foggiest idea what happened.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          There’s nothing driving any of it. There’s no meta-narrative or subtext behind all this anti-narrative.

          Dadaism’s rejection of artistic norms was in itself a statement on society and art. With anti-humor, the lack of a joke is itself the joke. What is the point of Funky Winkerbean? What artistic statement is being made here, explicitly or implicitly? In his own interviews and public comments, Tom Batiuk acts like he’s writing something perfectly straightforward.

          I hate to bring up Sonichu again, but that’s what this feels like. An artist with severe problems, drawing cartoons to portray the world as he thinks it should be, and to avenge perceived injustices in his own life. And what they reveal about the artist is not pretty.

          • Professor Fate

            Very true. Dada as you noted was a deliberate choice born out of horrors of World War 1 – Funky Winkerbean not so much.
            Yes it’s not pretty – and it’s disturbing to read the author’s comments and interviews as the gap between the comic strip he is talking about and the strip we are reading is massive.
            Still this has had one good result i’m going to go back to reading Destruction was my Beatrice by Jed Rasula an interesting history of the movement.

  5. J.J. O'Malley

    Oh, my stars and garters! Battyuk isn’t actually steering this Comic-Con ca-ca into his take on the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby “Who Created Marvel Comics” feud…is he?

    As always, nice of Flash to tell Durwood–a longtime comics fan and professional artist who actually KNEW Phil Holt and was bequeathed pieces of original art by him–who Phil was. I swear, it seems like TB is using a rock to hammer home the “vital” exposition he feels his readers need.

    • hitorque

      To be fair, Darrin only met Phil once iirc, and completely insulted his intelligence talking that “hey, we’re both artists!” bullshit when Darrin’s biggest “artist job” up to that point was sketching the storyboards for a movie; a position he got out of pure nepotism instead of merit…

  6. Sourbelly

    Goddamnit, Batface. You have ONE JOB. To write the dialog for this shit strip. And this is what you offer: “The induction ceremony would have to have been held in separate rooms…” That sentence would have to have been given an F in high school freshman English.

    Well, I guess Flatch’s idiotic dialog matches his idiotic skull.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      The beauty of writing DIALOGUE is that you can have people speak colloquially. It doesn’t have to be grammatically correct. It just has to sound like something a human being might, believably, say.

      All these words spouting from the man who criticized Pete’s writing a few weeks ago.

  7. erdmann

    Dimbulb: So, Flash, why did you and Phil Holt, the artist who drew all the stories you wrote, not get along?
    Flash: It’s a long story. I guess it all started shortly after I created Starbuck Jones. I came up with his name and the basic idea that he was a space lawman or whatever. Then Phil designed the character and his ship. And came up with big chunks of his back story. And created a couple supporting cast members entirely on his own. And actually plotted a bunch of the stories by himself. And then he had the audacity to claim he was the book’s co-creator! Can you believe it? Then, he thought he was entitled to a share of the marketing money just because we were basing everything on his art! Oh, and — get this — he got all bent out of shape when I did an interview and it sounded like I had done all the important work by myself and that he was just a hired hand who assisted me. Geez, what a whiner.

  8. Mr. A

    If you wanted proof that Batiuk needs an editor, here it is.

  9. Lord Flatulence


  10. billytheskink

    We all took Chester to task for flying coach to San Diego despite his ostentatious wealth, but there’s Oliver Warbucks himself doing the same in panel 2.

    I hope (but not really) that “Phil Holt, the artist who drew all of the stories I wrote” becomes the new “My father, John Darling, who was murdered.”

    • Hitorque

      “Masone Jarre, the Hollywood actor who makes movies… In Hollywood, also known as Tinseltown because there are stars who make movies there!!”

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I’m surprised Les hasn’t been doing this for 14 years. “I’m Les, the husband of Lisa, who tragically died of cancer.”

  11. Holden A. Grudge

    One has to wonder who on Batiuk’s long list of real life enemies inspired ol’ Phil.

  12. The Nelson Puppet

    The Habsburg Family just LOVES this artwork!!!!

  13. Hitorque

    1. Someone please remind Flash that people *can* be inducted into a hall of fame in different years…

    2. Someone please remind Flash that his personal feelings about his former partner has Jack Fuckin’ Shit to do with whether or not Phil has the merit for induction and this whole thing isn’t just about him…

    2a. “Yeah sure my former colleague belongs in the hall, but we had a falling out decades ago, so fuck him! Let’s stop by the cemetery in Oxnard so I can piss on his grave for the final insult!!”

    3. I really hope that Phil Holt stole Flash’s ideas, robbed him blind, stole his identity, fucked his wife and fathered his kids for a grudge to be held for this many decades…

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Someone please remind Flash that awards ceremony attendance is not mandatory.

      Someone please remind Flash that he wasn’t chosen for the Hall of Fame until Mopey Pete rigged it for him last month, so Phil having been elected during his lifetime wouldn’t have been an issue at all.

      Someone please remind Flash that acrimony between former collaborators at an awards ceremony is not unusual or noteworthy. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame practically runs on it.

      Someone please inform Flash that he’s yet another Tom Batiuk avatar in Funky Winkerbean. His is there to be praised at all times, and nothing bad or even slightly uncomfortable is ever going to happen to him.

      • hitorque

        And someone please remind Flash that most people, especially people of an advanced age, usually forget and/or forgive past grudges, vendettas, wrongdoing and plots of revenge because they realize they need to start stockpiling good conduct points with whichever gods they believe in…

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Someone please remind everyone except Flash that there is a concept known as “time”, the continued accumulation of which renders things less culturally important.

          Meaning, they shouldn’t be so invested in why two comic book artists, one of whom is now dead, didn’t like each other in 1954. Or about Lisa.

  14. I think it was Charles who guessed that the mystery person will be Phil Holt’s son, who holds it against Flash that his father died at a young age of 87.

    • Gerard Plourde

      That’s plausible. Almost too plausible.

    • hitorque

      I’d love it if Mr. Mystery Guest had the goods on Flash and/or Ruby and exposed them as frauds in front of 20,000 indifferent scantily clad teenagers… But that would not only be TOO interesting for Batiuk’s taste, it would ruin the narrative of all Funkyverse characters being saintly demigods…

  15. Rusty Shackleford

    Comic books…bleh…boring.

    Thank goodness Mary Worth has been exciting. White trash girls beating each other up, count me in!

  16. beware of eve hill

    Today’s Funky Winkerbean reminds me a little bit of the very first Peanuts comic strip. You know, the one where Shermy talks to Patty about Charlie Brown as he walks past. Just incredibly more verbose.

    Flash: Well, let me tell you about Phil Holt. Good ol’ Phil Holt… Yes, sir! Good ol’ Phil Holt… How I hate him!

  17. beware of eve hill

    Just curious about the artwork here. Does anybody know if Chuck Ayers does all of the artwork or does Tom Batiuk chip in? I think I read or heard somewhere that Ayers pencils the comic strip. Batiuk inks it and adds the dialog.

    The massive word zeppelins (love the term, William Thompson) made me chuckle. Unintentionally in two ways.

    Scenario #1. Chuck Ayers does all the artwork and draws two massive word zeppelins in panels #1 and #2 for Batiuk to fill. Chuck has it easy today, as he only has to draw the bottom fourth of the first two panels.

    Scenario #2. Ayers pencils the strip and passes it off to Batiuk. Ayers watches in horror as Batiuk casually obliterates the top three quarters of the two panels to insert massive word zeppelins.

    Judging by the mediocre use of space by the dialog within panel two, Scenario #1 seems more likely. Also, Flash’s pompadour intrudes into the word zeppelins not once, but twice.

    BTW, has anybody ever ridden in a commercial aircraft with a powder blue interior?

    • beware of eve hill

      Nobody knows? Bummer.

      I guess it will have to remain a mystery. Speaking of mysteries, why does Kings Feature Syndicate, Inc. keep Batiuk on the payroll? Dreadful stuff.

    • Mr. A

      I assume that Batiuk writes the script first and then passes it along to Ayers. The script would include both the dialogue and a description of what the artwork in each panel should depict. (I have no direct evidence that Batiuk works like that, but it’s standard practice in the comic book industry.) Presumably, Ayers then counts the words of dialogue and sizes the word balloons accordingly as he draws the artwork.