Lines, Am I Right?

Okay, so Ruby drew 45 issues of a comic book. (I can’t be the only one tired of fictional characters bragging about writing fictional comics, can I?) That doesn’t really answer the question of why the other five people with her get to cut in line, too.
When you’re reading something totally fictional, coincidences aren’t really that remarkable. Like, if these were real people and this was something that really happened, then it might be amusing if someone criticized the creator of a character on their t-shirt. But given that Batiuk can write whatever he wants, this really isn’t funny or interesting, at least to me.
I wonder if Batiuk has tried this at conventions he’s spoken at. I’m pretty sure it would have to be all in his imagination though, since I really doubt someone would be wearing a Funky Winkerbean shirt anywhere.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

40 responses to “Lines, Am I Right?

  1. It really does seem as if Batiuk is going to spend the rest of the strip honoring himself for being so forward looking, so progressive…so deserving of a giant tub full of awards…

    Which he won’t get, which will just make him more and more angry. Hey, Tom, aim for the awards and miss, and don’t be surprised when there’s no one to catch you when you fall.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    After years of thankless toil in the gulag-like comic book mills of the 1950s and the following six decades of total obscurity, Ruby is finally getting to enjoy some of the perks that come with being an elderly comic book author in the Funkyverse. Being honored by comic book nerds, getting to bypass throngs of comic book nerds…it’s every comic book author’s dream. Good thing her entire life wasn’t totally in vain, you know?

  3. none

    Imagine if you were an attendant of SDCC, and, while in line, Stan Lee and Trina Robbins walk past you, and you’re wearing a shirt featuring Trina Robbins’s work, and you don’t recognize either of them.

    That’s an analog to what is supposedly happening here.

    What a great strip.

    • spacemanspiff85

      That was my immediate thought. Bragging about how you wrote 45 issues of a comic that’s on someone’s t-shirt when literally nobody around you recognizes you seems a bit silly to me.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Eh, there’s a lot of great comic book writers or artists I love, where I wouldn’t recognize their creators on sight. I mean, if I saw Keith Giffen or Alex Ross on the street, I would probably pass right by them. Though I would recognize several Transformers comic artists on sight, only because I’ve seen them several times at conventions over the years.

      What’s REALLY dumb is that these people clearly have the celebrity/guest/exhibitor badges and are being escorted by convention officials. It’s like asking why a guy gets to go into the courtroom first when he’s wearing a black robe and carrying a wooden hammer.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Why WOULD anyone recognize comic book creators on sight? It’s just not a medium where the creator’s face is seen very much. It’s not pop music or acting. Especially Ruby Lith, whose entire backstory is being denied recognition because of her gender. She complained on for weeks about that, and now insults a random person for not immediately recognizing her. A bit inconsistent with the storytelling there, Tom.

  4. be ware of Eve hill

    We frequently write about “yet another thing Batiuk knows completely nothing about”. Something tells me acting obnoxious towards the public at conventions is not unexplored territory for Tom Batiuk.

    • J.J. O'Malley

      Fun Fact That Batiuk Apparently Doesn’t Know: Most major comic book conventions hand out badges of various colors: one-day, full-run and so on for paying customers; special ones for exhibitors and vendors; and of course guest creator/celebrity badges. Even if those line-waiters TB loves to dismiss as dweebs and nerds didn’t notice that the middle-aged folks being ushered into the building have special badges, they would at least assume that Ruby and Flash are somehow connected to comics, films, TV, or some branch of the sci-fi/fantasy universe.

    • gleeb

      Yeah this is gonna be more “Les on book tour” stuff.

  5. billytheskink

    Nothing endears a character more to the audience than watching them play the “Don’t you know who I am?” card.

    • Epicus Doomus

      There’s a certain unnecessary obnoxiousness about it, like she’s throwing it in his face. Apparently Ruby is tired of these comic book hipsters strutting around Comic Con in unlicensed T-shirts featuring her unrecognized work. Which would actually be a way more interesting premise than this one is.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        What’s unnecessarily obnoxious is that “don’t you know who I am” isn’t even called for here. He’s not asking Ruby who she is, or implying that he doesn’t know. He said “you guys.” He’s asking the reasonable question of why these six people get to jump the line. And we know four of them have no reason to be at Comic-Con at all, and the other two won a rigged election. Maybe this fan is expressing his distaste for the entire Hall of Fame selection process. This is the negative feedback they should be getting, not some rando in a Darth Vader helmet parroting a dead guy.

        But Batiuk loves this shit. He thinks comic book creators are the highest possible form of human being, and anyone who fails to genuflect in their presence deserves only the lowest of contempt. Look how hatefully those people are drawn. They look they sold their chromosomes to pay the Comic-Con admission price. I’d be mad about people cutting in line, too.

        If Tom Batiuk ever did win an award, this is exactly how he would act. He’d make a big show out of bringing his friends of the front of the line, and get offended at anyone who doesn’t recognize him.

  6. Sourbelly

    What is the purpose of today’s strip? I doesn’t advance the plot (or whatever you want to call this) one iota. It doesn’t answer any of the open questions that I’ve already stopped caring about. It just shows Ruby big-timing some hideous, smelly, idiotic comic book fan. Come on Ruby. Take a look at that guy. That’s the audience for the dreck you’ve spewed out over the decades. Get over yourself.

    • Bad wolf

      The purpose, i assumed, was:
      >TB gets a pass for SDCC a few years back
      >TB goes to SDCC, perhaps even sits on a panel about daily strips, why not, spends lots of $ on hotel room if nothing else
      >Expenses are reported on TB’s taxes the next year
      >TB realizes he has to make it look like the trip was necessary ‘research’
      >hello Ruby, Flash and Atomic Comixcx

      • The Duck of Death

        BINGO. Once you start looking at the locations and activities depicted in Batiuk’s comics through the lens of What the IRS Deems Tax-Deductible, a lot of things make sense. Trips to NYC to lay eyes on the Lisa Bench? Trips to NYC for Crankshaft, including watching Broadway shows, which Crankshaft sleeps through? A safari through Africa? Unnecessary depictions of random locations in L.A? Not random: these are vacations subsidized by John and Jane Q. Taxpayer.

        • William Thompson

          The subsidies would be worth it if Batiuk would take a year-long vacation every year.

  7. Gerard Plourde

    I was wondering that too. Even if Ruby wasn’t recognized, Pete supposedly worked for both Marvel and DC and, if memory serves, he also scripted the Starbuck Jones movies before joining Atomik as the highest paid artist in the industry. Someone should recognize him.

    • none

      After I wrote my post, I realized that I should have equated Pete to someone like Todd McFarlane or even Rob Liefeld. If anything, he should be leading the pack, if not afforded his own exclusive entrance and exhibit.

      But, meh. Fuck it.

      • Hitorque

        Yeah I was wondering why Peter Coreleone and his billionaire benefactor didn’t arrange for some kind of private VIP entrance all the Hollywood stars, video game executives and big money sponsors would normally use…

        But then again what’s the point of having world class clout when you can’t flaunt that shit in front of the unwashed masses and frolic in the ocean of their envy?

  8. be ware of Eve hill

    You’d think the guy wearing the Miss American shirt would recognize Flash Freeman.

    He looks a hell of a lot like the guy who confronted Flash at the Free Comic Book Day event at Atomik Komix a couple of years ago (the 04/25/2019 Funky Winkerbean strip). The guy loudly claimed Flash Freeman didn’t create Starbuck Jones. He claimed the artist Phil Holt did and Flash was hogging all the credit. The guy then stormed off fuming.

    If it’s not the same guy it’s his identical twin.

    Thanks to Mr. A for mentioning this particular strip in a comment a few days ago (Landing at Bore-Mandy – July 20th).

  9. Granville Van Deusenberg

    Ahhh, okay. I’d hate to see the pace of this strip slowed down–it would be like an 8-week root canal–but how the hell did we suddenly get from this group standing around griping to the VIP treatment?

  10. Hitorque

    1. Here:

    1a. So I’m not a comics guy, but I have done major conventions before as a former media professional (NAIAS in Detroit) and I seem to remember that different badge classes are usually different colors or have big block letters for high visibility? So you’d think in broad fucking daylight the “General Admission” peons would take note of the “PANELIST/CREATIVE PROFESSIONAL” badge designation of the Atomikkk Komixxx crew, wouldn’t you?

    1b. Who the fuck is that General Admission weirdo and where does he get off questioning other folks business? Would he accost Don Cheadle if he happened to pass by? In an high security event like SDCC you can damn well bet your ass that if anybody is moving through the line is authorized to do so…

    1c. Everyone in the crowd is over 40, take a drink…

    1d. Everyone in the crowd looks like a strung out meth-head and they got on random comics related t-shirts and caps and not one person in cosplay, take a drink…

    1e. I *really* want to know what Ruby’s smartassed retort would have been if the dude wasn’t wearing a Wayback Wendy shirt… Oh and I know it’s SDCC, but a grown ass man wearing a shirt like that should be under close police surveillance the entire time he’s in the convention hall.

    1f. “Hi I’m Ruby Lith and if you’re interested in comics history I hope you’ll attend my panel at 1:30!” (as she smiles and dangles her Panelist badge)… THERE — WHAT ON EARTH IS SO GODDAMN DIFFICULT ABOUT HAVING HER SAY THAT INSTEAD?!

    • The Duck of Death

      Hitorque, that link is comedy gold. I read the whole page chuckling, because Batty got EVERYTHING wrong about every facet of SDCC. And that’s not even including the enigma of Atomik Comix not having an exhibitor’s booth.

    • Charles

      Yeah, I’ve worked festivals with some very famous people and some not-so-famous, and VIPs getting in without waiting in line is such a typical thing that I can’t imagine another person in attendance making an issue of it.

      I can assure you, there’s no way someone’s getting past checkpoints in error. There’s certainly no one getting escorted past checkpoints in error. Whining Boy would have to have seen this before now. There’s no way he gets to the head of the line otherwise.

  11. The Duck of Death

    This is it, folks. This is all we’re gonna get from here on in, as Batty enters his twilight years. Wish fulfillment, as far as the eye can see. Comix creators being fawned over, honored with awards, and even allowed to cut lines while the peons gawk and sputter impotently. The kind of thing a lonely, bullied 5th grader would fantasize about.

    I can’t even be mad any more. The saddest part is not that an old man is receding back into his unfulfilled childhood fantasies, but that the fantasies are so shallow and unambitious to begin with.

    Batiuk seems to confuse cause and effect. He doesn’t focus on creating an enduring body of work; he focuses on the accolades that would naturally follow that, and tries to reverse-engineer the situation somehow. He seems befuddled that it’s not working. Perhaps if he really leans on the “everyone honors old, forgotten cartoonists” angle, the magic will happen?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      It’s just like he writes stories. He starts with the desired ending – some hackneyed awards bait, wry smirking, or narrow-minded wish fulfillment – and tries to write his way back to the beginning. And the falseness of it all reveals itself as it goes. Nobody has a motivation that makes sense, nobody reacts to anything like a human being would, nobody has a consistent characterization. and everyone ridiculously over-values comic books in the same way Tom Batiuk does.

      It really is sad.

      • Gerard Plourde

        You’re right. From all appearances that’s exactly how he comes at stories (and based, on the interview he did while “Lisa’s Story” was unfolding during which he disclosed her fate in a massive spoiler, how he’s always worked).

  12. Melissa Jones

    Does this mean that Batiuk isn’t going to tell us who the short man in the Darth Vader mask with the cigar was?

    • Oh, we’ll circle back to him, and my guess he’s Phil Holt, back from the dead because Batiuk didn’t really mean it.

      I can see where this is going. Phil and Flash will be reunited, and Chester will hire both of them.

      Because, if you think for a moment that Tom Batiuk’s masturbatory comic book company isn’t going to have Stan Lee and Jack Kirby on the staff, we’ll, you’re not thinking like a Batiuk.

      • Gerard Plourde

        “my guess he’s Phil Holt, back from the dead because Batiuk didn’t really mean it.”

        Entirely possible. Plausibility isn’t an issue if the way he twice killed off and resurrected Wally is any guide.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Even though Atomik Komix already has Pete, who is supposedly the best/highest paid/most famous/top writer in the industry, with enough industry clout to get his friends elected to the Hall of Fame.

  13. Don

    But…but…Funky Winkerbean has been on The Simpsons! Okay, it was only as a reference to how lame the balloons at some parade were, but still…

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      And that’s a 20-year-old episode. But that scene is probably going to come to life in the 2022 Rose Parade. We know Tom Batiuk is involved with this “salute to band directors”, because after two years of COVID, band directors really deserve some recognition. There’s probably going to be some stunt involving Harry Dinkle, because this has happened twice in the past. And when it happens, and is soul-crushingly stupid, I will just laugh. Because that’s how the Rose Parade thinks it’s going to stay relevant: by letting the lamest contributor to the lamest page of a dying medium use their entire event like one of Carrot Top’s props.

    • William Thompson

      Please tell me it was a Funky word balloon.