Living Legend Lith

Wow, so Flash and Ruby are actually headlining a panel? When they found out they were going into the hall of fame like what, two days ago, max? It’s a very good think Pete or Mindy or whoever it was (I forget and refuse to check) told them they won and didn’t just forget, or this would have been one awkward panel.

I’m pretty sure the speaker is supposed to be modelled after a real person.  Of course they’re not depicted at all in a flattering way, but what else would you expect?

Oh, and now Ruby is a living legend, even though someone who is such a big fan of her work that he is wearing a t-shirt of it to Comic-Con didn’t recognize her at all.  Okay then.

48 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

48 responses to “Living Legend Lith

  1. Lord Flatulence

    What are those two furry creatures above Flash’s eyes?

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Caterpillars. Since they’re all white, it means we’ll have a long hard winter.

  2. billytheskink

    This strip was not where I expected to see Harvey Weinstein turn up, but I can’t say he doesn’t deserve such punishment.

    • Suicide Squirrel

      I sometimes believe people convicted of a crime appear in Funky Winkerbean as some form of community service.

      Convict: “Don’t be like me and end up in Funky Winkerbean!”

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      I think this is supposed to be Mark Evanier, whose blog, News from ME, is worth exploring.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Mark Evanier is almost 70 years old. This moderator looks much younger than that. But this is nothing unusual in the Funkyverse: Ruby and Flash can’t be any younger than 90. Ed Crankshaft pitched in an exhibition game in 1940, which means he’s about 102. To say nothing of Cindy Summers.

  3. Banana Jr. 6000

    And Ruby indulges in every Funky Winkerbean character’s favorite pastime::congratulating themselves for existing.

  4. Gerard Plourde

    Just saying that given that Ruby and Flash are presenters in a panel makes the two days of line “jokes” even more pointless and useless beyond their obvious use as filler to pad out the week.

  5. Sourbelly

    This highly punchable Dr. Steve Brule-like character seems a bit annoyed at Ruth’s obligatory “I’m a FW character near death” statement.

  6. William Thompson

    I think Batiuk is going for the same effect as in 1938’s “Robin Hood,” where the poor travelers who Robin meets in a tavern throw off their dull robes and reveal themselves as Richard the Lionheart and his faithful Crusaders. Expect the ComicCon crowd to go wild with adulation when they realize that Batiuk, er, some other living legends stand before them.

  7. Astor's Pet Horse

    At this point shouldn’t a 12-year-old in the audience shout, “Next!!!” ??

  8. J.J. O'Malley

    Is it me, or is the moderator’s head actually shrinking from panel to panel, like the opera singer who sprays his throat from an atomizer that Bugs Bunny secretly filled with Liquid Alum, whatever that is!

    I take it that, after the laughter from Ruby’s bon mot dies down, tomorrow’s strip will feature small-head moderator introduce big-head Flash, at which point even-smaller-headed Dwarf Vader will stand up and take off his helmet to reveal he’s…someone linked to Phil Holt that we’ve never met before, and as such have no interest in the grudge they’re carrying. Can’t wait.

    By the way, are Mopey, Min-dull, Durwin, and Chester the Molester manning the Atomik Comix booth right now? Because, you know, if a comic book company took the time and trouble to fly out to SDCC 2021 (which is taking place at home), they might want to promote their wares to a couple of hundred thousand potential customers…I’m just sayin.’

    • hitorque

      Mopey, Min-dull, Durwin, and Chester the Molester don’t even work when they’re in the goddamned office, so I can assure you they won’t be doing any work on a vacation ‘business trip’….

      Oh and I have no doubt that Peter Coreleone told Mindy in private that his string-pulling to get these fossils into the Hall of Fame counts as his wedding gift to her, and this free junket out to Sandy Eggo counts as the honeymoon…

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Also, the Comic-Con VIP badge counts as her engagement ring, replacing the engagement tiger.

        And Mindy is 100% delighted at all of this.

  9. Rotter

    I’m guessing the moderator is based on Mark Evanier (https://newsfromme.com/). He’s been organizing and moderating panels at Comic-Con since the very beginning. Tributes for veteran creators are one of his many annual panels.

    • erdmann

      Oh, man. He wrote for the original MacGyver, was friends with Kirby and was the partner of Walt Kelly’s late daughter. He deserves waaaay better than this.

    • gleeb

      It’s all inside softball to me. I don’t know what Fat Guy with Receding Hairline did to earn Batiuk’s wrath, and I don’t care.

    • Suicide Squirrel

      Even if he gave Batiuk permission to use his likeness, I bet he never expected to be portrayed this poorly.

      Mark Evanier: “Is that supposed to be me? Get my attorney on the phone! I’ve been besmirched!”

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Somebody at Comic-Con should really take offense to this arc. Their Hall of Fame election has been portrayed as corrupt; someone in a Darth Vader mask is apparently going to disrupt the proceedings; their attendees have been portrayed as idiots; real people have been depicted poorly; and copyrighted symbols have been wantonly borrowed in ways well outside of fair use. But only from DC, because Marvel Comics are jerks for not immediately hiring Tom Batiuk to write for Spider-Man one time.

        • Suicide Squirrel

          It’s just standard operating procedure in Batiukworld. Batiuk doesn’t get sued because people think, “Aw, who the hell reads Funky Winkerbean, anyway?” (dismissive wave) or more likely, “What the hell is a funky winkerbean”?

          Batiuk thought he was going to write Spider-Man?! 🤣🤣🤣
          I’m sure Marvel wasn’t too thrilled about having Spider-Man visiting a certain pizzeria every issue and having trouble climbing a gym rope. I wonder if Batiuk would have killed off Gwen Stacy with cancer rather than injuries suffered in a fall.

    • Charles

      I’m going to imagine it’s shaggy Alex Jones instead.

      “When’s Starbuck Jones going to come back to earth to protect humanity from the gay frogs?”

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      Beat me to it, Rotter! Good show!

  10. Charles

    “Being a living legend means that I’m still alive.”

    It’s just this kind of insight that makes this strip the thing it is.

    I also can’t stand how Batiuk’s characters do this. Ruby gets introduced to the crowd and the first thing she does is make some dumb on-the-fly joke off of what the guy introducing her has said. No “thank you, Clyde”. No “it’s good to be here”. No “I’m overwhelmed”. Nope, it’s just some dumb quip that tries to one-up the guy introducing her. Batiuk’s characters would be exhausting to be around. They always think they’re better than the circumstances they’re in.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      They always think they’re better than the circumstances they’re in, when the universe has been micromanaged to give them everything they want. It bears repeating that this entire Hall of Fame election was 100% rigged. You think these people would be a little bit sheepish about that, but no, they’re even more arrogant than usual. And Batiuk probably thinks this is self-deprecating.

      I almost want to see Batiuk win an award, just to see how big a vainglorious jerk he’ll be at the award ceremony. We’ll get a chance when he gets his Gold T-Square from the National Cartoonists Society for existing for 50 years,

    • hitorque

      You’d think Ruby would have learned some fucking humility for all those decades she was ignored and unrecognized for her work…

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Or she would at least acknowledge it in some way. There’s a lot of emotions she might legitimately have here. Joy, validation, anger at it having taken so long, annoyance at having to share it with a man who would have played a role in her humiliation, a desire to speak out for other overlooked women in the industry, any number of things. But the characters in Funky Winkerbean know only one emotion, and that’s smug self-satisfaction. (Wry smirking is not an emotion.) And they have absolutely no memory of their own back stories.

  11. Professor Fate

    As others have noted none of the Author’s characters take this sort of adulation, i.e. ‘Living Legend’, as anything less than their just due. Les is the most egregious of them but they are all like that. Not a whit of modesty or even a sense of humor about themselves anywhere.
    Of course this has nothing to do with the story line which has seemingly been abandoned in a ditch in order to indulge the Author’s fantasy world.

    • Yeah, Dullard and Peet will sometimes say disparaging things about each other, which are intended as kidding-around banter, but which they always take as a grave insult.

  12. be ware of eve hill

    “I’m pretty sure the speaker is supposed to be modelled after a real person. Of course they’re not depicted at all in a flattering way, but what else would you expect?”

    Could it be that Batiuk places real people in his comic strips as some kind of revenge for a perceived slight? Conan O’Brien, Bubba Watson, and Bill Clinton are among several real-life people who have not been portrayed kindly in his strips. Bill Clinton comes all of the way to Podunkville Ahia to free Adeela from I.C.E. detainment for a couple of Monotoni’s pizza? Conan O’Brien saying “Hubba hubba” to Marianne Winters at the Starsux Jones presser? Really? Ugh!

    I wonder if Batty was pissed off at O’Brien because he wouldn’t let him appear on his television show. P.O.ed at Clinton because he wouldn’t invite him to the White House. Bubba Watson didn’t invite him to play a round of golf etc. I’ve never met Batiuk, but judging by his blog entries he sometimes appears to be a very petty man.

    Several commenters believe the moderator is Mark Evanier, a regular at the SDCC. Perhaps Batiuk decided to portray Mr. Evanier as the face of the Comic-Con H.O.F. committee who have decided he’s not fit for enshrinement.

    Could also be something as petty as not receiving a freebie pass or Mark Evanier’s handshake is too firm.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I think it’s unintentional. Batiuk makes everyone look bad, even when he thinks he’s doing the opposite. He thinks Les Moore is a noble, creatively pure everyman whose devotion to his wife is touching, when his actions portray him as an arrogant, unlikeable, untalented, and deeply sick man. Portraying a real-life Hollywood celebrity as a sex harasser in the post-Harvey Weinstein world was his idea of a joke. Tom Batiuk really is that bad at his job.

      Also, I don’t think Batiuk would trash anyone associated with Comic-Con, because sucking up to Comic-Con is his obvious endgame. He thinks he’s doing people a favor when he features them in his “acclaimed” comic strip. And he loves name-dropping celebrities, as if being depicted in Funky Winkerbean were a totem of hipness, like being a guest voice on The Simpsons once was. The Bubba Watson and Bill Clinton things were out of left field, but I think they were meant to be flattering, or at least neutral. The purpose was to make his crappy comic strips seem more culturally relevant than they are, rather than to say anything good or bad about either person.

      Batiuk isn’t subtle when he’s taking a shot at something. And conspicuous exclusion is more his style. Like when he draws the cover of his beloved Flash #123 nine times in a week, then wouldn’t draw Spider-Man even once when it was central to that strip’s point. Or when he burns down all of Hollywood in a Michael Bay-level orgy of destruction, then treats the Lisa tapes and the Murania cave as the important parts of the story.

      Finally, when Batiuk hates or likes something, he says so quite plainly on his blog. Both Hollywood and Spider-Man were the subject of bitter blog posts the same time as their unflattering portrayals in the strip.

      • Check his remarks today about Tom Armstrong’s artistic ability. What’s that saying about seeing a mote in someone else’s eye…?

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Sheesh, how backhanded can you be? “Tom Armstrong is a great artist. He’s so enthusiastic he drew too many fingers on a hand! Which ended up on a low-rent book cover because it’s totally his fault that nobody, least of all me, noticed this mistake before it went to press.”

          • It makes we wonder if Armstrong did it deliberately. Hands are not that difficult to draw, at least not so difficult that one loses count when working on the fingers.

      • beware of eve hill

        My comment was meant tongue-in-cheek, but you raise several excellent points. Batiuk does live in his special little world.

        It’s kind of weird. To me in video interviews, Batiuk comes across as soft-spoken and almost shy. There’s one video where he’s interviewed with Chuck Ayers at Kent State University. Chuck immediately takes control, and Batiuk doesn’t even speak until a minute or two into the video. Batiuk’s personality seems to change when he writes his blog, though. He’s conceited, hateful and condescending. Kind of a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde transformation.

        TB: “Let’s boot up the computer and… AARRRGGGHHH! HYDE IS HERE!!!”

        It’s entirely possible that Batiuk just plain sucks at public speaking.

        ———-
        Les Moore – an arrogant, unlikable, untalented, and deeply sick man.

        LOL. I wish the character profiles were still up on funkywinkerbean .com and somebody hacked this description under Les’s profile.

        ———-
        Before I forget again, Berke Breathed occasionally blesses us with new strips. If you haven’t read it, your namesake Banana Jr. 6000 has been brought out of storage. It’s a cute story. Hobbes from Calvin and Hobbes is in Bloom County and the gang is trying to reunite him with adult Calvin. You can find new strips on Twitter or Facebook. I know, yuck. Between the two, I prefer Twitter, but it’s like choosing between a punch in the face or a kick in the stomach.
        twitter. com/bloomcounty

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          The other thing I notice about Batiuk’s interviews is that they are all extremely softball, as if Batiuk stage-manages the entire interview himself. No interviewer has ever asked a question about controversy or criticism of his work, asked him to defend anything, or even “why do you do so many comic book stories?” The NYT interview on https://funkywinkerbean.com/bio.html is a good example.

          “As longtime fans know, that different direction has taken the cast of “Funky” all over: Since the “reboot” in 1992, the strip has touched on issues like suicide, intimate partner violence, alcoholism, capital punishment, gun violence, steroids, and even landmines and the war in Afghanistan. But, again, it was Lisa and her cancer arc who really pushed Batiuk even further out of his comfort zone….” Yecch.

          And thanks for the tip. I knew there was new Bloom County material but hadn’t been following it closely. I didn’t know the wisecracking, existentialist computer was back. I must immediately check that out. As you can guess, I adore that character. YUCK. THE FRITOS ARE ANTIQUATED.

    • Suicide Squirrel

      You’re giving Batiuk way too much credit. He’s a terrible writer who’s stuck writing a terrible comic strip that’s well past its best. Batiuk can’t write his way out of a paper bag. Dreadful stuff.

  13. be ware of eve hill

    No doubt in Batty’s mind Ruby’s little joke is met with uproarious laughter. In real life Ruby’s little joke would be met with polite laughter at best, awkward silence at worst.

    Of course, I may be totally off base and there’s no audience whatsoever. Some audience members may have confused Ruby for the Old Witch from the EC comic ‘Haunt of Fear’.

  14. hitorque

    If there’s a joke today, I’m sure as hell not getting it…

    Yes, Ruby… The crowd can plainly see that you’re still living, which is exactly what the fucking expected to see, right? After all, it’s not like the marquee outside says “1:30 PANEL WITH ROTTED CORPSE OF RUBY LITH”

  15. Mr. A

    “Living legend,” huh? I assume this is because she created Miss American, but I feel like we’ve never been given a good sense of how popular Miss American is in this universe. Is she supposed to be a household name, like Captain America or Wonder Woman? Or is she a more obscure character that only true comics aficionados/geeks have heard of?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Like everything else in the Funkyverse, the popularity of Miss American is as big or as small as Tom Batiuk needs it to be for today’s strip.

      Yesterday he needed someone for Ruby Lith to be snotty to, so in comes a guy with a Miss American t-shirt to prompt her remark. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Atomik Komix merchandise in the strip before that. And Miss American is a big deal today, now that Ruby needs a reason to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. But I’m sure the franchise will be a plucky little underdog again when the story requires it. Like when Chester bought the rights to it as part of a pile of random IP he didn’t even know he owned.

      So who knows? You ask an interesting question, but Batiuk clearly gives no thought to how his world is supposed to work.

      • beware of eve hill

        As per usual with Batiuk he’s recycling bits from past strips. Mindy was wearing a Miss American t-shirt when she first met Ruby at the Dibbs Gallery. Ruby bragged about drawing the ‘Miss American’ comic book.

      • Charles

        It hadn’t occurred to me at the time, but since Chester had purchased the rights to Miss American and forgot that he had done so, that means that the shirt the guy was wearing yesterday and Mindy’s shirt she was wearing at the gallery were bootlegs. There’s absolutely no way that Chester would be running a business producing derivative products and not know about it.

        Again, it’s remarkable how sloppy Batiuk is about these things.

    • William Thompson

      For that matter, how popular is Starsux Jones in the Funkyverse? You don’t hear people repeating any catchphrases from the movie or comic books, or see kids playing with SJ toys, parents naming their babies after characters, or people wearing the same hairstyles as Starbuck Jones or Jupiter Moon (actually, don’t we see those two copying the standard Westview hairstyles for blond men and brunette women?)

  16. Epicus Doomus

    Butt-Head: “Uhhhhhh hehehehehe. Ruby is like, old.”

    Beavis: “Heh heh heh yeah, she’s old.”

    Butt-Head: “Yeah huh huh huh. She’s, like, gonna die soon.”

    Beavis: “YEAH YEAH YEAH! DIE!”