Ownly the Lonely

It’s possible I’m forgetting this, but I thought Atomik Komix published things like Amazing Mr. Sponge? Didn’t Chester buy the rights to the old Batom titles and is making new comics of them? So therefore they’re not creator owned at all? It’s possible I’m confusing this, but I thought that’s how it was.
I like that apparently Ruby literally had to give up her seat to Phil. She’s being honored for her career achievements, but a random guy shows up and steals her thunder and her chair. This is extremely on-brand for Batiuk.

Oh, and Phil hated his career, and producing comics is misery.  What else is new.

71 Comments

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71 responses to “Ownly the Lonely

  1. William Thompson

    So Phil Dolt is angry with Flash Freeman because . . . Freekman can’t change the past? Dolt’s insults had nothing to do with their past history and mutual feelings? He’s not even a tiny bit upset that Freeman didn’t attend his funeral? Maybe next time, Phil, maybe next time.

  2. Mr. A

    [I already typed this up once, but apparently the spam filter ate it. Please keep this version and let the first version die.]

    Oh boy, I have a lot to say about this one…

    1. “What I wanted was for Batom Comics was to share the ownership!” OK, and what does that have to do with Flash? By Batiuk’s own recounting, Flash was neither Phil’s editor (that was Brady Wentworth) nor one of the owners of Batom Comics (Barry and Thomas Martin). He had no more power over the characters than Phil did. They were in the same boat. So if that’s the thing Phil is really mad about, and he’s self-aware enough to know that that’s what he’s really mad about, then there is no conflict between Flash and Phil that needs to be resolved. The big confrontation that we spent weeks building up to was a mirage. In other words, we have no plot.

    2. “The characters at Atomik Komix are all creator-owned!” Huh? Since when? I vaguely recall Chester returning some old Miss American artwork to Ruby, but I don’t recall him handing over the rights. And if Pete is the creator-owner of Atomic Ape, how could Chester force him to add a kid sidekick to the comic when he absolutely despised that idea? No, on second thought, who exactly qualifies as the “creator” of Atomic Ape? Everyone in the room was brainstorming together, including Chester himself.

    Conclusion: Batiuk wanted to advertise that “creator-owned comics are good, and I’m all for them,” without much consideration for plot, continuity, or character motivations.

  3. “Ownership” is apparently a huge deal to Batiuk; he details how he fought to get ownership of his characters from the syndicate (leading one to ask “For THESE characters? WHY?”).

    So, while in a storytelling sense it’s weird to see Chester just pop up out of nowhere (he certainly wasn’t in the crowd earlier), from a soapbox sense it all works out.

    • The Nelson Puppet

      Batiuk is extremely gifted at creating unlikeable asshole characters, I’ll give him that.

  4. Gerard Plourde

    ‘”I thought Atomik Komix published things like Amazing Mr. Sponge”

    That’s a good question. The Amazing Mr. Sponge was definitely a Batom title but I also seem to remember that Pete was involved with it at some point before he went to work at Atomik. So did Marvel or DC pick up the title when Batom shut down? Given that he’s resurrected Phil Holt and ignored any discussion of the real world difficulties that would entail, Atomik’s possession of rights to the title is a mere bagatelle.

    • billytheskink

      Pete wrote for The Amazing Mr. Sponge at Mega Comics.

      Mega Comics acquired Batom Comics in 1972 when Batom couldn’t pay damages after Mega sued them for copyright infringement (Batom’s The Cockroach was legally deemed to be a rip-off of Mega’s Arachnid-Man… oy!) and apparently continued to own and publish Mr. Sponge into 2015. This is according to TB’s own bizarre 11-part history of Batom Comics posted on his blog.

      • ComicBookHarriet

        Thanks BTS. Your ability to educate us on the minutiae of this twisted universe is always appreciated.

      • Hitorque

        “The Roach”? Disgusting…

        Tommy Boy wasn’t even trying with these names, was he?

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Note also that Tom Batiuk refuses to mention the names Marvel or Spider-Man, even though that’s what “Mega Comics” and “Arachnid Man” obviously represent. But everything else in the Batom Comics Cinematic Universe involves real people, companies and events. He’s still so bitter that Marvel wouldn’t hire him to write Spider-Man in 1973 that he omits them from his writings. Ironically, he’s actually doing Marvel a huge favor by not dragging them and their characters into his poorly-written world.

          Another thing about that story that struck me: Batom Comics was sued back into a ball of dirt because The Cockroach was too much like That Man Who Is Also A Spider. In real life, the DC and Marvel superhero rosters have main pairs of similarly-themed heroes. Entire clone franchises of things exist, like Pokeman/Yu-Gi-Oh and Transformers/Gobots. Mockbuster movies are a business model now. None of these have been sued out of existence. How blatant a ripoff must The Cockroach have been for them to lose in court that badly? Sounds like Batom Comics got what it deserved.

          • Batiuk might be referring to the Fawcett Captain Marvel character (aka Shazam). I seem to recall that DC sued Fawsett over similarities between the Big Red Cheese and Superman, and I think DC acquired the character.

            Gah, I can’t believe I’m using these terms.

          • Rob

            Pokemon/Yu-Gi-Oh aren’t really “clone franchises” other than in the sense that they both spawned anime series and collectible card games. You’re looking for Pokemon/Digimon!

      • Mr. A

        A history he never finished, you’ll notice. He started in media res with the death of the company in 1972, jumped back to the start of the company in the summer of 1954, and only got as far as the winter of ’55/’56.

  5. J.J. O'Malley

    If memory serves me right (and I’m sure I’m leaving something out), Atomik’s roster of titles includes the Silver Age holdover Mr. Sponge; Mopey and Darwin’s “original” characters Atomic Ape, Inedible Pulp, Rip Tide, Scorch, The Stardusters, and of course the Suba-Side Squad; and Min-dull and Ruby’s Wayback Wendy. Are they even publishing a Miss American series? Chester saying this crap…er, crop of books is “creator-owned” is damning with faint praise, indeed.

    Also…Hey, everyone, Chester was in the crowd the whole time! I though he was with his “bullpen” at the Atomik booth. Is there an Atomik booth? There are thousands of comics fans wandering around the convention floor…a booth might be a good idea.

    • Mr. A

      As Gerard Plourde pointed out above, Pete’s work on Mr. Sponge was at a different company, not Atomik. As for Miss American, I think she had a special appearance in a Wayback Wendy issue? But I don’t think she has her own ongoing title, or if she does they’ve never mentioned it.

      Oh, and let’s not forget The Sunset Kid.

    • Wait, did AK publish Mr. Sponge? Have we seen a Sunday cover? The last time I thought Sponge was mentioned was when Pete was fired from the company that owned Sponge. Was Chester able to buy the rights for what was, apparently in-universe, a very successful character?

      • ComicBookHarriet

        Son of Stuck Funky. The only place online where you can listen to multiple people ponder, research, and carefully hash out which fictional comic book companies in a fictional universe own which fictional comic book characters, and the nature of the acquisition of each terrible pun-filled IP.

        Miss American was published by Captiol Comics BTW. which, as we learned in a strip on February 12 last year, sold the rights to their characters to Zepplin Comics, (Is that a Hindenberg pun? IE the company crashed and burned?) who then sold out to Chester.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Everything in Funky Winkerbean is whatever the plot needs it to be at that moment. And because Batiuk can’t keep any of this shit straight. As BTS mentioned, he wrote an 11-part history of Batom Comics, which you think would serve as a universe bible. But it’s just as rambling and incoherent as everything else he writes.

  6. Jeff M

    Oh dear, this means they’re going to come up with a new “book” together to be published by Atomix…

    • erdmann

      Of course it will be “The Subterranean,” which Phil has been toting around since 1954, having been too angry at his former employer to bother trying to publish through someone else. He and Flash will bury the hatchet and will work together on the book which Chester will eagerly publish under the Atomik colophon. Conveniently ignored will be the fact that Phil created the Subterranean on his own, meaning Flash should have no claim of proprietary interest. Otherwise the whole affair would quickly devolve into a dispute over how much ownership Flash retains of any work he does on the book.

    • J.J. O'Malley

      Since Battyuk went to a lot of trouble earlier in this lunacy to show Flashback Phil coming up with a new character called The Subterranean, I think there’s an even chance that will be the erstwhile collaborators’ “comeback” series.

  7. erdmann

    “I came here to disrupt this event because I’m angry at you for something someone else did and which you had no power to prevent. Something that affected you just as much as it affected me.” Ok then. It’s confirmed: Phil’s a loon.
    Also, everyone is still ignoring the elephant in the room. Phil. Faked. His. Death. Why is NO ONE there talking about this?

    • Charles

      There was a small discussion yesterday about how Batiuk doesn’t really address what people would find to be the important details in a circumstance that he creates.

      My feeling is that when he comes up with a story, he simply creates bullet points concerning the points/elements/issues he wants to address, and whether or not it’s realistic or what actual people would be concerned with if thrust into this situation is irrelevant.

      So he wants Flash and Phil to reconcile and start making comics for Atomik Komix, apparently because Mopey and Darin weren’t interesting enough doing it or something. So he only has bullet points addressing those particular points to accomplish that goal. You’ve got the pretext for Flash being at Comic Con. You’ve got the setup for Phil being there. He wants to highlight certain elements like creator control of their characters and recognizing the genius of Flash and Phil.

      But explaining why Phil faked his death or what the backstory was concerning that wasn’t one of the bullet points, so it never gets addressed. The fact that it would be just about the ONLY thing anyone would be discussing in a realistic scenario is irrelevant. Batiuk has his things that he wants addressed and that’s not one of them.

      If I want to give him some credit, more than he deserves, I could imagine that he actually did think about addressing it, but the entire story got bogged down in that plot, which would leave out the elements he wanted to write about, so instead he just decided not to address it at all.

      That’s making a mighty assumption that he actually thinks about anything like that in the first place, which certainly isn’t assured.

  8. be ware of eve hill

    Noooooooo!!! This isn’t what wanted at all! Look at all those hideously deformed people in panel #1 with tears of joy in their eyes. Smiling faces everywhere. Even Ruby, whose moment in the sun has been completely overshadowed.

    I wanted Phil Holt to be arrested for income tax evasion, tax fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, desecration of a corpse, transporting a corpse across state lines without a permit… something… anything. I just wanted Phil Holt to be led away in handcuffs. He’d look at Mindull and Mopey Pete, and say “I would have gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for those meddling kids!”

    Oh well, hand Ruby a broom to sweep up after the panel. Sweeping is women’s work. Then she can use it to fly off.

  9. Are they filming a commercial for AK at somebody else’s panel? RUDE!

  10. Banana Jr. 6000

    Why does any of this shit matter? If Phil Holt wanted Batom Comics to share the ownership of “The Subterranean” with him in 1956, there’s nothing that Flash Freeman could — my God, am I seriously talking about this?

    Again, this looks like a pro wrestling stunt, with Flash and Holt as the face and heel, respectively. Everyone else has cleared the stage and given them the mic. Ruby must be very kayfabe. I like to imagine Phil and Flash talking to each other like this:

    • Rusty Shackleford

      You want to see a throw down? Check out tomorrow’s Mary Worth.

      FW has been a total snooze fest.

  11. erdmann

    And another thing… (said the curmudgeonly old comic book fan)
    What are the odds that once Phil and Flash are working at Atomik, someone (probably Pete) will point out they are like Pete and Dimbulb’s Earth-Two counterparts and that having them all under one roof is tantamount to a classic JLA-JSA team up?
    A lot of people won’t get the reference. I will, and I’ll hate myself all the more for it.

  12. Hitorque

    1. For the record, Mega (i.e., Marvel) Comics publishes The Amazing Mr. Sponge after they bought the creative rights cheap from some other publisher who killed off the character… It was Pete who was given the job of bringing him back to life, and despite moping and complaining the entire time he was surprisingly successful.

    2. Okay, I get it — We’re seeing Funkyverse retcon-in-progress here. Phil Holt never died, he was never destitute, he gave that artwork to Darrin as a donation for Lisa’s Legacy, the Force Spirit talking to Lisa was a pure invention of Darrin’s wild imagination and the entire world assumed Phil was dead because he’s a hyper antisocial douchebag loner recluse so he decided to drop off the radar, stop contact with everyone, and become a fire ranger in one of those solitary towers in the Deschutes National Forest for five years… Now I never have to ask about the so-called “death” again…

    3. Can the moderator please do his job and reel this shit back into the boat?

    4. Fuck you Chester for shamelessly pimping your little vanity boutique niche faux-retro comics print shop at ComiCon, no less. The crowd ain’t here to listen to your elevator pitch… If you want to talk business with Phil, do it outside! And if you want to hawk your comics, go man a fucking exhibitor booth!

    5. And again fuck you Chester for assuming some 90-year-old retiree is so desperate for your little pity job offer that he’s going to drop everything and relocate to Cleveland…

    5a. It’s funny because Pete is supposed to have total autonomy at Atomikkk Komixxx, and that includes choosing the staff he wants to work with, and yet here’s Chester stealing the show again…

    6. Wow… Ruby, Flash and Phil all at Atomikkk Komixxx… Just when you thought the work ethic in that office couldn’t get any worse….

    • The Duck of Death

      I, for one, am there for Philholt’s reaction to Rubella’s constant playing of the 78 of Hoagy Carmichael’s “Stardust.”

      Just existing seems to have him in an overwrought state of rage. If anything could push him into going postal, it’d be a rapidly degrading shellac disc being played over and over and over.

    • Charles

      3. Can the moderator please do his job and reel this shit back into the boat?

      Yeah, no kidding. This would be hilarious if it turned into a Joe Kapp/Angelo Mosca situation as these two 97 year old men just started beating the shit out of each other over something that happened 66 years ago. Tables get flipped. People start screaming. Ruby gets pushed out of her chair again. And Mopey, Darin and Mindy start fighting over who created what because no one actually decided who created what and what credit they deserved, since that part of Atomik Komix is run as half-assed as everything else. Cops get called in. Everyone gets teargassed and Atomik Komix and everyone associated with them gets banned from future ComicCons.

      I could get behind it.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        There’s even precedent for this: Pete taking all the credit for the “Stardusters” franchise that Ruby and Mindy helped create.

      • Mr. A

        “And Mopey, Darin and Mindy start fighting over who created what because no one actually decided who created what and what credit they deserved, since that part of Atomik Komix is run as half-assed as everything else.”

        I’ll do you one better: Atomik Komix works are only creator-owned when it is convenient for the plot.

        Remember when Chester got really jazzed about the idea of Atomic Ape having a kid sidekick? Remember how Pete, the guy writing the thing, absolutely despised that idea? If Atomic Ape is creator-owned, why didn’t Pete tell Chester to go pound sand?

  13. Lum

    This reminds me of the rift between the creators of “Hello, Larry”. Man, was that intense.

    • Hitorque

      What happened?

      • Lum

        One of them faked his death then showed up at M*A*S*H convention wearing a Lost in Space robot costume and said Kim Richards threatened the writers on a daily basis to give her more lines but that wasn’t the kind of lines she meant and Maclean Stevenson raced off the stage toward the guy…I just can’t go on…

  14. J.J. O'Malley

    “The characters at Atomik Komix are all creator-owned”? That has to be because DC, Marvel, and Image–not to mention Archie, Boom!, Dark Horse, IDW, and whoever publishes those Jack Chick pamphlets–took one look at Mopey and Durwood’s “original” creations and said “Thanks, but no thanks!” Heck, even Solon Comics would have turned them down.

  15. Jimmy

    I think I’m in the wrong room. Can someone point me to the one with the preview of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force reboot?

  16. Charles

    Chester really would be a pariah at these events.

    Remember that Gross John knew about his background, which would suggest that it’s not something that Chester keeps secret. So Chester is this hugely wealthy man who throws his weight around these circles, and his entire estate was built on stolen comic books. The only reason he is wealthy is because he stole comic books from his employer that later turned out to be valuable.

    Atomik Komiks was built on stolen property. The IP he’s acquired was acquired with illicit funds. And he’s called Chester the Chiseler because he uses his stolen wealth to win auctions and buy rare comic items and comic-adjacent items that other enthusiasts would presumably be interested in owning.

    The fact that his petty larceny wasn’t discovered until after the statute of limitations had ran out on his thievery would probably not matter much to these people. His massive wealth is illegitimate, and everything he’s involved with is tainted as a result.

    I don’t think “Oh yeah, I stole enough that I can afford to sign away rights to characters my company creates” would be as impressive and as praiseworthy a brag as Batiuk seems to think it is.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      It’s also built on Tom Batiuk’s complete ignorance of how comic book collecting works.

      Everything Chester owns is “gem mint” – an extremely rare grade that commands elite prices. Whenever characters in Funky Winkerbean are gawking at how much a comic book sold for, they’re giving you the price for an exceptional grade, which they never point out. Most comic books aren’t gem mint the day they’re printed, because this grade extends to things like production flaws. And Chester’s collection sure as hell isn’t gem mint if he reads them as much as the bozos in this town do.

      As an example, I’ll use Flash #282 from February 1980. This is the most recent entry in Batiuk’s blog, and comparable to what Chester would have been able to pilfer from a store as a child. This comic book doesn’t even exist in gem mint condition. The highest is 9.8, “Near Mint/Mint.” See http://cgcdata.com/cgc/search/title/:Flash:/issue/282/label/all/orderby/year/variants/yes/census/210720/

      Unless Chester is extremely old – and hey, it’s the Funkyverse, he probably is – then nothing he collected during his childhood has accumulated enough value to make him as wealthy he is. The aforementioned Flash #282 sells for $10 to $100 at the grades in which it exists. Not bad for a $0.40 investment, but you’d need to pull off the Lufthansa heist from Goodfellas to accumulate enough copies to build this much wealth. Or get lucky and have one of the rare volumes that has attracted top-level collector interest.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Stop using reality to spoil Batty’s wet dream.

      • Hitorque

        To be fair, we can’t forget Batiuk established that Chester sold off his childhood stash of stolen comics when he was in his late teens/early 20s and dumped it into the stock market — THAT is where his millions came from…

        And of course with all that spare time and disposable income, over the years he systematically rebuilt his comics collection and then some, so at least Batiuk covered that base.

        Although I do find it difficult to understand why a single millionaire with a mansion, a butler, a cook, a chauffeur, a swimming pool and a tennis court and God knows what else doesn’t have armies of attractive eligible women beating down his door with a sledgehammer, nor do I understand why such a proven Wall Street Whiz Kid who has *always* made money doesn’t have his own show on CNBC, but that’s a discussion for another time

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Batiuk established that Chester sold off his childhood stash of stolen comics when he was in his late teens/early 20s

          Which makes the whole story even less plausible, because it leaves only a 10-15 year window for Chester’s stolen comic books to have gained this massive amount of value. Or they didn’t gain much at all, and his real gains were in the stock market. But that goes against the mythology of it all.

        • The Duck of Death

          You wonder why Chester isn’t surrounded by women? Look, a gold-digger will put up with a lot to get to that payday. Infidelity; venereal disease; an unwashed slob with a flatulence problem; a shrivelled old man with bony, icy hands feeling her up while she pretends to enjoy it — gold digging ain’t for sissies.

          But asking a woman to put up with the endless roundelay of comix trivia –> smirks –> comix condition minutia, complete with orgasmic renditions of the words “slabbed” and “mint” –> smirks –> repeat… No. No gold-digger on earth could put up with that for any length of time, for any amount of money.

        • Charles

          I’d buy the idea that Chester made his money through stock market using the proceeds from his illicit comic books, but that still doesn’t make him and his wealth legitimate, and the only time we’ve been shown him needing to dip into his reserves, he didn’t sell investments to raise the money, he sold comics and…. seed catalogs (wtf).

          • The Duck of Death

            Presumably the “lucrative stock investments” were some form of money-laundering. Yet another loathesome creep Batiuk presents as a partial Gary Stu.

  17. I’m going to indulge in a bit of speculation regarding Batiuk’s “ownership” issue. I will cheerfully admit that this is probably all wrong.

    There’s a brand of marching shoes with Dinkle’s name on them. I think that this deal was worked out when the FW characters were still owned by the syndicate, so that Batiuk gets some money, but not all the money.

    The reason I think this is that Batiuk is not shy at all about promoting his stuff…yet the Dinkle shoes are never mentioned. You’d think that, as often as Dinkle appears, Batiuk would throw in a “and don’t forget proper footwear!” bit every now and then. But as mentioned, they are never mentioned. Not even in an aside on his blog entries.

    I think that’s where his ownership obsession comes from. Why, if not for that darn syndicate, we’d have Funky Winkerbean breakfast cereal with little marshmellow Les heads (“with the great taste of despair!”).

    Again, probably totally wrong in all details.

    • The Duck of Death

      I dunno, Beck. It sounds 100% authentic and reasonable to me. Now that I think about it, it’s totally incongruous that we’ve been subjected to dozens of pitches for Lisa’s Larceny and Lisa’s Larceny 5Ks, and countless book signings in which “Les” is heaped with praise for “Lisa’s Story” — yet never a mention of the Dinkles shoes. Your theory explains it perfectly, and also explains the endless, tiresome, eye-rolling score-settling in this strip.

      What I want to know is: Is there really that much money in a marching-shoe franchise?

      Because I’m thinking of starting a strip about a zany mechanic. (I figure wrenches, pliers, and screwdrivers must outsell band marching shoes by a huge margin.) “Zoltan the Mechanic” is obsessed with tightening lug nuts! You love him in the syndicated “Mechanic Panic” strip, seen taped on the walls of auto repair shops and factories all over the country — now buy his exclusive “Zoltan” branded tools! Available at a Lowe’s near you! CHA-CHING!!

    • Gerard Plourde

      I think you’re on to something here. Looking at the Dinkles company history on their web site, the already-existing company started using the Dinkles brand name in 1986. That was four years before TomBa killed off John Darling.

      Now it is possible that when TomBa acquired the rights to the FW characters the rights to the existing licensing agreement may have transferred to him as well, but the royalties payout rate would already be established and probably only amount to a couple of hundred dollars a year. I can imagine TomBa thinking every time a check arrives that he could have negotiated a sweeter deal.

  18. Banana Jr. 6000

    This is another one of Tom Batiuk’s obnoxious, self-serving fantasies: he thinks talent is the only thing that matters.

    Phil Holt has shown himself to be a petty, dishonest, demanding, greedy jackass. And Chester can’t throw money at him fast enough. Even Ruby tries to recruit him, by telling him he can get the ownership he wants, even though her ownership was an exceptional case. Nobody would want this guy around, no matter how talented he is.

    Batiuk blames the Comics Code for his failure to be hired by the Marvel company in about 1973. And he’s still bitter about it. But it’s pretty obvious that Batiuk’s attitude was, and is, a big problem. He took it for granted that Marvel would hire him. He expected an immediate promotion to the Spider-Man job he wanted. He refused to follow the Comics Code, and/or was ignorant of it. He refuses any editorial oversight. He demands complete ownership and control over everything. He has no concept of teamwork. He’s only interested in making covers and inventing new franchises, not writing any actual stories. He does zero quality control on his own work, while being extremely critical of others. He does not accept criticism or even feedback. He uses his work to promote his opinions and settle perceived slights. He puts no effort into anything. He shows no willingness to learn from others. And his ego is completely untethered from reality.

    You’re probably thinking back to co-workers you had that were like this. Nobody wants people like Phil Holt or Tom Batiuk around. It took me a long time to accept this in my own life. I used to think ability trumped all. Because if you’re good at standardized testing, the American education system feeds you that bullshit all the time. I didn’t have real success in life until I improved my attitude and my people skills. And encountered arrogant jerks who were a shining example of what I didn’t want to be. Personality, teamwork, and cultural fit mean a lot in the corporate world. If you hire the right people, their talent can be developed.

    • hitorque

      The really disturbing part is I think deep down Chester could give less than a rat’s ass about what 89-year-old Phillip Holt could contribute to Atomikkk Komixxx. All he cares about is the prestige and uniqueness of having him on staff and all the boasting he’d be able to do at all the big corporate conglomerate comics labels…

      It’s only now that I realize that Pete+Darrin+Mindy and Ruby+Frequent Visitor Flash and hopefully Phil ARE LITERALLY AN EXTENTION OF HIS COMICS “COLLECTION”!! CHESTER HAGGLEMORE IS NO LONGER CONTENT TO COLLECT COMIC BOOKS AND MEMORABILIA, HE’S EXPANDED TO COMICS CREATORS! GOD DAMN THAT’S SICK!!

      • Anonymous Sparrow

        In the current *Dick Tracy* story, the villain, Mr. Archival, a wealthy cartoon art collector, has kidnapped the cartoonist Vera Alldid for his collection, along with Mysta Chimera, Alldid’s inspiration for his “Mars Maid” character.

        It’s clear there that it’s sick.

        Gosh, I feel like re-reading John Fowles’s *Collector* and listening to the Jam’s “Butterfly Collector.” Do you think Cayla will supply me with milk and cookies while I do?

    • be ware of eve hill

      Comics code? It’s painfully clear Marvel Comics didn’t hire Batiuk due to a complete lack of talent. Talk about delusions of grandeur.

      A writer? What possible skills and experience did he think he was bringing to the table?
      Batiuk: (Pompously) “Well, I’ve been reading comic books since I was a child. I already have a lot more experience in comic book lit than a lot of the guys in your bullpen. I know I can do better!” (smirk)
      Join the club, Tom. Hundreds of thousands of people, if not more, read comic books over that span.

      Why was he trying to get hired as a writer? That’s not even, as he says, in his “wheelhouse.” His college degree was a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, majoring in painting. By the way, has anyone ever viewed a painting of Tom’s? I haven’t. You’d think, given his pompous nature, he’d brag about some of his works. “I made this!”

      Judging by his awkward phrasing and sometimes incomprehensible writing style, I doubt his education in writing exceeded Freshman English. Most likely passed with a “C” grade.

      His artistic skills aren’t anything to write home about, either. The early Funky Winkerbean strips have artwork that is passable for a comic strip but would be ridiculously crude for a comic book. I am disturbed by the closeness of the character’s eyes he drew. Quite often the character appeared to have both eyes on one side of their face. Ewwww. The fact he hired Chuck Ayers to draw the strip proves he doesn’t have the “chops” to draw a daily comic strip that’s “a quarter inch away from reality.”

      • be ware of eve hill

        Speaking of Chuck Ayers, we know by the Sunday comic strips he can produce quality artwork. I could swear Chuck is lovingly coloring the Sunday strips by hand. What’s up with the massive quality drop of the weekday strips? The artwork totally blows this week. Does he pump out a month of FW strips in one day? Close enough for “Batiuk work”?

  19. Professor Fate

    Ye Gods what a mess – i mean one does expect a FW plot to wander off into nonsense and fail to address questions like why did Phil and Flash fall out , why did Phil fake his death (as elsewhere noted this is a dam huge elephant in the room) and what exactly was his point in re-emerging now? Instead we get a bizarre exchange about intellectual property (I work with contracts so I can’t tell how how thrilling this is in real life) with Chester’s deus ex machina solving a problem that wasn’t what the story such as it was was about.
    I fully expect that now that the Author has tasted the cheap thrills of bringing back folks from the dead, I fully expect to find out that John Darling who was murdered is back among the living.
    A complete mess. At least the last time we ended with the murder chimp.

  20. Suicide Squirrel

    You too can be like Tom Batiuk and own all of the characters in your very own comic strip! Here’s the kit you’ve all been waiting for! Just send a photocopy of the receipt proving your purchase of the entire “The Complete Funky Winkerbean” collection and $100 to Tom Batiuk. Don’t delay! Do it today!

    Sexy model: “Oh Tom, you’re wonderful!”