At least in this case we know that the red blur in the picture isn’t a ball of fire. It’s Holly, in her classic Scapegoat majorette uni. I don’t know what’s worse: a “fireproof” garment that leaves your extremities exposed, or one that’s made out of material that can potentially cause cancer. Why not both?
Asbestos You Can Get
Filed under Son of Stuck Funky
32 responses to “Asbestos You Can Get”
Epicus said it best: “When you stop telling jokes for a while, you forget how.”
These aren’t even technically jokes. It’s just the characters talking about things that WERE jokes, many years ago. They’re more like observations about jokes.
“Hey, remember when that idiot threw his clock out the window? Boy, time sure flew on that day!”.
In all seriousness, it’s not really the worst strip I’ve ever seen, but it’s very jarring to see the word “asbestos” in a comic strip so closely identified with cancer, you know? Like that time Chester had those polonium-contaminated decoder rings. It kind of makes the whole thing sort of uncomfortable in a peculiar way.
Doubly uncomfortable since Holly actually had cancer. TB even actually remembered this a couple of years ago…
Lisa’s Story is a universal story…that’s hilarious. Now this is a funny strip!
Yeah, Holly, it was really a powerful story when Lisa co-opted your entire group’s meeting with Congress to make it about herself.
And Holly is a bit rude there, isn’t she? “I’m sorry, I couldn’t help overhearing this inexplicably high-stakes conversation between an A-list Hollywood actor and my high school acquaintance, in my crappy cafe in BFE Ohio that literally has no other customers. Now, it’s none of my business, but as a greasy spoon waitress, let me give you my expert opinion on what movie you should be making….”
It’s like Harsher In Hindsight, except it’s harsher right now.
September 14, 2021 at 12:00 pm
In a strip that’s “a quarter inch from reality”, it’s horror when someone sets themselves on fire. How is Batiuk going to retcon that? “What a good idea it was that you always wore that asbestos suit under your uniform”?
Sometimes I feel like SOSF has become a predictive organic algorithm for Funky Winkerbean. We’ve been fed so much data, we can see the future.
“I forced a bot to read every Funky Winkerbean strip and then asked it to take over writing all future scripts because half-assing it was taking too much effort.” -Tom Batiuk, probably
And it’s so bright, we’ve got to wear shades!
This is utterly wretched for sure – Child burn victim, carcinogenic uniform, sadistic mom, etc. But it’s still Less awful than the hot garbage we’re usually subjected to. Hmmm…maybe by attitude is affected by the horrifying future shit I see in the banner. Yikes.
As unlikely as it may be, imagine a first-time reader coming upon this strip. They would have no idea why Holly needed an asbestos uniform. Would it really have been so hard to draw some freakin’ flames on her baton?
I think Tom, in his solipsistic way, just assumes everyone has the same background as him and knows what he’s talking about. I went to high school in NYC, and there was no football field, no band leader, no majorettes, and certainly no flaming batons. I would have no idea a flaming baton even existed if not for SOSF posters referreing to Holly’s past. There must be millions like me, assuming this is another made-up thing like talking murder chimps.
Side note: Do high schoolers really twirl flaming batons? Seems like a recipe for fires and lawsuits.
I would say that’s true, except that I would modify it thusly: Tom Batiuk assumes that everyone has the same encyclopedic knowledge of the strip and characters that he himself refuses to have.
My girlfriend in high school was a majorette, and the flaming baton was one of her shticks. She never had any mishaps, though.
Remember that week when Dinkle was having nightmares about selling band turkeys again? In hindsight, that was a better way to revisit an old gag, because we actually got to see him selling the turkeys (via thought bubble) instead of just sitting around and talking about it.
Man, that’s some curvature of the spine in that pic. No wonder Holly always seems hunched over.
Also, I did a little look-up on an abestos injury law firm’s website. Their asbestos timeline features:
1933 – Asbestosis First Reported in America
1934 – Link Between Workplace Asbestos Exposure and Cancer Discovered
1942 – Warnings of Cancer Risk from Asbestos Exposure
1949 – Mainstream Acceptance of Harm Caused by Asbestos
1972-74 – Increased Federal Regulation of Asbestos
…And Holly was wearing these uniforms in the mid-’70s?
The school couldn’t afford new uniforms due to the school levy failing again.
When Holly first put on that uniform, she found a ‘Vote Hoover’ pin in the pocket.
What would happen if the school levy passed?
Would it be the dawning of the Age of Aquarius?
Is Westview ready to let the sunshine in?
If Batty had even a modicum of wit, I’d swear he was straight-up fucking with us now.
He needs to follow it up with one of his snot-dripping blog posts about how he’s single-handedly reinventing the comics medium by writing serious stories.
Thinking about it, I can only conclude that TomBa is totally unaware of the link between cancer and asbestos. Or that somehow an asbestos majorette uniform wouldn’t be carcinogenic. (Admittedly, the risk occurs when the fibers break down, but that would be almost guaranteed to happen given the amount of time Holly wore it and the strenuous activity she was engaged in.)
Also, there’s a large area of her body that’s unprotected.
Finally, and OT – based on the illustration in panel 2, shouldn’t there be a note to the effect that the role of Holly is being played today by Funky Winkerbean?
blah-blah-blah high school, blah-blah-blah cancer. Who cares?
HOWEVER…that Durwood talking to Pete panel in the masthead is hilarious. Well done.
It’s bad enough that he trots out these old gags that were barely funny to begin with, but then he spends a whole week beating them to death, and after they’re dead continues to beat the corpse. The zucchini arc in Crankshaft was a prime example.
…and then he drags the corpse around the block.
The entire Crankshaft overdoes everything meme is overdone.
I wrote “meme”, I meant “story arc”.
Synaptic misfire. Sorry about that.
1. Bodies don’t contort that way, and asbestos protection doesn’t work that way…
1a. I swear if my memory isn’t fooling me, at some point in Act I Holly burnt up the entire band and Dinkle to boot… Did they all get asbestos uniforms?
2. That photo is supposed to be the face of a 17-year-old and it looks horrible. Why can’t TomBa draw credible-looking teenagers anymore?
3. I was really secretly hoping we’d get some of the “Majorette Holly” art from that storyline when Les went back in time at his 40th reunion… Now that was a Holly I could sink my teeth into!!
3a. Am I the only one who prefers to believe that Holly *LIKES* starting fires as some sort of sexual turn-on?
4. Why isn’t organizing family photos a family job? Why is Holly doing all this alone?
4a. Why is EVERY SINGLE PICTURE of Holly in her goddam majorette outfit, in the middle of her goddam fire baton routine? She graduated high school in 1988! She got married! She had children! She survived cancer! She and her husband run a restaurant! Why are there no pictures of anything else she’s done in 51 years of life? (Possibly 61, depending on how you apply the time skips.)
I can’t stand Melinda’s smug/proud expression in panel #3. Your daughter suffers frequent burns to give you some kind of satisfaction as a band mom, and you’re proud? Sometimes I’d like to ring Batty’s doorbell and kick him in the shins.
I’ve written that kick-in-the-shins sentiment about Batty several times, and almost every time an alert fellow commentor advises me to “aim higher”.
Yeah, there’s kind of a “Honey Boo Boo” dynamic hanging over all of this. Melinda (I guess that’s her name) is far more interested in this than Holly is. These photos, presumably taken by Holly’s parents, are focused on twirling fire batons to the complete exclusion of anything else in her life. And she’s at least 50 years old!
Nobody’s childhood photos should be that singularly focused. Certainly not the ridiculous number of photos we’ve seen in this room. Holly could probably throw the pictures all in one box, call it “stupid fire baton pictures” and be done with it. Hey, do you remember Monday when this was about sorting photos?