Aside from Les, Cayla, and their offspring, about the only other folks not seated at Harriet Dinkle’s massive Thanksgiving table were the Atomik Komix Krewe. Maybe it was necessary for them to work through the holiday: after all, AK is a booming comics publisher, regularly pushing out new titles, operated by a staff of six people with a median age well north of sixty.
It was too much work for yours truly to sit at the computer like Flesh Floppyhead (thanks to snarker Sourbelly for coming up with that moniker!) in today’s strip and look up “gravitational wave theory.” OK: I spent three minutes looking it up, enough time for me to glean that it doesn’t really have to do with the ability of one to “defy gravity.” The letter writer, by the way, can accept a superhero who’s “composed of air…and who needs an airtight suit to encase him,” but must take exception to Doctor Atmos’ also being able to defy gravity. Look, forget about wave theory: according to basic physics, nothing can defy gravity. Except in, say, a comic book. Jeez, what kind of terrible person goes online to complain about comics not following real life?
30 responses to “Cyber Monday”
“Thank you for confirming that the ability to defy gravity is unrealistic. For a moment I feared we had published something that was out of place in the Funkyverse, where the dead return to life without comment, people are terrorized by a heap of walking pizza boxes, our teenagers all look middle-aged and nobody has tried to kill Les Moore.”
Imagine that letter had something to do with how Les Moore is an unlikeable, terrible character and how he should be dropped from the strip because he’s “not realistic.” In addition to the myriad reasons why Les is terrible.
“Hm, maybe I can use this in the strip. Can’t be about Les, though. Hm, how can I shoe-horn this in? Oh–I’ve got it!”
It took me a minute to realize that Flash is replying to the online critic (guffaw) in panel three. Using a different font there might have made things a little clearer but it’s too late for that now. Sometimes a few stray motion lines just aren’t enough, I suppose.
Gravitational Wave Theory = What everybody has observed since the dawn of humanity. In other words, “Dr. Atmos defies gravity. That’s not possible.”
And Floppyhead[TM] responds with, “Yeah, it’s fiction, dumbass.”.
Wow. I guess this counts as content. I can’t wait for a full week of this whole, “Snarkers are nattering nabobs of negativism.”
But will he able to counter the effete corps of impudent snobs when they break out the pusillanimous pussyfooting projector?
So, we can also add the scientific definition of the word “theory” to that ever-expanding roster of things that Battyuk does not understand. He then takes that lack of knowledge and uses it to “craft” a simple-minded joke about nerdy comic book fans questioning the minutiae within the stories they mindlessly devour, a joke that was already old hat when “The Simpsons” did a variation on it in 1997’s “Poochie” episode. Funny how TB seems to simultaneously revere Silver Age comic books and mock the people who read them.
A wizard did it!
I’ll give TB this… today’s strip is definitely within his “quarter-inch from realty” standard. This really is just about as interesting as watching someone answer e-mails in real life.
“I just read your new Dr. Atmos comic, including the overly prolix prelude where you go into excruciating detail about what makes this book different from other books today. How, after several decades of work and retirement, and after Phil Holt’s faked death, you were able to put your years of expertise and pure passion into the project, unfettered by the demands of mass market appeal by ignorant management or shareholders.
Then I got to page 3, where you had Dr. Atmos explain that his ability to defy gravity came from the suit.
Then I got to page 4, where you had Dr. Atmos explain that his ability to defy gravity came from his being composed of air.
Then I got to the end, and I noticed that his ability to defy gravity had no relevance to the rest of the story.
So, I am asking you in earnest – is this comic an honest result from what you consider to be a “passion project”? Is this what you had really wanted to make all of these years? This?”
That’s a burn hot enough to ignite air…
The only thing more pathetic than some online troll asking an obvious bullshit trolling non-question is Buzzcut Freddie Freeman taking the time to answer it…
Look, I’m a reformed Twitter troll and I know a lot of celebrity accounts like to butt heads with whiny nerds, geeks, trolls and other assorted basement dwelling losers (William Shatner and David Crosby I’m looking in your direction), so while he thinks he’s being glib, believe me all Buzzcut Don’t-Call-Me-Gordon Freeman is doing is justifying this dude’s existence and giving him another notch on his keyboard.
If Batiuk or any other comics author I’ve railed against over the years (including but not limited to: Luann, RMMD, Judge Parker, Phantom, Gilberto Tharpe, Nine Dickweed Lane, Marcus Trailus, A3G, FBOFW, Family Circus, Zits, SixChixSux, Dick Tracy, Mary Worth, Pluggers, Gasoline Alley, etc.) ever took the time to respond to me directly, all I’d do is shake my damn head…
FWIW, I always assumed Freewheeling Flash would be *WAY* too fucking busy with comics industry shit, financial matters and his geek celebrity status from being one of the few remaining survivors of the Golden Age (It’s ironic because when I see Flash I instantly think of some pencil-neck NASA engineer who’s been at Canaveral since the Mercury era) to answer emails or engage on social media personally… I’d have thought Buzzcut would have hired someone who at least screened or more likely wrote the responses for him?
I figure that AK’s customer base is so small that the staff has to engage the few paying customers they have. Even a flame war is a kind of publicity; it might make people wonder what the fuss is about. Incidentally, what evidence has Batiuk provided that AK isn’t Chester Gigglemore’s failing vanity project? I don’t see any mention of tie-in products, or movie/TV studios asking to film any of their properties. You don’t even see Dead Skunkhead wearing an Inedible Pulp t-shirt (unless the stains on his Batman shirt count). AK seems to function at the level of an old Our Gang/Little Rascals installment, where the kids convert an old barn into an industrial venture, talk like business men and barely interact with any adults.
Atomik Komix is Tom Batiuk still being bitter that Marvel wouldn’t hire him in 1973. So he set up a comic book company the way he thinks they ought to operate. Its non-viability speaks for itself.
Sadly, Flash’s “explanation” still has more thought and logic put into it than Goddamn “Phillips 66 Holt” literally coming back from the dead…
YES, WE KNOW HE WAS DEAD BECAUSE BATIUK LITERALLY SHOWED HIM AS A FUCKING GHOST CONVERSING WITH THE GHOST OF ANOTHER DEAD CHARACTER
Isn’t it obvious where this is all going? Batiuk’s going to bring Lisa back from the dead someday. Phil Holt was a trial balloon for it. And since nobody objected to it – because Tom Batiuk has no editorial supervision and refuses to read anything critical of his work – he figures he’s got the go-ahead. Hell, he’s already brought Lisa back once, with the “plane flight phone call” arc. And arguably at other times.
And I welcome it. It’ll be the final proof of what I’ve long suspected – that Lisa’s death sent Les to a rubber room, and most of what we’ve seen since then was his imagination.
Would Harriet have any reason to invite Les other than his “celebrity” status?
I can see it now:
“And here’s Les Moore, famous town asshole, and his wife Not Lisa.”
Seriously, Les couldn’t attend. He was busy stuffing the Thanksgiving hot dogs with peas.
I don’t miss Les not being there, although I would love to see how TB would handle a conversation between Les and Dinkle. Would they just both shout “me, me” at each other and whoever can yell loudest wins?
But it is too bad that Crazy Harry and Donna didn’t show up with the salad dressing.
So who wrote this letter, anyway? A 10-year-old who knows what gravitational wave theory is, or a NASA physicist who reads faux silver age comic books for their scientifically accurate stories? This being Planet Batiuk, I guess it’s the latter.
Maybe Flush Freeman wrote it himself, as filler for their “Letters to the Bullpen” column. I can’t imagine anyone caring enough about AK comics to read enough of an issue to notice any problems.
Eh, I’ve got nothing. I just wandered in to see if anyone could explain today’s “Frazz”.
Someone on GoComics said: “(Jef Mallett) explains it on his Facebook page. He and his wife went to Churchill, Manitoba and did a polar bear expedition. He gets a catalog from ‘Habitrav’ on the regular, offering whales and such, and enjoys that.”
So it a self-serving joke about the cartoonist’s hobby, which is so obscure that it has no internet presence. Uh-oh, Tom Batiuk better look out, someone’s infringing on his turf!
The obnoxious health-conscious Jef the Cyclist featured in today’s Pearls Before Swine is a poke at Jef Mallett.
Stefan Pastis and Jef Mallett are friends.
I never understood the appeal of Frazz. It seems like a strip that’s far too in love with itself.
The Atomik Komix arcs make it hard for me to even snark. It’s like trying to snark a piece of drying dog poo with flies on it. “Ha ha! Look at the flies!” or “LOL, it’s excrement!” would work, I guess, but it hardly seems worth the effort.
I did want to call attention to the Human Moai’s pinching gesture in P2. I believe it warrants a hashtag, since we now have one for this gesture.
Somebody is questioning Dr. Atmos’ ability to defy gravity? Why is that particularly hard to believe? Many superheroes have superpowers that are even more unbelievable.
Take Superman, for example. If you think about it, Superman’s powers just don’t make a lot of sense. Superman allegedly gets his powers from a yellow sun and Earth’s lower gravity. How does that enable him to fly? How does that make him invulnerable? How does that give him x-ray, heat, and telescopic vision? Super hearing? Super breath? If Superman breathes, how does he exist in the vacuum of space? Finally, my all-time favorite one of Superman’s powers, the memory-wipe kiss. 🙄
My dad had a book that contained the origin stories of several superheroes. The original Superman made somewhat more sense. He could lift a car, not move planets. Superman was faster than a locomotive, not the speed of light. He could make prodigious leaps and bounds but did not possess the power of true flight. Kind of a comic book rip-off of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars.
It’s like the writers of Superman insisted he had to be the most powerful Superhero anywhere. Anytime another superhero approached his powers, Superman was the beneficiary of a visit from the superpower fairy.
It’s not a question any human being would really ask. It’s a contrived question Tom Batiuk wishes people would ask, so Batiuk can express his rude, snotty feelings through Flash Freeman’s dialog.
Batiuk does the same thing in his interviews. Have you ever read the Interviews section of funkywinkerbean.com? I guarantee every one of those questions was written, or at least pre-approved, by Batiuk himself. Because his answer to every single question is the same crap he always drones on about. Nothing ever catches him off guard, nothing ever makes him talk about his work in a new way, and certainly nothing ever questions anything. Not even in the mildest way.
Two Funky-related tangents:
1. When part-time FW redesigner/guest artist John Byrne revamped Superman as writer/artist in the late ’80s, he attempted to explain Kal-El’s flight, invulnerability, and other powers as being linked to psionic abilities (the flying was a subconscious form of levitation, and so forth). These ideas are pretty much ignored nowadays, as is Siegel and Shuster’s original proposal that Kryptonians had enhanced strength and durability on their home planet, red sun or no red sun.
2. In a 1967 Flash story that was met with instant derision from fans, it was revealed that an extradimensional “superhero fairy” named Mopee (“Initiate 10th Class of the Heavenly Helpmates”) was responsible for the accident that gave Barry Allen his super-speed.
And to give credit where due and perhaps some finality to today’s entry, sixam from the ck.com comments linked up this story:
“Whatever Jerry thought, it was Mort who now was Superman’s boss as well as his mouthpiece…An MIT class sent Mort a letter from Albert Einstein, who asserted that nothing, not even Superman, could move faster than the speed of light. Mort consulted his “good friend” Isaac Asimov, the science fiction writer, who said that “Professor Einstein’s statement is based on theory. Superman’s speed is based on fact.” Mort knew everyone, or pretended to, and he had no shame promoting himself and his comic book star despite his feigned modesty.”
“Weisinger, a couple of years ago, made up the following story:”Isaac Asimov was asked how Superman could fly faster than the speed of light, which was supposed to be an absolute limit. To this Asimov replied, ‘That the speed of light is a limit is a theory; that Superman can travel faster than light is a fact.'”
I assure you it never happened and I never said it, but it will be repeated, I am quite certain, indefinitely, and it will probably be found in Bartlett’s quotations a century from now, attributed to me, after all my writings have been forgotten.”
Yet again, the strip is little more than plagia- er, an homage to something someone else said, and it turns out to have all been bullshit, and it’s known to have been bullshit for the past 41 years.
Great work finding that.