I guess “sitting!” didn’t last long, and neither did the standard practice of letting the kid tell Santa what he wants. Crazy and Skyler are up and about in today’s strip, and Crazy is shamelessly shilling his employer’s wares. Really? That’s where we’re going with this? Even Hollywood was mocking this exact practice way back when Tom Batiuk was in diapers.
Speaking as someone who was once whatever age Skyler is supposed to be today: expensive static collectible figures made to sit on a shelf, as this “Spidey-Man” appears to be, are not great gifts for children. Kids want something posable that can be thrown back and forth across the living room. A Spider-Man figure that is actually fun to play with has got to be able to punch over some stacked cups, body slam Doc Ock (sold separately), and ride the Spider-Cycle (also sold separately).
40 responses to “Does whatever a shyster can”
I realize they were going for a “wide-eyed wonder” kind of vibe here, but Skyler just looks slow-witted and deranged more than anything else. It’s more disturbing than “cute”, which I assume was the goal with this one. Honestly, given how well it worked out for Morton, it might be time to get Skyler some cigarettes, just to give his cognitive development a quick “kick start”.
As bad as it was, yesterday’s gag was nonetheless a gag and not merely a dumb observation, unlike this one. The “personal shopper” thing is a real reach, even by FW standards, which typically skew low…real low.
Yeah, Skyler is going to be really bummed when he realizes that this is not a toy, it’s a collectable, and as such it will bring delight to Dullard and no one else.
Spider man, spider man, gets as dusty as anything can
Sitting there, on a shelf, just like that, annoying elf.
Look out, there stays the spider-man.
“NO SKYLER! That’s a limited edition Spiderman figurine hand-chiseled from Stan Lee’s femur bone! There are only two hundred of these in existence!”
“No, Skyler, this isn’t a dolly to play with. It stays here, under this moisture-resistant plexiglass case. It can never, ever be touched. Here, play with this lighter instead.”
“What did you say, Skyler?”
“Through the darkness of future past, the magician longs to see. One chant out between two worlds: Fire, walk with me.”
How about this?
By the hoary hosts of Hoggoth
By the Sons of Satannish
Let this Spider-Man vanish!
Free the might from fleshy mire. Boil the blood in heart of fire. Gone, gone the form of flan, Rise the wall-crawler Spider-Man!
(Are you not amused, demon Etrigan? Will you run out of town Phil Holt? Would you do it on a colt? Could he have a coat before you set him on a boat?)
Gentlemen…the line starts here. Come stand in line behind me for these hilarious comments. But know that I was the first to stand in line.
I stand in line for you standing in line.
I get the reference!
This is like observing a cult in action: “Yes, my faithful followers, your child is indeed a devout member of our church! You have indoctrinated him well and shall be rewarded with my best smirk!”
It’s like a 1980s After School Special:
And as soon as Skylab was baptized, He went up out of Komix Corner. Suddenly the comic book heavens were opened, and He saw the spirit of Stan Lee descending like a dove and resting on Him. And a voice from Comic Book Heaven said, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased!”
Then he was driven into the desert, where he fasted for forty days and forty nights, and Steve Ditko came to tempt him.
By “fasted” I assume you mean “didn’t have any comic books.” And Steve Ditko’s temptation was probably “Look at all these digital downloads! Always in mint condition!”
The Biblical comparisons are on point. On the FunkyBlog, Batiuk tells us that Act III came to him in a vision:
On one particular afternoon near the end of (my daily) run, I suddenly saw the future of Funky Winkerbean start to unfold on the big screen inside my head. Not in ideas, not in words, but experienced as something totally different—a landscape. Exactly, do-doo-do-doo, do-doo-do-doo. But there it was, just this rolling terrain a lot like the field around which I was running—except that every rise, every nuance in the landscape represented a beat in the overall Funky Winkerbean big picture going forward. It was like hitching a ride on the arrow of time and being allowed to see everything over the horizon. Much of it involved Lisa, but everything else was there as well. Everything. It would take the better part of a decade before I would finally work my way through all of it.
Apparently this is what God does with his time. It would explain a lot about the world.
You know what’s hilarious about that blog post? The fact that the text page has a big X over it, and the drawing has an X next to it. I would take that to mean “Don’t use these” but who knows what TB’s personal symbols might mean.
Another case of the vast, yawning chasm between what Batiuk thinks he’s doing and what he’s actually doing.
It’s literally insane. It’s detached from reality.
It’s as if the guy at the hot dog cart were lifting your lukewarm hot dog out of the murky hot dog water, dripping onto the now-soggy mass-produced white bun, but he stopped as he was about to hand it to you…. and started rhapsodizing about his adventures in the field of experimental haute cuisine.
“I had a vision. A thousand pigs, clad in iridescent armor made of mother-of-pearl, charged forth on a field of battle. The field was a cloud, high above the peak of Mount Olympus. On the other side were a thousand wingèd cows, their udders spurting thunderbolts as they ran on their hind legs, hurling jeweled golden spears at the pigs. The carnage was dreadful. After the battle, the Götterdammerung of the cloven-hooved demi-deities, I swept up the corpses of the brave porcine and bovine warriors. As I began to contemplate the making of this Sausage of the Gods, I bedecked the fallen warriors with the finest herbs, gathered by hand from the four corners of the earth. Sage plucked from the sunny summer fields of Provence — pepper stolen from a secret Indonesian farm in Bali, sacred to the worship of Shiva — salt gathered at the ebb tide in a grotto where –”
“Shut the fuck up already and give us the goddam hot dog.”
DANG IT DUCK OF DEATH! We’re too deep in the comments…it won’t let me start a new line!
Dear God, that blog. You couldn’t write worse than Batiuk if you tried. He tortures figurative language so much that he should be sent to the Hague.
He had four sentences in a row (excluding one complete nonsense one) where he used three different metaphors to describe his thought process. The guy’s just completely untethered.
And at the same time he’s bombarding you with flowery metaphors, Batiuk still manages to be boring and meaningless. Duck of Death’s parody is full of over-the-top metaphor usage, but at least it conjures up some fun imagery. How the hell do you hitch a ride on the arrow of time to see the rises over the horizon on the rolling landscape on the big screen inside your mind?
And why the hell did the Winnipeg Blue Bombers send Batiuk a football jersey with Ed Crankshaft’s name on it? That’s literally the only interesting thing about that story. Of course, it’s never addressed.
So the horrifically devolved Wee Baby Skylab can only utter one-word sentences, but he’s thoroughly versed in the value of superhero collectible figures. Actually, in Batdick’s world, that makes perfect sense.
The more I see of this arc, combined with every other one he’s done going back at least to the Great Damage-Free Los Angeles Fire shows that he’s tossing these off as quickly as he can so that he can get back to his Flash collection and his tour of Asimov’s Foundation series (And selling his FW compilations).
How many goddam copyrighted logos does Tom Batiuk need to tell this non-story? He’s got Spider-Man, Captain America’s shield, Domo-Kun, the Cleveland Browns helmet, the Batman logo on John’s t-shirt, and another superhero (possibly Superman) with his back to us. A key principle of fair use is “use no more than necessary,” Tom.
A Spider-Man statue that doesn’t do anything cool is the perfect gift for a little boy who only gets to leave the house once every five years.
Personal Note: I have a grandnephew who just turned 4, and when I showed him the online trailer for “Spider-Man: Far from Home,” he was able to call Peter Parker by his correct superhero name, not “SPIDEY-Man.” If we haven’t already, please add “children’s intellectual development” to that massive list of things Battyuk doesn’t or is unwilling to understand.
Also, wait until Darwin and Jessica find out from DSH John that the Spidey-Man statuette little Skycap now has his heart set on is a limited-edition collectible and retails for $399. Boy, if only they had some vintage comic book cover art from The Late Phil Holt that they could sell to raise some money.
If you want to technical DSH (and I know you do…), literally every child who receives presents from Santa Claus has him as their personal shopper.
Sure, but not in person. But then, nobody shops with Santa in person, because that’s not how Santa Claus is said to work. Y’know, it goes with that whole North Pole thing that even Skyler II seems to know about but can’t express in vocal language.
Santa doesn’t buy gifts, he helps make them.
Santa doesn’t buy gifts, he delivers them, on the basis of your wishes.
So yeah, sure, I guess it’s noteworthy when a fictional character doesn’t act in a manner which the fictional character is established as to act. Sure, it’s remarkable. Let’s hope Skyler II remembers it somehow.
It isn’t what personal shoppers do either. And it isn’t a service a child would want; children want to pick out their own toys. All three parts of the statement “Skyler is lucky to have Santa Claus as his personal shopper” are wrong.
Batiuk and Ayers can’t remember how old their characters are, what their last names are, or how to draw them consistently from panel to panel. In some cases characters flip from brunette to blonde and back again.
But Spider-Man, a character that they had nothing to do with creating — THAT character they absolutely nail. On-model and lovingly rendered every single time.
Proving that Chuck still knows how to cut and paste.
Oh the other hand, who is that in the cape? Neither Superman nor Doctor Strange wear red gloves, Superman’s cape doesn’t have a cowl, and Doctor Strange has never worn red boots. And neither one has brown hair, though I guess that could be a helmet.
Maybe it’s Captain Apathy, whose super power is really not giving a damn.
My guess is that this superhero is intentionally generic, even though Batiuk had no problem appropriating Spider-Man, Batman, Captain America, and everything else for this strip.
I don’t get it either.
Either that or it’s a colorist error.
Given the big ol collar, my first thought was a Dr Strange. But he usually doesn’t have big stupid gloves.
So I’m going to put money on a miscolored Dr. Fate. In some versions he also has a big old Dracula collar. And he usually does have gloves.
It is a miscolored Vision Premiere Collection Statue, by Diamond Select toys. Retails for 150.00
Another mystery solved. Well done.
Thank you! Tag changed from “Dr. Strange’s foot bubbles” to “Vision’s foot bubbles”.
I must admit, it took me three viewings before I saw the cape guy. He blended chameleon-like into Crazy’s faux Santa attire. I’m fairly alarmed at my fading pattern recognition abilities.
Once more, with feeling. Listen, I know I’ve said this before, and I know I’m beating a dead talking murder chimp, but the lack of continuity and editorial oversight still drives me batshit insane. I’m trying to stay strong.
DRUNK talking murder chimp.