Legion of Dume

February 27, 2022 at 11:00 pm
You just introduced the Strong Force. Four villains that need to be fleshed out and differentiated. That can get you through an entire 12 issue year, if not more.

Suicide Squirrel
February 28, 2022 at 4:56 pm
New villains for the Elementals Force? Already?…Has the mighty ‘Strong Force’ already been dispatched? Were they defeated on that comic book cover before the story even started?

Pete’s eyebags threaten to engulf his prominent nose.

One of the “contemporary issues affecting young adults” that Batiuk depicts “in a thought-provoking and sensitive manner” is climate change. Jim Kablichnick has long been Batty’s go-to mouthpiece, while more recently, Funky and Les each have held forth on this important topic. Now barely three weeks after they’ved developed a personal, subatomic foe for each of their four elemental heroes, Pete hijacks the newly created franchise with a climate change angle, even leveraging his wildfire survivor cred to make his point.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

35 responses to “Legion of Dume

  1. Huh. So climate change causes bad golf? Wow. Good on Tom Batiuk to alert us to this.

    • Epicus Doomus

      It’s pretty funny how “almost” being affected by the wildfire made a big impact on Pete. He could have ACTUALLY been affected by it, but this way is better, as it’s more half-assed this way.

  2. William Thompson

    So, uh, has the Great Los Angeles Inferno now been reduced to “the Point Dume wildfire?” Were reports of the city’s devastation greatly exaggerated? Keep shrinking it, Mopey, until global warming becomes a trivial threat your superhero strike force clean-up crew can handle.

  3. Epicus Doomus

    Ugh, I think I’m gonna be sick. These climate change arcs never go well. They never entertain, amuse or generate any weak chuckles, either. And Flash, Phil and Pete are in it, which makes it even worse.

    But seriously, this issue really hits home with Pete, as he grew up in Westview, where it snows for months on end and everyone knows someone with a badly-scratched cornea from the annual leaf fall. You can’t go outside at all for six or seven months out of the year, and when you do there’s an excellent chance you’ll be caught in a torrential downpour. So having some comic book heroes tackle this complex and controversial issue is the least he can do.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Or educate. Good ol’ Mark Trail had those great Sunday strips with the nice animal drawings and the little factoids that were always worth a read. Funky Winkerbean does nothing but whine and preach, in the most vague, uninformative manner possible. And all its motives are selfish and transpatent. Batton Thomas might as well turn to the camera and say “Save the planet so I have a place to read The Flash #123!”

      It’s the worst kind of showy, yuppie, Prius-driving, Brian Griffin environmentalism, except it doesn’t do anything as minimally helpful as driving a Prius. It’s like Mr. Mackey’s “global warming is bad, mmmmkay?” except it’s dead freaking serious. And it wants an award for it.

  4. Lord Flatulence

    They’re both thinking “what a dipshit.”

  5. Sourbelly

    Hellish artwork today. 7-phingered Petey expands in every panel, until he towers over Phlush Phloppyhead and Philled Hole in the phinal panel.
    I do like the fact that Phlush has fallen asleep in panel 3. I think we can all relate to that.

  6. “Pim, can we watch something else?”

    • ComicBookHarriet

      “Shh shh shh, it’s about to get laughably cringe…it’s about to get laughably cringe. Trust me.”

  7. Y. Knott

    Funky Winkerbean: The award-eligible comic that will have you cheering for climate change!

    • Epicus Doomus

      “Paw! It stopped snowing for an HOUR now! I’ve never SEEN anything like this before!”

      (Shakes head sadly while lighting pipe) “We’ve really done it now, we’ve destroyed the whole damn planet (sniff).”

    • billytheskink

      It’s true! After seeing how the Point Dume fire threatened to kill Les and Co., I started my very own backyard tire fire to contribute to the cause (all while listening to you know who…)

  8. Hitorque

    Wait… So now we’ve gone back to “The Fire That Ate Southern California” being Funkyverse canon again after everybody pretended it didn’t happen?

    And how many of his millions of dollars has Peter Rattabastardo been donating to the Sierra Club? How carbon neutral is he running his business? Don’t a lot of trees have to die for him to create his sacred comic books?

    And if Peter is so big on fighting climate change, why isn’t he writing his own comic about it? God knows he’s published enough titles with an even flimsier setup…

    • Epicus Doomus

      “You know, I didn’t really give climate change much thought over the last several decades, but almost being directly affected by it in a roundabout way gave me a whole new perspective”. Yeah, sure Pete, whatever you say.

  9. billytheskink

    It’s funny because Pete thinks these two quarrelsome and generally repugnant childless nonagenarians care what happens to the planet after they’re gone.

  10. J.J. O'Malley

    “Don’t you realize how serious the effects of global climate change are? Look at my face! Before getting caught up in the Point Dume Wildfire I was known as Wide-Eyed Pete!”

    By the by, how much heat and electricity does it take to keep the Atomik “Bullpen” offices running for a current staff of six people who could just as easily do their work at home and send art and scripts to each other online?

    Looking forward to watching the next Sunday cover featuring the E-Force (Lord, please don’t let Batiuk borrow that!) tackling such timely meteorological menaces as Greenhouse Gasser, the Phantom Carbon Phootprint, Dee Forester, and the twins El Nino and La Nina.*

    *To be fair, in the first year or so of their Silver Age publication history DC’s Justice League of America fought no fewer than 10 previous unseen foes (Starro the Conqueror, the Weapons Master, Amazo, Despero, Dr. Destiny, and so forth) in one-and-done stories. It was over at Marvel where recurring foes (Sub-Mariner and Dr. Doom for the Fantastic Four, Magento for the X-Men) were a team book staple.

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      Dr. Destiny fought the Justice League four times in the series’s first one hundred issues (Nos. 5, 19, 34 and 61)

      Contrast with Dr. Doom, who fought the Fantastic Four in issue Nos. 5, 6, 10, 16, 17, 23, 39, 40, 57, 58, 59, 60, 84, 85, 86 and 87, to say nothing of 1964 Annual. He also orchestrated the villainous assault in the 1965 Annual. (Not a dream wedding, by any stretch of the imagination. maybe if Reed and Sue had dressed like the Batman and Robin, things would have been different.)

      Magneto, for what it’s worth, is in eight of the fist twenty issues of *The X-Men (Nos. 1, 4, 5, 6, 7,, 11, 17 and 18).

      A long absence for a villain can make their return welcome, as with the Red Skull in *Captain America.* Whether this would make us glad to see Susan Smith again is hard to say.

  11. ComicBookHarriet

    So now the Elemental Force will just be a BLATANT ‘Captain Planet’ knock off?
    All they need is a ‘heart’ character and the ability to combine and summon a blueberry lime flavored Donny Osmond.

  12. Banana Jr. 6000

    Hey, remember way back in February 2022, when Funky Winkerbean and Tom Batiuk’s blog spent all that time telling us how great the Strong Force were, and blatantly fishing for compliments for them? And now it’s just “oh, they’re completely unsuitable, we need another week to make another set of comic book villains.” For the same set of clone heroes Batiuk blatantly ripped off from his own friend!

    We’re supposed to have all this regard for those in-universe comic book characters, when Batiuk himself throws them out the minute after he creates them so he can create something else. And nobody in the story even acknowledges this. Nobody says “Uh, guys, didn’t we just do this? We’re just going to pretend that this is unsuitable and act like it was some prior regime”s short-sightedness?”

    And these are the people who are going to lecture us about using resources responsibly? What about all the time, paper, ink, and electrixity you spent shoving Meson and Hadron down our throats?

  13. be ware of eve hill

    Hey kids! Guess what time it is? IT’S PULITZER PUSH TIME!!!

    LOL, here we go again. Funky Winkerbean, featuring contemporary issues affecting young adults presented in a poorly-researched and ham-fisted manner.

    Where’s the associated puff piece? I guess the NYT Blocked Batty’s phone number after the Bull Bushka CTE debacle.

    I’m with @ComicBookHarriet. This is going to be totally cringe. I’m going to keep a runny tally of facepalms.
    🤦‍♀️ That’s one.

  14. Hannibal's Lectern

    “I saw the effects of climate change firsthand when we were almost caught up in the Point Dume wildfire!”

    No, Pete, you did not see “the effects of climate change,” you saw a wildfire. Occasional wildfires are part of the Southern California ecosystem. To see climate change, you would have to spend some time researching how the size, intensity and frequency of wildfires has changed over the years, and how that correlates with CO2 levels in the air. In other words, you would have to research something… and, unfortunately, “research” is a word not found in your creator’s vocabulary.

  15. be ware of eve hill

    Son of Stuck Funky, thank you for being here. You’re my ONLY source for Funky Winkerbean PERIOD.

    The entire Comics Kingdom website is stuck on 2/28. I did not receive my daily Comics Kingdom email featuring all of my favorite strips this morning.

    My guess is the CK thought this year was a leap year. The servers self-destructed when there as no 2/29 on the 2022 calendar.

    • Will

      CK has been flakier than usual lately. I had the same problem a couple of weeks ago, and clearing my cookies helped. I pointed out to them in their survey that the basic functions on their website will need to be a helluva lot better before I’d even consider paying for the membership they keep desperately flogging.

      • be ware of eve hill

        I, unfortunately, am a subscriber. I just started my subscription last month before the issues started up. The Comics Kingdom website says you can quit anytime, but the way it is run, I doubt that includes refunding any money.

        The 3/1/2022 comics appear to be visible to me now, but I have yet to receive the daily email of favorites. Both the browsers on my desktop and my phone were stuck on 2/28. Thank you for the suggestion, but I don’t believe it was a browser cache issue this time.

        It seems to me the Comics Kingdom was stable for a long time. The trouble started in the last couple of years. I wonder what changed? New owners? Outsourced I.T.? Did the parade of issues start before or after the website redesign?

        I’ve contacted CK support several times over the past few weeks. They’re closing my problem tickets before fixing my issues.

        Some issues do appear to be getting fixed over time. My favorites page is almost back to normal. Most annoyingly, it no longer sorts by date, so I have to scroll through days-old strips I’ve already seen to read the current day’s offering. The zoom feature has returned, which is good because some Sunday strips are impossible to read without it.

        The archives are still glitchy. Unlike a couple of weeks ago, you can search by date. Some strips appear but won’t open. An attempt to access the archive of some comic strips simply times out.

        Good news. The vintage strips are updating again. They had been stuck on 2/25.

        CK Support told me a recent switch to a new database has been the cause of many issues.


        • Banana Jr. 6000

          CK Support told me a recent switch to a new database has been the cause of many issues.

          What did they change, from MySQL to an abacus?

          That’s a real bullshit answer. And it’s even worse if it’s true. Changing the data backend should not cause this many basic functionality problems. And if it does, the change should be immediately rolled back.

          • J.J. O'Malley

            I think the CK site switched to a Holtron 2000, one that is having an existential crisis of self over the Batiuk strips it’s forced to retain in its memory banks.

          • be ware of eve hill

            The breadth of the issue and the lack of timely repairs make me wonder how big their I.T. department is. One person? Who works in their spare time?

            Several years ago, a company I worked for moved the functionality of their legacy systems from an old mainframe green screen system to a modern new client-server architecture with a pretty user interface. The I.T. department had us test the hell out of the new system in a test environment, in phases, for numerous months, well before the project went live in production environment. If a user tester documented an issue, it was fixed in the test system and retested. In the meantime, the old legacy production system was still up and running until it was no longer needed. When the new client server system went live, there were only a few minor issues. Nothing that effected business.

            Can you imagine what would have happened if the I.T. department installed a buggy system like the Comics Kingdom did? There would be lost productivity, data losses, angry customers and suppliers, quarterly losses and ultimately massive layoffs.

            You can’t use customers as end-user testers. It’s bad business. Who the hell is going to subscribe to their service now?

            It looks like I won the lousy timing award by letting them auto-subscribe me after my trial period ended last month. Where’s my attorney? Is there a class-action lawsuit I can join?

            Perhaps the Comics Kingdom will fold and sell their assets to another comics site that actually works.

  16. Meanwhile, in Crankshaft, they will be contributing to deforestation by bringing back a print version of a newspaper just because that’s the way they’ve always consumed their news and screw technology.

    • J.J. O'Malley

      Not to mention the fact that they’re planning to print a newspaper whose name and IP still, one assumes, belongs to the greedy, heartless hedge fund that bought the original Sentinel and drove One-Armed Willie to resign, even though he could apparently print anything he wanted.

      If Batiuk had written and directed Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” the Bailey Building and Loan would have been bought out by Mr. Potter, but George would have tried to start another one with the same name and same customers, over the advice of his guardian angel Dead St. Lisa.

    • Hitorque

      Ironically if that many people subscribed and contributed and gave a shit the first time around, they’d still have the first paper…

      So where are all these new reporters and editors coming from? Because I think the paper is still a one-man operation?

  17. Suicide Squirrel

    Thanks for the mention in your blog, TFHackett.

    Why is Codger Force even listening to Mopey Pete? Shouldn’t he have received an atomic… I mean Atomik wedgie by now?

    I’d at least like to see Mopey Pete dangling out of a third-floor window by his ankles. Angry irascible curmudgeon Phil, where did you go? Do your thing!

  18. Suicide Squirrel

    Not that I really miss him but whatever happened to the spawn of the Most Holy Dead St. Lisa? Darin and Mopey Pete used to be inseparable. I haven’t noticed Darin since Phil’s resurrection at the Comic-Con.

    Was Darin given the pink slip to make room for Phil?

    Did Darin quit Atomik Komix to become an official mattress tester at the local Mattress Barn with his wife Jessica? If you know what I mean. Wink wink nudge nudge say no more. If they’ll do it in front of Skyler, I doubt any lookie-loo customers will deter them.

    • hitorque

      Yeah, where the hell IS Darrin? Doesn’t he know the actress playing his birth mother was nominated for an Oscar? Where the hell is *HIS* invite to L.A.? Where the hell is *HIS* exclusive interview in “Vanity Fair”?