Blippin’ and Trippin’

April 23, 2022 at 10:53 pm
Passing out from wearing a cheap stupid helmet 18 sizes too small may have had more of an impact on Kwazy Harry’s boring, stupid, pointless psychotic embolism. Whatever. It’s over, right? On to the next thing!

If only. If only! Ya know, snarkers, I was secretly kinda hoping that Tom Batiuk would drag Funky across the fifty year goal line, accept his Gold T-Square (to put with his Inkpot Award), call it a career, and live off the (surely massive) proceeds of the Complete FW volumes he so incessantly flogs. If only! Instead, the comic strip creator who crowed about allowing his characters to age and even to die, has given himeself carte blanche to run around tying up his strip’s countless loose plot threads. And in the cheapest way possible: “it was all just a dream/coma/toxic fume induced fainting spell.”

July 1982


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

39 responses to “Blippin’ and Trippin’

  1. Epicus Doomus

    This arc began three weeks ago with Crazy and Donna talking about Donna’s days as “The Eliminator”, and, three weeks later, they still are. You thought it was over, I thought it was over, but it ain’t over. The thing is, though, that baking in the attic for forty years was supposedly what caused the helmet to off-gas (a Batiukism none of us will ever forget), so how could it have been off-gassing back in 1980? It’s been off-gassing for forty-plus years? What’s that f*cking thing made of, polonium or something?

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Made out of polonium? So is it made from the nuclear bomb rings Chester tried to give away with comic books?

      • Epicus Doomus

        You got the reference! BatHam could have just made it a “magic” helmet with no further explanation, which would have been equally amusing and made just as much sense as this story does. Leave it to him to find a twist so peculiar and so deranged that no one could have possibly seen it coming. Toxic plastic fumes…I mean come on, that’s inventive in a way no other human being would have ever even considered.

        • William Thompson

          “It’s that Revell Polystyrene glue I used to stick the parts together! Everyone knew sniffing glue got you stoned and killed your brain cells! Funny how my mom never hesitated when she wrote a note to the hobby-shop owner giving me permission to buy yet another tube!”

          • Perfect Tommy

            Do yourself a favor and check out the Super Fun Dance Synth Pop song
            “Inhalants” by McGruff the Crime Dog. You won’t regret it.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          I’m reminded of the movie Big. The mechanism of how the 13-year-old boy became an adult, and what he had to do to reverse it, are surprisingly unimportant. It’s practically an Excuse Plot. But nobody minds, because the charm of the movie is in watching Tom Hanks react to suddenly becoming an adult. Zoltar might as well have been magic.

          If Harry had been doing something interesting in the past, we wouldn’t care how he got there. Batiuk spent a month boring us with Lisa and comic books. And now he’s going to spend another week boring us with the workings of the Eliminator helmet. Which in turn built off the boring retelling of the needless “I had to hide my gender” story.

          Batiuk’s storytelling errors compound on each other. Every bad choice leads to another bad choice.

  2. Sourbelly

    Crap on a stick.

    Do I ever get tired of being wrong? Yes. Yes, I do.

    Also, more about off-gassing vs. out-gassing. Neither have anything to do with…you know.

  3. Gerard Plourde

    I know that I sound like a broken record, but nothing written about the effects of out-gassing would support either Donna or Harry experiencing hallucinations. (Admittedly, there are other substances that they could have been ingesting at the same time that would produce hallucinations, but I’m sure TomBa doesn’t want us to think that anyone who structures their lives around comic books would consume those.)

  4. Hitorque

    I’m only interested in knowing how Donna could make those c-cup boobies disappear and reappear at will…

    • be ware of eve hill

      Pssst! Young Donna/Donald stuffed her bra! Her boobs were fake!

      Fake, just like Batty’s “I’m a storyteller” claim to the NYT!

  5. I hope this thread of “providing disappointing ‘realistic’ explanations for zany elements of the ancient strip” doesn’t end before we learn how Les Moore went to the bathroom while stuck all week on top of the gym class rope. Definitely the thing we need to know.

  6. be ware of eve hill

    I too thought the Crazy Harry in Dreamland adventure was over.

    As bad as this is, I’d take it over the tales of Dinkle and his Giant Jack-o’-lantern head any day.

  7. William Thompson

    “I used to imagine all sorts of things!” Except when it came to writing this strip.

    • Bad wolf

      This sounds more like TB’s cry for help. “I used to imagine all sorts of things!” “I used to imagine…!” “I used to…!”

      Yes TB, we’ve noticed your imagination is nothing like what it used to be. Even by those modest standards something’s been severely lacking for quite a while.

  8. billytheskink

    This may be the most extreme retcon in TB’s ongoing war on the whimsy that permeated Act I. We’ve gone from a mysterious sci-fi obsessive kid in a silly helmet who is great at video games and can teleport (or pretend to) for pleasantly childish reasons… to a plastic helmet that has been releasing noxious and hallucinogenic gasses for decades on its way to becoming the nation’s smallest Superfund Site.

  9. Lord Flatulence

    Crazy Harry got a case of the vapors.

  10. Banana Jr. 6000

    So this strip is showing us the helmet is real while insisting that it’s not real. And that it’s a miasma of toxic chemicals, but nobody’s even going to consider that it might have given them cancer. Okay then.

  11. Rusty Shackleford

    Oh look, over in Crankshaft they are talking omicron and masking. How topical. And of course we also have our yearly Ohioana book festival shilling…

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      So I guess the “Crankshaft does $25,000 of property damage and is a petulant dick about it” arc is resolved.

      • be ware of eve hill

        I know I’m in the minority but I actually enjoy the Cranky the Menace strips. That’s when Crankshaft is at its best, IMHO.

        Now the strip is changing gears and featuring the neverending adventures of Bookwoman, featuring the hated Lillian. These story arcs are always a slog for me to read. These story arcs must only be interesting to someone who is particularly interested in the life of a writer. Batty can try all he wants to make Lillian look all-cuddly but his efforts will always be vain.

        What’s in store this time? The same ol’ stale Lillian vs. technology theme? Will Lillian have trouble with her ISP? Will she have trouble downloading and/or installing the software? Will she have trouble logging on? Will she forget to turn off the mute? Will she have trouble activating her webcam or will it be pointed over her head? Will Lillian have to recruit the Double-Mint twins to save the day?

        My favorite Crankshaft comic strip of all time would be Ed accidentally destroying Lillian’s bookstore. Preferably by fire. Oopsy.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Will Lillian not know how to turn the cat filter off? That happened last February, which is in the sweet spot of Batiuk’s “current event” jokes.

    • “…isn’t that cowboy”? Am I gonna have to start adding Crankshaft entries to the Batiuktionary?

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        “Dad and Max went to Comic-Con recently and there was no vax proof, masking or social distancing! Oh, and a guy came back from the dead.”

      • Suicide Squirrel

        Here’s a wild guess. Perhaps it’s Batyuk’s interpretation of the phrase “cowboy up.”

        cowboy up
        phrasal verb of cowboy
        make a determined effort to overcome an obstacle or deal with a difficult situation.
        “Millar cowboyed up, but couldn’t he have flipped the Enrique grounder to Pedro?”

        • Y. Knott

          I think it’s closer to “the wild west”.

          “No one was following the law, or accepted social cues — it was like the wild west out there!”

  12. Suicide Squirrel

    Bless me, father for I have sinned, I have to read this story arc for another whole week.

    I was tempted to use “off-gassing of plastics” as an excuse to call off work today.

  13. I’m reading this strip a different way. I think that the helmet is actually a functional time machine and Donna was aware of that fact (thus the old strips where she disappears into hyperspace), but she is making up the “off-gassing” story to cover it up.

    • none

      Donna has a functional time machine and this is the best that she can do with it.

      TB has a blank canvas and a blank check and this is the best that he can do with it.

    • batgirl

      And she figured it was safe to let her doofus husband try it out because nobody believes the wild things he says. “That’s why we call him Crazy!”

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      The story is being intentionally obtuse. Donna told Harry about “outgassing of the plastics” instead of a simple explanation like “you fell down” or “you passed out” or “we had to take you to the hospital” or “you disappeared for awhile.” Even though she and Maddie were in the room when he put the helmet on, and would have observed whatever happened. Then today’s strip shows the helmet making Donna actually disappear, with an explanation that doesn’t clarify if she did or not.

      Again, Tom Batiuk thinks he’s being clever when he’s just being unclear.

  14. Cabbage Jack

    My favorite part is Maddie grinning off to the side “yep, that’s my parents…gleefully inhaling toxic fumes.”

  15. hitorque

    RE: That 1982 strip…

    “Video games athlete” — God damn it, Batiuk…

    Helmet antenna is never consistent — God damn it, Batiuk…

    Donna is literally talking to herself and vanishes in the middle of her game — God damn it, Batiuk…

    • Y. Knott

      I disagree with you here. “Video games athlete” is meant to be amusing, and it is. It makes perfect sense — in an offbeat way — that this character classifies themself this way.

      The helmet antenna not being consistent is also worth a smile. It’s meant to be made out of tin foil or cheap wire or something; it flips and flops around, and never stays in place. But like Calvin’s transmogrifier, the whole jerry-rigged thing WORKS … at least in the mind of the inventor. Which is what those last two panels are about.

      The 1982 comic proves that Batiuk had it once. Oh, he didn’t have it on the level of Calvin and Hobbes or a classic like that. But he had the basic tools to put together a good comic, worthy of a wry grin.

      Those days are, of course, long long gone.

  16. be ware of eve hill

    The colorist used the correct color today for the Eliminator/Donna/Donald’s t-shirt. It’s the correct white rather than red like it was last Thursday.

    Did Batty make sure the colorist knew the correct color this time or was it just a fluke? Sometimes it seems like Batty just doesn’t care anymore.