The Trilogy Of Tedium

Link To This One

It’s called a “tetralogy”, you nimrods. Or a “quadrilogy”, if you prefer. It took me all of three seconds to learn this. But BatYam felt he really needed to drive Flash Freeman’s general imbecility home, again, so here we are. It would appear that once again he’s done the impossible and discovered something even more tedious than that “Elemental Force” arc from a few months back, and that “something” is watching Flash and Phil talking to Batton about it. That BatHam, always pushing his artistic boundaries.

That “Elementals” arc was absolute hell to get through and I really hope we’re not revisiting that fiasco again, because I am totally out of sub-atomic particle puns. It really is remarkable how quickly Flash Freeman became one of my most despised FW characters, as he wasn’t even in the strip until a few years ago. And it was better that way. Marginally, yes, but nevertheless.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

49 responses to “The Trilogy Of Tedium

  1. William Thompson

    An “environmental” trilogy about “climate damage?” “A trilogy in four parts?”
    Batiuk could have avoided those embarrassments, and so much more, by having Flush say “We’re doing a series about global warming.” But them someone would ask “What can you say that’s new and interesting?” and he’d have a problem–

    –okay, he could comment on how global warming is made worse by all the hot air his characters pump into their word zeppelins. But everyone already guessed that.

  2. RudimentaryLathe?

    So the joke is that Flush and Phail are senile?
    Annnnnd we’re back to environmental virtue signaling, while over in Crankshaft Ed is wasting water in a drought and wreaking havoc on the ozone layer with his grill antics, and we’re supposed to think it’s cute. Ain’t that ginger-peachy.

    • billytheskink

      You don’t even have to go over to Crankshaft… These yutzes all drove to an office to do things they could have done at home, and all to create something that will be distributed on dead trees.

      I wouldn’t care if they weren’t so self-aggrandizing about it, as if the positive impact they’ll have on their 4 figure (at best) circulation will even come close to matching their carbon footprint (or whatever we’re calling it these days) from creating and printing these books, much less surpass.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Butbutbutbutbut the internet is bad! And we have to have the comic books bullpen! And spinner racks! And gem mint condition!

    • gleeb

      Phil Holt isn’t senile. He’s dead.

  3. Sourbelly

    Still waiting to find out why Batton Thomas is in this week’s strips.*

    *Not really. I’m quite confident that we’ll never know why. Also, I can’t find a reason to care.

    • Charles

      He was in this week’s strips because Batiuk wanted to puff himself up over his “climate damage” comic book idea again and needed someone in Atomik Comix who didn’t already know about that development.

      That’s why I think Batton Thomas isn’t going to be hired by Atomik Komix. He’s just there to have things explained to him that wouldn’t make sense to have explained to anyone who already works there. Every time Batiuk comes up with one of these stupid ideas for comic books, he can have the initial brainstorm sequence and then a later sequence where they explain it to Batton just so Batiuk can reaffirm his brilliance and have a sequence that requires no thought or creativity whatsoever.

      Batton isn’t going to join Atomk Komix, because, even though it’s seems unbelievable, Batiuk does have some shame about this. He could have had Les win an Oscar himself, after all. He could have given Les a Pulitzer or a Eisner, but he didn’t. I think he feels a little abashed about just straightforward wish fulfillment, so he always hedges it somewhat.

  4. Gerard Plourde

    How long before TomBa brings in Brady Wentworth, Phil and Flash’s former editor at Batom Comics? It’s beginning to look like it’s only a matter of time.

  5. Y. Knott

    38 years ago, So Long And Thanks For All The Fish was memorably subtitled “The fourth book of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy”

    I bring this up only to remind us all that even when essentially directly ripping off the funny idea of an infinitely more talented writer, Batiuk’s special brand of brain-addled lassitude can render that funny idea completely inert.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I knew Batty copied this from somewhere and I think you just proved it.

    • Hannibal's Lectern

      There was a fifth book, “Mostly Harmless,” which was subtitled “The fifth book in the increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy.” Adams understood the concept of a “joke,” something Batty seems to have forgotten.

      BTW, my favorite Hitchhiker’s Guide Easter egg revolves around the number 42, which as we all know is the answer to the great question of life, the universe, and everything. In one of the books, the great question is said to be “what do you get when you multiply six by nine?” To which 42 is not the correct answer (6 x 9 = 54)… unless you are working in base thirteen (4 x 13 + 2 = 54 = 6 x 9). So… the fundamental mathematical basis of the universe is not ten, but thirteen. Explains a lot, doesn’t it? Like, how Batty could have gotten paid to produce this pile of dreck for fifty years.

      • Gerard Plourde

        “Hitchhiker’s Guide” is on of my favorite reads. Learning of this possible (and very plausible) Easter Egg makes me appreciate Adams’ cleverness even more. And the idea that the universe runs on base thirteen makes sense.

  6. J.J. O'Malley

    Looking at today’s first panel, my first thought was “What if they brought back ‘The Golden Girls,’ but made it all guys and set it in a comic book publisher’s?” I assume the theme song would be “Thank You for Being a Super-Friend.” And I don’t know if Batiuk is aware of this, but these days it’s not uncommon for a single comic book to have four–or more–variant covers (one of the ways the Big Two have been desperately trying to revive their steadily collapsing sales figures).

    Also…”climate damage”? Is that a central Ohio regionalism like “vendo,” or does TB think using the phrase “climate change” would be too controversial? To me, “climate damage” sounds like when the Golden Girls found mildew on their condo’s walls from an overly humid Florida summer.

    • Green Luthor

      Pretty sure Batiuk is aware of variant covers. A few weeks back, he had Batton Thomas Creator of the Comic Strip Three O’Clock High make a “joke” about how he was still wearing a mask in the comics shop because of “all the variants” there. (Gah, Batiuk’s “punchlines” are sticking in my memory now…)

    • Hannibal's Lectern

      “To me, ‘climate damage’ sounds like when the Golden Girls found mildew on their condo’s walls from an overly humid Florida summer.”

      You’ll have to replace Chuck Ayers with Dan Davis if you want that. He specializes in wall mildew.

  7. A joke is an anecdote with a humorous climax.* This isn’t even an anecdote.

    *Apologies to The Vicar of Dibley

  8. Banana Jr. 6000

    Trilogy in four parts? These clowns have never even made a No. 2 edition.

  9. Banana Jr. 6000

    Heisman Trophy winner Rocket Ismail played Crazy Harry in the Funky Winkerbean high school play? Wow. I don’t even have a remark, that’s just so interesting to imagine.


      • Banana Jr. 6000

        What are they filming, an Abercrombie & Fitch commercial?

        • billytheskink

          Hopefully not a revival of Funky Winkerbean’s Homecoming

          • ComicBookHarriet

            Okay. Like…you say that….but dang what I wouldn’t pay to see famous retired sports stars performing Funky Winkerbean’s Homecoming.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            Do they have to be retired? Because Tom Brady is definitely Les.

            The only other casting choice I can think of would have been a retired football player named Art Donovan. He died in 2013 (and was 89 years old then), but he was a funny old guy who appeared in football-related commercials and whatnot. He would have been a great Ed Crankshaft.

          • billytheskink

            I would probably pay too, but I would also probably want my money back well before Larry Nance finished dribbling about the “big and brassy (tum-ta-dum-dum-dum) loud and flashy (tum-ta-dum-dum-dum) big and brassy loud and flashy Westview High School Scapegoat marching band”.

            Which is too bad, because I hear Jim Thome hits a home run with his performance of “Why Can’t I Be Popular”… and Ernest Byner doesn’t fumble his role as The Eliminator.

        • Charles

          Nah. That can’t be an Abercrombie & Fitch ad. There’s a black guy there.

      • Epicus Doomus

        I’d pay to see The Rocket as Crazy Harry. Not that much, but I’d still be willing to pay.

      • hitorque


  10. batgirl

    I wonder what sort of strip Three O’Clock High is supposed to be? I know it was the proposed title of FW back in the day, but “within universe” is it supposed to be a strip about high school antics as the name would suggest?
    Because imagining Batton Thomas writing about teenagers is both implausible and kind of creepy. (And clearly the teens at the comic shop have no idea who he is or what he does, and don’t read his strip).

    • Hannibal's Lectern

      I sort of assumed it was about pilots in WWII, like the classic “12 O’Clock High (a Quinn Martin production).” After all, if it’s patterned on “Flunky,” it’s loaded with bombs and goes down in flames regularly…

  11. Hannibal's Lectern

    “We’re doing an environmental trilogy of stories about climate damage.”

    Said no English-speaking human being ever. This doesn’t even parse. “Environmental” modifies “trilogy,” not “stories,” which makes no sense (sorry, Tom, but word order matters in English). My suspicion is that he scrambled the word order to make “environmental” fit properly into the word Zeppelin (“We’re doing a / trilogy of / environmental / stories about / climate damage” won’t quite fit), which is in turn the product of his artsy-fartsy decision to have the characters’ heads intrude over the word balloon. A good writer/artist can make this gimmick work, but this is Batty…

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      It’s like he doesn’t plan at all. He decides what to put in the word balloons after they’re created. Or he changes his mind. There are so many ill-fitting word balloons with extra space or strange wrapping in them,

      And we all know Tom Batiuk doesn’t edit at all. “We’re doing a / trilogy of / environmental / stories” or “We’re doing a / trilogy of / climate damage / stories” would have been fine. Or even better, “climate change.” It’s hard to be unclear and redundant at the same time, but TB has the rare level of anti-talent to pull it off.

  12. ComicBookHarriet

    Tom, if you’re going to write Self-Insert Real Person fanfic, at least do it like a ‘normal’ person on the internet would.

  13. Jimmy

    No one is going to miss this strip when it ends.

  14. Banana Jr. 6000

    I love how Batton just walks into the production area. Which has no security of any kind, not even a locked door. And they just show him what they’re working on.

    • hitorque

      Not only that, Batton almost certainly smells like wet garbage right about now but yes; let him get uncomfortably close to everyone and lean in so he can drizzle sweat droplets all over the drafting board…

      • Charles

        Or more amusing, that that bathroom they share with the law firm in the building has a shower, so every day Batton’s just wandering around nude in the unisex bathroom toweling his sagging elderly body off.

  15. be ware of eve hill

    Sometimes I feel so uninspired
    Sometimes I feel like giving up
    Sometimes I feel so very tired
    Sometimes I feel like I’ve had enough

  16. SaneHarry

    I always felt let down by Seinfeld’s promise of “a show about nothing”. But in these last few arcs, Tom Batiuk has accomplished the impossible. There is truly no reason to care about anyone or anything in this comic anymore. The filler IS the content. Genius!