Hello! This is the commenter known as Banana Jr. 6000. I take my handle from the wise-cracking but philosophical desktop computer from Bloom County. Having recently completed the monumental task of finding Spaceman Spiff among the cosmos, I will now take on an even greater challenge: helping to make Funky Winkerbean fun and interesting to read every day.
I’m delighted to join such a strong team, where everyone brings their own areas of expertise to the discussion. My background is in writing, so that’s probably what I’ll talk about the most. And today’s strip gives me a lot to talk about!
The “Dibbs Gallery” marquee tells us this is Kitch Swoon, who was last seen at Atomik Komix handing out nice-sized checks. Apparently she’s hired the new-look Summer as an assistant. It also looks like Tom Batiuk went through a Roy Lichtenstein phase about a year ago, because this is his second mention in a month. The wedding sign Darin made was a blatant copy of Lichtenstein’s famous work “Crying Girl.”
How on earth is a visit to Atomik Komix going to “revisit the source material” for Roy Lichtenstein prints? Roy Lichtenstein was a real person, who died in 1997. Is she flat-out admitting that Atomik Komix and Dibbs Gallery’s real business is art forgery?
That would… make a lot of sense, actually. There’s no way those lame, derivative, preachy comic books are producing the kind of money we’ve seen these people throw around. And Westview is the perfect place for such an operation. It’s a town full of comics-obsessed suckers, and a police force that’s willing to cover up certain things.
Today’s strip should have been deleted. We don’t need a strip to tell us what’s going to happen in tomorrow’s strip. Just start the scene already. Batiuk did this correctly the first time Kitch Swoon appeared in 2019:
That strip also had a cameo from Holtron, the star of last week’s pointless Act I flashback. As several commenters remembered, Holtron was repurposed as a prop for the Starbuck Jones movie, and later given to the Atomik Komix team for free. Now this valuable prop from a multi-gazillion dollar movie is just sitting around an office, as a conversation piece. That’s a bit of conspicuous consumption, don’t you think?
Nice “Pineapple” computer, buddy. Get out of here with that crap.
48 responses to “Art Sellers”
If that’s new-look Summer, then Bathack must have developed a real hatred for the character. That’s not what you see in his usual bland, style-deprived hometown girls.
I assumed it was a mid-SRS Mopey Pete finally coming to terms with his gender identity. You don’t want to know what I thought they did with the skin that formed his eyebags.
What I really want to know is, DID DINKLE AND AGING STAN FREBERG EVER ORDER ANY PIZZA FOR LUNCH AT MONTONI’S, OR DID THEY JUST TAKE UP AN OUTDOOR TABLE WHILE DRINKING THEIR LONG ISLAND ICED TEAS?
I don’t think that’s actually Summer, but it does look a lot like her from the wedding. It is odd that we’ve gotten two butch women in a month.
Welcome aboard, Banana.
Yes! I had a feeling it might be you, BJr3K.
I don’t believe any commenter here has as much piss and vinegar against Batty as you do. You have certainly earned your stripes in this website’s comments.
I look forward to reading your blogs over the next fortnight.
Oops, sorry, BJr6K. I meant 6K, not 3K. No insult intended. I’m not trying to demote you. It’s just a case of fumble fingers. I’m going to blame the number pad on my phone.😁
That’s some fine tag work there, Banana. Man oh man, I’m SO glad I missed out on whatever this is going to be. No matter how bad it gets, it can always get worse. “Kitch Swoon”, the worst FW character name of all time.
Congrats, BANANA JR. 6000! I hope they gave you a corner office, nowhere near the bathrooms or the elevators! Well-deserved.
Is that really Summer? Why not, I guess. I wonder what the “Sweet Dream, Bab” dotted-line text is supposed to mean. I’m having an increasingly hard time understanding Batdick’s strips lately. Is it my dementia, or his? Either way, I’m enraged by his “main character raises an index finger for no apparent reason” shtick as ever.
This should clear up one mystery:
Mind you, the larger mystery — why this comic strip continues to be published — remains unsolved.
As BJr6K pointed out (and congrats on the promotion, BJr6K!) this is a completely skippable strip. That doesn’t differentiate it from other installments of Funky Winkerbean, of course, but today’s offering does seem especially — even egregiously — pointless.
Hmmm… is it the high-pressure art world or is it the three years of dealing with Atomik Komix that seems to have turned Kitch Swoon’s hair completely white?
Congratulations Banana Jr. 6000,
I have always enjoyed your comments, and loved today!
Saddest words. Worst words.
…”That means another visit to Atomik Komix.”
(I already miss Dinkle)
Why do a lot of the women in this strip wear black? Did somebody/something die?
I mean something obviously other than Batty’s willingness to put out a decent strip?
And another thing…
Yet another mention of Roy Lichtenstein? A couple of weeks ago, I had never even heard of the guy.
Did Batty recently purchase a Roy Lichtenstein painting and he’s trying to drive up the price?
Over in Crankshaft, Ed is continuing the use of “reno” as if it were an actual term used by actual human beings. (He calls the repaving of the street “road reno”. The Lord of Language, everyone!) Whether it should be considered a contender for the Batiuktionary shall be left as an exercise for the bloggers.
“Reno” for “renovation” is a fairly common usage in my experience. “Road reno”, however, most certainly is not.
She can’t make a phone call or send an email. Nope! She’s going to impromptu just drive on over to their offices to disrupt their workday, looking for something from them that’s going to benefit her business. She didn’t have anything else to do today, so it’s obvious none of them do either.
“Hey you guys, we’re on a real tight deadline here, so we better hope some burnout doesn’t show up to ask us about the time we drew a picture of a gorilla/alligator hybrid in 1961, because there would go the whole afternoon!”
“Sorry, distributor, we were going to get the things over to you by the 14th, but there was this guy who wanted to use the treadmill we had in our office and we had to spend three workdays talking to him. Yes, we have a treadmill in our office but no restroom. No, I don’t understand it either.”
From day one, AK’s business model is basically “Sit around talking comics or ‘the fuckin’ good old days’ like a bunch of middle school fanbois and drawing the occasional cover (with zero content) until some random visitor walks in to give them either a dump truck full of cash (because, you know, AK is literally the only small boutique comics publisher on the planet if you want something done) or something extremely rare and/or valuable for free.” (SEE: Judge Parker and Rex Morgan)
AK is like the laziest gameshow ever created… Contestants don’t answer trivia questions or spin a big wheel or play games of skill or test their athleticism against world class athletes — They just sit and wait around until the announcer tells them what they’ve won.
I think the real model for AK is “Field of Dreams.” Batiuk is having that same delusion, only with comic books in place of baseball. Build it and they will come: all the fans who want some soulful nostalgia and think they’ve found its source. Old-fashioned creators, endorsed by genuine relics of the glory days of comic books. Family connections will be revived by it (remember the crowd at the meeting, after the secret code message was placed in small newspaper ads?) It’s so magical, the dead rise from the grave to take part in it,
CONGRATS BJ6K! So excited to see what you come up with, especially if writing is your area of general interest.
Did Roy Lichtenstein riff on actual comics panels when coming up with his pieces? Is that what they mean by ‘source material?’
And yeah, valuable movie props sitting around some dumpy mid-western shoestring nerd operation, being used as conversation pieces in ways that will no doubt leave them damaged and worn…
Lichtenstein did use actual comics panels as the basis for his paintings! His most famous pieces, like Whaam! and Drowning Girl, were adapted from minor DC titles.
That said, it’s a typically Batiukian idiotic leap to go from “our Lichtenstein prints are selling well” to “let’s go buy other comic art, that will surely also sell well”, and an even more typically Batiukian baffling malapropism to have a character refer to an unrelated comics company as “our source material” for Lichtenstein works.
She’s going to buy Holtron for display in her gallery. Holtron is coming to NYC!
An already strong lineup adds another heavy hitter. Congratulations, Banana Jr. 6000! It’s amazing that the Funkyverse forms the touchstone for such a collection of talent and erudition.
The setting and character in today’s strip appear to have their inspiration from back in 2017 when TomBa bought a set of 1947 New York Daily News Sunday comics sections. The strip that appears to have caught his attention was called The Ripples. He blogged about it and uploaded a number of strips periodically from 2017 through 2019. In this strip we find an art dealer called the Dibbs Gallery and a young employee of the gallery named Kitchie.
Plagiarism? Homage? Your guess is as good as mine.
The Ripples is godawful. Every single strip is “look, it’s the artist! See how smart and clever the genius artist is! Oh no, you’re not giving the artist his proper respect! Now you’re going to get your karmic payback!” And the villains are the lamest, most fo forced strawmen imaginable. No wonder Batiuk likes it so much. Act III of Funky Winkerbean seems inspired by it.
Ugh. Get over yourself.
This is fascinating, in an awful way. Thanks to both of you for bringing it up and giving it some background context. If I thought Batiuk’s attachment to “The Phantom Empire” was sad and inexplicable? That positively pales when put beside his discovery of and devotion to this justifiably forgotten piece of comics ephemera. Wow.
I’m genuinely surprised that Lichtenstein is spelled correctly. This is, after all, the gallery that displayed Joe Schuster’s (sic) work.
Congrats, Junior, and thank you for drawing my attention to that great Bloom County storyline (I knew I should’ve kept up with the revived series). Now, THAT is what’s called writing.
But I come here not to praise the strips of Breathed and Watterson, but to bury this strip of Batty’s — preferably in an unlicensed landfill outside of Dayton along with multiple copies of the Atari 2600 ET game, bags of Olestra chips and the mortal remains of Jimmy Hoffa.
You can find dusty copies of Lisa’s Story in the KSU bookstore.
The landfill of unsold E.T. (and also Pac-Man) cartridges was in New Mexico. Going there was the plot of the Angry Video Game Nerd movie.
The New Mexico state legislature banned the disposal of Funky Winkerbean-related wastes within the state in 2004. I understand a town in downstate Illinois is actively campaigning to be the disposal site for copies of “Lisa’s Story.”
We’ll know where the copies of Lisa’s Story were buried when a whole town suddenly dies of unexplained cancer. With rictus smirks.
It’s a whole process. It has to be burned to ash, then the ash has to be packed into lead drums, then the drums have to be encased in cement, then they have to be buried at a mile down so there’s no chance they can resurface. They used to dump them in ocean trenches, but it was deemed to be too cruel to deep sea life. Some have suggested launching them into the sun, but what’d the sun ever do to us?
My brother bought that game for a buck. I played the game once, and it sucked. The gameplay featured E.T. falling into and levitating out of holes until he died.
There is another movie about those E.T. game cartridges, Atari: Game Over.
Synopsis: A crew digs up all of the old Atari 2600 game cartridges of “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” that were tossed into a landfill in the 1980s.
The AVGN movie was a fictional take on the real event. I didn’t know there was a real documentary about it. But that has got to be the worst treasure hunt of all time. Why would anyone dig through a landfill to find these two cartridges? They’re not exactly rare.
Atari made millions more copies of those two cartridges than there were consoles in existence to play them. They figured those games were so strong they would sell more consoles. To put it mildly, they weren’t and they didn’t. The 2600 was badly underpowered by 1982, better options were available, and the Great Video Game Crash (which was largely Atari’s fault) was on deck.
E.T. probably got more abuse than it deserved. Yes, it was an frustrating, incoherent, puke-green mess. But it wasn’t as bad as the Raiders of the Lost Ark game, where you had two use two joysticks and figure out what a bunch of poorly-drawn symbols did on a map that didn’t always take you to the same places.
It’s been years since I’ve seen that documentary. It was only about an hour long. It was on one of the SHOWTIME channels.
If I remember correctly, the burial was an urban myth, and these guys wanted to prove its existence. The dig only lasted a few hours, but they discovered thousands of cartridges. I believe they sold some. Some stuff ended up in a museum in Alamogordo. It’s New Mexico, so I’m not surprised.
Earlier today, I texted my brother to ask if he still has the Atari 2600 stuff. He does and even has an old 13″ CRT TV to play them on. He still has the E.T. game cart. He bought a lot of bargain bin games and said many of them are as bad as E.T. He liked Raiders but muted the sound due to the neverending theme music. When asked if he ever played any of them, he said not since he moved to his present home. That’s almost 20 years.
Thanks to everyone who gave me a warm welcome. I greatly appreciate it! I hope I will live up to the high standards that everyone sets here.
It’s great to have you aboard, BJ6K!
Oh man, we have standards? Dang when did this happen? What am I gonna do when I feel like being lazy?
I guess if we do have standards…then you already meet them in excess!
Remember past events.
YOU’RE MEETING ALL MY STANDARDS!
Interesting how Sammer’s forehead grew two inches between the panels.
Still, the most irksome panel today is the 2019 reference for Mopey Pepe getting all pissy like a child, as ever. Anyone there could prevent strange people from just walking in and talking to you. Nah, better to let it happen and be an insufferable asshole about it.
For the people who enjoy artwork like Roy Lichtenstein’s, there is a comic strip in a similar vein on GoComics Last Kiss by John Lustig.
From the comic’s about page:
Pairing vintage comic book art with funny, new dialog, John Lustig’s Last Kiss revels in the absurdities of love and lust. The series began when Lustig bought the rights to some old romance comics and started rewriting them—first for fun and later for actual money! (It’s a little-known fact that some publishers have too much moolah.)
In addition to romance, Lustig sometimes revamps art and dialogue from other comic book genres such as superhero, suspense and even horror.
John Lustig writes in the comment section on every panel and provides a link to his website where you can view the original comic book art and dialog.
Finally, in closing, there is a Tom Batiuk tie-in. A frequent Last Kiss contributor is Batty buddy Tony Isabella.
Wow. I can’t believe I haven’t seen those before. Thanks for the links BWOEH!
It’s like if Lichtenstein’s body was taken over by internet trolls.
That’s a great find!
On his worst day, Banana Jr 6000 can kick Holtron’s ass on his best day.
That is definitely my favorite comic crossover of all time.
As for this week’s FW, I feel pretty sure that the Summer-like sidekick appeared in a previous Kitch-y arc.
What’s the over/under on the number of days it will take for them to actually get around to the point of what they want from Atomick Komicks?
Yay Banana Jr! I look forward to your spirited comments and ranting this week! We’re gonna need it…
Tomorrow’s Strip, Based on Batiuk’s Artistic Logic: “Our Cezanne and Degas prints always seem to do well. Maybe it’s time we revisited our source material…and that means another trip to the Whole Foods for some apples and pears, then to the ballet school to abduct some dancers!”
This. I love this comment. I love this idea. I wish I could abduct Ayers to make this a reality.
You’re too kind, CBH.