Future Schlock

“Hey Siri. Look up ‘futurians’ on Wikipedia.” I’m still tuckered out from researching Charlton Comics, a franchise which a surprising number of you were familiar with. Wikipedia has not one but three “futurians” articles. Let’s leave aside the New Zealand sci-fi punk band by that name. TB’s musical tastes are certainly varied, but I doubt that’s who he’s cribbing here.

The moniker was also used by a group of science fiction fans, editors, and writers (among them Batiuk’s idol Issac Asimov), who were active mainly from 1937 into the mid-forties (where the flashback in today’s strip likely is taking place.

But how in the hell would our comix fanboy not know that “the Futurians” was also the name of a superhero team that appeared in some comics and graphic novels published by Marvel in the ’80’s? Do Batty’s tastes compel him to ignore comics of that era? Or is he setting up yet another scenario in which Phil discovers–forty years hence–that his work has been appropriated yet again?



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

42 responses to “Future Schlock

  1. William Thompson

    Tomorrow’s dialog today: “We figured that if we flooded the comic book markets with our submissions, the editors would run out of rejection slips and be forced to buy our crap!”

  2. erdmann

    If Batty disses Dave Cockrum, I will be sorely displeased.

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      One of the Futurians was Blackmane.
      A running gag with him was that someone would tell him to shut up.
      Shut up, Batiuk.
      Never confuse halcyon days with salad days.

  3. Epicus Doomus

    Oh the comic books we made,
    Memories that never fade
    Back then we didn’t get well paid,
    Those were the days
    And you knew what you drew then,
    Comic books were just for men,
    Mister we could use a man like Dr. Atmos again.
    Didn’t need no Marvel flicks,
    With content mostly for the chicks,
    The state of things now makes me sick,
    Those were the days.

    Elderly men sitting around eating pizza and reminiscing about comic books. This is almost exactly how I assumed the strip would be going every day by 2025 or so, but we’re early. Lucky us.

  4. KMD

    Futurians implies an interest in the future. TB and his characters all revel in cheap, corrosive nostalgia.

  5. Today’s strip probably pisses me off more than it should. I want to punch panel 3 in the throat. The cliched sentimentality, the pretentiousness, the obligatory smirk, Ditto for panel 2. Folks here have been expressing a soft spot for Ayers/Ayres lately, and I agree with that. But his artwork has been as insufferable as the dialog in this arc. Is Batdick dictating Ayers’ artistic choices? Sure seems like it.

    • Epicus Doomus

      In all seriousness, sometimes it really does appear as if Ayers drew something with different dialog in mind and not what BatHam chose to use. Every once in a while you get a strip where the facial expressions and reactions don’t make any sense in the context of the dialog.

      That Flash face is just hideous. He already was a caricature, now he’s a caricature of a caricature. It gets worse every day, too.

      • RudimentaryLathe?

        That Flush looks especially hideous was the only response I had to today’s offering.

  6. J.J. O'Malley

    “Back then there were so many blank comic pages waiting to be filled”… I’ve got news for you, Flash, you Rapa Nui refugee: right now there are so many blank comic pages waiting to be filled, and if this is how Batiuk intends to waste ink and paper filling them maybe he should consider doing the humane thing and leave them blank!

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I can hardly think of anything more blank than a Sunday comic book cover for an Atomik Komix title that will never even exist.

  7. Banana Jr. 6000

    Why are we revisiting the childhoods of people who were exactly the same in 1949 as they are today? These are the lamest kids I’ve ever seen. They make Wally Cleaver look like Sid Vicious. Would somebody please give them a Jack Kerouac book and some reefer?

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      Shall it be *The Subterraneans* or *The Dharma Bums*?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Speaking of Wally Cleaver, I see that Tony Dow passed away today. Weird that I name-dropped his most famous role.

      • William Thompson

        The latest news is that he’s still alive. Maybe he’s auditioning for the role of Phil Holt.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Where did you hear that? There were some premature reports a couple days ago, but Tony Dow seems to have actually died since then. He reportedly had terminal cancer and was in Hospice, so it was about to happen even if it hadn’t yet.

          • Anonymous Sparrow

            Oh, hello, Mrs. Cleaver, I was just telling Wallace how much Theodore would enjoy watching the episodes of “Freddy’s Nightmare” in which Tony Dow played a cannibal (“Prime Cut” and “Dust to Dust”),

          • William Thompson

            I checked before I replied, and some recent reports (within the past hour or two) said he was still alive. I didn’t see anything that straightened out the confusion.

          • Gerard Plourde

            No. It’s officially been reported that Tony Dow has died.

  8. billytheskink

    There’s Flash in panel 3 going full “the Banking Clan will sign your treaty” again. His head is turning into a carrot or something.

  9. Y. Knott

    “And we could fill those blank pages with ANYTHING! Anything at all! Weeks and weeks of meandering, pointless jabber? IT DIDN’T MATTER! There was no one to stop us! THERE WAS NOTHING SO DULL, SO UTTERLY WITHOUT INTEREST TO ANYONE BUT US THAT WE COULDN’T GO ON AND ON ABOUT IT AT LENGTH! Endlessly! Can you imagine what that’s like? Having the power to make something to go on endlessly, ad infinitum, ceaselessly, without stopping, into infinity, no matter HOW much you’d like it to st– ”


  10. Rusty Shackleford

    Oh man, Batty’s still talking about this. Give it a rest already, they are just comic books. You were given a chance to create something but you squandered it by wasting time on this crap.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      We’re about due for another Lisa arc. The strip is almost to the point where it can just rotate through Dinkle. comic books, and Lisa for all eternity. It doesn’t even have to pretend to be about anything else anymore.

      • Green Luthor

        Next week: Dinkle makes comics about Lisa! Batiuk would never have to bother thinking of a story ever again!

  11. Gerard Plourde

    I’m probably asking a lot, but is there going to be an actual story at some point? Two teenagers drawing comics at the kitchen table sure isn’t one.

  12. be ware of eve hill

    Wow. I really have to commend Kitch’s resolve. She really wants that artwork.

    I can’t imagine listening to these two dinosaurs reciting their life histories and blowing kisses at one another. By now I would have bitten off my arm to get away or excused myself to the ladies room and slipped out the front door.

    Who’s losing their breakfasts? We are!

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Kitsch is saying to herself “Just smile and nod, Kitsch, you’ll have the Roy Lichtenstein prints before you know it…”

  13. Banana Jr. 6000

    “Who are the Futurians?” “We are!” What the hell does that even mean? That Phil drew himself and Flash into the comic book? If so, that would mean a Mary Sue is making a Mary Sue.

    • William Thompson

      And the title characters of “The Futurians” will be writing a comic book series about suoerheroic comic-book writers who are writing about comic-book writers . . . . it’s Mary Sues all the way down, which you’d expect in a world as flat as the Funkyverse.

  14. be ware of eve hill

    Can we please skip to the part where you guys had your lover spat and didn’t speak to each other for fifty years?

    Or has Batty rewritten that narrative out of existence?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Batty’s already rewritten their pasts to be childhood friends instead of meeting in adulthood. The needless backstory Batiuk wrote says “They were going to need someone to illustrate the stories and once again luck was with them. Freeman had reached out to Phil Holt an artist he had worked with from time to time on his various freelance jobs.” And he’s already thrown that away. Even in the meta-meta-universe of Batom Comics, he can’t be bothered to keep the story consistent.

      • be ware of eve hill

        Retconning the Flash Freeman – Phil Holt relationship into childhood friends might not be the worst story arc Batty has ever come up with, but can we please move on? Batty! You’re killing me!

        I keep thinking of Phil in your your generic Atomik Komix comic book cover, “Ain’t we the greatest?” Ugh!

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Retconning the Flash Freeman – Phil Holt relationship into childhood friends might not be the worst story arc Batty has ever come up with,

          No, but that’s a very high standard to meet.

  15. Seeing as how TomBat’s cutoff date for comic books as fetish objects seem to have a hard 1969 cutoff, you answered your own question with “Marvel in the ’80’s”.

  16. Westview Radiology

    I HATE these characters!!! Stop it ! Stop it! Stop it! Give me Dinklage Give me Montoni’s Give me Durwood Give me LES !!!!