Head and Hearts

Banana Jr. 6000
July 29, 2022 at 5:02 am
Who the hell would go to this exhibition? Both these men now live in this town, and have spent a lifetime putting out the comic book equivalent of shovelware.

Maybe people are coming out just to gawk at Flash “Fairfield’s” towering head. It’s the most interesting detail in today’s strip. Not a hell of a lot else to comment about here.

What is “show-offy” of even writerly about Pete’s comment? That paragraph that Darin has to lean in closely and squint to read is a little flowery (“its special magic”) but otherwise inoffensive and succinct. How is “From the hearts of Phil and Flash” an improvement?


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

41 responses to “Head and Hearts

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Jessica and Mindy appear, and get a total of zero lines of dialog. Sounds about right. “Flash Fairfield”…LOL, f*ck you, Tom.

    • KMD

      So is Flash from Easter Island? His abnormal head is far more interesting than the Westview art scene.

    • be ware of eve hill

      Really. Just stand there, keep your mouth shut and look pretty.

      It’s just as well. The way Batty portrays them, the sum of their IQs would still fail to reach 100. Comic book wives and girlfriends. Arm candy for his super special guys. 😩

      Stick your thumb up your backside and swivel, Tom.

  2. William Thompson

    I’d comment on the words, but I’m too busy playing “Spot Six Differences” between the two blondes:

    1: Their names (Mindy and Jessica, right?)
    2: Color of their clothing.
    3: Angle of their pointed noses.
    4: Height.
    5: Straight vs. teased hair.
    I’ll get back to you later on the sixth difference (I would have said “their insignificant others,” but Pete and Repete are equally worthless).

    • Epicus Doomus

      Check out Mindy’s face in panel two. Her profile lines up exactly with the back of Pete’s head, like the sun and the moon during an eclipse. It’s geometrically impossible. It’s almost like an optical illusion…”is Pete in front of Mindy or at her side?”. Just keep staring at it, you’ll see what I mean.

      And Boy Lisa’s sinister sneer doesn’t fit the dialog at all. I mean, Boy Lisa didn’t write that nonsensical drivel, so why is he apparently taking it so personally? Another example of the characters’ facial expressions not matching the dialog.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        What I see:

        • Epicus Doomus

          If he’d have just moved Pete back a smidgen, the perspective would be fine. But the way he drew it, it’s lkke he had to carve Mindy’s forehead down to match it exactly. And why does Mindy look just like those Crankshaft twins now?

    • be ware of eve hill

      Judging by the way the art was cropped in panel #2, I was going to say something along the lines that Jessica has the bigger bust. That’s not unusual as Jessica is older, is more physically mature, and has been through motherhood. Her metabolism is changing as she approaches her forties, etc. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Jessica is wearing falsies.

      I’ve been reading your comments for about four years, and I think I know by now that’s probably not the path you’d go down. So, let’s cross that guess off.

      Here’s a better guess. Jessica has an engagement ring (& a wedding ring), whereas Mindy has an ENGAGEMENT TIGER!

      Why isn’t Mindy wearing her ET? Couldn’t she sew the paws together, place the forelegs over her head, and wear it like a cape? Like the ET is riding piggyback?

      Passerby: What’s up with the stuffed tiger?
      Mindy: It’s my engagement tiger!
      Passerby: That has to be the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of.
      Mopey Pete: (shame)

      Final guess. Jessica is smiling, whereas Mindy is smirking.

      • William Thompson

        I forgot all about the Engagement Tiger. So did Batty–oh, hell, that gives me one thing in common with him.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          He made sure Cory and Rocky got married, but couldn’t be bothered with these two. Or he’s planning something huge for them. I kind of want to see it, though. It’ll be like one of those cult marriages where they both agree to marry the comic books, and mention each other only in passing.

  3. William Thompson

    What if this exhibition is in New York, and Batiuk decided the trip wasn’t worth mentioning?

  4. billytheskink

    “Pretentious” and “showing off” are two different things, Durwood. How did you get an MBA again?

  5. Everything about this strip, and Crankshaft, it’s all just sermons before the landfill.

    Batiuk ought to be ashamed, but I imagine that is far beyond him now.

  6. No, TFH, Mopete’s edit is not an improvement. It’s somehow even worse than the inscription Dustbin is struggling to read. Far worse. That’s quite a feat.

    I hate everything about today’s strip. And yet, that feeling of hatred is outstripped by a feeling of overwhelming ennui. This is how Batdick squelches his critics, through unrelenting boredom.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Both passages are terrible. The first one says nothing, and the second one sounds like a signature in a middle school yearbook.

      I’m insulted at Batiuk having the gall to suggest that he knows anything about writing. The man is infamous for making gigantic word balloons and filling them with nothing. Tell me that wordy, empty, masturbatory first passage doesn’t work perfectly as the final panel of a FW strip.

      And he doesn’t even get the edit right. The second passage is shorter, but the tone is all wrong for an art museum. And it omits the point the first made, which is that the two artists did their best work together.

      But this strip has given me a new, horrifying vision of the FW production process. Maybe Batiuk really DOES edit. He just sucks at it as much as he does everything else.

  7. Banana Jr. 6000

    And Batiuk doubles down on “Fairfield.”

    • Epicus Doomus

      Coming next week: Les Livingston’s wife Carla accompanies him to his latest “Laura’s Story-The Other Boot” book signing. Finky and Looney Larry tag along for comic relief.

    • Funky Winkerbean – the comic strip that has it’s own Mandela Effect.

  8. Gerard Plourde

    That TomBa thinks that the two sentence description Darren reads is equivalent in meaning to the seven words out of Pete’s mouth gives insight into the problems endemic to the strip.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Yeah, would that Batty could be so concise with his writing. Those word balloons packed full of nonsense.

  9. Y. Knott

    This is, of course, another worthless, dumb and terrible strip, as Batiuk is now incapable of producing anything else. However, in referring to the magic of Phil and Flash’s partnership, Batuik COULD have used — but didn’t use — the term ‘secret sauce’. So, y’know, I guess there’s that.

  10. sorialpromise

    Well….(mighty deep subject for such a shallow mind: mine!) There is not much to say about today’s strip. But it does make me think about the effects of comics on me. I never met Jack Kirby or Stan Lee. I know that today there is still controversy over who gets credit. To me now, and growing up it was just “Lee and Kirby.” They brought out the absolute best in each other in the late 50’s and into the 70’s. By 1963, Marvel was head and shoulders above DC. Probably due to target audience. DC was for ages 7-10, and Marvel aimed higher…even college ages. Why? Conflict. Motivations. Anxiety. Relationships.
    I could see my loner self in the loneliness of Marvel characters, especially the Incredible Hulk drawn best by Kirby and Ditko. One early story in late 1963 or early 1964, had the Hulk expressing his loneliness while in the Soviet Union. It hit me hard that I was lonely. I was fourth out of sixth kids, but always the loner, odd man out, moody. Lee, Kirby, and Ditko got me through. Once in high school, I outgrew comics, but my appreciation for those 3 men never left me. I wrote stories then, and write still today: vanity publishing on Amazon. It keeps me thriving at 68 years old. Life is good. So are all of you. Each of you are a blessing to me. I can’t put into words the high quality of snark, creativity, and research that I get from this site. While I have my favorites, I will limit my praise to Mr. TF Hackett who enables freedom of thought along with high standards. Thank you.
    Man! This is way too long. This is what happens when you watch the final scene from Kirk Douglas in “Paths of Glory.”

    • Thank you @sorialpromise for your very kind words, and for your readership.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I wish you were writing this strip. You managed to do what Batty can’t do, you made comic books relatable to non comic book people like myself. With Batty there is always this thinly disguised veil that hides his contempt for comic books not being made the proper way…this means they aren’t being made the way HE would like them to be made.

      Life is good, but in this strip there is always plenty of misery and disappointment and for that we are supposed to give Batty an award.

      From a fellow loner, I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

      • sorialpromise

        Thank you, Rusty

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        We say “comic books” a lot about Funky Winkerbean. But the strip isn’t nearly that general.

        FW is obsessed with the creation, production and contract process of silver age superhero comic books, with special focus on covers and character creation, and the workplace social dynamics of the “bullpen.” Doesn’t exactly lend itself to an acronym.

        But you can see what’s driving it all: Batiuk’s frustrated wish to join his mythical “bullpen”, to impose his “correct” opinions on everything, to receive awards, and to be paid gigantic amounts of money. Atomik Komix is Tom Batiuk’s “Willoughby,” to make another Twilight Zone reference.

        But unlike the main character in that episode, Batiuk mostly has the life he wants. He has two comic strips he has complete control over. But no, this isn’t good enough. He wants his comic books. At age 75. Somebody needs to put a stop to it. For his own sake.

        • Gerard Plourde

          Banana Jr. 6000,

          Spot on analysis of what this strip has become (with occasional detours to Dinkle, Funky and Les).

    • be ware of eve hill

      Wow, you hit me right in the feels with this comment. There’s more passion and appreciation for comic books in this one comment than all of TB’s blogs combined.

      Your comment wasn’t long at all. This probably isn’t much of a compliment, but you are clearly a much better writer than Batty. Unlike Batty, you know how to keep a reader’s attention. Batty writes as if he’s writing with a thesaurus by his hand. I find his writing overly wordy and stuffy. While I’m reading his blogs, my mind wanders to other matters.

      You’re telling us a story with humility and feeling. You shared how your love of writing has helped overcome your loneliness.

      To me, Batty tries too hard to impress and comes across as a pretentious twonk.
      This is where the writer went wrong on this comic book.
      Here’s a letter from my good friend, Charles Schulz.
      I’m highly intelligent because I read Isaac Asimov.
      Here are the comic commandments every writer should follow. It is law because I said so.


      Ah, “Paths of Glory.” Classic Kubrick. I saw it on TCM and liked it so much I bought the Criterion DVD.

      • Anonymous Sparrow

        “Paths of Glory” gets a backhanded compliment from Stephen King in *The Outsider,* who feels that Kubrick’s early works are superior to his later ones, such as the one derived from the 1977 novel about the Overlook Hotel.

        Recommended highly: “The Killing,” the predecessor to “Paths of Glory,” a classic film noir.

        Those who are doubtful about Kubrick should find much to enjoy in these two movies.

        • be ware of eve hill

          Yup! I’ve seen “The Killing” and it’s part of my collection too. Great movie. Sterling Hayden was great. Film Noir with a lot of twists.

          I also have “Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.”

  11. newagepalimpsest

    This is all very beautiful and magical, especially the part where Jessica is clearly wasted.

    Not that I’m blaming or judging, all things considered.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Jessica looks like she’s had enough of this bullshit. She’s got that plastered-on phony “I’m humoring you” smile. I want to hear her inner monologue,

      “God, I’m at another fucking comic book show. He works with these two old farts every single day of his life, does he never get enough of this? Wait a minute, he used to own all this art! He got it from Phil when he pretended to die! And he gave it all to the fucking Dead Lisa Foundation. We all know where that money went! Mr. Hollywood and his ego trip. God, I need a divorce lawyer. He can have the kid, it’s not like I give a shit either. Who’s watching him again? Eh, I’m sure he’ll be fine. Oh God, he thinks he’s being witty. I’d better smile again…”

  12. Dood

    Doesn’t “partnership” literally mean “required contributions from both”?

  13. Gerard Plourde

    Today’s FW blog entry is an excerpt from the intro to Volume 11 talking about his drafting table (which his dad bought him when he was in 7th grade). He identifies it as being made by the Eugene Dietzgen Co, of Delaware and goes on to relate that Dietzgen was a German immigrant who “ who set up shop in America and began manufacturing drafting tables… In researching this introduction (yes, even though they look like I’ve totally wung ’em, I do research the intros), I found a Dietzgen board up for auction as a “solid oak vintage collectable” with a suggested price of $3,000. Lordy.”

    Being from the PA-NJ-DE Tri-State area, I was curious about Dietzgen. He is an interesting character and his company was important, but no Delaware connection. So much for TomBa’s research.

    (Oddly, I did find that I had encountered the company headquarters and its distinctive logo before, as a DePaul University parent.)


    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Good Lord, that page is awful.

      “The Dietzen Company was founded in Frogballs, Arkansas in 1836 (I can’t finish a sentence without inserting a random thought) when the inspiration of the comic book struck me like an unfiltered cross bolt from the blue green sky of splendiferous wonderment (“quatsch”, as the Katzenjammer Kids would say) and became the tableau whereupon I manifested my special magic with the character of Les (I wrote previously about the publishing pressures and the stresses manifested therein in the forward to Claude Barlow Volume 36) propitiously because the advanced techniques I used in this voluminous tribute to the art of wordplay conjoined with art were crucial to the inherent development of said nomenclature.”

    • Y. Knott

      Dietzgen operated out of Chicago for decades starting in 1885, but a successor company was incorporated in Delaware in 1917, presumably for tax reasons. (Famously, Delaware has extremely generous corporate tax rules — corporations registered in Delaware that do not do business in the state do not pay corporate income tax.)

      Typically, Batiuk’s ‘research’ misses the 25,000 connections Dietzgen has to Chicago (where the company still operates), and instead lands on Delaware. Our boy Batiuk is nothing if not consistent!

      • Gerard Plourde

        Right. As you mentioned, due to favorable tax incentives many companies incorporate in Delaware, even though they have no actual presence in the state. At the same time, the state has also developed an experienced and knowledgeable trial court for business matters. This is one reason that the Twitter/Musk merger controversy has landed in Delaware Chancery Court (the court specifically designed to litigate complex corporate disputes).

  14. sorialpromise

    Thank you , @be ware of eve hill
    Paths of Glory: That German girl was sure to be abused as a prisoner. The soldiers had been numerous times to the front and against odds, they were the survivors, but no longer had a soul. What a hellhole WW1 fighting was. They were war abused and hopeless. But her choice of song, the Faithful Hussar, brought back their humanity. They saw her now as a person representing their homes, towns, families. She became what they thought they were fighting for originally, and for what they enlisted.
    Eve, I always look for your posts. You and your family are blessed. Same for me. I have been married for 47 years. Two kids: my daughter age 42. My son age 32. He has given me 2 sweet grandkids. They have this wild idea that Pop is special. I do not know where they got that idea!
    Light and life!

    • be ware of eve hill

      I read sometime after the movie was released, the German girl became the third Mrs. Kubrick!

      I’m so glad to read that you’re happily married. You sounded so sad about being lonely.

      We are indeed blessed. We just celebrated our 36th anniversary. One son, age 33. He’s an only child because he was a difficult birth, and I never let him forget it. He and his delightful wife have given us two wonderful grandchildren. A boy age 6, and a girl age 4. Unfortunately, we don’t live close, but tomorrow is video call day! I get to be “Grammie.” YaY!

      Wishing God’s best for you and your family.