LOL oh, that irrepressible Batton, he’s more fun than a bag of fractured tailbones. You won’t find a lot of individual strips as totally pointless as this one is, and that’s a bold, bold claim. The pretend BatYam is even duller than the real one is, and again, bold claim.
And, for the third day in a row, Boy Lisa just stands there like an imbecile, staring at Batton with that bemused, sort of sympathetic look on his face. Shouldn’t he be hard at work, illustrating Pete’s latest moronic ideas? This Atomik Komix krew needs a real whip-cracker at the helm, like how Retro Pete and Boy Lisa had back in the ol’ Batom Comics days, back when everyone still spelled things correctly. Ol’ Brady wouldn’t have put up with this geezer’s yammering, that’s for damn sure.
39 responses to “The End Of Our Elaborate Plans, The End of Everything That’s Bland”
When Batton Thomas speaks, I hear him in David Hedison’s whiny, irritating voice from “The Fly.” Maybe that’s why I want to swat him.
I’ve always heard Batton as Droopy Dog. “When I get to the end, I want to start all over again…………..bub.”
Isn’t he taking a page from “For Better Or For Worse”?
Let’s hope not, unless you really want to see him start over in Act I.
That was my first thought: Is this a threat that he’s going to start this whole strip over with his trenchant observations of today’s high school youth? Gawd, I’m going to pretend I never typed those words.
Just imagine it. He seemingly wraps up Act III with a big happy group “farewell” Sunday strip, and on Monday the strip starts again from the beginning. It’d be the most Batiukian thing ever.
But this time with blinking.
Oh god, I had forgotten The Blinkening. There’s my nightmare fuel for the foreseeable future!
I want to kill you.
If that isn’t a war crime, Batton, it should be.
Batton, possibly the most dreary, self-deprecating schlub who’s ever lived, can’t think of anything else to do after retirement than the same, less-than-satisfying thing he just spent a hundred years doing. So is he some kind of weird masochist, or just a moron?
Try “covert narcissist.”
Let’s borrow some of Orson Welles’ words here, originally in reference to TB and Les favorite Woody Allen.
“I hate Batton Thomas physically, I dislike that kind of man.
I can hardly bear to talk to him. He has the Chaplin disease. That particular combination of arrogance and timidity sets my teeth on edge.
Like all people with timid personalities, his arrogance is unlimited. Anybody who speaks quietly and shrivels up in company is unbelievably arrogant. He acts shy, but he’s not. He’s scared. He hates himself, and he loves himself, a very tense situation.
Everything he does on the page is therapeutic.”
Thanks for the quote BTS. Orson Wells says more succinct and bitingly the sort of wordless cringe I’ve always felt whenever I’ve seen Woody Allen speak.
I imagine that passage being spoken in Orson Welles’ voice. Or at least Maurice LeMarche’s “The Brain” voice.
God, I love Postmodern Jukebox.
“Gee, TB, what do you wanna do tonight?” “The same thing we do every night, Ayers: try to win a Pulitzer Prize!”
And like Funky Winkerbean, Pinky and the Brain met Bill Clinton!
Still, this is more heartening than this exchange from “Marty”:
Angie: What do you wanna do tonight?
Marty Pilletti: I dunno, Angie. What do you wanna do?
Boy, that Mickey Spillane…
Oh no! This isn’t a comic strip — It’s a Möbius strip and we’re all caught in its endless loop!
Hey, Moebius was a great comics artist and doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as this strip!
True. And I don’t believe he ever made such a terrible veiled threat to his readers, so he had that going for him.
Moebius drew a great 2 issue story of Galactus and the Silver Surfer. I believe Stan Lee wrote it. It was my first contact with Moebius.
Wait…is Batiuk gioving his legions of devoted readers a clue that 2023 will see the debut of “Funky Winkerbean: Act IV,” with the original Westview High gang all devolved back to teenagers: Funky trying to score with the girls, Les stationed in the hallway with a machine gun, Rolanda back to Roland, Lisa as a glasses-wearing dweeb, Tony running Montoni’s, and Dinkle as band director? Are we fated, a la Sisyphus, to go through this all again? NOOOOOO!!!!!!
Not that anyone has noticed, but a certain daily multiple poster has not appeared since October 1 @2:26pm. Maybe her posts have acquired invisibility powers? Maybe only the worthy are able to see them? Maybe only the true believers can reach such lofty heights of perfect prose?
I don’t blame anyone who wants to take a sabbatical during a Batton Thomas arc.
Or an Atomik Komix arc, come to think of it.
Or a Les arc, or a Dinkle arc, or a Funky at an AA meeting arc, or a time travel arc, or a retirement home arc, or a “this one’s bound to get me some New York Times column inches” arc….
Yet I never want to take a “Y. Knott” sabbatical.
Ha! Made me look at the October 1st posts to see if you were referring to me. I’m sure no one noticed my absence until you pointed it out.
Oh, no! I’m starting to self-deprecate! It’s Batton Thomas disease! I think it might be terminal! I’m going to die with a wry smirk on my face! Thppt!
You know, Eve, there is a psychological term for people who think everything written is about them.
It doesn’t mean they are always wrong.
You were missed, woman.
I don’t know how long Boy Lisa thinks it takes to offer Batton a job writing for Atomik Comix, but if it’s holding back the Dead Lisa Moore Memorial Legacy Death Fun Run to Remember Les Moore Whose Wife Is Dead, I don’t mind.
Ah, more nostalgia. Nostalgia for an age when the author’s work was — well, not popular, it was never popular — and, well, uh, no, not especially respected either. But at least it wasn’t wildly UNpopular or routinely DISrespected. Remember? The strip had its moments, didn’t it? And it had promise, of a sort, right? The sort of promise that maybe someday everything would come together for a run of ten or fifteen consecutive really strong strips that would catch someone’s attention at JUST the right time, and maybe with a few breaks here and there — Berke Breathed retires, Doonesbury‘s on sabbatical again, there’s a minor highway accident which results in a few broken arms belonging to Bill Watterson, Cathy Guisewite, Lynn Johnston and Bill Amend — maybe, maybe there’s the possibility of some sort of shiny industry award for a certain Ohio cartoonist?
Yes, back to the beginning. Back to when there was an endless vista of possibilities. Back to a time — a time almost inconceivable now — a magical, legendary time when the author didn’t completely suck.
Pretty sure that Batton/Batom is tipping the Funky felt tip to the song “Stage Fright” by The Band.
See the man with the stage fright
Just standin’ up there to give it all his might.
He got caught in the spotlight,
but when we get to the end
He wants to start all over again.
So is Batiuk self-aware enough to be poking fun at his unbearably self-effacing, humble comic strip guy act via Batton, or is it just a case of it being all he really knows? Batton is even more grating than the real Batiuk, but is that deliberate or just a “happy accident”? In classic Batom style, he created an opportunity to write himself into his strip, and THIS is what he came up with.
It’s like North Korean propaganda. Batiuk wants to spin this folksy, friendly image of himself when it’s the opposite of what he really is. He doesn’t want to keep making “Three O’Clock High” and start it all over from the beginning: he wants to make comic books. And he can’t even be honest about that.
Oh, screw you, Tom Batiuk, you lying sack of crap. We all know full well what you’d rather be doing than your comic strip. As “Batton Thomas” needlessly invites himself to the comic book bullpen and insinuates himself into their lives for the 500th time.
Why can’t Batiuk just be honest about what he wants, which is to make comic books? Because he knows, on some level, that “75-year-old comic book obsessive” isn’t the folksy image he wants for himself. And that he should be a teensy bit thankful for his 50-year career, and for being allowed to publish whatever he wants for the last 15. So he has his most blatant Mary Sue lie through his teeth about what he really wants and feels.
And “go back to the beginning?” Give me a break. Other than comic books, the thing Batiuk talks about most in his blog is how he refuses to return the strip to its roots (when it was actually good), and how much better a writer he is now. He refuses to do gags, refuses to do aside glances, writes ego wank material like “I became increasingly ambitious on the writing side and started advancing toward an even more mature writing approach” and generally refuses everything that was once fun about the strip, while still trying to wallow in its nostalgia.
Have you ever seen An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn? You shouldn’t, because it’s freaking horrible. Sylvester Stallone, Whoopi Goldberg, and Jackie Chan are supposed to be playing themselves. But they’re completely stiff and artificial, like they’re afraid to actually reveal anything about themselves. There’s outtakes over the end credits, where they make mistakes, slip into their real selves for a moment, then put the artifice back up before doing another take. That’s what today’s strip is. It purports to be a window into these people’s real selves. But it is fake, fake, fake, fake, fake and everyone can see it a mile away.
What he’d most like to do is to get all the people who call him out on being an inept shlub to admit that they’re bullies who are secretly in awe of his alleged prowess.
The greatest wish of Parvulesco, the novelist in Jean-Luc Godard’s “Breathless” (played by the director Jean-Pierre Melville) was to become immortal and then die.
Now Godard (R.I.P.) has ridden the snake to the lake and the nouvelle vague washes out to the sea.
Batton Lash is gone and Batton Thomas is still here. Why should old men not be mad, William Butler Yeats, and in both senses of the word?
Came for the snark.
Stayed for the dissertation on French new-wave cinema.
Is the Foobocalypse upon us?
But would Batiuk reset the strip, just start doing high school strips again? Or would the entire cast get into a massive car accident while wearing helmets that are “out-gassing”, thus transporting themselves into the past? (The second one would be FAR stupider, whereas the first one is something Batiuk could actually pull off with whatever meager talent he has left. So… it would be the second one, right?)