Armageddon Outta Here

Link To Click On If You Dare

Christ on a cracker, not THESE assholes now. And they’re STILL working on those imbecilic “Elemental” comics (or komix, in the Ohioese). God, I hate these motherf*ckers, man. Sorry, but it’s true. They’re in the strip all the time now. And apparently, to add insult to injury, this is a Batton/AK-themed garbage dump arc, where he’s just using “ideas” (for lack of a better term) he couldn’t squeeze in anywhere else, like wry Batton Thomas gags and old comic book references. Unless it’s the last week of the year, garbage dump arcs are just inexcusable. And single panel garbage dump arc strips are just the lowest of the low. It’s the comic strip equivalent of always wearing sweatpants with a small-but-growing hole in the crotch.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

57 responses to “Armageddon Outta Here

  1. William Thompson

    And once again we have no idea what the “story” is about, much less what constitutes “subterranean climate damage”–although it wouldn’t surprise me to find the story has Satan complaining about how this unholy trinity stinks up Hell with their damned ugly artwork and smug airs.

    • Green Luthor

      I think it’s “‘Subterranean’ climate damage”; i.e., it’s an issue of the “Subterranean” comic about “climate damage”. Though really, I don’t think I care either way.

      • William Thompson

        You’d think the Lord of Language could manage a little more clarity.

        • Green Luthor

          You’d think. (He put “Subterranean” in quotes, which is why I’m assuming it’s referring to the character, but it’s probably rather presumptuous to think anyone actually remembers these uninspired characters he keeps throwing at us.)

    • ComicBookHarriet

      When he did the Oceanaire climate damage cover, it was specific to her elemental realm. It showed her floating in a sea of plastic.

      But I guess Batiuk can’t conceive of any subterranean ecological concerns. Not gonna jump on the fracking hatewagon? Or the toxic mining of rare earth metals for batteries? Or decry the overdrawing of underground aquifers ? Or bemoan agricultural soil compaction?

      Come on man! A little creativity here!

  2. sorialpromise

    With these 3, Satan could be out of a job.

  3. Banana Jr. 6000

    “Oh, I sure love drawing Five O’Clock High! I wish I could do my whole career over from the beginning! Well, three days was enough of that shit, it’s time to talk about comic books some more.”

  4. Green Luthor

    Are we going to have to wait until Sunday to be underwhelmed by this “mind-blowing” cover, or are we going to be subjected to it on a weekday? (Though either way, it’s going to be an awful, bland, generic cover that looks like a self-published book from the 80s, I’m sure.)

    • Epicus Doomus

      I think both you and I already know the answer to that question. Sigh.

    • Hannibal's Lectern

      “If this comic isn’t mind-blowing…”

      Can I order a copy printed on Kleenex™? Because knowing Batty, it’ll be lucky if it’s suitable for blowing my nose.

  5. RudimentaryLathe?

    Y’know, when Bill Watterson got preachy about environmentalism he at least had the sense to present it in a 6-year-old’s mindset. (Not that it’s bad to want to protect the planet, it’s just a subject that a lot of people oversimplify).
    Batiuk has septuagenarians going “I solved climate damage with a comic book!” and he thinks he’s actually done something 🙄

  6. be ware of eve hill

    Sorry, my bad. Yesterday, I said to myself, “How could this story arc get any worse.” Unfortunately, the powers that-be were listening.

    I doubt that comic book cover is mind-blowing, and you should still be dead, Phil.

    • Green Luthor

      Never, ever, EVER ask how this comic could get any worse. Batiuk WILL show you how.

      • be ware of eve hill

        Batiuk’s ears must have been burning, and he gladly accepted the challenge.
        Batiuk: (arms akimbo) You hate today’s comic? Wait until you get a load of tomorrow’s! Ha ha ha!

        It’s odd how Batiuk keeps going back to the drab duo. They’re hardly fan favorites. I think TB just likes to feel like the youngest one in the room.

        Let’s make it a party. Let’s include old man Dinkle and Crankshaft. 😱
        Dinkle: Hi. I was just in the neighborhood. Would you like to buy some choir candy?
        Crankshaft: Pmm… Jff… *wheeze*

        What the hell, let’s bring in Mort Winkerbean and the rest of the Bedside Mannerisms?

        • sorialpromise

          Crap! Damn, Eve! What have you got against us? Do you have any mirrors we can break? Any black cats to cross our path? Do you carry around ladders for the express purpose of us walking under? I am not a prophet, but I sense you have cursed all of the next 12 arcs to be worse than the one before. (Gosh! That was remarkably easy!) Way to go, Eve. We are doomed! Doomed I say! It will be all your fault for playing with fire.

          • be ware of eve hill

            No way, man! You’re not gonna blame Batiuk’s inability to create a competent comic strip on me. Batiuk’s selfish topics and blatant lack of talent are solely to blame!

            As my Mom used to say, when I suggested particular events were swayed by my actions or something I said, “Oh please, you’re not that powerful.”

            I am not a prophet, but I sense you have cursed all of the next 12 arcs to be worse than the one before. (Gosh! That was remarkably easy!)
            Way to go out on a limb, SP! 😂

          • sorialpromise

            It is to predict the past!

  7. be ware of eve hill

    Creating yet another cover. How about actually creating some content? You know, stories.

    Is Batiuk actually interested in comic books, or does he just like the pretty covers?

    • Y. Knott

      I’m pretty sure you could use this panel and nothing else to prove to the satisfaction of a medical review board that the person who wrote this has had some sort of mild stroke.

      • Y. Knott

        Huh. Not sure why this appeared as a reply to BOEH’s comment. I believe I was trying to reply to an Epicus Doomus comment.

        Oh, well. Hi BOEH! Nice to have you back.

        • be ware of eve hill

          👋 Hello dere.

          I think that has happened to all of us at one time or another. Sometimes I think the reply box moves when you’re not looking.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      That’s a very good question. Batiuk’s “Komix Thoughts” blog is almost entirely about covers, splash pages, and The Flash. There’s never a word about story, character development, other franchises, comic books expanding into other mediums, the comic book industry, or anything else a comic book afficionado would be interested in. Even his fantasy comic publisher does nothing but conceive and draw covers, and congratulate themselves for it. Not one word is spent on story, anything about the storytelling universe, the business, or what the hell the Subterranean even is.

      Tom Batiuk is completely obsessed with comic books, but in ways absolutely no one else on earth can relate to. What he does is not “inside baseball” stuff – even that would find a niche audience. He’s obsessed with the fictional world he’s created around the creation of comic books, and about his desired role on it. We see this over and over and over in the Atomik Komix arcs. And this week, without Batiuk even realizing how awkwardly he shifted from “I love making comic strips” straight back into comic books.

      • be ware of eve hill

        How Batiuk utilizes his blog aggravates me. He highlights Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft on the main page, but he rarely mentions them in his blog. Whenever he mentions them, it’s about something “in the pipeline”. Something we won’t see in a strip for several months.

        The Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft pages consist of just the same tired old “about” write-ups we’ve read a hundred times and a chance to hawk his books compilations.

        Why is it so difficult for him to discuss the strips in his blog? Why not flesh out the Mitchell Knox character? Remind us about his career at Batom Comics? Why does the spaceship in Phil’s drawing look so unique? Why does Batiuk obsess about The Valentine theater? Is the Valentine based on a particular theater from his childhood? Was there an incident in real life that was the catalyst for creating a certain story arc? Are the artists who draw your sideways Sunday covers friends or just hired guns?

        I mean, it’s obviously his blog and he can write about whatever the hell he wants, but is the average comic strip reader dying to know his opinions on classic science fiction?

        I mean, ‘Flash Friday’? WTH? Why write about a comic book that was published when I was in Kindergarten? Is that of any interest to present-day comic book fans, or are they face down asleep in their scrambled eggs too?

        • sorialpromise

          Eve, those are all great questions. I would enjoy reading his answers. But compare Mr. Batiuk to Breathed, Watterson, Amend, McDonnell, Pastis, and Schultz. These others tried to give in depth answers to questions either in their books or interviews. Not TB. From what I can tell, any of his interviews or blogs have the same repeated answers.
          Another difference: they continued to grow as artists. They got involved in other projects that made their cartooning better. Some went into creative drawing art. Some into prose books. Others went into animation and music. Some into world issues to make the world a better place. To my knowledge, Mr. Batiuk has not. He wants a Pulitzer before he dies. Berke Breathed actually won the award in 1987. I am sure he enjoys it. I know he deserved it. Yet he was mercilessly attacked by the crowd that usually wins that award. I don’t believe Mr. Batiuk could handle that level of conflict.
          You are insightful and care deeply. I hope someday, we all will get those questions answered.

          • be ware of eve hill

            If TB thinks he is such a gifted “storyteller” why doesn’t he write a book? According to his blog, he’s a prodigious reader of science fiction. Come on, Mr. Science Fiction Aficionado, let’s see those alleged writing chops.

            I’ve witnessed established comic strip creators retire their comic strips because they wanted to move on to other pursuits like writing books. Norm Feuti (Retail) and Terri Libenson (The Pajama Diaries) just to name a couple.

            Sorry, TB, getting your alma mater to publish compilations of comic strips is not really considered “writing a book”. Your long-winded-painful-to-read introductions included.

  8. So much excrement stuffed into a single panel:

    – “Climate damage.” Philled Hole, please claw your way back into your grave. Dying was the one noble act you performed for humanity. And Batdick, “climate change” is not copyrighted. Use it at will. Not that copyrights have ever stopped you before.

    -“You might need a doctor, because you might already be dead.” Using “might” twice in one sentence? Chef’s kiss. Also, a dead person needs a mortician, not a doctor. If this was an actual quote from EC, I offer no apology.

    -“Way to tee it up.” Tee what up? Even if it does make sense, shut up Phlush Phloppyphace. Phorever.

    -“Very Armaggedony.” Who asked for your worthless opinion, lifetime failure Batton? Get this vagrant off Atomix Komix property!

  9. Epicus Doomus

    “You might already be dead…like I was that time!”. Flash doesn’t even bat an eyelash at this line. I missed it, too. The thing is, though, that I don’t think BatYam was even aware of the irony this line is so deeply steeped in. Otherwise, maybe he would have tried to write a gag around it, instead of having Flash and Batton make sub-moronic wry remarks. Again, I doubt it’s intentional or even that he’s aware of it, but these characters have been even stupider than usual lately.

  10. The Duck of Death

  11. Banana Jr. 6000

    Jesus H. Christ, how unoriginal are these people that they’re copying their promotional blather from other comic books?

  12. WordPress devoured my earlier, longer, much brillianter comment, but here’s a lesser attempt:

    Philled Hole: “You might need a doctor, because you might already be dead.” Of all people, you should know that dead people don’t need doctors. They need morticians. Speaking of which, please claw your way back into your grave where you belong. Dying was the greatest, and only, service you did for this strip and humanity.”

    As for you, Batton, I suggest you vamoose before Atomix Komix has you tossed face-first from the building like the useless vagrant you are.

  13. billytheskink

    “Here’s the cover!”

    No cover is visible to the reader, nor is anyone in the strip looking at anything hidden from our view that could be the cover…

    “Tell don’t show” is a criticism, TB. It is NOT a challenge.

    • Green Luthor

      Obviously, he’s saving it for a Sunday sideways strip. Which means Friday and Saturday will probably be spent hyping up the cover, which will completely underwhelm once we do see it.

  14. erdmann

    Way to tee it up? Ok, I get that it’s a golf reference , but how does its use here make any sense?
    Didn’t the strip’s last golf reference lead the fiery destruction of Southern California? Are these three fossils about to burn down half of Ohio? Very Armageddony indeed!

  15. William Thompson

    “Armaggedony?” Does that mean like the Nineties movie, which somebody described as “a two-and-a-half hour long trailer for a real movie?” Loud, boring, pointless, interesting only if you want to see how many scientific and astronomical absurdities you can spot, and ultimately forgettable? Yeah, Batiuk may have got that one right.

  16. J.J. O'Malley

    EC Comics, huh (and trust me, I’m going to thumb through my library of hardcover EC reprints because I’d bet dollars to donuts that “you may already be dead” line never appeared on any of their covers. Publisher Bill Gaines was all about shock images, not prolix proclamations.)? Actually, today’s dialogue makes perfect sense, because the nonagenarian trio featured do resemble the Crypt Keeper, the Vault Keeper, and the Old Witch (speaking of the latter, whatever happened to Ruby Lith?)

    • robertodobbs

      I’m not an EC expert at all but I have a few originals and many of the reprints that Russ Cochran did back in the 90s. I don’t remember the “you may already be dead” being on any cover. Nor does it make any sense to need a doctor because you’re dead.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        It’s just empty, cliched marketing text. It’s fodder for parody, like in this famous GEICO commercial.

        It speaks volumes about Atomik Komix that nobody on staff is capable of writing such banal text, despite all the world-class writers that are supposedly on staff, and the huge salaries they’re paid. One of them remembers something he saw on a comic book once, and the others just nod and agree at how amazing it is. To promote a series they should have finished up months ago, and which itself is an empty clone of better comic books. ALL Atomik Komix material is an empty clone of better comic books.

        The creative bankruptcy of Atomik Komix – and Tom Batiuk – is just astounding. Neither of them should still be in business.

      • Anonymous Sparrow

        Nor do I! The covers generally had an illustration without much of a come-on, beyond the promise of “Jolting Tales of Tension in the EC Tradition,” “Incredible Science Fiction,” “War and Fighting Men” and “Science” (with *Weird Fantasy*) and *Fantasy* (with *Weird Science*).

        The horror books offered “Terror” (*Tales from the Crypt,* which was originally *The Crypt of Terror*), “Horror” (*The Vault of Horror*) and “Fear” (*The Haunt of Fear*)

        Maybe Batiuk got tired of people saying that his comic-book memories never referenced the spawn of William M. Gaines and wanted to throw them a bone. If so, dogs should bury it at once and forget where it is.

        “‘T’ain’t the bait, it’s the Batiuk,” to rewrite an actual EC story title (“Tain’t the Meat…It’s the Humanity,” from *Tales from the Crypt* #32).

        • J.J. O'Malley

          Yup. As I suspected, couldn’t find a single EC cover close to that. And a quick Grandpa Google quest turned up the 1979 horror film classic “Phantasm,” whose poster tagline read “If this one doesn’t scare you…You’re Already Dead!” (see how much more succinct that was than Phil’s word balloon?). Leave it to Batiuk to toss out a “historical” tidbit with no true history behind it.

          • erdmann

            Ah ha! I knew that “already dead” bit seemed familiar and I knew darned well it wasn’t from an EC cover. Man, I need to watch that again. It’s been way too long. ‘Tis the season, after all.

    • Hannibal's Lectern

      I did a quick google search for the etymology of the “mind blowing” cliché. Found this on dictionary dot com: “The original meaning of mind blown is closely tied to drug use, especially psychedelic drug use. This sense became popular in the late 1960s, based on the slightly earlier formulations, mind-blowing and to blow one’s mind, documented as early as the mid-1960s.”

      Notice the dates: first documented in the mid-60s, became popular in the late ’60s. Meanwhile (according to Wikipedia), E.C. stopped publishing all its titles (except Mad magazine) in 1956.

      So… if an E. C. Comics cover actually once contained this blather, it’s because a young Batiuk scribbled it there. No doubt with one of those “special” pens.

      • Gerard Plourde


        Regarding this example of TomBa’s sloppy research (if you can call it that) I can only once again repeat Addison DeWitt’s comment to Eve Harrington in “All About Eve”. -“That was a stupid lie, easy to expose”.

  17. ComicBookHarriet

    A third week, and an Atomik Komiks week at that, is pushing Epicus closer and closer to his breaking point…

    • Epicus Doomus

      I’ll make it. It’s just that seeing Flash and Phil again was rather demoralizing, as I’m sure everyone else felt too. Ugh. His fixation with those two has been Act III’s most revolting development.

  18. Banana Jr. 6000

    The last “climate damage” comic book cover was 5 months ago. Don’t comic books come out frequently than that? Shouldn’t they have published several volumes of this by now, and moved on to something else? And is this really what Phil Holt came back from the dead and revived his dream project to do? Make sub-Captain Planet “climate damage” stories with rando old cartoonists who just wander in off the street to use the treadmill?

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Comic books generally come out once a month, and an arc for a story usually takes between 6-12 issues. Much of comics writing these days is geared toward trade paperbacks encapsulating a single story.

      If a comics company wants a story to come out faster, and build a larger, more concentrated ‘hype’ they sometimes come out every two weeks.

      I don’t think the year long ‘Climate Damage’ arc is going to sell many trades at Barnes and Noble tho…

  19. Paul Jones

    This mess is, of course, connected to Batomic Comic Obsessive’s love of cheesy fake-out comics covers. Every week, the old fool posts a fake-out cover and the boring actual story that it falsely advertises.

  20. Paul Jones

    Oh, no. We get to spend the next few weeks watching Les be the same idiot he always was.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      He threw his arm out? Gee, I wonder what he was doing…

      • The Duck of Death

        He’s joining the growing ranks of arm amputees in the Westview/Centerville metroplex. He means he literally threw his arm out, with the hospital’s other medical waste.

  21. Doghouse Reilly (Minneapolis)

    Why would a dead person need a doctor?

  22. Gerard Plourde

    There’s a very good reason why the phrase couldn’t have appeared on an EC cover. EC printed between 1944 and 1956. The term “mind-blowing” is a product of ‘60s counterculture.,early%20as%20the%20mid%2D1960s.

    • Hannibal's Lectern

      Bingo! I just did a little online research and came up with the exact same discovery. For some reason the site seems to have punted my reply into the “moderation” bucket. Must be a pretty smart site if it’s now pruning duplicates…

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Good research, you guys. Tom Batiuk can’t even plagiarize correctly. This strip does nothing but quote a marketing blurb from a comic book, which we now know can’t have actually existed. He’s now having fever dreams about his fever dreams. And publishing them as strips. It’s really getting ugly.

  23. ian'sdrunkenbeard


  24. Saneharry

    What’s great about act three is that it only does garbage dump arcs. There’s no plot because nothing consequential ever happens. There’s no characters because each person in the strip is an interchangeable mouthpiece for Batiuk’s brain farts. It’s just an endless stream of garbage, which may take various forms, but never subatantially changes. We’re in “Garbage dump act” and it shows no sign of ending.