A Large With Double Smirks And Extra Self-Entitlement, Please

That coy pose is making me really uncomfortable.


Then you may want to avert your eyes from today’s strip.

We end up at Montoni’s after all. Maybe the pizza box monster will show up by Halloween. I would welcome it. I would welcome a month-long Pete and Darin awards arc, if it would end this smugapalooza.

Look at that coquettish pose in Panel 3, with the closed eyes and the deliberate little nod. “Oh yes, it’s true, lil’ old me, writing a book.” I just want to scream “YOU HAVEN’T DONE ANYTHING YET!”, Sam Kinison style.

Why is anyone taking this seriously? Especially Les. We’ve seen him grumble about Summer’s indecisiveness, and having to support her year after year. He could have put all of the Roughriders through Oberlin for the money he’s spent trying to get his one child through Kent State. I know I keep bringing this up, but it’s a major problem to this non-story.

She wants to write a book? Big deal. So does everyone who has more than 50 Twitter followers. Lots of people write books. You probably know several. In fact, let’s test that theory: if you’re writing a book, or have ever written one, say so in the comments.

There are at least three of us. Commenters Hannibal’s Lectern and sorialpromise said Monday that they have both written books. I’ve written two school textbooks as part of a past technical writing job.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

122 responses to “A Large With Double Smirks And Extra Self-Entitlement, Please

  1. Epicus Doomus

    I know, I say this all the time, but seriously, this is one of the most excruciating things I’ve seen yet over the course of my twelve years here at SoSF. Les and Summer together are like mixing ammonia and bleach and taking a big whiff. Actually, it’s more like sticking your entire head in the pail. I just cannot believe he brought her back like this. If he starts getting all nostalgic over early Act III (and it sure looks that way), we’re all in for a wild, wild ride. By FW standards, of course.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      But does it top this?

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        And Les doesn’t even clap. For actors who just gave a performance as him, in his life story, that he wrote. That is superhuman commitment to being an asshole.

        • His little “thumb’s up” gesture could probably be construed as praise, if we didn’t already know he was responding to his “Let me show you what I’ve got up my ass” remark.

      • Andrew

        Having missed most of the “Lisa Movie Take 2 filming” strips, it’s very amusing that Ayers went for illustrating an outdoor set as using a literal backdrop and a circle of scenery like this was a photo studio setup.

  2. Lord Flatulence

    I wrote a book report once.

  3. sorialpromise

    Wow! What a line! Their finest pizzas will spark some juices, but I don’t know how creative they are.
    (I anticipate bwoeh doing great things with today’s strip. I am all atwitter!)
    Thank you, BJ6000 for the writing mention.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Those creative juices will be flowing all night! You won’t be able to sleep! And you’d be amazed how long you can thumb-peck away on your phone when you plug the charger into the socket by the toilet!

  4. RudimentaryLathe?

    I am not a fan of Ayers’ artwork but I have to hand it to him right now: Summer’s face grows more punchable with every panel. That takes …. maybe not talent, but *something*.

    • I’m starting to think that Ayers is deliberately giving us all toxic levels of douche chills with his depictions of Summer. That utterly unearned smugness on her mug in panel 3 is just masterful. It kind of soothes me to think that he loathes this self-fellating dreck as much as we do.

  5. J.J. O'Malley

    I’m still shopping the manuscript for my whimsical children’s book, “Ricky the Carnivorous Pony,” the first entry in a planned seven-volume series.

    For some reason, today’s pizzeria persiflage reminded me of the 1978 debut episode of “Taxi,” when Elaine tells Alex she’s only working in the garage part-time and isn’t really a cab driver. “I understand,” Alex replies. “You see that guy over there? He’s an actor. The guy on the phone? He’s a prizefighter. This lady over here? She’s a beautician. Man behind her? He’s a writer. Me? I’m a cab driver. I’m the only cab driver in this place.”

    • sorialpromise

      You might try Kindle Publishing, especially as an e-book. Your pictures will be in color that way. You have to do all the work yourself, but it is inexpensive.
      I don’t get a lot of royalties. (They wouldn’t fill a CBH milk bucket 🪣) Yet it would be available for sale on Amazon.
      How does one get a copy of Hannibal’s Lectern book? I would buy a copy.

      • ComicBookHarriet

        It wouldn’t take much to fill a CBH milk bucket, as our cows are all beef animals are are only milked if a calf is having nursing difficulties.

        So yes…the royalties would probably fill a washed out coffee canister three inches deep in warm colostrum.

        I second EVERYONE pimping their authorial creations. Except for me. I’ll be keeping my Transformers and Anime fanfiction to myself thankyouverymuch.

        • sorialpromise

          I’m drooling with the thought of reading your Anime fan fiction. Thank you for that word picture. See, CBH. You are a writer.

      • Hannibal's Lectern

        I had to look on Amazon to see if it’s even still in print.

        Apparently there are still some copies left in the warehouse. So, at the risk of offending the spam-catching robot, try this link:

        I am amused to find that Amazon now lists something like eight books with the same title. In truth, I never liked that title, but neither I nor the publisher could come up with a better one.

        Expect that for your $20 (paper) or $4 (kindle) you will get a lot of bad puns, a couple silly songs, and some variant of the word “beer” (“ale,” “stout,” “lager,” etc.) appearing on every page (DISCLAIMER: this is based on dividing the total number of times words for beer appear in the book, as counted by Microsoft Word, by the number of pages. We do not guarantee that each and every page of the book contains a reference to beer).

    • Joining the author parade, I did (co)-write two mathematics textbooks, way back when, more or less turning my thesis into something that could look like more on my CV. One of the books surprised me by turning up my first royalty check in a dozen years a couple months back, providing me a couple hundred bucks at a moment I was thinking I needed a couple hundred bucks for no clear reason.

      I thought about adapting the A-to-Z glossaries I’ve done on my mathematics blog into a pop-math book, but found it’s easier for me to just be sad instead.

      • gleeb

        I don’t know your branch of math, but opology is just crying out for a pop-up book.

      • Hannibal's Lectern

        While I was still working in the tech business, I wrote a few short articles for software/management magazines. The first one, published in the long-defunct “Visual Basic Journal,” I put into a nice frame, along with a copy of the check for $100, because this made me officially An Author. A professional author and consultant I knew once observed that anybody can be a Writer; all you have to do is write. You become an Author when somebody else pays you money for what you wrote.

        After I retired and started supplementing my income by substitute teaching at the local high school, I knocked off several short (~2000 word) “project war story” pieces for a project management website. I could write one of these in about a week of plan periods and study hall supervision, and they’d send me a check for a couple hundred bucks. By the time I ran out of easily-told stories, I had a couple thousand bucks. It was easily the most profitable writing I ever did, though I knew that all I was doing was filling the space between the ads on the website.

        One of the pieces was lifted (without my formally giving permission), condensed to the point of uselessness, decorated with a silly stock photo of a knight in armor, and printed in a glossy management magazine. This magazine seemed to do the same condense-and-decorate thing with lots of management/inspirational writers, so I can now claim that my work has appeared alongside that of Zig Ziglar and Colin Powell. They did not give me any money, but they did send a couple free copies of the magazine.

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      But even Alex wasn’t entirely immune to wanting to be something else, as we see in “Alex the Gofer,” when he gets involved with some theatrical producers.

      Louie De Palma and Alex have a hilarious exchange in this episode, wherein we learn of “too long,” “too much” and “two guys.”

      Not a bad description for *Funky Winkerbean,* or an epitaph.

      Harlan Ellison distinguished in *Dangerous Visions* between a writer (who puts down what’s in his head) and an author (who gets his name on published works). Using that, I am a writer, who has written several books, but I am not an author.

      ‘Twill serve, as Mercutio (whose death moved Holden Caulfield more than that of Romeo) put it.

      I think Summer and Batton Thomas are related. (Perhaps on the Crawford side?) They both have similar insufferable looks of false humility.

    • Hannibal's Lectern

      Reminds me of a business trip I took to Los Angeles back in the 1990s. A couple of us were eating breakfast in a restaurant, and overheard people in the next booth talking with the waiter (just loud enough to make sure we could hear them) about the scripts they had out for consideration and the acting jobs they were waiting to be called back about. We concluded this was the entertainment, provided for the enjoyment of us out-of-towners. On the way to our meeting, I was inspired to write a song, which I will now present for your (and the Academy’s) consideration:

      Everybody’s gonna be in pictures,
      Yeah, everybody’s gonna be a star.
      Somehow it seems the only part they ever play
      Is waitin’ on my table or washin’ off my car.
      Gotta get out of this city.
      ‘Cause darlin’ I’ll go crazy if I stay.
      And, frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn about L. A.

      (tune and delivery: as close as possible to Randy Newman as you can get without sparking an infringement suit)

      Please send my Award via FedEx (no Grammys, please)

      • Anonymous Sparrow

        Just “Act Naturally,” and you might win an Oscar (you can never tell!) or get one from Marianne Winters.

        Dinosaur Victrola, listenin’ to Buck Owens!

        • Hannibal's Lectern

          “…you might win an Oscar (you can never tell!) or get one from Marianne Winters.”

          Ewww! One that’s been touched by Les Moore? I’d have to wear rubber gloves when accepting it!

  6. Green Luthor

    Why are Holly and… Generic Blonde Woman setting up pictures on the counter in panel 1? Oh, right. Because whatever’s in those pictures is going to be what Summer writes about. Even though, y’know, they don’t even know she’s (allegedly) writing a book, or what it would be about. But if we don’t see them setting up the pictures, we won’t know why they would be there, because pizzerias never put pictures up on their walls or anything.

    Also, “how one of Montoni’s finest pizzas can spark the creative juices”? Hm, I think I know how that works. “Oh dear GOD that’s awful! That tastes like a dog ate it, crapped it out, ate its crap, and then vomited onto the plate.” Such descriptiveness can only be inspired by a Montoni’s pizza!

    It looks like Summer in panel 3 is trying to become even more of a backpfeifengesicht than Les. She’s not there yet, but she sure is trying. (In multiple sense of the word, really.)

    • I’ll admit, I had to Google backpfeifengesicht, but it was worth it.

    • William Thompson

      If GBW behind Holly is John Darling’s Daughter Whose Father Was Murdered, then she may be there to give Summer sage advice on how to interview people and get revealing statements from them. There’s nothing like a filmmaker with a never-released project to advise an author with an unwritten book.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I noticed that too. I figured it was a picture of the pizza box monster since Luigi’s has one on display. But seeing other girl whose name I don’t remember, and am too lazy to look up, means this will be much worse.

      • I thought maybe it was an iPad that they’re checking for online orders or something, and I think that’s Rachel, who’s a blonde on weekdays and a redhead on Sundays.

  7. Y. Knott

    If it’s sparked by Montoni’s pizza, it’s either crippling heartburn or a book by a member of the Moore family. Either way, you’ll be in excruciating pain!

    (Oh, have I written a book? Yes. A university textbook.)

  8. I’ve written a couple of books, but I’ve never published them. That makes me better than everyone in Westview. They put their first drafts out for their overlord to smirk over, and declare “Award winner!”

    I don’t have that kind of horrible ego. I hope.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Writing a couple of books, even unpublished, makes you pretty damn cool.

      But writing a single grocery list that doesn’t include mozzarella, cocoa, and comics is all that would be needed to make you better than everyone in Westview.

      • The thing is, I know what limitations are, and I know I have them. If I thought I was a genius, well, you’d already be reading my books and I’d have a whole shelf of awards.

        One must know what one can do, and what one should do. They are very different things.

        • ComicBookHarriet

          True. And genius is not a necessary for creating enjoyable, impactful art. A thing of beauty is beautiful, even if a million other things are more so.

          Never be afraid to hang your finger paintings on the fridge. Some of the most interesting art came from average joes without a smidge of genius.

          I think about the book, “Where the Red Fern Grows”. When Wilson Rawls wrote the book, it was full of spelling and grammatical errors because he was relatively uneducated. He kept the manuscript in a trunk for years, and finally burned it. Finally, his wife asked him to rewrite it, and he did, even though he still didn’t think it was good.


          Read it, and some amateur stuff seeps through. The kid cries every two pages. The dogs are totally OP. Things are constantly described in superlatives. But it is still a powerful little book. The world is better for it existing and being shared.

          That’s art.

          And how many other pretty and unique things have been burned without sharing because someone spotted a flaw?

          • Anonymous Sparrow

            “A thing of beauty is a joy forever” — John Keats.

            I picked up the complete poems of Keats a little while ago (yes, I’ll buy that for a dollar!) and you make me glad I did, ComicBook Harriet.

            Thank you.

            O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
            Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
            With forest branches and the trodden weed;
            Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
            As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
            When old age shall this generation waste,
            Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
            Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,
            “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
            Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            how many other pretty and unique things have been burned without sharing because someone spotted a flaw?

            And Tom Batiuk is the first guy who’d point out that flaw. He has his rules which he must enforce, even though he doesn’t follow them himself. It’s funny how critical he is, considering how sensitive to criticism he is.

          • sorialpromise

            I have seen the movie, now because of you, I want to read the book!

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      You give Summer way too much credit. First draft? All Summer has done is announce she wants to write a book. She hasn’t written a word yet, her topic is terrible, there’s no reason to believe she can accomplish any intellectual task. Les is already getting an agent and mentally planning her book tour.

  9. RudimentaryLathe?

    I’ve never released a book; I have a lot of story ideas but they mostly fall in the fanfic realm. If feckless Summer is about to become an Auteur De Luxe though, I might become more motivated to push my ideas 🤔

  10. Andrew

    This reminds me that I’ve been wanting to go to the IRL Luigis restaurant that Bautik wrote this holy grail of a fictional failed-chain, but seeing how it’s mirror counterpart gets idolized so much it’s tempting to just order a plate of spaghetti out of spite.

    (Also while this arc is encouraging memories of this strip’s past, can’t help but wonder if the ill-fated New York franchise of Montinis was actually meant to be a success Funky & the original owner were to be proud of that could inspire further “stories”, but then the recession happened and Tom went “Oh, I can do something topical!” and brought the ax down on their hopes and dreams for that reason.)

  11. batgirl

    I’ve got a novel out with an agent and have a couple of short stories published online (can provide links if anyone wants) by paying markets.
    I used to do the 3-Day Novel Contest over Labour Day weekend, and collected 3 of those into a short book which is up on Smashwords (downloadable free).

    On the downside I’ve been stuck on Book Two for a couple of years now.

  12. none

    There’s one project that I worked on by myself that paraphrases a set of federal law. It totals over 900K words and took me just under two years to complete. It’s still there now, but years out of date, which makes it more useless than it was when new.

    In respect of this work –

    Number of public citations I have received: Zero.
    Number of emails I have received: Zero.
    Number of linkbacks that I can trace: Zero.

    Why did I do it? To help enhance my knowledge on the subject, and having a lofty ideal that doing the work would give greater credibility to my service in the field. It doesn’t.

    It was stated by another poster here earlier in the week – the process of writing a book comes when the inspiration and passion compels you to do it, rather than making a choice to write a book and following a plan as if it’s a larger school assignment. Where is that passion in her project? Like the content and quality of the work itself, it will only be assumed.

    Everything about this arc is no different than if Summer would just declare “I want to be rich”, and money subsequently pools at her feet. This is assuming that Summer’s work won’t fail. I think that’s a pretty safe assumption.

  13. billytheskink

    I wrote and illustrated a couple of children’s board books for my nieces, one about words that rhyme with “ink” and another that uses sing-songs rhyme and the design of a Betamax cassette to teach basic shapes (square, circle, triangle, rectangle).

    Neither required me to eat the worst pizza in town for inspiration…

  14. Jeff M

    I’ve never written a book. Not that I’m bitter. In fact, this storyline has had a nice side effect. It has brought to mind the great Rodgers and Hart song, “I Could Write A Book,” from “Pal Joey.” The character who sings it is an idiot, who can barely sign his name, and is just trying to make time with some dumb dame. “And the simple secret of the plot/Is just to tell you that I love you/A lot…” is among its intentionally stupid lyrics. If Summer’s prose ever rises to even that dismal height, I’m Harold Lang.

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      Such an attitude will never get you a free meal at Chez Joey, Jeff M, but I suppose you’re too bewitched, bothered and bewildered to care.

      “An American Werewolf in London” makes exceptionally good use of Rodgers & Hart’s “Blue Moon.”

      Do you know “To Keep My Love Alive” from *Connecticut Yankee*?

      Sir Charles came from a sanitorium
      And yelled for drinks in my emporium
      I mixed one drink, he’s in memorium
      To keep my love alive…

  15. Veiltender

    I don’t if my dissertation counts a book (since it is a very specific genre of writing). I do have a revise and resubmit from an academic publisher, so in theory it’ll even be published once I get the edits back to the publisher.

    I’ve been a lurker for a long time now, having been made aware of Funky Winkerbean by the Comics Curmudgeon. For the first couple of months I simply couldn’t believe this comic could be as bad as the snarking made out to be, but after a couple of years of lurking, I’m a true believer. It’s awful. The pacing, the dialogue, the prestige arcs, the unlikeable characters. It’s like watching a train wreck happen in very, very slow motion.

    Anyway, this ‘blog is the only place on the Internet where I read the comments, since the comments here are actually worth reading.

    • Veiltender

      Uggh, first post and type. “I don’t know if my dissertation counts…”

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Welcome to the asylum, Veiltender!

      FW is unique in its awfulness. It takes TIME to truly appreciate. It’s easy to look at say, 9 Chickweed Lane or Modern Mark Trail and go, ugh…this is bad.

      But the Funkyverse is like a man missing his eyelashes, it takes a while to realize why exactly you’re feeling squicked out looking at it.

      • sorialpromise

        And it is so forgettable. Earlier today, I couldn’t remember the best arc of the year. It was just a couple of weeks ago. Then later, I remembered, Les gets tackled. How could I forget that? Oh yeah, FW.

        • Veiltender

          It really is incredibly forgettable. As I was trying to remember how long I had been lurking, I kept dredging up story arc after story arc that I had blissfully forgotten. It was only when I figured out that Zanzibar the Murder Chimp happened back in 2019 that realized how long I really had been lurking, because so much of FW had turned to this sludge in my memory.

  16. Charles

    I wrote two books in an unusual deal with a publishing house that went out of business before they were published.

    Not sure how that compares to writing a fanfic treatment for an entire Star Wars trilogy because I got so annoyed about Revenge of the Sith and how much more unsophisticated and shallow it was compared to Knights of the Old Republic 2, which had been released 3 months earlier. I remember that being spurred on by the Ebert review of the movie saying that it doesn’t matter what Lucas wants or says, there’s going to be a sequel trilogy; there’s too much money being left on the table for it to end with this.

    I’m not sure which is the worst thing about panel two, Les’s hair sliding off his head, or the perspective nightmare that is that table with the napkin holder and the salt/pepper shakers.

    Also, why must Batiuk always have his women defer to men? Funky and Summer’s exchange in panel 1 would more naturally lead to them having this conversation. He only needed to change what Les says in panel 2 to make it something that Summer would say. But instead, Les just pushes his daughter out of the conversation to talk about… his daughter.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Normally I would agree, but I don’t really see it here today. Summer and Lisa always got a lot of unearned praise and so I would be ok with them being disrespected. And what’s with Summer saying “ Funky “ instead of Mr Winkerbean.

      I’m more disturbed by slack jawed Plugger Funky in the last panel. Has he been hitting the sauce?

  17. Professor Fate

    I’ve written four unpublishable novels over the years and am currently slogging through revising a fifth which which may be not quite as unpublishable as the prior four were. I’m a terrible critic of my own stuff so they may not be as awful as I think they are but no matter. I’m almost okay with the current one had an editor look it over and am working on it with her suggestions so who knows?
    The strips level of smug is at rage inducing levels one wishes for a meteor strike or setting the place on fire and cutting down anyone trying to escape al la Yojimbo.
    And as others noted she hasn’t done anything yet.

  18. Paul Jones

    Let’s not forget that she has smugness and ineptitude on both sides of the family tree. Dead Saint Lisa was a smug idiot of a storefront lawyer, after all.

  19. Rusty Shackleford

    I’ve written a textbook for a basic circuits course I used to teach at a technology school. I published it through Kinko’s. I could not find a textbook at the right level with the right topics for my students so I basically turned my class notes into a book.

    • Hannibal's Lectern

      When I was in college (back around 1973-74), one of my EE professors did that for a course in computer circuits. Apparently there were no textbooks to his liking available, so we used copies of the (hand-typed with hand-written corrections) of the manuscript for a book he was writing. I don’t think it had a title, so the class gave it one, based on the name of a graphical technique for simplifying Boolean expressions and a recent Mike Nichols movie. We called it “Karnaugh Knowledge.”

      Hey, it was funny in 1973.

  20. SC

    I’ve written seven novels, published one, as well as had two kids’ books published. Where’s my Montoni’s pizza?

  21. The Duck of Death

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money.”
    — Samuel Johnson

    I’ve known many people who’ve written books. And even more who were “writing a book.”

    I’ve noticed that the people who make a big deal of “writing a book” are usually the ones who never finish the book, or if they do, never get published.

    The ones who are actually published writers are usually a lot quieter about the whole thing. You may not even learn they’ve published books until you’ve gotten to know them fairly well.

    The “I’m writing a book!” people seem to feel that just announcing the intent entitles them to the same fanfare they’d get if they were holding the published book. My theory is: since they’re already getting the fanfare, why bother to do the hard, boring, solitary work of writing?

    You’re “writing a book,” Slummer? Great. I’m “working on a cure for cancer” and “thinking about how to feed the world’s hungry.” What have I actually accomplished? Well, nothing yet, but just you wait! I’ll take my Nobel Prize up front, please.

    • Hannibal's Lectern

      It is possible to make a decent living by writing fiction, and you don’t have to be a Tortured Artist to do it (matter of fact, being a Tortured Artist is the best way to NOT make a decent living at writing). A true story… Between the time I finished writing my one and only novel, and the time I got a contract to get it published, a friend of mine (who was himself a successful author of software/management books and just starting to branch out into fiction–well, intentional fiction, anyway) invited me to join him at a “master class” led by a highly-successful sci-fi author.

      I looked up the author, the class description blurb, and what he’d written. The class was described as being all about having a successful, profitable career as a novelist. The author had a good forty or so books in print at the time. A quick perusal of his output explained everything: more than half his output was authorized series books, particularly “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” novels. Much of the remainder was a couple series of his own.

      This explained The Secret. It also explained why a software/management consultant/author was so interested in it–in those days, the big new idea in software was “re-usable assets,” big chunks of code that could be plugged together to make new application programs with little cost and effort. That’s what franchise books are all about: by re-using the “universe” of the franchise (characters, settings, backstory, history, standard plot frameworks) an author can create the latest book in the series with relatively little effort or risk (since the series’s market is already a known thing). It is a brilliant way to make a steady income from writing. It’s also a way to turn whatever transcendent joy you think exists in writing into a factory job.

      After figuring this out, I felt no need to take the class. I was fortunate enough to have been writing for fun, no need to make a living at it. I had the luxury of taking my time, polishing each phrase, and not terribly worrying about whether it ever sold enough copies to justify the time and effort I’d put into it.

      In other words, I was in the position of Les… just more self-aware and able to enjoy the situation of being a recreational author without all the self-created misery.

      Which brings me back to Batiuk. Les embodies the Tortured Artist stereotype; he struggles over each word, is never satisfied, and would rather cancel a project (e.g., the first “Dead St. Lisa” movie) than let it go out even slightly imperfect (by his definition). But Tom himself is living the Series Author life, re-using the same characters, settings, situations, jokes, etc., to generate a predictable and profitable output stream. If Les is indeed his author-avatar, he’s got to be conflicted as hell between a desire to create High Art with no regard for the bottom line and the reality that he’s cranking out a product in the most cost-effective way possible. Worse, the cranking-product thing is the source of his financial security and what public recognition he gets for his work. This may explain why we’ll never see any Batom or Atomik Komix beyond Sideways Sunday covers–actually writing and drawing those stories exposes him to the possibility of failure. Just talking about people making komix is nice and safe.

      Time to cue the Kinks…

    • Tom from Finland

      If you were Les, I’m sure someone would present you her Physics Nobel Price since you were a great inspiration to her.
      She would propably also throw in co-creator credit for her publications.

  22. be ware of eve hill

    Wow, writing books in the Batiukverse is so incredibly easy. Sadly, I found out it’s not like that in real life.

    This morning, I sat at my desktop and instructed it to write a book for me. I thought it would be like Star Trek. You verbally tell the computer what you want, and it cranks out. That’s how it’s supposed to work, right? My desktop seems oddly recalcitrant to the idea. I tried being nice by cleaning its screen with Windex and a soft microfiber cloth. I vacuumed out the keyboard. Furthermore, I’ve said “please” and even begged. I tried entering the phrase “write me a book” in the command window. I’ve threatened to throw it out on the front lawn or drop it on the floor, but it remains steadfastly obstinate. Still nothing. WTH, man?! 🤷‍♀️

    Is the automatic book writer feature a Windows exclusive? Is it a particular distro of Linux? My Apple computer doesn’t seem to have one.😞 I bought it in 2016, so it is long in the tooth. Do I need a new one?

    Is there an app I need to download?

    What am I doing wrong?

    I feel slighted.😡 In the Batiukverse, anyone can write a book; nebbish widowers, nonagenarian spinsters, deaf band directors, middle-aged hausfraus, and career college students. There are conventions of ordinary people sitting at tables selling stacks of their books. It’s so easy! As Cody would say, “It’s a pizza cake.”

    Get my lawyer on the phone!

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Being an author in the Funkyverse is like being a reality show contestant anywhere else. Except that you don’t even have to pass an audition. You self-select, declare yourself a star, and are immediately entitled to fame, success, and fortune.

      One of the most revealing things Tom Batiuk ever said on his blog was “I thought (Marvel) would immediately promote me to head writer of Spider-Man once they saw how well I could write.” That’s how he thinks this works. I have talent because I say so, therefore I should immediately be promoted over you. The End.

      That isn’t even how jobs work. Even if you do enter a job with an exceptional level of talent, you don’t get immediately promoted to the top (unless you’re well-connected). And if he had the arrogance to say that in an interview, he probably torpedoed any chance he had at being hired. People skills, working with a team, avoiding/correcting errors, meeting deadlines, and adhering to industry standards (something else TB had a problem with) matter a lot in any workplace.

      But this is how he thinks the world should work, so it’s how the Funkyverse works. Every one of these bozos acts like they’re the only writer in the world, and that writing is some kind of one-in-a-million skill that mere mortals could not possibly possess. Writing isn’t a rare skill, and most people can learn to do it adequately. I believe even more could, if teaching on the subject wasn’t so atrocious.

      • be ware of eve hill

        Tom Batiuk, a legend in his own mind. He doesn’t have to adhere to industry standards, he’ll rewrite them.

        I wonder how long TB was the butt of jokes in the Marvel bullpen.
        Marvel staffer #1: You remember that punk kid from Ohio? Thought he should be hired as the head writer of Spider-Man, day one. Ha ha. What a piece of work. I wonder whatever became of him?
        Marvel staffer #2: Haw, haw! He’s probably the head of his own comic book company!

        In a sad, pathetic way, with Atomik Komix, that’s become true.

        • sorialpromise

          Eve, I am waiting for Mr. bwoeh to write his book on you. It would be a bestseller.

          • be ware of eve hill

            Speaking of family members writing books, you mentioned that you were interested in my brother’s book. After a series of vague texts, I gave him a call after work this evening.

            It’s weird. Back in 2017 the only thing he wanted to talk about was his book. Now he seems embarrassed about it and is downplaying it. He says writing the book was a bucket list item. A midlife crisis episode. He claims his writing style is dry, and he learned he should stick to writing code (he works in I.T.) rather than books or blogs.

            He says he had only twenty copies printed at a strip mall print service. Took them to a writer’s workshop and sold only three copies. Gifted several copies to family and friends. Says he might have a couple copies “somewhere”. He’s even unsure of the location of the thumb drive the book was on. His book is not for sale on any website. Not even eBay.

            My brother, the master of “how not to make a sale”. Sorry about that.

          • sorialpromise

            Be sure and tell him, he left his readers wanting more.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Most companies I’ve worked for had perpetual applicants. These were people who kept trying, but the company had permanently put their resumes in the “eww” pile. Usually this was because they had a ridiculous opinion of their own skills, were terrible fits for the company culture, bollixed their interview so badly they entered into legend, or some personal problem like horrible B.O.

          I can see Batiuk annoying Marvel and DC’s personnel departments so much that he became this. He is badly lacking in social skills, desperately wants to work in comic books, and is a lot less talented than he thinks. He’s the kind of applicant hiring managers bring in on slow days just for the entertainment.

          • be ware of eve hill

            I’ve conducted some bizarre interviews. More than one interviewee had the gall to inquire, “When do I start?” I always replied, “We have more interviews scheduled this week. We’ll be in touch.” After they left the room, their resume was thrown in the trash, sometimes run through the shredder. People with egos like that do not work well in teams.

            I’ve been in interviews where the interviewee brought their children (she didn’t get the job). Some brought their breakfast/lunch and ate it in front of us (they didn’t get the job). The oddest interview I ever conducted was when a woman brought her husband in with her. He answered most of the questions (neither one got the job).

            Never worked at a place with an “eww” pile. In my lengthy career, I interviewed only one person more than once. Sadly for them, they didn’t get the job either time.

      • Charles

        One of the most revealing things Tom Batiuk ever said on his blog was “I thought (Marvel) would immediately promote me to head writer of Spider-Man once they saw how well I could write.”

        I wonder what he had written that gave him that impression. When I was in high school I dominated the prose category in my school’s literary magazine both my junior and senior years, but that never led me to walk in to Random House’s offices and exclaim that I’m doing them a big favor by offering them my talents.

        Never mind that writing in different media takes different skills that don’t always transfer over. It’s why I got annoyed that Batiuk decided that Les was both a master of the nonfiction novel and a master of screenwriting after his first script. A script isn’t its own thing. It’s a roadmap for making a film. Its artistic brilliance is about as relevant as the artistic brilliance in an architecture diagram. That is, it’s not worthless, but it’s not the point of the work. It’s a substantially different skill set. You could say the same about comic book writing, comic strip writing and long-form prose writing.

    • be ware of eve hill

      As Cody would say, “It’s a pizza cake.”

      I meant Cory, not Cody. Cory Winkerbean. Holly’s son.

      It could have sworn I typed “Cory”. The “r” and the “d” are close to one another on the keyboard. Right? Eh?🤥

    • Hannibal's Lectern

      Reminds me of the scene from the fourth “Star Trek” movie:

      You just have to tell the computer in the proper way.

      And know how to do the thing you’re trying to make it do. That part helps a whole lot.

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      Try starting with “tea…Earl Grey…hot!” and see if that does anything.

  23. be ware of eve hill

    What’s going on with Holly and the generic blonde woman in the background of panel #1? Are they already hanging up a portrait of Summer on the Montoni’s wall of fame?

    The preorders for Summer’s book must be through the roof!

    • be ware of eve hill

      I wonder whose photo they’re removing to make room for Summer’s. John Darling’s?

      Somebody call Mitchell Knox!

    • The Duck of Death

      Doesn’t it seem like they should be telling this story of Impending Great Literature to Holly? After all, she’s a published author and Funky isn’t (though he will be as soon as TB thinks of a pizza pun, and his book will be mentioned once, then never mentioned again).

      • be ware of eve hill

        I almost posted something like that. The Moores are acting all smug about Summer, like she’s something special because she decided to bless all of humanity with a book.

        I think many FW characters look down on poor Holly because she’s portrayed as such a ditz. I’d love to see Holly to walk up to their table and say, “You’re writing a book? How wonderful. Join the club, I wrote one too. We should exchange copies. I’d love to read your little book.”

        That ought to wipe the smug off their faces

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Yeah, pretty soon she will be on the road doing book signings and complaining about the dumb questions here readers ask her.

  24. Maxine of Arc

    I’ve written a lot of anime fanfiction. You can’t read it.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      (Which anime? I’ve done Attack on Titan and Demon Slayer because I’m a filthy casual. And Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū because I’m a pretentious ass.)

      • Maxine of Arc

        (Mostly dreadful 90s stuff, though I’m currently writing a Tiger & Bunny one-shot, because I too am a filthy casual.)

  25. Simply announcing something is all the work you need to do. Remember how Tom Batiuk solved CTE by simply mentioning it in his strip? That’s how his mind works. You point something out, and it immediately gets fixed.

    • The Duck of Death

      I don’t think it’s exactly that, but something very close. I see something like this:

      1. Media talk about a problem. They highlight a compelling personal story to personify it.

      2. Puff Batty (and millions of others like him) see this and think, “OMG, how terrible! Other people allow this! What awful people they are! I’d never be an awful and wicked person like them!”

      3. Puff Batty writes the problem into his comic.*

      4. Puffy has now proven to himself and a waiting world that he’s “One of the Good Ones.” He’s on The Right Side of History. QED. And his work is done.

      *When Tom “Puffy” Batiuk was attending Kent State, this was called “Consciousness Raising.”

  26. erdmann

    I’ve tried my hand at writing a book a two or three times, but something (kids, work, waning interest on the part of the author, a total lack of good ideas) always got in the way. It’s all good, though; someday my alma mater will reprint everything I have written over the past few decades as the multi-volume “the compleat erdmann.” I’ll be sure to give a shout out to all of you in one of my self-aggrandizing introductions.

    • sorialpromise

      My sister thanks you,
      My Mother thanks you,
      My Father thanks you,
      And most assuredly, I thank you!

  27. I self published a book in conjunction with my partner. It’s a non-fiction account of a sailing journey I took with two other guys on a 42 foot boat from June 2002 to May 2003. We sailed from Long Island down south through the Atlantic to Cape Town, then through the Southern Ocean to Hobart Tasmania, from there continuing in the Southern Ocean around Cape Horn to the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, heading back north to Brazil, and ending in Barbados. I kept a journal during the trip, and my partner, who stayed home, kept a journal of what was happening with her at the same time. She came out to visit three times during the journey (Cape Town, Hobart, and Brazil), and each time we exchanged journals. The book is basically a copy of both journals. We printed 500 copies and sold enough to make our money back, so I consider that a success.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      What a cool experience!

    • The Duck of Death

      Have you read “Wanderer” by Sterling Hayden? He’s famous as an actor but seafaring was his lifelong passion. During an ugly divorce, he essentially kidnapped his 4 young kids and sailed with them to Tahiti. It’s an amazing story, very compellingly told. His love of the sea is the overriding theme. I think it wrecked his life because nothing else could compete.

  28. Banana Jr. 6000

    I’m very impressed with all the book writing stories you all have! So many of us are storytellers good enough to be published, and some are experts in fields ranging from law to electronics to math! When it comes to real accomplishments and real writing, this group puts Westview to shame.

    This exercise also revealed something else: this is an intellectual group. In addition to the writing, so many of you are knowledgeable in literature and music and art and comics history. I learn something new every day.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Agreed! It was great hearing about what everyone has written.

      What an eclectic mix of people here.

  29. Lord Flatulence

    I despise Summer.

  30. Lord Flatulence

    “Quarter inch pinch” alert!

  31. Lord Flatulence

    Funky: Nice to see you, Summer.
    Summer: Same here, Funky.
    Les: She says she’s writing a book!
    Funky: Yeah, like that’ll happen!
    Les: Right?

  32. William Epps

    Sorry, I’m late to the party, but I was out of town. I’ve written 2 Westerns and am working on my third