Pulp Fiction

As long as author avatars are popping into today’s strip

Shoving the temples of your glasses INTO your ears is painful. Worst of all, you can still hear these two ding dongs when they talk. Would not recommend.

Durwood has a pretty poor grasp of economics for the holder of an alleged MBA… but look, if you really want, I’ll grant that the loopy and incredibly fictional economy of the Batiukverse means that Silver Age Omnibus books are such tremendous demand that Durwood’s Catch-22 makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is that quite literally yesterday we were told that these fancy comic books couldn’t be shipped on time due to climage damate. Now the blame rests with the Pandemic/COVID/Supply Chain Issues/Amazon/Internet/Inflation (oops, we’re not yet a year out on that last one filling up the column inches, check back next summer when inflation somehow closes Montoni’s again)? Make up your mind TB Batton!



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

80 responses to “Pulp Fiction

  1. Epicus Doomus

    So it’s NOT a climate damage arc after all…it’s another COVID arc…or is it? At this point, it doesn’t matter anyhow. This is easily one of the most far-fetched, moronic things I have ever read, bar none. I am stupider for having read this, and so are you. BatHam’s sick, twisted comic book fantasies just keep getting weirder and more surreal all the time.

    And I haven’t even mentioned how he’s somehow managed to tie climate damage AND the pandemic into his hobby of choice. That’s right Batton/Tom, everything is all about you and the comic books you read as a child…we know.

    • Y. Knott

      The thing is, there’s a vaguely funny idea under all of the stupid self-indulgent blather. The idea that “we can’t print the book because we used the paper to make the container that the book would be in, if we printed it” has kind of a perverse Douglas Adams-esque bureaucratic logic to it.

      The rest of the comic is complete and utter crap, of course. But there’s still that spark of an idea.

      I wonder where he stole it from?

      • billytheskink

        I’ll argue for one other thing rising above the abyss in this comic… Batton in panel 1 picking up an imaginary box as he talks about boxes is exactly the kind of thing a shmuck like him would do.

  2. RudimentaryLathe?

    I foolishly dared to hope that yesterday’s strip was just a bad attempt at tongue-in-cheek humor, but no…
    Of. Freaking. COURSE the worst problem regarding climate change/environmental harm is that old well-to-do white people can’t get comic book reprints delivered to their doorsteps overnight. This is a new low for FW, and that’s saying something 🤮

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Imagine having this conversation with someone. Imagine a 75-year-old man coming up to you and saying “None of the silver age omnibus comic books I ordered are in because of shipping disruptions caused by climate damage. And paper supplies had to be diverted to make boxes for shipping.” Your reaction would be:

  3. Cheesy-kun

    Covid has just gotten personal! No, no, my loved ones are fine. It’s my comics books that aren’t! As you note, the plot device has just changed on a dime. But I’m sure Tom’s feelz about the environment are as deep and sincere as ever.

    From a year-old article at PopSci about supply chain issues: “So what books will elude consumers grasp? Maybe a niche title set to be released in December that you really want to buy for a relative for Christmas—but random rave reviews turned it into an unexpected bestseller.” Rave reviews turning one of these comics into an unexpected bestseller would certainly be unexpected.


    Maybe the cause tomorrow will amoral greedy Wall St. bastards who are hoarding the paper supply from all the small town papers and Big Apple pizzerias they’ve run into the ground.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Oh, you know Batty is blaming those fat cats on Wall Street for this. he is also blaming anybody who shops online instead of doing it the proper way by going to a store. This is Pulitzer quality writing on display.

      Interestingly, when I was in Romania, their economy was doing quite well as they had minimal shutdowns and the people openly skirted EU regulations. Restaurants and stores were all operating normally.

  4. Andrew

    My first, unresearched thought is I don’t think cardboard (that’s the word you’re looking for Bautik, remember it?) and graphic novel page/covers share the exact same materials, but I could be off-base here. Plus there are, again, more important things than comics, so if resources did need to be prioritized to cardboard boxes, that honestly makes more sense than some wacky book production paradox.

    Also, is this going to lead into a weird fever dream where gets shot dead while trying to steal their treasured item off a cargo ship again?

  5. Cheesy-kun

    Auugh! I inadvertently deleted emails and emptied the trash (which I do every Monday) and I’ve lost a very nice note one of you posted directing me to the survey about the creative productions among the SoSF team. THANK YOU! I really enjoyed reading through people’s comments about their writing lives and I’m not surprised by the breadth and depth of talent here.

  6. billytheskink

    I’m guessing that about a year ago the Kent State University Press had to pause the print run of a certain book due to “supply chain issues”. At least, that’s what they told the book’s author…

    • Epicus Doomus

      “Hey Bob, I have some guy named Batick on the phone, said something about a book we were supposed to be publishing?”

      “Oh SHIT! (begins pawing through piles on desk, finds unopened envelope, grabs phone) Hey, Mr. B, long time! Um yeah, it was all ready to go, but, uh, the ship carrying the paper got all held up by climate damage…uh, I mean COVID, and, uh, yeah, we’ll be cranking out your newest collection as fast as we can! OK then, take care now, y’hear?”

      “Christ, I forgot all about him. Bang out twenty copies. That’ll tide us over til spring, at least.”

      • Y. Knott

        Spring of 2035!

        • Cheesy-kun

          As a kid in the 70s my mom bought me a lot of the paperback novel-sized collections 0f FW, among other actual books, as distractions for me during family trips. I have fond memories of those gag-a-days: Les monitoring the hallway with a Gatling gun, for example, and, as kid in the elementary school band who had to sell band candy, I got a lot of laughs out of that gag. I missed all of Act II. Was it good? Did TB more or less successfully transition his characters int0 mostly likable adults, and did he tell actual stories? As others have pointed out here, the Pulitzer nomination for Lisa’s death (the death that won’t stop dying all these years later) seems to have bumped TB a quarter-inch away from reality and into a universe both maudlin and controlled by the laws of a creator with attention-deficit disorder. (Climate damage ruined everything! Oh, look! Covid! As I was saying, comics.)

          • Rusty Shackleford

            I liked those too, I also had some Don Martin paperbacks.

          • Cabbage Jack

            He did not successfully transition into Act II.

            I’m with you though – Act I. was genuinely fun, often funny, and really enjoyable. He was a very good gag cartoonist. For some reason, he decided that was a low artform, so he transitioned into a maudlin, scattered, and dull long-form “serious” cartoonist. He’s just not good at it.

      • Gerard Plourde


        I do wonder whether today’s strip might have been prompted by a publishing delay that TomBa experienced with one of the recent volumes of The Complete Funky Winkerbean. The scenario you describe might be closer to the proverbial “1/4 inch from reality” than most of this year’s storylines.

        I could definitely see it being delayed by the KSU Press to allow for publication of “The Brilliance of Charles Whittlesey: Geologist, Surveyor, Military Engineer, Civil War Strategist”.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          At least that’s something a university press SHOULD be publishing. How did Batiuk get his head so far up Kent State’s ass that they let him use their printing press for his mass-market junk?

        • ComicBookHarriet

          Is that a real book? I want that to be a real book. It sounds like the kind of book that I get my dad for Christmas.

          *one Google later*

          IT’S A REAL BOOK! Yay!

          • Gerard Plourde

            It is a really tempting title. Reading the description, it appears that Whittlesey’s education at West Point was to be commissioned within the Corps of Engineers. My son serves as an Engineer Officer in the PA National Guard and is currently deployed with Centcom in Southwest Asia.

  7. Cabbage Jack

    I’m always fascinated how Batty’s Award Hunting Through Topical Topics always conflicts with his Overwhelming Desire To Be As Non-Confrontational As Possible:

    Climate Change: Topical, Source of Friction
    Climate Damage: Nonsense Phrase, Meaningless, Non-Confrontational

  8. William Thompson

    I order quite a few things from Amazon. Some items come in cardboard boxes. Others, and this includes books, come in plastic bags. But those are real books. Maybe comic books are too sacred and fragile for mere bags. Or maybe Batiuk doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Dealer’s choice here.

  9. KMD

    Here is a lesson TB can draw from the funny papers. A comic within a comic can shine some light and make fun of some of the medium’s problems. Think Fearless Roddick in “Lol Abner.” Think of the role of Itchy and Scratchy play on “The Simpsons” or, God forgive me for citing Cosby, “The Brown Hornet” on “Fat Albert.” Batton Thomas and “3’o clock High” only exist so TB can praise himself. Easily one of the most loathsome characters in the strip and that says a great deal.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Ah, he would just mess that up too by introducing a surly band director and a preachy white female lawyer who gets cancer.

  10. sorialpromise

    1. “But I’m sure Tom’s feelz about the environment are as deep and sincere as ever.” ( Cheesy-kun, apparently 9 seconds ago. Love it!)
    2. I checked FW on Amazon. They are tremendously expensive volumes. $45!!!
    None of them, as far as I could find, are available as digital. This might be why Batton is upset. A year ago when TB wrote this, I wonder if his book sales had dropped? Just checked eBay. Some are cheaper. Some are more expensive. Shipping seems to be $4-$6 for a single volume. Of course, TB gets nothing from eBay sales.
    3. For the person that wants to begin the FW collection, you can buy on eBay volumes 1-6 for $325. Shipping is $20.
    That is the “buy it now price.” Don’t wait. It’s almost Christmas. (If you buy that, I know someone that will sell swamp land in Florida to you cheap.)

    • Y. Knott

      And dig the “Complete Funky Winkerbean” sales rankings on Amazon!

      vol 1: #1,518,660
      vol 2: #2,556,402
      vol 3: #3,215,585
      vol 4: #3,134,258
      vol 5: #2,637,093
      vol 6: #2,344,535
      vol 7: #1,182,711
      vol 8: #1,518,660
      vol 9: #1,158,272
      vol 10: #1,180,515
      vol 11: #999,207

      Congratulations, Volume 11, on breaking through to the prestigious “top million” level!

      • sorialpromise

        Other than Lisa’s Story, I knew little to nothing about FW Act 2. I checked Amazon’s Vol 11. This was on the book’s description:
        💥Marriages are tested as Funky and Cindy’s relationship begins to break apart, and Becky and Wally are separated by the war in Afghanistan. At the same time, Lisa and Les begin a family and go house hunting, while Crazy Harry meets an unlikely soulmate from his high school video gaming days.💥
        Mr. Batiuk had plots. Full stories. Amazing.
        Of course all those threads peter out in Act 3 into a bland, non-spicy milk toast diet with no focus, no stakes, and no conclusions.

        • sorialpromise

          I am requesting memories from TF Hackett and Epicus Doomus. What was it like to blog SOSF in Act 2 when Mr. Batiuk was actually putting effort and plots into his stories?

          • Cheesy-kun

            Sorialpromise and Y. Knott, thanks for doing the research so I did not have to. That’s a lot of money and it could be spent more wisely to repair the climate damage and buy pizzeria assets so the owners won’t have to downsize from their McMansion into a humble ranch house (like the Dinkles.)

          • billytheskink

            SOSF wasn’t around back in Act II, though our predecessor Stuck Funky covered the last few months of it, which was almost entirely about Lisa dying. The Comics Curmudgeon has some spotty Act II snark as well if you want to use the archive search over there.

            Act II, especially after Lisa’s first bout with cancer, pretty much moved from one character’s personal raincloud to another. The pace was snappy and things actually happened… but there is a reason the strip STILL has a reputation among comics readers as joyless and miserable. Late Act II cemented FW as a strip that dealt with “important” and “adult” issues in the minds of many (notice “good” or “entertaining” are not words I chose to use), which I expect suits TB just fine.

          • Gerard Plourde

            I clicked on the Stuck Funky link and then on the “lisa” link. I had forgotten how often Ghost Lisa showed up.

            And showing what a jerk Les is, I had forgotten that he had Susan Smith edit the “Lisa’s Story” manuscript before he sent it off.

          • sorialpromise

            Les: What a maroon!

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        That rank implies he isn’t selling more than 1 or 2 copies a month. Mid-tier comic strips should have much higher rankings than that.

        • Y. Knott

          For a point of comparison, Sherman’s Lagoon (also with King Features) issues an annual collection of comic strips, usually in September or October. In comparison to “Complete FW” collections, there are only one year’s worth of strips in each collection instead of three, and the price point is lower — around 15 bucks. But here are the current sales rankings for the last several Sherman’s Lagoon collections:

          vol 20 (2015): #578,777
          vol 21 (2016): #750,487
          vol 22 (2017): #475,841
          vol 23 (2018): #687,468
          vol 24 (2019): #526,442
          vol 25 (2020): #295,044
          vol 26 (2021): #211,552
          vol 27 (2022): #37,617

      • Andrew

        I picked up Vol 1 in-person from KSU’s personal bookstore during my undergrad years. At $40+ a piece it was a pricey leisure buy, but the copies they had were personally autographed by Tom himself. So I have his signature without ever meeting the man.

        Been thinking of a few more volumes just to get more Holtron/computer strips (he appeared a bit later than what Vol 1 collected), but of course the older volumes are out of print and more pricey to get now, so that’s fun. And on a similar note, still need to hunt down that one volume of the Complete Peanuts that had a forward from Lemony Snicket. Always enjoyed that guy’s books, he can do miserable stories and make it both funny and intriguing.

  11. So Crammit Climage and Dovid conspired to deprive Thattom Bomass of his comix omnibus in a timely matter. This is the subject of this week’s strips. Hokey-doke. That Pulitzer should be arriving any day now. Provided they have enough cardboard to ship it to you, Thattom.

  12. William Thompson

    If people are ordering those books, they’ll get printed and sold. Of course the price may be sky-high, given that Silver Age Omnibus volumes are a limited field, but “high price” is just an incentive to print them. The publisher would find the paper somewhere and charge extra.

    Footnote: There are companies in Ukraine that produce plastic model kits and woodworking tools. Nine months into the Russian invasion they’re still in business, still exporting their high-quality goods, and their prices haven’t risen.

    • Cheesy-kun

      Man, that is such a cool fact, William Thompson. Now I’m going to go learn more about it.

      • William Thompson

        I’d like to know how they do it, too. Stryi (they make chisels and gouges) has a FB page, but they don’t give details. I haven’t heard anything about Beaver Craft, another toolmaking firm. Roden (terrific Great War model aircraft kits) charges the same for kits and shipping from Kharkov as it did pre-war, but with the caveat on eBay that “This package may be delayed due to shipping carrier service disruptions.”

        • William Thompson

          It turns out that Beaver Craft is an American distributor that buys tools from an unidentified Ukrainian company (or, as their FB page says, a European maker.)

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I was near the border of western Ukraine on the Romanian side for a few days. You would never know a war was going on. The only indication was a large number of border guards on the Ukrainian side. Otherwise it was business as usual and we were tempted to go for a day since it was just a short walk on a bridge that spans the Tisza river.

      Maybe those factories you mentioned are in the west and that is why they are still operational.

      • Cheesy-kun

        Sounds like a fascinating trip, RS. Do you go to Romania often? What’s Bucharest like?

        • Rusty Shackleford

          It was. Beautiful country and warm, beautiful people.

          Bucharest was probably incredible back before communism. The communists destroyed a lot of old buildings and put up ugly brutalist concrete ones, and these were built poorly and are largely falling apart. So much so that there are tags on the buildings that indicate their safety level.

          That said there was a lot to see and there are still some nice streets. The metro is cheap and the employees will help you— never saw this in other big cities—and it is safe to walk most places.

          That said Brasov was my favorite city, with the Maramureş area being second. The countryside is so beautiful and it was neat to see all the horse and wagons being used as well as shepherds and their dogs herding sheep across the road.

          Oh, and unlike Les, this was my anniversary present to my wife and I surprised her by upgrading our flights to business class seats!

      • William Thompson

        Stryi is located in Kyiv and Roden is in Kharkov; I don’t know where Beaver Craft is located. And I haven’t bought a lot from them lately. But they’re still doing business, which means they get the raw materials they need (which includes the paper for cartons and instruction sheets) and they have enough employees on hand to keep going, and are probably making shipments by rail or air. I wonder how they’re dealing with the infrastructure attacks.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          A lot of the people in Maramureş told me they cross the border to buy cigarettes. They said it is pretty normal there in that part of the country. Security is tight on the border as they are trying to prevent men from leaving as they need them for military service.

          On the Romanian side there are few guards as they offer asylum to Ukrainians fleeing. I did see some working in Romania but most left for other countries.

  13. Green Luthor

    At least that paper wasn’t used instead to make boxes for other, less important products. Like, say, boxes used to transport pizzas from a restaurant to people’s homes. Guess the paper shortage drove up Funky’s costs on pizza boxes and that’s what drove him out of business. Or something. (It’s the old “ramble on with train-of-thought nonsense that’s probably still more coherent than whatever Batiuk tries to present as his actual ‘plot'” schtick.)

    Ah, but it makes sense, I guess. Not enough cardboard meant that everyone’s favorite Pizza Monster just didn’t have enough material for his costume this year, and thus were we denied his presence. Accursed “climate dumbage”, how could you take away the one light of joy left in this comic.

    Wait, that’s it! The Pizza Monster is the personification of CLIMATE DAMAGE. And of course he targets Montoni’s, because each of those “pizzas” has enough grease to render a small suburb uninhabitable for decades should it not be contained properly. It all makes sense! (Though it might make sense because I already took my Ambien for the night, and I’m starting to feel like the last few months of Apartment 3-G over here.)

    • Cheesy-kun

      Once again, someone here takes the mixed-up Toys in the Batiuk and assembles a coherent, plausible, and interesting story line all in the time it takes to type it.

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      Now I have this image of the AK Elementals fighting the Pizza Monster…who will ultimately reform and join them in their fight against Climate Damage!

      Sort of like Hawkeye with the Avengers and Nighthawk with the Defenders.

      Which reminds me: in the 1970s, DC and Marvel both did stories set at the Rutland, Vermont Hollywood parade. Tom Fagan appeared in them, and in the DC stories he wore a Batman costume (DSH John must be green with envy and Les must be apoplectic) and in the Marvel stories he wore a Nighthawk costume.

      Would anyone ever a Pizza Monster costume outside of Luigi’s or this strip?

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Now I have this image of the AK Elementals fighting the Pizza Monster…who will ultimately reform and join them in their fight against Climate Damage!

        That would actually be fun. Which is why it’ll never happen in Funky Winkerbean.

  14. This definitely needs a “word zeppelin” tag.

  15. J.J. O'Malley

    To once again borrow the immortal words of Zapp Brannigan, “I’ve never heard of such a brutal and shocking injustice that I cared so little about!”

  16. ComicBookHarriet

    Brilliant panel edit there, BTS! Where did you steal the hair from?

    • billytheskink

      I borrowed the hair from Act I Funky from back in the 2015 Time Pool story arc and modified it a bit, using the top of the hair for my mustache. My glasses still aren’t quite that large and I never wear sweatshirts, but that’s otherwise more or less my general appearance these days.

  17. Paul Jones

    Another example of it being painful to behold Batiuk’s fractured take on pretty much everything. I’m guessing that what he needs most is a hearing aid because this sounds as if he heard like every third word when they tried to explain the issue to him.

  18. Cheesy-kun

    Ruby’s still up top looking down on all of our comments. Is she going to surprise the fellas with a visit? Maybe she has a story about the time the women paper mill workers went on strike to demand child care and production of The Flash was delayed. The AK crew will say the right things and then she’ll leave the men to create komix and we’ll move further away from the original topic of the arc. Definitely not mocking such an issue as child care for workers, just saying that I expect this arc to keep taking space-time jumps away from the original topic.

    • Cheesy-kun

      Allow me to amend that scenario: Ruby will start the story but then Phil Dolt will take over, describing how drew a cover of a resurrected, ripped Jane Addams threatening to drop the owners into the pulper. Ruby will smile throughout this anecdote as she fades into the background more each day.

      • Anonymous Sparrow

        How many years would it be at Hull House now? 133?

        Addams didn’t win a Pulitzer Prize (such an unjust world, Todd), but she shared the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize with Nicholas Murray Butler.

        Butler, by the way, was the replacement Vice-Presidential candidate in 1912 for the Republicans after James Sherman’s death. It’s the only election where the third-party candidate (Theodore Roosevelt, the Bull Moose nominee) did better than the candidate of one of the main two parties (William Howard Taft, in his bid for a second term, received only eight electoral votes; Roosevelt received eighty-eight).

        Taft went on to teach at Yale (when offered a chair of law there, he said that a sofa was more in keeping for a man of his weight) and then served as Chief Justice of the United States, his dream job.

        So maybe a certain Ohioan will wind up writing *Spider-Man* one of these days. Or even *The Flash”!

  19. Banana Jr. 6000

    Tom Batiuk has a very unhealthy relationship with comic books. He’s not a fan or a collector: he’s more like an addict.

    It’s the only thing he talks about. It’s the only thing he cares about. He thinks everything else is secondary in life, as evidenced by how much we’re supposed to care about him not getting his silver age omnibus whatever. He must constantly lecture the world on how to make comic books correctly, and he throws tantrums when it’s not done to his exact specifications. He’s so emotionally invested in his bullpen fantasy that he must depict it constantly and insert himself into it, even though every week of it is the same. He’s had a long, noteworthy career, but he’s going to die bitter because he didn’t get to work for Marvel or DC.

    Comic books are supposed to be fun, but it’s all so serious to him.

    He’s pathetic.

    • Cheesy-kun

      Nail on the head, there, BJ6K. TB should be proud of his accomplishments at this point. Or, instead of creating a fantasy world of comic writers and cover but no
      actual stories, why doesn’t he produce his own actual comics. Why didn’t he turn Act III into a superhero serial. He has had no editorial oversight and no real fan base who would have complained.

      • The Duck of Death

        Because, Cheesy-kun, then he’d have to put up or shut up. He’d have to prove his prowess at superhero story plotting and writing, and he has none. And on some level he clearly knows that, or we would see at least a couple inside spreads of these dumb comics.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Tom Batiuk doesn’t actually want to make comic books. He wants to BE a comic book maker. He wants to live out his childhood bullpen fantasies, where he gets paid piles of money and screws around all day with his comic book heroes. Like Pete and Darin (and increasingly Batton) do.

        And fantasy is exactly what it is. The bullpen was a fanciful construct, not a real place. Tom Batiuk continues to believe that a fan engagement concept aimed at 7-year-olds in 1954 is a real club he can still join. It’s like he still wants to join the Mouseketeers.

        • Gerard Plourde

          “And fantasy is exactly what it is. . . It’s like he still wants to join the Mouseketeers.”

          Exactly right! Given how little small talk around the average office revolves around the work product itself, TomBa would probably have found working at either DC or Marvel an absolute nightmare, and if his rant about the ‘60s Batman series is any indication of his passion for pontificating, it would have been no fun for anyone else, either.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            I wonder what would have happened if Batiuk ever got that DC or Marvel job he wanted so badly. He might have learned that it wasn’t all he’d cracked it up to be. But he didn’t, and he never outgrew his idealized 7-year-old’s vision of what it would be like.

          • The Duck of Death

            Given his insistence that comic books are the highest form of art, I’m really surprised that we haven’t yet been treated to a rant about the current crop of comic book-themed movies. I find it hard to believe he approves of them, given his persnickety views on the one and only right way to enjoy comic books.

          • sorialpromise

            Some comics are high quality, even approaching Art. DC Comics published “Infinite Crisis” in 2005. Then followed it up with the weekly, “52.” On the Marvel side, Lee & Kirby’s “Galactus Trilogy” and “This Man This Monster.” Any thing done by Steranko, some things by Roy Thomas, Ditko, Starlin for DC and Marvel, and Peter David on his Hulk run revealing Mr. Blue.
            So there are many things in comics to admire, but you cannot let them take over your life. If you are writing a national comic strip, that has to be your main focus or you should quit, and then spend your time reading comics.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            @sorialpromise Which is another thing that’s annoying about Tom Batiuk’s comic book obsession. It’s like he’s fighting for the dignity of the medium, when it’s been widely accepted for decades. Comic books can be art, and no one is saying they can’t. It’s like he’s still fighting the comics code and Frederic Wertham.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          And a childhood fantasy could be interesting….if Watterson wrote it for Calvin and Hobbes.

          Batty just can’t write interesting stories, because his goal isn’t to write something interesting, it’s just to show off and cater to his interests.

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      Bear in mind that when EC started a group for readers, it chose the name “the EC Fan-Addict Club,” because as a letter writer noted, “EC Comics are habit-forming.”

      You can bid for the kit from 1953 online at mycomicshop.com:

      The complete E.C. Fan-Addict Club membership kit includes a full color certificate printed with art by Jack Davis, a wallet card, a blue and white embroidered cloth EC Fan-Addict patch, a bronze EC pin, and the original mailing envelope.

      Heh heh, say the GhouLunatics (Crypt-Keeper, Old Witch and Vault-Keeper) in perfect harmony.

    • Andrew

      It’s honestly weird just how much this fictional comic book lore and business have taken over the strip. When Harry and Pete were introduced it at least made sense with their interests, the Sunday cover homages were cute enough, and I can understand Les & Lisa marrying in cosplay as a quirky nerd/Halloween thing, It started slow with Act 3 (Harry having a shop was fine, but Pete becoming one of “the best writers” who leaves Marvel to write Superman for DC *coughBendiscough*), but everything with Starbucks Jones and these old writer characters, culminating in Atomik Komix and this Baton Thomas character is some really noticeable self-indulgences for the strip’s later years. Using Pete & Boy Lisa for them most may be the closest we are to actually “passing the torch” to younger characters, but it still uses so many seniors it feels like the place will end up becoming a part-time nursing home to excuse having the rest of the cast hang out there.

  20. The Duck of Death

    Batton, cardboard is not made of paper. Cardboard is generally made of wood pulp; paper is made of cellulose fibers that may or may not have come from wood. No one is pulping your precious reams of glossy, coated, bleached-white omnibus paper to make Amazon boxes.

    The situation is complicated. I’ve appended one web site’s explanation below. Obviously, the explanation is very incomplete because it fails to mention the effect on Batton’s omnibus, which is the most important consequence of any supply shortage.

    A few key events are contributing to the ongoing shortage. Issues from 2021—such as raw pulp pricing increases, mill closings, and rising transportation costs—continue to carry over into the new year. Prior to the COVID pandemic, several large domestic paper mills planned to convert to packaging material production, and during the pandemic, some mills navigated the shortage by switching from paper to packaging, producing cardboard, kraft papers, and other materials to cater to increased online shopping demands. UPM pulp and paper mill strikes in Finland also had an impact on the market, limiting the availability of lightweight and medium weight coated papers primarily used for magazine and catalog production.

    The Russia-Ukraine war is causing supply chain blockages and heightening the cost of gas and freight as a result, since Russia is a major fuel supplier to countries around the world. Russia is also major exporter of uncoated paper to the European market, and the newly implemented bans on Russian goods will contribute to an additional deficit of supply.

  21. The Duck of Death

    I know Ayers has his defenders, but today we see one of the reasons I’m not one. Batton’s nose has a completely different shape from panel to panel. Once you’ve noticed the inconsistency in characters’ noses (and hairlines) from panel to panel, you’ll never be able to unsee it.

    I think keeping nose shape reasonably consistent is the rock-bottom minimum standard for a professional cartoonist, and it’s not happening.

  22. Hitorque

    Like I said yesterday this is not only tone deaf, it’s also a grossly disproportionate level of bitching and moaning for what’s going to be nothing more than a mild inconvenience…


    • William Thompson

      What makes it worse* is that this is an ideal set-up for a good satire. Here are self-absorbed people doing little work for too much money at a vanity press, with no supervision or pressure, with their every action rewarded by praise and enormous sales, totally insulated from real-world problems–and they still need to piss and moan about something. If Batiuk had any self-awareness his characters’ whining would earn them a moose-turd pie in the face.

      I know. They’d taste the pie and mean it when they say “It’s good, though.”

      *Batiuk’s world is like Hell: there’s always something worse.

  23. In his latest blog post, he talks about another comic con he’s attending. I would really like to see “Abbott and Costello Meet the Creature from the Black Lagoon.”

    • J.J. O'Malley

      It’s not a long-lost feature film, beckoning, so don’t get your hopes up. “A&C Meet the Creature” is actually a 15-minute TV sketch from 1954’s “Colgate Comedy Hour.” Bud and Lou go to the Universal Studios prop department and re-create the moving candle scene from “Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein.” The Frankenstein Monster comes out of a coffin (!) but is frightened by Lou, and the Gillman finally makes an appearance in the skit’s final 10 seconds.

      • Oh, I figured it was something other than a feature film. I thought it was amusing to see in a wall of DVDs for sale. And amusing things are thin on the ground where FW is concerned.

  24. Lord Flatulence

    Durwood has a nice triangle head.