Yesterday these climage damate comics had too much testosterone… but in today’s strip Ruby is arguing that they aren’t optimistic enough. For who? For sales? For readers? For her, personally? How do you even conflate testosterone with pessimism? Is that what she’s even doing? What’s going on in her mind? What’s her motivation? Annnnnnnnnnnd, why should I care?

Flash is pretty smug about dying before the coming damate climage cataclysm occurs. I wouldn’t be if I was him. STILL drawing comic books at his age? It’s a safer bet to assume he’s immortal until proven otherwise. No one dies in the Batiukverse unless three things are satisfied:

1 – Their death is in the service of an award-winning-seeking important issue. (Okay, we can check this one, though I’m going to doubt TB has the writing chops to figure out how to kill Flash with climage damate)

2 – They are not involved in or devoted to comic books. (No check here… recall how comic book and movie serial uberschmuck Jff Murdoch survived the damate climage fire that ate Los Angeles)

3 – Their death enables Les to feel even more superior to others. (No check, again)


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

37 responses to “Batiuklysm

  1. Y. Knott

    Have we seen this “punchline” (or something fairly similarly worded) before? I can envision Les saying it (well, actually, I can envision virtually any of the interchangeable FW characters saying it …) but my point is that it seems awfully familiar. Or is it just me?

    • Andrew

      Any joke about getting old and/or dying has been done in FW about 50 times over.

      • Y. Knott

        Ah. I realize now that talking about a ‘punchline’ was misleading, as none of these lines of dialogue are funny. Even if they were meant to be.

        I was thinking of Ruby’s final line about the ‘bright spot’. The way it’s written seems like a familiar Batiukian construction. Have we seen it (or something quite like it) before?

    • Hannibal’s Lectern

      “Climate change? That’s a you thing. I’m planning to be dead.” —Old woman in a Twitter video aimed at getting younger people to vote. Seriously. I first saw it around the 2018 midterms, again in 2020, and a third time this year. I’d say Batty “borrowed” the line, but I somehow can’t see him doing the Twitter thing.

  2. William Thompson

    Hey, if Flush Fuckwit dies because of climate damage, think of how it could boost Atomik Komix sales! Imagine these blurbs on the comic-book covers:

    1: “Climate Damage takes it personally and smites renowned AK creator for saying mean things about it!”

    2: “Is this the prophetic story that foretold the death of a beloved Silver Age genius?”

    3: “Ninety-eight year old creator dies during an unimaginable change in the weather!”

    4: “Flash Freekman’s Final Fiction! After this, nothing!”

    All of the interior pages would be blank, of course. AK is all about the covers.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      All of the interior pages would be blank, of course. AK is all about the covers.

      My new headcanon is that AK doesn’t even make comic books. They make one-sided comic book pop art. Comic book style covers suitable for framing in your tastefully decorated office, or putting right into collector slabs! You’ll never need an omnibus edition, because there’s nothing to read! And there’s no pages to get damaged, preserving collector value!

      Notice here that Ruby is completely rewriting the tone of the story. If a story existed at all, AK couldn’t make these kind of changes on a whim this late in the process.

      • William Thompson

        And this is how they fight climate damage: by not including pages in their “books.” “We kill fewer dead trees than any other publisher! We have the tiniest carbon fingerprints on record! We take up the least possible space in landfill dumps!”

        Doing nothing and boasting about it is par for the course in this strip.

      • J.J. O'Malley

        Looking forward to the “Climate Damage” Cover Exhibition/Cocktail Party at Kitch Swoon’s gallery.

        • William Thompson

          The gallery’s electric lights will be turned off because the power comes from a coal-fired power plant. Illumination will come from tiki torches in artistic stands.

  3. Epicus Doomus

    If Ruby was based on a real person, I’d advise that person to sue Batiuk and Ayers over that panel two likeness. Blech. Yesterday, I said she looked like a bag lady, and today she looks like a drunk bag lady.

    Elderly superheroes shrugging because they’re just gonna die soon anyway? I guess Atomik Komix is aiming for a really niche kind of target demographic here, that being eighty-year olds who still read comic books. I mean, I’ve heard worse ideas, although to be honest I can’t think of any right now.

    It’s pretty funny how every time Batton appears, he dominates on Monday and Tuesday, then just fades into the background for the rest of the week. That’s known as “Boy Lisa syndrome”, by the way.

    • be ware of eve hill

      Not exactly a flattering image, is it? The only thing missing from Ruby’s portrayal in panel #2 are the flies buzzing about her face.

      I wonder how many retirement home residents make a point to buy a $3.99 comic book. I’m guessing not a whole hell of a lot.

      • The Duck of Death

        Here’s the hard fact, and one Batty should know, especially since he did a whole arc about Funky’s eye trouble:

        The older you get, the more your vision sucks. It gets very hard to read small, fiddly things. I know — you can put on your “cheaters,” as my grandma used to call reading glasses — but it’s still a strain.

        For so many older people, or hell, anyone with vision troubles, Kindle and iPads have been an incredible godsend. There are so many ways to make things more readable — embiggen, brighten, increase contrast, etc.

        And those of you who know older folks, or are older folks, you’ve no doubt noticed that most of them no longer want to collect stuff. If anything, they’ve realized what a burden it is to have so much stuff, and the more perspicacious ones have started to get rid of it. The less perspicacious ones will leave it to their executor to handle the piles of “collectibles,” and their executor will curse their rotting bones. Ask me how I know.

        Which makes it triply ironic how much Batty loves dead-tree comix:

        1. Killing trees, wasting fuel, defiling Mother Gaia.
        2. Normal oldsters don’t obsess about comix; those who do probably have trouble reading them.
        3. People in their 80s and above don’t want to buy and accumulate shit any more. They’re over it.

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      “In the long run, we are all dead.” — John Maynard Keynes.

      Pity he proved that when he passed in 1946, or else he could writer *The Economic Consequences of Funky Winkerbean* as he did those of peace and Mr. Churchill.

      Assuming Funky would let him and not keep interrupting him.

      • The Duck of Death

        Sorry to interrupt with an off-topic aside, but: Anonymous Sparrow, if you are interested in economics or Keynes, I highly recommend the book I’m currently reading, “1931: Debt, Crisis, and the Rise of Hitler” by Tobias Straumann.

        Very heavy stuff, both in its dreary lessons and in its density of information. It’s more about the German debt crisis that plunged the world into the Great Depression than it is about Hitler. Every politician and policy-maker on Earth should know this story, but I’m guessing not one out of a thousand actually do. Merrily we roll along…..

        ~~Digression over, thanks for your indulgence ~~

  4. Ruby, this wasn’t much of a cameo for you, was it? You look like melted dog crap, and you got no punchlines. But hey, there’s no shame in playing Straight-Hag to Phlesh Phloppyphace an his inimitable comic stylings!

    See ya next year, Ruby!

  5. RudimentaryLathe?

    I’m kinda with Ruby on this one. One big problem with environmental activism (and activism in general) is that the people involved tend to focus on finger-pointing and doomsaying, and don’t encourage solutions. Solutions are not easy, one-step things and that doesn’t make the activists look important.
    So we get preachy cynical crap like today’s strip. Oh good for you, Flush. Just keep killing trees to print your sanctimonious bullshit; it’s all the Zoomers’ problem now!

  6. Also, BTS, your tags today are exquisite!

    • Epicus Doomus

      The Babe Ruth of SoSF tags. I sometimes make up tags I never use again. BTS finds those tags, and uses them to deadly effect. I stand in line.

  7. Green Luthor

    “I’m happy I’m going to die before the world ends.”

    Could this be the Batiukiest strip ever?

    • William Thompson

      It could be. “I’m happy to die before I get to see worldwide gloom, doom and despair! I couldn’t survive if I witnessed such pleasure!”

  8. billytheskink

    And just a month ago Flash was ragging on “Bummer Batton”… How do you like being known around the office as the wet blanket, Flash?

    What a time for this feedback, though. This is why reputable book publishers, comic or otherwise, employ editors. Not that you know who would know anything about that…

  9. be ware of eve hill

    I find it bizarre that the closing and dismantling of the Montoni’s Pizzeria was handled over a mere ten days, taking a back seat to Summer’s Westview book research. Batiuk abandons a mildly engaging story arc for this incredibly stodgy and puzzling “climate damage” comic mishmash. You can almost hear Batiuk stripping the gears, shifting the point day after day. It’s about “climate damage.” No, it’s about the pandemic. No, Ruby wants the comic books less “testosterony.” No, we’re old and won’t have to live through the climate cataclysm. YaY!

    For crying out loud, TB. You’re giving me a headache.

    There are plenty of unanswered questions left from the Montoni’s closure arc:
    – What will Funky do now? Why was he so glib about the closing of Montoni’s?
    – What will happen to the Montoni’s staff who have lost their jobs?
    – What will happen to the Komix Korner?
    – Did Mitchell Knox get the signed John Darling photo? Who was he bidding against?
    – Did Lillian get her Tiffany lamp back?
    – Did anyone bother bidding on the infamous bandbox?
    – What happened to the Pizza (box) Monster? Retired?
    – Did Summer get sufficient material for her book? Wait, no one cares about that. Never mind.

    It’s just weird. The earth-shattering revelation about the closure of Montoni’s, the hub of the Batiukverse, can best be summed up as, “Oh, by the way, we’re closing. Would you like to bid on something?” (smirk)

    Never in my wildest dreams did I ever see that coming.

    • Y. Knott

      I don’t see how anyone could read the last several months of FW, and not conclude that there is something very, very wrong with Batiuk’s cognitive functioning. Ayers artwork helps disguise it a bit, I suspect — despite some carping here and there, the thing more or less looks like a comic strip. But we are now getting to the point where day-to-day developments in the strip simply don’t make sense. This week has veered all over the place with no real direction. The previous weeks somehow went from ‘Summer will write an oral history’ to ‘Montoni’s is closing’ to ‘there’s an auction’. But nothing gets resolved, and nothing actually happens.

      The previous week was a headscratching (and virtually non-explained) callback to something that happened over a decade ago. And that wasn’t resolved. And which gets totally forgotten.

      We haven’t quite reached Apartment 3-G’s final destination of outsider art meets repetitive inadvertent surrealism. But we’re definitely on that train….

      • I was going to say, yes, the thing that’s been separating this from the Apartment 3-Gocalypse has been that Ayers’s artwork has stayed solid. Frank Bolle’s struggles with art the final years of that strip made the incoherent plotting impossible to ignore.

        In the last year of Apartment 3-G, someone on the Comics Curmudgeon redrew a Sunday strip, without changing the script any, and the result — with stronger composition and more consistent craft — looked like it made sense even though the story was identical.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Yeah, even by his standards it’s gotten pretty bad. How could he treat the closing of Montoni’s – a place he himself declared to be the focal point of his adult characters – as so minor? And he didn’t even finish the stories it supported: Summer becoming the best writer in the world (though that’s probably coming next year), and the “memorabilia” auction.

        This week makes no sense, but we know it’s all ending with a comic book cover. That’s the only part of Batiuk’s brain that still works.

        • The Duck of Death

          At least twice he’s had characters say that Montoni’s was the place where they were safe because the universe couldn’t see inside it to know they were happy and smite them for spite…. or something like that.

          It’s been a centerpiece of the strip since Act I. And no one seems to care that it’s going away.

  10. J.J. O'Malley

    Someone should turn down the thermostat in the Atomik Komix Bullpen. It looks like all their wax statues of famous comic book creators are staring to melt into puddles of…huh? Those are the actual creators? Never mind.

    Also, all this kvetching about the downbeat tone of Funky Flashman’s “dimate clamage” stories would mean something if we poor readers ever saw the fakakta things! All we’ve ever gotten are cliche-filled covers that we had to turn our heads 90 degrees to read.

  11. ComicBookHarriet

    Ha. At least one of these characters is acting like a real human today, even if they all LOOK like horrifying Garbage Pail Geriatrics.

    My dad is smug as shit that he’s so much closer to the sweet release of death. Literally the only reason he would want to prolong his life on earth is for his grandkids. This works for the complex, multilayered, pessimistic SourPatch Man that is my dad.

    This could almost be an Act I gag, if Batiuk hadn’t ruined it by being insufferably preachy, and put in the mouth of a character that FITS, like Phil.

    This would work coming out of Crankshaft. In fact, I’d wager good money that this joke has been used in Crankshaft.

  12. Paul Jones

    And here is the problem: Batiuk’s generation witlessly fouled the nest and they’re happy that other people will have to suffer while they’re comfortably dead.

  13. Banana Jr. 6000

    No two strips this week go together. “I didn’t get my comic books because they’re making shipping boxes instead! They need to be less testosterony! They need to move positive! We’ve got to draw more attention to dammit climage! I don’t care, I’ll be dead!” All this after abruptly shifting from Summer writing a needless book and Montoni’s closing.

  14. Speaking of death and comic books, I see that the best Batman ever passed away yesterday.

  15. Anonymous Sparrow

    Many thanks, Duck of Death, I’ll track it down when time permits.

    I think I’ll try to slip it in after Patricia O’Toole’s biography of Woodrow Wilson, because in one of Wilson’s last public appearances, the newspapers were full of headlines about Hitler approaching Munich in November 1923.

    I like things like that, because they remind me of my favorite of Hamlet’s soliloquies, in which he declared “how all occasions do inform against me/and spur my dull revenge” (Act IV, scene iv, if you’re wondering).

    By the way, the proper address for a duke is “Your Grace.” With a duck, should it be “Your Grouse”?

    • The Duck of Death

      While we need not stand on formality, my dear Sparrow, I can see you are not a cook, or you would know the correct form of address for a Duck is “Your Grease.”

      • ComicBookHarriet


        • Anonymous Sparrow

          It is beyond amazing. It is what Rita in Wendy Wasserstein’s *Uncommon Women and Others* would call “pretty f*ck*ng amazing.”

          And then some!!

          Thank you for the laughter, Your Grease, and if you can’t watch “Kind Hearts and C0ronets,” cherish this bit of doggerel from Mr. Elliot the Hangman:

          Your Grace, reflect: while yet of mortal breath some span, however short, is left to thee, / How brief the total span twixt birth and death, How long thy coming tenure of eternity. /

          [Takes a deep breath and continues with ponderous emphasis on each syllable:]

          The Hangman: Your Grace, prepare –

          And you are correct, Duck of Death, I am no cook, merely someone who cherishes the belief that “saying a rock band can play Chuck Berry is like saying a cook can boil water.”

  16. Hitorque

    Somebody needs to punch that motherfucker…