Nix Chix Fix Comix

Ruby has got to be regretting speaking up a few days ago because, as we see in today’s strip, she’s being told to… do her job?!


I know, I’m as shocked as any of you that someone at Atomik Komix is even suggesting the idea of doing work. Granted, Phil is suggesting that someone other than himself work, but still… This will probably work better for the deadline anyways, Phil is not known for his speed. Flash being kind of a jerk and everyone else standing around like this place has no editor in chief, or leadership of any kind – now that is the Atomik Komix we all know and love.

Anyways, we’re back from “the climage damate comics aren’t optimistic enough” to “the damate climage comics aren’t, uh, something about women I think”. Are we supposed to see these two complaints as the same thing?



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

63 responses to “Nix Chix Fix Comix

  1. sorialpromise

    This is Ruby in a nutshell. She bitches about her conditions, but does nothing about them. Remember her complaining about the after work porn movies. Yet she went, and then did not complain. She complained about the award at Comic Con, yet went and let Phil and Flash overtake her ceremony. She did not complain. She offers up testosterone as a reason for the failure of climate damite covers, then changes it to lack of optimism. She is told to give her solution, and wants to back out. I hate Ruby for all these reasons. She wears a communist star, (I don’t know why? Help?) She is a typical Russian pinko. All complaints. No solutions. The only other option for a female viewpoint in that geriatric crowd is hire Batton Thomas for the week. He is more than qualified to give a horrible feminine viewpoint.

    • Green Luthor

      I’m pretty sure she wears a communist star because she really is an actual communist. (Not a joke, I think that was her actual backstory.)

      • sorialpromise

        Take note: this will be my only favorable comment regarding world communism. They totally understand artwork. My daughter collects Russian posters. Those from the Stalin era are magnificent. The communist Chinese also get it. Jack Chick from Chick Tracts says he was motivated by their use to win over converts and followers by the use of comic propaganda.

        • Cheesy-kun

          Fair point, sorialpromise: Socialist realism produced some powerful works both as blatant propaganda and as an art form to represent what they considered to be the future.

        • ian'sdrunkenbeard

          I have an old copy of “Bad Bob!” It’s my favorite Chick tract. You can read all of them at the site.

          • Cheesy-kun

            Thank you both for the Chick tract reference s and link. First time to hear of it. Went to the link. Fascinating stuff.

          • sorialpromise

            Thank you. I haven’t seen a chick tract in years. I will check it out.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            Funky Winkerbean is a lot like Chick tracts. The artwork is the same kind of “uncanny valley between unattractive and unrealistic” I mentioned yesterday. Characters have no real feelings or motivations. The plots are contrived and predictable, and exist only to set up the paper-thin moral the author wants.

          • The Duck of Death

            BJr6K, the Chick tracts are IMO far better than Act III Funky. That’s probably why they have so many fans, both ironic and nonironic. FW exhibits none of the virtues of Chick tracts, such as:

            1. Art that is professional and capable.
            2. A plot that moves fast and quickly gets to the point.
            3. Dialogue and action that, while stilted, make some sense.
            4. An optimistic tone. (“You’ve gone wrong, but can be redeemed.”)
            5. A call to action. (“Say this prayer, accept Jesus, and all will be well.”)

            Points 4 and 5 would really serve Atomik Comix well in their quest to stop wreckit ralphage, but scolding and lecturing is what they do best, and by golly, they’re gonna stick to it.

          • The Duck of Death

            Why, oh why, do my comments go into spam moderation? All I’m trying to do is let everyone know where they can get dɐǝɥɔ ɐɹƃɐᴉʌ puɐ sᴉןɐᴉɔ!

          • Y. Knott

            See what happens if you post as “The Duck of Life-Affirming Sweetness”.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          I saw similar things in Romania like some very nice mosaics.

          But this does not make up for all the ugly buildings they built.

          • sorialpromise

            This is true. Other than the Kremlin, I don’t know of any spectacular Russian architecture. Of course, the Commies didn’t build any of that. I include Putin as a communist. He being in the KGB. You might be able to direct me to other sights in Russian cityscapes, but I bet my Kansas City has them beat.

        • Anonymous Sparrow

          Should you ever go to Russia, check out the artwork in the subways. It may not have the effect of the “once more unto the breach” address from *Henry V* (which made my father, an ardent Francophile, want to kill those frogs), but it is imposing and impressive.

          Upton Sinclair (a Socialist but not a Communist) has some good jokes about Soviet Communism in the Lanny Budd series.

          This is my favorite:

          A man is filling out a job application.

          First question: “Where were you born?”

          As the man was born in the early 20th Century, he puts down “Saint Petersburg.”

          Second question: “Where did you grow up?”

          As the man grew up during World War One, when anti-German sentiment ran high, he puts down “Petrograd.”

          Third question: “Where do you live now?”

          As the Soviets changed the name of the former capital to honor Lenin after his death, he puts down “Leningrad.”

          Fourth question: “Where would you like to work?”

          Without having to think about it, he puts down “Saint Petersburg.”

          If there are any requests for the red and black ink joke, I will provide it. Otherwise, I will thank all contributors for reminding me that while some are storytellers, others are historians.

          Kvass for everyone!

          • sorialpromise

            Thank you, Anonymous Sparrow
            I will add Sinclair to my reading list. The list was manageable until I got hooked on SOSF. It’s that darn CBH and her feminine wiles. She is one of the least testosterony people I know.
            As for visiting Russia, I spent 10 days in China back in 2015. Wonderful time. Totally 100% safe. No fear of walking down dark alleys. But Russia? My daughter had a chance to go to Russia, but instead, she went to Egypt, even though they had just thrown out their government and were under martial law. She felt safer.
            Now you have been there. Please tell me that it’s relatively safe for tourists. On par with any large city in USA. Full disclosure: my college visited during the Yeltsin years. A Russian came up to one of the fellows and offered to buy the jeans he was wearing. He offered no replacement pants. Just rubles.
            Full disclosure 2: Before the Russ-Ukraine War, I was telling people that the ruble was a good investment. I had no extra cash so I did not invest personally. It was offered around 72 ruble to the dollar. At the start of the war, it crashed to about 133 rubles to a dollar. Huge bargain. Then it quickly improved and lately offers about 61 rubles to the dollar. Very strong currency.
            The Russians have powerful history. The people seem decent. Yet they sure do like oppressive governments.
            This comes full swing back to Ruby. I had to take a diversity class for my hospital. One one of their films, this guy whined about not getting respect because he was a communist. The class was very sympathetic. I spoke up. “Being a communist is not like being a Republican or a Democrat. They are violent and disruptive. When they take over, they shoot all the doctors and lawyers. Name one country that the communists improved. There aren’t any. The best example is China. They abandoned commie economics in the 80’s. We met a fellow fro China in the 90’s. He said the standard of living has improved so much that Chinese families can now have a dog as a pet. Before they had to eat them. This is not a joke.
            So to see Ruby with her red star, makes me automatically despise her. As if communism is just another option for government rule, then why are so many people wanting to flee or overthrow those bastards.
            AS: TL;DR

          • Anonymous Sparrow

            Sorry for the delay in response.

            My experience in Russia was in 2013, which was nine years ago, and a lot has happened there since. I have no idea how it would be today, but I remember the time there fondly. As a country, Winston Churchill summed it up well when he called it “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”; however, as a reader of Russian literature, it’s what you’d expect from Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy and Chekhov, among others, and it reminded me of a sequence in W. Somerset Maugham’s *Ashenden* in which his titular hero realized that he didn’t love the Russian woman, but he loved the idea of the Russia she represented.

            (Consequently, I feel sorry for my brother, who had hoped to go to Russia this year, but who found that the war in the Ukraine made it a bad idea.)

            In one of her letters to her husband, the Express Alexandra wrote that the Russian people loved the whip. Sadly, that seems to be correct, and, even more sadly, the triumph of the Bolsheviks probably came about because they knew how to use it more effectively than the Romanovs or Kerensky.

            I apologize for making your reading list unwieldy. With Sinclair, he shouldn’t really be a priority: the Lanny Budd books are extremely entertaining, and you’ll learn a lot about 1913-49 from them, but they’re hardly great literature. (Anthony Burgess seems to borrow from them for his *Earthly Powers,* and basically just seems to be nudging his readers to realize that some new disaster is in the offing.) As for the two books about his run for Governor in 1934, you can learn the story of what actually happened best in Greg Mitchell’s *Campaign of the Century.*

            China has always struck me as too big to visit, but what you wrote has me reconsidering that. Since I saw Hong Kong and Macau before the reversion, I should get to the mainland, particularly since I finally read Pearl S. Buck’s *Good Earth* and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it, and intrigued to see that she understood that a revolution had to come, much as she would have despised the victorious one of Mao Zedong.

            We’ve seen athletic coaches, English teachers, band directors and science teachers at Westview High School, but I don’t think we’ve ever seen a history teacher. Can anyone tell me if there’s a Ms. Mary Knight* or someone like her who despairs of getting the kids to learn when Columbus sailed the ocean blue?

            That’s a Joycean nod. Stephen Dedalus calls history “a nightmare from which I am trying to awake” in *Ulysses.*

          • sorialpromise

            Thank you so much. You add much to this website. Would you mind sharing some of your biography?
            You are appreciated!

        • Gerard Plourde

          Leave it to SOSF readers to bring up the rich subject of Jack Chick and his comic book style tracts. I first encountered one in the late ‘60s in a small chocolatier’s shop on US 206 in rural New Jersey, which sparked a long-standing fascination. Without discussing their message (I belong to a faith that is regularly targeted), I will say that, unlike FW arcs, each one clearly tells a coherent story with a definite point to a defined target audience. And the artwork, which varies stylistically, is uniformly good.

          • sorialpromise

            I believe Mr. Chick wrote 10 or less full size comics. The first several form a series called the Crusaders. Then he wrote a few that were anti-Catholic. That pretty much punctured his popularity among his target audience of conservative Christians. There was a Christian book store in KCNorth. I asked for those issues. They had them, but not on display. I got the stink eye for even asking to buy them. I had to explain my reason to purchase them. Apparently, there was quite the controversy among the sales staff about carrying these comics.

          • Gerard Plourde


            To be clear – I’m not a fan of Chick Publication’s message and I should probably have called the artwork consistent with its intended purpose – dehumanizing the intended “villain”. It is as much an example of propaganda as the Soviet, Communist Chinese and other authoritarian and totalitarian genres. My comment merely was intended to contrast Chick products against TomBa’s work with its habitual inability to produce an actual story.

            The company’s history is long, though, and the Crusader series, which serves the same purpose as the tracts, is actually a later development.


        • Hannibal's Lectern

          One of the creepiest examples of Soviet-style socialist-realism I have seen is right here in the USA, on the Mall in DC. It’s the “Boy Scout Memorial,” and… well… courtesy of Wikipedia, have a look…

          • The Duck of Death

            It’s less blocky than a lot of Soviet art — to me it more closely resembles the gratuitous nudity and neo-Classical style I’d associate with 3rd Reich artists like Arno Breker.

            Either way: Creepy as hell, and why does the boy scout look less like a boy and more like a homonculus with revenge on his mind?

          • Gerard Plourde

            That is creepy in so many ways.

      • Cheesy-kun

        That’s good to know, thank you. And like so many backstories here it stays frozen in time. Actual communists in the wealthy democracies generally blame capitalism for climate “damage” not testosterone and a lack of optimism.

    • Cheesy-kun

      She is a typical Russian pinko. —> 😂🤣😆👍🏻

      The only other option for a female viewpoint in that geriatric crowd is hire Batton Thomas for the week. —-> I see your point but yikes!

      Hey, seriously, thanks for calling out the red star. Maybe TomBa thinks it’s a cute affectation of his generation’s hey but it either shows her (TB’s) ignorance or her (TB’s) spinelessness. Own that star, make the case for replacing what is with what the star represents or stop posing.

      • Cheesy-kun

        *his generation’s heyday.

        From the BOWLES of my mind come an effluence of typos.

      • The Duck of Death

        Puff Batty has rather a hard-on for what he would consider victims of blacklisting. He feels the topic is important enough to continue touching on it, nearly 70 years later, even if it means some of his characters have to be 120 years old. Stalin and his adherents got a bad rap, y’all.

        Yet anyone supporting Putin today would have no Hollywood or media career. In other words, they’d be blacklisted. Like the Communists were in the 50s.

        And, because the man on TV says Putin is bad, I’ll bet Tom wouldn’t shed a tear if pro-Russian entertainers were unemployed.

        So, Tom: Who decides which countries are allowed to annex neighbors? Was it brave and virtuous to support the USSR, but wrong to support Russia?

        It’s okay, Tom, you don’t have to answer. Don’t tax your brain. Go back to rereading Flash #123.

        [Please forgive me if this seems like a political post. I’m not trying to debate Russian history; just pointing out that Tom is big on acting like A Man of Great Conviction, but his convictions are about as deep as a peeling bumper sticker on a Volvo in the Whole Foods parking lot.]

        • Hannibal's Lectern

          He’s an “environmentalist” in the same sense as the guy who puts a “Save the Whales” sticker on his Hummer.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      “All complaints. No solutions.”

      This has been Batiuk all across the board. From Act I to Act III, with only a very brief window of VERY SPECIAL EPISODES in late Act II early Act III that bucked this trend in order to serve as a teaching mouthpiece for a lesson developed by someone else.

      When he made Funky an alcoholic, he actually then took Funky on a plausible journey of recovery and change with concrete actions taken, (intervention, joining AA, accountability to his sponsor) He made a similar, but more anemic effort when Wally was back from captivity, (therapy, therapy dog, etc).

      But that was his desire for accolades warring and winning for a bit against his obsession with nihilism. Most other problems he raises, he offers no solutions for.

  2. Green Luthor

    In today’s second panel, the part of Ruby Lith will be played by the late William Kuntsler.

    “Environment covers.” COVERS? Not, like, the actual stories, just the covers, is that what they’re saying? Wow, hard to imagine why these chuckleheads haven’t fixed the climate dumbage problem yet. To quote Ned Flanders’ father, “we’ve tried doing nothing, we don’t know what else to do!” (Assuming, of course, they actually ever produce stories and not just covers. Honestly, I’m not entirely convinced that they really aren’t just publishing covers.) (Which then raises the question of what Mopey Pete is doing there, but really, I think we were all wondering that anyway.)

    • Cheesy-kun

      To quote Ned Flanders’ father, “we’ve tried doing nothing, we don’t know what else to do!”—> 🤣😂😅

      Mid-day Saturday in my part of the world and I’m enjoying some good chuckles as dessert to my lunch. Thank you, sorialpromise and Green Luthor.

      What a sad farce. He barely finishes announcing the closing of the title character’s business and then moves on to Atomix Geriatrix for snail-paced preaching combined with a behind-the-curtain look at the exciting world of covers.

  3. Cheesy-kun

    What in Lisa’s name is a “feminine touch” exactly? Especially in this day and age and after TomBat’s attempt to show he’s on the right side of history by introducing (and immediately disappearing) Rolanda. Is Ruby going to draw June Cleaver and Carol Brady into an Elementals cover? Frame the covers with pink curtains, put some potted plants in the foreground and insist humans shake hands with the climate. There’s a whole school of environmentalism rooted in different philosophies of feminism but I don’t think they’re ever referred to as a “feminine touch.”

    Lately the comment section here is like a pop-up blog: Incredible depth and breadth appear afresh daily. It’s fun not knowing where it will all go but knowing it’s going to be a great trip. You all add so many additional insights and cross-references. So much fun to read and click to the references.

  4. William Thompson

    “House rules?” Seriously?

    Okay, they have house rules, in a way, like “Each and every cover must be met with unadulterated praise by the entire staff” and “Criticism? That’s another -ism we don’t tolerate!” and “Never, never, never mention any details of the story illustrated by the cover art.” But, yeah, let’s blame the cover art for the failure of the story. Maybe that’s a new house rule, and it probably sounds better to these peckerwoods than “If you keep publishing wretchedly bad stories, your readership will stop buying your crap and go elsewhere.”

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      That got my attention too. Is this how Tom Batiuk thinks comic book companies operate? The covers get assigned to whoever screws up or lips off, like KP duty in the Army?

      I don’t pretend to understand “the biz”, but wouldn’t assigning artists have something with style, tone, current workload, and skill set? And hey, wouldn’t it need to match the contents of the book (pretending there are any)? And wouldn’t all this have been set in stone long in advance?

      I really want to know what Batiuk’s DC and Marvel interviews were like. The insane answers he must have given.

      • Gerard Plourde

        “House Rules” is really revealing. It fits right in with his belief that “real” comics publishers are run like the “clubs” of pre-adolescent boys.

      • William Thompson

        Cover art is primarily advertising for a book, and readers expect the content to live up to the cover. Frank Kelly Freas once said that he would get complaints from people who had bought mediocre books based on the strength of his cover art.

        AK covers generally center on overmuscled people going into dangerous situations while grunting out some defiant cliche. The fact that the books don’t sell suggests that the stories can’t meet even the minimal expectations of whoever buys them.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Who the hell are AK’s customers, anyway? They’re constantly introducing new franchises, and never supporting them. The public would know by now not to buy their books. If their repetitive preachiness didn’t already turn them off. AK products barely get a mention at Komix Korner, a store in their own small town. That should tell you something.

          • William Thompson

            We never see their customers, do we? For a while I thought they might be collectors–but who’s going to collect AK’s products? Nobody’s going to develop a sentimental attachment to their comic books, and as a financial investment, where’s the future demand for the non-entertaining output of a small, failed vanity press?

  5. Today’s strip bolsters the idea brought up by several of our commenters: Atomik Komix produces ONLY covers. No actual content. Which would explain why we never see anyone working at AK headquarters. Producing zero content gives them plenty of time to spew wry observations and bitch about how their content-free comix aren’t drastically improving the world.

    Also, Ruby’s occasional mustache and Batton’s constant, pointless presence in these strips is souring my mood. Just sayin’.

    • Cheesy-kun

      Sounds like you’ve suffered mood damage, Sourbelly. Maybe the bullpen can apply Ruby’s feminine touch to draw up a sweet cover for you.

    • William Thompson

      We see “artists” working at their tables, but we never see any evidence of writing. Either Batiuk thinks that only artwork matters in comic books, or–more likely–he has story ideas for all these covers, but he’s afraid that if he describes them, lesser minds will steal his ideas and make fortunes with them. It was the same way with his Starsux Jones epics. Lots of imagery, but no mention of a plot.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        If Batiuk doesn’t want to write any in-universe stories for his comic book company, then they need to stop having plots that depend on the content of these stories.

        Ruby’s request for less masculinity and more positivity have to be about the stories. As does this whole clammit dimmage nonsense. They don’t make any sense if you’re just talking about the cover. They’re callbacks to things FW refused to show us in the first place.

        And yes, the belief that someone will steal his ideas is so juvenile and asinine I can believe that’s Batiuk’s motivation,

        • The Duck of Death

          Come on, these ideas are GOLD! Like… uh, like a big muscular guy fighting! Or smashing stuff! Or an underwater guy with, y’know, water powers! Or a sexy lady in a skintight costume fighting a bad guy! It’s no wonder he doesn’t want these ideas stolen. So original and groundbreaking.

  6. billytheskink

    Mindy and Ruby both slack-jawed… “Wait, you want our only female artists to give our ‘testosterony’ comic books a ‘feminine touch’? What what?!”

    Batton’s still there, providing some Amicus Breef-level contributions.

    This is like watching sludge slowly sliding down the wall it was just thrown against…

    • Cheesy-kun

      I’d watch the sludge. At least it’s not going to preach at me or pretend it’s something better, like grape jelly.

    • Cheesy-kun

      Great title today, billytheskink, great commentary all week. You’re blazing a realistic path through a surrealistic landscape.

  7. Paul Jones

    This means that tomorrow’s strip will be another Sideways Wonder spurred on by the fact that Batiuk is too stupid to reallize that his attempt to stick it to tthe computer people who bully him is damned awkward for the people who read dead tree newspapers too. The only difference is that we also have to deal with his inability to understand women at all well.

  8. J.J. O'Malley

    Several Months from Now, at a Local Comics Store (not above a closed pizza parlor):

    “Okay, Susie, your brother picked out his comic book. Which one do you want: Wonder Woman? Batgirl? Spider-Gwen? Ironheart?”

    “This one, Mom, the ‘Climate Damage’ Atomik Komic with the detailed close-ups of iris flowers on the cover! For some reason the imagery speaks to me!”

  9. Rusty Shackleford

    “House rules” is a phrase Batty uses often and it is just as annoying as climate damage, grandpa google, etc.

  10. Angusmac

    As a twelfth year sophomore at Kent St., I recently attended a Climate Damage symposium where I presented my paper “The apocalyptic effects of fossil fuels on the gender equity in the comic book industry.”

    • Y. Knott

      I was there! I was so impressed, I’m currently creating the cover art for “An Oral History Of The Audience Reaction To The Apocalyptic Effects Of Fossil Fuels On Gender Equity In The Comic Book Industry, Volume One: Outgassing And Its Effects On The Perception Of Time.”

      • Cheesy-kun

        Congrats to you both. My submission, “A Feminine Touch,” was rejected. According to the house rules the title was too short.

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      Give me gamma rays and man-in-the-mood marigolds, please.

  11. Epicus Doomus

    “WHOA, WHOA! When I said it needed work, I CERTAINLY didn’t mean I should re-do it! I mean, I’m only here to…to…uh, what was it again?”

  12. Hitorque

    1. Just your daily reminder that technically Pietro Rattabastardo is the managing editor of AK and he’s been paid extra all this time to serve in that role despite never actually having done anything.

    2. I don’t get it… Flask and Phred have a combined 120+ years of industry experience yet somehow they’re this devoid of ideas?!

  13. Hannibal's Lectern

    Going back to a topic that floated by a few days ago… just what could any of these over-muscled Spandex folks actually do about Clamato Fromage*? We’ve seen The Oceanaire floating passively in a pool of garbage, and The Subturdannean blowing up an oil refinery or something, but… how does any of this help? Are their supposed super-powers of any value at all in improving the climate?

    I’ve already pointed out that The Scorch could help by becoming an energy source, but what about the SubTurd? He actually could help, assuming he actually has some kind of geological super powers. It’s well established that the earth has seen extended periods of global cooling caused by major volcanic eruptions–matter of fact, it’s been proposed that a big eruption in Iceland so dimmed the sun and cooled the land that it cause famines which contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire. Some scientists have proposed “geo-engineering” as a last-ditch way to keep global temperatures under control, seeding the upper atmosphere with sulfur dioxide (which is also ejected in large quantities by volcanoes) to increase the earth’s albedo and cool the planet.

    Suppose they did a story in which the SubTurd threatened to light up a bunch of volcanoes, ejecting enough ash and sulfur dioxide to bring planetary surface temperatures back to a pre-Industrial Revolution level, if the nations of the world didn’t get their act together and reduce greenhouse emissions? One catch: some of the volcanoes might erupt in major cities or other places we really don’t want an active volcano. Could be a mildly interesting story, and it would actually tie into the character’s supposed power.

    I’m not holding my breath.

    *Is that the newest “Bud Lite Chelada” beer-oid substance?

    • William Thompson

      Probably those massive, numerous eruptions would cause extra damage; there’s no assurance that the return to a “normal” level of solar influx would be a smooth and convenient transition. It’s such a simplistic solution that, if Batiuk could dumb it down enough to fit onto a cover, he’d use it. But you’d still have to hold your breath because it would stink like sulfur dioxide.