Before I mock Summer and her new, sleek, angular, pointy appearance, a few words on the looming heat death of the Funkyverse. Obviously, without a daily strip, we will not be doing daily posts anymore after December 31. The site will remain alive for the foreseeable future, and we do hope we get new FW material to complain about. It’s not going to shutter right then and right there. But this is Batiuk we’re talking about here, so there’s just no way of knowing how it’ll actually go. He might drop 365 new FW strips on his blog on January 2, or he might do a feeble, one-off comic book cover eight months from now, or anything in-between. There will not be a re-read from the beginning, nor will we switch to “Crankshaft”. The daily strips are the engine that runs the whole thing and without those, it’ll never be the same. I’m not sure how or if sporadic posts will work, but that’s a bridge to cross at some later date.
From here on out, TFH and I will be sharing SoSF hosting duties. We are bandying around some ideas, and we very much want to give our beloved guest authors, both present and past, AT LEAST one more shot before the end, and see what happens after that. We likewise hope our faithful readers will remain entertained and engaged to the end, and we’ll do what we can to make that happen. For TFH and I, it marks the end of a long, long road. While Lord knows it wasn’t “hard work” by any means, it did require a daily commitment, and by “daily” I mean DAILY. FW runs literally every day, without fail, and we have always ensured that our loyal readers had a working link to the stupid strip, as well as a place to clown on it. We never missed a post, ever. We feel we owe it to ourselves and SoSF itself to ride it out to the very end, and savor it while we can. For me, SoSF is part writing exercise, part deranged personal vendetta, but mainly it’s been a labor of love. And I’ll be touching on that a lot more in the coming weeks.
So anyway, yeah, how about this new, aerodynamic, de-shaggified Summer, huh? I’m assuming that he brought her back upon learning that FW would be ending, as he didn’t seem to care too much for the last ten years. And, interestingly enough, I don’t care now! It’s just like Batiuk to be wasting time on Harley the janitor when he has barely six more weeks to go. The strip is jammed full of long-running characters, it’s winding down to the end, and he’s focused on Ruby and Harley.
And now, from the SoSF arc recap archives, a Great Moment In SoSF History:
Dec 27, 2010 – Jan. 2, 2011
Les hosts a New Year’s Eve party. Susan announces that her divorce is final. At the stroke of midnight, Les is smooching Lisa’s Ghost.
Man, that was a real humdinger. Easily one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever seen. Les was furiously making out with himself, while a horrified Cayla and Susan looked on in revulsion. That was Cayla’s second hairdo, her “dreads” look she was sporting for a while. See, back then, Les was still only “seeing” Cayla, and Susan was still lurking around, shamelessly throwing herself at Les at every opportunity. Meanwhile, Les was still madly in love with Ghost Lisa, who was a constant presence back then, despite being dead, which happened in a story arc you may have heard about once or twice. When you look back on that period now, it’s amazing how action-packed it was compared to, say, 2020 or something.
110 responses to “Snarkocalypse, Soon!”
Wow, today’s strip was a real barnburner! I can certainly see why, with only 40 strips left to go, it was vitally important to set up this particular strip in this unbelievably riveting way! Only the feverish urgency of paint drying on a wall even comes close to capturing the excitement of this pulse-pounding thrill-ride!
Soooo if you look back at last Sunday’s komix cover, Batty tipped the Funky Felt Tip to the wrong artist. It wasn’t James Pascoe (whose last name Batiuk misspelled a few weeks ago) but Thom Zahler, who had enough of a sense of humor to Tweet about it. Batty owns up to his mistake on the blog.
I was just perusing that blog of his. What a fiasco. The whole format is annoying beyond belief. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but even his old layout was better. And that’s shouldn’t even be possible.
If you go to search the blog, say typing Flash Fairfield or whatever, the search bar is translucent and the text is black on black.
I had to verify this because it’s just too hilarious. That website would have been annoying twenty years ago.
Surprised it’s not hosted on geocities!
And if you click on a post, then go back to the previous page, the blog entries get jumbled up, at least they do for me on iPad Safari.
Don’t have your son program the website, hire a real developer.
I can’t imagine — as long as the cheques cleared — that Thom Zahler or James Pascoe are particularly concerned with being miscredited for their work on Funky Winkerbean. It’s possible they’d even prefer to be miscredited….
If Batiuk is getting his Sunday comic book covers wrong, it is definitely time for him to retire.
E.D. thank you very much for the update on the future of SoSF. Thank you and TFH for serving the final shift with as much as dedication as any other.
Hail the true heroes. Of course, we stand in line.
Lego Head Summer is going to interview the janitor.
With strips like this, Batdick is just making it easier to say goodbye. I appreciate that bit of kindness.
“Lego Head Summer” Bingo!
Or “Eucledean Summer.”
I thought the second panel was LOL funny at first glance. “Tension builds” as Summer walks toward a janitor closet. Uniquely Batiukian. It’s the kind of cheap time-killing trick he’s been using for decades, and he’s STILL using it now. It’s like he just doesn’t know any other way.
Is it Lego hair or did she take it from Steve Garvey?
The phrase “haunting image” comes immediately to mind. But damned if you aren’t right.
Yeah, but let’s not give Summer a bat. She’ll either use it vent 25 years of resentment at being loved less than her dead mom or she’ll tell a weeklong yarn about how her dad thought Lisa’s ghost was pitching to her at the park but it was just Coach Bull.
I mentioned before it seems like Janitor Davidson was apparently framed as a minor recurring character from his silent presence, if not meant to be a running gag in and of himself, but it seems the vow of silence will be broken this week. Though it begs the question if this means somehow he knew Lisa in a way, given yesterday.
I’ll leave it to the FW archivists among the snarkers to determine just how long he’s been a fixture, as that one Sunday strip suggests. I rather doubt he goes back to Act 1, not nearly old-looking enough, but I imagine he was meant to be around in the Act 2 years when we started getting more elaborate panels via Ayers.
I can say that Harley is an Act I character, as I found this strip randomly on the interwebs a few months ago.
This is dated December 6, 1979. A time period they haven’t quite gotten to yet in FW Vintage on CK. So I have no way of knowing when he was first introduced or how often he showed up in Act I.
That’s not bad esp. for the era. The first Trek movie was the same year. I saw it with my oldest sister who was a Trekkie and who gifted me a blue Trek “uniform” shirt.
Thanks, CBH. This one is a deep diver’s deep dive.
Thanks for posting this. It’s a pretty classic example of why Act 1 was fun to read. It was a good gag-a-day strip, referencing pop culture and tweaking reality. It also appealed to the cynical idealism that lurks in young adulthood.
Not aiming to be “Great Literature (whatever that is) but in its own way enduring.
What’s the chance that we see a sepia toned flashback of this very strip this week? I wonder if Harley has had any other speaking parts during his many years on the staff of FW, other than “OKAY!”
That would be great. My only question is whether current the “1/4 inch from reality” rule would permit a sentient Holtron.
Holtron’s reappearances toe the line with its sentience: Never formally acknowledged and it isn’t chatting all that frequently (it’s first reappearance sitting around in the high schools had characters wondering if they “almost” heard it sigh), but it did speak up a bit in its use with Starbucks Jones (most notably chatting during the SDCC panel hosted by Conan O’Brien, trying to insult a guy’s question), and it showed up at the film premiere’s red carpet dressed in a bow-tie (an image I’d adopt as my avatar if I wasn’t lazy and the end wasn’t near). But overall it’s been treated more as a prop than a character, even with the occasional snark, though Act 1 flashbacks aren’t outright ignoring it’s history (we did have a flashback this year about it’s interactions with Dinkle, including being persuaded to buy band turkeys). So basically Bautik’s shrugging it the same way he shrugs off the Eliminator’s helmet, ghosts, and the fact it implicitly exists in the crazy world of Dick Tracy (Lunarians, anyone?)
Expecting her?! NOBODY expects the Moore-ish Imposition!
Also, glancing at the “SOSF on Twitter” sidebar shows that TB slapped the wrong credit on Sunday’s Wayback Wendy cover. Tom Zahler sounds thrilled. You can’t make this stuff up!
NOBODY expects the Moore-ish Imposition –> STOP IT! I’ve got to get to a work meeting but you all keep making hilarious comments and I can’t stop reading them.
From yesterday’s comments:
Charles: I agree with you. Young Summer was not lovable but she was a lot more likable than 20-something Summer. (I try to cut her younger self some slack considering she was raised by a father who invested more time in mourning his wife than staying positive for his daughter.
Y. Knott: My choice was bold…or stupid. Like TB I dare to blur the line between the two! (Draw me a comic cover. “Cheesy-kun and the Bold Choice!”)
Speaking of bold choices…today’s strip for the reasons you state, Y.K.
Even to the end Batiuk insists on this comic-book-style pacing. Sure, three panels like this work on a page with 6 or 9 (or however many, I cannot recall) but just waste time in a daily. Anyway, what’s he been waiting for? For Summer to reclaim the desk supplies she left behind when she graduated b/c she needs them to literally write (not type) her book?
Did the janitor teach chess to the Westview young woman who became the first and only Grand Master from the greater Westview area?
One would think Batty would be doing a special arc to close out the strip, but no, he falls back on his laziness and drags things out.
The syndicate should have canned him years ago.
Didn’t Batty say something about the magical, mystical, time-traveling, gas-passing Eliminator helmet making another appearance? Honestly, that would be more interesting than “Summer Interviews the School Janitor” any day. Of course, darn near anything would be.
Do you think we’ll see the helmet again, or have circumstances forced it to go the way of Cayla’s Chinese honeymoon?
The helmet would perhaps be the stupidest possible way to see Lisa again.
So yes, I’m thinking the helmet makes a return appearance.
“gas-passing” is exactly the kind of thing that’s going to get you scolded for being the modern-day equivalent of writing on the bathroom wall, erdmann.
Which is why we love it!
I refuse to use Batty’s term. It’s my personal “climate damage.”
“WHO YOU BEEN TALKIN TO? WHO TOLD YA THAT????”
Could I have dreamed it? If I’m gonna dream up a final arc featuring the helmet, I want Zanzibar wearing it while he and the Pizza Monster lead the Muranian Thunder Riders on a mission to destroy Westview once and for all.
Harley sighs. “I’ve been expecting you.”
Summer smirks. “You have? Why?”
“Because they all come to me, sooner or later.”
“‘They’?” Summer smirks. She’s got that one down cold and she’s proud of how it makes her look like Daddy. “Who are ‘they’?”
“The ghosts,” Harley says in resignation. “Lisa, Susan, Jack, Bull . . . everyone whoever died around here, even some lame-ass old comic book geek. Got his head crushed in a printing press, that one. Ugly mess.”
Summer decides he’s a bit dim, but he has been at Westview High School since it opened. He’s supposed to know all its secrets and he might talk more freely if she indulges him.
“Why would ghosts come to you?”
“Because I’m the only man in this town who listens to people. And that’s all ghosts want. To have someone hear their story, so they can get out of haunting this Westview. ”
“What’s so horrible about haunting Westview? Is there some terrible secret that brings them here?”
“Yes, it’s . . . . complicated. It’s like Susan, endlessly wanting to romance your father, even after she killed herself. Or your mother being unable to get away from him, or Bull always wanting to torment him. They live in this hazy kind of half-life, where they act out bits and pieces of their old lives, distracting themselves from death. I guess you’ve been doing that ever since the accident.”
She smirks, of course. “I don’t understand.”
“There was a freak basketball explosion at Kent State during your freshman year. You overinflated a Spaulding Special before a game and–” He looks at her in pity. “You don’t remember it, of course . . . but since then you’ve fooled yourself into thinking you’re still a student, fussing with schedules, changing your major, finding you always need to take one more prerequisite class, fill out one more form . . . coming back home once in a while. I think it’s your father who summons you. He’s been the worst of the ghosts ever since he accidentally hung himself in that rope-climbing accident.”
“I–I can’t be dead! That’s horrible!”
“Yeah, but don’t kill yourself over it.” Harley pours himself some coffee from his thermos. “It’s not like anybody in this town had anything to live for.”
This is … perfect. I stand in line!
Wow, just wow…
I already like this MUCH better than whatever we are about to hear which, based on Harley’s expression and reaction, is probably something along the lines of “I remember when the town was in its heyday and the good old days left long ago.”
I am sooooooooooooo Photoshopping this.
Our very own Sideways SoSF! Plus Harley has enough dialog to inflate a squadron of word zeppelins.
I wish you were writing this strip.
WT, knocking it out of the park.
Very good, but there’s one problem: none of the dialogue begins with “So,”
I was afraid to take it that far. As Nietzsche said, “He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. He who imitates Batiuk too well is hopelessly screwed.”
The gazebo gazes also.
At some point Summer needs to interview her old math teacher Linda Bushka to get the real story on the death of her beloved Coach Bull Bushka. Was it ever definitely said whether Bull’s car accident was an accident or suicide?
The slow demise of Bull from CTE was in my opinion, the worst part of Act 3. It was an embarassment to CTE survivors everywhere Made worse by the fact that apparently Les and Summer were the only ones of the Funkygang who bothered to attend Bull’s funeral. Funky couldn’t be bothered to leave Montonis, or John and Crazy from the coffee shop Westview’s big football hero dies tragically and only about ten people in the whole town attend his service True testament that in Westview nobody really cares about anybody It won’t be right if in the last 40 strips, it’s all Lisa memories and no mention of Bull Bushka Unlike Lisa, he was an original FW character
Les standing up at Bull’s funeral going on about how he was picked on him in school with absolutely no mention of how they ended up being friends, no recognition of his helping his daughter or his annual work on the Lisa run was disgraceful. If I had a list of “Les’ Most Punchable Moments” that one would definitely be on it. And then there was the whole fraudulent “let’s hide the cause of Bull’s death” which made little sense and defeated the purpose of calling attention to CTE. And finally there was creeper Buck hitting on Linda with Bull barely in the grave. Linda had a couple of good moments while in the support group-her line about becoming a good liar or something like that rings true for some who have dealt with a family member in mental decline. But most of the arc really didn’t address much at all.
“how Bull picked on him in school” Sorry, I thought I edited better than that!
Buck hitting on Linda was just so totally perverse and weird. And then, after being shot down, he just kind of shrugged, then tottered off to go die somewhere, I assume. That arc was some really dark and twisted shit.
And yet, it could have been a lot darker. At least Linda had the good taste to reject Buck’s advances. Come to think of it, that was the last time we ever saw her in the strip, other than Sunday walk-on parts. And I’m not even sure there were any of those.
Yes, and it always bothered me that there would be big get-togethers like when the whole town went to Thanksgiving at the Dinkles’, and apparently no one invited Linda.
In the hands of a skilled writer, this could be an interesting take on the stigma of dementia and suicide. Sometimes people avoid the whole situation because they don’t know what to say, or there’s some deep superstition that it might somehow be contagious, and the result is that the caretakers/survivors can feel isolated and even blamed.
OR… nobody in Westview gives a damn, because Westview God (aka Puff Batty) doesn’t give a damn.
She’s showed up very rarely after that, always in the context of the school.
Her last appearance was holding up the big Zoom overlay for the senior class with Klabichnik. Taking bets on if she ever shows up again?
Summer should investigate Bull’s death, and Adeela’s arrest, and Crazy Harry’s firing from the post office, the bungling that led to Lisa’s death, and for that matter the circumstances around her date-rape. So much dirt gets swept under the rug in Westview that it makes me wonder if anyone in that town isn’t corrupt.
Excuse my lack of custodial knowledge, but is today’s strip the first time that Westview High’s ace sawdust spreader’s full name, the ha ha, ho holaugh riot Harley Davidson, has been revealed? Is Batiuk ripping off the 1991 Mickey Rourke/Don Johnson movie “Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man,” or vice versa?
Best of luck to you, ED and TFH, overseeing these final six weeks or so of strippery. Bette Davis’s most famous line from “All About Eve” doesn’t begin to do the task ahead of you justice.
After not showing up for nearly all of Act III (as far as I can tell) someone resembling Harley showed up in the “Dinkle Rants About Squirrels) in 2020.
He was name dropped in February.
I thought of that, too, and also of one of George C. Chesbro’s Mongo novels, in which there is a character named “Harley Davidson.”
(Another reason to dislike this strip: it recalls the last page of a *Captain America* story in which a man whose betrayal of his country has failed in every respect and cost him his brother’s life, and then…the door opens…and the man greets his executioner with the calm of the Thane of Cawdor, about whom it was said that nothing in his life so became him like the leaving of it. Whatever Summer wants from Harley, it’s not his life.)
In his circus days, Mongo may have known his share of talking chimps, if not talking murder chimps.
This is an interesting choice on her part. It’s interesting because it’s both out of left field and is bound to be a different kind of as boring as anything. It’s so boring, it could be “Hurr-durr-hurr, it’s funny because life has tunred him into a bitter old pisstank” Crankshaft.
I haven’t really been posting comments in a long time but I have enjoyed this site nonetheless.
Hey, there’s a user name that rings out! Good to see you here again!!
No problem, I love seeing you real old-school SoSF posters still stopping by!
A couple of random thoughts –
Thanks, ED, for giving us an update on the evolving ideas about post December 31.
Interesting that as recently as February of this year Les was still teaching at Westview.
Harley goes back to Act 1? Another octogenarian still “in harness” (like Kabalchik and Dinkle, who at least did retire before un-retiring). I guess this is an example of TomBa’s one of “House Rules”.
In his Blog post about his misattribution faux pas, Batiuk wrote “ I’ve found from experience that when you let people play with your toys, the freer the hand you give, the better the results you get”. The incredibly creative outpouring of alternate plot lines we’ve been treated to in the comments section here over the last few days is proof of that. I stand in line for all of you. I also hope that, if he does lurk here as we sometimes suspect, he gets some pleasure out of the creativity he has unleashed.
Hopefully CBH will do another end of year “Funkies” where we vote on the best strip, most depressing strip, etc.
Seems like Batiuk going to go over all his shortcomings as a writer over these last few weeks. Since he wrote this strip with the knowledge of what’s coming afterwards, it didn’t occur to him how this could look to someone who doesn’t have that knowledge, you know, his readers.
I know this is no doubt going to lead to some interview where the sagacious Harley regales Summer with stories about Westview High, but from this strip alone, it looks as if Harley were dreading the moment when Summer was coming to see him. That sigh just kills me.
“Oh Christ, this asshole… What? Oh, I was just talking to myself. Come in. I knew you would eventually show up after I heard you were interviewing every idiot in this town about trivial things. Since I’m the master of trivial bullshit with regards to this dumb school, it was only a matter of time.”
At the stroke of midnight, Les is smooching Lisa’s Ghost.
I love how Batiuk’s composition of that panel makes it look as if Susan and Cayla were race-walking each other to try to get to Les first to be his New Year’s kiss. I know Batiuk didn’t even consider the fact that they would have HAD to have noticed each other, but how does he manage to be that dense and oblivious?
Another writer might have just cut to the chase:
Summer is sitting with the custodian. She says, “Wow, 50 years as head custodian of Westview High! I bet you have some juicy stories to tell!”
Juicy stories begin with custodian speaking in an animated fashion.
Juicy stories, illustrated in flashback.
But why switch gears now? Batiuk’s strong suit has always been those long long arcs focusing on someone looking at the sidewalk, or walking somewhere, or entering a building.
Some of his most riveting work has revolved around thrilling action like watching for the mailman, seeing the mailman deliver an envelope, walking out to get the envelope, getting the envelope, walking back with the envelope, looking at the envelope, etc etc. The sheer nail-biting suspense of it all!
I’d say, “Never change, Batty,” but it’d be a waste of breath; we know he never will.
Another writer might have just cut to the chase
I read that as “Another writer might have just cut the cheese.”
“Juicy stories? Oh, you mean the time our Russo-Lithuanian cafeteria manager, Fedya Roachas, went on a health kick and banned serving soft drinks. And milk, and coffee, and even hot chocolate. He said if mango juice was good for him, it was good for everyone. Thing was, he bought it on discount when the Toxic Taco went out of business and, yeah, that juice was why they went belly-up, just like their last customers. And that year’s entire marching band. Fortunately Dinkle was thought they were practicing a new marching style, so nobody cared.”
Not to mention driving in a car while a letter waits in the mailbox!
Just want to jump in here and also offer my thanks to our fearless leader @TFH for keeping this thing going post Stuck Funky and also to all of the Editorial Board for the endless laughs provided over the years. I post infrequently but visit every day.
A little surprised that BatHack is ending it so soon. The 50 years have just flown by. It’s only seemed like 60.
Will continue to lurk for as long as @TFH will let me.
A tip of the felt-tipped pen to EP and TFH, as well as BtS, CBH, for their stalwart ways, not to mention the many respondents on this blog and at CK, who upvoted my snark and frequent, pithy replies! I stepped away from the Fungyverse in the shadow of the pandemic, not because of it directly, but it happened that at the time in the world at large, my ocular nerves could only take so many eye rolls a day.
And so I return coincidently as does Summer for the retrospective conclusion. And how symbolic that Summer goes to interview the one person, who unbeknownst to us is the custodian of all thing Fungy.
Man, entropy’s a bitch.
Glad to see the site will continue in some form. While I am new here, I have enjoyed the interactions and this site has made more than a few mornings for me. I wish all of you a happy and safe Thanksgiving, and I am thankful for SOSF and its community.
So this guy was the janitor when Funky and the gang were in high school and already looked to be in his 30s. He’s been there for 50 years? WTF? Do public employees not have pensions in Westview? Is that why a guy in his 80s is still a janitor? TB playing fast and loose with the timeline yet again.
Entropy. It’s a bitch.
Speaking of juicy gossip, of which we will get none from the custodian —
I just read this courtesy of poster “JL” on the Comics Kingdom site.
From The Daily Cartoonist –
Tom Batiuk and Crankshaft Join Andrews McMeel
Andrews McMeel Syndication has announced that beginning on the first day of 2023 the Crankshaft comic strip by Tom Batiuk and Dan Davis will join the AMS roster.
Looks like King Features is plain & simple washing its hands of TB. I wonder whether he was difficult behind the scenes with FW as he was with “John Darling.” Anyway, my impression is that there isn’t too much love lost. As was noted yesterday, no tweets from the syndicate, no congratulations, no nothing. ‘Tis passing strange.
Oh, and this means that the strip will be on “Go Comics” instead of CK. That’s assuming that “Go Comics” ever gets back online. It’ll be a real shame to lose more than a decade of primo snark on Crankshaft and FW.
I wonder whether CK will retain Vintage Funky Winkerbean, or if that’s getting the heave-ho as well.
Oh noes! WE ONLY HAVE A FEW WEEKS LEFT OF COMICS KINGDOM’S CRANKSHAFT STORE! ONLY $36 (PLUS SHIPPING) FOR A CRANKSHAFT CAP!
(Does anyone else find it … odd … that the Crankshaft store launched only about six weeks before it was announced the property would be leaving CK?)
As Nelson Muntz would say: HA HA!
…and the Great Comics Kingdom exodus continues. Appears I decided to subscribe to the wrong comics website.
Who’s next. Should we start a comic strip defector pool? Zits?
Rhymes With Orange?
Mother Goose and Grimm?
Thanks for the post, TDOD.
The GoComics outage has extended into the fourth day. I’ve reached the third stage of grief, bargaining.
To Andrews McMeel (Uclick), I promise to subscribe to GoComics if it comes back. Promise. 🙋♀️
They’ve made some progress. I just checked, and I’m seeing a different message:
Thank you so much, @bobonero. Perhaps there is light at the end of the tunnel. Ever the pessimist, I was resigned to seeing GoComics returning next Monday or Tuesday.
Well, bwoeh and all my other CK compadres, it’s the end of an era. They’ve already axed all the Disqus comments. Wiped. Finito.
I haz a sad.
Oh man. I do be feeling that. I often go back and reread posts and comments here. The thought that they would all get wiped off the web…tragic.
Just know that currently, as far as I’m aware, there are no plans to take down this site, even if it stops updating.
This is correct, it’s not going anywhere in the immediate future. And that is entirely on TFH and his big-hearted benevolence. A class act, all the way. A fellow New Jerseyan, too.
WHAT’S HAPPENING?! IT’S THE COMICOCALYPSE!
I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!
Thanks for that.
There had to have been some kind of repercussions for Puffy literally killing John Darling off has he did. A comic strip isn’t the kind of thing an artist can just rage quit out of doing and resume other comic strip work as if nothing changed. He did, though. Until now, perhaps?
Other strips had no problem celebrating anniversaries like Dick Tracy’s 75th or Gasoline Alley’s 90th. Not a peep from another strip or artist about the 50th.
It was indeed strange, because he definitely made a fuss over the 40th anniversary.
I happened to be on the Funky blog because I am a sick, sick person (there could be no other explanation) and this is what popped up for a recommendation. (The site’s impossible to navigate, so you read the links you’re served or you read nothing at all.) Boldface is mine.
Norman Lee was a niche firm that specialized in music for high school and junior high school bands, not book publishing per se, but Andy felt that there would be a market there for a book about Harry L. Dinkle the world’s greatest band director. Turned out he was right. Boy howdy was he right. At first my syndicate demurred (this and other syndicate stories will be in a book that will probably have to be published posthumously), but Andy kept dogging them and was finally allowed to get it touch with me. We immediately hit it off and, freed from the editorial dictates of the New York suits, set about putting together a book our way. (https://tombatiuk.com/komix-thoughts/behind-the-books-book-7/)
Ooh, those high-and-mighty New York suits!
The latest lack of information from gocomics:
“We are updating the site for you and will be back shortly. In the meantime, how about playing a game on our sister site.”
How about you go play with yourselves, GoComics?
Meanwhile Comics Kingdom is moving to a new commenting platform called OpenWeb:
“The CK team is hard at work upgrading the site and as such we’ve moved our commenting platform. To find out a bit more visit our blog: https://comicskingdom.com/trending/blog/2022/11/22/news-around-the-kingdom-upgrades-upgrades-upgrades “
Well, as I mentioned above, this means the loss of about a decade of priceless snark. Sometimes when I was feeling stressed I used to reread random old FWs and the vicious comments would always cheer me. All gone. Dust in the wind. All they were was dust in the wind.
I’d like to think that this means that the censorbot will be a little less like a maiden aunt HAL 9000 dementedly clutching its pearls, but I’m over hoping for good things from CK.
Honestly, I think it’ll be exactly the opposite; that the content will be even MORE restrictive.
“Websites often have a love-hate relationship with their comment sections: on the one hand, they’re a sign of reader loyalty, a great way to engage with communities, and receive direct feedback, but they can also devolve into toxic cesspools if left unmoderated driving everyone away.”
I mean… I’m pretty sure they’d include in the “toxic cesspools” the Funky commenters. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m reading too much into it, but it sounds like what they’re saying is that the type of snark that made the Funky comments worth reading are exactly what they’re changing the commenting system to remove.
But we’ll see.
No, dear CK. The vicious snark is the only thing keeping people there. Eliminating it would be like running an Ed Wood film festival restricted to highfalutin cineastes who are going to write it up for Cahiers du Cinéma. The whole theater would be empty. The sole point of watching Ed Wood movies is to savor their cluelessness and wretchedness.
Nobody’s gonna bother reading Mary Worth if they’ll be sent to the cornfield for anything beyond, “Another great strip from Moy. Mary Worth sure is wise. I’m looking forward to watching Wilbur find love.”
And to think, I paid for this.
What I really paid for is some great vintage strips like Big Ben Bolt, Snuffy Smith, Krazy Kat, vintage Apartment 3-G, etc. I also practice my Spanish by reading some of the Spanish translations of American strips.
And the snark. Without the snark, I won’t bother renewing my subscription. What will I read with my morning coffee now? Anything with politics is out, so… uh, that excludes 99.97% of the web.
Guess I’ll just look out the window as I sip.
I wonder how the advertisers will feel about the loss of hits for their spam. If our snark is a big percentage of the traffic, they may decide to stop financing the site. I’m sure Batiuk and some other “creators” would be happy at the loss of criticism as their strips are dumped.
It’s clear that at least one comic (Mary Worth) and probably some others (Rex Morgan?) are aware that 90% of their following is ironic. They embrace it with a wink and tons of fanservice.
Look, a buck’s a buck. This is their profession and it pays to give the fans what they want. Clearly people take legitimate joy in snarking and the communities it spawns. As far as I’m concerned, you’re making money and bringing a little light into people’s day — it’s all good.
I don’t know about your list of CK comics, but if I have learned anything from the comicopalypse, almost all the Comics Kingdom titles I read are available on Arcamax. My CK account renews in April. The prospect of renewing my CK subscription is unfavorable at this time.
I really haven’t posted many comments in Comics Kingdom over the past year. Like you, I grew weary of the draconian mod bot. Posting a comment on CK was like tip-toeing through a minefield. Then you get to play a rousing round of “Spot the Offending Term(s)”. Pass.
This is the way the world ends?
Not with a bang, but in a janitorial closet.
Let’s hope it doesn’t end with a bang IN the janitor closet. After all, Summer IS one of Westview’s few remaining singles.
I have the impression that Summer, er… shall we say that she’s “not that way inclined.”
So how does she feel about Zanzibar? And how does he feel about her?
It is the love that dare not speak its name.
That scandalous scuttlebutt is as old as Act III itself, and we’ve seen signs that could be read either way, but I assume it’ll remain an unsolved mystery, like whether the IRS ever came after Phil or what happened to Becky’s mom.
Probably, although let’s be honest: if Batiuk thinks he can wring a “hey, look at how progressive I am (now that you’ll never see this character ever again)” self-promotion out of it, would anyone be surprised? (See also: Rolanda, the “racially profiled” kids, the gay prom guys…)
Hollow Men: be sure to bring a felt-tip for the old Funky, because Mistah Jim K — he be dead soon!
(On knees, clasping hands and facing the heavens)
Perhaps I shouldn’t say anything to jinx it, but GOCOMICS APPEARS TO BE UP!!!
THE CROPS ARE SAVED!!!
How bizarre. I have my GoComics profile page viewable on a saved browser tab, but I can’t log into my account. I can open my favorites one at a time from the profile page.
Oh well, better than nothing.
Hmm. I was able to navigate to the create new account page, but I don’t want a new account, I want to upgrade.
Okay, GoComics, you let me sign in, I’ll upgrade to Premium.
be ware of eve hill
November 22, 2022 at 2:29 pm
To Andrews McMeel (Uclick), I promise to subscribe to GoComics if it comes back. Promise. 🙋♀️