Summer’s gone from “playing along” to listening in rapt attention as Harley the Custodian talks about his mission to ensure that she writes her important book. Meanwhile, your genial host has gone from bemused to befuddled to borderline enraged at how Batiuk has seen fit to wind down his once beloved franchise. It’s exhausting even to read, let alone to try and write something funny about. The upside is that it’s inspired some genius snark from you readers; even compelling the lurkers to chime in. Starting Monday, Epicus and I will step aside and allow our stellar bullpen of guest authors to take a couple more swings, then we’ll see how things shake out over the next, final few weeks. Don’t forget that Tuesday at 8PM EST, I’m attempting to conduct a 1-hour online event via Google Chat. Email sonofstuckfunky[at]gmail.com for an invite.
Filed under Son of Stuck Funky
113 responses to “The Nudge-stodian”
No. Don’t tell us. Just shout “Gotchya!” and be done with it.
Wait, why is Hardly speaking in the past tense? Is the book finished? His job was to nudge things?
Confusion and boredom are jousting in my poor beleaguered brain. They’re both winning.
Hardly speaks in the past tense because this story is as dead as dead can be.
S.J. Perelman wrote an essay called “Somewhere, a Roscoe…” which deals with Robert Leslie Bellem’s detective Dan Turner.
Turner’s guns were “roscoes” and always went “ka-chow,” and the corpses found were invariably “deader than a Hitler promise” or “deader than the 1918 Armistice.” One of them had to have been “dead as dead can be.”
Yay! I count three quarter-inch pinches today! Is that a record?
1. I am no fan of Ayers artwork. He tends to draw “obviously senile” when his characters are expositing. And as DoD notes, the ubiquitous (No, bwoeh! Not eponymous.) quarter inch pinches.
2. I see some criticism appears on Twitter.
3. CBH, as you are preparing your hair for Tuesday night’s Google-chat in the fair corn fields of Ioway, I have a teaser from our own Hannibal’s Lectern book, “the Last Protector.”
‘Vegetable sushi 🍣 🍱’ the aroma lingers hours later after eating.
Nothing makes me think of high fantasy like vegetable sushi!
I am still promising a full report!
No, bwoeh! Not eponymous.
Eponymous is often confused with Ubiquitous. At least it often is in book 3, “All God’s Pedelkees have Tales.”
That should clear it up nicely.
Why associate my name with the error? When did I use “eponymous” incorrectly?
If you haven’t already guessed, I have an unusual sense of humor. I may make a ‘clever’ wordplay, and include a name, such as yours, and let you partake in the ‘clever’ wordplay also.
Some consider my ‘clever’ wordplay to be a gift. As also noted in “All God’s Pedelkees have Tales.”
This should answer any questions regarding eponymous vs. ubiquitous:
From “All God’s Pedelkees have Tales” the chapter titled, ‘P. E. F Dave’
Before Shannon and Jason arrived, Squirrel found success at LJCV. They had one room available for visiting dignitaries and Debi quickly rented it to
Squirrel. Our mentor had begun unpacking her attaché case, when a knock came at her door. Expecting it to be one of the assortments, Squirrel looked out her bay window and saw no one. Then came a second knock and still no
one. At the third knock, the dachshund opened the door and was met by a pile of forlorn Glorp rocks. They were the designated visiting dignitaries that week and Squirrel invited them to stay in her room. She was amazed that the
Glorps were not appreciative, especially since they had not come with the ubiquitous, rocky mountain oysters. (Now, you are thinking that ‘eponymous’ should be the proper adjective, but it is not, it is ubiquitous.)
That should clear up everything.
Squirrel the noted dachshund, is our teacher, our mentor, our science conference speaker. She is the foremost authority on red and green tree climbing lobsters. 🦞 The blue tree climbing lobsters are the most rare, but have the most common information.
At this point I’d prefer band candy.
Indeed. At this point, that would be Raisin the Bar.
Since I only have a month left to use it…
Got the reference!
Sounds like this is leading into the “greatest hits/flashback/nostalgia” bit we figured would happen, and Bautik mentioned in one of the interview articles the other day. All from the perspective from this Quantum Pratfall of a janitor making sure things “stay on track”. Thrilling.
This is Day 11 of two people talking in a closet.
Someone, close the damn door and then weld it shut so we can be done with this.
And apparently it’s going at least another week, because now Harley has to outline the close calls. It’s exposition about exposition,
I mean, a lot of people here assume Summer’s been stuck in the closet since 2012.
Oh, it couldn’t be more stereotypical. The eternal college student/basketball player who lives with her “closest friend” for ten years. And never showed a shred of interest in men, or vice versa.
Oh dear God, we’re gonna be in for at least a week of “Batiuk’s Greatest Hits” as Doctor Spew recounts these “close calls” (i.e., flashbacks to earlier stories).
I’m sure the post office bombing will come up, with Harley taking credit for saving Dead Saint Lisa’s life so as to ensure Girl Les was born, and because it’ll allow for yet another appearance of the character that died 15 years ago yet still won’t go away. Probably the first cancer bout, too. Maybe he’ll even take “credit” for “nudging” Dead Saint Lisa to forgo treatment, on the basis that Les being a writer is what inspired Girl Les to also become one?
Gonna be a rough one, that’s for sure.
Also, we’ll maybe find out that Timemop was who really called Les at the airport to prevent him from the plane crash. (Because dead people calling on the telephone is so unrealistic when you can just say it was a time traveler.)
(Very slim chance that he could also have been Ghost Of Undead Phil Holt, although Batiuk will more likely try to “nudge” us into thinking that never happened.)
I myself would be content with a clipshow recap of the strip as long as it ends this babbling boring chatter and I think it would be an ok ending for FW.
But I’m afraid that there will be just a single clipshow sunday strip and we will hit a boring wall of text again on monday.
I don’t usually bother to read Puff Batty’s interviews, because, as TFH pointed out yesterday, he’s been giving the same interview for 15 years. But tonight I succumbed, and oh, what a treat. In addition to the photos, which others have pointed out appear to feature hapless shoppers who were grabbed at gunpoint, had a book shoved in their hand, and were hustled to TB’s table, there are the delightful quotes:
“I wanted a proper ending for my characters,” he said. “I wanted to end their story the right way.”
Kent State, he said, is where his dream of becoming a cartoonist began and over the years, he has watched his dream come true.
“This is totally what I always wanted to do,” Batiuk said.
Totally, you guise. Totally. He always dreamed of doing a daily strip about mopey old farts lashing out at their cataract surgeons and watching their dead wife’s ghost feeding birds. He definitely didn’t want to superhero comix. Nope. This is TOTALLY what he always wanted to do. Livin’ the dream. Yup.
The finale will see the Winkerbean and Crankshaft strips come together for a big finish, he said.
Hold me. I’m frightened.
“More time to complete the FW book series”…they’re collections of previously-published comic strips. You line them up, you re-print them…what am I missing here? What requires all this “time”?
Scraping up the ‘special editing and packaging fee’ Kent State charges him to publish the books?
What requires all that time, Epicus?
Crafting the highly bloviating intros that somehow feel like third-party puff pieces, but embarrassingly are written by Puffy himself. Adding lots of praise for his guts, his iconoclasm, his innovations, his towering place in the history of comics.
Then the lengthy copyediting process, removing just enough grammatical structure to ensure that each sentence is held together with chewing gum and Scotch tape.
Then the final read to ensure that there is no more than one piece of information per 5 paragraphs of puffery.
“Batiuk…said he wasn’t quite sure whether his books would resonate with today’s college students when he arrived for the signing.” 🤣
It is pretty funny, especially given his weird aversion to depicting college in the strip. He didn’t do even a single “Summer in college” arc, over the course of ten years, no less. High school, high school, and more high school, but never college.
You’re right. Even when he showed Wally in a community college it looked like another day at Westview High School: a classroom of bored students who were only there because they were required to show up, plus Wally looking like an eager geek out to score a 5.0 GPA. Plus a library that looked like a high school library. And Wally only interacted with Adeela; the other students were window dressing.
He did do a “Les: The College Years” retcon arc that was a week or two long (Les was a tortured young writer with a cool college girlfriend who drove a Beetle), and he at least touched upon Bull’s college football career, but otherwise, it never comes up in FW. It’s just kind of odd, given how he’s mythologized high school and all.
Wally did speak to his adopted daughter Rana at Cancer Community College (go Neoplasms!) once.
“I wanted a proper ending for my characters,” he said. “I wanted to end their story the right way.”
Just a guess, but this isn’t going to be anything like when Lynne Johnston ended Farley the right way.
Kent State. 1965. Intoxicating music is flowing from dorm rooms. Newly arrived freshman Tom Batiuk meets his new roommate. Hi! I’m Scooter! Looks like we’re roomies this semester! You want to check out the campus? And I heard some seniors are having a kegger tonight! there’s going to be co-ed’s there! Nah, I’m going to look for a comic book store. Is there a Rexalls around here?
“I wanted a proper ending for my characters. I wanted to end their story the right way. That’s why I’m spending so much time showing a minor character no one cares about and who has barely appeared at all in the last ten years, talking to a character most readers probably never even realized existed before now. But they’ll talk about the other characters a lot, and that’s the same thing, right?”
Truly, the most satisfying way to send off a character since Poochie went back to his home planet and died on the way.
The “Summer writes a book” angle would be an appropriate ending if she actually spoke to all the significant characters in the strip who appropriately reminisced about the past 50 years. Why he considers this mind-touching/controlling timeline silliness the “right way” to end it is beyond me…
Batiukm always surprises me with his uniquely stupid, boring, unfathomably weird choices, but seriously, he’s really outdoing himself with this pile of ineptitude. Suddenly Harley is the Great Gazoo, a special magical character only Summer can see. And it’s going as well as the Great Gazoo did, too.
Nov. 11 was a great day for parody. https://sonofstuckfunky.com/2022/11/22/we-harley-knew-ye/
We had the work of THF, Charles, bc, BJ6K, and idb.
The strips of BJ6K made lol but be sure to click the links. I exhaled erratically, chuffed, chortled, even chuckled, but I Laughed Out Loud when I read “Harry Dinkle and the Mystery Organ”. https://imgur.com/a/tVZebmT
Sorry to repeat, but they are worth a second look.
You know, I never thought I’d say this, but the Dinkle arcs are the ones I’ll miss. They were hideous garbage, I know, but Dinkle was the closest thing Puffy ever had to an actual character with consistent traits. (No coincidence that he was also the cartooniest character throughout the life of the strip.) And if nothing else can be said for Harry, at least he was fairly upbeat, and not a bitter old fart with a million complaints, stuck living in the past. I mean, I know he kept hanging around the school, but in certain ways he also moved on.
I was so disappointed with the Rose Parade arc, though. Bats has this slick way of making a big deal about something and also making that something so nondescript and underplayed that it passes through your consciousness like lukewarm tap water through your fingers.
And while all of them are brilliant and side-splittingly vicious, IMO “Harry Dinkle and the Mystery Organ” is the apotheosis of Funky parodies.
“it passes through your consciousness like lukewarm tap water through your fingers.”
Stealing this, fyi.
Anonymous Sparrow reminded me of a game my I played with my co-workers. We would cast famous actors in the roles of our fellow drones, and also anyone who walked through the door. Mrs. db knew the name of every bit actor on the screen, but my knowledge of actors is very limited.
Casting ideas for the new FW film:
Funky – Randy Quaid (a tip of the drunkenbeard to AS)
Young Funky –
Holly – Debra Jo Rupp
Young Holly – Lisa Robin Kelly
Less – Woody Allen
Lisa – Mia Farrow
Cayla – Halle Berry
Dinkle – George C. Scott
Harry – Christopher Lloyd
YH – Bob Denver
Skyler – Billy Mumy
Tony – James Gandolfini
Peet – Michael J. Pollard
Chester – Peter Lorre
Principal Nate – Ice-T
What you got?
Les–Eddie Deezen. He’s apparently having bad mental problems now, that that makes him perfect.
There was a complete videotaped performance of a high school doing Funky Winkerbean’s Homecoming that used to be out on the old Google video service and later (briefly) on Youtube. The kid who played Les did a passable Eddie Deezen-esque nerd.
The highlight, though, was the young lady who channeled Selma Diamond into her performance as Crankshaft.
Eddie used to show up on the Marx Brothers Council page when he was in better health. I think he’s having a rough go of it currently.
EVERY SINGLE ROLE – Tom Batiuk
I could see a young Michael Cera pulling off a High School Mopey Pete.
He’s a basketball coach and not an actor, but I still say Paul Woolpert is our Les.
Close calls, like that roll of toilet paper? Why do we have to listen to this numbskull? I’m thinking that at some point, Hardly will explain why Summer’s Westview, OH, retrospective will be crucial to the maintenance of our time/space continuum or whatever. But I kind of hope he doesn’t. At this point, I’d prefer that Batdick drop this crap and just go back to Dinkhole berating 90-year-old women for not selling enough Christmas turkeys or something.
Even with THE END of this strip coming in four weeks, it still seems too far away to endure.
On December 31st Batiuk places a frantic call to the syndicate. “I need another month to wrap up Funky Winkerbean!”
“Tough, our agreement was that you would be finished by the end of 2022.”
“So put an extra month in the calendar! Put it between December 31st and January 1st!”
“What? Who in hell does anything like that?”
“The Romans. They had a ten month calendar before they created the months of July and August, to honor Julius Caesar and Caesar Augustus. They pushed the last months of the year into winter, which they had previously ignored. Why not do the same for me?”
“Okay, we’ll create a new month just for you. It starts tomorrow, the First of Dismember.”
[funky intro builds, punctuated by horn section playing staccato riffs]
🎵 Do you reMEMbah? The 41st night of DisMEMbah? When Tom’s ego took flight, reMEMbah, how the whole plot was led astray? Yow! 🎶
Given what’s happened with Flash and Pete, let’s make the new month “Disremember.”
Sorry for bringing the other arts into this, but I am reminded of the great “metaphysical” painter, Giorgio de Chirico.
He painted some of the most amazing images ever seen in the early years of the 20th century, works which inspired the Surrealists and still resonate to this day. If you haven’t seen his work, I urge you to seek it out.
But then, one day, he repudiated his metaphysical works and tried to emulate the Italian masters. His later work was OK, but nowhere in the same league as his metaphysical stuff. Sound familiar?
Tom Batiuk, you were never, ever, on the level of a Giorgio de Chirico. You were not even close. To think that you were…just shows the flatness of your imagination, and the absolute shallowness of your talent.
Rich Evans laughs at you. Mike Stoklasa laughs even harder, because you’re elderly.
Check out de Chirico on Wikepedia. (I’m too tired to post links, but you won’t regret it.)
Followed your advice and was struck by the similarity of his 1952 painting “Piazza d’Italia” bore to the set designs of the 1953 3-D “Kiss Me Kate”. (Sadly, my rudimentary tech know-how has me stymied trying to upload the comparisons).
I love Chirico’s work. Kansas City is blessed to have one of his several red tower paintings.
He is so dynamic in an other worldly sort of way.
Perhaps one of you can post a copy of Chirico’s Red Tower?
Let’s try this
Huh, that’s a better script for this storyline than Batiuk’s given us.
Thank you. TB sets a pretty low bar doesn’t he!
I have emailed TF Hackett to remove this abomination.
Oh thank you! Thank you! Isn’t it a beautiful piece of art. I am so grateful to you. Chirico liked red towers and did several. This one is my favorite.
Are you doing the Google Chat Tuesday night? I signed up for an invitation. I have never done one.
It is a beautiful artwork.
Sorry sp, I never answered your question.
I get home from work after 5:30 PM. That doesn’t give me much time before the chat starts at 6:00PM (8:00 EST). At my job, I’m in meetings most of the day. I’m pretty much mentally fried by the time I get home.
Also, I think the chat should include the bloggers and the all-day contributors. Lately, I’ve become a hit-and-run contributor who reads all the posts just before the next blog comes out. I’m barely even keeping up.
Thank you for asking. Have fun.
I find it odd that Summer is the center of this final arc when she disappeared after winning the state basketball title and graduating. Summer has barely been seen at all in the last ten years
Of course this arc is bound to include the reappearance of The Ghost of St Lisa She’s in purgatory somewhere Remember Lisa appeared post death before I think it was to tell Les not to get on a plane or something
Seems like Summer’s disappearance for about a decade would have been the closest call for Harley. Like, he’s on the time phone with HQ and they’re all “Whaddaya mean you LOST her?!!! Catch an Uber out to Kent and find her! NOW!!!”
So Harley subtly nudged the mind of the guy who would go on to create Uber.
But, you know, he’s not supposed to interfere too much.
When do we find out that Harley nudged Lisa’s cancer to boost Les’s writing career and inspire Summer to (desperately plead for her father’s approval by) becoming a writer?
I’m hoping this link works, or that a mod can fix it if it doesn’t…
I used this punchline before, but I steal from the best.
Kitty wants pettings, Sorry folks, duty calls.
Bllaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh. Holy crap, can BatLick drag out a storyline. There’s more action in the Jumble. What mildly interests me is whether Summer will everzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
I’m hoping that Hardly shoots Les, just so TFH can title a post “The Sound of Blunder.”
“Butterflies are free,” says Harold Skimpole.
I think I know why the Custodians sent an assclown like Hardly on such an important mission. He’s from the future Cyril M. Kornbluth depicted in “The Marching Morons.” The intelligent leaders of that society need a guide to keeping the mentally-challenged masses alive and well, and Westview is the perfect model for running a mindless society. For his part, Hardly is dim enough to blend in with Westview’s citizens, and too dull to be bored by fifty years among them.
Did Amicus Breef choose his profession after reading *Gladiator-at-Law*?
Did Darin Fairgood hope his MBA would make him Mitchell Courtney in *The Space Merchants*?
Most likely not, but I greatly appreciated the nod to Kornbluth. Let me see if there’s a reward for you in my little black bag…
You look in the little black bag and find a mess of rotting, stinking rubbish, and you realize Kornbluth foresaw Funky Winkerbean.
Mindful of another Kornbluth work, *Not This August,* I suppose he saw this in a lazy, hazy, crazy day of summer.
Kornbluth took the title from Ernest Hemingway’s “Notes on the Next War,” and Hemingway’s middle name was “Miller.”
Kornbluth’s first name was “Cyril.” (As far as I can ascertain, while he used “M.,” it didn’t stand for anything. Jon Sable, in his “B.B. Flemm” identity, would always tease about what “B.B.” stood for: “Bilbo Baggins,” for instance.)
Dinkle’s middle initial is “L.” Is he the only *Funky* character to have a middle name?
So I guess the final strips may be the last day of Montonis The whole Funkyverse shows up to eat one last pizza
Then at closing time, at the stroke of midnight on New Years Eve with everyone in tears, Crankshaft shows up in his school bus Everyone exits Montonis and boards the bus Funky changes the open sign to closed As the bus pulls out and passes the Welcome to Westview sign, on the way out of town driving to ‘Crankshaft’, somebody yells ‘Happy New Year!!!’ they start singing Auld Lang Syne
Les, sitting next to Funky, asks him ‘what will we do at ‘Crankshaft’ ?Funky says ‘I dunno, ask Mr. Batiuk!’ They look at Tom Batiuk who is in the back of the bus smiling
It’s like the end of “The Graduate.”
I’ve never liked “The Graduate.”
Batiuk’s mother chases after the bus, shouting “Tommy! You forgot your hot chocolate and Starbuck Jones notebook!”
Oh, goody. Four weeks of revisionist history. This is his final middle finger to people like us.
Actually, it’s blood in the water to us. The real middle finger is to his few remaining unironic fans, who wanted to believe in Westview, who followed the characters and their journeys through all the sidetracks, retcons, and re-re-re-retcons.
Classy to the end, that’s our TomBa.
Encore the Kinks!
You reminded me of the 1978 “Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy” and its portrait of someone who would be an unironic fan par excellence:
Dan is a fan and he lives for our music
It’s the only thing that gets him by
He’s watched us grow and he’s seen all our shows
He’s seen us low and he’s seen us high
Oh, but you and me keep thinking
That the world’s just passing us by…
The Kinks name-checked Captain America a year later in “Catch Me Now I’m Falling.” Do you think the world is ready for “The Funky Winkerbean Preservation Society”?
We are the Funky Winkerbean Preservation Society
God save pepperoni, pizza monsters and personal sobriety…
Thank you, ComicBook Harrioet!
It’s his final middle finger to everyone. Nobody but Tom Batiuk would find this ending satisfying. It resolves nothing, ends nothing, and just repeats a story that’s been told far too many times already. Once again, the universe revolves around Lisa, and some family member of hers becomes a rich and famous despite zero effort or talent on their part.
I bet Batiuk even has the gall to spend the week of Christmas giving Summer the damned book contract. Because Act III has been about nothing but Batiuk giving his Mary Sue characters the things he thinks the world owes him. This is his last chance to do so, and by God he’s going to take it.
rich and famous author
Duck Has a Theory, Part the Twenty-Sixth.
Do you think Batty saw trouble coming with the syndicate? He must have known when they declined to even mention his 50th anniversary, let alone celebrate it.
I think the “Dinkle Leads the Centerville Choir!” arc was a hastily cobbled-together effort to move FW’s most valuable property to the Crankshaftiverse.
If I’m right, that means TB tacitly realizes that nobody cares what happens to Mopey Les, Whiny Funky, Boy Lisa or Girl Les, or any of the other Westviewians. Hell, even in that Kent State puff piece, the only quote they could get out of the poor pestered shopper was about how he was in band and grew up with the Dinkle strips.
Lord, how that must chafe Puffy. After years of pontification about how comics don’t need to be funny and characters should be deep and so on… people want to laugh at the funny band leader man.
At his age, he should have realized that light entertainment is also a service to humanity. Not everything has to be depressing. Life can suck, and sometimes people just want to laugh. If you can make them chuckle, they’ll love you.
Poor Tommy, looking for love in all the wrong places.
Your mention of the syndicate’s nonrecognition of FW’s 50th raises an interesting point.
I have the sense that he must be very difficult to work with based on a blog post I’ve written about before – Match to Flame -73, the infamous 2018 Batman rant that reprints part of the introduction to Volume 5 which was published in 2016. (Link below for those unfamiliar with it)
I didn’t really have any set personal impression of TomBa and was stunned by the vitriol that he was able to summon concerning an event that had occurred a half-century earlier as well as the disdain he continued to hold for anyone who had the temerity to actually dare to LIKE such an abomination (a population that includes me, who experienced the series premiere as an 11 year old and still finds it enjoyable). It also cast the battle over John Darling in a different and less sympathetic light for me.
“They treated the art form that I aspired to as some sort of lower caste illegitimate that would only be palatable to adults if you made fun of it.”
Tom Batiuk defines “irony”.
He really has no idea how much he sounds like a hidebound literalist, does he? Doesn’t he realize that what the creators of the show did — it’s called writing?
The American viewing public loved it. Well, they were wrong too.
THE MIGHTY THOMAS BATIUK HAS SPOKEN! STOP HAVING FUN!
And this coming from someone who was obsessed with the Silver Age Batman, one of the silliest of all Batmen. They failed to incorporate the deep symbolism of Ace, the Bat-Hound! They destroyed the profound meaning of Bat-Mite! The Philistines!
Can you imagine? After 3/4 of a century alive, he still believes that anyone who doesn’t agree with his tastes in cartoon TV adaptations is WRONG. And he’s boilin’ mad about it, too! 50 years later, the hurt — the pain — the wrongfulness of it — he can’t get over it.
For those of you who can’t bring yourself to read it… well, you really should, as it’s inadvertently the most amazing and entertaining thing he’s ever written, but here’s the money quote about his reaction to seeing the premiere of the 1966 Batman TV show:
…the only thing shattered that black night would be my belief system and entire philosophy of life.
There aren’t enough faces or palms in the entire world for the facepalm this deserves.
I should add that plenty of college boys probably enjoyed the show regardless of whether it was 100% faithful to canon, thanks to the presence of Julie Newmar, Eartha Kitt, Yvonne Craig, and plenty of other gorgeous women in skin-tight suits.
I’m sure young Thomas was above those carnal types of thoughts as he strove to maintain the purity of some fictional characters created and owned by other people.
And this is from the guy (TB) who proudly recounts that he skipped buying the first Spiderman issue in favour of “The Flash balloons into a circus freak” issue…
“I had anticipated a drama that took the Batman premise seriously and was prepared to tell an exciting and straightforward story framed by that context.”
I grew up reading and loving Silver Age Batman. I have no idea what he could possibly expected. A Batman version of a 77 Sunset Strip or Perry Mason script? It lead me to entertain the “on the spectrum theory”.
“I had anticipated a drama that took the Batman premise seriously and was prepared to tell an exciting and straightforward story framed by that context.”
Great Scott, Robin, what a terribly constructed sentence…and this from a guy thinks his writing ability is magnificent and profound.
How about this? “I wanted a drama that took the Batman premise seriously to tell an exciting story.” Still awful, but at least comprehensible.
Ah, but the “Batman” TV series had faith in America! Check out the Penguin runs for mayor episodes, in which the Fowl Fiend seems destined to win…only for the Batman to triumph on election day. If memory serves me correctly, the Dynamic Du0 have a conversation along these lines:
Robin: Gosh, Batman, I guess you were right to trust the people!
Batman: Never underestimate the intelligence of the average voter, old chum.
Whereas in *Funky,* the franchising failure of Montoni’s suggests that the average citizen (Batman on TV always called people whose names he didn’t know “Citizen”) wouldn’t know a good thing if they saw it.
And over at *Crankshaft,* there’s Mordor Financial standing in for people who don’t appreciate Skip Rawlings and *The Sentinel.*
Preach it, Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot:
Now, which man do you want to run Gotham City? A man like myself who is always in the company of the law, or a man like Batman who rubs elbows with the worst elements of this city and who is undoubtedly a desperate criminal himself?
How could anyone dislike a show that had Eartha Kitt play Cat Woman?
There was a poster on CK, who briefly appeared here but was, er, inappropriate, who specialized in Batiuk/Ayers slashfic. “Bayers”?
Anyway, who knows? The whole Batman rant, including the dismissal of some of the sexiest women ever to grace a TV screen, does make one wonder whether BJr6K is right, and TB is either autistic or on the spectrum.
More evidence in favor of that theory: Extreme rage and despair at creators doing things he, the audience, doesn’t think are right — coupled with angry dismissal when his own audience criticizes his own choices. I don’t think he gets that if he can criticize “Batman,” his audience can criticize him on the same grounds — that he’s wrecked something they cared about.
That incident was one of my biggest forces behind that theory. The inability to deal with change or uncertainty is a major theme in Funky Winkerbean. All of Atomix Komix is about making comic books “correctly.” All of Lisa’s Story was about telling her story “correctly.” A concept Batiuk never bothered to define once. He acts like his own opinions are self-evident, and doesn’t understand why the rest of the world doesn’t see it. And as you point out, he also doesn’t see the hypocrisy in his own failure to maintain the standards he demands of others.
Batiuk is also very litigous and demanding. He’s sued his publisher multiples times. I think after his last editor died in 2006, he had no friends left in the industry, other than Tony Isabella.
Ooh, the only potential litigation I know about is the John Darling debacle. Care to spill the tea?
I think he filed a suit to get control of Funky Winkerbean. Apparently the rights were originally owned by the syndicate. I don’t know if there were others. If memory serves, the original Stuck Funky site folded in response to a cease and desist demand.
I love getting to hear new FW/Bautik anecdotes I’ve never heard before, and golly is this one juicy and enlightening!
If he was seriously a real OG nerd who insisted on seeing a gritty Batman drama in the 60s, he really had some sort of stick up his comic rack. You couldn’t have expected show producers of that era to reference a full 30 years of then-Batman lore in an era when no one was doing any real reference/collection of comics, and little to no adaptations that regurgitated those “core” ideas, nobody cared that much. The campy Silver Age was what the ’66 show had to work with, and that’s what they chose to adapt, and they did so brilliantly. That he can’t appreciate it says a lot about how he considers loosening up or comedy in general, that wordplay/puns is a reliable punchline over the kind of humor you’d see West & Ward pull off with their bad guys.
As to the apparent contradictions in his tastes, maybe he considers Silver-Age Flash a guilty pleasure or something of a nostalgia filter, or being justifiable as a different comic genre (where even the weirdest ideas could have some tenuous sci-fi justification), whereas Batman deserved to be done “serious” because of its darker themes. Some people just don’t seem to grasp that they’re writing about a man dressed as a bat at the end of the day.
At the end of Preston Sturges’s “Sullivan’s Travels,” John L. Sullivan is essentially free to make his dream project, “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” and to the dismay of his producers, he wants to make a comedy instead.
He says he’s too happy to make “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” now (getting The Girl will do that to you, even if she has no name) but he also makes it clear why a comedy is a valuable thing:
There’s a lot to be said for making people laugh. Did you know that that’s all some people have? It isn’t much, but it’s better than nothing in this cockeyed caravan.
Anyway, the Coen Brothers’s movie with the same title is pretty good on its own.
Semper Fi, SOSFers! (as Woodrow Lafayette Pershing Truesmith might have said)
Hardly’s a noodge all right.
1. Why is Hardy McFly repeating what he ALREADY told us this past week?
2. McFly didn’t even have the basic intelligence to protect what was literally his only way home… How can he be so certain that he didn’t completely fuck up the time-space continuum?
I thought you all would enjoy a little reminder of happier times.
This just popped up in my Instagram feed, courtesy of Mental Floss magazine:
If you’re over 40, you might remember climbing ropes that hung from the gym ceiling, sometimes as high as 30 feet. In 2013, the activity—which has mostly been abolished—was inducted into the Physical Education Hall of Shame, which called it a “perfect storm” of regrettable features, including “low participation rates, the element of danger, the ‘made for a lawsuit’ thin mat under the rope, the inattentive spotter, the rope burns on the hands and legs, and the grand spectacle of one student attempting to climb while the rest of the class sits and watches.” (The Hall of Shame was an annual feature published by the ‘Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.’ Other entrants include Red Rover and, of course, Dodgeball).
Who knows? Maybe Batiuk’s running joke about Les getting stuck on the rope was part of what made gym teachers countrywide reconsider their choices.
THAT would be a legacy to be proud of.
Oh how times have changed. Now it seems like in PE they feel bad for asking the kids to jog in a circle for a couple minutes.
Anyone else have to square dance in gym class?
Practiced in single-gender classes (which means half the class was practicing the other gender’s part) then brought in for one session of dancing together.
The boys were allowed to wear street clothes. Girls had to wear their gym strip.
I hated PE generally but that was a peak awful moment.
Oh God, square dancing. When you’re as unathletic as I am, that was the worst torture. Not only are you awkwardly jiving, you’ve got a partner depending on you.
And I would applaud that. The rope was awful. Ours had three or four giant knots at the bottom which were there (I think) to give you some footing as you tried to start your climb. But for most of us, the highest knot served as a seat for our non-athletic bottoms to sit on and swing back and forth until the gym teacher realized we weren’t going any further and made us get down.