Heya folks! CBH here again. I know Epicus just posted yesterday and hyped me up as indefatigable, but we’ve had a couple calving issues this week. (For which I blame Sorial!) Crappy weather, two successful assisted births, an ill calf we lost, and a full necropsy on a 500 lb feeder calf that passed. None of it too out of the ordinary for a herd this size, but it did eat up time today I was planning on polishing off a big ol’ Johnny Howard post.
Luckily for me Beckoning Chasm was working overtime and hunted up this mind-blowing Super Special Crossover Issue of TIMEMOP for all of you to marvel at.
Long live the photoshop master! Praise him with great praise!
(Note: If this amazing cover does not get sufficient praise, I will ragequit this blog.)
Hope to have the next deep dive post out in a couple of days.
(P.S. I don’t really blame Sorial. But I was thinking of him when dad and I were loading up the calf-jack a few days ago.)
(P.P.S. Sorry for all the parenthetical asides BJ6K, I know it’s an annoying crutch of Batiuk’s but I couldn’t stop myself today.)
(P.P.S.S. I love all you peeps, serious.)
55 responses to “Mopping Up”
It’s so much like my dreams it’s scary. I’ve come to believe that Rip Tide-Scuba Cop, was Batiuk’s biggest squandered opportunity. The premise is pure genius. But, as we all know, if premises equaled stories, BatYam would be the wealthiest guy in all of Medina.
The Mop Vs Cop cover has me in tears! I’ve added it to the Timemop covers gallery! Nice work, Beckoning!
Meanwhile, heeeeeeerrrreee’s Dinkshaft™!
1. Beckoning Chasm, what a beautiful cover. That is professional Marvel and DC style. ♥️
2. Didn’t get a chance to tell Epicus how much I enjoyed his last post. Like him, (maybe!) I want to give Crankshaft a chance. He is not must read on his best days, but I did did find him humorous. But if 3/15/23 is the beginning of a trend, TB is ruining this strip with way too many extra non-Crankshaft characters and not enough Ed. Even knowing who this person is today, I still want to ask”Why?” and who is this person???
3. CBH, your cattle bring back so many good memories of helping my wife and father-in-law on their Charolais, tobacco, and hog farm. It’s hard work, some bad times, mostly good, and moments of pure pleasure. It is a wonderful life.
Her Dad watched too many episodes of “All in the Family. He couldn’t decide if his favorite nickname for me was ‘Meathead’ or ‘Calf-Jack.’
I didn’t get the pleasure of Calf-Jack.
4. Last of all, this week has been stressful for me. I had my 4th colonoscopy today. I had colon cancer in 2010. They took out 18 inches. On a cold day I tilt to the left.😜 But this time, I felt my number was up. I worried that the cancer could return. Part of the worry was the length of time from schedule to procedure. Over 30 days! The prep was the easiest I experienced. I dreamed during the procedure…that never happened before. Best of all, NO CANCER!
So being blamed by CBH, was a real joy. (What?) All of you bring so much joy to me. I come to SOSF, and I relax and spend time with some of the best people in the world.
P.P.P.S.S.S. To celebrate on Friday, I am having an honorary “Be Ware of Eve Hill” Merlot. Should Auld Acquaintance be Forgot an Never Brought to Mind?
So glad to read your colonoscopy went well. Bet it’s a load off your mind.
The doctors took out 18 inches? Seems like a lot. My dad had some of his large intestine removed. He joked to anyone and everyone, “I now have a semicolon.”
I would have enjoyed meeting your Dad.
My Dad was genuinely funny. I am just mildly humorous. Both of us were blessed!
Indeed, I was blessed. He wasn’t demonstratively affectionate. He was there, but he wasn’t going to show it. You had to kind of perceive it.
The greatest thing he ever did for me was to just be there. Most of the time he was the only family member who attended my games in high school. He was tired after a hard day’s work, but there he was cheering me on. Needed help with my homework, Dad was there. Car had a flat tire or dead battery, or I needed a ride home, Dad was there.
A great investor, he retired before 60. He and Mom went on several cruises and European vacations.
There is no higher praise for a father:
“He was there.”
I wish I could have met him. Yet I have because I know you.
What sports did you play?🤔
In Junior High, I played football and track. To look at me now, you would not know I could run the
100 yard dash. Then in high school, I did sophomore football. Then I did sophomore and junior wrestling. Then my senior year I only did intramural sports. They were more fun.
I played softball, basketball and volleyball all four years in high school. Lettered in each. One year each in track and cross country, but I preferred team sports.
Strange but true. Students were required to take gym our first two years. Despite being thought of as a jock by most students, I blew off regular gym my sophomore year. I did not like the high school girl’s gym teacher, a humorless taskmaster. A friend and I elected to take our second year of gym via summer school. Much more fun as it was; two weeks of bowling, two weeks of tennis, and two weeks of golf.
What position did you play in football?
National Lampoon had a similar joke: “Well, I had my semi-colon removed. Now I have to punctuate into a plastic bag.”
That is hilarious!
I’m thanking the man upstairs that your butt scope went well! I’d hate to lose your Mission Temple Fireworks Stand energy here. I’m selfish like that.
I do have official pictures of my butt scope. If anyone is interested, I can provide them for a slight fee, or a calf to be named later.
You are loved, CBH.
I sense an upcoming adventure for TimeMop!
1. “Butt scope of my dreams.”
2. “Down Butt scope! I said, Get down!”
3. “Down Butt Scope. These ain’t the canals of Venice we surfin’!”
4. “At just the right angle, I can see Uranus.”
5. “That’s not how I wink.”
🤪😜I am really happy my colostomy has brought so much joy to others. You certainly raised my spirits! Thank you, Ian. This has been quite a week for me getting nicknames:
I started out with being called Meathead. Then I felt named by CBH to be called Calf-Jack. I knew my luck couldn’t last. I will be forever known as Butt Scope. I could be TimeMops’s sidekick.😎
After 3 Merlots, Be Ware of Eve Hill could be our loquacious mascot. (It is Friday.)😱💋😊
Oh, swell. I have a new role. The official SoSF mascot, “Drunk Evie”. 🍷🍷🍷🥴🦜
Yesh shir, that Todd Batiuk has shuuurly driven me to drink. 😵
I’ll have you know I only had one Merlot. I finished the bottle.
And in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, a shot of Jameson Irish Whiskey. 🥃
“Our New SOSF Mascot, Be Ware of Drunk Evie!” At least, that’s better than Butt Probe. I was really hoping Calf-Jack would catch on!
“Only one Merlot.” Of course, it might have been the size of a giant glass terrarium vase. “Yesh shur. That’s what it shhwas!
And a tip of the Seagram’s 7 to you!
Erin go bragh!
Just listened to “Mission Temple Fireworks Stand”! Thank you for the heads up, CBH. I enjoyed it and listened to the rest of the album. I will never think of my energy the same way again!
Folks, thank you. I am honored to contribute.
Love this Timemop cover. Especially the logos and small details at the top. I think it’s your best.
Dusty, where did they come from? An anthropomorphic dust mop? Are cleaning tools sentient in the future?
I hope someone can find the classic Dusty vs The Amazing Sponge crossover when they fought over how best to clean up Westview
Hmmm….(rubs chin thoughtfully)
“Dusty’s new bike” really puts a pin in it. Well done.
That’s just what I came here to say. The cherry on the Sunday cover!
You’ll never guess who did blog about John Howard today!
Some of those other stories included Lisa defending John Howard, the owner of the Komix Korner, when he was sued for selling obscene comic books. Funky’s cousin Wally and his struggles with PTSD upon returning from Afghanistan, and later his return to Afghanistan with his wife Becky as part of a project to clear landmines. Young love, old love. Marriages, Funky’s second to Holly and Wally and Becky’s, both taking place in Montoni’s, the pizzeria palace of passion. Graduations, babies being born, and even the building of a new school. Life.
From the introduction to The Complete Funky Winkerbean Vol. 12
I’d almost think this was a response to us, if it wasn’t so typically cut-and-paste lazy.
The “pizzeria palace of passion”. The Lord of Language, everyone!
(Though it’s better than the “wedding chapel of love”, but not by much.) (And, y’know… maybe don’t advertise the romantic qualities of the place by citing a couple who aren’t together anymore? Just a thought. Especially given the exceptionally cruel (and moronically implausible) reason why…)
I like how he calls them “Wally and his wife Becky” and then later mentions their marriage ceremony. He also doesn’t tell us the names of who was born and who graduated, but devotes entire sentences to Montoni’s, comic books, and other irrelevant details. I’d call it out of context, but being in context wouldn’t help.
“Life.” was the cherry on top of that cauliflower sundae of a paragraph.
Batiuk loves his showy writing techniques, especially when there’s nothing to show. The building of a new public high school is not “life”, and his other two examples only apply in a very literal way. It’s pretentious, expertly-prepared, artfully-punctuated nothing.
@BJ6K, the building of a new high school was also completely wasted on Act III, where you could tell he wished he’d just left the old building up for continuity’s sake.
Think of it as a Dr. Zorba moment from the old “Ben Casey” series: “Man. Woman. Birth. Life. Death. Infinity.”
For what it’s worth, the late great Neal Adams worked on a *Ben Casey* comic strip before he came to comic-books, which makes for an in-joke in *X-Men* #61 (1969) when Scott Summers (Cyclops) accuses Dr. Karl Lykos (Sauron) of “watching too many ‘Ben Casey’ re-runs.”
Sauron, by the way, could have used his DNA discoveries to cure cancer but preferred to turn people into dinosaurs.
Erin go bragh, everyone!
Neal Adams also did a guest strip for another, less-well-known (and -regarded) comic strip.
(He also gave the world such luminous works as Skate Man and Batman: Odyssey.)
And he glosses over the best part of any and all of those story arcs in that relatively hard to parse word salad… John getting arrested by an undercover cop dressed as a DB Cooper sketch.
That strip just narrowly beats out Les dumpster diving in desperation as my all-time favorite FW strip.
Stellar comic book cover. And I love the idea that Timemop and Scuba Cop are rivals somehow. What a fun universe this would be.
It’s also a great example of what was so awful about Batiuk’s Sunday comic book covers. This looks like a real comic book cover! It’s pitching an actual story (plus a “B” story, which even has a title), and is full of little marketing details, like it wants you to buy it. And it works. I totally want to read this story.
Batiuk’s covers were absolutely formula, didn’t tell you anything about the characters or what they were doing, and didn’t have any effort put into them.
I’ve been meaning to tell you, a phrase on your “Generic Man Atomix Komix” cover has made it into our everyday household conversations.
Mr. bwoeh: I finished loading the dishwasher and started it. I’ll shake the racks when the drying cycle starts.
Me: Thanks, I’ll empty it and put everything away.
Mr. bwoeh: What a fine team we are.
Me: Aren’t we just the greatest?
Today’s Crankshaft struck a chord with its commenters who compared their pill container regimens. The comparatively light tone of the strip overall continues to make me wonder how involved Batiuk is.
Yesterday’s Crankshaft, with Crank’s yuppie neighbor musing about the cost of filling his SUV’s tank with gas, stirred up several off topic comments about fossil fuel vs EV’s.
Great cover (as always)! I do have to wonder if anyone has a pathetic enough life to bother figuring out what the source was for the logo, price box, and other assorted bric-a-brac at the top. Nah, who would go through that much trouble?
(In case the image link doesn’t work, that’s Giant-Size Avengers #1, the issue that first revealed who the parents of the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver were. Until it was retconned away, that is. And then that retcon was retconned away, although it’s only a matter of time until that retconning away gets retconned away and we get back to the initial retcon. Comics!)
Excellent detective work! That is indeed the source for the “Giant Size” logo and most of the upper left corner.
For the record, I have no problem with parenthetical asides (or any writing technique) as long it serves a purpose. Using them one of Batiuk’s more annoying traits, because he’s always interrupting to his rambling to ramble in another direction.
Imagine an episode of “Kitchen Nightmare” where Gordon Ramsay goes into the back, and instead of a kitchen, there’s a woodworking shop. And Gordon is just dumbfounded for a few minutes, and then has to explain “Yes, your technique on those mortise and tenon joints was very nice. The problem is that none of this is food. That’s what people want from a restaurant. Food. Can you try making something a person can eat?”
Tom Batiuk’s writing is exactly like this. He uses all these fancy techniques, without having any idea what he’s trying to accomplish overall.
No worries BJ6K, I was sure that was your take, and was leaning on a bit of sarcasm and self deprecation. Another tool Batiuk and I seem to turn to a lot.
You’ve been spot on pointing out that Batiuk uses all these tools of wry, funny Dave Barry-esqe writing, but doesn’t understand how they actually work. And you can tell by the clumsy application. I’m not lying when I say he writes like I did in high school.
I blame the fact that for 50 years he’s worked without an editor or a critical voice. Every artist needs someone to tell them to kill their darlings.
I’m a rank amateur and I know that much.
His writing is such a contrast to yours BJ, you really describe his work so clearly and accurately.
To me, I feel he does this to show off.
It’s like Batiuk completely misses the point of writing, which is to convey information. What is the purpose of that book forward? It’s just a list of the events in the book, which the reader probably already knows. And it’s a poor list, because it ignores important events to expand on trivial ones. Then it’s repeated (possibly in part) in a blog post even later, with no new information added.
Sheesh, has Tom Batiuk ever read a book that didn’t have a Hostess snack cakes ad on the back? A foreword is supposed to give the reader some insight into the book’s creation, additional context, personal notes from the author, that sort of thing. He simply has nothing to say, no information to share. But he also has a pathological need to talk, and an ego that needs to show the world what a writery writer he is. So this is what you get.
Tom Batiuk writes everything like the Rolling Stones wrote “Cocksucker Blues.” Even things he wants to talk about, like his damned comic book bullpen, are either obligatory word dumps, or end abruptly when he loses interest.
Exactly. I remember writing a paper and I wanted to show off to the teacher. She returned it with a note saying “ nice thesaurus work, now redo this in your own words”.
This provoked a classroom discussion about having your writing accurately reflect your thoughts— instead of cherry-picking words to impress your audience.
I learned this lesson in high school, Batty has yet to learn it.
One the most egregious examples of TB writing just to write is the April 2021 story arc where Batton finds a reprint of The Flash #123 at Komix Korner and proceeds to talk DSH’s ears off about it. I have mentioned this arc so many times on here, and I apologize, but it is just so terrible.
Batton goes on, uninterrupted, for 9 consecutive panels (technically 8 panels, but one is a double panel in a dreaded vertical strip):
I think we are supposed to infer from this that Batton/TB was inspired to become a cartoonist by this issue of The Flash… but that is NEVER actually said nor is it something we should be expected to infer about Batton because he’s a relatively ne character with practically no character traits who has been depicted doing cartoonist things in the strip about as often as Jon Arbuckle has been in Garfield. So this becomes just a bunch of flowery words about a time Batton read a comic book as a child. It could have been so easily redeemed by simply having Batton say what this comic book inspired him to do, or even just something specific that he liked about it, or how it helped him through some problem. It could have inspired him to wash the dishes and it would have been 1,000,000 times better than what wound up getting printed.
No, it’s a great example, and you’re right to bring it up. Batiuk never actually says what he’s saying, he’s just dressing it up in different ways. Reminds me of this (0:43 to 1:11)
Well, great, now I want to see a series of Funky Winkerbean Hostess ads.
“Uh… Mrs. Moore… it turns out we… kinda switched your test results, and you actually have stage 4 cancer.”
“That’s okay, I’ll just eat Hostess Twinkies (TM), that’ll cure it, right?”
“Eh, maybe. Obviously, we’re not good doctors.”
(I should probably learn Photoshop at some point. And how to actually do creative writing. Not that a lack of talent stops some cartoonists…)
Even better, what if Hostess started running ads in Atomik Komix books? Please tell me at some point we’ll have “The Stardusters Meet the Ding-a-Ling Family”!
Ooh, that’s even better. But if they’re going to remake the old ads, they MUST do this one:
Because, c’mon. That title. They HAD to know, right?
Over on Batiuk’s web site Flash Fridays are back and they still follow the same format.
The fun thing is that this mash-up is more amusing and enticing than what Batiuk came up with. The sad thing is also that it is more amusing and enticing than what Batiuk came up with because he missed the point of cover art. It’s to draw in the readers so they can buy the issue.