Author Archives: comicbookharriet

Sunday, August 25

Today’s strip was not available for preview.

As usual Sunday’s strip wasn’t available for preview. Should’ve had a betting pool going on if it’s going to be a sideways comic book cover.

I’m going to a minor league baseball game Saturday night. Unfortunately/fortunately it’s not the Toledo Mudhens, but one thing Batiuk gets right is that minor league baseball is a fun way to spend an evening.

Horrors await us on Monday. I’m gearing myself up to beat them back with cold hard facts and wacky observations.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

Sufferin’ Sappho

Link to today’s strip

As Professor Fate used his powers to presciently foretell yesterday, it does appear that we are in for another week of a nebbish old maven and a klutzy shikse kvetching about kitschy comic schlock and schmoozing all schmaltzy while having a nosh. This shtick is dreck.

Am I the only one choosing to see this strip through a weird romantic lens? I blame the use of coffee. ‘Want some coffee?’ was the ‘Netflix and chill’ of the 80’s and 90’s. And the GTA: San Andreas Hot Coffee controversy only solidified this in my mind at an impressionable age.

And if Mindy weren’t engaged, and the other person weren’t roughly Pre-Cambrian in age, there wouldn’t be any other interpretation of this strip. Look at that side-eye smile Ruby is giving Mindy in panel one. By panel three things have already gotten physical! It reads meet cute!

I mean, if Mindy wants to leave Mopey Pete for some May-December, girl and granny, colorist on penciler action, I for one would be the first cheering her on.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

In Search of Lost Lines.

Link to today’s strip

Poor Ruby looks so sad in panel 3. Like she is distraught over the memory of her lost creations, a metaphorical mother missing the beauty she had given life to.I’m calling it right now, Chester Hagglemore has some of her original stuff in his collection that Mindy will twist him into gifting back to her in return for her doing some variant Atomik Komiks covers.

She’ll be so happy to have her poor stolen progeny back in her possession once more! Except, you know, she sold those babies for money, knowing full well that the original pencils would likely be destroyed.

And yet her work remains, in every copy of her comics that still exists. Why don’t they just blow up some old panels, and put them on the wall?

At the time, comics artists and writers were workers for hire, with the understanding that the company that hired them owned what they produced. I think it’s nice, and fair, that today comics artists are returned their work, and are even allowed to duplicate some of it, so they can resell it to collectors and fans. Every TFCon and Botcon I’ve attended has had comic artists there selling posters of covers, prints, and even the original line art.

But I don’t think it was an gross injustice when the comics companies considered the art their property, and no longer the original artists, since it was bought and paid for by mutual agreement.

I know that I’ve been Wiki linking all week, and sorry to those of you who would prefer me to pick apart the art or go off on wacky tangents. Or just post a short paragraph and shut up. But, honestly, fact checking this plotline has become a compulsion for me. Because I know that Batiuk has a deep knowledge of comics history, and I also don’t trust him for an instant to not warp that truth to suit his own narrative.

Here’s the wiki article for Creator Ownership in Comics. Most notable:
“Up to the mid-1970s, most comic book publishers kept all original pages, in some cases destroying them in lieu of storing them safely… By 1975 or 1976, both DC and Marvel also began returning artist’s original pages to them.”


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

Oy Vey! Vetik in di Tuchus!

Link to today’s strip

Ruby, your Yiddish is showing. I don’t know if Batiuk is using the word tuchus to tell us that Ruby is Jewish, or just from New York. I’d give him some minor props if its the former since Jews had an proportionally outsized influence on early comics. For more information see great books like Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics, and the Creation of the Superhero and Up, Up, and Oy Vey! How Jewish History, Culture, and Values Shaped The Comic Book Superhero.

But then again Yiddishisms have migrated their way into the common national slang, especially in New York. For more research on that read The Joys of Yiddish. Either way, one word has hinted at more character and backstory than Mindy has gotten in decades of serving as a prop to display Crankshaft on.

Now that the Amazon deep dive is over, what the frag does Ruby mean by ‘as a woman’? I seriously hope that Batiuk intends to delve into this further with specific examples of how her gender made things more difficult. Otherwise this phrase is empty and meaningless. Because comic creating has always been a pain in the ass, regardless of gender, both in reality and in the reality of this strip.

Batiuk has drawn from the well of comic creators’ misery many, many, many, many times. We had Pete raked over the coals for writing ‘The Amazing Mr. Sponge’ while Lord of the Late loomed over him, and the comic company made demands for a ‘Clone Saga’. We had all those implied-to-be-canon musings by Darin and Pete over how hard it was to be in the Batom pool ‘back in the day’. If either of those situations could have been made appreciably worse by a bra, I’d like to see it. Sure the bosses could have been sexist, but we’ve already seen that they’re willing to bully, demean, and steal the ideas of males.

It’s not that much worse if someone treats you with the same callous regard as the men, but with the addendum that they’re doing it because you’re a woman. That’s not sexism, that’s a sexist who treats everyone like crap.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

No Doubt- Just a Colorist.

Link to today’s strip

Mindy is the only colorist they have right? Unless they’re outsourcing to some cheap autofill color warehouse. So lets chalk one up to Ruby passive-aggressively damning with faint praise.

Going to give a little credit where it’s due here. Colorists have traditionally been one of the lowest things on the comic totem pole, below writers and pencilers, and either equal or slightly below inkers. The only thing lower are the poor letterers. Also there are a slightly higher percentage of female colorists than there are writers or pencilers. I remember talking to a female Transformers comic colorist at a con several years ago, and she was very self deprecating. Compare that with the rockstar reaction some of the line artists got.

Which is a shame because colorists now have way more of an impact on the comic’s aesthetic than the old days of flat four color printing. Computer printing on glossy pages allows every panel to be it’s own mini painting, sometimes quite literally (Alex Ross! Mah Maaahn!)Most line artists these days realize how collaborative the work is, and will praise their colorists to the heavens. Male or female, they’re now getting their due.

But to counter the ‘accuracy’, some criticism from our own Epicus Doomus yesterday. I wanted to quote it, because I’d been thinking the same thing and he said it much better than I could.

It needs to be pointed out here that Mindy got into the comic book business because she was visiting her boyfriend at work, thus any attempts to portray her as some sort of flag-bearing trailblazer will be, uh, quite disingenuous, at best. Also bear in mind that her prior job involved helping her brother (I think) run a broken down old movie house. Perhaps if he wasn’t so lazy BatYak could have written Mindy as a young woman eager to blaze that trail through the (sigh) comic book business, but he chose otherwise. Like many of his female characters, she pretty much stumbled into it while catering to a man. For reference see: Holly, Becky, Jessica, Cindy.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

Speaking Truth to Powergirl.

Link to today’s strip

Sorry for the late post. The strip wasn’t available for preview so I wanted to wait for it to drop. Boy I’m sure glad I did! *eye-roll sarcasm*

As a female who enjoys comic books…I’ve pretty much heard it all too. And by heard it all, I’ve had a few scattered males ask me about my ‘unique’ viewpoint on comic books. And my ‘unique’ viewpoint is the radical idea that sometimes there’s a little too much TNA fanservice. That’s it.

It’s a male dominated medium to an extent, but not some kind of misogynistic boys club, and it hasn’t been for a long time. Gail Simone’s been writing comics since 2002! There were a couple female Transformers comic writers in the last couple years.

And Batiuk is willfully erasing female centric history by ignoring the fact that Ruby here would have been a comic writer at the height of the Teen Romance comics. Does he even remember that these exist? Or because they aren’t spandex or space monkeys he doesn’t consider them ‘true’ comics.

Let us celebrate women in comics with a little Wikipedia Copy Pasta

“Comic books, as well, have been produced by a number of female artists.

One publisher in particular, Fiction House, used many female cartoonists, both on staff and through Eisner & Iger, one of the era’s comics “packagers” that would supply comic books on demand to publishers testing the emerging medium. Action and adventure-oriented genres were popular at this time, and Fiction House’s forte was capable and beautiful female protagonists, working as pilots, detectives, or jungle adventuresses. Women working for the publisher include Lily Renée, at the Lambiek Comiclopedia Fran Hopper and future romance artists Ruth Atkinson and Ann Brewster. These stories were frequently written by a female writer, as well: Ruth Roche, later an editor. Before finding fame as a crime novelist, Patricia Highsmith wrote for Black Terror and other comic books.

In the 1950s Marie Severin, sister of artist John Severin, was a frequent EC and Atlas/Marvel colorist, later drawing her own stories as well. Her cartoon style made her a frequent contributor to Marvel’s Not Brand Echh satirical title of the late 1960s. Another prolific artist was Ramona Fradon, who drew Aquaman and was co-creator of Metamorpho.

Later artists and writers include Ann Nocenti (creator of Typhoid Mary and Longshot), Louise Simonson (Power Pack writer), June Brigman (Power Pack artist), Gail Simone (Welcome to Tranquility), Devin Grayson (Batman writer), Becky Cloonan, the first female Batman artist.,[10] Marjorie Liu (The Amazing X-Men writer), Sara Pichelli (Ultimate Spider-Man artist), G. Willow Wilson (Ms. Marvel), Amanda Conner (Power Girl artist), and Kelly Sue DeConnick (Pretty Deadly, Bitch Planet) at Image Comics.”


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

Seasoned Storytelling.

Link to today’s strip

Mindy’s been so dumb the last week, I’m half surprised panel two didn’t go like this:
Mindy: “You drew this on my shirt!? You live in Sri Lanka? Because that’s where it says the shirt came from! I knew it was ‘custom’ but wow,and it only cost me 30 bucks! Does it get tiring drawing on shirts all day?”

And sure you’re seasoned. I bet you’ve got a lovely Blue Emu rub all over your arthritic hands, combined with peppermint essential oils. Embalmed is not the same as seasoned.

As many pointed out yesterday, how many famous old artists and actors does Batiuk intend to shove into the twilight years of his strip? At this point we’re up to five or six random octogenarians wandering in the strip so younger characters can show their comics cred by squeebleing all over them.

That vaguely Maoist hat, combined with a granola munching quirky appearance, makes me suspicious of this plotline though. Like we’re about to get a ‘serious’ story about how a woman was idealistic about America in the old days of institutionalized racism, sexism, and South Asian proxy wars, but now that Trump is in office she’s realized the error of her ways now supports Bolshevism.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky