Author Archives: spacemanspiff85

Keeper of the Lame

So today we have a single panel Sunday strip that really doesn’t add anything new that wasn’t in yesterday’s second panel. I guess all the John Darling megafans are swooning over seeing the set again, or something (it still boggles my mind that Batiuk could think there’s really an audience for this). I am very curious as how to how Mitchell obtained his memorabilia. He’s repeatedly said that he’s basically the only one interested in any of these things, but he’s still kind of acting like what he has are rare, highly desirable artifacts. I have a feeling he probably found this in the dumpster behind Channel One. And two chairs, a nightstand/filing cabinet and a backdrop doesn’t strike me as super impressive.
Thanks for having me these two weeks! The always great Epicus Doomus takes over tomorrow.

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Wow! Cow!

After reading the first panel, I was kind of expecting the second panel to show that Mitchell had John Darling’s preserved corpse on display. Or that it turns out John wasn’t actually dead, and that Mitchell was keeping him trapped in his house and was forcing him to act out a new show every day. Honestly, given the way Batiuk’s writing is so bad and how he’s inexplicably spent so much time on JD related stories the past few years it wouldn’t shock me at all if he decided to bring the actual character back.
I’m not sure which of Mitchell’s two facial expressions is worse, but I really don’t like either one of them.

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Those Were The Days

Hey, there’s the hat and coat that was brought up in the comments yesterday! Today’s strip is just kind of sad. I read an article last year about how nostalgia can actually be very beneficial, since it can comfort and make people feel better. But being stuck in the past like Mitchell here (or just about everyone else in this strip, really), is definitely not good. It’s not really funny material for a comic strip, either.
I really do feel that the vast majority of people reading this would have no clue at all what it’s about. If you didn’t know that this Barnaby was actually a real character from Cleveland TV, you would be totally lost. And even knowing that he is a real character doesn’t really add a ton to the strip.

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I Bet Jessica Will Be In A Display Case Soon

Link to today’s strip

I’m curious to know how much trouble Mitchell had to go through to get this memorabilia. If nobody remembers them anymore, then there really couldn’t have been much of a demand for the stuff. I did some quick Googling, and I think all of these are actual real Cleveland TV personalities. I’m very interested in local history and tend to be pretty nostalgic, but I do kind of wonder how old Mitchell is supposed to be, and if he’d really remember this from his own childhood. I do again wonder why Batiuk had to portray him as a schlubby paranoid jerk, since he’s apparently appreciating old timey stuff, which is absolutely something Batiuk thinks is good.

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Claim Jumpers

Oh hey, Mitchell Knox is unpleasant, who could have seen that coming. And he’s also overweight and bald, just like every other “bad collector” character Batiuk has had in this strip. I still really don’t get how or why Batiuk thinks some collectors are good and some are bad, but he clearly does.

It’s funny that Jessica just says “we were told” without any more details, and Mitchell doesn’t care at all about who told these strangers what he owns and where to find him, which is what my concern would be if I were him.

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. . . Who Was Murdered

Link To Today’s Strip

Surprise! Jessica is John’s daughter. Really, the first two strips could’ve been condensed into one single panel, where Jessica and Darin introduce themselves and Mitchell recognizes that she’s John’s daughter.

Honestly, I am a little creeped out that Mitchell immediately knows who Jessica is. I know this guy is obsessed with her dad and all, but immediately realizing who she is is a little off-putting to me.

I do kind of love Darin’s expression in the second panel. He looks like he’s either about to fall asleep or trying real hard to look cool.

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John Dar-Ring

There really isn’t a ton of actual content here to snark on. Two people arrive at their destination, ring a doorbell, and wonder if someone is home-but he is! What interests me most about this strip is that it’s yet another example of how nobody in the Batiukverse ever calls or emails anyone, they just show up at the house of a stranger they’ve been told is odd without giving any kind of advance notice. I guess it’s meant to be more interesting or dramatic, but it’s always kind of funny to me.
I am looking forward to tomorrow’s strip. “You don’t know us, but this guy you worked with decades and decades ago told us you have something we want and gave us your address . . . “

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He Also Owns Darling’s Drawers

Link To Today’s Strip

“He likes to collect things, so surely he’ll have John Darling memorabilia!” seems like a bit of a stretch to me, even by Westview logic. I would’ve liked a line about how Mitchell’s dad was a newscaster, or that Mitchell was comforted by watching the show after he quit Batom. Just something more than “he collects stuff, so he’ll have what you want”.

And that is quite the strange looking spaceship that Phil drew. If I didn’t know that’s what it was supposed to be, I really don’t think I’d ever be able to tell.

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Batom Phenom

Link to today’s strip

Oh boy, more made-up history about Batiuk’s made-up comic company. So I guess this kid was so scarred by the abuse his boss gave him when he was violating child labor laws that he quit comics and instead collected John Darling memorabilia.
Looking back, this has been an extremely exposition filled week. The closet things to jokes were Darrin cracking about why anyone would like seeing the John Darling show, and then Flash cracking abut how Phil can’t draw horses.
I do like Chester and Flash calling someone else odd, especially given what’s going on with Chester’s head in the third panel.

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Fort Knox

Link to Todays’ Strip

I spent way too long a few months ago reading about the McDonald’s ad character Mac Tonight a few months back. I bring this up because Flash in the first panel sure looks like him.
I feel like anyone who would collect John Darling memorabilia (were there McDonald’s toys? or trading cards?) is the kind of person I’d want to avoid, but I’m not a FW character.

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