Six days of Ruby telling of her struggle as a woman in the male-dominated golden/silver age of comics. Then Mindy shares some hurtful online comments that she’s received, and even Ruby, who’s seen it all, is taken aback. The plot is just starting to move into “contemporary issues affecting young adults in a thought-provoking and sensitive manner” territory. But hey, it’s the Sunday following a Mindy and Ruby week, which means we get a Wayback Wendy Sideways Sunday Comic Cover.
Author Archives: TFHackett
It’s Memorial Day, and I’m gonna invoke my privilege here and just throw out today’s link for you all to pick apart. Thanks for reading and have a safe and enjoyable Saturday.
May 26, 2021 at 11:11 pm
You know, just spitballin’ here, but this arc kind of makes Ruby the worst person…
This really has been just a whole week of crap, hasn’t it? Start with the recurrent premise: Ruby regales Mindy with her story of life as The Only Woman Who Ever Worked In Comics (h/t batgirl‘s comment from yesterthread).
In fairness to Ruby, “woke culture” are two words that are hard to say together without making air quotes. She’s demonstrated herself to be pretty game when it comes to watching stag films with the guys every week, but Ruby does have boundaries: cross them and you’ll be physically assaulted. She’ll then channel that rage into her portrayal of Miss American socking…Hitler?!? He’s been dead 76 years! Even if Ruby went into the comics industry straight out of high school, she’d have to be midway thru her nineties by now. Tune in next week when Ruby recollects her “King of the World” moment with Cliff Anger on the bow of that tramp steamer.
May 26, 2021 at 10:50 am
Does anyone else think it’s weird that TomBa thinks adult male bonding behavior includes WEEKLY GROUP viewing of porn?…I can imagine guys getting together for drinks at the end of work…but I find it hard to believe that this would happen outside of some member of the group’s office bachelor party.
May 26, 2021 at 12:00 pm
I don’t get it either…. Teenagers and maybe college students is understandable, but grown-ass men in their 30s and older watching erotica all huddled together in a dark office seems creepy as hell…
May 26, 2021 at 9:08 am
The joke’s on her. This week’s feature is “Bambi”.
We can breathe easier knowing that getting together with coworkers to watch porn in the office after work probably isn’t something that happened even in the pre- “Women’s Lib” real world. It was merely a premise to set up Ruby’s little joke on the guys. Ruby’s smug smirk bugs me, but I do like Pipe Smoking Guy. Kind of reminds me of a Thurber drawing.
“Film historians describe stag films as a primitive form of cinema because they were produced by anonymous and amateur male artists who generally failed in achieving narrative coherence and continuity.”
Wikipedia entry on Stag films
Tom Batiuk’s neither anonymous nor an amateur, but narrative coherence and continuity aren’t his strong suits either. Mandy’s persistent questioning of Ruby in itself is starting to border on harassment. Yesterday I was able to dismiss her editor’s “not bad for a girl” remark as harmless. Ruby’s male coworkers inviting her to watch porn after work, well yeah, that’s all kinds of wrong and just, well, ick. Note however that Ruby admits she “didn’t think of it as harassment then.” I’m pretty sure it was, despite what Ruby thinks, but she was able to turn the ridicule back on her would-be tormentors, just like she did that time with Boob, I mean, Bob. Ruby’s had to deal with income inequality, which sucks, but she’s clearly someone who can handle herself, giving as good as she gets. So what’s the point of this arc?
May 24, 2021 at 11:48 am
There are few things in the world I’m less interested in than Tom Batiuk writing about the plight of women in the comics industry sixty or more years ago.
As a member of our very own “bullpen” here at SoSF, spacemanspiff85 knows not just the pain of reading Funky. Winkerbean. Every. Damn. Day. Periodically, Spiff is called upon to write something interesting about it to share with the rest of us. For two weeks, after which another SoSF guide host/guest author takes over. We limit our authors to two-week stints for the sake of their psychological well-being. Were that not the rule, I’d turn the helm back over to Comic Book Harriet, whose bailiwick these “Women in Comics” arcs have become. SoSF trauma protocol dictates that CBH must rest on the sidelines (while killing it as always in the comments), and it falls to me to get us through this arc.
As a male, I must tread lightly, but here goes: editor “Stogie” Butz’ “pretty good for a girl” remark barely qualifies as a microagression, given the times. Whatever midcentury decade Batiuk’s trying to recreate here (and it could be anywhere from the 1940’s through 60’s), calling a woman “girl” in the workplace wouldn’t be automatically out of line. He’s just busting her…chops, as would any cigar chomping, no-neck cranky boss.
Sorry to disappoint those of you betting on Sunday’s strip being a random one-off. You’d think a Gen X’er who lucked into the comics business with zero experience, working alongside a Silver Age legend, would be keen on learning from them things like technique. But all Mindy wants to talk about are the “good” old days.
The week began with Funky’s kitchen still in complete disarray, and continued with Funky moaning about how long the work was taking. Today we see that the job is suddenly, finally finished. The workers’ tools, and that lawn chair, are going back on the truck. We can’t see the name on the truck, but it doesn’t say “EZ Remodel,” the contractor who came out to quote the job back in February. Narrative sloppiness or plausible circumstance? Anyway, I like that even though we can’t see the entire phone number on the truck, Batiuk prefixed it with the good old “555” fictitious area code.
Naturally, the reason Batiuk has the contractor in panel 1 speaking about Holly as if she’s not standing right in front of him is to provide the hook for another puzzling punchline. “Wifetime guarantee” is a cute enough turn of phrase, but in this context what could it mean? The contractor is basically saying if they want to have additional work done, he’ll gladly take the job. How is that a “guarantee”? I’m pretty sure they’re not doing the job for free. Yet Holly in panel 3 is walleyed with glee, while Funky’s mug reverts to that hapless “oh, shit” expression he’s been sporting all week.
If Funky’s been fortunate at all, it’s when it comes to servicing his business needs for cheap or even free. He got the multitalented Darin to singlehandedly develop a bespoke Montoni’s app. Adeela provides architectural services for a server’s wages (minus tips!), and who needs a sign painter when you’ve got Wally? When finally he is forced to pay an actual professional, the job turns out to be a prolonged nightmare.
What Funky really needs to hire (or take unpaid advantage of) is a hospitality designer, an interior decorator for restaurants. Just look at the tablecloth in today’s strip. That acid green, buffalo plaid tablecloth that looks like it’s made out of the traveling green shirt. That green does not tie in with the green stripes on the Italian tricolor awning, nor with that grimy, red velour cafe curtain in the window. Behind which sits those late 80’s “dusty rose” colored walls. On second thought: instead of that hospitality designer, I’d think I’d like to see chef Michael Irvine give the pizzeria the Restaurant Impossible treatment.