I’ve had so much fun doing this. It’s like being a little comic book company…I’m going back and I’m going to dip into some of the other characters I created in the fifth grade…I’m going to resurrect them and put them to good use in the strip. I’ll tell you about one. I have a character, The Amazing Mister Sponge…
Tom Batiuk, 2014
A superhero with a name like “The Amazing Mister Sponge” gives us a good idea why the “big” comic book companies gave the air to young Thomas Martin Batiuk. I do like the name “Killjoy” for a villainous evil clown; but I wouldn’t need “porifera vision” to discern a frowning clown with a gangsta teardrop tattoo, toting a huge rifle, to be a criminal.
Speaking of superheroes, the only person I’ve ever heard use “chum” as a form of address is Adam West’s Batman, may he rest in peace. The superhero theme allows Rick Burchett to work a little more in his element in the first two panels. But he’s taken some liberties with the bricks in panel 3–they’re not consistent at all–and he’s drawn Bernie to resemble a bespectacled 8-year-old.
So much for my two-week turn in the barrel! Tune in tomorrow when beckoningchasm takes over for a spell.
Saturday’s comic was not available for preview.
Sucks about Bill, but I doubt his absence should have much effect on the Bedside Manorisms’ sound. In a rare instance of continuity, the BMs’ current lineup is the same one they had when we met them two years ago: “Gimme Oxygen” Carl on trumpet; “Cataract Walt” on clarinet; Iris, whom I am taking to be the drummer because for some reason I imagine a drummer’d be more likely than our unnamed violinist to smoke “medical” weed, who remains; and of course ol’ Mort “My Alzheimer’s is But a Distant Memory” Winkerbean on the trombone.
If Carl’s breathing apparatus in yesterday’s strip was some kind of sympathy ploy, it didn’t seem to help him sell any candy. Today Carl’s traded his nasal cannula for his horn, and is looking a little more chipper and a little less prone to drop dead at any second. Not only does that bastard Dinkle force them to peddle “Raisin’ the” bars to finance their CD, the Manorisms rehearsals have been known to last well past the typical nursing home bedtime. I don’t think medical marijuana is strictly legal yet in Ohio; in any case I think Iris and the boys would need something a little stronger to put up with Dinkle.
If yesterday’s strip depicting Mort and his walker (hey! Mort Walker!) going door to door to sell candy yesterday was not heartbreaking enough, here’s poor Carl pushing around his oxygen tank. Anyone opening their door to this sight would be overcome pity, but this Westview resident is fed up after years of Dinkle’s interminable fundraisers and decides she’s gonna take it out on Carl. “Whopperjawed” sounded to me like some kind of Willy Wonka reference (think “everlasting gobstopper“), but according to Google it’s a word meaning “crooked or askew”. Between the nonsensical punchline and the cruelty of sending nursing home residents out to hawk candy, this is FW at its unfunniest.
Members of any band under the baton of “Noble” laureate Harry Dinkle are compelled to support the enterprise by going door to door peddling turkeys, books, and that sweet, sweet Belgian chocolate. Even a member who uses a walker and who several years ago couldn’t recognize his own son.
You were hoping that we’d dispensed with Dinkle at least until band camp, but today we find him fronting “The Bedside Manorisms”. Either Dinkle’s done a hell of a job whipping this band into shape, or he truly has gone deaf after all; in any case he feel’s they’re ready to head into the studio. Harry, the internationally renowned fundraiser, seeks to generate merch to sell at their shows, while Walt and the lady violin player we thought was Harriet reject such crass commercialism and embrace the DIY ethic.