Author Archives: TFHackett

The Les You No

Today being 4/20 and all, I found it perfectly appropriate that Mason’s contact photo on Les’ phone should be a picture of some cannabis. But the “trees” we’re looking at in today’s strip are the kind that “don’t provide any shade,” not the kind you smoke. So, the Lisa’s movie is already in the pitch meeting stage, is it? Normally, this would mean that the screenplay’s been completed. Otherwise, they have nothing to “pitch.” Of course, normally, location scouting for a major motion picture takes place after the script is done, and by someone (or a team of people) whose job it is to scout locations; not by the leading man/exectutive producer taking pictures with his cellphone.

Les, perhaps still smarting over his students’ shabby treatment of Batton Thomas, shows little enthusiasm over going to Hollywood to pitch the movie. This sends the normally mellow Mason into a tizzy, demanding that Les join him immediately, his teaching job be damned. Mason is hellbent on involving Les in every single aspect of this movie project, but one questions the wisdom of dragging him along to the pitch meetings. Is no one in Hollywood going to be aware that Lisa’s Story already had been optioned and gone into production nearly six (!) years ago? And that, after insisting that he write the screenplay, Les arrived in Hollywood, splitting his time between complaining, daydreaming, and wishing for death , before walking away from and sabotaging the project?

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Binge and Bungle

It must have been a combination of the dramatic lighting plus Holly’s come-hither look: “How about ‘ Mozart in the Jungle‘” sounded to me like some code word for sexytime! I didn’t know it was a series on Amazon. One that I guess TB enjoys watching, perhaps at home in the evening with the missus. Which I suppose is how he was inspired to come up with today’s strip. After a three week story arc set in Atomik Komix Cloud Cuckoo Land, Batty’s finally back to writing what he knows. And here at SoSF, we binge-read and write about Funky Winkerbean, and your guide for the next fortnight will be comicbookharriet!

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Chester M’Boy

hitorque
February 21, 2020 at 2:13 pm
…I FINALLY FIGURED IT OUT!! Chester the Molester is supposed to be Bruce Wayne, but instead of fighting crime through an alter ego, his mission is to right all of the wrongs of the comics industry while saving the entire genre for posterity singlehanded…

Well that would make at least as much sense as whatever has gone on around here this week! Bought off his conscience? Chester’s really not guilty of anything, aside from being a rich nerd. Unless the guilt he feels is over having built his entire fortune on all those comics he stole from the drugstore as a kid. In which case it’s going to take more than selling off one rare comic–which he owns in triplicate–to truly fix his karma.

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Pant the Load Right On Me

I right away had to look up “pantload;” not as a prerequisite for moving it to the Batiuktionary, but because I understood it to be a pejorative. It’s what you might call someone who’s clueless and unpleasant: “Chester’s a real pantload.” Indeed, over at urbandictionary you can find some pretty colorful definitions. More um, sophisticated reference sources, however, support Ruby’s usage: a nicer way to say a “metric shit ton” of a given thing.

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Bye Bye Miss American Buy

Sensing that Ruby isn’t going to be an easy lay after all, Chester resorts to a combination of flattery and bribery. Ruby’s mistrust of the Chiseler is on display again. For him to attempt to ravish her or shake her down for money would be more plausible than him (awkwardly) handing over the Miss American cover art for which he’d paid big bucks.

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Give It Away, Give It Away, Give It Away Now

Maybe Chester recently learned he’s only got a few weeks to live? Why else would the one they called “the Chiseler suddenly acting so generous? If we’re talking about this particular cover, by “rights” it belongs to neither of them: Ruby admitted to having smuggled it out of her old place of work. I guess posession is nine tenths of the law.

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Stranded in a Limousine

“First time in a limo, Ruby?” “In a limo this small.” How squicky is today’s strip? Only when Chester’s tiny Town Car pulls up to the gates of his mansion does Ruby realize that they’ve taken a detour. Rather than just explain his “reason for stopping here first” (preferably before they get there), Chester turns even more creepy than usual, sitting thisclose to Ruby in what is supposed to be a big car. The sight of his O.J.-like black gloves do nothing to put her at ease.

spacemanspiff85
February 17, 2020 at 12:59 am
I really wonder if Batiuk overheard something about Me Too in the news about a year ago and thought “Inappropriate workplace advances? I bet I can get a week’s worth of strips out of that!” and thus this strip was born.

There are tons of ways that TB could have wrought a chuckle out of this setup without invoking #MeToo. But he goes there, naturally, and in the most hamfisted way imaginable: as if  the #MeToo movement had a switchboard with operators standing by to take your call.

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Rhino in Name Only

Banana Jr. 6000
February 14, 2020 at 6:09 am
Oh, God, there’s going to be a third week of this, isn’t there?

No one, @Banana Jr. 6000, is more appalled than is yours truly. All but the first two days of this month have been taken up with this lame-ass Atomik Komix fantasy.

So everyone here read Chester’s question as “Have you ever tried RHINO?”, right? And then tried to parse this as an acronym for Riding Home With The Owner? RHWO (or RHWTO to be precise). Does he spell out the acronym, or is he asking “Have you ever tried ‘Arrhuwoh‘?” This is another Batty staple: having a character utter a pun or wisecrack that only makes sense in writing.

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Forward Into The Past

Well, this is one crowded cover: the Atomik Komix Krossover that nobody asked for. We see our heroines and a dog fleeing on a motorized trike from a giant mechanized Nazi. The art’s not bad, but the muddy, muted colors and the Photoshop lighting effects don’t exactly make it pop.Like the first Miss American cover we saw back in September, this is not the work of a female artist; it’s by Thom Zahler, another Ohioan (maybe Ohio is a “thriving hotbed of Golden Age comic book activity” after all).

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Bald Legal

Who is this guy and why is he wearing Pete’s green shirt?

I don’t know why Chester is in such a hurry to get “the lawyers downstairs ” involved. Ruby’s going to draw Miss American and get paid by Chester for doing so; why must she own the rights as well? Will Chester then have to pay Ruby for the rights to publish her work? Readers of the FW blog know very well how Batiuk relies on his legal team, so maybe in that context, this makes sense.

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