Tag Archives: adult themes

Your Cheatin’ Heart

Link to today’s strip

No, sorry Baby Ruthie and Tommy Batiuk. Sad, yes, but not ‘true.’ And having a character say, “Sad, but true.” to add truthiness to this dubious story of sexism in early comics is worse than disingenuous. You are willfully furthering a narrative that seems plausible without any real facts behind it because you like the message. You’re Mason Locke Weems, making up the story of George Washington and the cherry tree, and sticking it in a biography.

That last panel is really a hoot though. Batiuk’s bumbling dialogue makes it sound like Ruth’s hubby was really into polyamory, with three wives and two mistresses simultaneously. Hey, Ruthie, you know who else had two wives and two mistresses? Jacob the patriarch! Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

Mindy meanwhile looks like she’s about to bolt. She’s leaning waaaay away from Ruth now, like bitterness is a disease and she’s afraid to catch it.

The ‘truthiness’ of Ruth’s statement in panel two is partially contingent on when she started working. During WWII there was an uptick on women working comic books to make up for the men who were at war. So that might have been when the editor was ‘in a pinch.’

The unrealistic statement is that Ruth would be expected to stop working when she got married. All the women I looked at didn’t stop working when they got married, some started working married, but many stopped working when they had kids. Women like Dorothy Woolfolk and Ramona Fradon returned to comics once their kids were older. Other women found different careers in illustration, like children’s books, magazines. You know, Batiuk, not every comic creator is a massively passionate fan of the genre, some just did it for the money for a while and then moved on.

Ramona Fradon did love working on comics though, and went back to it when her daughter was in school. I found a great interview with her from the 2016 issue of the Comic Book Creator Magazine. This might be a long quote, but I think it speaks volumes about what it was actually like being a married mother in comics.

CBC: So “Aquaman” was just boring?
Ramona: Well, yes. I hate to say it.
CBC: Did you hate it so much that you used raising a daughter as an excuse to quit or you really had to?
Ramona: Well, she was two then, hanging on my knee, and I’d be trying to meet deadlines. It was ridiculous. I couldn’t continue to do that.
CBC: Did you have to stay up late often? What did you do?
Ramona: I would, of course, wait ’til the deadline was looming. What did
I do? I went crazy. And the poor little thing. We used to drop pencils and
crayons—Dana [her husband], too—on the floor and she’d be down there coloring, you
know? [laughs]
CBC: That’s what mommy’s doing, right?
Ramona: She has told me she liked that! But it wasn’t fair to her. I
couldn’t keep doing it. If I had been faster it would have been one thing, but
I wasn’t.
CBC: Did you really need the money?
Ramona: No, but my mother used to say, “Don’t do what I did.” She gave
up her work. She wanted to be an artist, too. So I had it stuck in my mind
that because we got left high and dry I figured somehow I had to keep
working no matter what, even though I wasn’t making any real money. But it
was something, you know.
CBC: So did your husband have a studio in the house?
Ramona: Yes.
CBC: So you were both there during weekdays? Did you interact with
each other at all?

Ramona: Oh, sure. We weren’t in the same space—I had a little studio
and he was up in the attic studio—but, yes, we were both there and we’d
eat lunch together and we’d work around the place.
CBC: Were you friends?
Ramona: Yes, we were.
CBC: It’s probably about a year, year-and-a-half that you just worked
raising Amy, right?

Ramona: No, it was seven years! I waited ’til she was in school. I hadn’t
planned to go back, but I was getting a little restless just being a housewife.
And then one day Roy Thomas called me and asked me if I wanted to do a
story.
CBC: So the Metamorpho thing was just an anomaly?
Ramona: Yes. I just did that to help George out, to get it started.
CBC: Right. So then you went back to child-rearing. Were you just planning, “That was the last thing I will do in comics”? Was that the thought?
Ramona: I didn’t have any plan. I never do.
CBC: Just day by day?
Ramona: [Laughs] So this wave came along and I got on it when Roy
called me.

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Like A Ring-Tailed Lemur On A Swedish Meatball

Link To Today’s Thing

OK, now this mess is reading like a really shitty G-rated “Married With Children” knock-off type thing, the only thing missing is canned laughter and audience hooting. After a week of zany gags about children’s behinds, hot sex, Skyler’s aberrant attention-seeking behavior and potty jokes, it’s time for some sitcom-style gender role reversal. Boy Lisa expresses his feelings and his desire to “just talk” to his BFF Pete while the gals get together to exchange crude sexually suggestive similes involving primates and food. See, it’s funny because MEN are typically the over-sexed slobs and…ah, you know. At least Jessica finally got to bond with someone, although unfortunately for little baby Skyler it wasn’t him.

Check out that last word balloon and note the big empty space between “a” and “monkey”. My “inside sources” tell me it was edited. The original dialog was “…on me like Les Moore turning a tragedy into a masterpiece…”Lisa’s Trilogy”, available wherever books are sold!” but Comics Kingdom thought it was a little too blatant, so they went with his second choice, “monkey on a cupcake” instead. “Funky on a cupcake” would have been funnier.

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Lust And Fond

Link To Today’s Strip

Good Lord. There are few things as repugnant as a FW-style sexual interlude, what with the grotesque foreplay banter and all. We still don’t know why Jessica was in California for all that time in the first place but at least we can rest easy knowing that Boy Lisa and Jessica are, at least temporarily, sexually satiated. I wonder if they exchange wry banter throughout the entire act?

“Oh God I’m coming!”

“Good! As long as you aren’t going again! (smirk)”

Shudder. I mean who is this garbage really for? There can’t possibly be any actual Boy Lisa and Jessica fans out there, can there? The way he chooses certain characters to focus on while completely ignoring other ones just fascinates me, as there’s no rhyme, reason or pattern to it at all. For years after he first came back Boy Lisa couldn’t get more than a day or two to himself but suddenly he’s in the spotlight all the time now and, weirdly enough, it isn’t even Lisa-related anymore. His job, his wife, his son, his mothers…it’s Boy Lisa overload.

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