Gosh, I wonder who Darth Vader will turn out to be.
I like how worked up he’s getting, like Flash is taking credit for his work (assuming it’s Phil Holt, but come on), but he literally just talked about how great he was to work with. Which, considering he’s making an ass of himself because Flash can’t remember the street a coffee shop was on decades ago, it’s kind of hard to believe he really was great to work with.
That mask makes me wonder something. Darth Vader is copyrighted. So is the Flash, but that didn’t stop Batiuk from just tracing Flash scenes to use in the Flash museum “arc”. How does he not get in legal trouble for things like that? I know fair use is a thing, but copying someone else’s work in a comic strip that you do for profit without any kind of acknowledgement doesn’t seem to qualify. I guess maybe it’s just that nobody notices or cares?
Tag Archives: Amazing Mr. Sponge
Gosh, I wonder who Darth Vader will turn out to be.
Comic Book Harriet here again! Can’t believe I’m up again already. It seems like yesterday I was struggling to find a band turkey joke that wasn’t as overdone as the ones in the strip. But Tom rolls on like an ever flowing stream of consciousness, bringing me back again, panning through his muck for fool’s gold.
I want to give special commendation to SpaceManSpiff 85. He was given a relentlessly dim and myopic arc, and managed to fill the week with a overwhelming flow of cataract puns. Sir, you have my admiration. And my sympathy. Because it seems I’m going to be just as burdened this week with shortsighted visual humor.
I asked earlier this arc if Funky has always been a hapless character that only exists to be neurotic and spout lame puns. My interactions with Act I Funky come through flashback photo-cornered panels, car accident coma dreams, and the offerings of our resident Batiukian researchers. Longtime Stuckfunkians Rusty Shackleford and Banana Jr 6000 were kind enough to reply, and both used the term ‘burnout’ to describe Act I Funky, which kind of surprised me. I can’t see the preachy Batiuk, with more cheap soapboxes than a Palmolive warehouse, insinuating his main character was dating Mary Jane Wackytabaccy on the weekends, and playing it for harmless laughs. Crazy Harry? Sure. But the eponymous protagonist?
I can see it now. Panel two has Act I Funky, in all his mellow glory, blissed out on his tiny bed, with every comfort a baked adolescent needs within arm’s reach: lamp, pizza, soda, music, The Amazing Mister Sponge. Curled up in a tiny cluttered nest of his own hedonism. He even has his SHOES on the bed, that’s how much he DNGAF.
Stark contrast to Act III Funky in panels 1 and 3, sitting on a huge, empty bed, in a mostly empty room. Only a featureless smartphone and a rapidly expanding mattress his plebian pleasures. His specific interests have been pulled out, leaving us with a boring box containing a boring man with a face slowly drooping like a blobfish.
I wish Funky could have gotten glaucoma instead. We could have had burnout Funky back.
Apologies first off–I don’t know how Fearless Leader embeds these sideways things into normalcy, so you’ll have to suffer with strained necks for the nonce. Unless I reach beyond myself, and give it a try–
–hey, that worked! I think!
And check out that cast. Isaac The Robot (defaming Dr. Asimov’s memory), Moon Mile Meek (or whatever that bowel movement was named), the Space Cadets, the Black Ghost, the Amazing Mister Sp0nge and the (*Cough* undead) Absorbing Junior, and the latest ass-pull, the Blue Astra. I’d love to see a follow-up strip showing what gifts they brought (“a gift certificate for $10 at Best Buy? Who the hell–“) but follow-ups are definitely not this strip’s strong suit.
–Case in point. So, the Starbuck Jones movie world premier has come and gone, and we are no wiser as to how it fell on the world. Was it a hit? Did people enjoy it? Were the fanboys irate over how it changed canon? Did it rescue the Valentine Theater from foreclosure, and did it spring the careers of Mason, Marianne, Cindy, Cliff, Vera, Pete and Dullard into the stratosphere? Did it circle the drain on the way through the toilet? Is Cable Movie Entertainment now on the level of Marvel Studios, or are they instead competing with The Asylum for most horrible crap ever?
My theory on this is actually quite simple, and obvious once you hear it. The success or failure of the Starbuck Jones movie was something that–had nothing to do with Les Moore.
Think on that for a moment. Has this strip ever featured a creative, successful idea that didn’t involve Les Moore? I certainly can’t think of any. For the most part, it’s been “I need help, oh thank you for helping, [blink] oh it’s the next day and everything worked.” (I’m thinking of Pete Movement and his battles with the…sigh…Lord of the Late.)
The message of the strip has been pretty constant in Act III–Les Moore is the only person who can be allowed a creative success in the world. Everyone else succeeds only because they betrayed their ideals and settled for hackery. No one else has lost a wife…no one else wrote a best-selling book detailing how he suffered when losing his wife…no one else wrote about how he just damn kept on, after losing his wife…and found a woman willing to be doormat. That last bit is a little troubling, but, you know…Les Moore was once married to a woman, who…died.
It makes me fear what comes next week.
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.
SosfDavidO here, and I had to throw in a classic MST3K reference for today’s strip, which makes me want to hate alter-Pete and alter-Darrin even more. Really? You want a little kid to fail? Is that what we’re supposed to take away from that smirk? Is that a smirk or are they laughing about the situation and it’s a genuine smile? Who knows!
SosfDavidO here, taking the penny tour of Batcom, Inc, along with the Little Knox Kid as he goes through orientation. Whaddya know, in today’s strip, our comic nerds are once again complaining about things like deadlines and story arc changes and edits made by the.. what’s he called again? Oh yeah, the EDITOR.
SosfDavidO here again, plodding through the week because the noose I tied to my shower head slipped off, forcing me to continue with this awful arc.
Ok, at least there’s dialog in today’s strip— something I can work with. It’s not like we’re watching Funky’s fat bulk heft up a hill for a week.
It looks like alternative-verse Pete and Darrin have been tasked with creating a super pet, which was all the rage in the 40s. Spongedog seems as useless and impractical of a super pet as one could get, though. Not to ask the obvious, but what if it rains!?
SonofSFDavidO here and… aw, shit, this again!? Today’s strip kicks off yet another Batom Comic’s storied history/imagined timeline/dunno what I’m the hell I’m even looking at arc.
Aside from realizing we’re in for the literary equivalent of a week-long root canal, I’m scratching my head over what Pete’s goddamn complaint is. They’re putting “more things” into the new movie? Boo hoo! Unless it’s going to be an Andy Warholesque film that shows StarBucks Jones sleeping for 8 straight hours then yeah, scripts change. I know this complaint is just to shoehorn in a sepia mess but still, complaining about doing the job you’re getting paid for is pretty lame, Mr. Hollywood.
Ha ha ha, the first line Darin’s had all week and Pete immediately steps on it!
I continue to be amazed that anyone, anyone at all, could find a sponge-based superhero to be interesting. When I was back in the ninth grade and was drawing superhero comics on notepaper, I would never have considered such an idea, much less dealt with it for more than a few seconds. (“What a stupid idea. Must be too much eraser dust in the air, confounding my brain.”) Perhaps I’d use it as a comedy character who was immediately defeated in some humorous way, but anything ongoing? NO.
And remember–I’m talking about the ninth grade.
I don’t know what to make of Tom Batiuk’s fantasy publishing world. In a way, it’s quite impressive in its scope and detail, but it makes me wonder why he doesn’t apply some of that creativity over here, in the strip that puts bread on the table. Wouldn’t that be something? Imagine reading posts on this site telling how much we liked the episode of the day. As it is, Funky Winkerbean comes across as an afterthought–as Gerald and others have pointed out, no one who only reads the strip would have any of the Batom Books details provided in the blog posts, which robs these flashback strips of rather most of their impact. Not that it would really make much to people not obsessed with silver age DC comics, but still, some context is always nice.
Without any of that, reading about some guy’s fantasy comic-book publishing world is like listening to a really boring person at a party. You suddenly realize you’ve heard nothing he’s said for at least five minutes, and you start to worry he’ll ask you a question and you won’t have any idea how to respond. And your drink is almost full–can’t use “Going to get a refill!” as an excuse. Maybe plead for a bathroom break? Give it a shot. You can hide in the den…and read old comic books.
Heh heh heh.
Today’s “contemporary issue affecting young adults”? The high rate of turnover among comic book artists. I wonder if the artist is “leaving the book” because he’s sick of having to work with the deadline-averse Pete Robertini? In any event, it seems that Batiuk just realized that Crazy Harry, though he may look like it now, was not born in the 1940’s, and has updated young Harold’s appearance (compare with this strip from 2010).