December 1, 2019 at 11:34 pm
The sad thing about this is how [Batiuk] seems to think a story about a comic book artist who’s always behind schedule is an interesting and relatable premise.
We get it. “Turtle Thompson” was a real pain in the ass to work with. Luckily for him, he was surrounded by enablers who let him get away with being lazy and unreliable. Maybe his artwork (which we’ll never see, unless tomorrow’s strip is a sideways Sunday comics cover) was so good, he was worth the aggravation. Maybe capable comics illustrators were hard to come by in those days (doubtful). At any rate, years later they are reminiscing fondly about ol’ Turtle. He, and Flash and Phil Holt and all those comics legends created entire worlds, and their work was consumed by legions of devoted fans. Though Darin and Pete imagine themselves to be in their same league, their work will never have that kind of impact. It’s no wonder that Darin’s quip, referencing a supervillian who exists nowhere outside of his and Pete’s imaginations, falls a little flat:
December 3, 2019 at 12:55 am
…[I]f he ever wanted to vacation at Easter Island, the locals would probably worship (Flash Freeman) as a god.
Lest we forget which “Turtle Thompson” we are speaking of: it’s “The artist.” Props to commenter Scott J Lovrine, who yesterday cited Silver Age comics inker Frank Giacoia as a likely inspiration for “Turtle Thompson.” A number of readers have suggested that this arc might be a dig at the mysteriously departed Rick Burchett; I’ll give Batty a little credit here and say that he wouldn’t throw a former partner under the bus like this. We don’t know how about Burchett’s ability to meet deadlines, but his work on Funky was just terrible, and I for one was happy to see him go. But his replacement, the formerly reliable Chuck Ayers, has rendered a grotesquely misshapen head on ol’ Flash here, making him look in rear view like a Q-Tip with ears.
Batiuk doesn’t bother to remind readers who this character is whom we haven’t seen since April…but he does have Pete exposit the setup he delivered just yesterday. These two nerds have got a lot of nerve, smirking about somebody else’s work ethic. Pete’s procrastination, particularly when under deadline, has been extensively documented, while Darin, when he’s not hanging around the post office, dreams at his desk of pirating drawing pens from cargo ships.
Casual readers won’t recognize the skinny old geezer looming over Darin, but we all know that it’s Flash Freeman. He’s kind of the Harry Dinkle of the comics industry: though he’s long since retired, he still likes to randomly “drop by” and interfere with people who are trying to do actual work. Of course, Darin and Pete need no excuse to goof off, and they literally worship the comics legend. Pete especially, whose grin stretches all the way to the bags under his eyes in panel 1.
Today’s strip wasn’t available for preview.
For once, I can at least give you all a preview of today’s strip, gleaned from the “Pipeline” of Batiuk’s blog. Just picture this illustration colored in…hell, color it in yourself, it might land you a new career! Picture the “Funky Winkerbean” header at the top, with Ruby’s or Mindy’s smug, disembodied head alongside the logo. Superimpose “Wayback Wendy” in huge, distorted digital type, across the top of the cover, and don’t forget the Atomik Komix “fallout shelter” in the upper left. At the bottom, throw in a single, round panel showing Mindy and Ruby congratulating each other on the success of their brilliant joint production. Lastly, give a “tip of the Funky Felt Tip” to the artist (not a woman) who contributed the artwork.
Update: Yeah, so I was wrong…rather than a sideway Sunday comix cover, only a portion of the artwork above is used. Unless Batiuk “disappears” Ruby, now that she’s served her purpose, maybe down the road it’ll get the full Atomik Komix treatment. –TFH
September 6, 2019 at 8:55 am
Yes, there has been a noticeable U-turn in the Funkyverse of late. Previously people’s efforts seemed mostly to end up in failure and disappointment. Now characters seem to succeed without much effort, experience, or training.
(A “perfect” summary of This Week in Funky Winkerbean:)
An so, in that way that things have of just working themselves out in the Funkiverse, Ruby Lith returns to comics (or are comics returning to her?), and Mindy adds de facto writer to her resume, right below de facto colorist.
And now there’s no bathroom in the Atomik office? But Jessica recently complained that the bathroom there were never clean. Rather than call out TB for another lapse, let’s suppose that there is a bathroom in the office; Pete just doesn’t want to have to share it with this old crone.