Tag Archives: Atomik Komix

There’s No Deprecation Like Self-Deprecation Like No Deprecation I Know

Link To This Thing

That’s right, I’m back for an incredibly rare and extremely courageous third week. I don’t give a damn about what those fancy doctors say, with their “degrees” and their “worrisome test results”, I’m doing it, dammit. Never you mind “why”. If I want to throw myself on a grenade arc for the sake of the SoSF staff, then that’s what I’ll do.

As always, the regret re: doing a third week began immediately upon seeing the Monday strip. More Boy Lisa AND Batton f*cking Thomas…sigh. Maybe if Batton spent a little less time softly making wry, self-deprecating remarks about how mediocre and obscure he is and a little more time working, someone might actually read his stupid strip. He’s one of the dreariest, least-likeable characters in the entire strip, minus maybe Linda, I guess. Why is he even there? He STILL works out every day in the Atomik Komix studio? What, Phil, Flash, Ruby and Pete aren’t already wry and self-deprecating enough for one office?

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Fort Knox

Link to Todays’ Strip

I spent way too long a few months ago reading about the McDonald’s ad character Mac Tonight a few months back. I bring this up because Flash in the first panel sure looks like him.
I feel like anyone who would collect John Darling memorabilia (were there McDonald’s toys? or trading cards?) is the kind of person I’d want to avoid, but I’m not a FW character.

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S.S. Skyler

Link to today’s strip

An artist can’t really draw horses that don’t look like donkeys. That’s today’s joke, and that’s just about all there is to today’s strip, apart from the fact that Skyler is already going bald. That seems to happen super early to just about everyone in this strip, but even by that standard Skyler seems pretty young.

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Su-Su-Studio

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Well, now Phil’s just being a jerk. We saw last year that his studio is in a home near some palm trees, somewhere drivable from San Diego Comic-Con. Is that going to be Thursday’s joke? Does Kitch have to get into the car before she learns it’s a cross-country road trip? What does any of this have to do with Kitch’s initial goal of returning to the source of Dibbs Gallery’s Roy Lichtenstein prints? That was only two days ago.

Today’s strip reminds me of the infamous “Me Too on speed dial” strip, where Chester Hagglemore made Ruby Lith get into his car and go to his home for undisclosed reasons. (Spoiler: it was about comic books.) Now Kitch, a woman, has initiated a car trip to a man’s house. (Spoiler: it’ll be about comic books.)

It could have been interesting to re-create that situation, with the genders reversed, as an exploration of sexual double standards. But Funky Winkerbean isn’t nearly that ambitious. For which I am thankful, considering how badly it botched a simple “Me Too” reference. But they could have done this:

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Together Again For The First Time At Last

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And there’s Atomik Komix’ lead art forger Darin, looking like a cat who’s just heard someone open a tin of Fancy Feast. But Phil Holt’s reaction is much more interesting.

“Slumming again?” Phil, you only joined Atomik Komix ten months ago. How often does this woman visit that you can say that? It can’t be that many times, because she buys comic book art, and Tom Batiuk didn’t obsessively catalog every step of the transaction process. The contract signing alone would take a week.

Kitch’s playful response suggests that she knows Phil, too. But how? From 2017 to 2020, Phil was pretending to be dead. Before that, he was doing caricatures for kiddie birthday parties. He was also shown to have a home somewhere that clearly wasn’t Ohio. Flash Freeman, Phil Holt’s closest companion as far as we know, hadn’t seen him since he stomped off with The Subterranean in the 1950s, and spoke of Phil rather negatively

But Kitch seems to know how toothless Phil’s “grumpy” act really is. And she’s right. There are at least five old people in the Funkyverse who are much worse than Phil. Harry Dinkle, Ed Crankshaft, Lillian McKenzie, Mort Winkerbean, Melinda Budd.

To make another movie comparison: this is the “you two know each other” scene. A new character enters the movie; an existing character greets them in overly familiar way; and someone says “you two know each other?” One of them says “yes, we were in the Army together,“ and exposition is achieved. This interaction appears to be setting that up. But it probably isn’t.

Tom Batiuk is just filling the word balloons with whatever meaningless drivel he thinks will let him get on to the comic books, which is the only thing he wants to talk about. But he’s inadvertently implying that Kitch and Phil have a history, and that this is going to be relevant to the story. 98% of the time in Funky Winkerbean, it’s not.

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Art Sellers

Link to today’s strip

Hello! This is the commenter known as Banana Jr. 6000. I take my handle from the wise-cracking but philosophical desktop computer from Bloom County. Having recently completed the monumental task of finding Spaceman Spiff among the cosmos, I will now take on an even greater challenge: helping to make Funky Winkerbean fun and interesting to read every day.

I’m delighted to join such a strong team, where everyone brings their own areas of expertise to the discussion. My background is in writing, so that’s probably what I’ll talk about the most. And today’s strip gives me a lot to talk about!

The “Dibbs Gallery” marquee tells us this is Kitch Swoon, who was last seen at Atomik Komix handing out nice-sized checks. Apparently she’s hired the new-look Summer as an assistant. It also looks like Tom Batiuk went through a Roy Lichtenstein phase about a year ago, because this is his second mention in a month. The wedding sign Darin made was a blatant copy of Lichtenstein’s famous work “Crying Girl.”

Add another name to the list of better artists that Funky Winkerbean has ripped off.

How on earth is a visit to Atomik Komix going to “revisit the source material” for Roy Lichtenstein prints? Roy Lichtenstein was a real person, who died in 1997. Is she flat-out admitting that Atomik Komix and Dibbs Gallery’s real business is art forgery?

That would… make a lot of sense, actually. There’s no way those lame, derivative, preachy comic books are producing the kind of money we’ve seen these people throw around. And Westview is the perfect place for such an operation. It’s a town full of comics-obsessed suckers, and a police force that’s willing to cover up certain things.

Today’s strip should have been deleted. We don’t need a strip to tell us what’s going to happen in tomorrow’s strip. Just start the scene already. Batiuk did this correctly the first time Kitch Swoon appeared in 2019:

That strip also had a cameo from Holtron, the star of last week’s pointless Act I flashback. As several commenters remembered, Holtron was repurposed as a prop for the Starbuck Jones movie, and later given to the Atomik Komix team for free. Now this valuable prop from a multi-gazillion dollar movie is just sitting around an office, as a conversation piece. That’s a bit of conspicuous consumption, don’t you think?

Nice “Pineapple” computer, buddy. Get out of here with that crap.

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No Country For Old Comic Book Men

Link To Today’s Strip

That’s right, BatYam, it’s the readers who are wrong. This attitude sure explains an awful lot. “Crappy serialized stories that plod along for weeks on end and never go anywhere are what comic strip authors choose to publish!”…yep, they sure do. It’s one of American popular culture’s most enduring and vexing conundrums.

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Hot Button Issue

Link to Today’s Annoying Vertical Strip

“Rapping Around”??? Oh…I get it. “Rapping” meant something else in those days. Way to date yourself there, Batton. Sigh. Obviously the gag here is how Batton was tackling these timely, topical issues way, way back in the 1970s, when everyone started giving a hoot and not polluting. And Batton is all wistful about it as he realizes that his “art” made no difference whatsoever. And it’s all very hilarious, in that patented unfunny way of his. I’d like to throw the whole lot of them in that river, preferably with cinder blocks chained to their ankles.

Why is this an annoying vertical strip? Panel one, the fake strip, panel two, word balloon one, panel three, word balloon two. How hard was that? Something about that pseudo-Funky font really irks me, too. “Rapping Around” my ass.

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The Trilogy Of Tedium

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It’s called a “tetralogy”, you nimrods. Or a “quadrilogy”, if you prefer. It took me all of three seconds to learn this. But BatYam felt he really needed to drive Flash Freeman’s general imbecility home, again, so here we are. It would appear that once again he’s done the impossible and discovered something even more tedious than that “Elemental Force” arc from a few months back, and that “something” is watching Flash and Phil talking to Batton about it. That BatHam, always pushing his artistic boundaries.

That “Elementals” arc was absolute hell to get through and I really hope we’re not revisiting that fiasco again, because I am totally out of sub-atomic particle puns. It really is remarkable how quickly Flash Freeman became one of my most despised FW characters, as he wasn’t even in the strip until a few years ago. And it was better that way. Marginally, yes, but nevertheless.

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Shooty Now For The Future

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Keen observation there, Boy Lisa. Insight like that must be why they keep him around, in spite of his overwhelming blandness. Not that it would have helped or anything, but it’d have been way more in character if Chester had said something like “find out what next’s year’s hottest titles will be so I can buy all the first editions” or something that was, you know, related to comic books in some way. Because he’s Chester Hagglemore, the man whose entire life revolves around comic books.

But instead he just had him say the most generic thing possible in that situation, rendering the strip (and the Chester character) totally pointless, instead of just mostly pointless. This is a really, really bad premise, even by FW’s lowly standards. Usually the premises are semi-believable and it’s the execution where they all go hopelessly awry, but this one is just complete dog shit. He couldn’t think of any other way to work some “Flash” gags into the strip? “I know! I’ll have Batton Thomas inexplicably use the Flash treadmill at Atomik Komix”…I mean that’s really out there, man. Half the strip takes place in a comic book store and a comic book factory, and this was the best he could do?

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