Tag Archives: author avatar

Meta-mucil

TB goes full on meta in today’s strip… could this be a preview of what we’ll see over the next few weeks? Is everything else from here on going to be bizarrely (and blandly) self-referential? Are we in for even more unnecessary acknowledgements that these characters all of a sudden know they are in a comic strip? I suppose we will have to wait and see, though the wait won’t be too long now.

Meta references can certainly work, but are not inherently interesting or funny, nor are they funny in the context of this strip and story arc, or in the context of TB’s real life partial retirement for that matter. What is funny, however, is that Ruby joined Atomik Komix over 3 years ago to much fanfare, specifically to draw Wayback Wendy I might add, and she’s peacing out after drawing the cover of issue #4! And we all thought Phil Holt was a slow worker

And that’s a wrap for my latest and possibly last time blogging here at Son Of Stuck Funky. No goodbyes here, but I do want to thank some folks. Thank you to TFH and Epicus for running this place for the past 12 and a half years and for trusting me as a guest writer here over the past 8 years. Thanks to my fellow guest writers for keeping this site reliably humming for years and much thanks to all of you SOSFers for coming back and reading day after day in spite of my silly wonderings and regular typos. I’ve written over 500 of these things, believe it or not! But for me these posts are mostly a glorified header, the best content generally comes from you all in the comments. I can only hope that you have enjoyed reading some of my words even 1/100th as much as I have enjoyed being a part of this community.

And so, I will close this post the same way I wrote my entire first week of posts…

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Ruby the Grate

In case you missed it, we are in the final weeks of Funky Winkerbean. Tom Batiuk appears to be reluctantly retiring the strip much in the same way he’s written Ruby as reluctantly retiring from Atomik Komix this week and in today’s strip. The timing of this thin gruel of a story arc and TB’s fairly muted announcement is certainly no coincidence. Most all of us here at SOSF, despite speculating for over a decade on when and how this thing would end, are probably still processing the suddenness of the announcement, how soon it will become reality, and what that means for this wonderful community going forward.

But enough wallowing about, let’s leave that to the strip and try to get back to business as usual. I guess today’s strip is aiming for bittersweet, but it largely is coming across as just bitter. You can’t mask your true feelings in a wall of smirks, TB… And even if the strip wasn’t ending at the close of this year, I’m guessing we were never going to see Chester meet with the building manager by looking in a mirror anyways. I’d say “a pity”, but, you know, it’s not. It’s really not.

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Re-haiku-ment

Are we STILL on this?
More on Ruby's retirement
Here in today's strip

Batton butts right in
Again, he does NOT work here
Who asked him to speak?

Batton's questioning
A reflection of TB?
Is the strip's end near?

Or is this resolve?
Tom writing his thoughts in strip
Eff-ing ponderous

A warning haiku
The link above has cussing
That's NSFW!

With Dinkle, Linda
And others who fake retire
Do we believe this?

We probably should
Not like TB gave Ruby
Anything worthwhile

Chester looks depressed
I mean, he's just despondent
In his sad jacket

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Pencil droppers, eh?!

Wait, is today’s strip taking place on the exact same day that Ruby drew Sunday’s Scorch cover?! Ruby drew a whole cover in a matter of hours?! Maybe that’s not at all surprising for a real life comic cover artist at a real life comic book company, but at Atomik Komix it sure is. These folks make “Turtle Thompson” look like AJ Foyt.

I mean, Batton is still there treadmilling and everyone is wearing the exact same things they were wearing in last week’s strips, give or take some colorist’s liberty… ok, scratch that, Mindy is wearing a skirt in today’s strip and clearly has on pants in last Saturday’s strip. Different day, I guess. In either scenario, though, we’re left to note how ridiculous it is that Batton spends so much time in the Atomik Komix bullpen. He, ostensibly, has a job drawing a comic strip, but we’ve never seen him do it. Heck, we’ve never even seen the strip-within-a-strip… and it’s not like Funky Winkerbean is above that kind of thing. He likes comic books and frequents Komix Korner from time-to-time (SUCH a unique trait in the Batiukverse, I know), but he doesn’t appear to be a regular there like he is here at the Atomik Komix bullpen. He likes or feels obligated to jog. And that’s it. That is everything we know about the guy. I don’t necessarily care to know more, but if TB insists on having his author avatar hang around places where it makes no obvious sense for him to hang around then Batton needs some purpose and motivation.

Oh yeah, also… Ruby is old, water is wet, and Chester now wears the look of someone clinically depressed.

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Testosterony’s really neat! Hooray! For testosterony!

We’ve teased you with her face at the top of the page for a full week now… but she’s finally here folks! Please welcome Ruby Lith to the climage damate/pandemic/supply chain issues story arc (now with comic book misogyny or something) in today’s strip.

Is Ruby just annoyed that all of the damate climage comic books Atomik Komix is putting out don’t feature female characters or are too muscle-bound action man violence explosions so many explosions-oriented (did she forget about The Oceanaire?.. well, she doesn’t appear to be the only one) or does she believe that these issue du jour comic books would somehow be more effective in changing the hearts and minds of the world citizenry if they weren’t so… ugh, “testosterony”? And why is she addressing Batton like he works at Atomik Komix? Unless… oh no. Surely it won’t come to that, will it?

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Climate-specific progress goes “broke”

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnd, back to damate climage in today’s strip. I know we were all wondering how last month’s second issue of The Subterranean sold. Not well, which I am sure surprises absolutely no one. Flash seems especially put out by this… and it was Batton that got nicknamed “Bummer”?

You know, the climage damate books aren’t the only things at Atomik Komix not working…

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Pulp Fiction

As long as author avatars are popping into today’s strip

Shoving the temples of your glasses INTO your ears is painful. Worst of all, you can still hear these two ding dongs when they talk. Would not recommend.

Durwood has a pretty poor grasp of economics for the holder of an alleged MBA… but look, if you really want, I’ll grant that the loopy and incredibly fictional economy of the Batiukverse means that Silver Age Omnibus books are such tremendous demand that Durwood’s Catch-22 makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is that quite literally yesterday we were told that these fancy comic books couldn’t be shipped on time due to climage damate. Now the blame rests with the Pandemic/COVID/Supply Chain Issues/Amazon/Internet/Inflation (oops, we’re not yet a year out on that last one filling up the column inches, check back next summer when inflation somehow closes Montoni’s again)? Make up your mind TB Batton!

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Damate Climage

Much thanks to Banana Jr. 6000 for slogging through Summer’s ludicrous Could Be A Book Deal Here moment over these past two weeks… which, despite revealing that Montoni’s is apparently closing (!!!) and launching Summer off to interview countless uninteresting people who appeared in this strip 30-40+ years ago, does NOT continue in today’s strip. I’m not mad about that or anything, but I am surprised.

But should I really be surprised? Over the past 5 years or so we’ve seen TB shift well away from the two workplace communities (Westview High School and Montoni’s) that have defined this strip for pretty much all of its existence, largely replacing them with this new one he’s created at Atomik Komix (toss in the Komix Korner scenes and the shift is even more pronounced). If you had told me 5 years ago that comic books would somehow become MORE important in this comic strip in the near future I wouldn’t have believed it possible. But it is and they are, as very clearly evidenced by today’s strip in which TB’s latest issue du jour has taken on even more critical importance because it has now directly affected his author avatar’s sad little comic-obsessed world.

P.S. – I am now refusing to use the asinine term for climate change that TB continues to flog even though no one else on the planet uses it. I’m going to call it damate climage or climage damate or issue du jour or nothing at all for the rest of this story arc and the foreseeable future. I am aware this is stupid, but it is not as stupid as the term I’m refusing to use. Thank you in advance for your understanding.

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Who was that masked shmuck?

Today’s strip is so dense, every single panel has so many things going on…

My last day of the shift and I wind up with Batton Thomas, again (it could be Jff, actually, but nah)?! I know I am no longer the only one who runs into him, as he’s inexplicably turned into a semi-regular, but I still draw his appearances all too often. What a terrible coincidence.

Worse, though, is that it is like these characters know that they just followed a week of Les and are trying to match his insufferableness. They can’t, of course, but what an effort! Hope next week finds us somewhere else, though I can never be too optimistic that a change of scenery will improve things in this strip. The good news is that we’ll have the legendary Comic Book Harriett taking us through it… and through the 50th birthday (!!!) of this comic strip.

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Batton Down The Hatches

Link To This One

It’s nice to see that good ol’ Batton survived the local “KOVID” scare unscathed. KOVID was a purely Westviewian viral strain, transmitted only through old comic book paper. It left many survivors with a complete inability to properly appreciate Silver Age comic books, which obviously led to rampant binge drinking and countless suicides. Some experts have speculated that the milk and cookies trade in Westview may never fully recover. The vaccine has some unfortunate side effects, for example an inability to properly grip pizza slices and a precipitous drop in overall wryness, leading many Westviewians to question whether the cure is actually worse than the disease.

But yeah, anyhow, this Batton guy just might be the single most obnoxious “new” Act III character of them all, for obvious reasons. It’s all just so shameless. The wry, self-deprecating banter about how obscure he is, that overly sincere smirk, the way John had to mention the character by his full name just so confused readers would know who the hell he is, it all just makes me sick and quite frankly totally ruined my whole f*cking Monday. It’s a pain my fellow SoSF hosts (and everyone else really but especially them) know all too well. You’re waiting to see what the next arc will be, then you discover it’s a f*cking Batton Thomas arc and you just groan in disgust. Happens with a lot of characters, now that I think about it.

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