The great Christmas gift-giver strikes again in today’s strip. No, I’m not talking about Santa Claus or Crazy Claus (or Pete… I would never talk about Pete in this way), I’m talking about the nerd with the polecat on his scalp.
Dead Skunk Head John has a long long history of giving his wares away for free, and not just at Free Comic Book Day (which allegedly put him near bankruptcy). DSH pulled this exact same bit back during the yuletide of 2013 too, and that time his crazy skunk head did it in front of other customers! And that wasn’t the only time he gave Holly a break during her Starbuck Jones quest. Heck, he even murdered Tony Isabella for her. Seemed a little much to me, but he’s a generous guy.
Generous to a fault, it would seem, as Komix Korner has been depicted in financial peril many times, going as far back as the Clinton administration. DSH’s inability to pay his rent once almost sunk Montoni’s and the Winkerbean family as well… only the sale of a mint condition copy of Starbuck Jones #1 saved both businesses (even if DSH’s greasy hands devalued the issue).
I guess “sitting!” didn’t last long, and neither did the standard practice of letting the kid tell Santa what he wants. Crazy and Skyler are up and about in today’s strip, and Crazy is shamelessly shilling his employer’s wares. Really? That’s where we’re going with this? Even Hollywood was mocking this exact practice way back when Tom Batiuk was in diapers.
Speaking as someone who was once whatever age Skyler is supposed to be today: expensive static collectible figures made to sit on a shelf, as this “Spidey-Man” appears to be, are not great gifts for children. Kids want something posable that can be thrown back and forth across the living room. A Spider-Man figure that is actually fun to play with has got to be able to punch over some stacked cups, body slam Doc Ock (sold separately), and ride the Spider-Cycle (also sold separately).
Well, we aren’t reviewing individual pages of The Flash #123 in today’s strip, I guess we’ll pick that up next week. I’m kidding about that last part, let’s not actually pick this up next week, please. Please…
I’d admire Batton’s commitment to enjoying reading his favorite comics to the point that he’s essentially worn out what is now a very valuable comic book in good condition… but willingness to appreciate consumable art in a consumable way instead of foolishly betting on a longbow retirement plan is not what this dead snail of a story arc is about. It is, ostensibly, about drawing inspiration from The Flash #123, but we have seen no evidence of that. Batton just keeps saying nice things about the issue in increasingly dumb and boring ways. There is barely a hint of how or why #123 was such an inspiration, just the vague reference to “a plan”. Speaking of… are we ever going to hear about Batton’s plan? Do we even want to?
No, and no. So, what am I complaining for?