Tag Archives: Batom Comics

Frisket Business

Whew! I am so very happy to report that today’s strip doesn’t take place at the optometrist office, we’ve instead moved to a world where two Northern Ohio-based nonagenarian comic book legends are somehow meeting for the first time. It is, remarkably, a welcome respite.

Are we really supposed to believe that Flash and Ruby Lith, alleged fans of each other’s work, are meeting for the first time? Ruby Lith (hired in September 2019) wasn’t in the office during Flash’s last visit, when he dropped by to kvetch about “Turtle Thompson” (wait, was “Thompson” part of the guy’s nickname?) back in December 2019? Yes, Ruby Lith’s Miss American was a Capitol Comics title while Flash worked at Batom, but these two have both presumably been alive since the Coolidge administration working in the same industry in presumably a similar geographic area… they never met at a convention? Trade show? Art supply store? Comic book store? 3:30 PM dinner buffet?

While the plot seems a stretch, the puns today, however, are… well, they certainly are present. Though I incorrectly guessed her relation, I knew Amber Lith was coming. Really, I think we all knew Amber Lith was gonna be a gag in a Ruby Lith strip at some point. Didn’t see the dog’s related punny name coming, but it feels incredibly uninspired and unsurprising nonetheless.

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Talkin’ “Turtle”

Epicus Doomus
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:

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Flash in the Dark

comicbookharriet
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.

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Deadline, Schmeadline

Like pulling teeth without any anesthetichow, exactly? For the one pulling teeth, or for the one whose teeth are being pulled? If they’re your teeth being pulled, well, that’s literal torture. It can’t be a picnic for the tooth puller either: extracting teeth takes a fair amount of strength, especially from a flailing, un-anesthetized subject. Anyway, yesterday Flash said that “Turtle” had “gone to the well once too often,” implying that he pushed things too far and was finally let go, yet the cajoling continues.

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Fare Thee…Well…

In what line of work, particularly in a publishing company, would a contributor get away with repeatedly pushing back deadlines?  Especially without an explanation or excuse aside from “Well…”  And what’s the reason that Flash has to speak to him by phone? Why is “Turtle” Thompson not chained to a desk like everyone else we’ve seen in the Batom salt mines? Why does the “sepiatone” flashback image have hints of yellow and green? Well? WELL???

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Flash Drive

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.

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Flash, Back

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.

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Dim-agination

Devoid of context, today’s strip is aimless and boring. With context, though, it’s… ummmm… I don’t really know. What is the context of this strip anyways?

We have no idea how this exchange began, unless it began like this, which means “Batton Thomas” just started spouting off trivial comic book history once Bernie and Thatsnought where within earshot. Is this what TB does at book signings and conventions?

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Batton down the hatches

And today’s strip is on from insulting Flash Freeman to… this… whatever this is is supposed to be.

I get the self-referential bit, of course, but what is its purpose? Is this lamenting the declining popularity of newspaper comics in the most confusing way possible? (maybe) Is this based on TB’s experience being ignored at real life comic convention functions? (definitely) What is Thatsnought’s reference to “the original guy who did that strip” all about? (probably nothing)

And Three O’Clock High? Is that supposed to be a stand in for Funky Winkerbean? Just Act I Funky Winkerbean? TB’s first published comic strip (the anti-Archie) Rapping Around?
Is it an intentional reference to the lightly-remembered 80s teen comedy of the same name that starred the guy who played the 3D glasses-wearing guy from Biff Tannen’s gang in Back To The Future? (unclear)

Whatever it is… it stinks. (apologies to Jay Sherman)

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What the Starbuck?!

If today’s strip is any indication, comic books make your nose grow.

Also, this angry fellow who may be Stinky Peterson or perhaps Flash’s long-lost grandson apparently hasn’t read TB’s blog series Batom Comics – The Untold History, which affirms Flash Freeman as the creator of Starbuck Jones in name and concept. Not that I blame him, of course, I didn’t even read it…

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