Tag Archives: Batom Comics

We Can Be Zeroes Just For One Day

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Yes, because these NEWFANGLED COMIC BOOKS TODAY always insist on blurring the lines between heroes and villains with their complicated dark, grim and gritty characters and (zzzzzzzzzzz). Five full weeks to introduce the premise and he’s already repeating it…some things never change. That look Pete & Boy Lisa are exchanging seems to represent “skepticism”, although it could just be shitty artwork. There’s just no way of knowing until next Tuesday when he (most likely) finally stops rehashing the premise.

I mean hey, if Chester wants to squander his fortune on comic book nostalgia that’s his business but honestly this entire “plan” seems quite squirrely to me. But hey, sure, go against the grain and sell comic books no one likes because if Starbuck Jones is any indication these “Atomic Comics” will be worth a mint thirty or fifty or seventy years from now, pretty much exactly when Skyler will be awash in his own comic book nostalgia, yearning for the days when he’d hide in the attic with his phablet reading digital copies of his favorite Atomic Comic titles, like “Meek Moon Mile” or “Space Penis” with a few fat-free granola cookies and a glass of almond milk on the side. If he’s really lucky he’ll find his old SJ decoder SD card too, but one thing at a time for now please.

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Tom

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So, after five weeks of plodding ponderous dialog and endless time-wasting the premise is at long last revealed and…believe it or not…it involves comic (sigh) books…again. Chester wants to resurrect the “spirit” of those wonderful old Batom Comics of yesteryear. Bored listless employees, a fabled comic book artist working children’s birthday parties to make ends meet, an annoying cigar-chomping boss…yep, when Batom Comics folded it left a huge gaping void in the industry all right, a void only Pete and his faithful sidekick Boy Lisa can fill. If he’s looking for two boring nerds who daydream and skip work a lot, he totally nailed it.

“Batom”…”atom”…”ic”…sure Chester, makes sense to me. I suppose it’s better than “Bamto Comics” or “Tobam Occmis”…albeit not by a whole lot though. I can see the headlines now…

“Atomic Bomb – Hagglemore Bankrupted By Idiotic Dream, Drinking Heavily”

“Atomic Waste – Unsold Comic Books Worthless As Pulp & Do Not Degrade, Placing Strain On Local Landfills”

“Atomic Pile – Atomic Comics Creditors At Critical Mass As Hagglemore Sighted In Caymans”

“Atomic Fallout – Starbuck Sequels On Hiatus After Creative Team Leaves For Stupid New Gig, Hundreds Left Unemployed, Future Of Franchise In Doubt”

Yes siree, it’s a can’t-miss proposition. Everywhere you go these days all you hear are “these kids today” sighing to themselves over the comic book racks, sadly lamenting how today’s comic books are totally worthless when compared to the old-timey Golden Age comic books they can’t possibly remember. If you don’t believe me just visit your local megaplex and see the throngs of kids ignoring the latest superhero flicks, there’s all the proof you need. Kids today aren’t that much different than their parents were, they just want to sit in the attic with their vape pens and energy drinks and bags of flakka and read some good old fashioned comic books just like dear old dad used to do before the comic book industry sold them out and destroyed their dreams back in 1940 or 1960 or 1980 or thereabouts. By golly, Chester just wants to bring that “spirit” back and judging by the reaction from “young” Pete and Darin he’s really on to something here. “Cool”…”sweet”…he really captures the way the kids speak nowadays, doesn’t he?

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Grim And Bear It

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Ha ha ha ha. TOM BATIUK, of all people, is doing an arc about how Chester dislikes “grim and gritty” comic book titles. What balls. After turning his once-lighthearted and humor-based comic strip into a litany of death, cancer, amputation and an endless cavalcade of human misery, he’s doing a “story” centering around how “dark” modern comic books are. Two words…”f*ck” and “you”, Tom. I’ve never seen a comic book where the lead character’s parents roundly reject her as she agonizingly dies of cancer, nor have I ever seen one where a trombone prodigy loses her arm in a car accident or one where the once-happy-go-lucky titular character drinks himself into thoughts of suicide either. Leave it to Tombat to inadvertently insult himself in his own strip. What a maroon.

So why did this require a cross-country trip? They couldn’t have had this discussion over the phone? So basically BatNard wasted five entire weeks on this just so he could work a few fictional Batom Comics “props” into the artwork for his own amusement. The self-indulgence is off the scale here and nearly approaches “Lisa’s Story” degrees of head-up-own-assed-ness.

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We’re Jambing…I Hope You Like Jambing Too

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“Door jamb”??? That’s not a “door jamb”. Sigh. What can you even say about such a stupid and blatant piece of time-killing tripe like this? Maybe BatTrudge has a secret fantasy about an extremely wealthy FW fan who got rich after selling his paperback FW collection and now lives in a FW-themed mansion full of FW-related trinkets, like the soda machine from King Features main office or the label from the bottle of prescription cough syrup Batom slammed before he dreamed up this steaming pile of hogwash. It’s about as plausible as this stupid premise is. I’d be willing to wager that this strip represents the very first time the words “door jamb” have ever been used in a comic strip, unless Crankshaft or Mary Worth had some home remodeling done recently.

Whenever he does one of these idiotic vertical strips I always picture the guy trying to fit it into that day’s comics page, banging his head on his desk and shaking his fist skyward while screaming “BAAATIIIIUK!!!!!”. That’s two of them in just a few weeks, which is two too many IMO. If you really need to kill all this time perhaps a (ahem) “re-assessment” of your “writing” abilities needs to happen (fat chance).

“Holy door jamb”…sigh again. It’s not even a joke. Pete whispers to Boy Lisa…”this guy has Batom in the belfry”…yes it’s a terrible, terrible pun but still 1000% better than…this. Coming tomorrow: Pete gets to use the same urinal Phil Holt used back in the day and Boy Lisa helps himself to a few rolls of official Batom Inc. toilet paper that Chester swiped when he was looting the Batom offices. This segues neatly into a three week long discussion about how the old timey hand-cranked pencil sharpeners were just SO MUCH BETTER than these modern electric ones they force us to use nowadays.

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Chester Has The Runs

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Big deal. I have a “complete run” of Blue Oyster Cult’s early work but you don’t hear me gloating about it. I hate it when BatNard wallows in his own self-indulgent crapulence like this. How many goddamned universes full of undeveloped characters can one comic strip creator have?

Well, at least we now know why there isn’t any Mrs. Hagglemore, as his mansion walls are literally lined with female repellent. Batty never fails to find new and innovative ways to remind regular FW readers about his cleverness, like those stupid sidewards Batom Comic covers are something we all look back on fondly or something. He wishes. The only one I really “remember” is the SJ wedding one featuring the space penis, although I try to forget it each and every day. Just so you know, no SoSF guest host is going to come out of this totally unscathed, I’m living proof.

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What Hath Chester Wrought?

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Sure Pete, wrought iron work like that seems to be a lost art these days, sort of like how it’s been impossible to find actual jokes in FW since 1981 or so. Sigh. At least they’re finally there, although that driveway looks like it could very well take several more weeks to navigate. And speaking of navigating, that’s a spiffy Batiukmobile they’re in, eh? I recall seeing a few of those over in Albania before communism fell, they’d hand them out to all high-ranking party officials. I’m dying to see an arc centering around Westview’s new and used car lot, “Crazy Hektor’s House Of Off-Brand Motor Cars”. I’m assuming that the proprietor of Westview’s auto parts store hung himself years ago after one too many dreary locals came in looking for a rear flangelator for a ’92 Labda 3-cylinder diesel.

I hate how every FW character needs to wonder everything aloud just to repeat the premise over and over. I mean come on BatNard, we f*cking know where they’re going, they’ve been bantering about it almost non-stop for five weeks now. I really hope there’s a valet or something, as I don’t think I’ll survive a week-long arc about those newfangled backup cameras the new cars have nowadays and how much better it was when you had to turn around to see behind you “back in the day”. It’s a near certainty that we won’t know what Chester wants until Saturday, the question is how will he kill the next four days? My educated guess: moronic comic book banter. But you already knew that.

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Darrin has two moms. Sort of.

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Everyone else can bring the funny in the comments. I’m going to be talking Srs Bidness.

I wanted to take Saturday to comment on the often noticed elephant in the room: Darrin replacing Ann Fairgood with Dead St. Lisa as ‘Mom’. Because we all know Jess in today’s strip is referring to the Dead St. Lisa looming in the background and not poor Ann Fairgood.

First things first, I don’t think it’s entirely unheard of for adopted people who reconnected in a positive way with birth-parents to go on to call them ‘Mom’ or ‘Dad’, even while they also still call their adoptive parents ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’. I know Darrin only knew Lisa as his birth-mother for a few weeks or months, but perhaps the ticking clock intensified their re-connection relationship, like some kind of summer camp ending in death. I can buy that they loved each other, and as mother and son. And I don’t think Batiuk really intended to indicate that he loved the Fairgoods less because of it.

So the problem really isn’t that Darrin calls Lisa ‘Mom.’ The problem is that the elder Fairgoods have disappeared into the very background of Funkyverse over the last couple years, while Darrin, Ghost Lisa, and Les have remained center stage. The last mention of the Fairgoods was all the way back in March, when Darrin calls Les up telling him that he’s coming out to visit, “mom and dad.” But we don’t get to see that visit. Instead we get to see Darrin visit his bio-mom’s husband and reminisce about his dead bio-mom, all to set up for the Lisa Trilogy Boxset Special Extended Edition product placement.

Mr. Fred Fairgood had his stroke in January of 2013, and at the time I thought they were setting up for a copy of a FOOB storyline. Anyone remember when Grandpa Jim had a stroke? It was handled with pathos and humor, and his long, incomplete, recovery was shown in detail, and affected the rest of the strip. And when I am comparing a strip negatively to late-run For Better Or For Worse, you know it done messed up.

Batiuk failed to follow through.  A close perusal of the archives here and on Comics Curmudgeon sees the Fairgoods taking a very active part in the investigation of Scumbag Bio-Dad in 2013, and being there for some Baby Skyler stuff, and that’s about it. He petered out involving the Fairgoods in anything by 2014. And you know what else happened around 2014? Holly Winkerbean’s Starbuck Jones Collecting Mania.

Now the strip more or less revolves around six or seven characters. Les, Bull, Funky, Dead St. Lisa, Darrin, Pete, Masone, Cindy, and Mutha Fukkin Starbuck Jones. Darrin is important because Starbuck Jones, and Lisa is important because Lisa’s Legacy is Batiuk’s Legacy, and his cash cow. And for Tom pointing out the biological connection between the two characters is easy and obvious. Probably compulsive at this point too. Lisa consumes all.

And it’s why Frankie the evil Bio-Dad showed up, twice, once even in reference to Starbuck Jones. And, most importantly, why he had to be evil in the first place. Making Lisa’s pregnancy the result of date-rape not only allows her to maintain her moral purity, (making Darrin an emotionally ‘virgin’ birth,) but makes it almost obligatory that Darrin and everyone else reject Frankie. There is no simpler way to negate his fatherhood. As a bonus it gives Batty an easy total monster in a strip rather devoid of them. But above all it tosses Frankie out of the equation, keeping the Darrin and Lisa and Breast Cancer connection strong.

If Batty simply wanted Lisa to live on in her children, then he would involve Summer more. But the last few years even Summer has been very intermittent, because she has nothing to do with Starbuck Jones and is stuck in college, which Batiuk couldn’t care less about. He likes Darrin. Darrin is a bland, generally happy, everyman who could hypothetically do anything Tom Batiuk would want story-wise, comicsfanboy-wise. There’s a reason we call him Boy Lisa after all.

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Like No One Ever Was.

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Happy Friday Everyone!

You all can dissect this reveal at your leisure. The Cookie Monster bought all the cookies at the Sesame Street Bake Sale and we’re supposed to be surprised. I have no other comment on it.

Mostly I have questions for any artists we have out there.

When do you think was the last time Jess ate? Darrin’s huge sausage fingers are about to crush her rail thin spine.

Darrin’s nose has gotten flatter and flatter as the auction has progressed, almost as if the underlying bone was eroding away. Is the artist trying to indicate he has syphilis?

How long was that auction? Darrin has some pretty serious bags under his eyes.

Are Ghost Lisa and Ghost Phil gonna ghost bang or what?

What is that weird black thing in the bottom right corner of the second panel? Is it a speaker? Is it a top hat? Is it a weird failed perspective shot of the seat of the chair he’s just leapt up from? Whatever it is, why does it appear to be joining Maniac Grabby Hands Dr. Phil in shouting at the ceiling?

Why is Chester’s shadow red, when the floor is beige? Did the colorist think it was a red carpet that The Chiseler rolls out behind him wherever he goes like in Guardians of the Galaxy 2? Or is it a pool of blood from the victims he viciously clawed to death to keep them from bidding up the covers? And if that’s the case, why doesn’t he have gore all over his hands? Censorship?

And finally, please please please, for the love of Dead St. Lisa, can someone Photoshop some Pokéballs into Chester the Chiseler’s hands?

Pokémon League Expo hat is optional.

 

 

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Hypermortality.

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All Hail! Here is the beloved Holy Ghost of Dead St. Lisa! Once again haunting a charity function in her honor. But this time she has company. Their horrible dialogue in the first two panels is supernaturally banal. The only interesting thing about what they’re saying is that the lines seem all out of order. SEEM.

Until you consider what we’ve seen of Funkyverse’s afterlife. Masky McDeath comes and reaps you, sure; separating spirit from body. But the multiple ghost appearances, by multiple characters, in the strip suggest a soul remains on Earth. Drifting through the physical world, fully conscious of what is going on around it, and tied to objects and family it was close to in life: Dance hall railings, benches, comic covers, bio-sons. It only makes sense that the spirits beyond would introduce themselves to each other by explaining what in the physical world is their current tether.  What goes on in the real world has the power to please or distress them. Like ancient pagan ancestor worship, the memory offerings of their progeny please their departed souls.

Which is why it is HILARIOUS when Phil learns that the precious comic covers he kept framed on his dinky apartment wall all those years, and then willed to someone he thought would treasure them and his memory forever after his death, were instantly liquidated to enrich the memorial of a woman who didn’t give two shits about stupid disposable funny pages. Silly man, you thought you had a LEGACY? The Death Cult of St. Lisa devours all offerings!!!!

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Specimen Collection

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Oh Goodie! Just my luck, a strip so banal that the entire thing, both in words and artwork, progresses the story in an almost negative direction!

In panel one, a lobed-headed monstrosity announces from the inky black crowd mass that the auction is about to start. We know this can’t be Darin or Jess since it’s shown in the next panel that they’re jockeying for position in in the back row like this is church or something. The unseen person doesn’t say ‘The auction is about to start,’ like a normal person might, but mentions again the full title of the auction. This gives him a chance to utter the name of The Blessed Dead St. Lisa aloud, which knocks off a few hours of future Masky McDeath Purgatory. No one in Funkyverse ever passes up a chance to mention St. Lisa’s name.

In the second panel, the vaguely Asian woman is either chewing tobacco, or has a severe case of lump jaw. But the greatest miscreation of this scene blooms between Darin and Jess like a horrifying, fleshy flower. Four hands. THERE ARE FOUR HANDS! Gripping and grasping each other in a sweaty mass. And creeping out of Lockjaw’s hair are the slender fingers of Jess’s right hand. Meaning… DARIN HAS THREE HANDS!

Luckily in the last panel, we learn that jogging lightly for less than three miles sends Darin’s pulse rate skyrocketing. Congestive heart failure will soon end his multi-appendaged misery. And I for one look forward to Darin’s Legacy Fund for Congenital Defects.

Also, are we sure that Darin hasn’t gotten a nose job? He looks uncannily like Masone Jarre. I’m predicting a ‘Talented Mr. Ripley’ scenario coming soon. And Jess can join in! All she has to get is a bob cut and she would look just like Cindy!

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