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.
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.
Ruby has got to be regretting speaking up a few days ago because, as we see in today’s strip, she’s being told to… do her job?!
I know, I’m as shocked as any of you that someone at Atomik Komix is even suggesting the idea of doing work. Granted, Phil is suggesting that someone other than himself work, but still… This will probably work better for the deadline anyways, Phil is not known for his speed. Flash being kind of a jerk and everyone else standing around like this place has no editor in chief, or leadership of any kind – now that is the Atomik Komix we all know and love.
Anyways, we’re back from “the climage damate comics aren’t optimistic enough” to “the damate climage comics aren’t, uh, something about women I think”. Are we supposed to see these two complaints as the same thing?
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!
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.