Tag Archives: Batton Thomas

And he just can’t hide it…

Let’s all bid a hopeful farewell to Batton and, especially, Les in today’s strip. Les will sadly and undoubtedly return (please not for a good long while!), but what of Batton? This week’s story arc served to make him even les relevant than he seemed when he first appeared, and that’s saying something.

Not that doing interesting and relevant things is really a requirement to appear in Funky Winkerbean these days, but unless Batton gets cancer or (a year from now) the COVID-19 it is hard to see what else TB has for him to do. He’s appeared at Free Comic Book Day and he’s stood in front of Les’ class. What else is there? Well, if Batton ever does return, it’s a sure bet it will be during one of my stints writing this blog. I’m two for two so far, lucky me.

Now if Tom Batiuk himself is excited about writing this strip, he sure can hide it. He lost control years ago, and he probably likes it…

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Meeting the Four Hundred

Les just continues to mock Batton in today’s strip. Sheesh, whadda jerk! Apparently newspaper cartoonists were the original social distancing champions, which you probably would be seeing memes about if you were Facebook friends with one. Unfortunately, gags this terrible are not a rare sight in Funky Winkerbean

Emily or, uh Amelia… whichever one wears pink and doesn’t act like what TB imagines a Hot Topic shopper to be, asks a perfectly reasonable question for a “kids these days” kid. Seriously, it is a good question and it demonstrates a knowledge of what a comic strip is, how it is distributed, and its primary measure of success. Batton, of course spins this perfectly fine question into a self-pitying humblebrag so deftly that even Les seems impressed. Newspapers may be dying, but his comic strip is in EVERY SINGLE ONE of the ones that remain! What’re you gonna accomplish in your life, Blondie?

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The Thousand Panel Stare

Kids don’t read newspapers or newspaper comics these days… Boo hoo, so sad, this generation is killing the papers and the cartoonists, blah blah blah yackity smackity… Sorry, don’t care. I’ve heard it all before, and in better comic strips to boot.

Today’s strip is bland, rote filler in a dumb, overplayed story arc, but… that second panel. Chuck Ayers artwork since taking over duties in Funky a couple years ago has taken a good step back from the solid work he did for many years in Crankshaft I would argue, but the second panel in today’s strip is a genuinely excellent piece of cartooning. The beady eyes, the nonplussed expressions, the unrealistic density of students packed into every millimeter of the panel… you can practically hear the crickets chirping in background of this non-reaction. It is an extremely rare and truly good thing to see in Funky Winkerbean. What a pity it isn’t in the service of a better joke.

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TB does it, why not you, Batton?

Kidz these daze and their cellular doohickeys! Always on ’em. Amirite? Amirite? Eh? Today’s strip knows what I’m talking’ about! Leave ’em alone in a classroom with no direction and they just start tap-tap-tapping away on their smartyphones. It’s nothing like it wuz back in my day when we’d get in fistfights and beat lunch money out of the weird kids.

By the way, Les’ opinion on the value of comics sure has changed over the years…

FW5-27-72

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Welcome To The Jumble

If today’s strip is any indication, TB really wants to get on Jeff Knurek’s Christmas card list. Can’t blame him for that, Knurek’s work on Jumble is excellent and his Christmas cards are surely top-notch.

Cayla is now the latest in a long line of women in the Batiukverse who aren’t initially familiar with the comic interests of their significant others, or comics at all. That will change, though, just as it did with Lisa, Holly, Jess, Mindy, Cindy, even Donna… well, everybody but Lefty, really. It’s weird that DSH never indoctrinated Lefty being that he has owned a comic book store since long before they even met. That’s probably why she is always hanging around with Dinkle, in a desperate bid to avoid comics. Anyways, Cayla doesn’t read Three O’Clock High and she’ll be lucky to not be burned at the stake.

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Autographic content

The space-time continuum is threatened with destruction by today’s strip, in which one of TB’s author avatars heaps unsolicited praise on another of TB’s author avatars. Not that comic strips cannot involve journalism, but wouldn’t a comic strip creator be a more apt guest speaker in an art class? Oh that’s right, Westview High cut art class in 2013 after failing to pass a school levy in 2012 despite the best efforts of the hairless man we all know and love as Arthur “Art” Teacher. Maybe Rache can bring it back when she gets her teaching certificate

I guess I’ll take a week of TB patting himself on the back for being born over a week of Buck and Linda, but only because no one offered me a week of stepping on Legos with my bare feet.

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Good advice that you just didn’t take

Montoni’s is busy in today’s strip! What? And Holly is flustered to the max and jealous of unhealthily self-conscious Cindy all the sudden*? Crazy!

Speaking of Crazy, his advice… isn’t ironic? I don’t know, actually, but I do know it’s been relevant to TB for decades. If only TB would take it one day.

Wait, Montoni’s is busy with regular FW cast members. Sheesh, this strip doesn’t even truly earn its “the rare Montoni’s customer” tag. This, THIS level of business has Holly frazzled and exhausted? She is as cut out for food service as Funky is for giving out marriage advice.

* Holly being self-conscious about her body hasn’t happened in a while, but to be fair, it actually isn’t new. It even goes back to when she was the other shoe.

Thanks for putting up with me and my blue tongue for the past two weeks. Thoughts and prayers for our next blogger…

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Batiukruptcy

Today’s strip about Free Comic Book Day finally being over happens on the actual Free Comic Book Day. Makes sense…

What is DSH all consternated about? Money? Bankruptcy? As best I can tell, the only thing he paid for in this whole Free Comic Book Eon Day was transportation and insurance on Holtron. All indications are that Pete, Durwood, and Flash showed up as a favor. Mason definitely showed up as a favor. I’m pretty sure Les and “Batton” just showed up uninvited (Really, who would invite them anywhere?). Heck, based on what we saw, DSH didn’t even give out any free comic books. If buying pizza for eight puts Komix Korner into bankruptcy then it was going into bankruptcy within the month anyways and/or he never should have spent money on Holtron (though both crane rentals and multi-million dollar umbrella insurance policies can run as low as a few hundred dollars).

Maybe he was referring to how long this Free Comic Book Day thing has been going on, though I would argue we are closer to chapter 78 than 11.

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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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