Tag Archives: Batton Thomas

It’s just a Flash wound

Well, the week’s comic book reminiscence is, of course, followed in today’s strip by the requisite comic book cover tribute, printed sideways in newspapers across the country to ease the task of deciding not to read it. If you are just now showing up to to read this story arc (for which I envy, but somehow also pity, you), let’s catch you up:

Sad-sack author avatar and comic strip creator Batton Thomas has based his entire post-12-year-old life around reading and re-reading The Flash #123. He has bought a reprint of the issue since his original is worn out, and he is re-reading it again. His 12 year old self has also materialized to re-read The Flash #123 reprint along with him… on the very same porch glider he read the original #123 when his 12 year old self was his only self.

If you, the hypothetical person just walking into this story arc today, is still thinking of going back and re-reading this week’s strips after that recap, save some time and read TB’s veneration of the issue on his blog (and also, previously, in Funky Winkerbean itself). Or save even more time and don’t do that. That’s your best bet, actually.

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Do you bereave in magic?

Can you believe it?
'Twas eleven years ago
That this site began

Let us all wish a
Happy anniversary
To SOSF!

Haiku all around!
It is how I celebrate things
I'm fun at parties
Now to Today's strip
Will DC send to TB
A cease and desist?

Young Batton enthralled
By Flash's famous power
Doing magic tricks?

Instead of the Flash
Batton imagines himself
In an audience

Batton's take away
From this famous Flash issue
Explains TB well

If Batton likes this
Doug Henning must be mind-blowing
Much less Copperfield
Thank you commenters
For the last eleven years
And what is to come

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The Taking Of Boredom 123

Today’s strip goes beyond TB’s regular “tell, don’t show” philosophy into, well, “tell, don’t tell” territory I guess. We get a couple of 35 cent metaphors and learn NOTHING. Not a thing. In fact, you could swap the order of yesterday’s and today’s strips and it would make exactly as much sense as the present order. The Flash #123 made this big impact on this author avatar who went on to become a cartoonist… yeah, we knew that yesterday (or, 12 years ago, if you’ve ever read TB’s blog). Shouldn’t we be on to the why? The how? No, don’t bother with that, we need to hear a few more flowery words that restate what has already been restated ad nauseam.

This is beyond Herb and Jamaal‘s dopey non-specificity, which muddied the gags but didn’t keep the reader from recognizing that they existed. This glacial garbage muddies a complete lack of any substance to begin with. There is nothing here. Nothing. At all. No conflict, no suspense, no character development, no dispensation of information real or fictional. We’re waiting for a man to pay for a comic book. WE ARE WAITING FOR A MAN TO PAY FOR A COMIC BOOK. I’ll put up the $5.99 or whatever the #123 reprint costs just to get Batton the heck out of there.

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Flash has reached end of life status

Today’s strip gives us our first glimpse at a young Batton Thomas… back when he had the hair of a newscaster, the jaw of Rob Riggle, and the neck of something that doesn’t have a neck. Quite a contrast to today’s sad-sack Batton, who looks like he could be Pete’s dad (he’s not, John Darling program director Reed Roberts is). Trading that plaid seersucker jacket for a blue Members Only was a good call, though.

So The Flash #123 inspired Batton Thomas (and, most definitely, one Thomas Batiuk as well) to become a cartoonist, eh? How, exactly did it do that? If we are lucky we’ll get that answer in 6-10 business days. Or just visit the official Funky Winkerbean blog, where TB writes more about The Flash than he does about his own creations… Haha, yeah, you all go do that. I’ll wait.

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Nothin’ But Reruns

Many apologies for the late and short post. Unfortunately, I was in a situation that was unavoidable, much like a Funky Winkerbean strip about comic books…

Today’s strip dares to ask the musical question, what’s a comic book doing in a comic book store? The answer may not at all surprise you.

Many of you beady-eyed nitpickers eagle-eyed commenters noticed that this is not only The Flash #123, but one of a series of recent reprints of the issue. You think Batton Thomas is going to try to pay DSH a dime for it?

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Batton Exchange

Welcome to Son Of Stuck Funky’s week-long 11th anniversary spectacular! Well, it will be tacular, at least, we shall see on the spec… Today’s strip kicks thing off with a bang flash! You can have that one for free, TB. Hey, maybe I’ll even pay YOU to take it.

So, I’m billytheskink, and I am (apparently) contractually obligated to take over the author’s seat here at SOSF whenever Batton Thomas makes his annual appearance. I really should have read the fine print. But really, I covered both of Batton’s previous appearances, April-May 2019 (he crashed DSH’s Free Comic Book Day) and April 2020 (Les invited him to mope in front of his class), naturally. One could argue that he also appeared back in January of this year, moping about Komix Korner mere days before my last stint here started, but one could also argue that old moper was Jff Murdock.

Apparently Batton “used to be famous”. I guess that is why he only started appearing in Funky Winkerbean in 2019.

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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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