Tag Archives: Batton Thomas

Deere, John

Link To This One

Wow, what a miserable pratfall of a gag. “Comic book store owners are shitty businessmen and total imbeciles”…that’s what I got out of this peculiar little arc. BatYam’s real-life comic book store must love it when he meanders by for a visit. Maybe they’ll tape this strip to the wall behind the cash register. You know, ironically. Get it?

Coming next week: Les’ annual cancer screening ends with Les sneering “even I could have gotten into oncology school” as his doctor inexplicably smirks.

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Dropping Mad Dimes

Link To Yesteryear

I’m amazed that this tedious anecdote amazes John, who’s literally surrounded at all times by thousands of vintage comic books that have the prices printed right there on the covers. On top of that the whole town is overrun with legendary old comic book codgers who just stroll right on into local comic book businesses and freely share comic book anecdotes with nary a second’s worth of thought. Not to mention the fact that he’s like at least fifty years old himself. Yet there he is, stunned by the buying power of a dime back in 1946 or whatever. Why, if I didn’t know any better I’d have to conclude that this John character is something of a total imbecile.

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Akron Zip

Link To Today’s One

Im·pe·ri·ous

  1. assuming power or authority without justification; arrogant and domineering.

So I suppose that a Rexall pharmacy COULD be “imperious”, I guess. Once again I know exactly what he was going for here but once again it doesn’t make it any less baffling. “My grandparents lived in Akron and there was a Rexall two blocks away”…how hard was that?

“Holy temple”…”sacred texts”…OK sure Thom, whatever you say. Once again we see BatYam venerating the most mundane aspects of things he loves the most, just like last week. I mean I remember where I bought my first copy of “Love Gun” but you don’t see me getting all nostalgic over going to Crazy Eddie‘s. It’s where they sold the records. The store was the facilitator, a means to an end, not the primary focus. Of course I liked going there, as it was where I’d buy the stuff I liked.

But it’s never that easy for Westviewians. They can’t just buy pizza, they have to immerse themselves within a whole complicated pizzeria experience full of old jukeboxes and whimsical band boxes with colorful local characters exchanging wry banter all over the place. And they can’t just buy a comic book, they have to enter a fantastical nostalgic dream world full of holy scriptures and clandestine attic forts full of milk and cookies. They just have to complicate everything, no matter how dumb it is. No wonder they’re all so grumpy.

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Three O’Clock Sigh

Link To Today’s

Yup, sometimes not dying more or less works out for a person, I guess. In Westview it could go either way, of course, but sure, not dying was worth it for young Batton, I suppose, in a way, if you really think about it. His tens of loyal readers no doubt feel likewise, although if he had died upon learning of the future existence of comic book stores his comic strip would have never existed thus wouldn’t have had any fans, but whatever. It’s wry comic book-based banter, it’s not supposed to “be funny” or “make sense”.

The annoying thing about this one is how earnest John is. If he was wryly smirking it’d almost be a gag, but he appears to be serious, which means the gag (as it were) is actually that John is a mentally defective imbecile. This has already been firmly established, so it’s kind of overkill if you ask me.

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Batton Down The Hatches

Link To This One

It’s nice to see that good ol’ Batton survived the local “KOVID” scare unscathed. KOVID was a purely Westviewian viral strain, transmitted only through old comic book paper. It left many survivors with a complete inability to properly appreciate Silver Age comic books, which obviously led to rampant binge drinking and countless suicides. Some experts have speculated that the milk and cookies trade in Westview may never fully recover. The vaccine has some unfortunate side effects, for example an inability to properly grip pizza slices and a precipitous drop in overall wryness, leading many Westviewians to question whether the cure is actually worse than the disease.

But yeah, anyhow, this Batton guy just might be the single most obnoxious “new” Act III character of them all, for obvious reasons. It’s all just so shameless. The wry, self-deprecating banter about how obscure he is, that overly sincere smirk, the way John had to mention the character by his full name just so confused readers would know who the hell he is, it all just makes me sick and quite frankly totally ruined my whole f*cking Monday. It’s a pain my fellow SoSF hosts (and everyone else really but especially them) know all too well. You’re waiting to see what the next arc will be, then you discover it’s a f*cking Batton Thomas arc and you just groan in disgust. Happens with a lot of characters, now that I think about it.

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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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