Tag Archives: Bernie Silver

Smirky Smirkybean

It is only at today’s strip where I finally realize the true meaning of Free Comic Book Day. I get it now. It’s not a day where free comic books are given out. No, it’s a rallying cry. A desperate plea. Comic Book Day must be freed from the clutches of these unbearable shmucks! Free Comic Book Day! And Free Holtron while we’re at it!

Also, Logan Church is here now. Such a sad turn for the once-accomplished business blogger. You could drive a semi-truck through her earrings.

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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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A Silver-Age Comic

“I thought you were dead.”
Says Bernie in today’s strip
“Nice to meet you too.”

Bernie, Bernie *sigh*
It’s Phil Holt that’s the dead guy
Turn in your nerd card

It’s a fair guess, though
Batom Comics was founded
65 years back

That’s without time jumps
So Flash must be 90 plus
Did time stretch his face?

Thatsnought’s creepy smile
Over Durwood’s chicken scratch?
It’s a rictus grin

Pete, what’s with that face?
Keep your hands where we can see
Please please please please please

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The Right to Hug Arms

Link to today’s strip

The internet has been a wonderful breeding ground for all kinds of new dialectical terminology. Whereas before we had things like Ockham’s Razor or Pascal’s Wager. Now we’ve got Godwin’s Law, “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” The Bechdel Test, “Whether a work features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man.” And Poe’s Law, “Without a clear indicator of the author’s intent, it is impossible to create a parody of extreme views so obviously exaggerated that it cannot be mistaken by some readers for a sincere expression of the parodied views.”

Here we have an inverse Poe’s Law. A sincere expression of a view so obviously exaggerated it is indistinguishable from parody.

Also. Is this all of the students who walked out? That must have been some editorial.

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Did someone break the windows?

Link to today’s strip

No Les, for either one of them to be jokes, they would have to be funny. And kudos to all the commenters who wondered if Batiuk would remember far enough back to reference the machine gun. Turns out it was cardboard. What is funny is that bringing a fake gun to school these days is likely good enough to get you suspended. Ah, the good old days, when Batiuk still had the balls to use guns for humor.

There is something funny in this strip though. That kid carrying the ‘We’re Still Here” sign looks like an immigrant from another strip entirely. I’m guessing Archie. He’s either got freckles, acne, stubble, or a tiny tattoo of a flock of migrating geese on his cheek. That coat looks like he murdered Chewbacca to wear his pelt, and the orange scarf isn’t so much a fashion accessory as some terrible noose he’s broken free. He’s got a nose high and sharp enough to use as a can opener, pointy ears. And all of this with a receding hairline hiding under cowlick reminiscent of the infamous scene in “There’s Something About Mary.”

Forget everyone else in this strip. We should make it all about Cowlick from now on.

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The Enemy of My Enemy.

Link to today’s strip

Well, this is the most blatantly, problematically sexist strip I have seen Tom Batiuk put out since “What Women’s Lib doesn’t know won’t hurt them”. He has his newest nebbish highschool avatar say that it took him til the tenth grade to have girls for friends, and flat out say that he considers wimmin-folk a separate class from himself.

Bernie has been hanging out with Logan for at least three years now, and he didn’t consider her a friend? Instead he saw her as an ‘other.’ And not only as from a different group, but a group outright opposing his own.

The wording of this has a darker potential double meaning. Because it could indicate that there are in fact two camps on each side of these opposing groups. A male opposing camp and a female opposing camp. And how else is Logan different from Bernie? So we’ve got textual sexism on top of sub-liminal racism. I’m revoking Bernie’s ‘woke’ card.

For years I’ve been defending Tom Batiuk against claims of overt sexism. I honestly believed he just had a hard time writing and relating to women. But this one strip has me rethinking everything.

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