Link To Today’s Thing
“My dad says your comic strip doesn’t really address the issues that young people face today and you just say that in your interviews to give the impression that FW is far more substantive than it actually is.”
“Ummmmmm, uh, yeah.”
Bernie’s dad sounds like he’s quite a character. He must be beaming with pride, what with Bernie just about ready to move up to 13th grade and all. Why is everyone pretending that Cindy is still a news anchor? Her last “big story” involved a ninety year old actor talking about the 1950s and while it may have made for a ripping good yarn, it’s hardly “news”, fake or otherwise.
Link To Today’s Strip
Uh, Cindy works for Buddyblog and there is no “sweeps month” on the interwebs. Thus this gag, aside from being unnecessarily cynical and sort of obnoxious, is also quite dated and stupid too. “And that’s what we try to do…unless our advertisers balk”…there, it still sucks but at least it’s something applicable to THIS decade and not the 1990s. “Sweeps month”…when was the last time you even heard that mentioned in any context?
I hate it when he tries to pretend he’s commenting on “these times we live in” and such. Just get to the f*cking Butter Brickel thing, we all know it’s coming and the sooner it begins the sooner it’ll end, at least in theory. Cindy is by no means his worst female character but she’s undoubtedly one of the more grating ones.
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.
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?
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)
I’ve had so much fun doing this. It’s like being a little comic book company…I’m going back and I’m going to dip into some of the other characters I created in the fifth grade…I’m going to resurrect them and put them to good use in the strip. I’ll tell you about one. I have a character, The Amazing Mister Sponge…
Tom Batiuk, 2014
A superhero with a name like “The Amazing Mister Sponge” gives us a good idea why the “big” comic book companies gave the air to young Thomas Martin Batiuk. I do like the name “Killjoy” for a villainous evil clown; but I wouldn’t need “porifera vision” to discern a frowning clown with a gangsta teardrop tattoo, toting a huge rifle, to be a criminal.
Speaking of superheroes, the only person I’ve ever heard use “chum” as a form of address is Adam West’s Batman, may he rest in peace. The superhero theme allows Rick Burchett to work a little more in his element in the first two panels. But he’s taken some liberties with the bricks in panel 3–they’re not consistent at all–and he’s drawn Bernie to resemble a bespectacled 8-year-old.
So much for my two-week turn in the barrel! Tune in tomorrow when beckoningchasm takes over for a spell.
It is comics like today’s strip that remind me how good I have it. I’m not taking high school English from Les Moore. I never had to take high school English from Les Moore. It is as if he is intentionally trying to be the opposite of the teacher that successful people so often cite as the inspiration that got them to make something of their life. What a miserable experience in every single way this strip is.
Les’ senior students did poorly on their quiz last Monday and now his freshman students have done poorly on theirs… I see a common denominator here. I bet these students would too if Westview High had a math teacher.
If I had told you a year ago that today’s strip was going to be the second in as many days to revolve around Bernie Silver’s forehead acne, you probably would have said “yeah, that sounds like something Tom Batiuk would write about.”
What a pompous and verbose response to a reasonable question. Does Bernie look at Les a role model? Because strips like this make it seem that he does. It almost makes you forget that Bernie is trying to use a pimple to justify an absence from school, a trope that became trite decades ago when the 7 billionth fictional teenager got a pimple on school picture day or prom night and sulked about it.
The traveling green shirt, meanwhile, lives up to its name and finds itself being worn by a third different student in as many days.
Today’s strip gives us a good indication of why Bernie has been a freshman for two years, he apparently plays hooky when the slightest blemish appears on his face.
Bernie might not be learning much of the three Rs in high school, but he’s getting Westview’s trademark tone-deafness down pat. Griping about your “bad forehead day” in front of a 15-year-old cursed with Peyton Manning’s forehead and a 15-year-old cursed with Ron Howard’s hairline while wearing bangs that cover 95% of your own forehead… that is cold-blooded, Bernie. Les would be proud if he didn’t despise you and every other student who walks the halls of Westview High.