Link To The Strip
Special thanks to TFH, and everyone else really, but especially him! Lucky me, I’m back just in time for the unholy alliance of Batton Thomas and Atomik Komix, perhaps the second or third most sickening development of 2022 so far. Les getting that Oscar is gonna be tough to top.
So this Batton guy just “started coming there”? He just showed up at random local businesses looking for gym equipment he could use? Did someone invite him? How did he even know about the treadmill? This was the only way a guy with fifty years of writing experience was able to work a character based on himself into the story? Why not just use “magic” next time? Would it really be that much more ridiculous?
Batton is in the strip all the time now, yet Batty is still explaining who he is, which means that either a) he thinks his readers are forgetful dullards or b) he has no confidence in the character and probably shouldn’t be using him at all. I’m kind of surprised that Batton doesn’t already work at AK, as everyone else even loosely associated with the comic book business (turns and glares at Mindy) does. He could write and illustrate “Apathy Man”, whose superpower is that everyone forgets interacting with him immediately. He could use that ability to solve crimes or save the planet or something, or he could just half-ass it and milk it for fifty years. Either or.
“There are gaggles of geese, pods of whales and murders of crows. What term would do justice to the special nature of black holes?…The question was crowdsourced on Twitter recently as part of what NASA has begun calling black hole week…Among the many candidates so far: A crush. A mosh pit. A silence. A speckle. A hive. An enigma. Or a favorite of mine for of its connection to my youth: an Albert Hall of black holes.” –Dennis Overbye, “What Do You Call a Bunch of Black Holes: A Crush? A Scream?”, New York Times, April 22, 2021
Thankfully we’ve survived the week-long shipwreck that is Tom Batiuk’s imaginary Hollywood, to find ourselves in the more familiar confines of Westview High School. Jim shares his dismay over his students not picking up on his referencing a fifty-five year old Beatles lyric. Which would be akin to 1970’s high school kids recognizing an Al Jolson reference. Which, come to think of it, we 1970’s high school kids might’ve picked up on, so maybe Jim’s pupils are deserving of his disdain after all.
Today we learn the name of Westview High’s janitor. Is Harley his first name or last? It Harley matters…
How bad was the past week of Les strips? Bad enough to make today’s appearance by Mister Kablichnick feel like a refresing palate cleanser. I was ready to add “doughnut of doom” to the Batiuktionary, figuring that the term was coined by TB to set up the “punchline.” But Grandpa Google turned up this April 2019 New York Times article that uses the phrase, as well as the image Jim that is showing the students.
It’s been a pleasure sharing the pain with you lo these last two weeks. Beckoning Chasm steps into the wheelhouse starting Monday!
Banana Jr. 6000
December 4, 2020 at 12:36 pm
…The joke is so mild and so botched, and the reaction is so ridiculously oversold, that the strip should be funny for how misguided it is.
Does anyone else think that Darin in the last panel looks like he was drawn by MAD’s Maddest Artist, Don Martin?
Tom Batiuk has frequently expressed, in his work and in interviews, that even though we call them “comics,” they don’t necessarily have to be “funny.” “I don’t see why a comic strip can’t carry the weight of substantial ideas,” he once said. But even a storyteller like Batiuk must cleanse the palate with the occasional standalone gag, or even a week’s worth of them. Everything about Pete’s “holiday joke” is lame, and the smugness with which he delivers it is just off the charts. Of course, the response is a hearty HA! HA! HA! from all but one of the Atomik staff. At first, it looked to me as if Chester was the one admonishing Pete to “stick to writing drama,” which would make sense as he’s Pete’s boss. Naturally, as his fiancé, Mindy must come to Pete’s defense. But nobody knows better that his real soulmate, Darin, that flighty, distractible Pete needs help with focus. And anyway, his jokes suck.
Something that does not suck is the way Beckoning Chasm goes to work on Funky Winkerbean with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch, and his authoring stint begins with Monday’s comic. Stay safe and well and happy, people. –TFH
Tom Batiuk’s got a decade-plus on me, but I reckon my high school experience had more in common with his than with that of today’s high school student. In my days, the only “device” a student might carry would be some kind of orthodontic implement. Any phone calls a student made would have to be from the principal’s office or the corner malt shop. Logan Church and her peers are never without their cellphones, and thus, are never without access to all the world’s knowledge. No wonder the unpleasant Jim hates teaching a class. When Logan correctly answers a physics question, Jim’s initial surprised reaction immediately shifts to narrow-eyed suspicion. She couldn’t have known this answer without Googling it, because Jim believes, as does Les, that these students never even open their textbooks. The thought that he has actually taught a student something brings Jim to actual tears. Unless that teardrop in the corner of his eye is a prison tattoo.
December 1, 2020 at 10:34 pm
Oh, so this is just a WHS garbage dump arc, a place to use up the one-off WHS gags he has laying around that studio of his.
Guess the humor in today’s strip derives from the fact that Maris is never satisfied with her school pictures. Speaking of retakes, today’s riff hearkens back to a similar gag from 13 years ago.