Tom Batiuk is a 14 year old. Because he clearly seems to think smoking and drinking makes you a badass, which I’m pretty sure that stopped being a thing in high school. A literal 14 year old boy writing this strip would explain why it’s so fixated on comics and has such a creepy portrayal of the female characters. Also, teaching an animal to smoke and drink isn’t awesome, it’s abuse.
Oh, and Cliff absolutely has the hots for Zanzibar in the last panel. Note the leer and the fact that his right hand is clearly under the table.
Again-this didn’t come up in the previous documentary about Cliff Anger? The fact that he literally lived with a monkey? This is honestly the most interesting thing about him. And was this before or after he took off on the tramp steamer? Did the monkey live with him in his crappy little apartment? Did Zanzibar testify before Congress on his behalf? Is the fact that Cliff lived with a convicted murderer’s pet monkey maybe contribute to his being branded a communist, or living as a bachelor for sixty years?
Also, how in the world was there “no way of telling when Butter would be back, if ever”? Does Cliff/Batiuk not know that people are sentenced to jail for specific lengths of time, and not like “whenever Williams/Wilson Bellows Inkpot feels like letting you out”, or whatever is supposed to be going on here? It says a lot that Batiuk can botch a storyline with an actress being murdered and a monkey so incredibly badly.
And is it me, or does Cliff look disturbingly like Frankie in the last panel? I’m sure it’s just supposed to be a “cool” expression but it always comes off way more creepy to me.
Link to today’s strip
Thanks for having me back. I’m always nervous that I’m going to get stuck with weeks of Dinkle typing in silence when it’s my turn here, so I guess this is better.
I’ve got two issues with today’s strip. I would really, really like to know why Hammett thought Brinkle was covering up for someone else. It’s basically the core of this whole lame “mystery”. Somehow a jury found enough evidence to convict him, but Hammett found evidence that he didn’t do it? Gosh, that sounds almost interesting.
It’s also very funny to me how this never came up once in the documentary Cindy already did on Cliff. It’s like if you did a documentary on some random old football player, and then a year later he just casually mentioned how he had proof that O.J. Simpson was guilty and never mentioned it before.
Today’s strip gets a “time travel” tag and a “retcon” tag, because both of those things appear to be happening!
This is lifted wholesale from the Fatty Arbuckle case, by the way. Dashiell Hammett actually was a Pinkerton man in the late 1910s and early 1920s and he did claim to be a part of the Pinkerton team hired by Arbuckle’s defense attorneys, though some historians doubt his involvement was significant if it even happened at all.
How this squares with the timeline of silent film star 1940s icon Butter Brickle Brinkel’s trial is unclear… but all timelines in the Batiukverse are about as clear as an oil spill.