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.
“The best news is when you retire you get to keep working! I mean yeah, you’re still close to all your high school friends, and get married and have a kid, but the best part is you get to work for minimum wage and touch comic books all day!”
So after yesterday, when Young Crazy Harry had no problem believing this random old guy he met was himself from the future, today he has no idea at all what a “comic book store” is. It’s one of the most self-explanatory names possible. If you know what a “comic book” and what a “store” is, you should be able to figure out what a “comic book store” is.
I really don’t think this is the first time Batiuk’s had someone be totally baffled by the idea of a comic book store before. I feel like it wasn’t too long ago when Batton Thomas was rambling on about how he still couldn’t believe such things existed. I did some quick Googling, and the first official comic book store was founded in 1968, and their heyday was in the late 70s and 80s, so I find it extremely hard to believe that a teenager would react that way.
It’s also funny how quickly he goes from having no idea what “comic book store” means to wanting to know if you can get rich going it. Maybe it’s just me but it seems a bit weird that the kid who skips school regularly to play arcade games in a pizzeria would be so concerned about getting rich.
Another thing I tried searching for was the phrase Harry is saying in the third panel. I thought maybe it’s a regional thing, but I couldn’t find it. Apparently it’s just rephrasing “you can’t get everything” or “you can’t have it all” for some reason, but it just sounds awkward.
April 22, 2018
Don’t you remember, Tom…? The comic book column that Flash wrote was called “Bullpen Boasts.” Like “Bullpen Bulletins,” which was what Stan Lee called the page that he created in Marvel Comics. I suppose the title could have changed over time, the way “Bullpen Bulletins” would become “Stan’s Soapbox” (hat tip Uncle Wikipedia).
February 27, 2022 at 11:00 pm
You just introduced the Strong Force. Four villains that need to be fleshed out and differentiated. That can get you through an entire 12 issue year, if not more.
February 28, 2022 at 4:56 pm
New villains for the Elementals Force? Already?…Has the mighty ‘Strong Force’ already been dispatched? Were they defeated on that comic book cover before the story even started?
Pete’s eyebags threaten to engulf his prominent nose.
One of the “contemporary issues affecting young adults” that Batiuk depicts “in a thought-provoking and sensitive manner” is climate change. Jim Kablichnick has long been Batty’s go-to mouthpiece, while more recently, Funky and Les each have held forth on this important topic. Now barely three weeks after they’ved developed a personal, subatomic foe for each of their four elemental heroes, Pete hijacks the newly created franchise with a climate change angle, even leveraging his wildfire survivor cred to make his point.
Your genial host weighed in yesterday about snarkers who suggest that Tom Batiuk, who will turn 75 in two weeks, is experiencing cognitive decline. They point to the countless inconsistencies in character, plot, and overall quality of his two franchise strips. My take is that Batty works for a syndicate that’s happy just to have a fifty year old comic title to offer its paying customers, while providing minimal if any editorial oversight.
I give you today’s strip as evidence that TB has still got it, whatever “it” in his case means. Pete chimes in with the same remark he uttered three weeks ago, and naturally we hate-readers and everyone else is supposed to exclaim “got the reference!” Meanwhile, Pete really needs a new joke.
You know you’re reading quality comedy/ground-breaking genre convention busting high Art and Literature when you’re getting an “airplane food is expensive” joke. I do think it’s a little weird that Dinkle went around raising funds from people so he could fly out to California and be honored. I also don’t really get how it’s band candy if someone not in the band is selling it, but whatever.
I do find the entire premise of today’s strip, “I told people I needed X amount of money to fly out here but kept begging people for money long after I reached X” to be pretty revealing. That seems bad, and not something that one of the heroes of your strip should be doing? And I don’t really know what he means by “let on”. Is he just saying that he lied to his wife about how much he sold, and how much money he has? Which seems pretty awful, actually. Or did he lie to the fundraising company and not report some of his sales, by like claiming a box went missing or arrived damaged or something? Setting up the extremely, extremely tired “airline food is expensive” gag that got old decades ago shouldn’t be this confusing.
So much for “we…and I emphasize the we“, huh? The mercurial Phil Holt is content to just sit back and let Flash lay out the Subterranean universe for the rest of the team. Pete immediately sees a crossover opportunity involving an existing Atomik property. Ruby is at her desk, clearly craning her neck to get a better look at Phil Holt’s ass (“Flash” Freeman having left his ass in his other pants). Mindy looks on, saying nothing (and, ok, spoiler: she won’t be given anything to say all week). In the middle of all this, Chester thinks “Did we order a pizza?” as he is startled to see Wally enter stage left…oh, wait, that’s not Wally, it’s Darin, wearing his nerd glasses.
Happy Labor Day! and a tip of the SoSF hardhat to the estimable Epicus Doomus for seeing us through the latest installment of Les’ Story. Epicus usually throws himself on the grenade of having to post on a holiday weekend, but I have seen fit to give him the holiday off for a change. You’re welcome.
Though he’s really not dead after all, Phil Holt has arrived in that Old Comics Creator Heaven known as Atomik Komix. He’s even greeted by Saint Mopey Pete himself. Phil and Flash have leeft behind their earthy grievances (to the point where they are now living together), and, thanks to Chester’s beneficence, have reunited to “write to life” the Subterranean, the project that led to the team’s breakup years ago. This development easily pushes the median age of the Atomik Komix staff well north of sixty.
Many of us have wondered why Phil felt it necessary to fake his own death in order to “work without being bothered.” He was already toiling in obscurity when Darin spotted him doing caricatures at a kiddie party. If Phil wanted Darin to have those original Batom covers (which Darin immediately decided to liquidate), it didn’t have to be via his last will and testament. What I think was behind it was this: Phil knew that his “death” would cause Flash to be wracked with guilt over losing the opportunity to reconcile. Now that he’s turned up alive, Phil gets to bask in Flash Freeman’s beaming bonhomie.
Maddest of mad props to ComicBookHarriet for carrying us through the last couple weeks!
“Kitchen Reno“? I had to read today’s strip a couple times before I grasped that “reno” in this case is short for renovations. The weird alignment of type didn’t help. What’s with Funky’s stricken expression in panel 2? Home improvement is typically something guys like to talk about. Of course, all that Funky cares about is what all this is going to cost, especially with Holly out there sourcing materials. As the owner of a business that seems to have more employees than regular customers, he’s right to be concerned as to what this is going to cost.
I’m going to ignore the “haha, apps are confusing mystical objects that nobody can understand” “humor” here and just focus on Becky. What in the world is her expression about? The raised eyebrows and smirk look more seductive/romantic than anything else (although in the second panel she looks eerily like Pete and Summer, because for some reason only three or four face types exist in this strip). And honestly, if it was revealed that Dinkle and Becky were actually having an affair, it would vastly improve the logic of this strip. Because “deaf band director who retired decades ago is constantly shadowing the current band director for no real reason” is stupid. It was the same thing with Linda and Buck. I think it’s a sign of bad writing when totally unintended subtexts actually make more sense than the actual plot.