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Don’t Eat the ‘Magical’ ‘Pepperoni’.

Today’s strip is finally up.

“Waterlogged comics! Mixed with moldy discarded pizza toppings! And mildew! That’s our hero.”

Darin stares blankly at Pete.

“It emerges from the basement: a sentient mass in the vague shape of a man, but grotesque and lumpy. An abomination of pulped paper, and smeared three-color inks, held together by black mold and marinara.”

Darin doesn’t speak.

“But there’s this beautiful woman, see and she is entranced by his doughy nature, his strange charms. Even though they can’t be together in a traditional sense, she is willing to do anything, try anything, to feel in every cell of her being the deeper spiritual connection pulsing between the flawless woman and the eldritch Comicmuck Thing! All in a homage to Swamp Thing 34! You know, Alan Moore? Rite of Spring?

Darin reluctantly puts his pencil to paper… “Okay Pete, if you’re sure you’re okay with us using your love life that way.”

 

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Dry Drowning

Today’s strip is finally up.

I was desperately hoping that my return to the writer’s helm after months of this meandering nonsense would be the magical talisman to break this unending inanity. I was there when this plot started in February, and maybe now it could end.

No such luck. Pete is plodding along on his Cosmic Treadmill…using awful word association to come up with cut-rate characters. I’m sure that the Floodlight, or the Floodmaster, or Floody McFlooderson the World’s Wettest Woman, will be nothing more than a name, a costume, a gimmick, and an even worse arch nemesis with drought powers. No Batman or Captain America levels of backstory, built in angst, creeds, and psychological insight. Just a stupid idea, personified.

Floods of biblical proportions can’t drown shallow characters. They’re hollow and insubstantial rising to the top and clinging together in a choking mat of garbage.

Yes I am comparing TomBat’s idea of ‘comicbook characters’ with the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

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Or You Could Just Die, Either Or

Link To Today’s Thing

Once again BatHole’s vast “writing” ineptitude is on full display. If you were reading the events of this story in novel form you’d have laughed and casually tossed it into the fireplace already, just to spare yourself the embarrassment of having it in your home. So just like that this Flash guy is leaving? Does he work there or was he just brought in specifically to wish Pete well with his new job? It’s such a weird and inexplicable tangent, all for a really sad and pitiful payoff too.

“Hello, Flash? This is Chester Hagglemore. I own a new comic book company based on Batom Comics. Do you remember the ol’ Eaton Building where you used to work? Well, I bought it and…”

“What? Hello? (buttons on keypad being pressed)”

“Mr. Flash, I bought that building and one of my employees is a big fan of your old work and I thought…”

“What? Hello? Who’s this now? Comic books?”

“Yes sir, I was wondering if you’d let me stash you in the building to surprise this Pete fellow, it’d really mean a lot to him and…”

“Hello? Brady Wentworth, now THERE was a REAL SCUMBAG! Still OWES ME MONEY!! Hello?”

(phone rustling noises, yelling)

“This is Mr Flash’s nurse. You’ll have to call him back, the “Diagnosis: Murder” with Tim Conway and Harvey Korman is on. After dinner is fine, say 3:15 or so.”

I mean come on. And Pete has been in the comic book game for years now, while being flattered by McFlashowitz’s praise is all well and good that grotesque star-struck look on his face is way out of proportion with the events that just took place.

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Bloop Bloop.

There is less than nothing going on today.

This is like when horrible one note authors attempt to pad out their paychecks by writing the same story again, but gender flipped or from the guy’s perspective this time! We have reached Life and Death or Grey levels of storytelling here people.

So because there is no plot to speak of. I’ll just point out some tidbits I noticed in each panel.

Panel 1.) Boy Lisa’s table seems positioned in the middle of the room, instead of up against a wall, and his overhead light seems to be behind his head AND pointed away from his workstation. He asks if the text is ‘more script changes’ which means that they regularly get TEXTS of script changes in a major motion picture sequel. Pete has a tiny phone.

Panel 2.) You know that this is California because of the medical marijuana growing right outside the window. Pete’s hands are the size of his head and the bags under his eyes have drifted so far down his cheek they might as well be Tony Montana scars. Pete’s phone has grown in size.

Panel 3.) Boy Lisa’s desk light is now in front of him. His face is a horrifying mask with terrible pencil eyebrows drawn all the way up on his forehead. He is apparently wearing a black v-neck t-shirt like a total tool. We can see that Pete’s now minuscule cell phone isn’t even a touchscreen smart phone, but rather some knockoff blackberry-lite. I link a picture of my phone, for reference. Sad, cheap, pathetic reference.

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Shadowy Agenda

Link to Today’s Strip.

Someone decided to rip of Frank Miller in exactly one panel today.

Actually the art on looks pretty good, bravo to the colorist for the gradient shades on Chester’s bald head. And you can actually tell that it is supposed to be a Hulk poster in the background. Much better than the weeklies. If you look at Saturday we have a brown Green Arrow, and a nearly black Spider Man. I know that there is a black Spider Man now, but I don’t think he’s gone for a suit the same shade as his skin.

In one entire week of strips, we’ve learned exactly HALF of why Chester is here. I’m guessing that at the end of next week we will finally learn why he wants to contact Mopey Pete.

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Sadderday

Link to today’s comic.

Now we’ve devolved to a single panel, setting up a joke that could have been between any two Batiuk cardboard cutout mouthpieces. Both Crazy’s animosity and Chester’s condescension have been tossed aside to make a ‘topical’ reference.

According to BingeClock, it would take 2 days and 15 hours to watch all of Game of Thrones released so far. So is this running for a month of Saturdays? How do they decide where to start? I’m guessing they fast forward through any sex or gratuitous violence, thus getting the series down to 20 hours plus potty breaks and pizza runs downstairs. And who is attending this? Where are they sitting and watching? Spending 24 hours upstairs from Montoni’s, crouched on folding chairs in the dark, huddled around a flickering 1994 Trinitron TV, with Bernie, Bernie’s black friends, DSH and Crazy, eating cold pizza and drinking flat Mt Dollarstore, sounds like a recipe for Red Wedding levels of horror.

Also. This is a comic book store. Obviously they should have been watching The Walking Dead.

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The Defender: Rebirth

Link to today’s strip

Like many a random female comic character of the 80’s and 90’s, I am pulling on the discarded mantle of a now-gone vigilante to assume his identity for political justice! So watch in amazement as slip on my Mask of Internet Anonimity and take of the Cloak of The Devil’s Advocate. I ascend the rickety soapbox and become…. THE DEFENDER!

I went on an hours long Funky binge today, reading the entire Holly collects Starbucks series again. Because I was completely ready to lambaste this strip, and accuse Batiuk of all kinds of fussy comic book hang-ups. But I suddenly had an epiphany, like a lighting strike! (Into photo-developing chemicals!) And suddenly I could see. We are reading the meaning of Chester the Chiseler wrong.

The rich, obsessive, fanatical, Chester is prancing around like a grade A WWE heel, begging for our boos. And we’ve been booing. But we’ve also been accusing Batty of throwing a temper tantrum and making Chester a strawman of people who are ‘Bad Collectors’ who ‘love comics wrong.’

We’ve been wrong. Chester isn’t bad because Tom Batiuk thinks there is only one way to love comics right. Chester is bad because CHESTER thinks there is only one way to love comics right.

I’ve got more than a couple long boxes hiding in my apartment. I know firsthand how weird comics collectors can be, and Tom knows it too. There’s a mix of comic nerds and non-nerds in the Funkyverse, and Batiuk has made jokes on both sides of the ‘aisle’ so-to-speak without making anyone ‘the bad guy.’ Sweet pleasant little old ladies wandered into Komix Korner on Black Friday and didn’t think it was a real store. And Holly was teased for not knowing what ‘Slabbed’ means.

Most of Chester the Chiselers traits have been displayed by sympathetic characters previously. So those aren’t WHY Chester is ‘bad.’

Mason is rich; he’s not pilloried. Crazy Harry was flat out ‘Crazy’ about his collection he had to sell, and had grouped every book with awful acronyms. He also apparently was willing to spend college savings levels of money to complete his collection of Tarzan. Chullo boy swore on a ‘slabbed copy of Amazing Fantasy;’ so nothing against comic books being sealed away to preserve them. Pete had a hoard so big he had a street sale before moving. Darin bought a life-size Cosmic Treadmill. DSH John gave Holly bargaining advice before she went to buy a comic from Nick the Geek. Holly went absolutely CRAZY CUTTHROAT during an E-bay sale.

But Chester is a SNOB. Chester judges other nerds by what they like, and how they like it. Chester talks down facets of nerdom he thinks beneath him. Chester thinks that his collection makes him awesome and powerful. That it gives him authority to dictate comics dogma. That pointing out nerdy flaws at other nerds makes him THE ONLY TRUE NERD KING.  He is a terrible person, who just happens to love comic books. If he didn’t love comics, he would still be a jerk. It’s his interactions with other people, not his interactions with comic books, that make him a villain.

Chester sees John’s wall of questionable loli manga, and back issues of Sonic Adventures…and he is not impressed.

Disagree? Please let me know! I wanna hear your analysis!

Tomorrow we return to your regularly scheduled snarky nitpicking. Defender out!

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