Tag Archives: comics

You Don’t Know Jack

Link to today’s strip.

My understanding of the slang word “jack” is that it means “nothing,” or perhaps “a small amount.”  Like the title of this entry, for example.  “You don’t know jack” means “You know nothing about this subject.”  “You get jack” means “You get nothing.”

Now, it’s been established that Batiuk has created his own world with its own idiots idioms.  The thing is, your own private slang only really works when there isn’t a real-world version.  He’s usually safe in this regard, as no human being has ever uttered things like “solo car date,” “vendo,” or “bio-dad,” but people use “jack” in the context I mentioned all the time.

Here, it seems to mean “money,” at least as far as I can fathom Pete’s meaning.  “Jack,” used here, is such a square-peg forced into a round-hole (forced with a hammer, while the peg is screaming) that I’m thinking it might get added to the Batiukionary.

Normally, in most strips with a *cough* joke like this, the drawing in panel three would be a slight variation of panel two, with the two halves of the *cough* joke implying a character’s single bit of dialogue in a single moment.  But I like to think that Pete said his dumb first line, then silently struggled to shoe-horn “jack” into his next sentence while everyone else ordered, paid, picked up their coffees and headed toward a table.

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C Minus

Link to today’s strip.

I’m not a comics fan, but I looked at today’s deposit and thought “That can’t be right.”   Two seconds of dreaded research confirmed my suspicion.

                

Tom Batiuk claims to hold comics creators in high regard, but you know, when he can’t even spell Joe Shuster’s name correctly….

No doubt Batiuk will call his syndicate and post a corrected version, but jeez louise–this is the kind of error that should have leapt from the page and smacked him.

Of course, given the evidence of “Bantom,” and Pete’s Wandering Last Name, and, well, the strip itself, maybe he just doesn’t care.

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On This August Occasion

Link to today’s strip (eventually).

The occasion being, of course, the first of August…and the strip thus unavailable for preview.

Of course, we know how it’s going to go.   Kitch Swoon’s going to talk more about using Dullard’s work in her gallery.  This will probably lead to collectors bidding for his work, and a wealthy life for Dullard.  Batiuk has used this strip to construct his ideal fantasy world, where the real world has no presence at all.  A world where the terrible comics that AK publishes are somehow wildly successful.

That’s one aspect of this strip that truly puzzles me.  He’s got his own invented world, and his own invented comic book publishing house.  He could do literally any titles he wished (providing he doesn’t violate copyright law) and he comes up with stuff that just looks terrible and dull.*  I cannot imagine a comic-book reader, in any era, doing anything with these titles other than turning up his nose.  Back when I was reading comics, the only one of these I would have looked at would be The Scorch, and that would only be after I’d already read everything else that month.

Where are the AK versions of Superman, Batman, or the Flash?  Isn’t that the sort of book that Batiuk wanted to work on back in the day?  So why doesn’t he create his own versions now (other than fears that his knock-offs would be mocked without mercy)?  Wasn’t that Chester’s vision–creating stalwart and true heroes, like the ones he loved as a child?  Why is it that the two dullest sounding AK titles–Rip Tide and the Inedible Pulp–are the only ones with more than one cover showcased in the strip?

Why does Batiuk’s imagination seem so small?

*The Inedible Pulp, Rip Tide-Scuba Cop, Atomic Ape, The Scorch…these are the ones I remember, am I forgetting any?  And if I am forgetting, well, guess why.

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The Man in the Mirror

Link to today’s strip.

I believe commentor Charles had it right a few days ago–Dullard is the new Les, ie, the author’s new avatar.   Today’s strip makes that pretty plain, I think, as suddenly his works are considered “professional” enough to be displayed in an art gallery.   To the point where Swoon feels she has to seek him out personally, rather than make a phone call or put up a “call for submissions” notice.

See, the world failed to appreciate the depth of Les’ suffering, his broad perception of life, and the height of his intellect.   I have a feeling the Westview world is going to appreciate the POOP out of Dullard.  He’ll be not just appreciated, but honored and touted and given first chair to impart his wisdom.

But while Tom Batiuk, the artist, feels he should be honored, praised and lionized, Tom Batiuk, the writer, falls completely down on the job.  The “you had me at” joke works when the “at” refers to something pretty early in a bit of dialogue–“You had me at ‘Hello'” being the original (I think).  Pete’s, on the other hand, occurs when there’s only one word still to go in Swoon’s sentence.  That’s not how it works.  The fact that it isn’t funny or clever is besides the point.

But then, given the ideas that Pete has used to populate (almost wrote “pollute”) Atomik Komix, I don’t expect anything from him to be witty, imaginative or well-formed.

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Dead Punch Line

Today’s strip is EDT. Extremely Dead Today.

Lame? Oh yeh, but I figured it wouldn’t look half bad following this. I know Pete’s the writer and Durwood’s the artist, but sheesh Durwood, do you have to make it that obvious? Guy probably wouldn’t even be working so late if he wasn’t such a chronic procrastinator, so no sympathy from me.

And with that, I pass the keyboard over to SpacemanSpiff85, who reminds us of the best of comics in name as we dissect the worst of comics in FW.

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Twenty-Four-get This Dreck

Oh hello Mr. Stock Male Nerd Cartoon #27 from 10,000 Clip Art Images ’98 CD-ROM (OS/2 Edition), glad you could make it to today’s strip. If you hadn’t shown up, Pete and Durwood might have had to twiddle their thumbs, and we all know how much they hate slacking off…

Y’know what’s really nerdy? Math! Let’s do some math. Lessee, it’s early May, so we’ll say Atomik Komix most recent issues were published in April. Here’s their titles that we know of and when we first see them “published”.

The Inedible PulpMay 2018
Rip Tide: Scuba CopJuly 2018
Atomic ApeSeptember 2018
The ScorchJanuary 2019

Assuming one issue per month for each title, there would be 33 issues. Assuming a once every two months schedule there would be 17 issues.

The Inedible Pulp – 12 issues/6 issues
Rip Tide: Scuba Cop – 10 issues/5 issues
Atomic Ape – 8 issues/4 issues
The Scorch – 3 issues/2 issues

No math involving this strip or story arc equals entertainment.

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Graphic Drivel

I know what you’re thinking, “How can today’s strip be any worse than this past week?”

Well, newsflash!

raph-itsworse

Les. The most dreaded name in the newspaper. The name that even alone evokes the most dire of thoughts. “Les” is the sound that a rattlesnake makes before it dies in a brush fire. It’s the Florida State Police code word for a sinkhole. It was the name of Francisco Franco’s pet canary. It is far and away the worst part of the title of Les Miserables.

I don’t know what possessed this poor poor child to wander near Les’ table, but I do know that if he winds up reading Lisa’s Story he is not going put it down disappointed that only one person dies. No, he’s just going to think that the wrong person dies. And he would, of course, be right.

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