Tag Archives: Dashiell Hammett

Monday, July 15

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.


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< sarcasm >
Today’s strip clears up so much!
< /sarcasm >

Dashiell Hammett “felt” Brinkel was innocent of Valerie Pond’s murder? Well… how can you argue with that? Especially when Hammett himself believed that Brinkel was covering up for the REAL murderer, which is… not a crime? Is that right?

Interesting that Cliff is essentially hatching a conspiracy theory about Brinkel, given how he didn’t seem to care for Senator McCarthy’s conspiracy theories about his own actions.


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Batiukverse space time
Still warping in today’s strip
A 40s newsboy?

Street-hawking newsboys
Were in decline in the 10s
And gone by 40s

Hammett’s Pinkertons
Found nothing on Brinkel’s case
They were years early

Or have we gone back?
Brinkel’s a silent star?
40s a typo?

Who knows? I sure don’t
Author sure doesn’t either
Just end this thing, please

Bad newspapermen
Are ones who print comics like
Funky Winkerbean


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Hammett Up, Cliff

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.


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When’s This Story Gonna Endsday, July 10

Today’s strip was not available for preview, so we’ll all just have to wait for midnight Eastern time to see how Cliff’s hallucinations of Sam Spade prove Brinkel’s innocence or something.

In lieu of this Brinkel nonsense, let’s hop back 23 years to this very day, the last time a Funky Winkerbean character attempted to solve a celebrity murder.

The summer of 1996 was a busy one in the Batiukverse. Lisa was badly injured when talk radio caused the Westview Post Office bombing and Les was busy working on his first book, the eventual Fallen Star, where a fictional detective (surely not Sam Spade?) solved John Darling’s murder.


The interviewee here is Wade Wallace (he eventually became Funky’s AA sponsor) and Les didn’t even seek him out for this interview. Nope, this exchange happened because Funky, Les, and Lisa caught him running an ongoing scam where he would call and order a pizza, not pick it up, and then fish it out of the Montoni’s dumpster when Funky threw it out… y’know, because he was homeless. In fact, he likely had been homeless for a nearly 2 decades at this point, as his homelessness was used to set up a vanity gag in a December 1979 John Darling strip. Act II was a maudlin mess.

Wallace returned later in the summer to return a publisher’s check to Les, which he found because Les accidentally threw it out like an idiot. Les spends three strips in a dumpster looking for the check, which is a real highlight in Batiukverse history.


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Sentences Batom Rarely Hears For $100, Alex

Link to today’s strip


BOOM! Look at Cliff, trying not to crack up. Sometimes NomBat makes this way too easy.

“Yeah, the feds got wise to us while we were filming “Starbuck Jones Leads The Righteous Lunar Proletariat In A Galactic Revolt Against The Decadent Capitalist Space Bourgeois” and long story short, I spent the next thirty-two years working a floor buffer at Leavenworth. Even worse, my cell was in the Right Wing so all day long I had to watch my back in case someone wanted to trade currency for goods or services. It was hell on earth. Really good grilled cheese sandwiches though, it’s all in the quality of the paper you’re using when you heat them on the radiator.”

“Oh how I waited and waited for my dearest Clifford to call after his parole. So many years spent watching my neck waste away, hoping to hear from my beloved Starbuck. Then I learned he had a computer and could have looked up my number in like two seconds. I began to see things in a different light after that. But still, this is too good to pass up, the studio pays for everything no questions asked and the food is fantastic.”

“When Dashiell told me to meet him at on Marx St at the old Lenin building over on the communist side of town I was a little apprehensive and when he asked me to wear all red I thought “hmmm, this guy could be involved in some far-out stuff here”. But he was very engaging and persuasive so I eventually agreed to obtain the blasting caps for him in spite of my misgivings.  But I wasn’t anywhere near the bald eagle sanctuary on the evening in question and you can put that on the record.”

“I tried to tell him “Cliff, darling, this Hammett guy is a pinko, he associates with more Reds than Ted Kluszewski, he’s a goddamned f*cking commie to the core. But that’s my Clifford, a dear man but quite frankly dumber than a pillowcase full of broken toasters.”




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To Greet The Man, You’ve Got To Meet The Man

Link to today’s strip


Happy Thanksgiving From Your Pals at SoSF!!!

Dashiell Hammett makes his first actual appearance today and it’s everything you imagined it’d be, even minus the band turkeys. Yep, nothing leaps off the funny page like a drawing of a man while he writes…but as a regular FW reader YOU ALREADY KNEW THAT!!! This Hammett guy was a political activist during the “Red Scare” era which is without a doubt where BanTom is going with this, although I can tell you with 100% certainty he’ll dance around the particulars and the details and keep things as vague as he possibly can to ensure there’s absolutely no possibility of offending anyone whatsoever, like he always does. Yep, 1950s commie paranoia…issues, today’s youth and so forth. Sigh.

“Starbuck Jones”…an obscure, short-lived comic book title that eventually grew to span decades and captured the very imagination of a nation. The old SJ movie serials of the fifties…low-budget and mostly forgotten matinee fare that was actually the brilliant work of a group of idealistic young Hollywood subversives. Cliff Anger…not really a weird old recluse but an American hero forced into seclusion by Cold War paranoia. Montoni’s…lousy indifferently-made food that Westviewians would kill for. Nothing is ever what it appears to be in the Funkyverse, like how it’s always on the page titled “Comics” for some reason.


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And Even Fewer Care, Cliff

Link to today’s strip

History lesson time…who knew? Anyhow, the entire SJ mythology veers wildly off-course today as the old serials we assumed were based upon the “Starbuck Jones” comic book series were actually written by Dashiell Hammett, a renowned  mystery writer and political activist from “back in the day” (guess which day, bet you’re not surprised). Few people knew this, as generations of obsessive SJ fanboys somehow completely overlooked the old SJ serial films because comic book fan communities rarely deal in the arcane or trivial and would have no interest at all in something like that.

Anyhow that’s a real swerve into left field completely out of nowhere, eh? Obviously none of this shameless, haphazard retconning makes even a little sense but hey, it’s his comic strip and if he wants to use it as some sort of half-assed platform to create magical boring fantasy worlds where his real-life interests and preferences get shoehorned into the narrative regardless of logic or continuity, that’s his business.

Briefly checking out the Dashiell Hammett page gives me an idea of where this is going…ugh. Cliff Anger…Political Prisoner? I guess it does beat band turkeys, though.


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