In case you missed it, we are in the final weeks of Funky Winkerbean. Tom Batiuk appears to be reluctantly retiring the strip much in the same way he’s written Ruby as reluctantly retiring from Atomik Komix this week and in today’s strip. The timing of this thin gruel of a story arc and TB’s fairly muted announcement is certainly no coincidence. Most all of us here at SOSF, despite speculating for over a decade on when and how this thing would end, are probably still processing the suddenness of the announcement, how soon it will become reality, and what that means for this wonderful community going forward.
But enough wallowing about, let’s leave that to the strip and try to get back to business as usual. I guess today’s strip is aiming for bittersweet, but it largely is coming across as just bitter. You can’t mask your true feelings in a wall of smirks, TB… And even if the strip wasn’t ending at the close of this year, I’m guessing we were never going to see Chester meet with the building manager by looking in a mirror anyways. I’d say “a pity”, but, you know, it’s not. It’s really not.
Are we STILL on this?
More on Ruby's retirement
Here in today's strip
Batton butts right in
Again, he does NOT work here
Who asked him to speak?
A reflection of TB?
Is the strip's end near?
Or is this resolve?
Tom writing his thoughts in strip
Eff-ing ponderousA warning haiku
The link above has cussing
With Dinkle, Linda
And others who fake retire
Do we believe this?
We probably should
Not like TB gave Ruby
Chester looks depressed
I mean, he's just despondent
In his sad jacket
Wait, is today’s strip taking place on the exact same day that Ruby drew Sunday’s Scorch cover?! Ruby drew a whole cover in a matter of hours?! Maybe that’s not at all surprising for a real life comic cover artist at a real life comic book company, but at Atomik Komix it sure is. These folks make “Turtle Thompson” look like AJ Foyt.
I mean, Batton is still there treadmilling and everyone is wearing the exact same things they were wearing in last week’s strips, give or take some colorist’s liberty… ok, scratch that, Mindy is wearing a skirt in today’s strip and clearly has on pants in last Saturday’s strip. Different day, I guess. In either scenario, though, we’re left to note how ridiculous it is that Batton spends so much time in the Atomik Komix bullpen. He, ostensibly, has a job drawing a comic strip, but we’ve never seen him do it. Heck, we’ve never even seen the strip-within-a-strip… and it’s not like Funky Winkerbean is above that kind of thing. He likes comic books and frequents Komix Korner from time-to-time (SUCH a unique trait in the Batiukverse, I know), but he doesn’t appear to be a regular there like he is here at the Atomik Komix bullpen. He likes or feels obligated to jog. And that’s it. That is everything we know about the guy. I don’t necessarily care to know more, but if TB insists on having his author avatar hang around places where it makes no obvious sense for him to hang around then Batton needs some purpose and motivation.
Oh yeah, also… Ruby is old, water is wet, and Chester now wears the look of someone clinically depressed.
Yesterday these climage damate comics had too much testosterone… but in today’s strip Ruby is arguing that they aren’t optimistic enough. For who? For sales? For readers? For her, personally? How do you even conflate testosterone with pessimism? Is that what she’s even doing? What’s going on in her mind? What’s her motivation? Annnnnnnnnnnd, why should I care?
Flash is pretty smug about dying before the coming damate climage cataclysm occurs. I wouldn’t be if I was him. STILL drawing comic books at his age? It’s a safer bet to assume he’s immortal until proven otherwise. No one dies in the Batiukverse unless three things are satisfied:
1 – Their death is in the service of an award-winning-seeking important issue. (Okay, we can check this one, though I’m going to doubt TB has the writing chops to figure out how to kill Flash with climage damate)
2 – They are not involved in or devoted to comic books. (No check here… recall how comic book and movie serial uberschmuck Jff Murdoch survived the damate climage fire that ate Los Angeles)
3 – Their death enables Les to feel even more superior to others. (No check, again)
Annnnnnnnnnnnnnd, back to damate climage in today’s strip. I know we were all wondering how last month’s second issue of The Subterranean sold. Not well, which I am sure surprises absolutely no one. Flash seems especially put out by this… and it was Batton that got nicknamed “Bummer”?
You know, the climage damate books aren’t the only things at Atomik Komix not working…