Tag Archives: desk lamp

Cities On Flame With Batton, Holt

Link To Sunday

“Done something about” what, exactly? Smoldering futuristic cities? And how does Atmos hovering in the air help the situation in any way? Why didn’t he act BEFORE his planet was consumed by climate damage? Why doesn’t he ask Oceanaire to splash some water on it? What the hell do the other The Elementals do, anyway? They’ve been working on this for months and THIS is what they came up with?

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No Country For Old Comic Book Men

Link To Today’s Strip

That’s right, BatYam, it’s the readers who are wrong. This attitude sure explains an awful lot. “Crappy serialized stories that plod along for weeks on end and never go anywhere are what comic strip authors choose to publish!”…yep, they sure do. It’s one of American popular culture’s most enduring and vexing conundrums.

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The Trilogy Of Tedium

Link To This One

It’s called a “tetralogy”, you nimrods. Or a “quadrilogy”, if you prefer. It took me all of three seconds to learn this. But BatYam felt he really needed to drive Flash Freeman’s general imbecility home, again, so here we are. It would appear that once again he’s done the impossible and discovered something even more tedious than that “Elemental Force” arc from a few months back, and that “something” is watching Flash and Phil talking to Batton about it. That BatHam, always pushing his artistic boundaries.

That “Elementals” arc was absolute hell to get through and I really hope we’re not revisiting that fiasco again, because I am totally out of sub-atomic particle puns. It really is remarkable how quickly Flash Freeman became one of my most despised FW characters, as he wasn’t even in the strip until a few years ago. And it was better that way. Marginally, yes, but nevertheless.

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Karmic Dread Mill

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.

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Smell That Oceanaire

No prizes for anyone who saw this coming: a Sunday Sideways Comic Book Cover, the Oceanaire’s second and James Pascoe’s third in three months.

For this one, Pascoe’s softened the character’s looks, compared to her first cover and especially compared to the Elementals Force cover, where she appears to be throwing up. As clumsily composed as that cover was, at least it depicted action. While her posture is one of repose, her fists are clenched, and the Oceanaire gazes intently at the viewer. For an artwork created by a nonagenarian cartoonist, on a drawing board under a floating fluorescent lamp, this sure looks…digitized. Everything surrounding The OC’s face is soft and blurry. Is she standing underwater? Or mostly submerged, lying on her back on a vast bed of garbage?

To answer Phil’s question: the cover doesn’t need more trash, just for the trash to be realistically drawn. These floating bottles and cans are rendered in such odd shapes and sizes, so generically as to be almost abstract. And I don’t even wanna know what those white blobs are floating around her collarbones.

Billytheskink takes over the reins with Monday’s strip. Thanks for reading! Stay Funky and stay tuned for news about a couple special events!

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On a Blue Sunday

As expected, a sideways Sunday komix cover that’s 25% the work of Batty and Ayers, with the rest by James Pascoe and colored by Rob Ro. The same team gave us the Subterranean (1st ISSUE!) cover. Judging from what’s on his rather homely website (“.net”, snicker), Pascoe specializes in drawing covers depicting the character flying toward you.

The rest of today’s offering  is your typical Batomix Komix mess: the book title, set in distressed digital type (which really irks me when he does it on the “retro” Batom covers), the heavy Photoshop filters, the fictitious trade dress, and, Batty and Ayers’ contribution, the “reality bubble” (which really is a bubble in today’s underwater scene!).

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I Want to Be More Like the Ocean

Banana Jr. 6000
December 2, 2021 at 9:16 am
They’ve already published a Subterranean book…they’re apparently working on another one, and they’re just now determining who their characters are? Going over their character roster is the only thing these Atomik Klowns ever do!

…aaaaand Mindy, “The Girl.”

Batiuk famously builds story arcs set in milieux around which his lack of actual understanding becomes glaringly evident: think moviemaking, or military service. But we all know him to be a bonafide, lifetime consumer and aficionado of comics and comic books. They are his sworn passion. Young Tom Batiuk even followed his dream to New York. “I met with an editor at DC Comics who ripped not only my work up and down but me as well for having had the temerity to show up at his office with it.” OK, it didn’t lead to his dream job, and he had to settle for being a mere “cartoonist.” Still, he knows and collaborates with people in the industry. Which industry, with very few exceptions, probably operates nothing like the way he depicts it here.

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Do You Hope to Pluck this Dusky Joule?

Hitorque
November 29, 2021 at 11:57 pm
…For all that money and all that artistic talent, this [Atomik Komix] outfit has the professionalism and maturity level of a bunch of neighborhood kids in a treehouse with a mimeograph machine…

In my dissertation yesterday regarding the traits of various FW characters, I called Phil Holt “a nasty, sarcastic little prick.” His partner Flash once diplomatically described him as a “grumpy guy who spent most of his time (emphasis mine) at war with the world and everyone in it.” Most of his time. Yesterday (or a few minutes or hours ago in strip time), Holt came thisclose to telling Pete to shove “all of these ideas of yours” up his ass. Today the Silver Alert, uh, Silver Age Duo have come a knockin’ to borrow a cup of Darin and Pete’s creative sugar.

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Bullpen Bullshittin’

Sorry to disappoint those of you betting on Sunday’s strip being a random one-off. You’d think a Gen X’er who lucked into the comics business with zero experience, working alongside a Silver Age legend, would be keen on learning from them things like technique. But all Mindy wants to talk about are the “good” old days.

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