May 24, 2021 at 11:48 am
There are few things in the world I’m less interested in than Tom Batiuk writing about the plight of women in the comics industry sixty or more years ago.
As a member of our very own “bullpen” here at SoSF, spacemanspiff85 knows not just the pain of reading Funky. Winkerbean. Every. Damn. Day. Periodically, Spiff is called upon to write something interesting about it to share with the rest of us. For two weeks, after which another SoSF guide host/guest author takes over. We limit our authors to two-week stints for the sake of their psychological well-being. Were that not the rule, I’d turn the helm back over to Comic Book Harriet, whose bailiwick these “Women in Comics” arcs have become. SoSF trauma protocol dictates that CBH must rest on the sidelines (while killing it as always in the comments), and it falls to me to get us through this arc.
As a male, I must tread lightly, but here goes: editor “Stogie” Butz’ “pretty good for a girl” remark barely qualifies as a microagression, given the times. Whatever midcentury decade Batiuk’s trying to recreate here (and it could be anywhere from the 1940’s through 60’s), calling a woman “girl” in the workplace wouldn’t be automatically out of line. He’s just busting her…chops, as would any cigar chomping, no-neck cranky boss.
Link To Today’s Strip
I believe he’s used “shallow end of the gene pool” before, although I don’t remember where or when. It’s too Batiukian, there’s no way that’s new. Maybe during one of those Owen arcs with Wedgeman or something.
So let me get this straight. Pete decided to write a balls-out crazy “Mister Sponge” story to attract attention even though he knew it’d annoy and alienate some long-time readers. Then he became angry over the online whackadoodles who told him they were annoyed and alienated. I see. Perhaps his next step might be a series of puff-piece interviews where he could blithely dismiss his critics, followed by a hardbound set of “TAMS: The Other Clone” comics and maybe a book tour or two. Then art would REALLY be imitating life, eh?
What a strange and really boring story. Everything that Pete and his editors said would happen did happen…the end. I assume the guy who wrote it also realized this, so at the last minute he has Pete yell at his editors (who were nothing less than 100% supportive of the whole idea from day one) to create some “conflict” then has him feign surprise upon learning that the plan worked as predicted to give the story a “twist” at the end. And it fails miserably, as is to be expected when you’re filling that precious word balloon space with a bunch of unhinged anti-internet rants instead of, you know, stories and stuff. Nice try though.