Except for his outburst of mock anger yesterday, the usually cantankerous Phil Holt has been positively gleeful about rebooting his comics career. What ever became of the one-man “hostile work environment,” who walked off the job in a fit of resentment, regarded his own work as “just junk“, and had to pay the bills working as a caricaturist at kiddie parties? All it took was a little affirmation of the meaning his work had for others. The hard feelings he engendered in his partner, and the hardship he spitefully caused himself, are forgotten, and he’s ready to return to “working in a bullpen”.
What’s also forgotten in today’s strip is that “the batty Batom bullpen” never existed, at least not as a rollicking, “fun” filled, shared workspace. From April, 2018:
Turns out that Batom Comics pioneered the “work from home” concept that has, since last year, become more commonplace. A fact that Chester, having more money than brains, discovered only after he bought the entire building in pursuit of fulfilling his Silver Age fantasies. “Emphasis on the ‘bull'” indeed.
So much for “we…and I emphasize the we“, huh? The mercurial Phil Holt is content to just sit back and let Flash lay out the Subterranean universe for the rest of the team. Pete immediately sees a crossover opportunity involving an existing Atomik property. Ruby is at her desk, clearly craning her neck to get a better look at Phil Holt’s ass (“Flash” Freeman having left his ass in his other pants). Mindy looks on, saying nothing (and, ok, spoiler: she won’t be given anything to say all week). In the middle of all this, Chester thinks “Did we order a pizza?” as he is startled to see Wally enter stage left…oh, wait, that’s not Wally, it’s Darin, wearing his nerd glasses.
Happy Labor Day! and a tip of the SoSF hardhat to the estimable Epicus Doomus for seeing us through the latest installment of Les’ Story. Epicus usually throws himself on the grenade of having to post on a holiday weekend, but I have seen fit to give him the holiday off for a change. You’re welcome.
Though he’s really not dead after all, Phil Holt has arrived in that Old Comics Creator Heaven known as Atomik Komix. He’s even greeted by Saint Mopey Pete himself. Phil and Flash have leeft behind their earthy grievances (to the point where they are now living together), and, thanks to Chester’s beneficence, have reunited to “write to life” the Subterranean, the project that led to the team’s breakup years ago. This development easily pushes the median age of the Atomik Komix staff well north of sixty.
Many of us have wondered why Phil felt it necessary to fake his own death in order to “work without being bothered.” He was already toiling in obscurity when Darin spotted him doing caricatures at a kiddie party. If Phil wanted Darin to have those original Batom covers (which Darin immediately decided to liquidate), it didn’t have to be via his last will and testament. What I think was behind it was this: Phil knew that his “death” would cause Flash to be wracked with guilt over losing the opportunity to reconcile. Now that he’s turned up alive, Phil gets to bask in Flash Freeman’s beaming bonhomie.
Well there is nothing that says “Happy 4th of July!” like today’s strip, where Crazy and DSH take turns playing one of Scott Adams’ most/least beloved tertiary Dilbert characters. It’s got everything you would want to celebrate America’s birthday: a close up of DSH’s gaping maw and blackhead-pocked nose, bricks, people not working, Domo, people complaining about having to get out of bed at a reasonable hour, a store with not a single customer shopping… Like I said, everything!
Have a safe and happy 4th everyone.
Link To Today’s One
- assuming power or authority without justification; arrogant and domineering.
So I suppose that a Rexall pharmacy COULD be “imperious”, I guess. Once again I know exactly what he was going for here but once again it doesn’t make it any less baffling. “My grandparents lived in Akron and there was a Rexall two blocks away”…how hard was that?
“Holy temple”…”sacred texts”…OK sure Thom, whatever you say. Once again we see BatYam venerating the most mundane aspects of things he loves the most, just like last week. I mean I remember where I bought my first copy of “Love Gun” but you don’t see me getting all nostalgic over going to Crazy Eddie‘s. It’s where they sold the records. The store was the facilitator, a means to an end, not the primary focus. Of course I liked going there, as it was where I’d buy the stuff I liked.
But it’s never that easy for Westviewians. They can’t just buy pizza, they have to immerse themselves within a whole complicated pizzeria experience full of old jukeboxes and whimsical band boxes with colorful local characters exchanging wry banter all over the place. And they can’t just buy a comic book, they have to enter a fantastical nostalgic dream world full of holy scriptures and clandestine attic forts full of milk and cookies. They just have to complicate everything, no matter how dumb it is. No wonder they’re all so grumpy.
Well, we aren’t reviewing individual pages of The Flash #123 in today’s strip, I guess we’ll pick that up next week. I’m kidding about that last part, let’s not actually pick this up next week, please. Please…
I’d admire Batton’s commitment to enjoying reading his favorite comics to the point that he’s essentially worn out what is now a very valuable comic book in good condition… but willingness to appreciate consumable art in a consumable way instead of foolishly betting on a longbow retirement plan is not what this dead snail of a story arc is about. It is, ostensibly, about drawing inspiration from The Flash #123, but we have seen no evidence of that. Batton just keeps saying nice things about the issue in increasingly dumb and boring ways. There is barely a hint of how or why #123 was such an inspiration, just the vague reference to “a plan”. Speaking of… are we ever going to hear about Batton’s plan? Do we even want to?
No, and no. So, what am I complaining for?
As silly and lame as this story has been, I do like the second panel, where Pete’s girlfriend (fiancee?) is genuinely worried he’s not going to ask her to attend the red carpet premiere with him. Because of course she’s concerned he’d ask Darrin instead of her. I still think at least part of the reason she exists in this strip is because Batiuk finally realized how weird it looked having Pete and Darrin take trips together to buy dollies, and Darrin spending all of his time with Pete when his wife was staying in California for some unknown reason.
I do not understand Pete’s expression in the last panel. Is it smugness, like “I’m a heck of a guy, inviting my girlfriend on a trip for two someone else is paying for”? Or is he just closing his eyes and imagining fighting Zeton warriors?
Link to today’s strip
A strange and sudden change of pace Sunday strip featuring no one’s favorite Komix Korner employees discussing the quantum properties of comic book or something…meh. Sometimes these comic book geek gags go right over my head and I’m not really in the mood to research this crap right now. Sure beats watching someone open and read mail, though.
Free Comic Book Day Decade continues in today’s strip. That Mason Jarre appearance that was teased… *checks watch* 16 days ago finally happens. Yay!
What is DSH on about with this “hopelessly optimistic” business? I guess Crazy told him nothing about Cindy and Mason being in town and her goading him in to showing up. Mason is in Westview, which is 98% of getting him to show up at Komix Korner, because every previous time he has ever been to Ohio he has been involved with either comic books or comic book movies.
Now what’s hopelessly optimistic is Free Comic Book Day ending before September.