Well, at least the math is correct in today’s strip. Atomik Komix does indeed have only four titles (The Inedible Pulp, Rip Tide: Scuba Cop, Atomic Ape, and The Girl Scorch), all of which TB has lovingly rendered in big splashy Sunday strips… via guest artists.
What doesn’t add up is this need for more than four titles to do a crossover. TB does it with three comic strips, one of which hasn’t been printed in nearly 30 years. Even a non-crossover strip like this one has crossover elements – Pete is the child of John Darling character Reed Roberts. I suppose none of this is “Mega-Mind-Blowing-Everything-Will-Change”, but nothing that Pete and Durwood could come up with would be either.
Oh hello Mr. Stock Male Nerd Cartoon #27 from 10,000 Clip Art Images ’98 CD-ROM (OS/2 Edition), glad you could make it to today’s strip. If you hadn’t shown up, Pete and Durwood might have had to twiddle their thumbs, and we all know how much they hate slacking off…
Y’know what’s really nerdy? Math! Let’s do some math. Lessee, it’s early May, so we’ll say Atomik Komix most recent issues were published in April. Here’s their titles that we know of and when we first see them “published”.
The Inedible Pulp – May 2018
Rip Tide: Scuba Cop – July 2018
Atomic Ape – September 2018
The Scorch – January 2019
Assuming one issue per month for each title, there would be 33 issues. Assuming a once every two months schedule there would be 17 issues.
The Inedible Pulp – 12 issues/6 issues
Rip Tide: Scuba Cop – 10 issues/5 issues
Atomic Ape – 8 issues/4 issues
The Scorch – 3 issues/2 issues
No math involving this strip or story arc equals entertainment.
Today’s strip was not available for preview, so we’re diving into the archives. What was going on in the Batiukverse on May 1, say, 40 years ago? I’ll bet it was some relatable high school stuff: dopey students, stuffy teachers, Billy Carter, M*A*S*H, Galaxian, disco, the second oil crisis… something, anything far removed from this ridiculous multi-week Free Comic Book Day arc.
Yes, the computer later known as “Holtron” temporarily replaced Les as Westview High School’s hall monitor, (retroactively cardboard) machine gun and all, because Les was so bad at the job. It mused about keeping Klingons from sneaking off to the restroom to smoke (Holtron was into Star Trek and, apparently, Brownsville Station) and threatened a hall pass-less Funky with the desk-mounted machine gun. What a time to be alive.
It is only at today’s strip where I finally realize the true meaning of Free Comic Book Day. I get it now. It’s not a day where free comic books are given out. No, it’s a rallying cry. A desperate plea. Comic Book Day must be freed from the clutches of these unbearable shmucks! Free Comic Book Day! And Free Holtron while we’re at it!
Also, Logan Church is here now. Such a sad turn for the once-accomplished business blogger. You could drive a semi-truck through her earrings.
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.
I know what you’re thinking, “How can today’s strip be any worse than this past week?”
Les. The most dreaded name in the newspaper. The name that even alone evokes the most dire of thoughts. “Les” is the sound that a rattlesnake makes before it dies in a brush fire. It’s the Florida State Police code word for a sinkhole. It was the name of Francisco Franco’s pet canary. It is far and away the worst part of the title of Les Miserables.
I don’t know what possessed this poor poor child to wander near Les’ table, but I do know that if he winds up reading Lisa’s Story he is not going put it down disappointed that only one person dies. No, he’s just going to think that the wrong person dies. And he would, of course, be right.
Devoid of context, today’s strip is aimless and boring. With context, though, it’s… ummmm… I don’t really know. What is the context of this strip anyways?
We have no idea how this exchange began, unless it began like this, which means “Batton Thomas” just started spouting off trivial comic book history once Bernie and Thatsnought where within earshot. Is this what TB does at book signings and conventions?
And today’s strip is on from insulting Flash Freeman to… this… whatever this is is supposed to be.
I get the self-referential bit, of course, but what is its purpose? Is this lamenting the declining popularity of newspaper comics in the most confusing way possible? (maybe) Is this based on TB’s experience being ignored at real life comic convention functions? (definitely) What is Thatsnought’s reference to “the original guy who did that strip” all about? (probably nothing)
And Three O’Clock High? Is that supposed to be a stand in for Funky Winkerbean? Just Act I Funky Winkerbean? TB’s first published comic strip (the anti-Archie) Rapping Around?
Is it an intentional reference to the lightly-remembered 80s teen comedy of the same name that starred the guy who played the 3D glasses-wearing guy from Biff Tannen’s gang in Back To The Future? (unclear)
Whatever it is… it stinks. (apologies to Jay Sherman)