Tag Archives: gray ashen landscape

Nudge, Nudge, Say No More… Please

Hey folks, billytheskink here… I’m back for at least one more post so I can tag the ever-loving dickens out of today’s strip.

Lest we think Harley only takes agency and free will away from women, we learn today that he did the same to DSH and to the various members of the Westview High School class of ’92-’88-’78-’72 reunion committee. Since TB is looking back, let’s step into our own WABAC machine and see what exactly happened in the these two events that Harley interfered in.

First off…

Great Moments In FW Arc Recap History

November 19-December 20, 2012
An extended Crazy Harry arc begins. Harry explains to Donna his love of old comic books. The next day he walks into Montoni’s to inform Funky that USPS is shutting down the Westview Post Office and he’s out of a job. Harry decides he must sell off his beloved library, spending a week sorting and packing his books and his comics before schlepping them off to John, who offers Crazy Harry a job at the Komix Korner.

Granted, I cannot say what she was thinking, but back during this story arc, Donna never talked about leaving town. She didn’t do much of anything, really, except try to come on to Crazy while he moped about and spout off about how his political beliefs had changed with age. Also, is Harley admitting here that he “nudged” long-time Komix Korner employee Kevin out of existence to clear the way for DSH to hire Crazy? There are consequences to this time-meddling, Batiuk!

Now for the star flashback of the day…

We’re looking at August 21, 1993, when Les and Lisa reconnected at one of the incessant high school class reunions.

In the original strip, Les hung the moon for Lisa… in today’s flashback, he hung the “Westview Reunion” banner next to the moon.

Should we assume the committee back in 1993 (holding what was then a canonically a 5-year reunion) was the same cabal Les was drafted into replacing Cindy on in 2015: Cindy, Mary Sue Sweetwater, Junebug, who I think is Cindy’s frizzy-haired minion Carrie, and abdicated valedictorian Barry Balderman? Eh, why not? Barry wasn’t at this reunion, though, he had a cool job.

I’ll give Harley/TB this, his intervention into giving that crew Lisa’s Seattle address makes some level of sense as Lisa wasn’t close with ANY of those committee members (even nerdy Barry) and Les didn’t have her address until after he broke his hand punching Bull at the reunion for reasons that still defy explanation. In a rare moment of common sense, Lisa actually chided a deserving Les for still being stuck in high school. This moment passed quickly, though. Lisa was practically apologizing to Les for being upset even before dawn and the next week Bull was practically apologizing to Les for getting punched. What a time to be alive that was…

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Excre-mint

Here is today’s strip. You all go ahead and tear into it. Not sure I could do much better than the post title anyways.

Sorry, two days to go on my stint and I’m already running on fumes. Even WordPress knows this, somehow. It’s kind of creepy, to be honest… I’ll press on these next two days, but I’m going to set a spell today and see you in the comments.

Speaking of running on empty (and burying the lede, for that matter), Tom Batiuk dropped some news late yesterday that may or may not be relevant to this story arc, the last several months of speculation in the comments, and the future of this website. Some of you all commented on it yesterday. I have plenty of thoughts on this, as I am sure many of you all do. As with today’s strip, I’ll see you in the comments to discuss.

I’m guessing this will get more ink than the strip…

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What’s in your head, in your head? Ruby, Ruby, Ruby-y-y-y

I’d argue that today’s strip is the product of an AI tasked with generating images for the word “wistful”… but that’s an insult to artificial intelligence and I don’t want to be responsible for unleashing Skynet. This is just completely sad, but in the stupidest way.

Mindy is the one that really punches up the stupidity here. First, “when” Ruby retires is essentially right now, it doesn’t need to be discussed as if it is well in the future. Second, Mindy also draws a paycheck from Atomik Komix… so does she dramatically underestimate the financial resources it takes to travel extensively or does Chester really pay that well?

And if Chester pays that well, why can’t he spend some money on an office that doesn’t look like a dungeon crawl game being played on a vintage grayscale Macintosh? Maybe everything in the office is made of stone. So that’s why they called him “Chester the Chiseler”!

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Re-haiku-ment

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?

Batton's questioning
A reflection of TB?
Is the strip's end near?

Or is this resolve?
Tom writing his thoughts in strip
Eff-ing ponderous

A warning haiku
The link above has cussing
That's NSFW!

With Dinkle, Linda
And others who fake retire
Do we believe this?

We probably should
Not like TB gave Ruby
Anything worthwhile

Chester looks depressed
I mean, he's just despondent
In his sad jacket

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Pencil droppers, eh?!

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.

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With a capital ‘D’ and that rhymes with P…

Oh, we’re sticking with Ruby this week, huh… at least in today’s strip we are. Can’t you see the excitement on my face?

*staring noises*

Looks like Ruby is ready to start living off her social security checks and some meager and infrequent Miss American residuals. That or she’s dying (to start living off those social security checks and meager and infrequent residuals…). Either way, a blow for feminine editorial oversight at Atomik Komix, but what women’s lib doesn’t know won’t hurt ’em!

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Nix Chix Fix Comix

Ruby has got to be regretting speaking up a few days ago because, as we see in today’s strip, she’s being told to… do her job?!

EGADS!

I know, I’m as shocked as any of you that someone at Atomik Komix is even suggesting the idea of doing work. Granted, Phil is suggesting that someone other than himself work, but still… This will probably work better for the deadline anyways, Phil is not known for his speed. Flash being kind of a jerk and everyone else standing around like this place has no editor in chief, or leadership of any kind – now that is the Atomik Komix we all know and love.

Anyways, we’re back from “the climage damate comics aren’t optimistic enough” to “the damate climage comics aren’t, uh, something about women I think”. Are we supposed to see these two complaints as the same thing?

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Climate-specific progress goes “broke”

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…

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Damate Climage

Much thanks to Banana Jr. 6000 for slogging through Summer’s ludicrous Could Be A Book Deal Here moment over these past two weeks… which, despite revealing that Montoni’s is apparently closing (!!!) and launching Summer off to interview countless uninteresting people who appeared in this strip 30-40+ years ago, does NOT continue in today’s strip. I’m not mad about that or anything, but I am surprised.

But should I really be surprised? Over the past 5 years or so we’ve seen TB shift well away from the two workplace communities (Westview High School and Montoni’s) that have defined this strip for pretty much all of its existence, largely replacing them with this new one he’s created at Atomik Komix (toss in the Komix Korner scenes and the shift is even more pronounced). If you had told me 5 years ago that comic books would somehow become MORE important in this comic strip in the near future I wouldn’t have believed it possible. But it is and they are, as very clearly evidenced by today’s strip in which TB’s latest issue du jour has taken on even more critical importance because it has now directly affected his author avatar’s sad little comic-obsessed world.

P.S. – I am now refusing to use the asinine term for climate change that TB continues to flog even though no one else on the planet uses it. I’m going to call it damate climage or climage damate or issue du jour or nothing at all for the rest of this story arc and the foreseeable future. I am aware this is stupid, but it is not as stupid as the term I’m refusing to use. Thank you in advance for your understanding.

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Thelma And Ennuis

Link To Today’s Strip

Today sees Tombat trying way, way too hard to drive home his “point” about how horrible “Hollywood” is yet again, this time via “Thelma”, Clay Wallace’s awful, rude, somewhat mysterious and clearly miserable office drone. Man, if that woman (she IS a woman…right?) isn’t a born Westviewian I don’t know who is, she’d fit right in at WHS, Montoni’s or the front desk at the local cancer hospital without missing a beat. Awful hair, worse attitude, obnoxiously rude…forget about those “Hollywood starlets on the make” because Thelma is the REAL threat, a woman seemingly MADE for Les Moore. Methinks they’ll get along wonderfully as they attack the business at hand.

Of course I have no idea what that business might entail, as Batom has wasted the entire week with a bunch of nonsensical and unrelated babbling, but still. I’m sure he’ll get to the “script doctor” and the “table read” eventually and then maybe this idiotic tale might start to become somewhat coherent. And then again, maybe it won’t. Either way, it won’t really matter as we all know this idiocy will end with Les sitting on that crappy porch swing ruminating over how turning down that filthy Hollywood loot was the only real choice he had because of Lisa and his “art” and so on and so forth. Dopey premise, weeks of pointless repetition and senseless yammering, quick and cheap “resolution”, that’s the time-tested FW formula responsible for churning out all this fantastic art over the years. Why tamper with success, you know? Sigh.

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