Banana Jr. 6000
February 6, 2020 at 11:04 am
Chester shouldn’t be tolerating this woman prancing around his workplace, competing for his paid employees, and wasting their time.
February 9, 2020 at 1:55 am
So, are we to assume that “Ms. Swoon” and her “Dibbs Gallery” are now going to specialize full-time in comic book art? In a small town in Ohio?
What we’d hoped to be a mercifully short Atomik Komix story arc overstays its welcome today. It’s interesting that yesterday, when Darin, who’s been professionally drawing comic book for about two years, inquires if Swoosie Kitch would be interested in selling his art, she unhesitatingly replies “I’ll take all you have.” But when she offers to do the same for bona fide (and fellow female) comics legend Ruby Lith, Kitch is interested only in Ruby’s “older original art.”
Double Sided Scooby Snack
February 8, 2020 at 12:12 pm
Uh oh! Well, so much for “Take your favorite guy to lunch day.”
Well, what do you know? Jessica is not about to let Darin off the hook for blowing his check on other comix artists’ work, and Darin reveals himself to be not completely clueless by picking up on her anger.
Well, if the “nice-sized” check wasn’t meant for Darin, then he and Jessica will have to settle for a check that is merely “nice.” Doesn’t matter anyway, since Darin immediately cops to having blown at least that amount on some other artists’ work. Tune in tomorrow when Chester turns to Darin and snatches the check from his hand. As commenter “Doghouse Reilly” reminded us on Wednesday, the artwork that Ruby sold was “commissioned recreations,” not her original work which her chauvinist pig bosses did not allow her to keep. Come to think of it, if they were commissioned, then by whom? What’s she doing selling them? Anyway, unless Darin sold off some old “Sophomoric Sightings” strips, any comic art that he’s produced was done as an employee of Atomik Komix, so he’s already received his reward.
Well, good for Ruby Lith. Like cracked actor Cliff Anger, Ruby’s another living Twentieth Century relic who held on into the Twenty-First long enough to finally garner some long overdue recognition. I hope her excitement over this check doesn’t trigger a coronary, which would look something like this:
I also hope Ruby’s allowing for inflation here, since her “original pay date” dates to around the Truman Era. Meanwhile, the expressions of escalating dismay on the faces of Darin and Jessica are the most satisfying thing we’ll see all week.
As if none of us saw this coming. Kitch Swoon and that nice-sized check of hers are not destined to fill Skyler’s college coffers. Y’know, why not have Monday’s strip showing the gallery owner arriving at Atomik Komix and laying the check on Ruby? Then Batiuk would have another five or six days to tell an actual story. But I understand her delivering the check in person, given what we know about the Postal Service in Westview. This is the story, folks: let’s take this week to set up those starry-eyed fortysomething Fairgood “kids” for a little disappointment and humiliation. Darin has to lean back so hard against Jessica’s pushing that it looks like she’s got him on a handtruck.
Why the hell must Haystack Hair “sidebar” with Darin when the dude was standing right there?!? Check out Jessica’s narrowed-eyed, conspiratorial posture in panel one: with her left hand hooking the crook of dopey Darin’s arm, and her right palm downward, fingers spread in the “keep this on the low” gesture. Always with the dollar signs in her eyes, this Jessica: recall her (short-lived) giddiness over the dough that Darin would make off auctioning those Phil Holt Batom covers. At least Jessica is looking out for their child’s future…unlike Darin, who without so much as consulting Jessica decreed that all that Phil Holt money should go to the Lisa’s Legacy fund (which I’m only hyperlinking here because they finally fixed it so the URL doesn’t redirect and give you a dire-sounding certificate error).
Last week’s running gag had Dinkle and Becky walking around reading signs. This week is shaping up to be a series of people letting themselves into the Atomik Komix office and being greeted with “Hey!” Superb draftsmanship today in panel 1: Kitch Swoon appears to be standing in the doorway of an airplane in flight, and Pete is so excited he’s morphed into Shemp Howard. Our colorist gives even less of a damn, leaving Ms. Swoon with white hair rather than the blonde hair she had when we met her last summer. At least Batiuk hasn’t altered or forgotten her name.
Silly monikers have been Funky Winkerbean‘s stock in trade for nearly a half century, from the title character and his friend “Less More,” to the late Coach “Jack Stropp” and forgotten teacher “Rita Wrighton.” These names were semi-witty, facile wordplay. But I’m at a loss to tease sense out of “Kitch [sic] Swoon.” She’s an artsy type for sure (she’s wearing a beret). Does she specialize in “tacky,” lowbrow, populist art? Does the sight of kitsch make her feel like she’s going to faint?
Link to today’s strip.
I’m not a comics fan, but I looked at today’s deposit and thought “That can’t be right.” Two seconds of dreaded research confirmed my suspicion.
Tom Batiuk claims to hold comics creators in high regard, but you know, when he can’t even spell Joe Shuster’s name correctly….
No doubt Batiuk will call his syndicate and post a corrected version, but jeez louise–this is the kind of error that should have leapt from the page and smacked him.
Of course, given the evidence of “Bantom,” and Pete’s Wandering Last Name, and, well, the strip itself, maybe he just doesn’t care.
Link to today’s strip (eventually).
The occasion being, of course, the first of August…and the strip thus unavailable for preview.
Of course, we know how it’s going to go. Kitch Swoon’s going to talk more about using Dullard’s work in her gallery. This will probably lead to collectors bidding for his work, and a wealthy life for Dullard. Batiuk has used this strip to construct his ideal fantasy world, where the real world has no presence at all. A world where the terrible comics that AK publishes are somehow wildly successful.
That’s one aspect of this strip that truly puzzles me. He’s got his own invented world, and his own invented comic book publishing house. He could do literally any titles he wished (providing he doesn’t violate copyright law) and he comes up with stuff that just looks terrible and dull.* I cannot imagine a comic-book reader, in any era, doing anything with these titles other than turning up his nose. Back when I was reading comics, the only one of these I would have looked at would be The Scorch, and that would only be after I’d already read everything else that month.
Where are the AK versions of Superman, Batman, or the Flash? Isn’t that the sort of book that Batiuk wanted to work on back in the day? So why doesn’t he create his own versions now (other than fears that his knock-offs would be mocked without mercy)? Wasn’t that Chester’s vision–creating stalwart and true heroes, like the ones he loved as a child? Why is it that the two dullest sounding AK titles–Rip Tide and the Inedible Pulp–are the only ones with more than one cover showcased in the strip?
Why does Batiuk’s imagination seem so small?
*The Inedible Pulp, Rip Tide-Scuba Cop, Atomic Ape, The Scorch…these are the ones I remember, am I forgetting any? And if I am forgetting, well, guess why.
Link to today’s strip.
I believe commentor Charles had it right a few days ago–Dullard is the new Les, ie, the author’s new avatar. Today’s strip makes that pretty plain, I think, as suddenly his works are considered “professional” enough to be displayed in an art gallery. To the point where Swoon feels she has to seek him out personally, rather than make a phone call or put up a “call for submissions” notice.
See, the world failed to appreciate the depth of Les’ suffering, his broad perception of life, and the height of his intellect. I have a feeling the Westview world is going to appreciate the POOP out of Dullard. He’ll be not just appreciated, but honored and touted and given first chair to impart his wisdom.
But while Tom Batiuk, the artist, feels he should be honored, praised and lionized, Tom Batiuk, the writer, falls completely down on the job. The “you had me at” joke works when the “at” refers to something pretty early in a bit of dialogue–“You had me at ‘Hello'” being the original (I think). Pete’s, on the other hand, occurs when there’s only one word still to go in Swoon’s sentence. That’s not how it works. The fact that it isn’t funny or clever is besides the point.
But then, given the ideas that Pete has used to populate (almost wrote “pollute”) Atomik Komix, I don’t expect anything from him to be witty, imaginative or well-formed.