Tag Archives: Komix Korner

Don’t Eat the ‘Magical’ ‘Pepperoni’.

Today’s strip is finally up.

“Waterlogged comics! Mixed with moldy discarded pizza toppings! And mildew! That’s our hero.”

Darin stares blankly at Pete.

“It emerges from the basement: a sentient mass in the vague shape of a man, but grotesque and lumpy. An abomination of pulped paper, and smeared three-color inks, held together by black mold and marinara.”

Darin doesn’t speak.

“But there’s this beautiful woman, see and she is entranced by his doughy nature, his strange charms. Even though they can’t be together in a traditional sense, she is willing to do anything, try anything, to feel in every cell of her being the deeper spiritual connection pulsing between the flawless woman and the eldritch Comicmuck Thing! All in a homage to Swamp Thing 34! You know, Alan Moore? Rite of Spring?

Darin reluctantly puts his pencil to paper… “Okay Pete, if you’re sure you’re okay with us using your love life that way.”

 

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Does This Spell The End?

Having been informed in today’s strip that the name of his newfound comic book company is already trademarked, Chester decides to employ the strategy of phonetic misspelling that made the TurboGrafx-16 the number one name in video games.

I find this strip to be fairly discordant because of the use of “Grandpa Google” combined with the revelation that an Atomic Comics already once existed. First, “Grandpa Google”… please stop trying to either make this a thing people say or pretend that it already is a thing people say. It is not and it never will be. However, stupid as it is, I can allow that it is some kind of in-universe slang. But that brings in the second point of discord. If this is a fictional universe in which people say “Grandpa Google” without being blackmailed then why does “Atomic Comics” have to be an unusable trademark? Skirting a real-life trademark is a spectacularly uninteresting story arc, not to mention that “Atomik Komix” isn’t likely to stave off a lawsuit that “Atomic Comics” would invite anyways. This makes the set up of The Phantom Menace look like Macbeth.

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Another Saturday Night and I Ain’t Got No Preview

Link to today’s strip.

Well, so far Pete’s learned absolutely nothing of value from John, which isn’t even a little bit surprising.  I’m guessing that in today’s episode we learn even less, but as it wasn’t available for preview, we can all be disappointed together.

By the way, did any of you notice that Chester has a mutant super-power?  I’m a bit red-faced that I only recently saw this.  Observe:

He has the power to hitchhike whenever he wants!

Actually, let’s improve this.

Much, much better.

A couple of days ago, commentor Charles asked this:

“And why does it always have to be someone like Crankshaft and his daughter? I swear to God when I first made the observation that “There are 200 people in the Funkyverse and they’re all within two degrees of separation” I was joking.”

Many others have asked the same.  (And it’s almost always Crankshaft characters appearing in Funky Winkerbean, rarely the reverse–though I do remember Les showing up the used bookstore.  Les Moore?  Double-yuck!)

My own theory is that Tom Batiuk is trying to create some kind of Funky Winkerbean Extended Universe; the idea being that someone reading this would learn of Crankshaft and think, “Wait, there’s MORE like this?  Wow, I have to find that!”

Which is exactly the reaction he gets nowadays.  Oh, except the word “find” is replaced by “avoid.”

 

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The Weed of Crime Bears Bitter…Hey Wait a Minute!

Link to today’s strip.

Ah, so finally we know why Chester the Chiseller is considered pure, unadulterated evil.

He’s a success.

Why, the blackguard!  How dare he!

If ever there was a “victimless crime,” this sure fits the definition.  John said yesterday that Chester’s pilfering didn’t impact the store to any noticeable degree, so I don’t see any high crimes and misdemeanors here.  And I’d almost be willing to bet that Chester made sure he did a lot of business with Danford, just to “show” his appreciation.

My question is this:  in order to sell comics for “an incredible sum of money,” I would assume that Chester would have to have a lot of them, and they’d be more valuable if they were old.  How many years did he sweep that floor?  If he took ten a month (five to sell, five to his own collection), his yearly take would be sixty, and after ten years he’d have six hundred.  That’s a lot of sweeping.

Secondly, how long does it take for a comic to become valuable?  What would, say, Fantastic Four #1 or Amazing Fantasy #15 be worth ten years later in 1972 (again assuming a ten-year career in floor maintenance)?  “An incredible sum of money”?  Perhaps–but I’m thinking that any Batom comic wouldn’t worth nearly as much, fifty years after publication, except if the bathroom was out of toilet paper.

Things I Like Dept:  Pete’s face in panel one is perfect.  “What?  Are you still talking?  I’m trying to read, pal.”  This is probably the only time I’ve liked Pete at all.

And look at Chester, too–happily enjoying ice cream while reading a comic book.  First of all, the book isn’t sealed away, as I would suspect all his books to be, but out to be enjoyed. Given his reaction to Holly’s opening a sealed book, this is something I would not suspect.  I would have thought Tom Batiuk would draw Chester admiring his collection through glass cabinets and pointedly not having fun; maybe the new guy slipped up.

Secondly, he’s going to eat ice cream in close proximity to a comic book.  I have a feeling that John, Harry, Pete or Tom Batiuk would be shrieking if anyone brought ice cream into the Korner.  “Get that out of here!  What if it drips on one of the books!”  And the offender’s face would turn ghostly white.   Oh my God, I almost ruined a comic book!

How rare indeed it is to see someone enjoying himself.  Happily and non-cynically, with not a smirk to be seen.  It’s refreshing.

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The Sorrows of Young Chester

Link to today’s strip.

So, he stole them!  He’s a terrible thief.  But he saved them from destruction–he’s a saint!

Surely, in Tom Batiuk’s world, Chester’s scheme makes him an awesome hero.  I seem to recall reading something in Batiuk’s blog where he talked about taking comics from somewhere–I think it was a barber shop?–because they weren’t appreciated there anyway.  Chester’s going a step further–he’s saving these books from destruction, not just neglect.

Now, I’m not going to condone Chester’s petty thefts, but the strip is sending mixed messages here.  I know, I know, Chester has to be the bad guy, because he’s not noble, pure (and poor).  He looks down on the people who collect and preserve comics aren’t like him.  He comic book obsession hasn’t caused him to suffer in any way we’ve seen, not like John or Harry, so he’s just gotta be bad.

But he’s saving Bantom comic books from the flames.  Something no other character here (other than the creator-hated Funky) has ever doneNot even Les.

He’s using his resources to preserve beloved comic books.  Meaning, it’s actually people like Chester who keep John’s store in business.  It’s certainly not idiots like Chullo and Glasses, who show up to read comics and play video games, but never buy anything.  You’d think John would do his best to woo Chester as a customer, but no, the purity of fandom is never tainted by the coin of commerce.

I’m also thinking that ties into my next comment.  We’ve seen that the drug store has stacks of comics that it can’t sell–meaning, in my world, that these comics aren’t popular.   Yet it is implied that Chester was able to sell these same comics to amass a fortune.

Look.  These comics can’t be simultaneously obscure, neglected masterpieces as well as the storied beacon of a generation.  I strongly suspect Tom Batiuk has a variant of the anti-popular syndrome–if it’s well-known, it’s shunned, while the more obscure something is, the more obviously superior it is (as well as its appreciator…well, that’s only natural, right?).  After all if everyone liked it, you wouldn’t be special for liking it too.  It’s a pretty despicable kind of fandom, but it definitely exists.

Things I Like Dept:  panel one’s a nice perspective shot, and the figures are well-posed.   Good chair drawing too.  Pity this good stuff is wasted on such awful characters.

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Secret Origins: Chester the Chiseler!

Link to today’s strip.

“Once, back in the day, mild-mannered Blonde Bernie Silver, secretly known as Chester the Chiseler, was carefully sweeping the floor.  Suddenly–!

So, I suppose we’re about to find out why Chester’s such a terrible, terrible person.  Well, so far, he’s actually working at an honest job, which is better than 90% of the cast here, so…ball one, in favor of Chester.

I’m really starting to hate Tom Batiuk’s endless self-promotion, which seems to be getting worse and worse, to the point where it’s getting nauseating–case in point, Bernie’s Chester’s Batom Comics t-shirt.  Completely unneeded, except as a “look at me!” moment.  Good grief, man, try entertaining someone other than yourself for a change.

The art in panel one is pretty dismal, with what look like two of the dreariest Muppets ever trying to deflate themselves.  I do like the statue of Robin in the back, reaching for Superman’s crotch, though I have to wonder–does Batman know about this?!

I suppose he does…after all, he’s standing right there, moaning about “back in the day…”

Speaking of which, anyone remember this?

In other words, he was lying through his teeth.  Yet another wonderful character to root for!

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“Variant” Curiosity

Link to Today’s Comic.

Yeah, yeah Chester, “purely out of curiosity.” I said the same thing when I went to go see Magic Mike. There’s nothing ‘pure’ about it. At least we’ve confirmed for sure that the Komix Korner basically sells porn.

I am wondering just what Chester means by “the other half.” He’s been shown to collect Starbuck Jones, The Amazing Mister Sponge, The Lunar Cadets, and whatever the heck Chicken Coop Charlie and Pork Chop Chuck is. He has Batman and Superman on the gates to his private palace. He can’t be one of those really insufferable comics fans that turns their nose up at anything that isn’t Saga or something.

Also Variant covers are a massive scam. I have a friend who checks online and tells her comics shop beforehand which cover of the next Transformers comics she likes. If she doesn’t get the one she wants, she buys it TWICE. Madness!

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