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.
Link to today’s strip
The internet has been a wonderful breeding ground for all kinds of new dialectical terminology. Whereas before we had things like Ockham’s Razor or Pascal’s Wager. Now we’ve got Godwin’s Law, “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” The Bechdel Test, “Whether a work features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man.” And Poe’s Law, “Without a clear indicator of the author’s intent, it is impossible to create a parody of extreme views so obviously exaggerated that it cannot be mistaken by some readers for a sincere expression of the parodied views.”
Here we have an inverse Poe’s Law. A sincere expression of a view so obviously exaggerated it is indistinguishable from parody.
Also. Is this all of the students who walked out? That must have been some editorial.
Link to today’s strip
No Les, for either one of them to be jokes, they would have to be funny. And kudos to all the commenters who wondered if Batiuk would remember far enough back to reference the machine gun. Turns out it was cardboard. What is funny is that bringing a fake gun to school these days is likely good enough to get you suspended. Ah, the good old days, when Batiuk still had the balls to use guns for humor.
There is something funny in this strip though. That kid carrying the ‘We’re Still Here” sign looks like an immigrant from another strip entirely. I’m guessing Archie. He’s either got freckles, acne, stubble, or a tiny tattoo of a flock of migrating geese on his cheek. That coat looks like he murdered Chewbacca to wear his pelt, and the orange scarf isn’t so much a fashion accessory as some terrible noose he’s broken free. He’s got a nose high and sharp enough to use as a can opener, pointy ears. And all of this with a receding hairline hiding under cowlick reminiscent of the infamous scene in “There’s Something About Mary.”
Forget everyone else in this strip. We should make it all about Cowlick from now on.
Link to today’s strip
Well, this is the most blatantly, problematically sexist strip I have seen Tom Batiuk put out since “What Women’s Lib doesn’t know won’t hurt them”. He has his newest nebbish highschool avatar say that it took him til the tenth grade to have girls for friends, and flat out say that he considers wimmin-folk a separate class from himself.
Bernie has been hanging out with Logan for at least three years now, and he didn’t consider her a friend? Instead he saw her as an ‘other.’ And not only as from a different group, but a group outright opposing his own.
The wording of this has a darker potential double meaning. Because it could indicate that there are in fact two camps on each side of these opposing groups. A male opposing camp and a female opposing camp. And how else is Logan different from Bernie? So we’ve got textual sexism on top of sub-liminal racism. I’m revoking Bernie’s ‘woke’ card.
For years I’ve been defending Tom Batiuk against claims of overt sexism. I honestly believed he just had a hard time writing and relating to women. But this one strip has me rethinking everything.
Link to today’s strip
“Americans used to roar like lions for liberty; now we bleat like sheep for security.”
― Norman Vincent Peale
It’s interesting how the force of this protest has waned over the last three days. On Tuesday we were ‘urging action to stop’, yesterday we were ‘urging action to prevent’ and now we’re not ‘urging action’ at all anymore, just ‘voicing concerns about’ tomorrow we’ll just be ‘drawing attention to guns,’ and the slow march of passivity will continue on.
I wondered if there was ‘much to show for’ school shooting legislation from last year to this year. Because I don’t trust Tom Batiuk one bit to do any real research on what he’s claiming. There has been quite a bit.. At least on the gun control side. Maybe Bernie is one of those who argues a gun control is more a mental health issue. Oh, wait, no, there’s been significant movement on that front too. This article even mentions the students March for Our Lives having an effect.
Of course, you could make the argument that a lot of these proposed laws haven’t been finalized yet, or that all of this isn’t enough. But that isn’t what Bernie here is saying. What he’s really saying is, school shootings are bad enough to protest but not serious enough to research.
I look forward to the senior trip to DC, where the students will protest the lack of a WWII memorial while standing in it’s fountain.
Today’s strip continues this week’s dumb one-off jokefest by having Logan Church join Progressively-Lumpier Black Guy and Preschooler Bernie Silver. Batiuk shows his lack of range by putting Logan in the now Westview woman uniform colors of magenta and black. Make her vest a cardigan and she’s stolen the elderly Holly’s wardrobe.
Anyway, dumb joke about mandarin oranges and Jello, which, for the record, I have only seen together sparingly in my many years on this planet, and none of those times in a school cafeteria. That Lumpy finishes Bernie’s punchline only underscores how labored this joke is.
And one wonders why Logan, who was introduced as savvy enough to have a business blog “picked up by ABC News”, would be hanging out with these two goobers. Perhaps her status nosedived when she switched her ethnicity.