Today’s strip is up. And looks like when Batiuk released poor Burchett from his prison of half smirks, beady eyes, and morphing noses, he still retained his skills for comics covers. Anyone know when exactly Ayers took back over? There’s a some tea hiding behind the scenes that I’d like spilled.
Pretty exciting cover. Especially since apparently all these Stardusters can breathe in space.
Welp. I’m outta here. The ever talented and insightful Beckoning Chasm is taking over the pilot’s seat. If anyone can make beautiful snark out of the depressing malaise of a two dimensional universe slowly decaying through entropy, it’s our resident abstract artist.
If anyone can truly understand the twisted psyche of Tom Batiuk, it’s a man capable of painting something like this and calling it, “Sleep”
Link to today’s strip
Min completes you Petey? The first time Mindy had a comics idea, it was for a kid side-kick you found so repellent you tried to erase him from your field of vision.
But, really, in the right hands a comic about blue collar space miners/treasure seekers running into adventures could be a fun, character driven, romp. I’m picturing a cross between Firefly and Farscape with a dash of Justice League International. IN THE RIGHT HANDS. With Atomik Komikxs ‘Stardusters’ we’re more likely to get something like this goofy idiot from Episode 30 of Lost in Space.
Still, whatever nightmare sideways strip we’re getting tomorrow, it has to be better than the underground comics ‘Stardusters‘ that came out in 1991. I found someone reviewing issue 3 of the series. It’s like if a Jack Chick tract fell into the creepy BDSM scene and was expecting a visit from Chris Hansen.
So the bar for ‘Stardusters’ as a concept has already gone as low as it can go. But it’s also gone as high as it can go. Because the GI Joe character Starduster is a stone cold jetpacking badass from the circus who juggles live grenades.
So I guess what I’m saying is that GI Joe comics from 80’s were pretty great. And you should read those instead.
Link to today’s strip
We’ve been learning too much this week. All of us! The comments have been crammed with factoids about vinyl and Marvel, basketball and Bolsheviks, GI Joe and Ohio, lounge singers and long sandwiches.
And today, we learn that every atom in our bodies with an atomic number higher than hydrogen was originally forged in the heart of our universe’s first stars.
And due to the carbon cycle, probably every cell of our body is full of recycled shit. Just like this strip.
So, for everyone’s viewing pleasure, I have random panels of Stardust The Super Wizard and his weird tiny head and single facial expression. I will trust our team of crack commenters to regale us with wonderful Fletcher Hanks factoids!
And, my personal favorite:
Link to today’s strip
If this is how Batiuk imagines the comic book creative process, then it’s no wonder he couldn’t get a job writing them. Pete is constantly spewing new characters based on whatever wanders through his field of vision. Even going back to his time being harried by Lord of the Late, some word association would lead him down a nightmare pun hole to a new asinine character.
I don’t need to tell any of you that compelling and exciting stories are built on conflict and plot. Maybe, in the old days, you had Plastic Man and Matter Eater Lad wackiness every month. But that was when comics were mass produced to be consumed and disposed of by children. Kids have YouTube unboxing videos to watch now. Comic books are for a niche market of teen and adult readers who will mock relentlessly stupid gimmick characters made from dumb word associations.
Speaking of stupid gimmick characters made from dumb word associations, have you guys seen Marvel’s ‘The New Warriors’? I guess morons like Pete CAN get jobs in comics.
Link to today’s strip
Except he wasn’t named for a sandwich, Pete. According to the ever reliable Wikipedia, Hoagland Howard “Hoagy” Carmichael was named after a circus troupe called the “Hoaglands” that had stayed at the Carmichael house during his mother’s pregnancy.
And we keep slipping further back in musical history, because ‘Stardust’ was recorded in 1927. I expect tomorrow we’ll be referencing ‘Maple Leaf Rag’, and by June Ruby will have pulled out a phonautograph to listen to the 1860 recording of ‘Claire De La Lune’.
At least Stardust has become something of a timeless classic, with famous covers by Sinatra, Louie Armstron, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Willie Nelson, and Fred Flinstone.
So don’t besmirch the Hoag for his weird name dear Pete. Then man wrote hundreds of songs, over decades, including ‘Georgia On My Mind,’ ‘Stardust’ and ‘Heart and Soul.’ HEART AND SOUL, Pete! The only song other than ‘Chopsticks’ passed around from one unlessoned kid to another via church basement pianos and children’s keyboards for decades immemorial. The song 70% of the population would try to plunk out if tied to a piano and told to play something under pain of death.
You will never, in your entire life, do anything that could even come close. Stardust was chosen by Library of Congress for the National Recording Registery. All you’ve done is come up with a handful of pathetic comic characters with even stupider names than Hoagland flailing their way through inane plots, barely earning you a footnote in history, Tom.
Um, I mean, Pete.
Link to today’s strip
Wow. Ruby is listening to some GOLDEN oldies. When I first saw the label, I wondered if it was a Batiuk pastiche of some kind of folksy Byrds rip off. But sure enough, panel 3 is a loving detailed recreation of an actual record label.
Kids, that there is no LP. That is a 78 RPM record. If Ruby had this on her turntable she’d be clocking lots of steps on her fitbit, because each side of has a single song, less than three minutes long. According to 45worlds the 10″ record was pressed in 1941. As in, the record is older than than the 73-year-old man who put it in this strip.
Which begs the question, how old is Ruby supposed to be? Her flashbacks looked to me like they could have been from any time from the 40’s to the early 60’s. Is this her parents’ record? I have my mom’s old Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall album in a box somewhere. Maybe she just kept her parents stuff. Or decided she really liked music from the same year as Pearl Harbor. Or she is literally in her nineties, and Tom continues salving his fear of aging with an ever expanding cast of limber and active nonagenarians.
If any of you want to hear the charming song ‘Ev’ry Little Thing’, sung by Don Lawrence with The Ramblers on instrumentals, I found it on the internet archive. It’s a cute lounge band type number that really took me back to watching Lawrence Welk with my grandma on Saturday night.
The song on the other side…um… Always Too Tired. Which is a joke song full of double entendre. Really. REALLY. If you’re only going to listen to one dirty song from the 40’s, you owe it to yourself to click that link and listen to the whole glorious thing. And then imagine it playing loudly in the office.
From one temporal non-sequitur to another. Because if Ruby is inexplicably stuck in the 40’s, then Pete is definitely stuck in the Aughts. An I-Pod? In 2020? MP3 players have been around for nearly 20 years. They peaked 12 years ago and have been on the way down ever since. Why don’t you just suggest she get 8-tracks of her favorite records?
Crazy Harry shows us all that he never took a sales class in today’s strip, shilling for Atomik Komix by dumping on the comic book industry’s far more popular, far more established, and far more successful giants while Creepy Pete creeps about like a creeper (but not the comic book character, who has appeared in *gasp* multiple universes!). Maybe it worked, though we don’t actually see Komix Korner’s first sale since the Obama administration. This, uh… child (I think) actually seems interested in wasting $2.99 on a copy of Atomic Ape and its single universe of simian shlock. Sorry, the gray shading on that kid’s hair is throwing me off, he looks like a tiny Tom Batiuk.
This gripe about multiple universes that is shared by maybe 0.001% of all comic book fans that I have ever met is especially rich coming from TB, a guy who writes two comic strips that share a universe together and with a 3rd defunct strip, one of which is set 10 years ahead of the other even though both are depicted as taking place in the present day. So much less confusing than multiple universes…
Have a safe, healthy, and happy Easter Sunday SOSFers!
More confirmation that this strip has devolved into nothing more than the author’s favorite characters having their wildest dreams fall into their laps today. Given how all we’ve really seen of Darin’s drawing skills is Sophomoric Sightings I don’t think this is really saying much. And I strongly doubt Pete’s writing skills would produce much of a woman, either.
What do you think Jess and Darin are talking about? I think it’s either “Did you know chimpanzees and silent film stars can be part of a murderous love triangle?” or “Wow, your significant other only wears Flash Underoos, too?!”.
Montoni’s is busy in today’s strip! What? And Holly is flustered to the max and jealous of unhealthily self-conscious Cindy all the sudden*? Crazy!
Speaking of Crazy, his advice… isn’t ironic? I don’t know, actually, but I do know it’s been relevant to TB for decades. If only TB would take it one day.
Wait, Montoni’s is busy with regular FW cast members. Sheesh, this strip doesn’t even truly earn its “the rare Montoni’s customer” tag. This, THIS level of business has Holly frazzled and exhausted? She is as cut out for food service as Funky is for giving out marriage advice.
* Holly being self-conscious about her body hasn’t happened in a while, but to be fair, it actually isn’t new. It even goes back to when she was the other shoe.
Thanks for putting up with me and my blue tongue for the past two weeks. Thoughts and prayers for our next blogger…