Tag Archives: old crap

Herstory of Herassment.

Link to today’s strip

Stuckfunkian commenter Scott Lovrine guessed last week that Ruby Lith may be based on Ramona Fradon, who worked on Aquaman and Metamorpho. The visual resemblance is very strong both in the past and currently. But from my research Ramona didn’t time in ‘the bullpen.’

I believe that Marie Severin and I were the only women drawing superheroes at the time [50’s]. It’s funny that she was drawing Sub-Mariner while I was drawing Aquaman. People always used to ask me if I knew her, but I didn’t meet her until years later, at a convention. I didn’t work in a bullpen like Marie did so, aside from being uncomfortable with male fantasies and the violent subject matter. I never really experienced what it was like being the only woman working in a man’s world.

Marie, who did work in an office with men, talked more about feeling slightly isolated or left out rather than harassed. The only story I could find her recounting was a male college blowing on the back of her neck.

In that case, comics have always been a rather male dominated field, and you, like Ramona [Fradon] are one of the two reigning queens. How many other women were there at Marvel at the time doing art, and did you ever have any problems with “the Bullpen” or anything like that?

MS: Not really, the guys, they say that women gossip, well networking is male gossip, and they “networked” all the time. But, just like we wouldn’t want a guy when we were sitting around talking about somebody’s shoes, or a certain eyeliner, they weren’t interested in having a woman around, and sure, I’d have lunch with them once in a while, but the conversations were always male; it was just normal. So, you’re sort of out of it. I didn’t have any real problems.

But that brings us to Lily Renee. If Batiuk wants to claim that Ruby Lith is based on any one woman, Lily Renee is the option that closest fits his ‘narrative’. And she also has a physical resemblance.

Lily Renee worked in the 40’s as a penciler and inker for Fiction House. She was Jewish, from Vienna, and had immigrated alone, at the age of 14, first to England then the United States to escape the Nazis. When her parents joined her a couple years later she took up a job in comics to help support her family. The men in the office teased her, tried to teach her dirty words in English, and drew nudes in the margins of the work she was supposed to ink. But she wasn’t the only woman working in the office. There were many women working for Fiction House at the time, and she was on good terms with most of them. She would regularly go out for lunch with Fran Hopper, and at one point, she lived with artist Ruth Atkinson for about a year.

Unlike Batiuk’s fantasy Ruby Lith though, Lily just did it for the money, and after leaving the comics industry in 1949, went to work on other things; illustrating children’s books, writing plays, and working in fashion.

So, big surprise, sometimes it was uncomfortable being a woman in a office predominated by men. Sometimes the women were ‘left out’, sometimes the women were teased. Sometimes it led to much drama that weren’t black-and-white cases of sexual harassment. The inker Violet Barclay, by her own admission, flirted with men in the office leading to acrimonious feelings and love triangles.

Barclay’s complicated relationship with benefactor Mike Sekowsky — who bestowed expensive gifts on her even after his marriage to Joanne Latta — caused friction in the Timely bullpen, which she left in 1949. As she later described the office environment,

“Mike was a very good human being. Everybody at Timely liked Mike. Nobody like me because they thought I was doing a number on him. Which was true. World War II was on and there were no men around, so I just killed time with him. Everybody, Dave Gantz especially, picked up on that. … [Mike] once tried to get me fired over my fling with [Timely artist] George Klein. Mike went to Stan Lee and said, ‘Stan, I want her fired, and if she doesn’t get fired, I’m going to quit’. Well, you couldn’t ever tell Stan Lee what to do. Stan said, ‘Well, Mike, it’s been nice knowing you’.”

Not all sexual harassers got off scott free either. Toni Blum, who worked for Quality Comics in the 40’s, was treated respectfully there except for an incident between two male artists, wherein one punched another in the face. As historian Denis Kitchen wrote, “[George] Tuska, like [Will] Eisner, had a crush on office mate Toni Blum but was too shy to make his move. The actual provocation that inflamed Tuska, Eisner privately said, was [Bob] Powell’s loud assertion that he ‘could f**k [Toni Blum] anytime’ he wanted. After decking Powell, Tuska stood over his prostrate coworker and in a voice Eisner described as Lon Chaney Jr. in Of Mice and Men said, ‘You shouldn’t ought to have said that, Bob.'”

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In-No-Sense

< sarcasm >
Today’s strip clears up so much!
< /sarcasm >

Dashiell Hammett “felt” Brinkel was innocent of Valerie Pond’s murder? Well… how can you argue with that? Especially when Hammett himself believed that Brinkel was covering up for the REAL murderer, which is… not a crime? Is that right?

Interesting that Cliff is essentially hatching a conspiracy theory about Brinkel, given how he didn’t seem to care for Senator McCarthy’s conspiracy theories about his own actions.

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Haiku-mmett

Batiukverse space time
Still warping in today’s strip
A 40s newsboy?

Street-hawking newsboys
Were in decline in the 10s
And gone by 40s

Hammett’s Pinkertons
Found nothing on Brinkel’s case
They were years early

Or have we gone back?
Brinkel’s a silent star?
40s a typo?

Who knows? I sure don’t
Author sure doesn’t either
Just end this thing, please

Bad newspapermen
Are ones who print comics like
Funky Winkerbean

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Hammett Up, Cliff

Today’s strip gets a “time travel” tag and a “retcon” tag, because both of those things appear to be happening!

This is lifted wholesale from the Fatty Arbuckle case, by the way. Dashiell Hammett actually was a Pinkerton man in the late 1910s and early 1920s and he did claim to be a part of the Pinkerton team hired by Arbuckle’s defense attorneys, though some historians doubt his involvement was significant if it even happened at all.

How this squares with the timeline of silent film star 1940s icon Butter Brickle Brinkel’s trial is unclear… but all timelines in the Batiukverse are about as clear as an oil spill.

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When’s This Story Gonna Endsday, July 10

Today’s strip was not available for preview, so we’ll all just have to wait for midnight Eastern time to see how Cliff’s hallucinations of Sam Spade prove Brinkel’s innocence or something.

In lieu of this Brinkel nonsense, let’s hop back 23 years to this very day, the last time a Funky Winkerbean character attempted to solve a celebrity murder.

The summer of 1996 was a busy one in the Batiukverse. Lisa was badly injured when talk radio caused the Westview Post Office bombing and Les was busy working on his first book, the eventual Fallen Star, where a fictional detective (surely not Sam Spade?) solved John Darling’s murder.

FW7-10-96

The interviewee here is Wade Wallace (he eventually became Funky’s AA sponsor) and Les didn’t even seek him out for this interview. Nope, this exchange happened because Funky, Les, and Lisa caught him running an ongoing scam where he would call and order a pizza, not pick it up, and then fish it out of the Montoni’s dumpster when Funky threw it out… y’know, because he was homeless. In fact, he likely had been homeless for a nearly 2 decades at this point, as his homelessness was used to set up a vanity gag in a December 1979 John Darling strip. Act II was a maudlin mess.

Wallace returned later in the summer to return a publisher’s check to Les, which he found because Les accidentally threw it out like an idiot. Les spends three strips in a dumpster looking for the check, which is a real highlight in Batiukverse history.

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Doc-whodunnit?

Hello, I’m billytheskink and you’re not. Be thankful for that, too, as I’m doing two weeks time writing blog posts about Funky Winkerbean and the endless Butter Brinkel Battle (and you’re not).

Back to the… are we watching the documentary in today’s strip? Is that what these filmstrip borders mean?

The very late Valerie Pond was about to leave the studio that employed Brinkel when she met her untimely death. Is this factoid a red herring or a critical bit of evidence in this pointlessly re-opening case?

All good questions… with answers that I do not actually care about one bit. What I do want answered, though, is how you check guests against an invite list at a masquerade ball.

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More Lips in This Strip Should Be Sealed

I’m a little more shocked that Crazy apparently has all of Butter Brinkel’s films on CD/DVD stacked up in what look to be jewel cases. And he’s just handing these rare treasures to Cindy stacked haphazardly, and not in a box or anything.
It’s pretty hilarious to me that Cindy is swearing Crazy to silence. I mean, why? You would think she’d want to build hype and buzz around her documentary. Is she afraid someone else is going to steal her idea? (Ha.) Or is she afraid this is going to damage her reputation? (Again, ha.)
By far the best/dumbest part of this strip, and the storyline as a whole- these “films” were apparently burned onto a CD or DVD. Meaning somehow Crazy either made digital files of them from the original film, or maybe a VHS release himself, which seems unlikely, or downloaded them off the internet somewhere. Meaning there’s literally no reason he couldn’t just have sent the files to Cindy directly, or barring that, made copies of the discs and mailed the discs to Cindy. I thought for sure it would turn out he somehow had the original theatrical reels of the movies, that would understandably be fragile, which would explain why Cindy had to spend thousands of dollars to fly cross-country. But yet again, I was giving Batiuk too much credit.

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