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
Pete has totally declared himself forever stuck in the nineties, the only decade when a child might not recognize a box of LPs on sight. “What are these?” There’s a record player on the friggen desk you dunce! With music coming out! Ruby has worked in the same office with you for how long? Pete comes across as a amnesiac toddler pointing to things he has to have seen a million times before and asking, “Wat dat?”
And all to cover the limitations of sloppy artwork. A more natural beginning to the conversation would be. “Hey Ruby, why did you bring your old record player in?”
The strip is nonsensical all across the board. Every panel has something either inane or baffling.
Everyone likes to listen to music while working. Find me a person who enjoys working in complete silence and I’ll have another name to add to my list of suspected pod-people.
And the record player is ON HER DESK, she might not even need to stand to flip that LP over. Does standing register steps on a fitbit? I’m guessing that Batiuk wanted to give an interesting juxtaposition of old and new technology to show that Ruby is hip with the times. But for THIS joke to work the record player would need to be on a separate table a few feet away. Which would have been doable, but Batiuk and Ayers didn’t even bother.
Strap in folks. It’s going to be a bumpy week.
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!
Who is this guy and why is he wearing Pete’s green shirt?
I don’t know why Chester is in such a hurry to get “the lawyers downstairs ” involved. Ruby’s going to draw Miss American and get paid by Chester for doing so; why must she own the rights as well? Will Chester then have to pay Ruby for the rights to publish her work? Readers of the FW blog know very well how Batiuk relies on his legal team, so maybe in that context, this makes sense.
I’m just so sick of that surprised expression that’s been on Chester’s face this whole week. Who the hell goes to the time and expense of buying up copyrights and setting up a “shell corporation” and then forgets all about it? And what was the point of this shell corporation, anyway? Merely to pad out this insipid arc for a couple few more days, I guess.
February 11, 2020 at 11:58 pm
I liked Chester better when he was a weird eccentric greedy dick.
Is Chester losing it? Hagglemore was introduced as an insanely wealthy and savvy comix fanboy. He’s clearly still got money to burn–keeping these useless dopes on his payroll–but he forgets that he has a holding company? Yesterday in the comments, it was proposed that “CH Holdings” might turn out to be Crazy Harry. Now that might set up generate some intrigue, laughs, whatever. We need to give a name to this rule which states that any plot event you can conceive for Funky Winkerbean that is remotely novel or entertaining will be the complete opposite of what actually happens.
“What’s going on?” asks Chester. Certainly not productivity! Grandpa Google apparently has directed Mindy to Aunt Register of Copyrights, where she’s able to look up Miss American’s first owner. This means that the copyright wasn’t secured until 1978 or later: the U.S. Copyright Office’s public catalog only goes back that far. Works registered prior to 1978 may be found only in the Copyright Public Records Reading Room in Washington, D.C. (can’t get more American than that!) Those flashbacks to Ruby’s earlier days in the business seem to take place a couple decades earlier. But hey, don’t stop Mindy from making herself useful for once.
Banana Jr. 6000
February 10, 2020 at 7:01 am
[W]hy was Pete even included in last week’s arc? He never said anything, and, not being an artist, wasn’t in the running for Kitschy’s check…I know Pete can’t pry his eyes off anything comic book-related, and Mindy would have been another character to cram into an already crowded panel, but it’s just weird that she left and he didn’t.
Well, because we needed Pete to, once again, pull a brilliant idea out of his ass, and offhandedly express it in the most roundabout way. And we needed his fiancé, a comics professional whose last job was sucking farts out of the seats at the Valentine, to reveal her ignorance how copyright law works. Grandpa Google to the rescue!