Tag Archives: Phil Holt

Lord and Lady Douchebag

So apparently for every good idea Pete comes up with, you have to listen to two useless, shitty ones? Another “great name” for this new Elemental might be The Ordinaire…she’s just another buff Batom broad clad in a generic, formfitting superhero onesie. Why couldn’t she be a heroine who’s composed of water, and who needs a watertight suit to encase her, a la Doctor Atmos? A life sized, humanoid, water filled balloon animal would make for a truly original Sunday comic book cover (which, bet on it, we’ll be getting tomorrow.)

Even though Pete couldn’t afford an engagement ring, if and when he and Mindy ever do get married and start a family, at least he’ll be rich in “Dad jokes.” Webster’s defines these as “wholesome joke[s] of the type said to be told by fathers with a punchline that is often an obvious or predictable pun or play on words and usually judged to be endearingly corny or unfunny.” The key word there is endearingly: Dad doesn’t have to interject “…wait for it…” before striking a “har-dee-har” pose to sell the weak punchline.

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I Want to Be More Like the Ocean

Banana Jr. 6000
December 2, 2021 at 9:16 am
They’ve already published a Subterranean book…they’re apparently working on another one, and they’re just now determining who their characters are? Going over their character roster is the only thing these Atomik Klowns ever do!

…aaaaand Mindy, “The Girl.”

Batiuk famously builds story arcs set in milieux around which his lack of actual understanding becomes glaringly evident: think moviemaking, or military service. But we all know him to be a bonafide, lifetime consumer and aficionado of comics and comic books. They are his sworn passion. Young Tom Batiuk even followed his dream to New York. “I met with an editor at DC Comics who ripped not only my work up and down but me as well for having had the temerity to show up at his office with it.” OK, it didn’t lead to his dream job, and he had to settle for being a mere “cartoonist.” Still, he knows and collaborates with people in the industry. Which industry, with very few exceptions, probably operates nothing like the way he depicts it here.

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Do You Hope to Pluck this Dusky Joule?

Hitorque
November 29, 2021 at 11:57 pm
…For all that money and all that artistic talent, this [Atomik Komix] outfit has the professionalism and maturity level of a bunch of neighborhood kids in a treehouse with a mimeograph machine…

In my dissertation yesterday regarding the traits of various FW characters, I called Phil Holt “a nasty, sarcastic little prick.” His partner Flash once diplomatically described him as a “grumpy guy who spent most of his time (emphasis mine) at war with the world and everyone in it.” Most of his time. Yesterday (or a few minutes or hours ago in strip time), Holt came thisclose to telling Pete to shove “all of these ideas of yours” up his ass. Today the Silver Alert, uh, Silver Age Duo have come a knockin’ to borrow a cup of Darin and Pete’s creative sugar.

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Pete Persists

Batiuk seems to have a fondness for his diametrically opposed duos: compare Les, for example, whose every endeavor (except I guess Lisa’s Story: the Movie) is met with acclaim, vs. his best friend Funky, against whom the very universe conspires to make miserable. Cody and Owen: the clueless stoner and the glasses-wearing geek. Those Crankshaft teen twins: sugar/spice, naughty/nice. Pete and Darin? Well, they’re equally and interchangeably douchey. But their Silver Age analogues “Flash” Freeman and Phil Holt? Phil, he’s just a nasty, sarcastic little prick, while Flash is generally kindly and even tempered. Batiuk also often has his characters finishing each others’ sentences, but of course that’s not what’s happening in today’s strip. Phil is clearly about to tell Pete to shove his ideas up his ass. Flash! Let the man speak!

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What a Tosser

Does anyone else get the feeling that today’s strip is a reflection of Tom Batiuk’s own creative process? We’ve often see Pete enthusiastically “tossing out” his half-baked ideas as rapidly as they pop into his head. But where Pete’s concepts must now pass muster with a couple of cantankerous comics creators, Batiuk seemingly is given carte blanche by an editorial director who’s probably too busy on Twitter to pay much attention.

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I Don’t Need No Doctor

none
September 10, 2021 at 11:16 pm
The only thing that he has ever conveyed in any of this Atomic Comic trash are the Ideas. That’s it. Here’s the name of the book, here’s the cover to the #1 issue, and everything else – story, marketing, advertising, criticism, reception – is irrelevant.

Banana Jr. 6000
September 11, 2021 at 9:20 am
…“This superhero is based on air” is not a story. It’s not even a character. But whatever, give us the goddamn Sunday comic book cover already so we can get this shit over with.

You asked for it, Banana Jr. 6000! Meet…DDCTDR ATMDS! Those who read Funky only in the Sunday funnies won’t have the benefit of knowing the backstory of the Doctor’s fascinating origin. I think they’d be more likely to assume the this comic’s title character was the figure flying in from the right. The one on the left looks more sinister, and appears to throwing off a whole bunch of “killer watts!” Nobody should be shocked that Batty uses the reality bubble at lower right for three weak electrical puns. Two puns, actually: Pete’s not pronouncing it “revolting.” He’s literally revulsed. Pete is as sick of these two as we are.

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Tell, Don’t Show

Mr. A
September 10, 2021 at 9:37 am
It’s never been more obvious that Batiuk came up with an idea for a cool comic-book cover first, and worked backwards from there. On Saturday they’ll name the water character, and then we’ll see the cover art on Sunday, and then we’ll be done.

Two outta three ain’t bad, Mr. A! I didn’t even get today’s gag until the third or fourth read through. Why was the writer teasing the artist about an “obsession with writing things down”? I suppose that Phil is implying that he did the real work of drawing, while all Flash had to do was spin a “story” without even having to set it down in written form.

So we won’t know yet how the fourth character, representing the water element, will be (the Inedible Pulp, perchance?) But yes, tomorrow we’ll see a Comix kover (desktop users, get ready to rotate those monitors). And then we’ll be done. And, speaking of teasing, we’ll reconnect with yet another octogenarian FW character, one whom we’ve only seen in a single cameo in all of 2021!


Addendum

The Batty blog is running the FW strips from the aftermath of September 11, 2001. The strips are really…not so bad (this was still Act II), and, to TB’s credit, they ran less than one month after the attacks (not a year later, as is the case with his Covid content). Anyway, I’m bringing this up as an excuse to post the most savagely funny sendup of a certain self important cartoonist from Ohio. Never forget.

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Atmos, at Least

[A] hero who’s composed of air,” encased in an airtight suit. Doctor Atmos basically a man-sized balloon animal. Not where I might’ve gone with this “Elements” concept, but in fairness to Batty, no worse than some real-life comics concepts. Since returning from the “dead,” Phil has grown more youthful looking each day, while “Flash” and Ruby remain their wizened selves. Darin’s corny, round spectacles don’t do any favors for his youthful looks (and let’s face it, he and Jess have to be pushing forty).  Pete has always looked middle aged, but today his face just looks bizarre.

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Elemental as Anything

Except for his outburst of mock anger yesterday, the usually cantankerous Phil Holt has been positively gleeful about rebooting his comics career. What ever became of the one-man “hostile work environment,” who walked off the job in a fit of resentment, regarded his own work as “just junk“, and had to pay the bills working as a caricaturist at kiddie parties? All it took was a little affirmation of the meaning his work had for others. The hard feelings he engendered in his partner, and the hardship he spitefully caused himself, are forgotten, and he’s ready to return to “working in a bullpen”.

What’s also forgotten in today’s strip is that “the batty Batom bullpen” never existed, at least not as a rollicking, “fun” filled, shared workspace. From April, 2018:

Turns out that Batom Comics pioneered the “work from home” concept that has, since last year, become more commonplace. A fact that Chester, having more money than brains, discovered only after he bought the entire building in pursuit of fulfilling his Silver Age fantasies. “Emphasis on the ‘bull'” indeed.

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Aristotelian Fistics

Back when he was pursuing his useless MBA, Darin probably didn’t have time to study the ancient philosophers. However, he’s retained enough of Mr. Kablichnick’s high school chemistry teaching to have a narrow understanding of what “elements” are, and he tries to convey his point of view to the new staff. Flash leans in and glowers at Darin, showing the whites of his eyes and his bottom teeth; his towering, elongated head looms over the younger man and threatens to crush him like a toppled totem pole. “They were in Aristotle’s day,” he growls. When Darin unwisely persists in trying to make his case, Phil Holt, who’s been sporting a dopey grin this whole time, reverts to his nasty self, cursing and waving his fist. Our newly minted Comic-Con Hall of Famers are not about to take any guff from Boy Lisa.

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