Tag Archives: Phil Holt

Meta-mucil

TB goes full on meta in today’s strip… could this be a preview of what we’ll see over the next few weeks? Is everything else from here on going to be bizarrely (and blandly) self-referential? Are we in for even more unnecessary acknowledgements that these characters all of a sudden know they are in a comic strip? I suppose we will have to wait and see, though the wait won’t be too long now.

Meta references can certainly work, but are not inherently interesting or funny, nor are they funny in the context of this strip and story arc, or in the context of TB’s real life partial retirement for that matter. What is funny, however, is that Ruby joined Atomik Komix over 3 years ago to much fanfare, specifically to draw Wayback Wendy I might add, and she’s peacing out after drawing the cover of issue #4! And we all thought Phil Holt was a slow worker

And that’s a wrap for my latest and possibly last time blogging here at Son Of Stuck Funky. No goodbyes here, but I do want to thank some folks. Thank you to TFH and Epicus for running this place for the past 12 and a half years and for trusting me as a guest writer here over the past 8 years. Thanks to my fellow guest writers for keeping this site reliably humming for years and much thanks to all of you SOSFers for coming back and reading day after day in spite of my silly wonderings and regular typos. I’ve written over 500 of these things, believe it or not! But for me these posts are mostly a glorified header, the best content generally comes from you all in the comments. I can only hope that you have enjoyed reading some of my words even 1/100th as much as I have enjoyed being a part of this community.

And so, I will close this post the same way I wrote my entire first week of posts…

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Ruby the Grate

In case you missed it, we are in the final weeks of Funky Winkerbean. Tom Batiuk appears to be reluctantly retiring the strip much in the same way he’s written Ruby as reluctantly retiring from Atomik Komix this week and in today’s strip. The timing of this thin gruel of a story arc and TB’s fairly muted announcement is certainly no coincidence. Most all of us here at SOSF, despite speculating for over a decade on when and how this thing would end, are probably still processing the suddenness of the announcement, how soon it will become reality, and what that means for this wonderful community going forward.

But enough wallowing about, let’s leave that to the strip and try to get back to business as usual. I guess today’s strip is aiming for bittersweet, but it largely is coming across as just bitter. You can’t mask your true feelings in a wall of smirks, TB… And even if the strip wasn’t ending at the close of this year, I’m guessing we were never going to see Chester meet with the building manager by looking in a mirror anyways. I’d say “a pity”, but, you know, it’s not. It’s really not.

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Excre-mint

Here is today’s strip. You all go ahead and tear into it. Not sure I could do much better than the post title anyways.

Sorry, two days to go on my stint and I’m already running on fumes. Even WordPress knows this, somehow. It’s kind of creepy, to be honest… I’ll press on these next two days, but I’m going to set a spell today and see you in the comments.

Speaking of running on empty (and burying the lede, for that matter), Tom Batiuk dropped some news late yesterday that may or may not be relevant to this story arc, the last several months of speculation in the comments, and the future of this website. Some of you all commented on it yesterday. I have plenty of thoughts on this, as I am sure many of you all do. As with today’s strip, I’ll see you in the comments to discuss.

I’m guessing this will get more ink than the strip…

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Pencil droppers, eh?!

Wait, is today’s strip taking place on the exact same day that Ruby drew Sunday’s Scorch cover?! Ruby drew a whole cover in a matter of hours?! Maybe that’s not at all surprising for a real life comic cover artist at a real life comic book company, but at Atomik Komix it sure is. These folks make “Turtle Thompson” look like AJ Foyt.

I mean, Batton is still there treadmilling and everyone is wearing the exact same things they were wearing in last week’s strips, give or take some colorist’s liberty… ok, scratch that, Mindy is wearing a skirt in today’s strip and clearly has on pants in last Saturday’s strip. Different day, I guess. In either scenario, though, we’re left to note how ridiculous it is that Batton spends so much time in the Atomik Komix bullpen. He, ostensibly, has a job drawing a comic strip, but we’ve never seen him do it. Heck, we’ve never even seen the strip-within-a-strip… and it’s not like Funky Winkerbean is above that kind of thing. He likes comic books and frequents Komix Korner from time-to-time (SUCH a unique trait in the Batiukverse, I know), but he doesn’t appear to be a regular there like he is here at the Atomik Komix bullpen. He likes or feels obligated to jog. And that’s it. That is everything we know about the guy. I don’t necessarily care to know more, but if TB insists on having his author avatar hang around places where it makes no obvious sense for him to hang around then Batton needs some purpose and motivation.

Oh yeah, also… Ruby is old, water is wet, and Chester now wears the look of someone clinically depressed.

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Nix Chix Fix Comix

Ruby has got to be regretting speaking up a few days ago because, as we see in today’s strip, she’s being told to… do her job?!

EGADS!

I know, I’m as shocked as any of you that someone at Atomik Komix is even suggesting the idea of doing work. Granted, Phil is suggesting that someone other than himself work, but still… This will probably work better for the deadline anyways, Phil is not known for his speed. Flash being kind of a jerk and everyone else standing around like this place has no editor in chief, or leadership of any kind – now that is the Atomik Komix we all know and love.

Anyways, we’re back from “the climage damate comics aren’t optimistic enough” to “the damate climage comics aren’t, uh, something about women I think”. Are we supposed to see these two complaints as the same thing?

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Bowles Movement

Link To The Sunday Strip

Does he really not know? Because Phil doesn’t appear to be kidding here. So the question must be asked again: what is he, some kind of moron? It might not have been his intent, but every character in this week’s arc came across like a total dolt.

“Bowles”…nice proofreading there, Pulitzer (nominee) Boy. “From the bowles of the Earf, it’s the Subterrain Ian!”. What the hell is The Subterranean doing there? Collecting scrap metal? I mean, sure, that’s terrific and all, but hardly planet-saving. He’s like Bubbles from “The Wire”, but with a tiny head and muscles. And way less personable, too.

Well, it was a long, strange stint for me, but now it’s over. According to my calculations, I should be back just in time for (gulp) the holidays. You know, the annual year-ending ones. Up next, a tanned, rested and mellow TFHackett! Stay Funky, gang!

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I Am Serious, And Stop Calling Me Deadly

Link, Please Click Here For Strip

“Bummer Batton”…LOL, I get it. Batiuk is always at his weirdest when he tries to get all “meta”. Once again he’s gently poking fun at himself in that wry, self-effacing way of his, and once again, it just sets my teeth on edge and makes my fillings hurt. Making fun of FW is OUR thing, Tom, so either do it right or stay in your goddamned lane, you big, overly-sincere lug.

It bears repeating to once again mention how, once again, TomYam deftly avoids the whole “climate change” kerfuffle by a) calling it “climate damage”, which no one else does, and b) never really taking any kind of concrete stand one way or the other. He acknowledges that it exists, but that’s it. He knows who butters his toast, and he’s not going to risk generating a tide (half a dozen) hand-written letters to the editor complaining about those damned hippie comic strips that bumped “Gasoline Alley” from the local funny page. Better to be incredibly vague, thus dodging that whole issue entirely. He’s kind of good at that, actually. In another life, I bet you that BatHam would have made quite a cunning local politician, like a state assemblyman or something, carving out an unremarkable but incredibly long-lived career by deftly straddling both sides of every issue, and that’s it.

“Assemblyman BattonTom! Channel One News. Where does your office stand with the controversial “Books For Orphans” program and the controversy swirling around it ever since the allegations were made public.?”

“It’s something I’ll need to look at. We might not have many tomorrows left, you know. I think voters should be hearing about this.”

He’d have been really good at it. And he’s real sincere and self-effacing too, in case you failed to notice. One can’t help but wonder what might have happened if BatYarn had put this unique talent of his to some kind of good use, instead of squandering it on a f*cking comic strip, of all things.

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Climate Damage Inc.

Link To Strip

Back-to-back single panel strips in a garbage dump arc…for shame, Tom, for shame. More wry self-deprecation AND a malaprop, too, plus, as an added bonus, Batton Thomas just inexplicably standing there, grinning stupidly. Maybe his dumb comic strip wouldn’t be in “the last row” if he’d go home and, you know, work on the damn thing instead of loitering around a comic book studio all day.

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Armageddon Outta Here

Link To Click On If You Dare

Christ on a cracker, not THESE assholes now. And they’re STILL working on those imbecilic “Elemental” comics (or komix, in the Ohioese). God, I hate these motherf*ckers, man. Sorry, but it’s true. They’re in the strip all the time now. And apparently, to add insult to injury, this is a Batton/AK-themed garbage dump arc, where he’s just using “ideas” (for lack of a better term) he couldn’t squeeze in anywhere else, like wry Batton Thomas gags and old comic book references. Unless it’s the last week of the year, garbage dump arcs are just inexcusable. And single panel garbage dump arc strips are just the lowest of the low. It’s the comic strip equivalent of always wearing sweatpants with a small-but-growing hole in the crotch.

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He Also Owns Darling’s Drawers

Link To Today’s Strip

“He likes to collect things, so surely he’ll have John Darling memorabilia!” seems like a bit of a stretch to me, even by Westview logic. I would’ve liked a line about how Mitchell’s dad was a newscaster, or that Mitchell was comforted by watching the show after he quit Batom. Just something more than “he collects stuff, so he’ll have what you want”.

And that is quite the strange looking spaceship that Phil drew. If I didn’t know that’s what it was supposed to be, I really don’t think I’d ever be able to tell.

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