I mean, sure, why not? Why not, apropos of nothing, have a Atomik Komix cover on a random Sunday. No lead in. No follow up (spoiler warning.) Just a one-off cover.
I can’t help but wonder if this was supposed to be part of an Atomik Komix storyline that Batiuk cancelled or moved in order to squeeze in some of the pandemic arcs we’ve gotten this year. He first teased these covers more than two years ago, back in April 2019.
“Here’s a rather deep dive into the pipeline for a premature peek at a preliminary sketch for a Rip Tide comic book cover done by Bob Wiacek. Let me caution that this will eventually appear in Funky, but it’s going to be awhile.”
“I know I already showed these cover sketches once, but the actual cover/Sunday kept getting pushed back further and further on the schedule. It’s a beautiful Bob Wiacek cover, and I wanted to reconnect with what led up to it as the actual piece is about to see print on Sunday October 24th.”
October 12, 2021
So, after putting off this commissioned cover for months, all we get from it is a fairly obtuse and hard to spot Transformers joke. Transformers, an IP that peaked around 2010, and has been gradually on the way down ever since. Bumblebee Tuna is a name brand, so if used, he might have been sued by a fishmonger. And the ‘Octopus Prime’ joke is going to go over people’s heads because the villain name is in a bland looking text box, and the aquatic robot is a uniform grey. Make him look like this, then there would be no mistake!
As one of the Transformer collecting masses of Hasbro devotees, I can inform you that we have yet to see a Transformer with an octopus alternative mode. But we’ve had our share of cephalopods. Many of were even released under multiple colors and names.
Here’s that “Rip Tide, Scuba Cop” cover that nobody asked for. Back in June, Batiuk shared Craig Rousseau’s preliminary sketches for this cover on the FW blog back in June. The draftsmanship is fine (certainly better better than Batiuk and Ayers recent output), even if the composition’s a little…busy. In this way, it has more in common with the action-packed Silver Age covers of Batiuk’s beloved Flash than with the edgier, minimalist modern day covers that he likes to feature (without attribution) on the blog.
No doubt that this one had its genesis when comics fanboi Batiuk seized on the “Scuba-side” pun. After that, it was just a matter of squeezing out a few more jokey names based on bodies of water to round out the “squad.” Then it was just a matter of finding a comic book artist with some free time on his hands.
All that was left was to contribute the “humerous bon mot” (that’s how Batiuk spells it) featuring Mindy and Pete, to give this strip some tenuous tie to an FW plotline. Mindy’s not just some dumb gurl who lucked into a colorist job at Atomik Komix. She’s the brains behind Pete. Her insistence on going to the beach, instead of hiking to Bronson Canyon, inspired Pete to create a new Atomik title (and potentially saved them from dying in a fire).
We have Thatsnought Hewmore to thank/blame for today’s strip. Because HE demanded it! And true to his word, Pete didn’t write a crossover until Atomik Komix had more than four titles… they’ve had FIVE since the addition of Wayback Wendy.
The Comics Code Authority is not exactly the heaviest of punching bags in 2020… but it’s an especially odd one for Atomik Komix. This is a company founded on replicating Batom Comics and its Silver Age shlock in every possible detail… Chester hates that non-CCA guided new stuff. Batom Comics is said to have existed pretty much entirely in the CCA era and all of its titles would have adhered to the CCA’s guidelines. Go look at the Batom Comic covers that appeared every other Sunday before Atomik Komix happened, they’ve all got the CCA stamp.
That ends my latest stint writing this pap up. My honest apologies for not noting Son Of Stuck Funky’s 10th anniversary on April 9. I was and am quite honored to have been blogging when this site moved from its first decade into its second. Our esteemed founder, TFH, takes the helm for tomorrow’s certain tire fire and many thanks to him for launching this ship and picking up the survivors of the original Stuck Funky site. This site has picked up so many more folks over the years and has become one of the internet communities I value most. It has survived cease-and-desist letters, Comics Kingdom’s ever-changing strip link addresses, and TB’s best efforts to drive us to madness. I say “here’s to another decade”, because I cannot face whatever this strip has in store next without you all.
It is only at today’s strip where I finally realize the true meaning of Free Comic Book Day. I get it now. It’s not a day where free comic books are given out. No, it’s a rallying cry. A desperate plea. Comic Book Day must be freed from the clutches of these unbearable shmucks! Free Comic Book Day! And Free Holtron while we’re at it!
Also, Logan Church is here now. Such a sad turn for the once-accomplished business blogger. You could drive a semi-truck through her earrings.
Rip Tide Scuba Cop has never looked better than he has in today’s strip, which would be high praise for Mindy’s coloring skills if this wasn’t issue #2 of the title.
That’s more than can be said of Pete’s writing… Why Rip Tide did not assume that antibodies would be apt to attack him, as they do to germs and other foreign substances in the bloodstream seems like a rather foolish call on his part. It also seems like this will be an expensive cover to print, requiring a special cut for the thought bubble that hangs off of the side. Chester may have to sell some more of his collection.
And with that, I leave this gilded site and the mucky comic strip that it covers in the extra-capable hands of comicbookharriet. Best of luck, hope you don’t get any Les strips.