May 24, 2021 at 11:48 am
There are few things in the world I’m less interested in than Tom Batiuk writing about the plight of women in the comics industry sixty or more years ago.
As a member of our very own “bullpen” here at SoSF, spacemanspiff85 knows not just the pain of reading Funky. Winkerbean. Every. Damn. Day. Periodically, Spiff is called upon to write something interesting about it to share with the rest of us. For two weeks, after which another SoSF guide host/guest author takes over. We limit our authors to two-week stints for the sake of their psychological well-being. Were that not the rule, I’d turn the helm back over to Comic Book Harriet, whose bailiwick these “Women in Comics” arcs have become. SoSF trauma protocol dictates that CBH must rest on the sidelines (while killing it as always in the comments), and it falls to me to get us through this arc.
As a male, I must tread lightly, but here goes: editor “Stogie” Butz’ “pretty good for a girl” remark barely qualifies as a microagression, given the times. Whatever midcentury decade Batiuk’s trying to recreate here (and it could be anywhere from the 1940’s through 60’s), calling a woman “girl” in the workplace wouldn’t be automatically out of line. He’s just busting her…chops, as would any cigar chomping, no-neck cranky boss.
Sorry to disappoint those of you betting on Sunday’s strip being a random one-off. You’d think a Gen X’er who lucked into the comics business with zero experience, working alongside a Silver Age legend, would be keen on learning from them things like technique. But all Mindy wants to talk about are the “good” old days.
Tom Batiuk is a 14 year old. Because he clearly seems to think smoking and drinking makes you a badass, which I’m pretty sure that stopped being a thing in high school. A literal 14 year old boy writing this strip would explain why it’s so fixated on comics and has such a creepy portrayal of the female characters. Also, teaching an animal to smoke and drink isn’t awesome, it’s abuse.
Oh, and Cliff absolutely has the hots for Zanzibar in the last panel. Note the leer and the fact that his right hand is clearly under the table.
Again-this didn’t come up in the previous documentary about Cliff Anger? The fact that he literally lived with a monkey? This is honestly the most interesting thing about him. And was this before or after he took off on the tramp steamer? Did the monkey live with him in his crappy little apartment? Did Zanzibar testify before Congress on his behalf? Is the fact that Cliff lived with a convicted murderer’s pet monkey maybe contribute to his being branded a communist, or living as a bachelor for sixty years?
Also, how in the world was there “no way of telling when Butter would be back, if ever”? Does Cliff/Batiuk not know that people are sentenced to jail for specific lengths of time, and not like “whenever Williams/Wilson Bellows Inkpot feels like letting you out”, or whatever is supposed to be going on here? It says a lot that Batiuk can botch a storyline with an actress being murdered and a monkey so incredibly badly.
And is it me, or does Cliff look disturbingly like Frankie in the last panel? I’m sure it’s just supposed to be a “cool” expression but it always comes off way more creepy to me.
Valerie Pond’s lifeless body is discovered in today’s strip by… Super Chicken?!
You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Val! Maybe set your stemware down before you go wrestling someone for a gun next tim… oh, sorry. I suppose it is too late for that. Brinkel wasn’t much for privacy either, his bedroom was open and his gun collection was accessible? Laughable negligence even if he was not guilty.
Have a happy 4th of July all you SOSFers! Don’t be like TB is with his story arcs, please be/travel/revel safe…
And I recommend that you
Stop watching the news
Because the news contrives to frighten you
To make you feel small and alone
To make you feel that your mind isn’t your own
Morrissey, “Spent the Day in Bed“
So Funky’s rationale for staying sober is that, even if he drank all the alcohol in the world…in the whole world…that the “insanity” of life would continue. Isn’t that setting the bar (no pun intended) a little high (still no pun intended)? Couldn’t he just drink enough to stay drunk and not care so much about the world? If he finds the news each day to be so upsetting, why doesn’t Funky just stop watching the news each day? Once again Batiuk attempts to tackle a serious subject and buries himself and the rest of us under “the weight of substantial ideas.”
January 3, 2018 at 11:22 pm
If this was an AA meeting, somebody would have stopped Funky mid-sentence by saying, “In keeping with our singleness of purpose and our Third Tradition which states that ‘The only requirement for A.A. membership
is a desire to stop drinking,’ we ask that all who participate confine their discussion to their problems with
Comment of the week right there, folks. Of course, what we’re seeing is not an AA meeting, but what Batiuk thinks an AA meeting is like. Hence, we see people drinking coffee (which does happen) and smoking cigarettes (which is not allowed indoors in most places, including Ohio).
Of course, no list by Batiuk of What Ails the World would be complete without a mention of climate change, and everyone’s complicity in same: “We’re sending cruise ships…” Watching glaciers melt, or grass grow, or paint dry would be far more interesting than wading through a week of this dreck.
With his “home of the fearful” riff yesterday, it appeared Funky was about to launch into a political diatribe; however, today he veers into that other topic we’re supposed to never discuss in polite company. “Every day there’s news of one religion or another [emphasis mine] trying to elbow each other out of the way”? Uhh, ok. I guess he’s talking about those militant Presbyterians. Where the hell does Funky get his “news”?
January 1, 2018 at 9:44 am
Why does it have to be a stupid acronym like ARID? Why not just use the real AA? You could publicize an organization that has actually done some good.
I suspected ARID’s clubhouse might be another Real Place in Ohio. When I Googled “ARID twelve and twelve,” the first result linked to a very outdated site, hosted at tripod.com and apparently the work of someone with a serious axe to grind with Alcoholics Anonymous. I won’t bother linking to it, out of my personal respect for AA and other twelve step programs (which the “ARID Site” dismisses as “recovery cultism”). A little more searching turned up the “Akron Arid Club”, an AA group which according to the Beacon Journal closed in 2011. The location still can be seen in Google Street view; other than being made of bricks, the building bears no resemblance to Monday’s exterior.
Now that we’ve cleared that up…Funky frets that his son and prospective daughter-in-law, two Army vets who met while clearing landmines in Afghanistan, may have difficulty dealing with today’s political climate. He should be more concerned about Cigarette Guy, whose plume of smoke threatens to cloud the whole room.
I guess we shouldn’t complain: having split most of the last couple years between indulging his comic book fetish and flogging his latest collection of strips, Tom Batiuk’s finally gets around to featuring his comic’s titular character. The last Funkycentric storyline we had was in March, in which he explored an abandoned house in the woods while pondering mortality. Funky’s funk has not lessened, driving him back to AA where he assumes a Jesus pose and bemoans the absence of his book-touring best friend Les (“un-Moore-d”, get it?).