Tag Archives: Sunday comic book covers

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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Scorched Earth

Well, at least today’s strip made it easy to choose a post title. I don’t feel like I had any other choice.

As far as the strip goes, is this really more feminine and more hopeful than Atomik Komix’s previous climage damate covers? (Eh and Eh are my answers) More importantly, is this the kind of cover Chester can be deadly serious about? Yeah, probably. Chester, introduced as an unscrupulous and unpleasant wheeler-dealer, is pretty much the most laid back boss ever these days.

Pete should leave the snark to us. For one thing, baked potatoes are delicious and this strip suffers greatly in comparison to them. For another, all this damate climage comic business was Pete’s idea in the first place. And above all, Ruby’s given him some prime snark ammunition by drawing some planet that does not appear in almost any way to be earth and he just completely misses it. Leave the wisecracks to the professionals in our comment section next time, Pete.

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Cities On Flame With Batton, Holt

Link To Sunday

“Done something about” what, exactly? Smoldering futuristic cities? And how does Atmos hovering in the air help the situation in any way? Why didn’t he act BEFORE his planet was consumed by climate damage? Why doesn’t he ask Oceanaire to splash some water on it? What the hell do the other The Elementals do, anyway? They’ve been working on this for months and THIS is what they came up with?

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In Fact, Terrible

Link To The Sunday Strip

Four generic superheroes battling four generic super villains in front of a plain background…THIS is what they toiled over all week? And look at Flash in the reality bubble, all smug and self-satisfied, like he actually accomplished something. I wish he’d do an arc where Chester shits himself over the astoundingly terrible work these imbeciles keep cranking out. “Wayback Wendy”, “Pion”, “Scorch”…I mean come on. Chester has to be losing money hand over fist on this horseshit.

I really, really need for this arc to be over. I mean yes, it’ll take way more than that to truly break me, but this one really tested my patience. Fortunately, it would appear that Mason Jarre is on deck, to take us in a “different direction”, hopefully a direction that has nothing to do with comic books or marching bands. If it turns out he wants to do an animated film about a marching band composed entirely of superheroes, that might be all for me.

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On a Blue Sunday

As expected, a sideways Sunday komix cover that’s 25% the work of Batty and Ayers, with the rest by James Pascoe and colored by Rob Ro. The same team gave us the Subterranean (1st ISSUE!) cover. Judging from what’s on his rather homely website (“.net”, snicker), Pascoe specializes in drawing covers depicting the character flying toward you.

The rest of today’s offering  is your typical Batomix Komix mess: the book title, set in distressed digital type (which really irks me when he does it on the “retro” Batom covers), the heavy Photoshop filters, the fictitious trade dress, and, Batty and Ayers’ contribution, the “reality bubble” (which really is a bubble in today’s underwater scene!).

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Smells Pretty Fishy.

Link to Today’s Strip.

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.”

April 17,2019

“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!

Octopus Prime by Sachmoe64 on deviantART | Transformers funny, Optimus prime  toy, Transformers artwork

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.

File:BWII-toy Ikard.jpg
Ikard, A punny portmanteau of the Japanese word for squid and Picard. Other characters using this mold include, Scuba and Claw Jaw.
File:BWN-toy DeadEnd.jpg
Dead End, Japanese Exclusive Oooooooh
File:TF-Generations-Selects-Scylla.jpg
Scylla, this one’s a pretty girl. Kind of!
File:Tentakilg1toy.jpg
Tentakil, a robot squid with legs that also forms the leg of a larger robot combiner, Piranacon. Kind of an entire seafood buffet.
File:G1Octopunch toy.jpg
Octopunch. A ‘pretender’. Meaning he’s a robot, inside a fleshy sea monster costume, inside a diving suit. Because 1989 was a weird year for Transformers.
Transformers Toy Review - Tako Tank Beast Wars 2 + Clawjaw - YouTube
Tako Tank. If God has abandoned us, we only have Japan to blame.

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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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Plumbing the Depths.

As it was foretold in the comments section, today we get a commissioned sideways comic cover. And whadda ya know? The Subterranean looks like if you ripped the spikes off of Doomsday. Or dipped The Hulk in concrete. Or shaved Solomon Grundy and had him running around nude.

Past comments by numerous commenters have been harsh on the Atomik Komix lineup.

There’s not a single AK title that would have sparked my interest back when I was reading comic books. Not a thing. Back then they would have bored me just as much as they do now.

“No new comics to read? Just these Atomix Komix things? Sheesh, I think I’ll go home and do schoolwork.”

Beckoning Chasm

And I would agree. Though I thought the concept and first cover of Stardusters did show some promise with a cast of differentiated characters, a Star Wars-esque grungy space look, and an action heavy tableau. So props to Rick Burchett and Rob Ro on that tip of the Funky Felttip.

But for the rest, all we have is a dumb name, a dumb costume, and maybe a gimmick or a gimmicky backstory. They have to be terrible, right?

Well, yes; because they’re being written by Funky Winkerbean characters, who–in turn–were written by Tom Batiuk. A man who seems stuck in the era of “Why is Superman Forcing Jimmy Olsen to Marry a Gorilla! Twice!”

But if we’re just going off the names, the gimmicks, and facts, the covers…

As we exit this weirdly awful comics arc, and brace ourselves for the blandly awful Les arc that will follow, let me tell you a little story.

Two of my best friends were at a local comic shop picking up Batman, Nightwing, and Transformers comics, when one of my friends saw this.

And I mean LOOK at this! Some kind of smarmy, cocky, swaggering douchebro with a giant star on his chest and a MONEY SIGN in his name.

My friend said. “Who the f**k is Booster Gold?!” And became very offended, (mostly facetiously,) that a character like this: some kind of boring-looking, stupid character, would be worthy of his own DC omnibus collection.

So it was a running joke for us for months that Booster Gold was our friend’s arch nemesis. And to further the joke, I bought her a copy of the first issue of the 2007 relaunch of Booster Gold’s solo title for her birthday.

And we read it. And then the next. And then the series. And you know what? It was great.

Written by Geoff Johns, Jeff Katz, and drawn by Dan Jurgens, it told the story of a time travelling superhero who wasn’t respected by other superheroes. Because for most of his career he’d tried to use his super-heroics to accumulate fame and fortune . But Booster Gold now was a superhero who had recently gone through the most traumatic experience of his life. An experience that spurred growth in him. The death of his best friend, Blue Beetle.

The first major arc involved Booster Gold going back in time to try to prevent his friend’s murder, only for the new future they create to be a terrible dystopia. Eventually Ted Kord (Blue Beetle) decides that the only way to put things right is to go back in time to die again.

The Bromance is real guys.

Look at Blue Beetle, that’s a weird looking costume if I’d ever seen one! And the thing was packed with a million references to old nonsense that we hardly understood, and a dozen weird characters with wacky gimmicks. But that didn’t matter, because the book was funny, the characters were crisp and distinct, and the story was heartfelt, and we ate it up. And then we went back, and read Booster Gold and Blue Beetle’s old adventures in the Justice League International. We started reading ANYTHING with these two. Because their friendship was one of the best things ever in a universe that included BATMAN. One of my friends and I went to a convention dressed as them.

And all because my friend thought that a cover looked stupid.

What I’m saying is that, in the right hands, ANYTHING can work, any name, any costume, any gimmick, any backstory. That fact is born out in comics history again and again and again. Some of the most critically acclaimed books were made up of D-list characters cobbled together from the Scrappy Doo heap. The New Suicide Squad movie is hoping to make a billion dollars on this premise.

But in the wrong hands the tearful reunion of two elderly men and former friends after literal decades apart can be as emotionally thrilling and meaningful as watching paint dry.

It’s called writing.

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Don’t Try Scuba-Side

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).

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“Doonesbury was a friend of mine. And you, Senator, are no Doonesbury”

After a six day stretch of Montoni’s pizza ‘n’ coffee with a side of band candy, Batiuk serves up a palate cleanser in the form of a sideway Sunday Atomik Komix kover. These Sunday treats typically consist of artwork by Batiuk’s comics buddies (this one’s the third or so from “America’s [and northeast Ohio’s] Thom Zahler” and colorist Rob Ro). Batiuk’s contibution, if there’s any, is what our Epicus Doomus dubbed a “reality bubble”: a little vignette of one or more FW characters doing or saying something that provides context for perplexed Sunday-only print readers of Funky Winkerbean.

“Reality bubbles” in most cases are inserted at the bottom of the vertical frame, almost as an afterthought. Today’s bubble in at the upper right hand corner, and is so large it renders the comic’s title as “KY KERBEAN” (what a silly name for a comic strip). All this real estate so that Batiuk can throw shade at Trump, with a jab vague enough that he could write it a year in advance and folks would still smirk knowingly like Ruby is smirking here.  As for the Wayback Wendy cover itself?  It pretty much gives away the  resolution of the story, doesn’t it? Looks like successfully delivers the speech (written on an envelope, natch) to Honest Abe in time not to disrupt history.

 

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