The great Christmas gift-giver strikes again in today’s strip. No, I’m not talking about Santa Claus or Crazy Claus (or Pete… I would never talk about Pete in this way), I’m talking about the nerd with the polecat on his scalp.
Dead Skunk Head John has a long long history of giving his wares away for free, and not just at Free Comic Book Day (which allegedly put him near bankruptcy). DSH pulled this exact same bit back during the yuletide of 2013 too, and that time his crazy skunk head did it in front of other customers! And that wasn’t the only time he gave Holly a break during her Starbuck Jones quest. Heck, he even murdered Tony Isabella for her. Seemed a little much to me, but he’s a generous guy.
Generous to a fault, it would seem, as Komix Korner has been depicted in financial peril many times, going as far back as the Clinton administration. DSH’s inability to pay his rent once almost sunk Montoni’s and the Winkerbean family as well… only the sale of a mint condition copy of Starbuck Jones #1 saved both businesses (even if DSH’s greasy hands devalued the issue).
I guess “sitting!” didn’t last long, and neither did the standard practice of letting the kid tell Santa what he wants. Crazy and Skyler are up and about in today’s strip, and Crazy is shamelessly shilling his employer’s wares. Really? That’s where we’re going with this? Even Hollywood was mocking this exact practice way back when Tom Batiuk was in diapers.
Speaking as someone who was once whatever age Skyler is supposed to be today: expensive static collectible figures made to sit on a shelf, as this “Spidey-Man” appears to be, are not great gifts for children. Kids want something posable that can be thrown back and forth across the living room. A Spider-Man figure that is actually fun to play with has got to be able to punch over some stacked cups, body slam Doc Ock (sold separately), and ride the Spider-Cycle (also sold separately).
It’s possible I’m forgetting this, but I thought Atomik Komix published things like Amazing Mr. Sponge? Didn’t Chester buy the rights to the old Batom titles and is making new comics of them? So therefore they’re not creator owned at all? It’s possible I’m confusing this, but I thought that’s how it was.
I like that apparently Ruby literally had to give up her seat to Phil. She’s being honored for her career achievements, but a random guy shows up and steals her thunder and her chair. This is extremely on-brand for Batiuk.
Oh, and Phil hated his career, and producing comics is misery. What else is new.
Okay, so Ruby drew 45 issues of a comic book. (I can’t be the only one tired of fictional characters bragging about writing fictional comics, can I?) That doesn’t really answer the question of why the other five people with her get to cut in line, too.
When you’re reading something totally fictional, coincidences aren’t really that remarkable. Like, if these were real people and this was something that really happened, then it might be amusing if someone criticized the creator of a character on their t-shirt. But given that Batiuk can write whatever he wants, this really isn’t funny or interesting, at least to me.
I wonder if Batiuk has tried this at conventions he’s spoken at. I’m pretty sure it would have to be all in his imagination though, since I really doubt someone would be wearing a Funky Winkerbean shirt anywhere.
Well there is nothing that says “Happy 4th of July!” like today’s strip, where Crazy and DSH take turns playing one of Scott Adams’ most/least beloved tertiary Dilbert characters. It’s got everything you would want to celebrate America’s birthday: a close up of DSH’s gaping maw and blackhead-pocked nose, bricks, people not working, Domo, people complaining about having to get out of bed at a reasonable hour, a store with not a single customer shopping… Like I said, everything!
Have a safe and happy 4th everyone.
Link To Yesteryear
I’m amazed that this tedious anecdote amazes John, who’s literally surrounded at all times by thousands of vintage comic books that have the prices printed right there on the covers. On top of that the whole town is overrun with legendary old comic book codgers who just stroll right on into local comic book businesses and freely share comic book anecdotes with nary a second’s worth of thought. Not to mention the fact that he’s like at least fifty years old himself. Yet there he is, stunned by the buying power of a dime back in 1946 or whatever. Why, if I didn’t know any better I’d have to conclude that this John character is something of a total imbecile.
Link To Today’s One
- assuming power or authority without justification; arrogant and domineering.
So I suppose that a Rexall pharmacy COULD be “imperious”, I guess. Once again I know exactly what he was going for here but once again it doesn’t make it any less baffling. “My grandparents lived in Akron and there was a Rexall two blocks away”…how hard was that?
“Holy temple”…”sacred texts”…OK sure Thom, whatever you say. Once again we see BatYam venerating the most mundane aspects of things he loves the most, just like last week. I mean I remember where I bought my first copy of “Love Gun” but you don’t see me getting all nostalgic over going to Crazy Eddie‘s. It’s where they sold the records. The store was the facilitator, a means to an end, not the primary focus. Of course I liked going there, as it was where I’d buy the stuff I liked.
But it’s never that easy for Westviewians. They can’t just buy pizza, they have to immerse themselves within a whole complicated pizzeria experience full of old jukeboxes and whimsical band boxes with colorful local characters exchanging wry banter all over the place. And they can’t just buy a comic book, they have to enter a fantastical nostalgic dream world full of holy scriptures and clandestine attic forts full of milk and cookies. They just have to complicate everything, no matter how dumb it is. No wonder they’re all so grumpy.
Link To Today’s
Yup, sometimes not dying more or less works out for a person, I guess. In Westview it could go either way, of course, but sure, not dying was worth it for young Batton, I suppose, in a way, if you really think about it. His tens of loyal readers no doubt feel likewise, although if he had died upon learning of the future existence of comic book stores his comic strip would have never existed thus wouldn’t have had any fans, but whatever. It’s wry comic book-based banter, it’s not supposed to “be funny” or “make sense”.
The annoying thing about this one is how earnest John is. If he was wryly smirking it’d almost be a gag, but he appears to be serious, which means the gag (as it were) is actually that John is a mentally defective imbecile. This has already been firmly established, so it’s kind of overkill if you ask me.
Link To Today’s Strip
Uh, I honestly don’t think “We Buy Comics” is any dumber than “Komix Korner” is. In fact, it’s actually far LESS stupid when you think about it. I mean would YOU eat at a place called “Kookie Kastle” or “The Ice Kreamery”? I know I’d keep driving, I can tell you that. But “Eat Here” or “Pizza”…that’s right to the point. A business like that has no time to waste on cutesy wordplay, they get you in and get you out. Continue reading