Tag Archives: unearned awards

Something’s got a Holt on me

If there was a contest to use the most words possible to say “Flash and Phil didn’t like each other”, today’s strip would definitely be a contender. Same for a most exposition crammed into a single panel contest, with panel 1 making a game effort. The only place such contests could possibly exist is, of course, the Batiukverse… so please forgive me if similar contests appear in this strip a year from now.

All that exposition in the first panel and Flash doesn’t realize the hall of fame awards given out at Comic-Con honor the deceased on the regular? Seems like having Comic-Con remotely would work well in Flash’s hypothetical honoring a live Phil Holt scenario, but since Flash doesn’t even know that dead people regularly get honored at this and other hall of fame ceremonies then it stands to reason that he wouldn’t know that Comic-Con and other events are held remotely. And by “Flash” in the previous sentence, I mean TB.

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Terminal Tedium

Oh, so we’re pretending the Atomic Komix crew actually works in today’s strip, are we? I suppose we are also pretending like it is normal for all of these people to fly to San Diego together for Comic-Con (not @home then, I guess)?

We’re pretending like Darin doesn’t have a wife and child to be concerned about? Wait… we’ve been doing that for years.

Well then we’re pretending that Flash has literally nothing better to do in his few remaining years (months? days?) than hang around a comic book company he never worked for? Oh… I guess we’ve been doing that for years too.

At least Chester appearing to care that his employees do their jobs is a new thing here.

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Encyclopedia Brown And The Case Of The Disembodied Nerd Voice

I’m less curious about the identity of the unseen mystery nerd in today’s strip than I am about how they intend to “make it” to Comic-Con, which even in the Batiukverse is occurring “@HOME”.

Hey waitjustagoshdarnminute! This webpage is the same thing Pete was looking at on Monday, isn’t it?! Pete wasn’t even contacted directly by the Comic-Con or Eisner Award folks? He learned the news by reading a press release on the Comic-Con website? I don’t know if that is hilarious, sad, or hilariously sad…

(Some of our loyal SOSF commenters actually noted that Pete seemed to learn of Flash and Ruby’s induction via such indirect communication as a webpage earlier this week. It would appear that J.J. O’Malley was the first commenter to mention it, so please come up to receive your “Beady-Eyed Nitpicker” award, J.J.)

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The Mindy Projection

Mindy may be front-and-center in today’s strip, but we all know she isn’t the real star. The real star is…

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The Pub-Lush-ing Industry

I think a considerable amount of time has passed between yesterday’s strip and today’s strip, because I’m pretty sure everyone today is three sheets to the wind and that Chester is holding the group’s 17th bottle of color-changing champagne (Also, Durwood changed his shirt). The only other explanation for “hobnailing” is that Flash is going full Crankshaft-mode here, and I refuse to believe that because the mere thought makes me physically ill. There is no explanation for everything Pete is doing regardless of the circumstances.

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Induction Junction, What’s Your Unction?

Could Ruby and Flash be any less excited than they are in today’s strip, the big reveal of their hall of fame induction? I actually think they could, in theory… if they had to read this comic strip.

Despite Ruby’s wry response to being honored before she and Flash go the way of Phil Holt, the real life Eisner Awards Hall Of Fame is more than willing to honor comics icons who are no longer with us. Four of the six 2021 inductees announced thus far are no longer living, including legendary American political party mascot creator (and 180 year old) Thomas Nast and Swiss proto-comic strip pioneer Rodolphe Töpffer (who passed away when Thomas Nast was 5 years old).

One inductee who is still living is Lily Renée, who turned 100 back in May and is most likely one of TB’s biggest inspirations for the Ruby Lith character (big kudos to our own ComicBookHarriet for making and elaborating on this connection). Given that TB is known to work about a year in advance of the publishing date, the Ruby Lith-Lily Renée connection makes this story arc remarkably prescient… or it would if TB had not revealed his eerie precognitive powers several times before in both Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft. At least this time he used his powers to predict something good.

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All The News That’s Fit To Sit

“Really good news” for Ruby and Flash in today’s strip! We learned the “really good news” yesterday, of course, and Ruby and Flash will have to wait to learn it until… well, hopefully sometime this week. Please let them learn it sometime this week!

“What is the point of this strip?” is a question that could be asked about Funky Winkerbean almost daily, yes, and it is a question that is never going to lead to any satisfying answers… but let’s pontificate anyway on today’s long panel of pointlessness. Is there really any reason at all to not have Durwood, Mindy, and Mopey Pete tell Ruby and Flash in this strip that they will be honored at Comic-Con in a month? Not revealing the news to them today does absolutely nothing. There is no suspense for the reader because we all learned the news yesterday. There is no suspense or anticipation for the characters because they have barely expressed the need or even want to be recognized for their work. Ruby and Flash have been glorified props in nearly every strip they have appeared in, existing almost solely to help Atomik Komix’s hard-shirking employees shirk even harder. Why wouldn’t Comic-Con and the Eisner Awards reach out to Ruby and Flash directly instead of relaying the news to Pete? Why wouldn’t these three wait for the Eisner folks to inform Ruby and Flash even if they got the news first? Why would Ruby offer her sad-sack take on the state of the comics industry as a response to the question “guess what?” posed by a coworker? Shouldn’t everyone who works at Atomik Komix be well aware of the sales of both their titles and the titles of their competitors? And what is Flash even doing here? He doesn’t work for Atomik Komix. Please tell me he’s not going to become a fixture, the Dinkle to Pete’s Lefty…

All this is doing is padding out the week worse than I padded out the preceding paragraph by asking hopeless and rhetorical questions. Oh, silly me, the point of this strip was in front of me the whole time!

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#abitlame

Hey, no Batton Thomas for Mr. Theskink in today’s strip! Nope, just comic people younger than Batton talking about comic people even older than Batton. That’s… better? I’ll let you all tell me.

There is, of course, an actual Hall Of Fame class inducted at the San Diego Comic-Con every year, which is part of the Eisner Awards. Not sure why TB didn’t drop the Eisner name in there before “Hall Of Fame”, but I guess that isn’t critically germane to the plot… that age-old story of a trio of 5th rate comic book company employees getting an e-mail about the acceptance of their nomination of people far more talented than them for the Eisner Awards Hall Of Fame.

Check out that list of real life Hall Of Famers, though. That’s impressive company. Even the A and B names on the first page of inductees alone is a who’s who of comic legends (I did notice the conspicuous absence of a certain B name). It says a lot about how TB wants Ruby and Flash to viewed in the Batiukverse… we’re talking Les-level here. Wowzers!

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Mr. Batiuk, Tear Down This Wall

Link to today’s strip.

Before we dive in, I just want to say that commentor Rusty Shackleford is absolutely not responsible for bringing back Dinkle. Because if he had that power, a kind of Doomsday Weapon, I’m certain he would never use it.

I think today’s entry has to be the most wall-o-text ever. I mean, look at that crap. “Possibly be selected to”? Why not just…”to”? If you want to drop a hint that maybe, just maybe this one time Dinkle won’t get everything handed to him, why not “to possibly march,” split infinitive and all? I can’t see a reason for the grotesque block presented here.

Except for the reason mentioned last week, and my own pet theory: the balloons are drawn and finished long before there’s dialogue to go in them. And they’ve got to be filled. Because the author has Important Things To Say, and (like here) Important Appeals to Make to Those Who Issue Rewards.

And as long as I’m making suggestions, Mr. Batiuk, here’s another one: drop Dinkle. No one likes him. In fact, people like Crankshaft more than they like Dinkle. Dinkle was a fine Act One character, back when you were trying to make something good. He’s no longer a character people want.

I go back and forth as to whether Dinkle is worse than Les. On the one hand, Les has a small sense of humility. It gives him a tiny sense of self-awareness. But he has these things only so he can gorge on his massive need to whine how life isn’t fair to him, and no one praises him for his suffering.

On the other hand, Dinkle is equally loathsome, without even the tiniest bit of humility. He waltzes in to every situation, takes his rewards, and gives out the most punchable hatchet-faces imaginable. Any time he’s surprised by events, they are always in his favor (why, it’s even easier to make money nowadays!).

I guess I hate them alternatively. Heaven help us if they ever have an arc together. (“Say, have you ever thought of making Lisa’s Story into a musical? Who could we get to write the music?”)

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Medal of Horror

Today’s strip marks the third straight day that Dinkle is doing his eyes-closed, head tilted back, mouth-agape, peacocking thing… which I think we can all agree is seven days too many. Hopefully we can also all agree that the poetic tire fire that is “I believe this is the first time a man’s crew-neck undershirt has been seen in the choir loft!” is a sentence that is just too perfectly execrable to exist. Yet it does exist.

Yes, we have here a call back here to Dinkle’s May 2017 trip to Belgium, where he was showered with unearned praise, given this unbearably punny-named medal, and stood in front of TB’s uncredited tracing of the legendary Hergé’s work. I’m not wordly enough to know if the Belgians hate us, but I can’t blame them if they do…

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