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The Line it is Drawn #117 – A Fond Farewell to Hostess!

Go follow Comics Should Be Good on Twitter (if you have Twitter, that is – if you don’t, you can go sign up). Here is our Twitter page… http://twitter.com/csbg. And here are the Comics Should Be Good writers who are on Twitter (the links go to the person’s Twitter account) – myself, Greg Hatcher, Chad Nevett, Kelly Thompson, Bill Reed, Sonia Harris, Melissa K. and Ken H.

I update the blog’s Twitter account updates whenever a new post is put up on the blog, so it’s an easy way to keep up with the blog. In addition, I post new content on the blog’s Twitter account.

Now on to the bit!

So every week, I ask a question here. You reply to it on our Twitter page (just write @csbg with your reply) and our blog sketch artists will each pick one of your suggestions and I will post them here every week. So every week you will have a new question and you will see the choices picked from the previous week. Here is an archive of all the previous editions of The Line It Is Drawn!

To qualify, you have to be following us when you reply – so go follow us and then give your answer to the following question/challenge (All suggestions due by 9:00 AM Pacific this Friday).

The topic is…

Based on a suggestion from somebody (repeated by Axel Medellin), pick a comic book character that you’d like to see a “Lil’” version of (like Lil’ Archie, Hellboy Jr. or all of those Skottie Young covers)

Read on for the sketches that came about courtesy of the last question/challenge!

In honor of the sad news of Hostess Brands going out of business, the theme (which was suggested by a lot of people) is to pick a comic book character that you’d like to see our artists do an old school Hostess ad for. You can also name which Hostess product you’d like to see the character sell, but that’s optional.

Enjoy!

NOTE: If you like art challenges (and I bet a lot of you Line it is Drawn fans do), be sure to check out our “Draw a page from Archer and Armstrong #1″ art challenge here! The winning page will appear on Valiant Comics’ website! Enough people asked that I extended the deadline to this Monday, December 3rd!

I’ll put them in alphabetical order based on the name of the Twitter user who made the suggestion.

All copyright and trademarks of the following characters are held by their respective owners!

B_2quared and bantwellsuggested:

Some variation of Luthor stealing 40 cakes

Bill Walko drew this one. His website is here.

(click on the image to enlarge)

BigMike20X6 and skippertommy suggested:

Squirrel Girl

Xum Yukinori drew this one. Here is his website.

(click on the image to enlarge)

BigMike20X6 suggested:

John Constantine defeats the forces of Hell with Fruit Pies

Sean McFarland is the artist for this one. Here is his website.

(click on the image to enlarge)

Ecovore and Howlermouse suggested:

Rorschach

Nick Perks is the artist for this one. Here is his website.

(click on the image to enlarge)

jacochran suggested:

Frank Miller’s Batman and the Mutant Leader.

John Trumbull drew this one. Here is his website.

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JaronHataway suggested:

Hostess and the Endless siblings from Sandman

Axel Medellin drew this one. His website is here.

(click on the image to enlarge)

JaronHataway suggested:

Hostess and Saga’s Marko, Alana, and Hazel

Michael “Mic?” Magtanong is the artist for this one. Here is his website.

(click on the image to enlarge)

JaronHataway suggested:

Swamp Thing

Paul Hostetler did the art for this one. Here is his website.

(click on the image to enlarge)

samscenarist suggested:

One page hostess comic – Penguin bankrupts hostess and escapes Batman and Robin.

Cynthia “Thea” Rodgers drew this one. Her website is here.

(click on the image to enlarge)

Schooloftheages suggested:

Ranma Saotome

Chaz is the artist for this one.

(click on the image to enlarge)

skippertommy suggested:

MODOK

Brendan Tobin is the artist for this one. Here is his website. This is actually a vintage Tobin piece. He did another new one that I’ll post later on!

(click on the image to enlarge)

Way too many people for me to even credit you all suggested:

Deadpool

Marco D’Alfonso drew this one. Here is his website.

(click on the image to enlarge)

Awesome work, everyone! We’ll miss you, Hostess!

Okay, everyone, go make suggestions for next week!

68 Comments

Best week yet of this feature! Nice to see all of the artists do a full page, it really highlights that all of them are talented sequential storytellers.

Wow they are all amazing. Congratulations guys. LOVE the DKR one though.

They are all great but Brendan Tobin’s MODOK piece is full of extra filling!! (and YES< we all hated cherry!)

I didn’t think anything was going to top Nick’s Rorschach page, but Trumbull just ran away with the prize this week.

Cynthia’s Penguin comic is brilliant and sadly reflective of what actually happened. A great job all round by everyone.

“Something tells me to stop with the fruit pies. I don’t listen to it.”

John wins the Internet today.

Was not expecting Ranma.

Best Line is Draw EVER! All of these are awesome and I plan on saving everyone! Lots of fun! The Endless piece has to be my favorite this week with Batman and the Mutant Leader a close second!

These are some of the best pieces to ever grace Line It is Drawn. Probably the best edition ever!

This may be the best Line It Is Drawn yet. Extra points for “Balls tasty.”

Way to bring the buzzkill with the editorializing, Yukinori and Rogers. On the other hand, Trumbell, Hostetler and Tobin each did a bang up job both satirizing Hostess and reproducing the looks of the comics being satirized.

Awww, did I get too socially active? My bad. Here, have a Twinkie. :)

Great week all round, guys! Big LOL.

the dark knight returns one is the best.

Can’t stop laughing!

My big problem with the Line is Drawn is not with the artwork but the ‘writing’– the concept behind the art, or in this case the scripts. But John Trumbull’s Dark Knight Hostess parody is dementedly brilliant. Bravo.

I love ‘em all, though the Ranma one is quite tough to read.

Kind of disappointed my suggestion of “Wonder Twins using Wonder Bread” didn’t get picked up.

Everything this week was a 10! Great work all around. We need more chances for you all to do pages like this.

I considered the Wonder Twins and WonderBread… but in all my scenarios Zan kept getting the product soggy and Jayna’s bird forms kept eating it, so it wasn’t working out.

Ri-i-i-i-ight…

Balls tasty. Rob, youre terrible

This feature is always entertaining, but I believe this is the first time I’ve laughed loudly enough at it to warrant confused stares. Excellent job all around!

The AIM guy and “I moonlight as a corporate shill…” man, I’m going to be laughing about that for a while.

I cannot stop laughing at “This isn’t a mudhole–it’s a bakery. And I’m the head chef.”

This was probably the best edition of this I can recall.

TDK parody is fantastic.

Does anybody know how to edit on WIkipedia? “In addition to her aforementioned abilities, when Squirrel Girl gorges on food, she can blow up like a fleshy balloon for a short time . . . not unlike Fuu from Samurai Champloo.”

It was an honor to be considered, Xum.

@Jason, did you want to add or remove that Fuu comment from the article? Using a reference to something just as obscure like that is completely not necessary and should be removed if it does exist.

HOLY COW. How in the WORLD did I miss that SAGA one the first time around? That first panel is 100% spot-on.

The Mic? one was a late addition. It was added less than an hour after the post went up, though, so I didn’t think it warranted its own post. But yes, if any of you read the column right when it went up, there’s an extra piece from Mic? in the column now.

I always enjoy this feature, but this is by and far the best one I’ve ever seen done. KUDOS to all. :)

Probably the most LOL-inducing feature to date; I kept waiting for a stinker, and there absolutely was not one.

Great work to all contributors; wonderful array of styles and sincere affection for the comics of my youth

These are ALL great! Made my day!

Jason, what you describe is not Squirrel Girl’s ability, but the evil power of Twinkees — exaggerated to a 1970s comic book extreme of course.

I am done editorializing now…

Wow. Apparently, manga isn’t recognized here. Dang. Oh, wait, there was the Ranma 1/2 entry. Never mind.

I like Rorscach casually breaking a guy’s finger in that last panel.

This is incredible stuff, everyone. Special props to Messrs. Trumbull and Medellin (the efforts of duplicating the Endless’s speech balloon types was great), although everyone did a fantastic job.

One of the best ever. Kudos to all the artists.

I loved Swamp Thing, (mostly because of crazy Alan Moore), and TDK parody.

However, the Saga is the winner for me this week for three reasons.
-After just 7 issues, it is finding it’s place beside TDK, Deadpool, and Sandman (Someone let BKV know!)
-Focus on Donettes rather than Twinkies or Fruit Pies. (Though, where’s the love for my favorite, Zingers?)
-Nothing that happens in issue 8 with the scrotum guy is going to top this.

i like how the Penguin one completely leaves out the unions culpability.

The artwork on the modok one is fantastic…

Now I want to edit comparisons to Action Plant Rescue Squad into every Wikipedia page.

Just more Squirrel Girl to love, is what I say.

Great work guys! Such polished pieces in such short time.

Life in the 21st century sucks. Twinkies gone. Dr. Pepper changed their formula. Family Guy is still on the air.

Great stuff this week. The last two, especially.

One quibble about the Penguin, as others have noted – Penguin should have been the Bakery Union head, everyone BUT that union tried to save the company (including the other unions).

Based on a comment by one of the union workers about his pay reductions (As a receiving clerk at a Kansas bakery, with a comparable Cost of Living to my current hometown), they weren’t cooperating because they’d already had a pay cut in 2005 – from OVER TWICE (probably closer to 250%, in 2005) what other unionized bakery workers in an economic setting like his was making in that line of work down to a “paltry” 150%, and the new cut would have been to where he would have been “only” making 25% more that other UNION people in my area doing the EXACT SAME JOB and similar seniority in 3 different bakeries currently make.

The only greed in this farce is far from the boardroom. 30 people in my county alone, drivers and bakery store personnel, are unemployed because of excessive pay negotiated for in the 80s and 90s, that the union couldn’t be convinced was excessive in this era of the “war on junk food”. For every Baker standing on their false “principles”, dozens of others nationwide paid the price 1 month before Christmas.

John Trumbull, Thea Rogers and Brendan Tobin all NAILED IT. The winner of the week is Trumbull…”Balls Tasty”, simply put, is poetic.

Editorial complaints aside, Thea’s piece cracked me up because no one in the strip actually ate any Hostess product. Walko’s “forty cakes” is my favorite, though, because I never thought of combining the “forty cakes” meme with the Hostess ads.

One problem with the Sandman one, Hostess Fruit Pies cannot die.

A perfect week. Clever on everyone’s part.

LOL! They are all winners this week, I cannot pick a favorite. Although I do like the Hostess snacks thwarting the evil plans of Lex Luthor and Squirrel Girl’s foe. :-)

Speaking of the company, I found this tidbit on Snopes: Hostess execs voted themselves pay raises, then filed for bankruptcy. *rolls eyes*

Not real happy about the fat-shaming. The others are pretty awesome though.

Yeah, I’m with you, Sparrow. There’s a time and a place for such nonsense, and a fun little comic book blog is neither. I mean, don’t fat people already feel bad ENOUGH? Do we really have to rub it in when they’re just trying to indulge in some escapism, too?

Anyway, my winner this week is a tie between Rorschach and DKR.

Source for the following comment: http://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/13eufq/hostess_took_union_members_self_funded_pensions/c73j4sa

These are not my words however I thought they were important. The Batman and Robin comic is incorrect.

I know I am going to get in trouble for posting this because there is a thing called confirmation bias in psychology that causes people to only want to hear what they already believe – it is why you see racists skip over stories that portray minorities in positive ways or why the religious will often hurry up and click to another channel if a special talking about Darwinism is on television. But I’m going to write it anyway. Why? Because it is the right thing to do.

As someone with a very deep economics, financial, and business background, this entire conversation is painful to read. There are so many misconceptions about pension accounting and the bankruptcy process that I feel like reading this thread is the equivalent of seeing those videos where people at Glenn Beck rallies are interviewed spouting off about Obama’s secret muslim plot to make us all gay married communists who have interracial children and cross dress while burning flags.

Instead of writing a thirty-page explanation, I am going to explain this like I would to my five-year-old niece. I am not trying to be condescending, so I apologize for the tone. I am trying to remain sane.

For more than eleven years, Hostess was horribly run, including by a CEO who left earlier this year after awarding himself huge pay increases and demanding union concessions.

The new CEO came into office back in March or April and, after discovering these large pay hikes, ordered the top four executive salaries to $1 for the remainder of the year to make up for it, before being restored next year, evening things out.

This new CEO, with the backing of the bailout investors, went to the unions and offered them a package that included:

A twenty-five percent (25%) ownership stake in the business, which would transform Hostess into one of the largest partially employee-owned firms on the planet.

A package of bonds in the company to go to the employees with a face value of $100,000,000 that would generate interest and be repaid in the future

Two seats on the board of the directors, providing influence and power to shape the future of the enterprise

In exchange, the unions had to agree to:

Cut existing pay levels to fall in line with other major bakeries

Do like the other 90% of American manufacturing firms have and “freeze” pension plans, meaning that any new employees will have to use a 401(k) instead.

Pay more out of pocket for some other expenses such as insurance

If all of this happened, the employees of Hostess would not only get to keep their job, but they would be working for themselves. It was the best possible solution to a terrible situation caused by years of mismanagement, none of which was the fault of the current CEO who has only had the job for 8 months or so.

The Teamsters union wisely signed up. They acknowledged that the situation was bad. They talked about how terrible former management had been. They focused on the future and knew that this could work out well and, among all the potential choices, was the best that could be expected.

Then, a smaller union – the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union – said no.

They (the BCTWGMIU) were warned that if the company shut down in a strike, the finances were so weak the doors would have to be closed. Everyone would lose their job. There would be no ownership. There would be no bonds. There would be no seats on the board of directors. There would be no new employees let alone pensions for new employees. It was a complete thermonuclear scenario that would destroy the lives of 18,500 hardworking families.

The BCTWGMIU struck anyway and the Teamsters, to their credit, crossed picket lines and remained reasonable because their actions were based on facts and analysis of what was economically feasible. The company begged the BCTWGMIU to return to the table, but they refused, talking about the litany of abuses of past managements.

For anyone who is successful, well educated, and familiar with strategy such as game theory, the choice is clear. When faced with a total wipeout, you take the option that gives you the greatest long-term chance of survival. Even if the new deal had resulted in only an extra six-months of paychecks, that is six months of income for 18,500 families that relied on that cash. When you represent others, like union leaders do, their welfare is your sole concern.

That is precisely what the Teamsters did. However, the BCTWGMIU behaved like a father who commits a murder-suicide of himself and the children when a spouse leaves, convinced he is in the moral right and that he had no other choice because of his evil ex-wife. He writes a long note detailing all the past mistakes she made and how she drove him to take this action. BCTWGMIU drove Hostess straight into liquidation. The murder-suicide analogy is appropriate because that is exactly what this was: An economic murder-suicide. A vast majority of those 18,500 workers were innocent, behaved the best they could, and did the right thing in a terrible situation. Their entire lives have been destroyed by a handful of their foolish coworkers who were more interested in making a point and detailing past grievances than working with the new team that had come in and offered them a partnership stake in the firm. They were so stuck in the owner vs. employee mindset they ignored the chance to become owners.

The BCTWGMIU just struck a major blow to the little workers’ rights power remaining in the United States and hurt the labor movement incalculably. Even worse, they are too foolish to see it. The ramifications have already begun. If a new factory wants to raise money, don’t you think investors are going to demand that it locate in a right to work state like Texas, so if this had happened, all of the workers can be summarily fired? The legacy cost of this will be with us for decades.

TL;DR: The Teamsters Union behaved reasonably. The new CEO behaved reasonably. The BCTWGMIU decided it couldn’t get what it wanted – which was not economically possible based on the numbers – and turned down the chance to own 25% of the business, collect $100 million in bonds, and get seats on the board of directors. Now they get nothing, everyone loses their jobs, the owners get wiped out, and other corporations get to come in and pick up the assets for pennies on the dollar.

So what I’m getting from that post above is that the BCTWGMIU’s foolishness and stubboness were the final blow, but the CEO management and greed for 11 YEARS are what caused the problem in the first place.

But clearly, the problem is largely with the unions.

OK, my “Roll Eyes” at the end of my comment above didn’t come through because of the coding. That was sarcasm at the end there, people. SARCASM!!! :)

Anyway, back to the main topic. Stellar week here, Liners. It was a lot of fun to see panel continuity from you folks. :)

Read the DKR parody picturing Diedrich Bader’s Batman. It’s even funnier.

@John the problem was with a union, singluar, in this case.

Stangely enough when your building is on fire *you put out the fire* not argue about the guy who started it running away with the match.

No, the problem is with a company that has a history of screwing up, asking the workers to sacrifice in order to “make the relationship work”, and then, when they do, spending all the money on proverbial booze, getting them screwed again.

“Oh, this time it’ll be different!” they say. “If you just sacrifice this time, we’ll pull it together and be responsible.”

And you can talk all you want about how the new CEOs are being so cool by accepting paychecks of $1 for a while… but you know when that happened? Days AFTER salary increases became public knowledge. They didn’t do it of their own free will because it was the right thing to do, because it was the only way to save the company, they did it because salary increases for top executives were making them look bad. Do you really think they didn’t KNOW before this information was released publicly? If not, they’re as incompetent as the previous CEOs. I think they knew and didn’t care. If that detail never came out, I have no doubt they would have continued the same policy as they usually have: screw the workers, reward themselves.

And look at that gesture:

“Gregory F. Rayburn, a restructuring expert who took the helm at Hostess last month, said in an interview that the top four executives working under him had agreed to cut their annual salaries to $1 until the company emerges from bankruptcy or Dec. 31, whichever comes first.”

Look at those last 3 words. “whichever comes first”. So, come December 31st, even if the company is still in bankruptcy, they’ll stop taking those $1 salaries. And if the company does survive, who do you think will be the first ones to get their money and benefits back?

The people at the top destroyed the faith, they did it for years, and they would continue to do it as long as they get away with it. In the face of that history, it’s perfectly appropriate to say “no”, even if that means they’re out of work. “It’s better to have a job at reduced pay than none at all” is an viewpoint that lets them continue to whittle down your pay again and again, each time making it _harder_ for you to walk away and say “no” to the next bad deal because you’re even _closer_ to the poverty line than you were before…

The BCTWGMIU gets described as guilty of a metaphorical “murder-suicide;” the horrible management that got the company to the brink is dismissed in a short phrase as guilty of “horribly run[ning]” the company.

That bad previous CEO — who never seems to be named in these sorts of stories, unlike the BCTWGMIU and the other unions when blame is being passed around — is a guy named Brian Driscoll. He resigned from Hostess early in 2012; by May, he was in a brand-new job as CEO of Diamond Foods, replacing that company’s recently booted, demonstrably corrupt CEO.

As long as it’s possible to give executives absurdly inflated compensation and the workers are left holding the bag later during “restructuring,” and those executives just parachute into new multimillion-dollar positions with stock options and all the rest, it’s hard to see where the disincentive is that discourages some future batch of executives from unfairly compensating themselves or running the place into the ground.

But the BCTWGMIU should have saved everyone by taking several short-term and long-term financial hits. Unlike Brian Driscoll, or even the restructuring expert, who will no doubt move on to another cushy consulting gig, it’s the best outcome they had before them. When the game is so baldly rigged, maybe knocking over the table is the right response.

+1 for the DKR.

My favourite Line week ever! So much great work but Cynthia’s is sublime, from the golden parachute case to Robin’s cussing, it’s perfect.

Possibly the best “Line it is Drawn” yet! Kudos!

Stangely enough when your building is on fire *you put out the fire* not argue about the guy who started it running away with the match.

…So that means that after the building has burned to the ground, you shouldn’t try to find & punish the arsonist responsible for starting the fire, then?

Pathetic as it sounds, I’m not kidding when I say this: I’m still giggling a day later whenever I think of the head chef line from the Dark Knight Returns spoof. Everything’s great this week, but that piece is absolutely amazing.

[...] at CBR’s The Line It Is Drawn, other artists have lined up unlikely shills for Hostess’ chemically preserved goods: [...]

as a trufan of The Line It Is Drawn, let me say that this issue is the Best One Ever!!! Kudos to all.

When will we see Brendan’s other piece? (Or did it post elsewhere?)

[...] The Line it is Drawn #117 – A Fond Farewell to Hostess! (goodcomics.comicbookresources.com) [...]

Here’s a Hostess comic book ad spoof that a school chum of mine drew circa 1976, 4th grade.
http://planettom.livejournal.com/328510.html

@John Trumbull: no, it’s saying that punishing the guy who did it doesn’t do you a lot of good if you’re without a home because you wanted to him to get punished too rather than save your house.

@Peter:

it’s perfectly appropriate to say “no”, even if that means they’re out of work.

Easy to say when you’re not the guy out of work. I’m guessing your face doesn’t have it’s nose anymore?

@Omar: Knocking over the table is only good if you have another game you can get into. Otherwise you are just left on the floor with a mess.

Principle doesn’t put food on the table. And I bet the Union chiefs aren’t really different than the corporate execs; they’re not going hungry. But the people they represented on “principle” are now.

Tell me, M-Wolverine, what is wrong with standing on your principles? Sometimes you have to fight for what you believe in. And if you look at the situation, there was a good chance that most of them were going to lose their jobs or have to be rehired as non-union for a lot less money.

Nothing wrong with standing for principle; if you’re the only one at risk. Others suffering for your principles isn’t really just. And considering others in the same situation assessed what was principled differently, it looks less like principle and starts looking more like self interest.

You can cut off your nose to spite your face, but I’m not sure that it does much good for yourself. There are some hills worth dying on…was this one? Only one of the parties thought so. And even if one thinks you’re only delaying the inevitable, are you not better off with 6 more months of pay instead of losing your house? Or having a lower paid job that you can keep to stay afloat while you look for this better job that’s somewhere out there? Because it feels a lot better to be looking for work while in a crappy job than doing it unemployed.

I worry less about principle and CEO vs. Union Boss dick measuring contests than a bunch of families who are out of work for the holidays and not sure how they’re going to get by. Sounds like too many people willing for someone else to suffer to uphold principles they believe in, while they don’t face any of the ramifications.

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