So you thought that put a neat bow on the whole bullying issue? Today the bullying has escalated a hundredfold. Wedgeman and his boys unrestrainedly pelt Alex with tater tots, while the rest of the student body either ignores it or joins in the laughter. You'd think that having faced down the bullies seemingly on his own yesterday, Owen would be emboldened to confront them again; instead, he wisely looks around for a teacher, but is dissuaded by Alex. Her forbearance in the face of such abuse borders on masochism. Rather than making her feel inferior, the bullying actually gives Alex a feeling of superiority over her tormentors. Take that, bullies!
Category Archives: Owen
That was nice what you just did, Bull"?!? What English teach– uh, sorry, Language Arts teacher, let alone a pretentious douchebag like Les, would utter such a colloquialism? And the "nice thing" he did? Catching a trio of repeat-offender school bullies in the act and letting them walk away without even a verbal warning.
April 4, 2013 at 1:47 pm
A few days ago, I wondered if it would be worse for Batiuk to treat bullying in an inappropriately (and unfunny) humorous manner or a insufferable serious manner. Now I know an even worse third option exists: total schizophrenia.
…and TB's schizo tendencies extend to his continuing retconning/re-retconning of Les and Bull's high school relationship: two years ago he went to great lengths to posit that Bull was just pretending to beat Les up in order to protect him from the real bullies. But for the purposes of the current storyline, it turns out that Bull really did pick on Les, and now must spend the rest of his life atoning.
Thirty years ago…not only was the bullying real, it was actually pretty funny!
April 1, 2013 at 10:22 pm
[I]s that our old friend Wedgeman? It's been so long but one of the few 'new' students from last year (who i assumed was also a senior at the time) may still be around!
Good eye, bad wolf! Even though his hair has the "Superman blue" highlights these days instead of brown, that's gotta be Wedgeman, who last year was fixin' to "kick [Cody's] butt off" before Summer came to his rescue. Now that Sheriff Sum' Mo' has ridden out of town, somebody has to man up and come to the rescue of Wedgeman's victims.
…and one that I hope you enjoyed! I had a lot of fun "spoofing" a page from the cleveland.com site and posting my fake Tom Batiuk interview. I spent the better part of the past week working on it, and got a little extra bang for the buck by posting a link over at the Comics Curmudgeon.
Maybe my prank was a little too well executed? Some discerning folk were taken in, at least for a little while:
So, um…all my ranting on Funky Winkerbean earlier? April Fool's day article by the newspaper that I fell for. Gonna delete those tweets…
— John Weber (@JWeberAurora) April 1, 2013
"…by the newspaper"? Nah, that was all me. I even bought the reasonably plausible clevelanddotcom.info domain and redirected it to my hosted page. Other savvy snarkers sensed something was amiss:
April 1, 2013 at 7:24 am
Cleveland.com's Dick Hertz? Really? Ha…
The scariest part of the whole thing was how easy it was to channel Tom Batiuk. I think I spend wayyyyy too much time contemplating the Funkiverse!
Thanks again everyone, for playing along.
Still shaken after witnessing Alex being bullied in the halls of Westview High, Owen seeks out a trusted, responsible adult:
his Dad his Mom his guidance counselor the principal his priest/minister/rabbi the owner of the local comics shop?!?…who is only too ready and willing to offer his useless advice.
March 31, 2013 at 10:27 am
…As a former victim of bullying and a mom who worries what her kids will face in school when they get older, I'm insulted that Batiuk continues to treat this topic as lighthearted fun. On the other hand, I know that any attempt on his part to treat bullying and the tragic consequences thereof with the seriousness it deserves would be infuriating.
Not hard to see where Batiuk's going with this. Having shortsightedly used up almost his entire new cast of teen characters, he's pulled misfit goth girl Alex off the bench and retconned her back into a teen. Not only that, she's the target of bullying, which only only yesterday TB was playing for laughs. And her fellow misfit Owen will be cast in the role of her white knight. Perhaps he and Cody will construct a robot to attack her tormentors.
April 3, 2012 at 1:01 am
Cody: "…do you ever get the feeling that we never look forward to anything good? We merely mildly anticipate the absence of bad things?"
Note the date on John's comment above: it's from a whole year ago, when Cody and Owen last enjoyed a wedgie-free week due to the fact that the Seniors were out of town. Flash back a little further: to the beginning of the 2009 school year…
You're already doing the math: Cody and Owen would by now be part of the Senior Class. Of course, it's certainly likely that, being morons, they've had to repeat at least one grade. Still: surely they're not still mere freshmen? Do the Westview Seniors pick on all the underclassmen, or just these two?
I'm kind of concerned about these two loners who, every school day (except for the week of the D.C. trip), endure intimidation and abuse from the Seniors, are belittled by their teachers, and after school head to the Komix Korner to play (probably violent) video games. Could Batiuk be getting ready to add school shootings to his Serious Topics résumé?
Before becoming a cartoonist, Tom Batiuk taught for several years at a junior high school. If held felt anything like the antipathy that Les has always had for his students, well, it's fortunate for them that he left teaching for cartooning. Unfortunate for the rest of us though.