There Are No Scraps In Bull’s Scrapbook

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Look at Dick Facey in panel one, he’s not even bothering to pretend to be interested. What a jerk. Anyhow, Bull’s scrapbook is full of memories he can’t remember anymore, which is pretty depressing in that special FW way, I must admit. Good thing she bothered to assemble a scrapbook for him then, eh? She could pretty much summarize his entire life by simply saying “you sucked at everything until a few years ago”, or she could call Batom Inc. Studios and simply ask Author Guy to re-retcon everything and supply Bull with all new retconned memories, like BanTom does with his readers. It’s a win-win for Bull.

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Forgeta-Bull

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OK, so now things are becoming clearer here. Bull is obviously suffering from CTE aka post-concussion syndrome. Either that or he’s just been working with Les for way, way, way too long. It’s certainly one of the more “relevant” topics FW has addressed in a while, definitely a change from the usual drivel about comic books, pizza, time pools, Lisa and etc. I could point out that Owen’s concussion was played for ha-has a few years back but hey, why even bother? I could also point out that Morton’s degenerative brain disease seems to have miraculously healed thanks to cigarettes and a trombone, which is something Bull might want to look into right about n0w.

So how will Batiuk handle this contemporary issue affecting old athletes who ran into things with their heads? With sensitivity and pathos, or with his typically heavy-handed felt-tip drollery? Or perhaps some incomprehensible combination of both? Who knows? At least it’s a bit different than the typical Act III fodder, I’ll give him that. A timely issue that he ripped straight from the headlines a few years ago when it was somehow brought to his attention in between pizzas and comic cons, which will no doubt impact tens of daily readers.

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Un-Bear-A-Bull

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Blech, imagine being stuck in a car with that cretin. Especially that horrible robin’s egg blue car of his…(shudder). A picture (in so many words) is very very slowly beginning to form here…Linda is “worried” about Bull. Yes, after decades of smirking at his antics in that condescending somewhat bemused way of hers, she’s concerned about her husband’s obesity or mood swings or something. Well, it’s about time. It’s actually a good thing that Linda and Dick Facey never got together, that much wryness would have torn a hole in the fabric of the Funkyverse.

The most hilarious thing about today’s episode is the way BatNom totally butchered the word balloon in panel two. Looks like he ran out of dialog there or something, I’m sort of surprised that he didn’t find some awkward clumsy word salad to fill all that space. Then again, Les is speaking so maybe he just took some mercy on us. Still though, knowing how he operates and all, it’s a pretty glaring anomaly. At least bother to print larger or something, you know?

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Rapidly Going From Bad To Much, Much Worse

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As much as I ordinarily despise Linda, it’s tough not to feel bad for her today. Her husband is off on some unexplained rage bender, her hair loss seems to be continuing unabated and on top of all that, Les is making his move on her. Look at him, ready to pounce on her during her moment of vulnerability, his hand perversely thrust into his pocket as he blatantly targets her…just repellent. And that rear view of Les’ head with those second-rate Paulie Walnuts wings, thanks for that, TomBan. Back when Bull was dying in front of him on the tennis court Les was flitting around and gloating in the most obnoxious way possible and now he’s pretending to “care”, what a sickening display. What. A. Dick.

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Heavy Pedal Parking Lot

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What is this, the third wordless strip in a row? I haven’t seen anything like this since Darin had to open some mail. Today Bull is carelessly putting well over $100 worth of Batiukmobiles at risk as his inexplicable tantrum continues. As usual Bantom has confounded me by going off in a direction no sane person could have possibly seen coming. The clear highlight today is that “anger squiggle” over Bull’s head in panel one, which obviously indicates “anger”. Otherwise HOW WOULD WE KNOW???

While I’m still holding some hope that maybe we’re heading for a traffic fatality here or something, the likelihood of anything remotely entertaining happening here is dwindling by the second. No one takes longer to get to the “point” (so to speak) than BanTom does, every single thing simply must be dragged out for days and days on end until no reasonable person can possibly take it anymore. I’ve been doing this for years and it still never fails to enrage me and induce uncontrollable yawning. The notion that even the simplest plot point has to take an entire week (or longer) to build (so to speak) is exactly why no one bothers to read this thing, aside from those of us who like to test their patience, that is. WE GET IT, HE’S ANGRY! Now please, for the love of God, move on.

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Raging Bullcrap

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Thanks to BC and the entire SoSF crew! I’m back to wade once more into whatever the madman Batiuk has cooked up for us this time around. So let’s see if Bull is still alive and…

Sigh, what a letdown. I was hoping for something a bit more dramatic than this extended tantrum, something we could really sink our teeth into. Like a heart attack, an untimely death, some sort of dismemberment, you know, Act II type stuff. But Bull angrily throwing his phone because he misplaced his special dialing wand and has to use his fat useless fingers? Meh. So now he’s fat, angry, stupid and impossible to contact too. His worth as a character just continues to grow with every appearance. So whaddya think all this rage is about? Being married to Linda? Being around Dick Facey all day? Frustrated over his missing children? I’m (somewhat) sure BanTom will fill us in…eventually…maybe. Sigh.

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Stupid Tedious Enraging Meandering

Link to today’s strip.

Oh, no!  It’s Dinkle.

For the love of God, montresor, will no one rid me of this troublesome Dinkle?  At least Les Moore allows one to feel genuine, honest rage; this clod, who should be feeding the worms, has been in three Sunday strips dispensing his “wit” and his “wisdom” in forms that contain neither, and we do not need him.  He is loathsomeness made without goal, the skeletal clutching hands of ennui reaching for the throats of those asleep, in order to make their sleep seem profound upon waking.  He is the stench made by a skunk run over in the road; the animal and its purpose are gone, but the foul odor remains to scorch the senses of those driving nearby.  “Lingering” is the best adjective to describe Dinkle.

In case you can’t tell, I really, really, really hate Dinkle.  If there’s one character who really needs to be pushed out of the strip, it’s Dinkle.  At this point, it’s way too late to make him a beloved reminder of the strip’s glory days; he should just get hit by a truck (ironically, one delivering band uniforms), have Becky sniff over his coffin, and never stain the ink of this strip again.

But he won’t.  Tom Batiuk loves him some Dinkle.  One of the truly inexplicable aspects of this strip.  Why are all the horrible characters the most favored ones?

As for the episode itself, it says in six panels what should only take two.  The punchline was blindingly obvious from the get-go; I’m a little bit surprised Batiuk didn’t go and make all the STEM initials stand for musical terms.  How about “Sousa,” “Trombone,” “Elgar” and “Marching”?  That took me about a minute, and most of that was to think of what the “E” could stand for.  (I picked Elgar because of the “Pomp and Circumstance” things that usually play at graduation ceremonies.)  I imagine it took Tom Batiuk about the same amount of time to think this episode up and draw it.

Good Thing Watch:  My stint in the chair is over!  Yay!  Ha ha, charade you are!  Starting tomorrow, you wanted the best and you got it!  The hottest guest host in the land, Epicus Doomus!  (Cue audience cheers and power chords.)

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