“You usually think of CTE just happening to professional football players, not washed up, never was-es like your husband.” “I know, right?” Batiuk’s already wringing plenty of pathos from the CTE uh, “epidemic.” Today he ups the ante with a shot at health care costs. He even has Linda assume the broke Mr. Monopoly “Pay Poor Tax of $15” stance for effect. Bull was around the NFL long enough to have a cup of coffee, but he went on to be a teacher, coach, and AD for about three decades. He may not be flush, but is better prepared than many to deal with a health crisis.
It’s been posited here and elsewhere that the supposed 10-year time gap between events in Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft means that CS is set in the present, and FW takes place a decade from now…a decade in which medical science has found a way to diagnose chronic traumatic encephalopathy before death. It’s the only way to explain how Bull and Buck are aware of their condition, as well as the existence of such a weirdly specific online support group such as “Former Football Players with CTE” (“Oh, you played hockey? That’s another group.”) Meanwhile, Westview High School is courting controversy by replacing the Stars and Stripes with a “Blue Lives Matter” flag.
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February 17, 2019 at 11:57 pm
There are sadder-sacks in Westview for sure, but no character embodies sheer exhausted defeat quite like Linda does. Wry in a weary sort of way, sardonic, skeptical, beaten, demoralized, miserable and OK with that…that’s Linda’s whole character.
Sooo Bull’s become more unstable, though he seemed pretty fine at the Hall of Fame indictment, uh, induction. Maybe the “minor car accident” occured on the way home from the ceremony? No doubt there are some among our readership who’ve had to deal with a loved one whom, due to age or infirmity, must be persuaded to give up driving. It’s a delicate discussion, to be sure. Much easier to take advantage of the loved one’s enfeeblement, and simply hide the keys in the drawer with the good scissors, and allow him to search for them in vain until finally, it no longer matters.
In the glacially paced Funkiverse, we’ve learned to appreciate anything that passes for actual plot advancement. Linda has decided to retire, and the first one with whom she shares this important news is, naturally, her work husband Les. I’m wondering what Bull’s “maxed out” CTE is going to look like. So far, it’s merely turned him into a passive, mildly dumber version of his already dumb self. He definitely has depression, and his grasp on reality isn’t helped by well-meaning friends who retcon his past failings into Hall of Fame accomplishments.
I just had to share a remixed FW strip that appeared a few years ago at the comics blog Snark It Up, Fuzzball, which depicts a much happier outcome for Bushka Family.
Oh, hey, wow, apparently Wally was a soldier or something? I didn’t know, there are so many facets to his character, I must’ve overlooked that. And apparently two (or maybe one insane) off-screen people are talking about Wally? I’m guessing it’s Ghost Lisa, and Ghost Comic Guy who died and left Darrin that crap. Not sure why they’re discussing Wally, but whatever, Lisa was always pretty boring. I foresee Adeela putting up a sign “Reserved: Struggling Muslim Immigrant”, and Les (he still works there right?) putting up a “Reserved: Tragic, Book-Inspiring Cancer Victim” sign and then there’s no parking for anybody.
Thanks for putting up with me. Coming up tomorrow, the reins will be in the hands of either TFHackett or Batiuk himself, I forget which. So we’re either in store for hilarious, insightful commentary or eye-searing profanity, insults, nit-picking accusations and Flash back issue reviews.
Hey, guess what! Bull has a non-ethnic daughter! She’s a chick, and she once kicked a football! Crazy, huh? I can’t remember her name though, because she’s incredibly worthless and unimportant, even for a Funky Winkerbean character, which is saying something. Also, that isn’t the only championship team Bull coached, but given how rarely Summer appears anymore I have a feeling Bull doesn’t remember that.
You know what would’ve been the icing on the cake of this hideous week? If the third panel was Bull putting his arm around Nameless Son-In-Law, because Bull’s brain is mush and he forgot his own daughter was his kicker.
Yeah, Batiuk totally does not get sports at all. I don’t think this is how Hall of Fame introductions go. Like, shouldn’t someone on the board of the Hall of Fame actually do the welcoming? Not just the guy who just told Bull he was going to give a speech?
I get this is probably supposed to come off like “aw, Bull and Buck are friends, and like each other”, but boy does it not come off that way. A long, no doubt awkward hug with a guy who played for your arch-rival-where are Bull’s former teammates who should be booing him right now? Probably all dead, but this is still awkward and weird, especially with Buck telling Bull he’s had enough, on a stage in front of the crowd.
Artistically speaking, something doesn’t seem right about the last panel. Bull’s hands are around Buck’s arms, when in the panel before they’re wrapped completely around Buck’s back. So I guess Buck is trying to back away from Bull? Maybe this is a stealth #MeToo story.
The creepiest part of this is Bull’s eyes in the third panel, which are no doubt staring right into Buck’s.