What a Tosser

Does anyone else get the feeling that today’s strip is a reflection of Tom Batiuk’s own creative process? We’ve often see Pete enthusiastically “tossing out” his half-baked ideas as rapidly as they pop into his head. But where Pete’s concepts must now pass muster with a couple of cantankerous comics creators, Batiuk seemingly is given carte blanche by an editorial director who’s probably too busy on Twitter to pay much attention.

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Cyber Monday

Aside from Les, Cayla, and their offspring, about the only other folks not seated at Harriet Dinkle’s massive Thanksgiving table were the Atomik Komix Krewe. Maybe it was necessary for them to work through the holiday: after all, AK is  a booming comics publisher, regularly pushing out new titles, operated by a staff of six people with a median age well north of sixty.

It was too much work for yours truly to sit at the computer like Flesh Floppyhead (thanks to snarker Sourbelly for coming up with that moniker!) in today’s strip and look up “gravitational wave theory.” OK: I spent three minutes looking it up, enough time for me to glean that it doesn’t really have to do with the ability of one to “defy gravity.” The letter writer, by the way, can accept a superhero who’s “composed of air…and who needs an airtight suit to encase him,” but must take exception to Doctor Atmos’ also being able to defy gravity. Look, forget about wave theory: according to basic physics, nothing can defy gravity. Except in, say, a comic book.  Jeez, what kind of terrible person goes online to complain about comics not following real life?

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Will The Last Person Leaving Westview Please Turn Out The Lights?

Link To Sunday

And in classic FW fashion, we don’t see even one second of Dinkle’s massive Thanksgiving feast, as Batiuk opts to focus on the dull, tedious aftermath instead. If this surprises you, please pay more attention. It might have been nice (and sensible) to maybe ask Wally or Cory or even Billy to help the elderly Dinkle carry twenty-five chairs back down to the basement, but then we wouldn’t have this “domestic slice o’ life” gag to savor and amuse us. If the next Dinkle arc involves his rehab and recovery from his unfortunate tumble down the stairs, it’ll all have been totally worth it.

And on that note, I’m pleased to turn things over to our Fearless Leader, TFH! What pre-holiday horrors await us? Stay tuned to find out!

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The Feast Of Maximum Occupancy

Link To This One

“Hi, Mom! Listen, we’ll be by to pick you up at around eleven. We made the stuffing you like and we picked up a few pies and…what’s that? Harry Dinkle? Who the f*ck is Harry Dinkle? But…but…your grandkids are looking forward to…uh huh, uh huh, yeah, uh, OK, I guess, but this is certainly unexpected and odd and…what? Why would WE eat Thanksgiving dinner at a band director’s house? Have you been taking your medicine?”

It’s pretty funny how Halle Dinkle re-appeared and was immediately pushed into the background by every single person Dinkle knows, plus quite a few he doesn’t. I count TWENTY-NINE people, which seems like WAY too many folks to cram into Dinkle’s cheap clapboard house for anything, let alone dinner. But hey, at least BatYam didn’t have to exert himself too much by, you know, writing a story or anything like that.

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Always Room For Six More

Link To Today’s Strip

I guess calling Becky the “current band director” would have bruised Dinkle’s ego a tad too much. By the same token, I guess having John putting on a normal shirt would render his character unidentifiable. And I guess Rana is still a Muslim, Billy is still alive and Wally Jr. joined the circus or the army or something. And why didn’t Wally arrive with the rest of the Winkerbeans? Why was he relegated to the B-team? My God, what a slog.

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A Very Winkerbean Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, loyal SoSF readers!

It’s a virtual cavalcade of stars today, featuring TWELVE of FW’s most beloved and adored characters. That’s over ten percent of the cast, in case you’re keeping score at home. I certainly hope Harriet started cooking early, or it’s gonna be a long, long night. I can’t imagine for the life of me why the entire Winkerbean clan would go to Dinkle’s house for Thanksgiving dinner, but hey, no one ever said a holiday garbage dump arc has to make logical sense. I assume that Rocky’s forgotten mom is sitting by the phone, forlorn and alone.

Coming tomorrow: Thanksgiving dinner at Dinkle Manor ends abruptly when Morton gets into the Sambuca and ends up exposing himself to Harriet in the hallway. Fortunately, though, it’s played for laughs and everyone smirks knowingly at the old coot’s perverse antics. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Chair Man Of The Bored

Link To This One

And suddenly the strip is TEEMING with new characters, one after the other! I wonder if they’ll ever be named? So the seldom-seen Halle Dinkle is back, which is weird, as it always is when one of those Act II/early Act III characters suddenly re-emerges. Otherwise, this one is so uninteresting it’s tough to really find much to complain about and or mock here. Halle’s husband sort of looks like a cut-rate Paulie Walnuts, except for that orange sweater that Paulie wouldn’t be caught dead in. But otherwise, this barely rates a “meh”.

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The Less Things Change

Link To It

Settlement school? I looked it up, but I’m still not 100% sure what the hell these idiots are jabbering about. As far as Halle Dinkle goes, I have no memory of the character at all, so feel free to fill us in on her no doubt compelling character arc if you’re so inclined.

It’s kind of interesting how BatHam wrote these 2021 strips under the assumption that COVID would be old news by the time they ran, and by “interesting” I mean “not really”. Mildly amusing is more like it. And could the gag here possibly be any weaker? And why doesn’t the most legendary band director who’s ever lived have any friends? No local pals, no former students, nothing. Oh, wait. I know why.

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Stairway To Band Turkey Heaven

Link To Monday’s One

Oh, dear God, he’s still on a Dinkle kick. Sigh. And here come the band turkey gags. I guess that this is probably one of FW’s longest-running gags, especially considering how he’s retconned and/or ignored pretty much everything else from that long-ago gag-a-day era. Too bad he never followed suit with this one.

Coming tomorrow: Dinkle explains to his wife, who he’s been married to for well over fifty years, that his frozen band turkey, from the freezer, was left over from one of his long-ago band turkey fundraising efforts. Harriet nods and grins in agreement, knowing as she does that the downstairs freezer is full of frozen band turkeys. I begin using BT as an abbreviation for “band turkeys”, as I just can’t take it anymore.

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Oh This Week, Thou Art Wrong

Link To The Sunday Strip

Oh yeah, the funeral! I totally forgot all about that during last week’s nauseating little detour. Which is unusual, as it was the entire premise of the story. No one else on the planet “writes” like this, sometimes it’s like a weird piece of surrealistic abstract art that means whatever you want it to mean, but you don’t understand what that means, so you just ignore it. Know what I mean?

Anyhow, yeah, of course Dinkle pulled it off without a hitch, because “music” is his thing, you see. Look at him, high-stepping around in his little outfit. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to kill him more than I do today. The funniest thing about this arc was that the main protagonist, who started the whole ball rolling, was never identified by name and is dead. Again, no one else writes like this.

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