Fortunately Bull Died And Saved Us A Trip

This is pretty hilarious, especially by Funky Winkerbean standards. Cindy and Mason fly out to Ohio every other month, so the thought that these people hardly ever see each other is pretty funny. So is the fact that apparently whatever they had to talk to Les about they had to do in person. I can’t imagine a good reason for wanting to talk to Les, but I definitely wouldn’t want to do it in person. It’s also kind of funny how Les’s line makes it seem like they’re family. “Oh yes, it’s so sad that it takes funerals to reunite me with the hot girl from high school who never talked to me and her husband I once gave a bent nail to.”.

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I Can Think Of One Person Who Isn’t

This is Batiuk attempting witty sitcom style dialogue. And it is painful. “So what brings?” is not something a human would say. And the way Funky is poking into the second panel saying his little line reminds me of a cheesy sitcom character chiming in with his trademark catchphrase. Also, if you go to a pizza place and just order “the pizza”, I think it’s maybe not a great pizza place.
Why in the world anyone would want to meet Les is beyond me, although it does seem like the kind of thing you’d do after a funeral. “Oh, we spent the past hour or so thinking about death, I wonder what Les is up to?”  Bull’s dead and barely cold in the ground, so I guess that just means more time for Les.  Yippee.

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It’s Funny Because He’s Fat, Get It?

Link to today’s strip

What a great way to follow a big prestige serious storyline you bragged about, with a total waste of space. “Hi!” “Hi!” “You’re fat!” I guess coming up with a week of ways to show how dumb Bull was must’ve really taxed Batiuk’s talent.
This is one of my least favorite things about this strip (the list of things I’ve described that way would be very long). Literally all Funky does in this strip is work and work out, and yet he’s still fat. And people make fun of him for it. And since Bull’s dead, he’s this strip’s fattest, dumbest character, so he’d better watch out, I guess.

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Coffin Corner Kick-ed The Bucket

Fortunately, today’s strip stays in one time line. It also quotes one of Bob Dylan’s best-reviewed songs. Well, that’s two positives to the… end-ish? of this very maudlin special story arc. FYI: A donation has been made to the Boston University CTE center, presumably so readers will remember what this story arc was about last month.

So was Bull a member of the local Dylanist congregation or is that the only house of worship in Westview anymore? Both?

And with that, I am relieved… both to be done with my posting stint and, come tomorrow, by the incomparable Spacemanspiff85.

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Deafinitely Dumb

Hey, remember when this story arc was about Bull?
Today’s strip sure doesn’t.

Look, I’m just going to gloss over the fact that Dinkle was actually introduced well over a year into this strip’s existence and just give TB credit for remembering that Funky Winkerbean itself is 47 (and a half) years old… And with that out of the way I’ll go right into wondering what the heck this has to do with Bull, his condition, his life, or anything. I guess if you twist your neck 117 degrees and squint until you experience sharp pain in your temples it appears the notoriously egotistical Dinkle (or is that Buck?) is paying Bull a compliment by saying they were equals despite his long and incessant history of considering all things inferior to himself and his marching band. But really this is just TB repackaging his biggest hit.

Dinkle is the only thing about this strip that has ever moved merchandise. His “football fields are for band practice!” bit covers books and t-shirts, and even serves as his character’s introductory line in the stage play Funky Winkerbean’s Homecoming. Dinkle’s shtick has sold band posters (“Dinkle wants your horn to twinkle”) and shoes, and no less than 9 Dinkle-specific collections of FW strips have been published! No, seriously, there have been 4 Lisa books and 9 Dinkle books.

Football Fields are for Band Practice!
Sunday Concert
Harry L. Dinkle Live at Carnegie Hall
I Never Promised You a Rose Parade
Gone with The Woodwinds
Would the Ushers Please Lock the Doors!
Attack of the Band Moms
The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side of the Football Field
Music is Worth it… Music is Worth it… Music is…

This is nothing more than TB pushing his most-recognized character/cash cow into a story the New York Times inexplicably gave him ink for. Ugh!

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Tempo Of Doom

Today’s strip… or July 11th’s strip? YOU make the call!

This time warping stuff is getting really really old, especially when it makes negative amounts of sense. At least with Tuesday’s “five years ago” mishap you could chalk it up to the strip’s time simply not matching real time even while matching real time’s seasons (not an uncommon thing at all in comic strips). This strip has long done that, though not in a consistent way – Summer’s generation was in high school for 5 years, Pete and Durwood’s for almost a decade, and the Act I gang was there for 20 of course.

Today, though, we’re at “three months ago”. That places this flashback in early July, and yet both Buck and Bull are wearing coats? I mean, this is presumably still an October funeral, right, what with the falling leaves colored a bright orange hue? Heck, this doesn’t even line up with Buck’s mid-September visit, where he and Bull stroll out to Jerome T. Bushka A&L Automotive Stadium, as neither man is wearing a coat then.

Is this beady-eyed nitpickiness? Maybe, but when there are little errors like this in nearly every strip it starts to add up to genuine distraction. This is especially true when the story hops all over the calendar, which *gasp* makes invested readers hop through the calendar with it in an attempt to understand what is going on.

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Please no more Lesday, October 10

Today’s strip was not available for preview. I considered waiting for it become available to post, but with the possibility of more Les on the table… I am sorry but I am not willing to burn the 11:00 PM oil potentially posting about a despicable character in a despicable situation.

However, true believers, just so I don’t send you to the comments section empty-handed… here, in honor of the late Jerome Bushka, is Bull’s very first appearance in Funky Winkerbean:

FW5-3-72

Oh, sorry, that’s the first mention of Bull, May 3 of 1972, in classic TB tell-don’t-show style. Here’s his first appearance, on September 23 of 1972 (Wait, why doesn’t Funky have CTE too, being a football sporto?):

FW9-23-72

And the first time he appears and is named, on September 26, 1972 (Until 2013, this was the canonical reason Fred Fairgood was estranged from his daughter Kerry. No, really!):

FW9-26-72

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