Looking for Mr. Goodbar?

Hey, I know who that is in today’s strip! No, not the choir lady. Bunhead. She went to community college and/or Kent State with Wally and Adeela! She even changed her sweatshirt mid-class once. No, twice! She also was in one of Rachel’s community college art teaching certification classes, apparently. And now she’s answering the door in a neighborhood deemed moneyed enough to waste money on band choir candy! Moving up in the world. Maybe one day she’ll graduate from college, or at least wear something other than a sweatshirt. It is good to have goals.

I have nothing else to say about this strip other than “at least Dinkle isn’t in it”.

At least Dinkle isn’t in it.

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Medal of Horror

Today’s strip marks the third straight day that Dinkle is doing his eyes-closed, head tilted back, mouth-agape, peacocking thing… which I think we can all agree is seven days too many. Hopefully we can also all agree that the poetic tire fire that is “I believe this is the first time a man’s crew-neck undershirt has been seen in the choir loft!” is a sentence that is just too perfectly execrable to exist. Yet it does exist.

Yes, we have here a call back here to Dinkle’s May 2017 trip to Belgium, where he was showered with unearned praise, given this unbearably punny-named medal, and stood in front of TB’s uncredited tracing of the legendary Hergé’s work. I’m not wordly enough to know if the Belgians hate us, but I can’t blame them if they do…

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If only there WAS a substitute for experience…

You are looking liiiiive at St. Spires Church and its odd, grass-covered exterior wall in today’s strip

At least the choir ladies are asking follow up questions now. The last two times Dinkle pulled his “a little” shtick no one pressed him for specifics. I’m half-surprised Dinkle doesn’t carry around a printed resume to hand out to the mere mortals who aren’t familiar with his life story, that really seems like something he would do.

At least we get that brilliant salmonella pun again4 and a half months was just too long without it. It’s a true TB original too, you won’t find it anywhere else.

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Parish the thought

I’m not on Dinkle’s side or anything, but I struggle to sympathize with the choir ladies in today’s strip. Those stern looks of disapproval are genuine and understandable, but these ladies have got to stop setting Dinkle up for this miserable gag. This is the third time they’ve walked right into it. Yes, Dinkle is insufferable and arrogant, but they’ve had plenty of time now to learn that asking him if he knows anything about a subject is a sure way to draw out that insufferableness and arrogance. If you don’t like the way he acts when baited, stop baiting him!

At least there’s no blood this time from Dinkle biting his tongue… Well, that’s not really an improvement. For a while there I thought that maybe Dinkle could be put on a path to self-destruction by frequently questioning his credentials.

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Robed in travesty

I thought maybe we were getting an extended break from Dinkle during the last week, TB does love pontificating on comic books after all, but I should have known better. The Dinkle-St. Spires choir story had yet to play all of the beats a Dinkle story plays. We’ve covered his arrogance, his ego, his megalomania, his ludicrously demanding practices, the one thing we were missing from the complete Harry Dinkle experience finally shows up in today’s stripfundraising. I should have seen it coming, no excuses.

I’m not sure these robes appear to be “tired and worn” so much as they appear to be rain ponchos purchased at a Cleveland Browns game. Maybe add some patches or stains or loose threads next time to sell the effect, Chuck.

Now it is only a question of how many weeks will TB spend showing Dinkle pushing these old ladies to sell “choir mattresses” or his autobiography or whatever. Unfortunately, it won’t be a negative number.

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It’s just a Flash wound

Well, the week’s comic book reminiscence is, of course, followed in today’s strip by the requisite comic book cover tribute, printed sideways in newspapers across the country to ease the task of deciding not to read it. If you are just now showing up to to read this story arc (for which I envy, but somehow also pity, you), let’s catch you up:

Sad-sack author avatar and comic strip creator Batton Thomas has based his entire post-12-year-old life around reading and re-reading The Flash #123. He has bought a reprint of the issue since his original is worn out, and he is re-reading it again. His 12 year old self has also materialized to re-read The Flash #123 reprint along with him… on the very same porch glider he read the original #123 when his 12 year old self was his only self.

If you, the hypothetical person just walking into this story arc today, is still thinking of going back and re-reading this week’s strips after that recap, save some time and read TB’s veneration of the issue on his blog (and also, previously, in Funky Winkerbean itself). Or save even more time and don’t do that. That’s your best bet, actually.

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Do you bereave in magic?

Can you believe it?
'Twas eleven years ago
That this site began

Let us all wish a
Happy anniversary
To SOSF!

Haiku all around!
It is how I celebrate things
I'm fun at parties
Now to Today's strip
Will DC send to TB
A cease and desist?

Young Batton enthralled
By Flash's famous power
Doing magic tricks?

Instead of the Flash
Batton imagines himself
In an audience

Batton's take away
From this famous Flash issue
Explains TB well

If Batton likes this
Doug Henning must be mind-blowing
Much less Copperfield
Thank you commenters
For the last eleven years
And what is to come

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The Taking Of Boredom 123

Today’s strip goes beyond TB’s regular “tell, don’t show” philosophy into, well, “tell, don’t tell” territory I guess. We get a couple of 35 cent metaphors and learn NOTHING. Not a thing. In fact, you could swap the order of yesterday’s and today’s strips and it would make exactly as much sense as the present order. The Flash #123 made this big impact on this author avatar who went on to become a cartoonist… yeah, we knew that yesterday (or, 12 years ago, if you’ve ever read TB’s blog). Shouldn’t we be on to the why? The how? No, don’t bother with that, we need to hear a few more flowery words that restate what has already been restated ad nauseam.

This is beyond Herb and Jamaal‘s dopey non-specificity, which muddied the gags but didn’t keep the reader from recognizing that they existed. This glacial garbage muddies a complete lack of any substance to begin with. There is nothing here. Nothing. At all. No conflict, no suspense, no character development, no dispensation of information real or fictional. We’re waiting for a man to pay for a comic book. WE ARE WAITING FOR A MAN TO PAY FOR A COMIC BOOK. I’ll put up the $5.99 or whatever the #123 reprint costs just to get Batton the heck out of there.

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Flash has reached end of life status

Today’s strip gives us our first glimpse at a young Batton Thomas… back when he had the hair of a newscaster, the jaw of Rob Riggle, and the neck of something that doesn’t have a neck. Quite a contrast to today’s sad-sack Batton, who looks like he could be Pete’s dad (he’s not, John Darling program director Reed Roberts is). Trading that plaid seersucker jacket for a blue Members Only was a good call, though.

So The Flash #123 inspired Batton Thomas (and, most definitely, one Thomas Batiuk as well) to become a cartoonist, eh? How, exactly did it do that? If we are lucky we’ll get that answer in 6-10 business days. Or just visit the official Funky Winkerbean blog, where TB writes more about The Flash than he does about his own creations… Haha, yeah, you all go do that. I’ll wait.

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