Denyin' Ryan

$$$Westville Oncologist$$$$$
April 24, 2012 at 3:15 pm
Raise your hand if you think this new hunky guy will actually be the first half of Tom Batiuk’s “unambigously gay duo”?

Yes, this is the same guy

From time to time, consensuses seem to arise within this community regarding the plot direction of this strip. For example, during the Wally Gets a Therapy Dog arc, some of you suggested that Batiuk would cruelly kill off Buddy the Dog, sending Wally around the bend for good. I never subscribed to that theory.

More recently, some have suggested that another Time Jump was in the offing. That one sounds more plausible, if for no other reason than TB’s made such a hash of the current cast of characters that he’s got nowhere to go from here. Given his complete disregard for continuity, Batiuk’s got nothing to lose by shaking the Etch-a-Sketch for a third time.

But where are some of y’all getting the vibe that Ryan is one half of the Coming Gay Prom Date? Is it because he likes Summer? That would make Cody ‘n’ Owen gay too. Is it because the way he’s clumsily pawing Summer in yesterday’s strip implies he doesn’t like touching girls? Because he talks with his hands a lot?  Is it because Summer says asking her to a movie is “sweet”? I’m curious, that’s all. The only preview we’ve had of the Gay Prom arc (starts next week!) is the panel shown here. Sure, that could be Ryan on the right, but it could be any anon-o-teen. It would be weird, even by Batiuk’s storytelling standards, to introduce this guy hitting on Summer, and then buying prom tix with Cody another guy just a few days later.

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  1. Charles

    Not that I subscribe to it myself, but I think part of the reason why people think Ryan is part of the gay couple is that it slams the door on him being romantically linked with Summer, and it makes introducing brand new characters for this looming story arc less abrupt and awkward.

    I do have to admit that I can’t imagine this being the end of Cody’s interest in Summer, which means that this guy Ryan needs to be neutralized somehow.

  2. flappy

    whats with last panel,whys new guy have his finger in dudes ear ? and Codys hair look like its an erupting volcano

  3. sourbelly

    Whoever the gay prom boys turn out to be, I’ll bet they’ll be settling for each other. Because, as much as we rag on Summer’s appearance (with good cause), the Boys of Westview aren’t exactly lookers either. In panel two we have the giraffe-necked freak with the coconut hair and the ears coming out of his neck; a short, balding, 40ish-looking sad sack in a brown shirt; and…Cody.

    As for Chest Hardslab (or Chunk Manmusk, Cliff Beefpile, Sledge Riprock, etc.), I’d imagine he can have his pick of the girls in this school. The fact that he’s choosing Summer speaks volumes about the pulchritude of the Westview gals.

  4. bad wolf

    Personally i first bought into the gay Ryan theory based on his appearing to have the same shirt as the person on the right side of the hand-holding panel (given how rarely the characters ever change clothes), but on closer inspection the hand-holder is wearing shorter sleeves. Inconclusive.

    My second rationale was Roger Ebert’s Law of Character Economy, which given limited budgets (or space on the page) every character must have a purpose in the plot. So if there’s an upcoming plotline we’re aware of, any new characters are expected to be a part of it.

    Epicus noted yesterday that the story would be better served to have Wedgeman be Summer’s new love interest, assuming it were a basic high-school love story. Also more true to life.

  5. TFHackett

    I like that: The Gay Ryan Theory.

    Ebert’s Law surely applies in the movies, but all rules and common sense are suspended in the Funkiverse. TB whips up as many disposable anon-o-characters as he requires.

  6. Flummoxicated

    End of April seems to be more than a little late for campus visits for a senior! TomBat’s 1/4″ from reality is more and more like a 1/4 mile.

  7. Personally, I think the theory makes sense because the “masculine BMOC jock–gasp!–turns out to be gay” is exactly the sort of twist-that’s-been-done-so-many-times-it’s-not-even-a-twist-anymore that Batiuk would do, all the while patting himself on the back for breaking stereotypical molds and challenging people’s perceptions and crap.

    Of course there’s also Ryan’s dialogue today, which suggests that he has no idea how to flirt with a girl (or any human being, for that matter). But that could just be strip’s usual substandard of writing.

  8. Jeffcoat Wayne

    Ah, now it comes out — this Ryan fellow is an opportunist hoping to score his rightful share of the vast Moore fortune. He probably expects Summer to pay for both of their “Spiderman” tickets as well (plus a muscleman Smoothie).

  9. Jimmy

    I couldn’t care less ab0ut the supposedly “edgy” same-sex prom date. but I’m absolutely beside myself that Summer is just now looking at colleges IN LATE APRIL!! (as previously mentioned by Flummoxicated).

    The initial NLI day was April 11 and May 16 is the FINAL day for hoops. If Summer is just now getting calls, Cedarville University or Lake Erie College is really desperate, ’cause she ain’t no Brittney Griner.

  10. Check out a college?
    Just how much time will it take to drive to KSU?
    Or maybe Sumore will become an Akron Zip.
    Does anyone think Batdick would send her to any school other then one of those?

  11. Epicus Doomus

    Because you can NEVER be reminded about how awesome Summer is enough times. First thing: get a load of the size of those paws on “Ryan”…gadzooks! Cody had best just walk away quietly now.

    Correct me if I’m wrong here, but isn’t the last week of April of your senior year a bit late in the game for intent letters and “megabucks” scholarships? Wasn’t Les complaining about the cost of college just a few Sundays ago? This is just a bunch of “let’s throw a bunch of “senior year” cliches at the wall and see what sticks” right here. If Summer was really any good at basketball she would have been signed, sealed and delivered months ago…at least.

    “SpiderMan movie”…lol. Is there anyone in this town who ISN’T interested in comic books?

  12. John

    “That new Spider-Man movie” is being released July 3rd, 2012. This is not a recent development, that’s been its set release date for at least three years.

    …how long does the school year in Ohio last again?!?

  13. John

    “Is there anyone in this town who ISN’T interested in comic books?”

    Didn’t you know that everyone is WestView is an X-Treme Rebelz who fights da’ man, Epicus?

  14. billytheskink

    I consulted a mirror to be certain, and sure enough, the expression on the face of the brown-shirted bespectacled fellow in panel 2 is an exact match of the expression on my face when I first read today’s remarkably interesting strip…

  15. Epicus Doomus

    My guess on the “gay duo”: I’m going with anon-o-characters. My feeling is that “Chest Hardslab” (lol, classic) is merely here to remind us of how utterly feeble and sad Cody is (and how Summer is into “real men”), not that it needs to be pointed out again or anything. But of course, I could be totally wrong on that.

  16. Jeffcoat Wayne

    Not just anon-o-characters, but anon-o-characters who will disappear from existence once Batiuk gets the indulgence (and let’s not forget the awards) of this storyline out of his system.

  17. O.B. Dan

    That’s right, Cody…walk away…and walk without knowing Chest Hardslab got a gentle but definite “no.”

    Makes no difference…you don’t need to know because it wouldn’t make any difference…

    Tell SWS we all said “hi!” And toss her a few bucks for gas to cover the ride to teen suicide hell.

  18. Beanie Wanker

    I think Rock Nutcrusher is Slum Bore’s gay friend because of how smiley and relaxed she was whe he touched her and her foul smelling hoodie. As for the “date,” girls And their gay guy buddies go out all the time. It’s a fun, non-threatening time for all.

    PLUS, we know the gay prom is coming up, and the participants are new to the cast. This completely fits the pattern of how BatSuck slips a character in just before featuring them. See also Fishstick Annie.

    And making at least one gay guy hunky? You know Bat Hack would play it that way.

    Oh, Jolly!

  19. So why jump ten years into the future if your just going to forget it? The year is 2022. Why not just say see a movie?

  20. dollyllama

    On Monday we’ll have one of those word balloons jam-packed with exposition, where the jock tells Summer “oh, I know I asked you on a date but really I am gay and for awhile I was trying to cover it up why heck I hadn’t even admitted it to myself but now I feel I have to let the truth come out will you be the one student at Westview who supports me in my unique quest to go to the prom with another guy?” Then we will have a wordless closeup of Summer’s face as this sinks in, then a wordless panel of a slow smile of recognition and open-mindedness. That’s what I think.

  21. bobanero

    So why jump ten years into the future if your just going to forget it? The year is 2022. Why not just say see a movie?

    Maybe it’s Spiderman 14.

  22. The sad thing is that Batom, Inc. thinks that it’s helping.

  23. Epicus Doomus

    Ryokomayuka: I wonder about that too, it’s supposedly ten years in the future, yet these people are still using VCR’s and are baffled by cell phones.

  24. Withering Heights: The sad thing is that Batom, Inc. thinks that it’s helping.

    I hate to disagree. I usually give Batiuk the benefit of the doubt, but in this case, I think he’s only doing it to “help” get more free publicity for The Complete Funky Winkerbeanbook series. As many have pointed out, Lynne Johnston staked out this territory in 1993.

  25. I hate to disagree. I usually give Batiuk the benefit of the doubt, but in this case, I think he’s only doing it to “help” get more free publicity for The Complete Funky Winkerbean book series. As many have pointed out, Lynne Johnston staked out this territory in 1993.—TFH

    I sit corrected. Clearly even my backhanded credit was credit where none was due!

  26. $$$Westville Oncologist$$$$$

    I swear to Thor himself, if Big McLargeHuge here is not one of our fabulous twosome, I will buy every sing Crankshaft & Funky Winkerbean collection and read them days on end for two months!!

  27. davidorth

    Ok, Snarkers, which characters are going to be outraged that two gays are going to prom? Becky’s mother? Or will Tombat have to invent characters to be morally repulsed by an idea that’s been kicked around and pretty much accepted since, oh, 2007.

  28. Beanie Wanker

    The Outraged Ones? Cory Wankerbone, step to the front of the line. He always seems to be red assed about something, and this would do it. Maybe Slutty Susan, she of the station wagon, will return for a cameo as a member of that “parents group,” the Westboro Baptist Church.

    Other than those possibilities, I think Tommy McChickenshit will go with anonogoat haters, because he wouldn’t want to stain any of his regular cast as anti-gay. We know Goatee Boy won’t hate because he’s about as gay as you can get without applying for the Official Framed Certificate.

    To paraphrase Good Will Hunting, I don’t k ow much, but I know this – BatSlop’s treatment of the gay prom issue will be ham handed, awkward, and clumsy, and will feature behavior and dialog that no human being on Earth would ever do or say. But either way, TomButt will need weeks of physical therapy to recover from all the self-back-patting he’ll do over this.