Minutes pass as Darin stands in the doorway, all agog. The stranger clears her throat and repeats her introduction. “I’m Kerry. I’m Fred Fairgood’s daughter.”
While we wait for the ground to stabilize ‘neath Darin’s feet, we are treated to a confusing and unnecessary flashback. Bull, who would go on to become a teacher and then a school administrator, is sitting in Principal Fairgood’s office because his poor grades threaten to prevent him from playing football. Coach Stropp has made it clear to Fred that his perennially losing squad can not afford to lose Bull (I guess we’re to take Fred at his word that he’s “just kidding” about his daughter being kidnapped).
Having recently acquired and read a couple paperback Funky Winkerbean collections, I get the feeling that Batiuk has redrawn an actual Act I strip, and in the context of Act I it was probably mildly amusing. Shoehorned into today’s comic, it’s disconcerting, and not just because Batiuk’s sepia-toned the panels, instead of deploying the “photo album corners” he typically uses to denote flashbacks. Bull’s got nothing to do with the current storyline. It’s more like Batiuk’s playing this card to defend against accusations of retconning: “See? September ’79! Fred clearly states that he has a daughter!”