Bland Camp

Link to today’s strip

TFH is sailing off to Bora Bora (or did he say Oradell?) this week on the good ship “WinkerHate”, so I’m bravely stepping into the box to pinch-snark, so to speak. So let’s see what fabulous, engrossing and hilarious tale Our Hero has cooked up for us this week…

Uh-oh, that empty-sleeve-flapping-in-the-breeze-like sound in the air can only mean one thing: it’s band camp joke season again. And right on cue, there’s Dinkle, smirking and cackling and waxing nostalgic about how things used to be back before he retired. Many years ago. From his job as band director. I think he was deaf at one time too, although he appears to hear everything just fine now. He just celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary, you know, in case you just recently started reading the strip or something.

Last year’s band camp arc ended on a cliffhanger as Becky apparently reached the boiling point re: her mother’s incessant meddling. Then everything suddenly stopped so Batom could get Les & Cayla’s wedding in before all the leaves in Westview fell (and it was a close call, let me tell ya). Not that I especially care about “resolving” that arc, I think it’s pretty safe to say that no one else does either. One meddlesome old coot per arc is one too many as it is. But still, it was pretty strange how he just abandoned that storyline cold like that. My guess: he fell asleep, woke up, thought he’d finished it, submitted it, no one noticed/checked/cared and that was that. What, you have a better explanation???



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

21 responses to “Bland Camp

  1. Damn, Tom, did a trombonist empty his spit valve on your shoe once in high school or something?


    “Hah, Hah, Hah”…”Speaking of Humor…Guess what, your ex is marrying a woman hotter than you with more limbs. Hah, Hah, Hah…Funny isn’t it Becky!!! You know what the hilarious part of it is? He proposed with a paper IOU!!!!! And she’s actually wearing the damn thing!!!! Hah,Hah, Hah!!! And guess where they’re getting married!!!! No, your gonna love this. *Snicker*. In the effing gazebo!!!!!!!!!!!! No really!!!! Oh, somebody stop me, this is hilarious!! I’m practically like Ed McMahon here in panel 2!!! Hi-Oh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Give me five, sister!!! No what you can’t….YOU’VE ONLY GOT ONE ARM!!!!! *BWA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!!

  3. It’s not a bad joke, per se; the main problem is that it’s being delivered by a character I’d like to see involved in a logging accident.

    Really, the more I see Dinkle the more I find myself hating him. I’m really tired of hating these characters, but apparently Tom Batiuk can’t create any other kind.

  4. Rusty

    Would Becky have taken the band director job if she knew her predecessor would be hanging around every day giving her unsolicited advise? Even fat old Tony Montoni had the good sense to get the fuck out of Ohio when Funky bought him out. Cue the “I expect you to put out” jokes.

  5. Epicus Doomus

    Beckoning: Like Becky, for example? A character who complains her way through almost every appearance and who’s constantly being upstaged by the ever-annoying Dinkle and his inane cackling? A character with no distinguishing traits other than her one defining physical trait? A completely joyless, miserable woman who hates her job and who takes no pleasure at all in anything, save the occasional weak smirk? A woman who MARRIED a comic book store owner?

    Uh huh, I see what you mean.

  6. Charles

    I noticed how infrequently Batiuk actually shows his characters doing what they’re supposed to be doing. Here’s Becky, on top of the raised scissor lift, not actually doing her job, but instead is jabbering away with the useless Dinkle, whose very presence on the raised lift is inexplicable. It’s raised because she’s supposed to be working, a task that she will have difficulty doing when that fat pantload is standing next to her yammering stupid jokes.

    Compare that to how often we see Funky in Montoni’s, and how rare it is to show him actually making or serving pizza. Gross John never seems to be selling comic books or paraphernalia. He’s instead playing video games or bloviating. Hell, he hired Crazy when he needed someone to actually sell something.

    Also, it seems odd that the school that had to discontinue all its sports programs because the budget was so bad nonetheless has a scissor lift for the marching band leader. I’d think that’d be one of the first luxuries to go. Get a damn step ladder, for Christ’s sake, and it would do double duty by ensuring that when she’s directing the band, she’s not being distracted by overbearing parents or retired douches who have nothing else to do but wait for death.

  7. O.B. Dan

    How does Mopey Pete hide his left arm when he fills for Lefty…?

  8. Sgt. Saunders

    I have never seen Becky looking so much like Pete as in P3. Seriously. That’s Pete. That said, I wish Pete would just coldcock Der Dinkle and send him ass-over-teakettle right off the lift.

  9. Howard and Nester

    Trom’bone’… Humor/Humer(ous) section. If that was a pun, Batiuk, then it was so astoundingly lame that I can’t help but be amused.

  10. Guest Page Turner Author

    It seems that this lift that they are on is not something that constantly goes up and down to pick up casual riders, but something that the rider raises up and stays on for awhile, like, throughout the practice. So Dinkle had to have been on the lift with The Sleeve for quite awhile.

    What a stupid, awkward thing to say to someone you’ve been standing next to, at Band Camp, for probably at least an hour.

    And I can’t understand the trombone/humor pun at all.

    I think it’s time I do some recalibrating.

  11. billytheskink

    How does Mopey Pete hide his left arm when he fills for Lefty…?

    Looks to me like he tapes it to his chest.

  12. Uh oh, band camp week, or as Tom refers to it, time to service band directors, the one community of readers he thinks he can count on.


    —“How does Mopey Pete hide his left arm when he fills for Lefty…?”
    Looks to me like he tapes it to his chest.—–

    Please…Let this be the last time we mention, Mopey Pete’s Man-Boobs.

  14. John

    Becky: “Wait, how in the world could you BE HERE at band camp, RIDING THE LIFT with me, and have NO IDEA how things are going?!?”

    Dinkle: “Oh, the same way you could spend 99% of your time at band activities while making it intensely clear that you loathe and despise band activities.”

    Becky: “And students. Don’t forget my palpable contempt for all my students!”

    Dinkle: “Oh, I hate them too! No good internet using cheating evil BRATS!”

    Becky: *superior smirk*

    Dinkle: *superior smirk*

    Excerpt from FUNKY WINKERBEAN, the comic strip about young people!

  15. Helskor

    Eight hours later and I still don’t understand today’s wacky punchline. What am I not getting?

  16. This is OT, but I saw this kickstarter and the first thing that came to mind: this is what would happen if Tom Batiuk was making a series of pencil-and-paper RPGs and was trying to be edgy: (The series is even called, Games of Misery and Tragedy.)

    Both try to handle serious subject matter when it comes off as trying too hard and handling it badly and both act like they’re the first and profound for doing it. When indy game publishers like Kult, Unknown Armies (and its precursor, Over the Edge) and World of Darkness have beat them by about two decades.

  17. John

    Carrie: Oh, man. The descriptions of the games include one where you play characters PLAYING CHARACTERS on a holodeck.

    So they want people to pay money to pretend to be somebody who’s pretending to be somebody else. …*…

  18. @Helskor – the idea, bland as it is, is that instead of being called the “brass” section (of a band) it’s referred to as the “humor” section (of an out-of-business bookstore). Hope your sides don’t ache from all the laughing you’re about to commence.

  19. John: Though Welfare Queens sounds more like something the creator of Mallard Philmore or Dustin would come up with. Though the former would be more less satirical and more sincere about his disdain.

    But the rest of it screams that good ‘ol Tom Batiuk trying too hard and being profound.


    —Eight hours later and I still don’t understand today’s wacky punchline. What am I not getting?—

    There is no punchline, just an intent. Tom Batiuk got you to waste eight precious hours of your life decipher his horrific jokes. Misery loves company.

  21. Sgt. Saunders

    Just wait until Der Dinkle gets all gropey trying to engage Becky in some sexy put outs and finds out the hard way that this Becky is Pete!