You Just Kahn’t Win

Link to today’s strip

Huge news today, as in panel one we see that Funky has apparently hired some really strange looking kid (Wally Jr. perhaps?) to help out around…oh, wait. LOL, that’s just supposed to be Wally. My mistake.

I’m trying to recall a time when “things” WEREN’T “tough” in Olde Westview town…and I’m drawing a complete zero. It has nothing to do with “this economy” or the “times” in which we currently live. No, the reason every business in town struggles mightily to eke out a meager unfulfilled existence is because Westview is a remorselessly sucking black void, a vortex of failure, pain, human misery and soul-murdering realizations followed by weary, listless acceptance and total surrender to whatever dismal fate “the universe” happens to have in store for you next. A “successful” business in Westview would blow the entire FW paradigm to complete shit, as it would mean there IS a flicker of light and hope in that twisted hellscape and, as we know, that isn’t going to happen.

Well, it took him a while but Batom finally has his fictitious little town exactly where he wants it to be: devoid of any businesses other than a pizzeria and a comic book store. Utopia realized, not a deli or a grown-up (as opposed to “adult”) bookstore anywhere in sight. Perhaps they can find an oncologist willing to move into Khan’s old space, but I suppose that might just be too on the nose, even for TB.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

15 responses to “You Just Kahn’t Win

  1. Miserable assholes, however, manage to endure.

  2. Jeffcoat Wayne

    I feel like I might have had an emotional investment in this current arc if there had been at least one arc prior to this week that actually took place AT Citizen Khahn’s. His tale literally went from putting up his opening day sign to closing down his shop altogether. Oh, and scoring an invite to the wedding of the year. It’s no wonder Afghanistan looks so promising by comparison.

  3. Epicus Doomus

    It’s funny to me how he always portrays Westview as this kind of “charming” little hamlet full of neighborly old pals and fond nostalgic memories, yet the main drag is always portrayed as an abandoned suburban wasteland, one apparently filled with empty decaying storefronts and pizza-fattened drifters. And it’s been that way since forever, too. It’s that weird FW dichotomy again, a happy little town full of good people just brimming with failure, loss and pain.

    I have no idea where he’s going with this or even if he’s going anywhere at all but to be honest, I’ll be amazed if we ever see Khan in any context ever again. The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that the only reason he even bothered to keep Kahn around for as long as he did was to use that stupid “Citizen Khan” gag and nothing more. It’s an easy way to rid himself of another useless character, to do another “this economy” arc and to avoid having to remember to add Khan’s when he’s drawing the Montoni’s storefront. Again, if I’m wrong and this actually ends up leading to something, I’ll be amazed.

  4. Years ago, National Lampoon magazine did a comic spread by Ed Subitzky called “Torture the Characters Comics.” In each panel, there were two word balloons, of which you were only supposed to read one–a yellow one if you wanted the characters’ lives to improve, or a blue one if you wanted things to get worse.

    I have a feeling there was a postal mixup one day, and Tom Batiuk got that issue when he was expecting another “How to Draw Comics” installment, and he totally took the wrong lesson.

  5. Saturnino

    >>Perhaps they can find an oncologist willing to move into Khan’s old space, but I suppose that might just be too on the nose, even for TB.<<

    Or maybe a cranky old guy in a hat selling Agent Orange.

  6. Gyre

    I propose we just assume that Khan is really going back to his criminal ways, only he’s actually a millionaire whose opium money is paying for cruises in the Mediterranean. By now he’s probably just landed in Dubai and is amusing oil sheiks with stories of what those idiot Americans call “wealth”.

  7. Helskor

    Ooh ooh- Green Pitcher sighting in panel 3!

    Apparently King Features tried marketing Funky Winkerbean to newspapers in Scandinavian countries a few years ago but the focus groups told them it was too depressing even for them.

  8. sgtsaunders

    I see that Funky and Wallace are fully equipped to start shoveling the massive amounts of bullshit that Batboy has been delivering this week.

  9. Merry Pookster

    How on earth could any Deli survive in a town without a Post Office?


    . —Perhaps they can find an oncologist willing to move into Khan’s old space, but I suppose that might just be too on the nose, even for TB.—

    I’m dying to have TB create a regular character who’s an oncologist! Not only would be hilariously inept, but it would provide me with a perfect avatar!!

    Wow, I just realized I created a word play in my first sentence! I really have been reading Funky Winkerbean too long!!

  11. beckoningchasm Years ago, National Lampoon magazine did a comic spread by Ed Subitzky called “Torture the Characters Comics”

    From the Depression issue, January 1979. You can see the comic here. And fans of the National Lampoon can check out a monster archive of classic NatLamp here:

  12. billytheskink

    The green pitcher is clearly the toughest character in this strip, putting up with this miserable lot day after day while resisting the temptation to edge itself closer to the dishwasher’s heating element.

  13. John

    Wally: “That’s too bad about Khahn closing up shop. Almost makes me think he should have had other employees, or marketed his products, or…like…WE should have spread recommendations for him via word of mouth. Like maybe have suggested him to Les for the wedding feast? …..nah!”

    Funky: “It’s a rough time to be in business. I could use my magical president of the local chamber of commerce powers to save him with a raffle, as I did Westview High’s sporting program. ….NAH! Not in the mood.”


    Seriously. Tom keeps pushing “Bad economy/EVIL Technology/No good teens” as the reasons businesses fail…but it’s clear that in Westview, the actual reason is that nobody gives effort into anything. EVER.

  14. Charles

    Thing that I find weird about the Westview failure and misery is how Batiuk disconnects it from the community itself, Khan’s deli failed because the community didn’t support it. The tax levies for the school failed because more than half the voters rejected them. Everybody thinks it’s terrible, but it’s as if they’re not part of the community that decided this; that there’s some amorphous, malevolent mass out there destroying everything in the community.

    Seriously, if he’s going to remake Crazy as a TPer, have him grumble about how he’s not going to shovel more of his hard-earned tax dollars into that shithole school, because keeping his money is more important to him than the girls basketball team, or fixing the faulty plumbing. After all, he never played girls basketball, and he went to school with broken toilets and HE turned out okay. Have someone, maybe Funky himself, admit that Khan’s deli is terrible and overpriced and no one looking to spend money wisely would think about buying pastrami from him. Or maybe have someone else admit that in this economy, sitting behind your counter smirking and making puns all day is no way to make your lease payments. Instead we just have failure and “oh gosh how could this have happened?”

  15. Westview is the most protracted game of Ain’t It Awful? in history.