Band on the Run

Link to today’s strip.

And now you see why Tom Batiuk had to have two Black Friday jokes, one with his beloved Dinkle.  Because he thought of a stupid pun.

Since this is a Saturday strip, I’m going to assume–and yeah, I really need to stop doing that–that this is a one-off, and won’t be continued on Sunday or next week.  (But consider how lucky we are.  Today’s episode could easily have been turned into a Sunday strip.  Be thankful for small favors.)

Aside from John’s needlessly complicated question in panel one, and his totally unneeded response in panel two, the most remarkable thing in today’s strip is that little sign pointing to John’s head that says “Cashier.”  It’s like one of those things in the old, old Dick Tracy strips which pointed out the “two-way wrist TV” and other crime-fighting tools.  I’m guessing it’s a portent of the Komix Korner’s fate and John’s next career.  (Can you imagine having John Howard as your cashier?  Based on how he “runs” the Korner, he’d probably sneer at the customers who didn’t order extra peperoni.   “Enjoy your weak pizza, loser?  [Ding] Twenty-nine fifty-two.  Oh and don’t forget to tip generously.  Come again!”)

Other than that, this strip just sets up John–one of the “hero” characters and an obvious stand-in for Tom Batiuk–as a moronic dim-bulb.  (Remember how I said yesterday that John is always drawn with care?  Oops.  Panel one, with John’s melty face, is having none of that.  That darn Tom Batiuk is making me look bad again!)

Anyway, where was I?  Oh yeah–Funky is clearly making a joke–his panel two expression is either “telling a joke” or “having a stroke”–and John wearily responds as if he’s being told the real deal.   “So, those tiny homunculi decided to call it quits?  Was it drugs, or jealousy over groupies, or did they decide ‘the road’ was no kind of lifestyle for men with families?   Also…do you think they’ll try to make a comeback after a couple of years?  I miss them already!”

Nice sign haphazardly taped to the door, too.  (For the life of me, I cannot imagine what it says.  “Closed–Batman obsessed weirdos only”?)  But its random, off-kilter nature pretty much says it all–if there’s one word that Funky Winkerbean brings to mind, it’s kraftsmanship!



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

22 responses to “Band on the Run

  1. SpacemanSpiff85

    If Batiuk was determined to use this pun, here’s what I think would’ve made more sense:
    Random Uncultured Westviewan: “So what happens if I don’t buy Volume 3 of your autobiography, former band director?”
    Dinkle: “They’ll have to disband.”

  2. It’s days like this that it’s a struggle to even comment, because really, if the author isn’t putting any effort into this, why should I?

  3. Nathan Obral

    The “Cashier” arrow sign is a definite nod to Dick Tracy. Just think, in a few weeks, Batom® will be drawing all the Tracyverse characters in his trademark hatchet face style. (If he renders Rikki Mortis with a hatchet face… oh wait. That’s an attractive female who isn’t in her teens or looks like a boy. Nevermind.)

    I may have to swing by Luigi’s to see if they retired the actual “band box.”

    And quite frankly, all the Funkyverse characters act as if they all suffered major strokes sans St. Les the Righteous Smirker. It’s called writing.

  4. Nathan Obral

    It’s sad that Epicus’ rendition of the strip is a thousand times funnier.

    Just imagine the reaction if someone hacked into the Comics Kingdom database and swapped the artwork.

  5. Epicus Doomus

    I guess it could be a Dick Tracy homage, but I assumed Funky put up the “cashier” sign to remind him where the register is, seeing how he uses it so very infrequently.

    Nathan: Even sadder is the likelihood that I put WAY less effort into filling the word balloons than TB did.

  6. Nathan Obral

    If this were a Sunday strip, St. Les the Righteous Smirker would walk in and go, “Yeah, it’s sad the band box disbanded. My wife’s dead, you know.”

    But also take a look at the lovely couple Batom® depicts, although I doubt he gave thought into it. One-trick-armed Becky with her pinned up shirt sleeve, proved yesterday that would rather be with Harry Dinkle in a (closed) high school band room… than be with her skunk head second husband who is moping around in freaking Montoni’s.

    Simply amazing.

  7. ComicTrek


    FINALLY, someone who responds with appropriate annoyance instead of a smirk or a hatchet face.

  8. bad wolf

    I will have to check my photos from my trip to Luigis last year, but since that actually is where the cashier is relative to the band box, it is possible that sign is true to life. Given the year ahead thing, though, since we saw the band box playing then i will hazard a guess that it is still there in real life.

  9. If Epicus was the official author of this…this thing..the popularity would skyrocket, and the awards would come thick and fast.
    And one soul, burning with resentment, scouring in Medina, would splay his fingers to weave doom for us all. And, like, cackle and stuff. *Shudder*

  10. I’m just glad that this is a very rare one-off strip. I would sure hate to see Bathack’s take on those restoration shows that are everywhere. “Waa-waa, the bad men tell me that the contents of a dollar stop at one hundred cents. Oh, how cruel the outside world is!!”

  11. sgtsaunders

    Looks like ol’ Dead Skunkeroo has a big ol’ chaw of Red Man in P1.

  12. Guest Page Turner Author

    Actually, I thought John’s face was very well drawn, reflecting the advancement of age with his sagging jowls. Very carefully, lovingly done by this artist. The sad thing is that the artist believes he is portraying him as a likable, relatable character when all the world sees him as creepy.

    And what the fuck are they talking about?

  13. Rusty

    The band box even had its own story arc, when the old artist guy was restoring it, about 30 years ago in real time. So I envy those of you who don’t know that. I have looked at the Luigi’s website and do believe the cashier sign exists in real life, evidently because the patrons, much like Montoni’s own, are dullards who cannot find an employee standing in back of a register.

  14. Nathan Obral

    Apparently trying to help Holly complete that goddam Starbuck Jones collection aged Skunk Head by 20 years.

    Remember that Skunk Head is supposed to be eight years YOUNGER than Funky and St. Les the Righteous Smirker.

  15. bad wolf

    Okay, here is a photo from a trip to Luigi’s earlier this summer. The “cashier” sign is there, a little out of place. Sorry it’s a little dark here.

    FYI, the outside of Luigi’s, with Mrs. Bad Wolf:

  16. Epicus Doomus

    bad wolf: Just excellent, it’s the Montoni’s District IN REAL LIFE! Fantastic contribution, thanks!

    BC: Thanks, but TB did most of the work, I’m just a humble word balloon filler. Sometimes I’ve got nothing, but sometimes they pretty much write themselves. When he lobs a nice juicy pitch right over the plate, I gotta swing.

    Rusty: I’m still waiting for that revolving beer sign thing to come back from being repaired, that had to be a few years ago already. Good help is apparently tough to find in Westview.

  17. Hadda Mae Kapupe

    Wait a minute! Wait just a darn minute! I could SWEAR this same arc has played before. I clearly remember the bandbox reference, and I clearly remember the dumb “disbanded” pun. I remember we immediately had to start Googling our fingers to the bone to find out what the Hell a bandbox was. Is this my imagination? This appears to be a total rerun.

    Trying also to remember if it was Dead Skunk Head or Beardo McMailman who asked about the bandbox. But I know this has been done. Batty is apparently recycling his dreck like his idol, Lynn Johnston.

  18. Nathan Obral

    I’m actually at the bar adjacent to Luigi’s (Jilly’s) right now. I’m pretty sure that the pizza served at Luigi’s is far better than what Funky cooks up.

  19. Rusty

    Is that a Batiuk mural on the side of the building? Horrifying.

  20. bad wolf

    Epicus: Glad you like it–I had to try to explain to the better half why i was taking pictures (and why we were even there) but it was a nice visit.

    Nathan: I was pleasantly surprised at Luigi’s pizza and will try it again the next time we’re in town. Batiuk makes it look… less appetizing.

    Rusty: I don’t think that was the work of the master but perhaps Nathan can enlighten us.

    We’ll have to wait til Monday to see if there’s any followup to this inanity, but i wonder if there wasn’t a strip dropped somewhere and the whole thing is a day out if sync?