Once More, Without Feeling

Link to today’s strip.

Greetings, everyone, BChasm back for another round reporting on the World’s Most Miserable Midget Opera.   So… yeah… on one of my previous jaunts I way over-praised a “Funky at the gym” week, thinking Hey there’s jokes and that while none of the “jokes” was great, it was at least a development worth pursuing.   Apparently I got the idea wrong, and that made Tom Batiuk furious, as mad as bees even, and since that time, the Malevolent Old Ones who oversee Westview have never let me live that down.   While I don’t regret what I wrote, I’ve stepped more cautiously since and the true meaning of “Funky at the gym” has since become obvious.

The main thrust of the “Funky at the gym” weeks has not, I repeat not, been to allow small slices of humor to appear in the strip.  No, the main purpose here is to emphasize that Funky is a fat slob of a loser, who years ago dared to think himself better than Les Moore, and for that he will be a fat slob of a loser forever.  No exercise will ever dim his paunch.

Which is really said when you think about it.  Funky started the strip as a happy-go-lucky teenager, sort of like “Zits” I guess, with the usual wacky conflicts between him, his teachers, parents and friends.  Then, the sky grew dark and everything changed.

His punishment at the hands of his creator has really been thorough, and thoroughly mean-spirited.  I mean, I was going to make a joke about the artwork in today’s offering, saying “Hey, look, in panel one, Funky is holding in his breath so much that his head actually deflates, but he can’t keep it up and it expands again in panel two!” but I don’t think I have to.  When Tom Batiuk doesn’t care about a character to draw him consistently between two similar panels, jokes about that character kind of miss the point.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

19 responses to “Once More, Without Feeling

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Oh no. These “Fat Funky” arcs are just the worst. I wonder if he just sat down one day and wrote them all at once? He probably has a drawer full of them, years and years worth that he banged out over the course of a long weekend or something. He grabs six or seven of them and bam, just like that he’s down to forty-six weeks to fill.

  2. bad wolf

    How many times has “Apparently” been used as a punchline in the last year of FW? Over-under’s five and i’ll take the over.

    Looks like i was mistaken when i said EMU girl was Funky’s trainer with glasses. What the heck was i drinking? Neither has glasses but one’s hair is slightly on the side. AmateurTip: when using the same model sheet for two characters, don’t have the characters appear on consecutive days.

  3. Rusty

    Funky’s face appears to be a different character altogether. This is really odd.

  4. Maybe liposuction or stomach stapling would at least be something different.

  5. Rick Brooks

    bad wolf –

  6. SpacemanSpiff85

    I’m expecting Batiuk to collect these “Funky goes to the gym” strips in a book in a few years, marketing it as a touching tale about coping with middle age and body image issues. “Oil on the Treadmill: Funky’s Story”, perhaps.

  7. Hadda Mae Kapupe

    Has anybody else ever been in the gym when Flunky and Dominatrix have been there? I believe that’s a “no.”

    By the way, rarely are 50-somethings encouraged to engage in a running program. Knees that are already arthritic quickly deteriorate. But what would Battyboy know about exercise? If you’ve seen him, you know what I mean.

    Anyway, HAHA, this is funny because fat Flunky can’t stay on his exercise program. HAHA. What, is he forced at gunpoint to see Dominatrix in this abandoned gym??

  8. Mason Jarr

    As a person who does what she does for a living, I have to say that I would have long ago walked away from a blob like this and found someone proactive. This whole “But I’m just a 50 something year old guy who only cares about being lazy and fat” routine wears thin.

    Pass the Doritos, Holly!

  9. Watching someone humiliate Funky isn’t near as satisfying as it should be.

  10. (*Facepalm*) Lady, I assume you are an experienced exercise trainer. All you have to do is just LOOK at your client and you can TELL that this guy hardly even walks around his own house, much less jogs regularly. THAT is what’s apparent, not his lying skills!

  11. The odd thing about this is that Batiuk seems to have found it not important to explain why Funky gained a whole human being during the second time frog.

  12. Nathan Obral

    Tom Batiuk, proud graduate of the Frank Bolle Melting Face Cartoonist Academy.


    I guess the short arrival Mason Jarr’s raw sexual masculinity has prompted Funky to get his A game on!

    At least I hope that’s what’s been inferred, because at this point it seems that Mason Jarr’s arrival was completely and utterly pointless in this strip!!!

  14. Jim in Wisc.

    Oh joy! L’Auteur Glorieux is back to showing his contempt for the title character of his comic strip, a character he created. “Look everyone, Funky is lazy, worthless, fat slob,” says Mr. B, “because he’s not my avatar, Less More, who’s perfect in every way.”

  15. Jim in Wisc.

    @$$$WESTVIEW ONCOLOGIST$$$: It wasn’t completely pointless. It was to reinforce the notion among Westview’s lesser denizens (i.e. anyone whose name is not Leslie Moore) that Mr. Moore, in addition to being a world renowned PUBLISHED author, is now also a Hollywood bigshot.

  16. billytheskink

    The odd thing about this is that Batiuk seems to have found it not important to explain why Funky gained a whole human being during the second time frog.

    Well, there was a strip back in 2008, in the shadow of the “coming reunion” where Funky stood on a scale and made a comment about how in the process of putting so much of himself into his work at Montoni’s he’d put too much of his work (pizza) in himself… or something to that effect. Hey, it’s more of an explanation than Holly got.

    To Funky’s credit, he’s pretty much the only regular character in Act III who has tried to better himself. Yeah, he pretty much always fails, but he does keep trying. He’s like Charlie Brown, without the heart, likability, or entertainment value.

  17. Professor Fate

    This would only make sense if this was some sort of weird real time/comic strip intersecting and the only times Funky showed up at the gym was the times the Author wrote about it .

  18. Smirks 'R Us

    A person who thought he was great once said:

    “Every now and then certain work in a comic strip will rise above the rest and stake its claim to being something more enduring.”

    Today’s strip, like every other strip in Flunky and Crankshaft’s history, is not one of those times. Sorry BatHack.

  19. Hadda Mae Kapupe

    “Have you been keeping up with your running?”

    “Bitch, it’s plus 20 American out there (minus 132 Canadian), and it has snowed every day since Christmas. I’m 80 pounds overweight, 54 years old, I’ve had one major heart episode already, my knees hurt, and I own a pizza joint. I’m here only because my wife, a fat cow in her own right, with this one fweep of hair that always hangs down in her eyes, INSISTED I come here, or she’d run off with a 30 year old Goth girl she met at a comic book shop. And you think I should be RUNNING? Jesus H Christ, you do for personal training what Tommy Batpussy did for cartooning.”

    “Oh yeah? Send me a link to YOUR syndicated, published comic strip.”