Padding Out The Week

Link to today’s strip.

Well, I sure get the image of Tom Batiuk, after posting today’s strip, sitting back, having run around his tiny baseball diamond, waiting for the phone to ring.   Hey, it’s Apple Computer!  And they love his idea of an arm holder!  And they want to pay him millions for it, and they also want to produce Lisa’s Story for theatres–and the way Tom Batiuk wants it made, too, with none of those dumb changes that are dumb!  HalleluiahAmen!

In reality, of course, there may very well be such an item already on the market…and I have to say it strikes me as completely idiotic.  No one who is a serious runner would be capable of using this–you have to use both arms when running, after all, but beside that you also have to be aware of where you are going and what’s in front of you, meaning you’re not fully concentrating on showing those mean commentators just how jobless they are.   Most technology used during exercise is meant to keep your mind occupied so it can’t tell the body, Hey, knock it off!  I’m trying to write!  So listening to music is great, surfing the web, less so.

I would think such a device would actually be an impediment to getting any exercise, but of course that assumes it’s made for a human.  Clearly the fellow above is not a human being, his face alone tells you that.   He looks a bit like The Man From Planet X, honestly, which is great that he got work after so long…even if it means being an extra in Funky Winkerbean.   Oh well.

This is a rare strip indeed where I don’t feel like punching Les, but then I am currently quite ill with the flu so perhaps I don’t have the energy.  But look at Funky’s Expression in Panel Two (clearly, this is the Theme of the Week).  He doesn’t look surprised to see such a device–he looks utterly crushed, as if his dreams have all just screeched to a halt.

Maybe between writing the first panel and the second, Tom Batiuk learned there was already an existing arm-holder thing.   Ah, that makes it all make sense, now.  Well, no, but when there’s a straw, might as well grasp it, right?


If you put your character in front of a tree, like this:

–then you’re putting a mental image in your readers’ heads, so you might as well go all the way.

There!  Perfect for the cover of the latest issue of The Nostalgic Punk.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

18 responses to “Padding Out The Week

  1. SpacemanSpiff85

    I have a feeling, based on his expression in the second panel, Funky’s “Son of a gun” has more to do with the massive heart attack he feels coming on and less to do with an idiot running with a smart-pad.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    I like how the tablet-wielding jogger is kicking himself in the ass in panel two. Seems appropriate. Also seems like there’s been a lot of two-panelers lately as well. And we all know why that is, right?

    Check out the cold lines on their faces, which indicate how cold it is, in case the other visual clues weren’t enough. He puts such detail into the most insignificant things. Like that f*cking headband, for example. It’s amazing how such a minor little touch can make you hate a character even more, isn’t it?

  3. I see the dart for the week hit right on the line between “Funky Hates Exercise” and “Technology Is Evil”…

  4. I assume this is supposed to be…funny? Satirical? Witty? Well, it isn’t.

    (Feel better, BC!)

  5. Son of a gun, thinks Funky. I taste metal!

    Tastier than my pizza, come to think of it… D’oh!

  6. Maybe tomorrow, a doctor with a flashlight will show us where Batiuk gets all of his implausible and absurd ideas. If one must deride absurd technological affectations, said contrivances should be at least a little practical or else one just looks stupid.

  7. Gyre

    Well, it’s really just padding. So the question is just why didn’t he use the Mason story for that? You could say that maybe Batiuk noticed the criticism and decided to shift to something. Okay, gotta admit that the college and jogging stories aren’t really bad, just a little dumb sometimes and as bland as filler usually is. But does Batiuk ever shift from criticism?

  8. Nathan Obral

    Ah, yes. Another waste of space whilst Batom® burns through another batch of crappy Luigi’s napkin gags.

  9. Saturnino

    “Like that f*cking headband, for example. It’s amazing how such a minor little touch can make you hate a character even more, isn’t it?”

    What he really needs is a Bronx party hat……………..

  10. bad wolf

    Gyre, maybe the year-ahead thing is defense against shifting, or criticism, or editorial oversight. “Nothing i can do now! The next six months are already in the can!”

  11. billytheskink

    Les, naturally, misses Funky’s observation entirely. Check Funky’s eyes in panel 2, he’s not looking back at Mr. Nose-Bridge-Like-A-Snorkel’s “smart pad”, he’s looking back at his pants… his US Postal Service uniform pants.

    “Where did he get them?” Funky wonders. “Did he work at the Westview Post Office before it closed? Did he find them in the rubble of the old, old post office? Did Crazy trade them to him for an old Flash Gordon comic strip (with Jungle Jim topper)? Is wearing Postal Service uniforms the latest hipster trend out of Ashtabula? Huh…” Funky thought, “Les is still talking? Figures. Oh what I would give to be end of Act II Harry Dinkle right now…”

  12. captaincab


    Hey, in case you missed my late reply, amazing job on the Funky/Frank/Les/Dr. Forrester-MST3K mashup pic you posted in yesterday’s thread! lol

    I seriously can’t think of a more riffable strip than FW, it’s the morose, ponderous Manos of the comics page.

    Also, in February 16th’s thread I posted the following:

    “Been reading Bloom County today, talk about comic balm for the soul, especially when compared to this garbage.”

    On that note, I was recently able to score a set of volumes 1 through 5 of the complete Bloom County library off ebay for only $65, should be arriving next week, whoo! One of these days I will finally splurge for the complete Calvin and Hobbes and Complete Far Side but for now my scattered paperback collections of those will do.

  13. Walter Morris

    Not to mention his calling the device that the jogger is oh-so-comfortably wearing and watching while he’s jogging a “smart pad”. Does anyone call an iPad or tablet that?

  14. Jim in Wisc.

    Epicus Doomus wrote: He puts such detail into the most insignificant things. Like that f*cking headband, for example.

    He also put a lot more effort and detail into drawing Funky’s Cleveland Browns hat, than he did drawing Funky’s face.


    Was I the only person that thought there was a gun in that runners hands? Or was that more wishful thinking on my part?

  16. bayoustu

    Boy, the look of… well, I don’t know what it was SUPPOSED to be, but I’ll call it “near tears anguish/consternation/extreme dismay” on Flunky’s face in Panel 2 is the funniest thing I’ve seen in this strip in a good, long while!

  17. Epicus Doomus

    It might have been funny if Tech Jogger had been using the Montoni’s pizza app to get a pie delivered while jogging, even funnier if it was a “breakfast pizza”. Oh well, another joke opportunity lost, toss it on the (gigantic) pile with the rest of ’em.