Link to today’s strip.

Ah, there’s the punchable Les we all know and loathe.  Even with little more than half a face visible, I still want to punch that half until it’s gone.  Funky’s Expression in Panel Two (the Theme For The Week) is one of unmitigated fury, which struck me as strange until I realized that in panel one, Wino McHomeless’s remark could have been taken as sarcasm.   And to be fair, in panel one Funky looks like Holly after being (initially) denied a comic book.  Oh, I’m sooooo helpless and incapable, someone needs to give me things as gifts for free.  Oh boo hoo hoo, my son is in the military, soon to be slabbed as a key issue.

…sorry, got a bit off track there.  Anyway, if I was out running, and some guy passed me and said “Way to go,” I think I would probably interpret that as sarcasm if I was having the same sort of difficulty as Funky.   I mean, there I’d be, wheezing and puffing, trying to keep up with my Perfect Friend, and he’s essentially saying “Huh, wheezing and puffing, eh?  Well you’re doing it real good!”    I wonder why he didn’t say something like, “Don’t stop!  You can do it!” or “It takes a while, but you’ll get there!” or something more generally encouraging.

Oh.  Oh, you’re kidding.  Really?  He said that so that Tom Batiuk could insert his “joke” which uses the difference between  “go” and “no-go”?  I don’t know if I’ve encountered anything sadder this week.   And I write these entries a year in advance, so that’s a lot of weeks!

Bonus:  Funky’s zipper pull tab is lovingly rendered, isn’t it?    That and the Button are the only items to have any care lavished on them, other than Les, of course.  I mean, look at Wino’s right hand.  Clearly he’s a mutant of some kind.  Is he an X-Man?  I bet his mutant super-power is never appearing in Funky Winkerbean again, which sounds darn handy!  (ha ha ha)!


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

21 responses to “No-Joke

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Les is just unspeakably detestable this week. That headband, the smirking, the comma eyes…it’s all just too much. Isn’t it interesting how an anon-o-character offers Funky more encouragement than his so-called “old pal” does? Les Moore: The Most Annoying Man In The World and a really shitty “friend”, too. What a dick.

  2. Funky is being a right asshole today, and I still want to punch Les more.

  3. Rusty

    No-go is a phrase never uttered by anyone in this context. Perfect for TB’s love of non sequiturs. Les approves.

    And this random jogger has to be modeled after a real person, TB breaks out the detail for characters he bases on friends/acquaintances.

  4. SpacemanSpiff85

    Lately I’ve been thinking that Batiuk’s avatar is actually Ed Crankshaft. So many of the strips lately are just one person being an asshole to another, with no real humor at all.

  5. So, a guy comes along and gives you a genuinely friendly and motivational compliment as you all are jogging. However, instead of smiling gratefully in his direction or simply grunting out a quick “thanks”, you and your highly punchable friend act like total jerkfaces to him. Which, of course, forces the poor soul to remember his place and make a hasty apologetic (and highly Batiukian) remark in return.
    Poor guy had a chance–and they failed him! See, this is why these two are stuck in Westview. It’s the perfect horrible environment for such horrible people. 😡

  6. All the fear and loathing in Westview is now concentrated in Funky’s face. If you meet him, avert your gaze. To look into that face—why, that would be like looking into the heart of darkness. It would be like eating the sins of the sin-eater.

  7. The problem. as I see it, is that Funky and Les are as lacking in self-awareness as your average reality show contestant. We know that Funky is as bitter and angry and antisocial as Crankshaft at his worst but the man thinks that he’s still the happy-go-lucky doofus of the early seventies.

  8. Nathan Obral

    My reaction exactly.


    Even when jogging, Toulouse Lautrec spouts words of wisdom.

  10. billytheskink

    Poor Khan, I really thought he’d escaped Westview.

  11. captaincab

    I wonder what Funky would like in the strip now if Batiuk hadn’t aged him so horribly. I guess just a grayer version of what he looked like when the strip switched to the more “realistic” style back around 2003?

  12. @captaincab: The problem is that Batiuk doesn’t think that he’s aged anyone horribly because they feel young or something or other.

  13. captaincab

    @Paul Jones

    He actually said something like that?

    Anyways, yeah, obviously some people don’t age well but apparently Batiuk thinks everyone from middle class america ages like those horrific, troubled D-list celebrity “then and now” pics (everyone except for Cindy anyways). Plus in the comics business you’d think it’d also be in a creator’s best interest to keep the characters as recognizable as possible for simple branding reasons.

  14. bad wolf

    @captaincab: Well, I think he’s realized by now that he’s not going to be getting that sweet Garfield merchandise payday.

  15. @bad wolf – but imagine if there were Les Moore action figures…they would sail off the store shelves like hotcakes, so that people could post to YouTube exactly how many ways they could be creatively destroyed…

  16. captaincab

    *Imagines a “Smirking Les figure” sitting on a toy shelf somewhere and shudders*

  17. Actually, in several Tom Batiuk photographs you can see a small sculpture of Les and Lisa sitting on the park bench. I assume that was a custom job, though.

  18. Epicus Doomus

    BC: Oh yes, the Lisa shrine, a special shelf dedicated to the most prestigious of all prestige arcs. You know, as a reminder of happier (?) times, back when all the world was engrossed in watching a comic strip character die.

  19. SpacemanSpiff85

    I long for those days. As melodramatic and sappy as it was, at least something happened and there was a plot. If Batiuk wrote that today, given the way he writes, after Lisa found out her cancer had come back and was terminal, it would never be mentioned again. The next day would be a Dinkle strip and Lisa would just keep living.

  20. Epicus Doomus

    SpacemanSpiff85: Yes, Act II was aggressively bad, as opposed to Act III’s passive awfulness.