Hey, way to be the ultimate douche-bag, Les! Don’t tell your “friend” about the sports car as you approach it (or, if it’s driving, approaching you) so that he could easily see it. No, no, wait until you’re both past it, so he’ll have to turn around to see it and halt his momentum. That’ll teach him to be a fat slob of a loser!
I guess the “joke” was on Les, though–his Expression in Panel Two looks like someone who is stunned that his get-the-fat-guy-to-turn-around scheme has had no effect.
And this strip is yet another in which there is absolutely no content. No attempt at a joke, nothing that’s supposed to be “meaningful,” just another week of naught tossed off in a matter of house, then tossed into a drawer to be brought out and printed when snarkers derail your planned Ghost Lisa appearance. (I’m assuming.) Nothing to think about, except 1) who “shoots” an episode entirely from the back like this (although I guess it saves having to draw a nifty car), and 2) I wonder who went to all the trouble of shoveling the sidewalk so neatly. I mean, look at that–someone did a really good job shoveling, and just the sidewalk, too. Not like a homeowner shoveling his way from door to walk, just sidewalk all the way.
Anyway, that’s all I see here. And as it’s hard to criticize something that has no substance at all–neither good nor bad–I have to say, well played, Tom Batiuk. You’ll get to that magical 50th yet!
26 responses to “In a Barb Wire Fence, Fatally Tangled”
You either have to make sense of the strip by yourself, or it doesn’t make any sense at all. I think I understand now.
“Nifty”? Gee whiz Les, that’s sure is swell. Now how about shutting the f*ck up, OK? It’s like Funky (and everyone else for that matter) just exists to amuse and entertain Les, who hovers above it all while gently smirking at their various quirks and foibles. God I hate him so much, it’s literally everything about him too. Every single thing.
I was kind of thinking that this might be Batiuk’s intent lately. It’s easy to criticize this strip when it’s Les being smug or his student teacher telling us about how Serious Art is Depressing or Wally getting his head blown off only not really. But when it’s two weeks of Dinkle sitting and typing at a computer, or non-jokes while Funky and Les jog, it’s hard to make fun of. Because there’s barely any substance to it. It’s just there. Take that, unemployed bedwetters!
“Did you see that nifty sports car back there? We’re not allowed to show it. It’s not that the artist can’t draw a sports car, nothing like that, it’s just….um…he doesn’t feel like it, okay?”
“Nifty”? My father is 78 and even HE doesn’t say “nifty”. Cripes.
SpacemanSpiff85: Interesting theory. Or perhaps he just never really expected Act III to trudge on for this long and he’s just all out of ideas. Or maybe a little from column A and a little from column B?
One of my pet deranged fan theories is that he just misses Lisa and doesn’t care about the strip as much as a result. Pretty much the entirety of Act II centered around Lisa and Les, as well as the first few years of Act III. The ghostly visits from beyond, the book, the phone calls and diaries and etc. But now that well has been exhausted and, perhaps even just on a subconscious level, he’s gradually reverting back to his pre-Lisa “jokey” style. Only it’s been so long that he’s really, really bad at it now.
But the truth is that, just like with a typical FW story, the reality is most likely something far more strange and mundane than any of us could possibly even imagine. Sometimes I wish I knew, but more often I’m sort of glad I don’t, you know?
What it probably is is that he’s too busy writing Starbuck Jones, and does FW at the last minute every time it’s due.
What is this, the “Funky’s A D*ck” weekend special? Don’t *ever* talk to this guy!
This is why Crankshaft seems so much better in comparison. He and Ayers have plenty left to say about the crusty old fart and it shows.
Les: It sure was a swell jalopy! The bees knees, I tell you! Well, 23 skidoo!
Funky: Who am I? Why am I here? Is this some kind of debate?
Remember, Funky is viewed as a success in Westview.
My theory, more simple than most proposed on here, is that Les and Funky have different definitions of “nifty”, “little”, “sports”, and “car” and what Les sees as cool car is just very different from what Funky sees as a cool car. We all know there is only one model of car in Westview that isn’t Funky’s Volvo station wagon, and Les owns one. Of course he thinks it’s cool.
Epicus Doomus wrote: One of my pet deranged fan theories is that he just misses Lisa and doesn’t care about the strip as much as a result.
I recall reading something a few years back (maybe in a comment at Comics Curmudgeon) that Batiuk had said in an interview that he regretted killing off Lisa. So, there may be something to your theory.
But he keeps bringing Lisa back–through her long-lost diary, through the ret-con of the abusive/date-rape thing when Frankie reappeared, through Hollywood’s besmirching of her story. Admittedly, she doesn’t appear as a ghost or on tape, but she’s never really gone away.
If Tom Batiuk regrets killing off Lisa, why the hell not bring her back? Any person who wants to create an enjoyable strip would think to do that! TV shows and movies do it all the time!! Giver a identical twin! Have voodoo priests from Tanzania raise her from the dead! Go the “Dallas” route and have the whole third act be an effing dream!! Sure those are silly ideas but so are these damn strips of watching Les and Funky jogging!!
I have a feeling that Funky is basically a mouthpiece for Batom®. It would make sense, especially when saying “I’m so focused on something I’m thinking about that I’m not paying attention to anything… or I’m not paying attention to anything.”
Obviously Batom® cares only about a fake comic book character that is a mashup of every single Silver Age comic book character and related clichés. So he let Funky Winkerbean (the strip and the title character) go to hell with poor storylines and worse art. It’s clearly a chore for Batom®, he doesn’t want to do it, but damned if he doesn’t want that gold watch from Brendan Buford in 2022!
And no, I don’t think that he has even BEGUN composing any Starbuck Jones stories. Because that would involve writing, and that is beneath Batom®.
@$$$WESTVIEW ONCOLOGIST$$$: Batom® easily could pull the “Bobby Ewing in the shower” stunt (where Les wakes up in his helmet-haired Act II self)… or the Tommy Westphal snow-globe stunt (where Act III was a fantasy of a young, autistic Summer Moore)… to revert the strip back to Act II pre-“Lisa’s Story.”
Either setup would be a bit corny, but it wouldn’t be the first time a major character in a comic strip was brought back from the dead. (Harold Gray infamously killed off Daddy Warbucks out of pure spite after FDR’s 1944 reelection, defying protests from fans of “Little Orphan Annie” in the process. After FDR died the following April, Oliver was revived as if nothing ever happened.)
These are the times when the strip strays into Dadaist anti-narrative. Actually it would be more entertaining if the author just when full bore into gibberish: “Did you see that nifty sports car back there?”
“The vicar again he closes his pants rataplan rataplan”
BC: Sure, Lisa is technically still around but not really in the same way she was prior to the Les/Cayla wedding. As recently as three or four years ago Les was still scampering off to the park bench to consult with her every time anything came up, but he can’t very well have Les ignoring his current wife in favor of his dead one, so that had to stop. It was one of his favorite contrivances and without it he’s a little bit lost.
Coming next week: While cleaning out the attic Cayla discovers a life-sized marble Lisa statue she carved of herself while waiting to die. And it talks!!!
I was gonna say: “Jeez- who’s the ancient, wizened geezer in the header?!” …and then I realized it’s probably Funky 3 days in the future.
I miss OJ Obama! Sure, he was a dick in the strip, but he had a cheery nonchalance that none of the regulars display.
FW doesn’t even get a mention…..
@Epicus Doomus: That says a lot.
It would be dead easy for everything since Lisa first got diagnosed to be the result of Les having a mental breakdown. Cayla could thus be cast as the therapist trying to bring him back to reality…..
@Epicus Doomus: Sometime next year, Batom® will make a pointless, poorly-written series of strips blasting the people at MentalFloss because they didn’t bother to include him in that article.
I’m guessing those strips would consist of the same art from a few months ago of Dinkle sitting at typing, only know the “dialogue” would be rewriting so he’s responding to trolls on the band site, InstrumentalFloss.