The Enthusiasm of the Prey

Link to today’s strip.

Once again, we’ve shed every member of the “official” Funky Winkerbean cast, and replaced them with losers.  Look at those faces in panel one.  The dialogue in today’s strip is completely irrelevant–these people are talking about how the Funkyverse has crushed them.

Much as we make fun of Tom Batiuk’s artwork, this image–

–is perfect.  This is the face and the stance of a man who not only hates what he does for a living, he hates himself for doing it.  This man has seen every bubble of his soul popped cruelly in front of his eyes, and he hates himself for not turning away.  Just put one foot in front of the other for another couple of hours, man, he thinks, then let the endrunkening commence. 

This man, on the other hand–

–this man doesn’t hate himself.  Oh, if you asked him he would say he sure does, but this is the face of a man who has had all emotion crushed out of him–like an Amazing Mister Sponge that’s been twisted in the hundred evil hands of the evil Doctor Centipede, to borrow an image.  He wishes he could hate himself; at least he would feel something then.  So what if I don’t have the energy to get out of my chair, he thinks, it just means my body will be found here tomorrow rather than weeks later in my apartment.  And that’s the best I can hope for.  Open casket, before I start to decompose.  Yeah, that’s my only goal now.

The boredom and depression are now the only friends these men have, now that it has fully sunk in what this new job entails–ginning up enthusiasm for changing the “The Amazing Mister Sponge” from 1940’s Captain Marvel to the 21st century Batman.   White Shirt Man hopes, if that’s the right word, for a fatal paper cut.   Glasses Man fears the future so hard all he can do is repeat his punishment, as the only reality he will ever know.

Moments after panel one was drawn, White Shirt Man succeeded in casting off this veil of drears; his replacement, Cardboard Cut Out Man, looks up to the task.  Glasses Man perks up at the idea of getting the internet to do his work for him, holding back the knowledge that casting off this task will only make the oncoming ones to follow even worse.  Later, alone, the tears will come.  They always do.

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12 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

12 responses to “The Enthusiasm of the Prey

  1. SpacemanSpiff85

    Batiuk really has no idea how technology works, since he apparently thinks both tweets and texts can be anonymous.

  2. @SpacemanSpiff85 – I was actually giving Tom Batiuk credit on this one, as it’s possible to set up a Twitter account that isn’t tied to your company, then claim its postings are “leaks.” Sounds pretty unethical but I gather that’s what we’re supposed to think.

  3. Epicus Doomus

    Why does he keep changing the focus of this arc? On Monday it was about Les’ f*cking book. Then it was about Pete. Now it’s about these comic book assholes. BanTom is just veering all over the place here, which makes his take on “editors” even funnier IMO.

    So who’s the “good guy” and who’s the “bad guy” here? The sweaty unwashed hordes of online whackadoodles who flip the f*ck out when a writer takes a few liberties with continuity? The editors for forcing Pete’s hand and catering to the same online scumbags they claim they despise? Or Pete himself, who did come up with the whole idea in the first place? Or Boy Lisa, for being an unmotivated loser who can’t even carry the weight of his own arc on his back? Or is it “technology” itself?

    I don’t know and I doubt BanTom knew at this point either. He was just looking for an outlet for that residual bitterness like he does during every “writing”-related arc. It’s just the confused and contrary ramblings of a madman, that’s all. But including Les in the arc, back on Monday, for no real reason at all? Well, that merits a hearty “f*ck you too”. I don’t care when he maligns the internet at large, but throwing Les in there was an obvious and blatant shot at us, right here. Game on, then, my good man.

  4. I can’t help but wonder if this “geek rage” and “whackadoodle” talk is a sideways swipe at the beady-eyed nitpickers on this forum.

  5. SpacemanSpiff85

    @BC:
    I was thinking that too, but it still wouldn’t be anonymous, not really. And who would believe it? Also, why give Batiuk the benefit of the doubt? I still don’t think understands or cares what a kill fee is. Or a character or story arc, for that matter.

  6. @beckoningchasm: You are spot-on about today’s artwork. If there’s ONE thing that Batom occasionally does well, it’s when he does what he does best (or worst?), which is capturing the look and body languages of the bored, depressed, annoyed, and apathetic. As I stated, they’re not always good or even accurate at all, but on a very rare occasion his pen really does knock it out of the park!

  7. Epicus Doomus

    He’s a weird guy. One one hand he derides the militant hardcore geek-type fans participating in online forums, referring to them as whackadoodles. Then on the other hand, just last year he did a huge arc about a woman racing all over the country to buy some comic books. Some kinds of geeks are good, others are evil. There’s some sort of strange moral code at work here but I’ll be damned if I know what the f*ck it is or how it works.

  8. Sounds like we’re getting a set-up for how “The Last Leaf” is too pure and good for the sinful comic book industry. “Yes, I know I promised you, not-Lisa,” Les will say, “but you don’t know how hard dealing with those terrible publishers was…”

  9. DOlz

    Ya know who’s a good writer? Some old English guy named Shakespeare. In fact in scene five of “MacBeth” he saw the future and wrote about TB.

    “…
    Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more: it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.”

  10. First, the Industry is evil for forcing creators to trash a continuity that should be sacred for monetary gain. Now, the audience is evil for not mutely accepting whatever bilge is set in front of them but instead pointing out that the sacred continuity has been trashed for monetary gain. What’s next? People like us being evil for suggesting that if he’s lost interest in the world, he should simply quit and devote his life to caring for his sick parents?

  11. Epicus Doomus

    I never like to give BanTom too much credit when trying to predict future FW “plot twists” (so to speak). It’s Rule One, in fact. But Monday’s totally out of nowhere and seemingly unrelated “Last Leaf” strip makes me wonder what’s clanking around in that publishing industry-hating head of his. Why would he go out of his way to mention TLL, include Boy Lisa in the arc and mention his new baby too?

    My theory: either Boy Lisa is leaving or Pete is coming back. On one side, Pete has been a success for way too long now and it might be time to put an end to that happiness. One the other side, this could easily segue into Pete bailing on “Mega Comics” (could explain the abrupt change in Pete’s employer too) and offering Derwin (the fledgling illustrator) a spot at his “new company”. Yes, probably way too complicated for FW, but it could explain that bit of weirdness. Or maybe he just did it for no reason at all.

  12. sgtsaunders

    What’s more fun that a barrel of sponges? Doing a Google image search for “whackadoodle”