Trombone Sortie

No No No No No No No No No No No.
Not Dinkle. Please, not a whole week of Dinkle. Please.

So, with the bargaining stage of grief out of the way, today’s strip forehead exhibition involves Westview’s community band practice. Do you remember that Wally was in the community band? Do you remember that Dinkle conducts the community band?
You’re lying.

Interestingly, the circa-1994 music booklet that Wally found at home (inside the boxes Lefty presumably tossed on his porch one day) was put out by legendary New Jersey cover group ThatBand.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

29 responses to “Trombone Sortie

  1. Epicus Doomus

    That thud you just heard was the sound of many tens of FW readers banging their heads against the wall in disgust upon seeing Dinkle’s annoying cretinous face again. Blech. A week’s worth of terrible, terrible band gags featuring a suddenly much slimmer Funky…er, wait. That’s actually Wally. My mistake.

    Coming tomorrow: Wally finds Becky’s arm tucked away in an old box and the WHS marching band scene is irrevocably altered forever.

  2. Guest Page Turner Author

    Why would an old student, whichever one this is, (Funky? Wally? Gay prom date?) ever go back to high school to return an old trombone part to his allegedly retired band director? And I don’t know much about old trombone parts, but it seems like the really valuable ones would be made of brass, not sealed in a foil container like a bag of raisinets or some Trojans.

  3. SpacemanSpiff85

    So Becky assumed he was KIA and remarried, but kept Wally’s sheet music, which apparently didn’t belong to him but he should’ve returned to the school she’s currently band director for, in a box packed up in her house, and has since given that box to Wally? Okay then, makes about as much sense as anything else that’s ever happened in this strip.

  4. Howard and Nester

    For crying out loud, this is the exact same punchline Becky used with Owen on that band trip comic a couple of years back.

  5. Epicus Doomus

    1. Band directing is a crucial yet thankless task.
    2. All band competitions involve inclement weather.
    3. Band students are apathetic and they never practice.

    Every FW band gag centers around one of those three themes.

  6. Nathan Obral

    Speaking of Becky’s arm, for the newcomers or FW-uninitiated… if you always wanted to know why in the Wide Wide World of Sports Batom® draws her with a perpetually pinned-up sleeve, this John Byrne-drawn atrocity is why:

    As for today’s atrocity… sure, a deaf Harry Dinkle conducts the community band. What better way to inflict pain on the general Westview citizenry who doesn’t eat at Montoni’s, shop at Komics Korner, have children in the Westview Public School System, or possesses anything resembling a social life and/or a modicum of dignity?

  7. Gyre

    Well, the community band is a more natural thing for Dinkle to be at than having him spend every appearance at the school, so points there.

  8. Nathan Obral

    @Epicus Doomus: And the amazing thing is, despite those three utterly predictable tropes about marching band humor in Funky Winkerbean, actual marching band instructors and students somehow still find them funny (judging by the occasional SoSF retweets and the like).

    If I had the time and/or energy, I would love to do a complete psychological analysis on these people and why their sense of humor is so badly stunted, if not totally nonexistent.

  9. That’s Wally? For a moment I thought that was Uncle/Cousin Funky.

  10. Charles

    “That’s Wally?”

    I know! His hairline is Funky’s. There’s no way he could have lost that much hair in the time since his last appearance. I figure he went into some hair salon and said “Gimme the Queen Elizabeth I”.

  11. John

    Dinkle: “I’m surprised you actually took it home to practice it.”

    Wally: “Whoa! Why the face of demonic scorn? I’m not an Evil, Stupid Teenager, I’m an Automatically and Innately Correct and Proper Adult now!”

    Dinkle: “Oh. Yeah. Sorry, reflex. Say! Aren’t you married again, or something?”

    Wally: “….*….that’s right, I no longer live in MY home, do I?!?”

    Dinkle: “Hell, I’m not even sure where -we- are right now. Last I knew, we practiced at the Gazebo.”

  12. Epicus Doomus

    If I had to (ugh) venture a guess, I’d say this will ultimately be about a bunch of crabby old coots who’d rather be doing anything else than being in the community band. As opposed to a bunch of “those kids today” who rather be doing anything else and etc.

  13. Great. Another week of Dinkle reminding us that being a fascist band director is the only thing he knows how to do. It’s like another week of Cranky reminding us that being an antisocial bus driver is the only thing he’s good at.

  14. Saturnino

    “As for today’s atrocity…”

    Boy, Ralph’s hair sure stood out a lot more in those days.

  15. Okay, a question–what’s the age difference supposed to be between Funky and Wally? Wally looks late 20’s/early 30’s, while Funky looks late 50’s/early 60’s.


    Jeez. Charles Schulz had more diversity in his character models than Batiuk!

  17. @Howard and Nester: For crying out loud, this is the exact same punchline Becky used with Owen on that band trip comic a couple of years back.


  18. billytheskink

    Good catch on the repeated joke guys.
    You know, TB, there are other band jokes. There is one I like to tell about playing trombone in the middle school band. I was first chair, actually… until we got a second trombone player.

    Feel free to use it, though it may require a self-deprecating trombone player instead of your standard sniping, disagreeable band director.

  19. captaincab

    Meanwhile in the real world Wally probably wouldn’t want to go near anything that would remind him of his time in band, since ya know that’s when he was involved in a tragic accident which he caused which also, ya know, caused his girlfriend at the time to lose her arm which orevented her from attending Julliard.

    Also, looking at that old strip above with Owen, Becky is competing with Linda at this point for most awful/manly haircut in the strip.

  20. Professor Fate

    Will this now lead to a Sarbuck Jones style quest for the rest of the band parts?: “Oh I was holding onto this for unknown reasons but here, here is the Saxophone part for this unnamed piece of music. Would you like some chocolate milk and cookies?”
    Meantime one hopes that Mason Jar the actor is showing Mopey Pete how to do blow off of a stripper.

  21. Epicus Doomus

    Wow, it’s weird seeing Owen chullo-less, isn’t it?

  22. Nathan Obral


    “Meanwhile in the real world Wally probably wouldn’t want to go near anything that would remind him of his time in band, since ya know that’s when he was involved in a tragic accident which he caused which also, ya know, caused his girlfriend at the time to lose her arm which orevented her from attending Julliard.”

    In the real world, Wally never would have gotten back together with Becky in the first place, let alone married her.

    But this is a comic strip where the titular character… a recovering alcoholic who went through a nasty divorce from his first wife… still not only allows said first wife to enter his place of business, but they engage in conversation like nothing ever happened. And the same titular character also interacts with Dead Skunk Head on a daily basis… who for all intents and purposes ruined his cousin Wally’s life.

    Batom® is either a sociopath, has absolutely no idea how intrapersonal communication works, or is too lazy and disinterested with creating any new characters. I’m inclined to think that it’s all of the above.

  23. bad wolf

    @Nathan Obral: “atrocity”? Seriously, compare JB’s strip there to today’s strip, with Wally looking like he’s contracted AIDS, and tell me that it wouldn’t improve the strip if Byrne took over full-time. See ya on the golf course, Batom!

  24. @bad wolf – I think the atrocity that Nathan was referring to was the writing, not necessarily the artwork.

  25. captaincab


    All of the above.

    What’s funny is Wally today looks far too old but the way he’s drawn would be perfect as a more naturally aged post jump Funky.

  26. In the strip with Owen sans chullo, I had to look for the pinned-up sleeve to determine that that was Becky. At first I was convinced it was Cody.

    In today’s installment, Wally shows up without Buddy the wonder dog. So, yeah, the dog’s been written out of the script, or, if not, at his next appearance his name will have changed to Puddles.

  27. John

    Dinkle: “By the way, Wally, I’m glad to see your PTSD problems are over!”

    Wally: “…*…what do you mean?”

    Dinkle: “Why, I think this is the very first time in over four years that you’ve been seen anywhere without that damn mutt in tow.”

    (Wally breaks out in a cold sweat)

    Wally: “…B-Buddy?”

    Dinkle: “Buddy, Flippy, whatever his name was! You took that blasted dog everywhere, couldn’t function at all without him! And now, miraculously, you’re out and about with no sign of him! Such progress.”

    (Weird, eerie pulse wave patterns manifest behind Wally’s head. His pupils shrink, his hands tremble)

    Wally: “Um…umm….ummm…y-yeah. How about that? P-progress…”

    Dinkle: “It’s a special occasion! I think I’ll play the 1812 overture real loud, to celebrate.”

    (Wally’s face warps and distorts, becoming more and more surreal. Huey Lewis and the News’ “Hip to Be Square” plays off in the background somewhere.)


    No offense intended to Real Life sufferers of PTSD and owners of Service Dogs. I have nothing but respect and compassion for all of you. What I have contempt for is Tom completely dropping what he’d made the DEFINING TRAIT of a character just because said trait didn’t win him new awards and accolades. Classy, Tom. Real classy.

  28. Failing that, stupid Batiuk simply forgot because he’s stupid.

  29. John

    Tom doesn’t “forget” so much as “fails to care about anything that doesn’t validate his vastly cuckoo opinion of himself as an artist”. 😛