The Big Dread Machine

Link To Today’s Fiasco

Hey gang, Epicus is back to steer the SoSF ship through BanTom’s latest dumpster fire arc. Somewhere Sparky Anderson, Tony Perez, Don Gullet, Johnny Bench and Pete Rose are spinning in their graves and/or preparing nasty C&D letters right about now. Anyway, the normally sullen and scuzzy Owen (nice scarf) is beaming with Scapegoat Pride as he reports on the resurgent Goats astonishing 93-0 victory over Optimism High, located in Optimism, Ohio, two towns over and a world removed from Miseryville Westview. Look at him on that screen in panel three, he’s positively beaming with an almost Lisa-like radiance. The effect is quite jarring, actually.

So the Scapegoats are a powerhouse now, eh? Bull’s three decade-long rebuilding plan is at long last paying dividends, as those seventh and eighth year seniors are making all the difference. Now that the team is good (and knowing TomBat as I do) we can expect a lot of gags about how they used to suck, because moving on from something then continuously wallowing in it is how FW rolls, man.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

21 responses to “The Big Dread Machine

  1. Did Bull anger some witch doctor somewhere in a land far, far away? Because his badly misshapen head attests to the beginning of some shrunken head curse or something.

    I am somewhat astonished that Batiuk can draw Act I Bull fairly decently, but Act III Bull is now the equivalent of f**king silly putty.

  2. It’s barely mid-September, the Scapegoats should be three games in. A little early, especially for this team, to start crowing about a perfect season.

  3. bad wolf

    Holy Cow. W…T…F. That was a joke.

    That was a joke.
    Guys, i’m really starting to get worried about TB here.

  4. SpacemanSpiff85

    I’m appalled that they let a bullying thug like Owen do the morning news.
    Also, bragging about whooping a team that hasn’t won a game yet is kind of tacky.

  5. Epicus Doomus

    bad wolf: Double gold star for you, awesome catch. I totally and completely forgot about that, although it did seem oddly familiar. Like all FW jokes.

  6. The annihilation of optimism? Yep, sounds like Westview all right.

  7. billytheskink

    Why bother to put lettering on the backdrop behind the news desk if the camera operator is just going to fill the screen with the anchor’s head.

    Given that Mason Jarr is an alum, I’m guessing that the Optimism Fighting Chances were visiting Westview from neighboring Punnsylvania…

  8. Jimmy

    I think the Scapegoats are the real bullies here. Beating another high school team 93-0? That’s just terrible sportsmanship.

  9. So, Mason Jarr is from Westview? How small this universe shrinks.

  10. Watch this. We’re in for a really stupid arc about a doping scandal because no one can believe that any team helmed by Bull can not suck.

  11. Assuming that there was a punchline somewhere in today’s strip (was there? Someone may have to spell it out for me…) Tom Batiuk just violated Charles Schulz’ Prime Directive: winning is great, but it’s just not funny.

  12. Monotony

    Bull’s coaching strategy this year is to make sure the Westview Scapegoats are only matched up against fictional-in-universe teams.

  13. Rusty

    I keep thinking the bullying story arc is about to begin. That half-assed 3 strips couldn’t have been it, could it?

  14. I guess that was a joke is Tom Batiuk’s wish it into the cornfield, because what was once a joke is now a squad of outmatched teenagers. Will they dissolve into a vague, misty memory, or will they come back again and again, like Les teleporting from Africa to perform automotive nomenclature?

  15. It’s kind of weird for him to be focusing on the OPPOSING team’s record (“Our football team handed Optimism High its third straight loss…”). The tone of his report is coming across less as “Yay! We won!” and more as “Ha ha! They lost!” A subtle distinction, perhaps, but an important one…

  16. Professor Fate

    For a guy who was seriously pushing how important his bullying arc was, he seems to feel that the Scapegoat’s running up the score in a humiliating fashion is a good and worthy thing.


    Guys…maybe this whole strip from that point..Is in Mason Jarr’s MIND!!!!??

    Just think of the major plotlines that would be affected by such a thing!!!

    …Um, , err.. …give me a second. I’m trying think of some interesting plot lines that have occurred since then. It’ll come to me. Give me a moment.

  18. I would love to believe that the entirety of Funky Winkerbean from the beginning of “Lisa’s Story” onward has been nothing but a vision in four-year-old Summer Moore’s eyes as she clutches a snow globe around Christmastime.

  19. The Dreamer

    Sooner or later they will get around to re-naming Westview as Lisa Moore High, and the football team will be known as The Lisa’s Legacies.

    Even if she didn’t actually attend Westview, Lisa is now the school’s patron saint, she haunts the halls

  20. Charles

    Look at how lovingly Batiuk draws Owen’s shabbiness. This is not simply a hastily-drawn portrait. He put tons of work into making Owen look like a disgusting slob. Look at how he draws the unkempt, uncombed hair peeking out through the side of that damn hat. Look at that disgusting wisp of a beard that looks as if it came not from a conscious decision, but mere inattention. It’s as if Owen’s never looked in a mirror in his entire life.

    And not a single person in the AV Club or whatever the student group is called that does the morning announcements, not even the faculty adviser, bothered to point out that maybe they should get an anchor who looks reasonably clean; someone people wouldn’t mind looking at. Or failing that, at least getting him to take that stupid hat off, comb his hair and wash his damn face.

    Aren’t these sorts of student clubs supposed to be teaching kids something?

  21. Epicus Doomus

    Charles: Owen is one of the more fascinating Act III characters IMO, mainly because Batom has never really given him an established personality of his own, preferring to assign him whatever characteristics meet the story needs instead. I remember him being Cody’s somewhat subversive sidekick early on, then he grew the hat and all of a sudden he was TB’s “go-to” high school character full-time. Yet he’s still a totally ambiguous mystery. Is he a miserable surly slacker idiot or is he just a big dork full of school pride?