Priority Bored-ing

The mystery of whether or not Holly can recognize her own son when he is wearing his military fatigues goes unresolved in today’s strip, as we do not get to see who recognized who before this embrace takes place.

Cory has no hug for Funky? No handshake? No “hello pops”?
Nope, just a stab at ironic humor that earns a pity smile from his mother and a slight change of expression from Rocky (or maybe a cardboard standee of her). Whether intentional or not, one can reasonably infer this as a nod to what I thought was the most underdeveloped potential plot line in all of Act III, Cory’s tenuous relationship with Funky.

Though TB has essentially ignored this fact for the entirety of Act III, Cory is not Funky’s “bio-son”, he is Holly’s son from a previous marriage/relationship and his attitude toward Funky is not unlike the attitudes that some stepchildren do display toward their stepparents. That strained relationship is a mine loaded with realistic and relevant drama, but TB really never tried to tap it. He hints at it, perhaps inadvertently, but the hints are there nevertheless. Cory was depicted as a petty troublemaker (even once a thief) whose behavior exasperated his workaholic father, but TB never explored why Cory behaved like he did. I guess that would have taken too much time away from the Lisa tape library.

What did Cory feel he needed from his parents, especially his stepfather, that he wasn’t getting? How did Cory feel about it being decided that he take Funky’s last name? How did being blackmailed by both Funky and Les affect his opinion of the two most prominent male adults in his life? Did Cory look to anyone else as a father-figure? How did Cory’s behavior affect Funky and Holly’s relationship? Why did Funky struggle or refuse to connect with his stepson?

All the readers got to see is that Cory was a hoodlum until he wasn’t, because the military builds character or whatever. Why and how that all happened could have been interesting, realistic, and relevant to a lot of people. Those are three things TB has been running from since about 1994.

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24 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

24 responses to “Priority Bored-ing

  1. SpacemanSpiff85

    What is it with Batiuk and planes? He has I think literally a month of Crankshaft making snide remarks about planes every year, and he does it as often as he can in FW. And here he’s turning a touching reunion into a wisecrack about air travel.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    Good lord what a terrible joke. Awful wording, not funny, nonsensical and very stupid. Is he finished with his army stint? And if so, how would the reader know this? Maybe he could drop the wry remarks and try to tell an actual story for once instead of forcing shitty gags like this.

    And yeah, the Cory story is utterly baffling. No one seems to notice or care how he’s been totally and completely transformed into one of the blandest characters in the strip. It seems like such natural story fodder, thus BanTom completely ignores it.

  3. Somehow it does not surprise me that Tom Batiuk is the sort of person who goes, “Man, being in the military is a pretty sweet deal. Oh sure, occasionally you get shot at and stuff, but you board planes first! And you get ten percent off your bill at Texas Roadhouse every Monday!”

  4. billytheskink

    This strip is like a USAA ad, but the exact opposite. Actually, that’s probably what I ought to expect a USAA ad to be in the Batiukverse.

  5. Corey’s back in town because he heard there were new Lisa videos. When he told the top brass, they gave him a two-week pass on condition that he tell them every detail when he got back to Afghanistan.

  6. Cory has no hug for Funky? No handshake? No “hello pops”?

    We all know that Tom Batiuk hates the name Funky Winkerbean and proceeded to make The Funk Man a 70-year slob of a man with a bulbous nose, while handing over the role of main character over to St. Les Moore the Oh Lord of Language.

    That non-action is a metaphor for the strip, and its creator, as a whole. Because writing.

  7. SpacemanSpiff85

    @Nathan Obral:
    As far as names go, I like “Funky Winkerbean” a ton more than “Les Moore”. “Funky Winkerbean” is at least distinctive and seems like a little effort went into it. “Les Moore” is the kind of dumb pun I used to read when I was in elementary school. And FW is filled with those kinds of dumb names.

  8. I guess Rocky’s mom can’t be bothered to see her daughter at the airport. Oh wait, I forgot, she gave a comic book to Holly so her function in this strip has concluded.

  9. Epicus Doomus

    The joke only really makes sense if it’s Cory’s last commercial flight as a military person. Otherwise why won’t he get to do it again? How does he plan on returning to Afghanistan, by canoe? This Author Guy is the worst storyteller, it’s two days in and things are happening but no one knows why.

  10. Batiuk doesn’t have the guts to write real stories. Cory’s real relationship with this fat slob who he sees as treating his mom with slightly less respect than his read dad did, his anger at being saddled with said slob’s stupid name, his feeling as if said fat, greedy slob refused to bend because he’s an idiot, the constant feeling as if everyone takes said fat slob’s side for some insane reason, none of it could make it into the strip because Batiuk can only see things from the viewpoint of said slob and his old fossil buddies. It’s why he didn’t have the patience or the iron to show us Les learning to function without Saint Dead Lisa Of The Botched Test Results Who Died Of Cancer Because Chemo Was TOOOOOO Painful And She Couldn’t Take Medical Marijuana She Was A GOOD Girl So She Passively Slipped Away Before Recording Passive-Aggressive Bitchery To Her Family And A Stranger And Wound Up Getting Cremated So Les Could Be EMOTIONALLY DEVASTATED And Mugged By The EVIL People Of An Evil New York That Would Eat Dumbasses Like Batiuk Alive.

  11. ComicTrek

    Well, I’ve got nothing to say today. You guys have pretty much said all that was needed! 🙂

  12. Frank Bolton

    Damn, Paul Jones, that’s some serious rage. Do you have a blog or something? I want to see some REAL hate towards the characters in this strip. I mean, this blog is a little too civil and sophisticated for my tastes at times. I want some venom. Especially towards Funky, Les, Harry, Cory, Linda, and P’mnJ’f.

  13. Rusty Shackleford

    @nathan

    In the Act 1 collection of FW Batty mentions that he wished he picked a different name. I guess back in the 70s, it seemed like the word “funky” would always be cool, hip, and relevant. Then again, he probably still thinks his strip is all of those things.

  14. @SpacemanSpiff85-

    I think TB must dislike (more likely – actively hate) air travel and can’t resist getting a dig in whenever possible. Early boarding is probably a Holy Grail for him that would allow him to get settled without having to deal with the mild chaos that ensues.

  15. bad wolf

    If he’s implying that Cory is getting discharged I guess it makes sense. He enlisted when Summer started college and a 3 year enlistment sounds normal (?). Since then a week here and there about home for the holidays, news that makes his parents worry, and receiving the comic books that Holly spent a year collecting. (Just kidding about the last one!) Sounds like it’s time to bring him home to work at Montoni’s.

  16. Continuity Police Alert: in the first panel Funky’s nose has been replaced by, I dunno, Mason’s. Actually, the guy looks nothing like Funky… Compare with yesterday when is viewed from the same angle.

  17. billytheskink

    “Les Moore” is the kind of dumb pun I used to read when I was in elementary school. And FW is filled with those kinds of dumb names.

    Two of which are in this very strip, Holly Budd and Rocky Rhodes.

  18. captaincab

    Want a refreshing break from FW, TB and his collective garbage? Last night Fresh Air on NPR ran a fantastic, joyous and lengthy interview with Berke Breathed on why he chose to reboot Bloom County (he says in the interview a huge part of it was his shocked reaction to Go Set A Watchman along with a fan letter he received many years ago from none other than Harper Lee herself who it turns out was a huge fan of Opus and the strip!). The interview is sincerely emotional and thoroughly interesting. He says his passion and joy for cartooning are at an all time high and that he feels absolutely energized with interacting with the fans and their feedback on his page every day. Tons of other fascinating stuff, a must listen for any fan of the strip or the comics page in general, here is the link to the interview:

    http://www.npr.org/2015/10/12/447117474/bloom-county-and-opus-the-penguin-return-after-a-25-year-hiatus

  19. $$$WESTVIEWONCOLOGIST$$$

    Well, it’s good to know that Cory will be abusing his veteran status to gain perks and comps.

    Almost makes me glad he will be heading back to Syraqistan in a couple months to fight the IsiTalibanquada.

  20. Rusty Shackleford

    @captaincab

    Thanks for the link to the interview, Berke is a class act. Now if we could only get Watterson to start posting on Facebook….

  21. @Gerard Plourde: I would tend to think he might fear it more than hate it.

  22. Epicus Doomus

    Frank Bolton: The Les/Lisa arcs usually bring out the real venom. Sometimes it’s tough to generate any real hate over Batiuk’s blander fare, like this week for example, or when a character needs six days to open an envelope or something. Sometimes it’s all you can do to just stay awake while reading it.

  23. The Dreamer

    Batik has still never explained why Cory was so anxious to go into the military when he had seen that his uncle Wally Winkerbean had a horrible experience, was taken prisoner and came back with bad PTSD and was a shelf of himself. So naturally with that as the only member of his family with military experience, Cory was totally eager to join up straight out of high school.

  24. RedRonin made an appearance at Comics Kingdom to make the out-of-left-field comment that the haters were questioning why Cory didn’t come back a Brigadier General.