Numb-er Of The Beast

Link To Today’s Action

Ah-HA! So it IS Rachel after all. He really could have made that a tad more clear IMO. See, I thought Rachel was a lot younger and…ahhhh, forget it, I’m not getting into yet another timeline dissection, as it’s so fouled up at this point that it doesn’t really matter anymore. Special thanks to billytheskink for clarifying the Rachel Act II timeline yesterday, never an easy task where FW is concerned. If this is a pre-time jump flashback it means that Rachel has been working at Montoni’s for a minimum of seventeen years, which is both sad and hilarious.

Apparently the “jokes” here are a) Ed’s standard malapropisms and b) Rachel doesn’t know how to bowl. Hee-f*cking-larious. Please, someone sedate me before I break a rib by laughing too hard. Or, in lieu of that, I’ll just read this strip again a few times. Crankshaft never fails to not amuse me and today he keeps his perfect record intact. The device has not yet been invented that can adequately measure how little I care about Ed Crankshaft and his merry band of infinitely patient dimwits. And if these are the kinds of punchlines I’m missing by ignoring CS, I’m even happier that I pretend it doesn’t exist. You can do it too, BTW…it’s easy.

TFH sez: To help you keep up with the crossover…here’s a link to today’s Crankshaft.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

21 responses to “Numb-er Of The Beast

  1. SpacemanSpiff85

    This is exactly what I was talking about the other day, when it comes to Batiuk and puns. He seems to think that switching one word with another similar word automatically makes something funny. It does not. “Beast” has nothing to do with anything. What would’ve been a joke would’ve been if Ed was drooling over Rachel and accidentally said “personal breast”. It would’ve been gross, unoriginal, and distasteful, but still a joke, and better than 99% of Batiuk’s output, especially when it comes to “malapropisms”.

  2. Rusty

    Why would Bull be on the team? Because he’s a jock? Bowling alleys should be a dangerous place for recovering alcoholics, Funky, plenty of cheap draft beer lying around with no one keeping an eye on it.

  3. SpacemanSpiff85 nails the core problem. It’s as if TB has no idea of what constitutes humor. Having Crankshaft confuse “beast” with “best” is not only not funny and not a pun but also completely unbelievable. The substitution makes no sense. A person lacking education wouldn’t confuse the two. Nor would someone suffering from dyslexia. One of the socially relevant themes TB trumpeted that he used with Crankshaft revolved around his inability to read and the effort he made to ensure the riders on his bus, the “rough riders”, would not be educationally handicapped. Of course TB had to make the effort ineffective so that Crankshaft could be a subject of ridicule (he probably considered it funny). And yes, I do follow both strips for some reason, maybe out of a feeling of pity for the fictional characters trapped there.

  4. Epicus Doomus

    It’s a terrible, terrible joke any way you look at it. “Personal beast” doesn’t make any sense in any context, it’s just a lazy joke written by a lazy man. I never understand why he bothers with these crossovers if he’s not going to bother putting anything into them. Earlier this year he had the opportunity to do a “Dick Tracy” crossover and he ended up having DT delivering comic books to a pizzeria, he didn’t even try to make it interesting somehow. It’s like he’s afraid to do anything other than his “tried and true” even though he has nothing to lose. What, will people stop reading FW if he takes a few extremely mild chances a year? Why does it exist at all then?

  5. billytheskink

    TB is better at drawing the Rocky Rhodes from Crankshaft than he is at drawing the Rocky Rhodes from FW. Surprising?

    Between Ed Crankshaft, Rocky Rhodes, and Ed’s arch nemesis Max Axelrod, it’s amazing TB restrained himself enough to name the other bus driver in the strip Andy Clark. I imagine he nearly named him “Tim Wheelman” or “Mike Blacktop” before Chuck Ayers said “even I’ve got limits dude.”

  6. Merry Pookster

    Crankshaft was a WWII veteran….and like a 100 and something years old.
    Even a Korean Vet would be late 80’s….but when has TB ever known anything about veterans?

  7. @Gerard Plourde: Having Crankshaft confuse “beast” with “best” is not only not funny and not a pun but also completely unbelievable. The substitution makes no sense. A person lacking education wouldn’t confuse the two. Nor would someone suffering from dyslexia.

    True and true…but Batiuk and Ayers have shown us how ol’ Ed ends up in Bedside Manor. Could his “beast/best” conflation be an early Alzheimer’s symptom? Brilliant foreshadowing there, Mr. Batiuk!

  8. Merry Pookster – Good catch. My dad was a WWII vet and was born in 1919 – so he was 22 when Pearl Harbor was bombed. He would be turning 96 now. So Crankshaft would have been in his late 50’s or early 60’s in the 1980’s when this arc would have taken place if TB is now claiming that the FW crew graduated from Westview High in 1978.

  9. TFHackett- I have to admit you raise a plausible explanation. If correct it means that compared to TB Sylvia Plath was an unbridled optimist.

  10. Once again, the fact that this was drawn a full year in advance, with zero editorial oversight… that… that is the ONLY joke I see here.

  11. I would argue that this is not a pun but a malapropism, in which one word is mistakenly used in place of another. Of course, in a good malapropism the resulting phrase has an incongruous or contradictory meaning (Cf. Shakespeare’s Dogberry) instead of just being nonsensical, like this is.

  12. One thing you gotta appreciate about Crankshaft is the logo totally looks like the Slayer logo.

  13. Great. Cranky’s Freudian slip is showing, Rachel is inept and onb the other side of the time hole, Crankshaft’s cast are referencing Rachel’s thought bubble. This would make sense if most papers actually carried both strips but they don’t. That’s the real problem: Batiuk hasn’t figured that out.

  14. Rusty Shackleford

    OMG, I was wrong, it was Rachel all along…. (Think Planet of the Apes.)

    @epicus Why does this strip exist? It exists solely for Batty’s ego..I am published in the newspapers therefore I’m better than you.

    The newspapers are dying and the syndicate is just riding the horse till it dies and so they don’t care that Batty uses the strip as his personal playground. Having editors requires money, and the syndicate isn’t interested in paying out more.

  15. Wait, what? One strip is in the past but the other is the present (the panel corners)? What is the real time year Crankshaft occurs in within it’s actual context?

  16. Fred: BOTH strips take place in the present. Although Batiuk is trying to claim to FW readers that Crankshaft takes place in 1995. Or hell, 1985. I don’t know and I don’t care.

    If Batiuk wanted to give anything close to an effort, he would invoke the DC Multiverse that he is oh so obsessed with as the possible reason. But nooooooooooooo… we’ve got his “duh, writing” remarks when meekly attacking critics. Because art.

  17. Hannibal's Lectern

    Where is this happening?! Look beyond the background characters, and when the regular space-and-time-defining grid of the “floor” stops, beyond it there is… nothing. Just a uniform fog with a dim light source in the center. No far wall, no bar, no ball-o-matic polisher… nothing. Just primordial emptiness… from which Cranky may in fact be planning to summon his “personal beast” Cthulisa, who will rip apart those little cardboard corners, tear through the time-jump and devour current-day Funky, Ed, and especially Les, until nothing remains of the Funkyverse but a pulsating blob of cancer.

    The End.

    Maybe that will win Batty his Pulitzer.

  18. Jim in Wisc.

    The real gag here isn’t the weak malapropism spouting from Cranky’s yap, but the question Rachel asks herself at the end. However, it makes absolutely no sense unless you’ve read Crankshaft first. But, hey, “it’s called writing!” Really awful writing, but writing, nonetheless.


    Everything that has ever occurred in both strips would make sense if Crankshaft was indeed the Prince of Darkness.

  20. Epicus Doomus

    I really dislike the way he’s assuming that all FW readers are reading CS too. IMO if it isn’t a gag you can get without referring to one of his other strips, it’s a total failure.