As Old Dexter once said, “Ah, thank you Billy!” and I thank BillyTheSkink for as always leaving the chair of Funky Winkerbean snark…just a little bit out of my reach! Yes, it’s BChasm, your least favorite uncle, back in the chair of the unhallowed study group!
Like pretty much all of Funky Winkerbean, I don’t get this one. The Doublemint Twins are looking for a particular room. Given that numbered rooms follow a pattern in every universe, it would seem as if Room 107 would be somewhere in the 100’s, and thus, not that difficult to find. Westview High can’t be that massive, can it? It’s not a colony ship destined for Alpha Centauri, is it? Is Cordwainer Bird around?
I should think that it’s odd, too, that the Twins just spent a week with Principal Nate, and he apparently told them nothing of value, such as where their classrooms would be located. “Here’s Becky, and here’s Les. Good luck!”
Knowing this (–one supposes), Redshirt McMeltface decided he’d have a spot of fun with the Twins, and thus directed them to a featureless door which he assured them used to be yclept “107.” Why? I can see no reason for McMeltface to be this mean, except…well, it’s an excuse to detail some kind of maintenance room.
And to be fair, the detail in this room is really impressive. And I mean that sincerely; one can almost identify the make and model of the equipment presented herein. Kudos to Mr. Batiuk for some nice artwork here. This is the sort of stuff that makes me pause my snark, in that it shows Tom Batiuk can really draw when he wants to. Really, I’m not hot-dogging you, this is good artwork–it’s nicely detailed and has all the bits and touches that make the scene work. I’ve always wanted to praise this strip when the opportunity arose, and here’s an opportunity.
Tom Batiuk’s obsession over certain details–the lovingly rendered bricks, for example–have long a source of amusement, but to me, it does show a certain dedication to craft. The details have to be there.
I just wish his craft had been put to better purpose. Does “Room 107” have any kind of significance? Because I can think of better numbers just off the top of my head–
Room 100, Hotel Chelsea. Nancy’s dead, Sid’s out of his head. Punk rock fell over dead. Now it’s Miley Cyrus instead! Wake me–going back to bed.
Room 101, from George Orwell’s 1984. The room of the ultimate fear, where Winston Smith is forced to read The Complete Funky Winkerbean.
Room 217, from Stephen King’s The Shining. Danny knew he shouldn’t go into this room, but he did anyway. And there, standing in the middle of the room, was Les Moore.
Room 237, from Stanley Kubrick’s film of Stephen King’s book. As Jack Torrance embraced the beautiful woman, he glanced in the mirror and saw that, instead, he was holding a naked Les Moore. (This scene was changed by studio executives to allow an R rating. In the film as released, Jack was holding a withered old hag.)
Speaking of changed by studio executives, Doublemint Naughty certainly has…developed…in that last panel. In fact you might say, “Oh, she’s got a balcony you could do Shakespeare from!”