Owen to Circumstances

Link to today’s strip.

I think we have another first, folks.  I think this is the first time Les has been rendered with anything other than loving detail.  Look at that grinning death’s head in panel two.  I’m thinking his jaw is about to unhinge so he can devour that poor woman.

Panel three makes this another strip wherein I wonder what kind of audience Tom Batiuk thinks he has.  In order to get this “joke” you have to know who Owen is and you have to know that he wears that stupid chullo at all times.   That means you have to be a regular reader who enjoys the strip enough to know the cast…the very sort of reader that Tom Batiuk has driven off with pointless, boring characters like Owen.  Seems like one of those unsolvable puzzles.  Could there possibly be such a thing as an Owen fan?  It seems scarcely credible.  And since that’s the case, one would regard an episode like today’s as another example of a strip perfectly designed to appeal to no one.

Is there anyone out there who thinks it’s hilarious that a son would wear the same headgear as his father?  That’s the joke.  I guess it’s supposed to indicate that Owen is following his dad’s fashion sense?

I don’t know about you, but when I look at Owen he doesn’t strike me as the sort who has any respect for his parents…or anyone else, for that matter (except comic book characters of course).   He looks like the kind of lazy slacker who wonders why achievement isn’t handed to him, because he’s so deserving and all.  He looks like the kind of kid who smokes dope at every opportunity…and maybe that’s what Chullo Senior does, too.  The sloped neck, the half-lidded eyes…yeah, I guess dad prepped for a meeting with Les Moore in a very practical manner, by raiding his son’s stash.

Maybe I’ve got this backwards, and Chullo Senior is actually following in his son’s footsteps.  Or maybe the lesson here is that I should get totally baked.  I bet if I did, this strip would be the height of hilarity.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

27 responses to “Owen to Circumstances

  1. Merry Pookster

    Owen’s future is sealed.Trade School drop-out and then the post-office midnight shift sorting mail

  2. SpacemanSpiff85

    Or Owen with a haircut and a change of clothes, really.

  3. HeyItsDave

    Yeah, sure, Tom, we totally believe that Owen and his dad both wear chullos. It’s as stupid and lazy as thinking your shitty “planetary pizza” puns were amusing a couple of weeks ago.


  4. Epicus Doomus

    BC: I’ve tried that…many, many times…and it doesn’t help. Ditto other assorted drugs and alcoholic beverages. In fact, reading FW while intoxicated is a waste of good drugs and alcohol as it ruins the buzz. You could inject yourself with a gallon of elephant sedatives, read this thing and a minute later feel nothing but vaguely annoyed.

    Another weak, weak joke from a weak, weak comic strip writer guy. As BC pointed out, only a longtime FW reader would even get this gag, but that same (hypothetical) longtime FW reader would also remember that Owen didn’t always wear that disgusting hat. So once again BanTom proves he’s only writing this thing for his own mild amusement at this point, as no one else would find this funny. I just can’t believe he wasted three panels on this one, glad he’s confident enough in his (chortle) storytelling abilities to do something so bold.

  5. HeyItsDave

    @beckoningchasm – No amount of weed will ever make Funky Winkerbean funny.


    So let me guess. Wednesday we see Alex’s parents decked out like she is in leather, fishnet stockings and dark lipsstick…..and that’s just her father.

  7. spacemanspiff85

    I really want to know where Batiuk got this chullo idea from. I think either someone got him one as a gift years ago and he thinks they’re innately hilarious, or he saw a student wearing one when he was doing “research” at the high school and thinks that all the cool kids who hang out at comic shops wear them.

  8. spacemanspiff85

    Actually, the process probably went like this:
    “Okay, I want to write high school student jokes again, but all the high school students have graduated, so I need more characters. Les 2.0, obviously. Umm…Chien 2.0, I guess… Hmm… and a kid wearing one of those funny looking hats!”
    *runs the bases in his mind*

  9. billytheskink

    Any night that begins with parents meeting the Vel-Les-oraptor will end with a serious discussion in the car about how quickly they can transfer junior to another school district and a sincere “We’re so, so sorry we didn’t believe you about Mr. Moore” upon arriving home.

    Principal Nate is smart to keep Les away from parent-involved activities until the second semester of senior year.

  10. Wow, I didn’t know there was that big of a Peruvian community in small-town Ohio.

  11. Charles

    Anyone else find Superdouche here incredibly rude? “Heh, of course you’re Owen’s dad because you wear the same hat he does.” It just seems belittling and diminishing to me, as if you’re reducing a person to a superficial item of clothing. Keep in mind that Owen’s dad has apparently not said anything to Les before he mouths off.

    Speaking of hats, I want to know who the guy in panel 2 is, who wears his kid’s high school’s hat to a conference. Have some self-respect, dude.

  12. We have a very weak visual joke that’s predicated on the misapprehension that we give a fuck about Chullo Boy and on the other side, it’s hilarious that Jeff’s sadistic bitch mother left him an emotional cripple.

  13. Rusty Shackleford

    See, look, my strip is edgy and relevant cause I draw kids in Chullos.

  14. Gerard Plourde

    So is Les going to greet every parent of every senior? This is a trip by the entire senio class. How small is Westview High? Medina High School in Medina, Ohio, for example, has an enrollment of 2,500 which would translate to a senior class of about 600. Even allowing for a school of smaller size like some of the Akron schools, enrollment would be over 600 making a senior class of 150.

    Also, does The Author want us to believe that the homeroom moderators go with their classes. I suppose that some teachers courses are grade-specific (Physics, for example) but that isn’t the case for all of them. Who covers their classes while they’re away (and still on payroll, since it’s a school-sanctioned event)?

  15. sgtsaunders

    So Owen like to dress like his Dad? What a square, man.

  16. The Alien Brain Sucker, having drained first Owen and then his dad, finds a new host.

  17. Smirks 'R Us

    Sarge, my thoughts exactly. One sure way to make sure Owen never wears a chullo is if his father does. Once again, BatHack is truly on the pulse of today’s young audience.

  18. I think TB has had a long standing tradition of parents and children sharing their head-wear choices. For example, Crazy Harry’s long lost daughter Rana always inexplicably wore the same stupid hat that her father wore.

    As for the chullo, I can say that I went to a local bar last week here in Long Island that was hosting a local music event where the majority of the crowd were in their early twenties. There was a fellow there who was wearing a chullo, and actually had a creepy resemblance to Owen. He did remove it eventually, at least, but based on that observation I’m willing to give TB a pass on this.

  19. Jim in Wisc.

    Over on the Crankie side, are we actually seeing a 69 year old man use one of his daily comic strips to work through the issues he has with his deceased mother?

  20. HeyItsDave

    Meanwhile, Starbuck Jones filming is continuing in Cleveland, and it’s the biggest thing there since the 1966 riots.


    Regarding Crankshaft:

    Am I a cruel person in thinking this would be funny if this whole sequence ended with Jeff hanging himself from a tree?

  22. HeyItsDave

    @$$$WESTVIEW ONCOLOGIST$$$ – I was hoping that last week would alternate panels of Jfff’s horrible memories with panels of dying Rose remorsefully asking for forgiveness (the way so many blackhearted old assholes do on their deathbeds.) Then Jfff would lean in really close, take Rose’s hand, and whisper in her ear, “You can rot in hell.”

  23. bad wolf

    Beloved, crowd-favorite Owen! Everyone knows him, just like everyone remembers Holly (Budd) Winkerbean used to throw around a flaming baton! That’s why last week’s call-back to a joke last seen about 20 years ago was such a hoot!

    Btw, awesome work on the Crankshaft timeline, Batiuk. “Two weeks ago”… two weeks later: “One week ago…” Wait, do you mean one week before two weeks ago, or one week ago today, which would be one week later than you started with… Gahhh.

  24. ComicBookHarriet


    Only if Jeff waits until…The Last Leaf.

  25. Owen’s dad dressing like Owen: not funny.

    Owen’s dad dressing like the Jay Gatsby: funny

  26. Jimmy

    Oh, I had completely forgotten about The Last Leaf. Let’s hope Batiuk did too.