Link to today’s strip

Playing with decoder rings

And Starbuck Jones related things,

Ovaltine and front porch swings…

Those were the days.

And you knew where you were then

The matinee began at ten

Mister we could use a man like Clifford Anger again.

Didn’t need no cell phone flicks

With comic books we got our kicks,

Although it sure repelled the chicks…

Those were the days!!!!!!

I really like how everyone in FW has the exact same childhood memories, regardless of when they were actually born. What, was Ovaltine running that SJ promotion for three or four decades? Honestly though, wading through week after week of BanTom’s plodding nonsensical SJ mythology and annoyingly uninteresting childhood nostalgia has me feeling like I’ve been beaten with a pillowcase full of padlocks. Batiuk has spent WAY more time on his old comic book memories than he spent reading the damn things in the first place, unless he hung out in that attic until he was thirty-five or so, that is.

And on that note I happily turn over the wheel to our fearless leader TFH, who’s courageously tacking the rest of this decoder ring arc and whatever else BanTom manages to dredge up from the musty old depths of his comic book-addled mind. Shudder.




Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

18 responses to “OverTwee

  1. Rembrandt36

    I Dunno, this one’s okay to me. I feel sometimes we get our panties in a bunch a little too much here from time to time. It could be worse – it could be Les, Funky and old Jeff talking about the loss of Lisa. Blech.

  2. Gerard Plourde

    @ Epicus Domus

    Re – “I like how everyone in FW has the exact same childhood memories, regardless of when they were actually born.”

    You’re right. Even worse is the fact that Ovaltine wasn’t even giving out decoder rings when Batty (or his fictional contemporary, Jff) was a child. Ovaltine issued a decoder pin to members of the Little Orphan Annie Secret Society from 1935 through 1940 when they dropped sponsorship of the show. The ring that Batty copied for the Starbuck Jones arc actually wasn’t issued until 2000. There was a Captain Midnight decoder pin that was available around 1955-56 but decoder rings didn’t make an appearance until the 1960’s. PF Flyers (the rival of Keds) gave one out with each pair of sneakers as a tie-in with the Johnny Quest series (ca. 1965-66).

  3. Fitting that it’s non-alcoholic, as everyone in this strip is permanently fixated on their warped nostalgic version of childhood.

  4. Spacemanspiff85

    Are those photos that Batiuk’s wasting space with supposed to be movie stills? Those are pretty good special effects for a lame serial nobody remembered existed last year.

  5. Epicus Doomus

    Gerard Plourde: Not only is the timeline all warped (as usual) but the story itself presented the old SJ movie and Cliff Anger as being long-forgotten relics that even ardent SJ fans didn’t know about. So it’s a story about a long-forgotten actor and a long-forgotten movie that many people remember fondly even though they can’t and shouldn’t remember it at all. And people wonder why we give FW such a hard time!

  6. This would all be anodyne, except that Batiuk takes himself so seriously.

    As for the “Those were the days” pastiche, I stand in line, @epicusdoomus, I stand in line.

    In the main 😉

  7. Here, we have Batiuk about to seethe with anger at evil people who do nothing but pick at him because we demand that he not have his cake and eat it too and not smirk about how silly and stupid women are not to have their heads stuffed with ‘important’ facts like where they get neat decoder rings. On the other side, Crankshaft is losing what little grip on reality he had.

  8. Saturnino

    Where’s the tape holding up the sign?

  9. Gerard Plourde

    It’s interesting to see what Batty has chosen to focus on.

    Rose’s death and Jeff finally coming to terms with the consequences of her apparent bipolar disorder could have been a major story. Here it was merely a set-up for him to go back to his old house and recover the box that had his decoder ring so that he would have it to decode the not so secret message and attend the Starbuck Jones reunion however many years later that Batty has decreed the time-jump to be this time.

    I guess death and personal issues pale in the face of an afternoon reading comic books fortified by milk and cookies.

  10. Hitorque

    Ovaltine?? Not only is no food being served, they can’t even get a grown-up drink???? There has to be someone in the crowd who traveled to Cleveland at great distance, time and expense and this is how they get rewarded???

  11. Hitorque

    Oh yeah– Shouldn’t Pete Rattabastardo be back in L.A. writing the script to the sequel? Does Batiuk even still remember that?

  12. FUNKY WINKERBEAN IS A REALITY-BASED COMIC STRIP THAT DEPICTS CONTEMPORARY ISSUES AFFECTING YOUNG ADULTS IN A THOUGHT-PROVOKING AND SENSITIVE MANNER. What bugs me is less the content and more the dishonesty of TB. If he publicly announced his intent is to probe issues relating to middle age and aging, it would completely change my perception of him. Instead, his sense of entitlement borne out of his comics page tenure, has created this artistic arrogance on his part by which he maintains the above claim even as none of his enablers/employers challenge him on it. What the hell does Ayers do, meanwhile? Stay on the gravy train while destroying his own credibility. As I said before: this isn’t writing, but artistic cowardice.


    Well..Jim Jones used Kool-Aid…

  14. Jason

    Wouldn’t all these decoder rings peddled by 1950’s breakfast drinks be the exact same ring, just with a different character stamped on the packaging?

  15. “Why do they call it Ovaltine?”

  16. It’s June 12. The last time that a major Funky Winkerbean character appeared in Funky Winkerbean was on May 26. And it was Les.

  17. Epicus Doomus

    From the official blog….

    “This particular volume marks the point where the strip begins to grow up and start moving toward more adult and substantive work. As I say in the intro to a brace of very special books that The Press will be bringing out next year, if Lisa’s Story is where the storm front broke, then this collection is where the first drops begin to appear on the windshield.”

    Toot! Toot!! Blow that horn, BanTom!

  18. Rusty Shackleford


    Yuck, he really did toot his own horn. I’d say this was the point where we noticed bird droppings on the hood of the car.