To Have and Have Not

Link to today’s strip.

Credit where it’s due:  a nice touch in today’s strip is the kid with the trombone.  He was in yesterday’s strip as well, walking roughly in the same place, so it’s a very good way to show that time has not passed between yesterday’s strip and today’s.  In other words, despite taking a week in real-time, only a few minutes have gone by in strip-time.  It would be better if he had the same color shirt as yesterday, but I’ll be generous and put that down to an error by the syndicate.

However, I find The Odious Dinkle’s dialogue in panel one to be pretty damned off-putting.  What exactly does he mean?  Becky mentioned problems with hazing, and that was only a few minutes ago–so, no, she hasn’t had the time to do anything, so, yeah, the problems with hazing probably are still ongoing.

What I find off-putting about this is the idea that The Odious Dinkle has been treating everything Becky says as an opportunity to blather on about himself, and now that he’s blathered on for a while, he’s surprised that his blather hasn’t solved every problem Becky has.  Why, I’ve just told you I have problems, how dare you claim to have them as well.  It’s this kind of total self-absorption, this hermetically sealed worldview, that makes The Odious Dinkle so odious.   It makes one long for a replay of the Becky on the scissors-lift scene, only substituting The Odious Dinkle for Roberta, and including the payoff.

What I really don’t get is The Odious Dinkle’s reaction.  “Old uniforms?”  What does that mean?  I have this horrible feeling that these are uniforms from his tenure as band leader, and as such should be treated as sacred relics.  Which quite frankly makes good my point about his raging egoism, and thus makes me loathe him all the more.

Let’s hope someone hides his oxygen bottle.

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19 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

19 responses to “To Have and Have Not

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Oh, no. Not the OLD UNIFORMS! The horror, the horror. And by that I mean Becky’s pinned-up sleeve, of course. But YOU already knew that.

    He finally got to the actual hazing incident and, in typical BanTom style, he “shows” it on a phone screen that’s pointing away from the reader. Because of course it is. Once again it’s a “joke” with no context, unless you know how Dinkle feels about the OLD UNIFORMS or something, I guess. So I really hope that whoever that person is enjoyed this one, as no one else did.

  2. billytheskink

    The old uniforms are surely less ridiculous than Lefty’s shirt, a short-sleeved ringer tee with a left sleeve that hangs lower than the right sleeve even when it is pinned up.

    There are words to describe this, but I’m not typing everything in the thesaurus listed under “stupid”.

  3. spacemanspiff85

    Is Funky Winkerbean still an ongoing problem? Yes, yes it is.

  4. 1966tvbatman

    Would it kill Batty to have Becky wear her fake arm once in a while? The pinned up sleeve really is starting to piss me off.

  5. Gerard Plourde

    So we are to assume that there are no adults monitoring the behavior of the band members in this overnight camp situation (enforcing curfew, making sure there’s no “hooking up”, etc.)? Also, I may be naive here, but this is a school district that is constantly having the school levy voted down, so how can Westview afford to have an overnight band camp? Couldn’t they just as easily be practicing at the school and then going home each night?

  6. spacemanspiff85

    @1966tvbatman:
    John once told her he still liked her without it on, and since then she’s never worn it.

  7. ComicTrek

    To be fair, one could definitely take today’s strip as amusing. But one also can’t forget that this is still Funky Winkerbean! Yes, Becky has only one arm. We get it by now. We. Get. It. There’s no need to go SJW and flash it in our faces every time we see her. It’s like TB is screaming at us “LOOK, no arm! LOOK, see her sleeve??? Her sleeve is pinned up because she has NO ARM!”

  8. Epicus Doomus

    Obviously she didn’t have to lose the arm. At the time it was (and I suppose still is) another “FW: the comic strip that explores issues affecting things”-type arc where the guy who writes it stretches his creative wings and shows the world that comic strips don’t necessarily have to be just a bunch of talking leaves making “it’s autumn” jokes every year like clockwork, they can have feelings too you know and sometimes lives or limbs may get lost along the way.

    But the thing that’s just so annoying about it is that we all know the above is not really the case and that in actuality it was really more of a “holy shit this guy cut off his comic strip character’s arm!” kind of deal, as FW used to fish for attention like that on a regular basis. So when Becky appears in the strip now with her always-prominent pinned-up sleeve it’s not a reminder of a tragic past or new beginnings or the plight of the disabled or overcoming great odds to once again play the trombone. It’s just another reminder that this comic strip will resort to anything when it feels it needs attention, even going as far as to kill and dismember if that’s what it takes. And now that’s it’s not desperately seeking attention anymore, the whole sordid affair seems totally pointless in retrospect. Except now there’s a one-armed character.

  9. It’s telling that he cares less for the people IN the uniforms than he does for something that drives a semi through his inane power fantasies. Without a wall of flunkies in the ugly monkey suits behind him, he looks like a deluded imbecile and he knows it.

  10. TB did his best all week to not show her left side. Now he gets around to it, but of course he has to make it 110% explicit that she has no left arm, but of course he also couldn’t figure a way to show this tastefully as well as logically because, “shit, I have her in a short sleeved shirt, what am I gonna do, shit…” So he just says “fuckit, it’s not like I have an editor or anything….” This has to be the single dumbest panel I’ve seen all year. And if a FW newbie came across it, he’d just stare blankly at it, wonder wtf this is doing in a newspaper, and take pains to never view FW again. TB goes to huge lengths to establish a premise at the start of a week, then restates the premise each following day to make sure that anyone who might miss one of the week’s strips would still be able to figure things out. But he seems to presume that same person would automatically know who the characters in any given strip are and what they are all about.

  11. Rusty Shackleford

    Batty thought that by featuring handicapped people, he could snag an award. That’s it and that’s all. But make an interesting story involving handicapped people? Gasp, no, he is not capable of that.

  12. I wonder if the characters in TomBat’s comics get a wardrobe allowance…

    Asymmetric shirts are kind of a fashion thing, but typically it’s not one long and one short sleeve on a standard shirt; it’s a long sleeve on one side and a bare shoulder on the other. Like this:

  13. Monday – Hazing is a problem
    Tuesday – Yup, hazing is a problem, all right
    Wednesday – Hazing is a problem, very weak punchline
    Thursday – Hazing is an ongoing problem, very lame punchline
    Friday – Hazing, amirite?
    Saturday – Hazing, WTF?
    Some day in the future – TB has an interview and talks about his deep story line on Hazing.

  14. $$$WESTVIEW ONCOLOGIST$$$

    This strip had the potential to go to real dark place her. What with the insinuation that the victims were forced to strip and swim naked in the water.

    Now, Batiuk doesn’t go to that place and just puts in a lame pun. Okay not the worse thing. But there is the thing. Why even bring up the hazing plotline if your going to go soft like this?

    Someone reading this strip will get the idea that hazing ISN’T a problem since the worst that can happen is you have to wear silly uniforms. That really doesn’t show the actual dangerous of hazing that happens in colleges and summer camps. That’s a fail in not bringing the attention to a serious issue.

  15. @$$$WESTVIEW ONCOLOGIST$$$: Well to be fair, if that *did* happen, that would be a serious enough offense that even Funkyverse adults would have to discipline some students, which never, ever happens… Then there would be a shitload of reader questions for Batiuk on why such a humiliating event was allowed to go unpunished in a strip that claims to reflect the so-called “real” world…

  16. billytheskink

    TB did his best all week to not show her left side. Now he gets around to it…

    Which, coincidentally, is how he originally revealed that Becky lost her arm following her and Wally’s drunk driving post-senior prom car wreck back in 1998. After spending three strips sipping a soda and talking to Funky, with only her right side visible, we get THE BIG REVEAL.

    Yep, the pinned-up sleeve was there from day 1.

  17. Rusty Shackleford

    Well we did learn that old man Dinkleberry did nothing to stop the hazing, what a jerk.

    But that damn shirt…stupid stupid stupid.

  18. spacemanspiff85

    @Epicus Doomus:
    Batiuk’s blog is actually pretty informative in this respect. Just about all he talks about are cheesy old Flash comics. And repeatedly he talks about the gimmicks they used to use to get people to buy the comic, like Superman having a lion’s head or the Flash being morbidly obese on the cover, like they’re magnificent examples of literary genius. Batiuk apparently grew up worshipping those kinds of comics, and never stopped. It’s not too big of a surprise that his own comic is full of shock, melodrama, and annual cop-out dream sequences.