Link to today’s strip.

Lack of Les Moore crotch shots is a definite improvement, and the pun is kind of clever.  I like the implication in panel one that Les is sticking his lips out as far as he can, trying to do a good duck imitation.  It’s rather poor but at least it’s an attempt.

However, the strip is still just two guys talking.  It’s a boring conversation about things happening to other people who are elsewhere.

It’s a strip designed to take up space.  There is no other purpose.  No plot is being advanced, no wisdom dispensed, and the pun isn’t that good.  And when the action consists of someone pouring a pot of coffee into a mug, maybe it’s time to rename this strip to something more accurate, like “How sedimentary rocks form” or perhaps “I don’t care.”

Why not try to show, instead of constantly telling?  I suppose the answer is, because showing is difficult.  It requires work.  Planning.  And the reward isn’t worth it.

I think we’re past any changes in the way the strip unfolds..  Like Funky, it’s ossified and congealed into a barely moveable mass.  Maybe we should look at Funky’s disgusted expression in panel three and figure, yeah, that’s about right.  That’s how this strip rolls.  Or stays put, actually.

In all honesty, I would love to find things to praise in this strip.  Reading each painfully bad episode is a chore; there’s rarely any relief from the omnipresent gloom that hangs over this thing.  It gets old, really fast.  My recollection of Act I was that it was also not action-packed; like Act III it was just people taking, but were talking to each other, about each other, and at the end of the talking there was a joke, and sometimes the joke was pretty funny.  I know that’s an awful lot to ask these days.

An awful, awful lot.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

14 responses to “Bullpun

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Come on, Bull hasn’t been “mean” in decades. Now he’s just another goofy obese clown who exists solely so Dick Facey has yet another local to feel superior to in every way. And note to BanTom: gags about the football team being good will never work. Not that jokes about the football team being awful did, but at least the concept was more sound.

  2. I don’t know if I should be more pissed off at Les for his highfalutin’ language…or at myself for remembering that he used an almost identical phrase (but not as a pun) nearly three years ago:

  3. HeyItsDave

    “No pun intended,” Funky? Did all that running starve your brain of oxygen? There is ALWAYS a pun intended in these shitty punchlines. C’mon, Funky, smash that Bunn carafe upside of Les’ head. You know you want to do it as much as we want you to.

  4. Rusty

    The problem with “show, don’t tell” is there are fewer opportunities for his shitty puns.

  5. billytheskink

    C’mon Funky, break that coffee pot across Les’ face. No jury would convict you.

  6. spacemanspiff85

    Batiuk is really the only writer I can think of who consistently has characters point out that something was supposed to be a joke.

  7. And the joke is about something not so funny: Bull’s mutation into Harry Dinkle….a power-crazed nitwit blaming his charges for his own failings as a husband, father and man.

  8. Let’s see, how can we make Les’ smug pseudo-intellectualism even more obnoxious? I know, have him randomly pepper his dialogue with foreign phrases.


    You know, what. This strip would make a whole lot of sense if Funky & Les were having a gay affair. That these jogging excursions are just excuses they use to their wives to meet up. It really would be legitimate gay story arc that would make sense and have impact.

    Plus Les having sex with Funky is probably one of Batiuk’s fantasies. Artist Avatar fucking his creation is depth that Brooke McEldowney only dreams of.

  10. Rusty Shackleford

    Batty states in his blog that once he got hired by the syndicate, his strip “had to be good”.

    True, but once accepted, cartoonists never get fired and this is why he can get away with doing the bare minimum. At least Watterson and Breathed were honest and quit once they got tired and burned out.

    I used to think Batty was just writing for the awards committees, but now I am not so sure. Why doesn’t he just quit and produce his own comic book series? Does he believe that only the big publishing houses can produce real comic books? Perhaps he is simply stuck in the past. After all, nobody thinks that only the big networks can produce quality TV shows, and it is the same in publishing.

  11. HeyItsDave

    Plus Les having sex with Funky is probably one of Batiuk’s fantasies. Artist Avatar fucking his creation is depth that Brooke McEldowney only dreams of.

    I think it’s more likely that Les having sex with a clone of himself is Batiuk’s fantasy. His avatar, making tender love to his avatar. I bet T-Bats has about six Big Chief notebooks filled with Les-on-Les slash, all penciled in big primary-school block letters.

  12. In order to be considered a pun, a statement must make sense in both contexts. “Reverting to the mean”, when used to describe a coaching style, is at best a stretch. The set up is a total stretch too. Since when did Funky and/or Les give two shits about the football team? Since when was Bull ever actually mean, since even his high school bully persona has been ret-conned into a pussycat?

    I gather from Bull’s presence in the masthead, we’re going to see some graphic depiction of “reverting to the mean” before the week’s out.

  13. Professor Fate

    Have to point out – apparently there is nothing like a good hot cup o’ joe right after running in August.

  14. Comic Book Harriet

    I am really missing the fourth panel here…. the one where Funky slaps Les violently across the face and tells him to get that foreign frenchy surrendermonkey bullshit out of his all-American pizza joint!