The Running of the Bull

Hello there, fellow snarkers! HeyItsDave here, back from hiatus with more Funky Felt Tip adventures.

Yesterday, the leaves in town were falling as fast as Funky’s hair, hopefully without leaving some kind of nasty clog that Holly will have to dig out of the sink trap later. And falling leaves in Funky Winkerbean always mean that we’ll be segueing into some kind of melodramatic tale of woe.

I was really hoping that this week was going to stay focused on Frankie and Lenny. They’re like the Funkyverse version of Pokemon’s Team Rocket – all nefarious and blackhearted and always tripping over their own goddamn feet. But no, today we’re back in Westview to watch Bull Bushka descend into concussion-induced madness. What is it with T-Bats and autumn, anyway? Seems like as soon as the foliage turns he starts obsessing about decay and death. And maybe domestic abuse, given Linda’s face in panel three.

Speaking of decline, is Tommy farming out some of the drawing duties here? I detect a distinct stylistic difference between the way background extras are usually drawn and the way this crowd is rendered.




Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

21 responses to “The Running of the Bull

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Batiuk’s story hopscotching is one of his most annoying habits. Why not just finish one story before starting another one? I just don’t get the logic there. Does he think his readers don’t have the ability to follow a longer story? Does he think it adds to the suspense this way? Is it because he’s a shitty writer and needs to endlessly rehash the premise when he picks up the thread again because it makes it easier that way?

    So apparently no one bothered to suggest medical attention for Bull and he’s been ranting and raving this entire time while his wife and friends all sit around gawking at him and making stupid wry remarks about his obvious problem. That’s just swell. Awful people behaving like morons, that’s FW in a nutshell.

  2. DOlz

    @Epicus Doomus,

    I think I can answer three of your questions.

    1) “Why not just finish one story before starting another one?”

    Because he’s bored with these characters. Everything about this strip screams “I’m just running out the clock”.

    2) “Does he think his readers don’t have the ability to follow a longer story?”

    He wants his readers to have a vague idea of what happened earlier when he picks up the story later, sometimes much later. That way he doesn’t need to worry about being caught on his lack of continuity.

    3) “Is it because he’s a shitty writer and needs to endlessly rehash the premise when he picks up the thread again because it makes it easier that way?”

    Rehashing the the plot means less “writing” for him. See item one.

  3. Whoa – Dennis The Menace is all grown up, and he’s sitting in front of Les Moore! Next to Les is a typical reader of the strip, and in front of him is a woman whose hair is flying in so many directions that, to the person on her right, it is far more interesting than the game unfolding in front of her.

  4. bigd1992

    Shit, Les is back.

  5. Jimmy

    They guy sitting next to Les is thinking, “Does this asshole EVER shut up?”

  6. billytheskink

    I think Les is having one of those nightmares where everyone has the same face, Crankshaft’s face in this case. Everyone, that is, except for Conehead William Conrad at the top of the bleachers in panel 2.

  7. spacemanspiff85

    It’s a given that this strip is going to be boring and pretentious, but it’s just sad that Batiuk can’t even be bothered to write a proper day’s strip anymore. There’s no gag or punchline or suspense or new information or drama here. The whole strip is Les asking how Bull is, and Linda just saying “he’s worse”. Which might be fine if anyone thought Batiuk was actually in the business of telling interesting, compelling stories anymore, but now it’s just obviously lame time wasting.

  8. More boring crap about how Les really doesn’t give a shit about the health and well-being of someone he looks down on. Also, another reminder that Batiuk refuses to see that he’s made Les more despicable with each passing day.

  9. Charles

    Part of that crowd picture is chilling. Half of them look as if they’re sitting in a class they wanted to get out of an hour ago, but the other half look as if they’re being forced to attend an execution. There is no joy in the face of any of them, even though they’re voluntarily attending something that they should enjoy.

    And yeah, you beat me to the point of Linda’s nose in Panel 3 being the result of Bull socking her. Funky’s pronounced nose bridge is apparently contagious.

  10. Chyron HR

    “How’s Bull doing these days?”
    “I dunno, but check out these witty remarks about his brain damage. I have up to six of them.”

  11. Welcome to Westview, where even the extras wallow in existential despair.

  12. To be fair, story hopscotching is a common technique used by daily comic strip authors (Judge Parker currently has three distinct storys going). The difference with FW is that we never really know if a story line is ever going to be finished. Nothing ever gets resolved, and by the time TB ever gets back around to a story, the reader doesn’t really give a shit about it any more. With Bull, it actually looked like something meaningful was going to happen when Bull took off in his truck and nobody knew where he was, but then he walked back in the front door, and poof! we’re back to Starbuck Jones as though nothing ever happened. Now it’s weeks (?) later, and Les just casually mentions this to Linda (who he sees EVERY DAY).

    I’m hoping that Bull goes full Woody Hayes during this football game, and Linda & Bull are forced to actually do something about his condition other than continue to make “mood swing” jokes, but past history indicates otherwise.


    Okay so, what, Linda? Is Bull hitting you? Is he self harming himself?!! Is he dancing naked in the streets singing the Notre Dame school song in esperanto?!! Will you fucking stop being so cryptic and explain what the hell is wrong with him??!! And also you know….Get him some fucking medical help??!!

  14. LTPFTR

    It’s been established that Bull most likely suffers from CTE, right? So Linda essentially is complaining that he is displaying symptoms consistent with his condition. Who are we supposed to find sympathetic here?

  15. Professor Fate

    Honestly I’m surprised that the Author remembered to come back to this story line – not in a good way, Frankie’s attempts to sabotage the movie had at least the possibility of someone doing something other than mope but I guess the Author figured best to go with one’s strengths.
    As I said I’m surprised that the Author remember this storyline, i’m a bit depressed because it honestly says nothing good abut me that I remembered it.

  16. Comic Book Harriet

    I don’t think Tom is continuing the Bull story line at all. And I don’t think that is Mrs. Bushka that Les is talking to. Obviously Tom has planned a very contemporary story about Mort Winkerbean escaping the Bedside Manor to fulfill his dream of transitioning to a woman. Tell me that’s not Mort in a bad black wig? Look, he even went overboard with the really dark foundation!

  17. Rusty Shackleford

    Speaking of the artwork, is it just me or does Crankshaft look like it is being illustrated by Hank Ketcham? Maybe he is drawing from the grave?

  18. 1. So did the wife ever, you know actually take Bull to consult a fucking doctor or something? Or is she just going to play wait-and-see and hope it magically cures itself, like that stupid trophy wife in Rex Morgan?

    2. Even though he writes this stuff months in advance, how has Batiuk not been able to squeeze in some mention of the incredible, historic seasons the Cavaliers had and the Indians are currently having?? Or does that too disruptive to his ethos that Northeast Ohio can’t ever be allowed to feel anything other than abject misery and despair?


    —Speaking of the artwork, is it just me or does Crankshaft look like it is being illustrated by Hank Ketcham? Maybe he is drawing from the grave?——

    The zombified corpse of Hank Ketcham is still a better artists and writer than Tom Batiuk.

  20. @Charles: To be fair, I’ve seen that look on parents’ faces fairly often when Junior’s team is getting blown out 35-0 early in the second quarter but they can’t leave because they’re his ride home and they’ll have to hear him moan and complain the rest of the night about not getting any playing time in a 56-6 blowout and so while they’re waiting for the clock to hit 0:00, the dumbassed coach wants to go to war with the refs over some inconsequential bullshit and extend the misery another 20 minutes…