There’s an APB for that

The wavy panel border returns in today’s strip.

Again, I do not understand exactly what this is supposed to mean. In the visual language of comics, the wavy border should signal Marianne’s scaling of the H as a dream, but it really comes across like it is just signaling the shift in setting from the studio lot to the Hollywood sign. It’s like telling someone you “dreamed of Portugal” when you really mean that you physically went to Portugal.

Day five in grayscale, and I’m actually starting to appreciate it. Seeing Funky Winkerbean in black-and-white on my local paper’s color comics page is like watching an infomercial for an as-seen-on-TV kitchen product. You know how those ads always begin in black-and-white or muted color, showing a frustrated person trying and failing to use common kitchen utensils to measure flour, slice a tomato, take a bite out of a sandwich, or some other non-difficult task… then the ad switches to color to espouse the virtues of how easy it is to eat eggs or to prevent your children from choking on hot dogs if you just owned this amazing new product?

That’s what it feels like reading this week’s FW strips right next to a bunch of full color strips.

Does your comic strip ignore it’s own continuity, reasonable plausibility, and all good taste? What you need is the…

…overly broad Danish humor of WUMO!
…12 year old political and pop culture references of Get Fuzzy reruns!
…first world problems of Dustin!
…awkward innuendo that populates every conversation in Luann!
…hack-y mundanity of Garfield!
Phantom‘s striped codpiece!


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

27 responses to “There’s an APB for that

  1. spacemanspiff85

    The police will put out an APB for someone who doesn’t answer their phone for a few minutes? Seriously? I keep thinking I’ve seen the dumbest thing Batiuk’s written, and then the next day’s strip comes out . . .

  2. You know the Hollywood sign
    The witness to our confusion
    A symbol of dreams turns out to be
    a sign of disillusion

  3. Gerard Plourde

    So Batiuk is again showing that his characters are mere puppets to be used and discarded at his whim. He has done nothing to make Marianne Winters real. She didn’t even appear in the trip before this arc. We meet her on set with Cindy being jealous. She has lunch with Mason and gets driven home to the house she shares with her mom. She sees the gossip story on the web bolts for the Hollywood Sign which she climbs and now stands on top of apparently preparing to jump. We haven’t learned enough about her to know why a trivial gossip post (as opposed to a showing that she has been the object of relentless bullying) would prompt such a drastic reaction. This comes across as contrived rather than tragic

  4. Epicus Doomus

    So if he really kills her off he’ll pin it on Frankie, just in time for the “Lisa’s Story” tenth anniversary victory lap too. You know how he carries those insane grudges against certain characters, he’d love to have Frankie dragged away by the cops and thrown in prison for life, it’d finally bring poor, poor TomBat some closure. Yeah, right, like he’s ever going to stop patting himself on the back over THAT story.

    Coming soon: After the gang finally realizes that Darin’s failure to alert the producers about Frankie’s presence on the lot is directly responsible for ruining the entire production, Boy Lisa is banished from the strip forever and retconned completely out of existence via a moronic story about how Les and Lisa “really” met. No one notices.

    Coming after that: BanTom courageously tackles the issue of “copycat suicides” as Owen, despondent over having nothing to do anymore, leaps from the WHS sign in front of the school, resulting in a chipped tooth.

  5. Not that anything else about this whole situation has been remotely plausible, but could you actually stand on the Hollywood Sign like that? It seems like it would be too narrow for the purpose…

  6. billytheskink

    “…the studio has their people on it.”

    No, all of the studio’s people are gathered around you, Mr. Director, watching you make the “wanker” hand gesture for some reason.

  7. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    “I just had the craziest dream about climbing the Hollywood sign , Ma. That’s what I get for eating crappy food from the roach coach before I take a nap!”

  8. Ray

    @TheDiva…unless you are a member of the “Flying Wallendas”, it would be pretty difficult to stand on top of the “H”. Take it from someone who climbed the sign back in ’89. And if I could figure out how to put a picture in these comments, I’d show it.

  9. @Ray:

    This means one thing: Batiuk has no idea what he’s talking about again. He doesn’t know what cyberbullying is because he thinks THIS is it, he doesn’t know how hard it would be to get to the sign let along climb it and he doesn’t know how missing persons cases work. It IS like an infomercial for failure but we’re supposed to like ineptitude and defend it.

  10. Rusty

    An ABP? Every skinny white teen boy in a hoodie will be dragged in.

  11. The Merry Pookster

    I’m not falling for this arch

  12. louder

    @The Merry Pookster: Yeah, I don’t believe it either — no cancer, no addiction, and most especially, No Less involved. No death can happen unless Less is there with his famous raised eyebrow, to make sure everyone knows how annoying and inconvenient Marianne’s death is to him.

  13. sgtsaunders

    Tombat’s hatred of all things “Hollywood” is reaching a fever pitch. Oh, wait, the mails in…it’s a “cc”…. “Dear Tombatty, we represent the pop group “Frankie Goes To Hollywood” and …”

  14. Comic Book Harriet

    I’m going to give Tombat exactly ONE POINT on this terrible terrible arc. If this was 9 Chickweed Lane Marianne would be staring at a crappy MS paint gradient.

  15. This whole story arc is truly beyond the pale. Marianne is apparently the FW equivalent of a Star Trek redshirt. We have just enough back story on her to give her a reason to gravitate to the HOLLYWOOD sign when things go bad. It’s really pretty much a grave insult to any person who has actually contemplated suicide or actually been harassed to depict the sequence of events as they played out. She literally went from zero to suicide within the span of a couple of hours. We see no evidence of the harassment, was she dox-ed? Did she have creepy fans waiting in front of her house at all hours of the day? Were people posting photoshopped images of bondage porn scenes with her and Mason’s faces on the models? Seriously, if you’re going to escalate the emotional state of a character to “preparing to leap to their death”, you’ve got to give us SOMETHING.


    So, the LAPD officers who regularly patrol the sign are on coffee break with their radios off?

    Given the huge amount of helicopters employed by the police in that area. None of them have spotted a potential terrorist act in a lady climbing up the sign?

    None of the numerous tourists have spotted a famous scandal ridden actress climbing up one of the most popular sites in the city?

    None of the now numerous paparazzi have trailed her up to this location?

    And probably more important given her star status….her bodyguard hasn’t found her?

  17. Ray …unless you are a member of the “Flying Wallendas”, it would be pretty difficult to stand on top of the “H”. Take it from someone who climbed the sign back in ’89. And if I could figure out how to put a picture in these comments, I’d show it.

    I just had to reach out to longtime reader Ray, who was happy to share these pics with us. I’m pretty sure not even a Wallenda could perch on the edge of what looks like corrugated metal.

  18. Comic Book Harriet

    Thanks @ TFHack and Ray! Those are some awesome pictures. Really surprised that he is getting the weird ladders on the side and the relative size of the letters right.

    Obviously he is living in the past era of 1989 when you COULD hike up to the sign.

  19. @billytheskink: Why doesn’t discretion ever exist in the Funkyverse? Director Boy has to know by now that an informant(s) has infiltrated the studio lot, so what is gained by gathering every low-level staffer intern and telling them Marianne became suicidal after some mook on the internet said something? What fucking business is it of theirs, anyway??


    Something occurred to me. This whole incident is probably going to end on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. I’ll bring up more on this letter.

  21. 1. So I was way wrong about my “head fake”, wasn’t I? Would a seasoned actress killing herself over what some 14-year-old wrote online be a new personal low for Batiuk?

    2. I still maintain that while making a 50+ foot jump off of a sign onto a rocky hillside isn’t the best thing for her health, it is still a sub-optimal way to kill herself…

  22. sgtsaunders

    Anyone ever see “White Heat?”. It’s sort of like this except Jimmy Cagney’s character (Let’s call him “Les”) is on a huge gasoline storage tank and taking fire from the police below. Pretty soon key fittings get shot up and a fire starts. Cagney shouts “I’m on Top of the WORLD!” and is immediately consumed by the resulting fireball. So, yeah. That.
    The question I pose, however, is how many days will it take for Marianne to hit the ground?

  23. Gerard Plourde

    @WESTVIEW ONCOLOGIST- I hadn’t thought of that possibility. Could this be leading up to an angel named Lisa getting her wings? Probably not, since that would have a happy ending. But if so, Frank Capra’s and Jimmy Stewart’s estates should sue.

  24. Honestly, I’m okay with exaggerating for effect, and not everything has to be %100 accurate. But that assumes that such chances make a story better which is certainly not the case here.

  25. spacemanspiff85

    That’s what I think with literally every single “plot” Batiuk writes. If it was actually funny, interesting, or exciting in the least, there wouldn’t be all these “beady-eyed nitpickers”. I’m willing to overlook quite a bit of things if a writer can actually tell a good story. And Batiuk’s about as far from a good storyteller as his strip is from reality.

  26. Epicus Doomus

    TFH: Fantastic header!

    As usual, BatFace created another empty shallow caricature whose motives are unexplained and/or just plain stupid. One little internet rumor pushes Marianne to suicide? It just makes the character appear insane, there’s no background that might explain her hugely out-of-proportion response to said story, just that she’s “sad”. It’s so simplistic and intelligence-insulting.

  27. Rusty Shackleford


    OMG, Batty is going to ruin Christmas. What a jerk. Membah when the comics were funny, membah? I membah. Now it’s all cancer and depressing stuff. Membah, membah.