Flow Like Barlow

If death itself was not enough to keep Lisa from continuing as a cast member in the Funkiverse, did you think mere retirement would deter Batiuk’s second favorite and probably best known character, Harry L. Dinkle? The World’s Greatest Erstwhile Band Director has cranked out three volumes of his autobiography to date, yet his Life and Times of Claude Barlow continues to be a work in progress, dating back to the days when Dinkle was never seen not wearing his peaked cap.

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14 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

14 responses to “Flow Like Barlow

  1. DOlz

    I love the last panel. It looks like even Dinkle is getting tired of this drivel.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    Yep, he’s been going back to this well since forever. Too much Dinkle is never, ever a good thing and seven days in a row is way, way too much. A panel once every three years, a Sunday strip a few times a decade, that I could live with. But just barely.

  3. spacemanspiff85

    I think the right amount of Dinkle is occasionally seeing him in the background, leaving Montoni’s. And then Les silently reading his obituary one Sunday, after Dinkle dies from ear cancer. Or food poisoning from a band turkey.

  4. billytheskink

    Wow, I think it has been 8 or 9 YEARS since TB brought up Dinkle’s obsession with the (fictional) Clyde Barlow. He’s been writing about Barlow since early Act II at least, which makes him at least as prolific a writer as Les. Barlow’s one claim to fame was said to be that he wrote “99 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall”.

    I remember this junk because I have an addiction to trivia, I cannot imagine how an average comic reader would have any idea what is going on in this strip.

  5. Epicus Doomus

    billytheskink: That is so true. The only reason I have any idea what’s going on in FW most of the time is a dubious gift for remembering lots of useless trivia and worthless facts. FW is the only comic strip (and maybe the only thing, period) where you have to be familiar with the inner workings of the author’s mind and his history to be able to make heads or tails out of his various ramblings. I likewise always wonder what the (ahem) “average reader” thinks when they come across something like this. If you don’t remember when this Dinkle/Barlow thing was a recurring FW gag you’re utterly lost today.

  6. Well, one positive aspect of today’s strip is that it coughed up a lot of water-music puns at once, rather than spreading them out over the course of a week between a pair of loathsome smirkers.

  7. bayoustu

    No wonder it’s taking Dinkle forever to finish this book- he appears to be typing it on his kitchen cutting board.

  8. spacemanspiff85

    The news article from King Features about Ayers leaving repeatedly misspells “Ayers”, which is just sad.

  9. Great. One irritating eccentric no one really cares for writing about another maniac who wasted his life in a useless and silly pursuit. Is this a metaphor for Batty’s career or what?

  10. Max Power

    Where’s the “That’s Not Humor” Kid when you need him?

  11. WTF? The guy who lovingly draws every brick in a wall can’t be bothered to draw the buttons on a computer keyboard? Who kidnapped Tom Batiuk, what have you done with him, and how much money do you want to not return him?

  12. Rusty

    Excuse my comics art ignorance, but I knew Ayres was drawing Crankshaft for years. If he’s been penciling FW, does that mean the basic layout of each strip (character placement, size, angles, etc.)? Maybe he’s tired of adding those little corner stickies on the flashback episodes.

  13. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    Hannibal, I would have thought Batty would LOVE drawing the keys on a computer keyboard! All those little rectangles! Oh, how Batty loves to doodle rectangles! …and BRICKS!

    Back in the early days when FW was still amusing and fun, back before Batty decided he needed to show the world was a Serious Writer he was, Dinkle was a very amusing character — the uniform, the hat pulled down over his eyes, the military attitude toward everything. He was a two-dimentional, one joke character, but a good one. Now Batty tries to make him out as this jovial, punning, kindly old coot — and it doesn’t work. We hate the forced music puns, we hate how he won’t go away and let Beckyboy do her job, we hate how Batty makes him the center of the Ohio music universe. His Punchability Factor sometimes rivals that of Les, and that’s saying something.

  14. Eldon of Galt

    A real heroic effort here for the author, as he puts three crappy puns into one strip. On many a Sunday, all six or seven panels would be used to punch across just one pun. As Homer Simpson once bragged: “I tripled my efficiency!”