Say “Ensemble” One More Gosh Darn Time

Link To Today’s Strip

Mort’s BAND, Mort’s GROUP…does it always have to be an ensemble? Every week he picks a new word or phrase and just beats you over the head with it all week. Mattress, trilogy, signing and now ensemble. Oh yeah, “my mom” too.

As usual BatWhat creates a decent enough premise with reasonable comedic potential, then inexplicably steers it straight into the ground nose down, full speed ahead. Suddenly Holly is telling ancient old Dinkle marching band war stories for some reason, my guess being “intense author malaise” or “devoid of ideas” but who knows, maybe he seriously believes that someone, somewhere might find this entertaining on some level. He apparently just can’t do a Dinkle story without slipping into this weird euphoric reverie over the “good ‘ol days”, the very same good ol’ days he made a conscious artistic decision to move away from “back in the day”. What a nut.

LOL seriously though, back to the strip. It certainly looks like Holly’s well on her way to a one-way ticket to Bedside Manor herself, as apparently she’s forgotten that Funky attended the same high school she did. In fact the entire strip is named after him. And I’m sure he heard all about the big Rose Bowl parade appearance, both at the time and ten thousands times since. But I guess it was just easier and faster to pretend that Funky needs some background on this Dinkle fella than to write a plausible conversation a normal person might have. And that’s really what it’s all about, is it not?

All in all this one is so mind-warpingly stupid it can’t help but make me wonder what he was being distracted by when he half-assed his way through the last few word balloons of 2017. Something on television? Staring out the window at the ceaseless winter snowfall? Pizza? Lisa? Whatever it was, he obviously put less than nothing into this drivel.

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25 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

25 responses to “Say “Ensemble” One More Gosh Darn Time

  1. The Dreamer

    why does Holly have to explain to Funky that Harry Dinkle was her band director in high school? Funky went to school with her and clearly knew and has appeared with Dinkle in past strips! I think this indicates Holly is getting early onset Dementia!

    • LTPFTR

      I think we should be worried about Batiuk at this point.

      • comicbookharriet

        Nope. It’s Funky with the dementia. Holly is just gently playing along, so as to not embarrass or alarm him. The Mort-Funky brain transplant experiment she signed off on will pay for her gastric bypass.

  2. When you’ve been shoveling excrement for years, and no one at the syndicate tells you to stop or even seems to notice…shoveling excrement becomes extremely easy. Not just easy, but pleasant and fulfilling. One more day [whistling] on to that 50th. One more day [whistling] I don’t have to care.

    • comicbookharriet

      We’ve reached Stygian stables levels of horseshit here…and only the herculean effort of a demi-god will wash the stink away.

      • batgirl

        Considering the venue, I guess that demi-god would end up diverting the Cuyahoga River through the stables and just making it all worse.

  3. bobanero

    Somehow, I wouldn’t have guessed that the week between Christmas and New Years would be further dragging out the “nobody knew that a band of octogenarians took off to Memphis and recorded a CD at a legendary recording studio” arc and turning it into yet another walk-down-Dinkleberry-lane arc, but it certainly doesn’t surprise me at all. Anything to avoid actually developing characters that the readers are actually interested in, I guess.

  4. billytheskink

    I’d generally be inclined to take issue with Funky’s dismissal of what may well be the highlight of his wife’s life, but he’s dismissing the cult of Dinkle in the process, so I’m fine with it. Alas, his efforts simply set Holly up for more Dinkle tall tales.

  5. Snifit

    I suppose it’s intended to look like Holly’s crossing her legs, but it instead it looks like she has one giant fin or tail instead of limbs.

  6. Rusty Shackleford

    Batty is back to milking his cash cows, first Lisa, now Dinkle.

    Problem is, those aren’t cows, they are Bulls, and what comes out is not milk.

  7. I would say that Mort should actually be the one getting the speech about what a crazy, self-important, self-aggrandizing lunatic Dinkle is but let’s face it; you’d have to have been in a coma since the Eisenhower administration to not notice the man. He won’t let you live in a world where he isn’t yelling “Look at me!!!!”

  8. Gerard Plourde

    Funky is a lifelong resident of Westview and a graduate of Westview High. His cousin is Wally, who performed in the band and later briefly married Becky, who worked as Dinkle’s assistant and succeeded him as band director while Dinkle still inexplicably remains. That Funky doesn’t know who Dinkle is is just not believable.

  9. Rusty

    This is the same clunky exposition he used when having the characters talk about Crankshaft serving as Santa at Montoni’s that one time. Remember that cranky old school bus driver? Yeah, he was something.

  10. I can only assume that when TB made the decision to junk the gag-a-day format and go serial/serious, he either observed how select other strips (already moldy ones at that) handled it, or sought advice from the syndicate folks who repped him, and he subsequently has never veered from that formula, never made the effort to bring his writing style into the modern era of comic readers. There’s no other way to explain why these strips, with their meticulously repetitive exposition and painfully clunky dialogue, come across as relics from a bygone era of daily strips. “Tom,” the Syndicate Dude told him 30 years ago, “you have to make sure that the premise is restated every day. Otherwise your readers, who we always assume to be aging boomers gradually slipping into cultural obliviousness and looming dementia, won’t know who is speaking and won’t understand the set up on successive days.” For a guy who appears to be casually insightful and even self-deprecating when he reflects on the strip at his blog’ reprinting of book intro excerpts, his insightfulness where it comes to executing his plot lines and dialogue for his contemporaneous readers is pretty much rock bottom. By comparison, Dilbert is Chaucer.

    • DOlz

      “There’s no other way to explain why these strips, with their meticulously repetitive exposition and painfully clunky dialogue, come across as relics from a bygone era of daily strips.”

      Even back in the day these strips would have stunk. You can go over TB’s entire output to pick his best strip or even story arc and I’ll match it against a randomly selected strip from “Pogo” and expect to win.

      The only explanation I have as to why TB is allowed to waste dead trees, is that King Features thinks some movie studio will create the FW universe to take on Marvel. If you think that’s outside the realm of possibility may I remind you of “The Emoji Movie”.

  11. RickBrooks

    That is one huge house that the Winkerbeans live in. Two stories and about ten rooms for a family of two.

    • Double Sided Scooby Snack

      Apparently there’s a lot of money in having a pizza joint that never has customers, and gives free coffee to ex-mailmen.

  12. Count of Tower Grove

    I’m astonished the Wankerstains can live in a MacMansion, given the failure of the Montoni’s franchise scheme and Hollee spending fifty large for Cory’s Starsux Jones collection.

  13. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    Okay, let’s stick with the ridiculous “Flunky didn’t know Holly or Dinkleberry in high school” theme:

    “Oh, you were in the band? What instrument did you play?”

    “I didn’t play an instrument. I was a majorette.”

    “Woof… Seriously? They had fat blob majorettes??”

  14. batgirl

    I guess that first panel explains why Holly never goes running with Funky and Les – her lower body is tragically deformed.

  15. Hell, Funky catered Dinkles 50th wedding party, and now he doesn’t know who he is? Maybe this is Batiuk’s way of starting a Funky has dementia story, except that would require plotting that doesn’t involve comic books.

  16. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    Mort: You guys have plenty of room here. Why did you stick me in that hell-hole of a nursing home? Clear that junk out of Funky’s “office” – I’m moving in!
    Funky and Holly both do hilarious coffee spit takes.

  17. The Dreamer

    Funky also thinks its natural that Holly is gray haired and dumpy, while Cindy– who was his first wife and the three of them are the same age and went to school together– is a hot blonde still with a movie star husband

  18. Charles

    Missed commenting on this yesterday, but man, these characters have had the bridges of their noses slowly rising over the last ten or so years, but Mort’s the first one to have the bridge of his nose sit higher on his face than where his nose actually starts. The artwork is appalling.