They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!

Link To Today’s Strip

“Then Mr. Dinkle came into the girls locker room and told us to get “backwards dressed”. You know what, I’m beginning to think there might be something slightly amiss about that guy!”. And during the trip to Pasadena they vomited instead of eating and sat outside the bus, which of course was going in reverse. Then later in life you decided to re-marry so you chose the opposite of someone you liked and were attracted to then let yourself go completely instead of making an effort to be healthy. We get it.

BatNard should try writing these FW strips backwards, starting with an actual joke first then working his way back. That way perhaps one of them might eventually include one. Why are they letting Holly hijack Christmas (and Morton’s glory) with these inane and totally pointless Dinkle stories? I guess the idea here was to do a sort of “you wanna hear about Dinkle? Well, do I have some Dinkle stories for you!” kind of thing but absolutely no one was demanding more Dinkle stories so why he went off on this particular tangent at this particular time is beyond me. His endless need to constantly re-establish the basic traits of characters he’s been doing for forty-plus years is downright intelligence-insulting. Everyone already knows that Dinkle is an annoying nut who’s always capable of doing something wacky, there’s no need for unrelated characters to drone on about him for days on end.

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25 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

25 responses to “They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!

  1. billytheskink

    Holly should tell Funky what really happened in Pasadena back in 1988-89…


    She destroyed thousands of man hours of fine flower craftwork.


    Then the entire band failed to show up for the parade, followed by Dinkle trespassing on to the parade route and hijacking the Elks’ float (intended to tie into the actual, real life 1989 Tournament of Roses Parade, where an actor playing Dinkle allegedly appeared). Dinkle gets remarkably excited about appearing in a parade he had participated in only 6 years prior…


    Yep, back in 1982-83, Dinkle and the Scapegoat band make their first trip to Pasadena. No mention is made of marching backwards, the arc consists largely of a trip to Disneyland and Dinkle stroking his ego.

  2. DOlz

    “… and Dinkle stroking his ego.”

    Please in the name of all that is holy never use that phrase again.

  3. I often wonder if Batiuk looks upon his early 70’s stuff and weeps over what might have been, as opposed to what is here now.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I like his early stuff. I was in High School Marching Band at the time these strips came out and we all liked them.

      His problems began when he got all serious and started chasing awards. And then when those didn’t materialize, it got worse as he started throwing crap against the wall..and so it goes.

      • Charles

        His problems began when he got all serious and started chasing awards.

        There is that, and the follow-up you mention, but he’s also gotten extraordinarily lazy. He has about nine different concepts he uses in the strip and it appears his two most favorite these days is “anything old people do is funny by definition” and “remember when”. Those are the two laziest concepts. One he simply redoes something he did years ago, while simply showing two people sitting talking to each other. The other shows old people doing something unremarkable and believing it’s hilarious because it’s old people. The punchline of every Mort strip recently has been “can you believe old people are doing this?”

      • Double Sided Scooby Snack

        The comic strip was lighthearted and fun early on. I remember enjoying it. Then Batty woke up one day and decided he was A Serious Author. He decided the artwork needed to be less “cartoony” so he could show what a “fantastic” artist he was too. That’s when the strip went right into the toilet.

  4. Had to share this pic from the official FW blog of “Harry Dinkle” in the Rose Parade circa ’89.

    • So … who was the Harry L Dinkle actor?

      It’s either some Tom Batiuk friend-or-fan who leapt at the opportunity to put this bit of whimsy into the Parade of Roses or it’s some guy who got a job through the booking office and had no idea what the point of it all was, and it seems like either case is worth at least, like, 500 words on an AV Club-grade web site.

  5. comicbookharriet

    I miss not being able to see Dinkle’s eyes. Back then he was a horrifying super villain, spouting crazy schemes….like the inverse of neighbor Wilson from Tool Time. Now he’s just the square-headed, potato-nosed, love child of Mr. Fredricksen from ‘Up’ and a Kewpie Doll.

    They constantly have to talk about how crazy he was in the past, and make that crazy A MILLION TIMES crazier, because he’s become Wry, Cynical, Aging, White, Funkyverse Male No. 1138.

    • Epicus Doomus

      He’ll ruin a character (Dinkle, Bull, Lisa) then do retcon stories centering around the core characteristic he stripped from the character (band directing, football, life). It’s so bizarre.

  6. Epicus Doomus

    Once again billy outdoes himself and proves once more that SoSF is truly THE world’s most comprehensive and only FW resource. So, the idiotic marching backwards story is a retconned lie, that figures. He ruined the Dinkle character way too soon and now he’s fresh out of wacky old marching band stories and Becky isn’t funny, so now he’s making up new ones out of thin air to fill the void.

    AND taking nearly an entire week to tell it, too. Look at those old strips, things are actually happening from panel to panel, unlike now where Holly needs four days to explain how she marched backwards in a parade once. The funniest (and saddest) thing about this is that he didn’t even need to make up a stupid new old marching band story to get across how nutty and unpredictable Dinkle is, he already had a new story…the trip to Memphis. It was RIGHT THERE and as usual he fumbled it away and just threw together whatever came to mind first.

  7. The worst thing is that Batiuk probably believes this bullshit story because he can’t be arsed to look back at his archives and have Becky remind Funky of the time Dinkle rushed the Elks float and how embarrassed everyone in town was.

  8. Gerard Plourde

    I’ll admit that I gave The Author’s premise far too much thought, but here goes.

    The band playing the notes in reverse order wouldn’t have the same effect as playing a recording backwards, of which the “B” side of the 1966 Napoleon XIV record you reference is an example. Composers actually use the technique, known as retrograde in their work. The result is melodic. Playing an entire piece in a reversed transcription would probably also be melodic but unrecognizable.

  9. How old are the main cast supposed to be? Because Holly looks like she could be in her mid 60s.

    • comicbookharriet

      The Graduation date of Act I has gotten retconned around a few times. Maybe the all knowing Billy can pull up a strip where it was last confirmed. But after the Act III time jump, it actually lines up better than in Act II. They’ve got kids old enough to get married, their parents are old enough to be World War II vets, and Holly’s been established to be going through menopause. Late fifties, early sixties works. Only problem is Cindy, who is apparently Galadriel, the ageless elf queen.

      • Charles

        Crazy Harry celebrated his 52nd birthday in-strip on 2/12/2012, so these guys are all supposed to be around 57 or 58 these days. Holly has seriously looked to be about 75 in some of the panels this week. I know women who are closing in on 80 who exhibit less of an old-lady vibe than Holly has this week.

  10. bobanero

    Funky Winkerbean – Comics for the post-truth era.

    It could be worse. We are leading up to the anniversary (can’t remember how many years ago) of the creepiest panel in FW history.

  11. Heh. SOSF – the CNN of the Batiukian world! For someone who prides himself for his detailed descriptions of and insights into his storylines (in the book intro excerpts he relentlessly quote at his blog), TB sure is cavalier with the retconning. I half expect those intro excerpts to eventually get retconned to jibe with how current strip content is presented.

  12. batgirl

    How is Mort holding that demitasse in the last panel?

  13. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    “And then he made us learn that horrible song by that terrible English ensemble, the Yardbirds. What was the name of it? Oh yeah! “Over Under Sideways Down”!