Shovel Off to Bull-fellow

If you are reading this and your name is not Thomas Martin Batiuk, you read Funky Winkerbean not for its  depiction of “contemporary issues affecting young adults in a thought-provoking and sensitive manner” (because all that ended with Act II). You don’t seek real-life situations, believable dialogue, likable characters, or coherent plotting. You likely were a true fan of this comic back in the days when it did have these characteristics, in abundance. Perhaps you’ve continued reading faithfully ever since, or, perhaps you picked up the funny pages after a lengthy absence, decided to check in on ol’ Funky and his pals, and wondered what the hell happened.

But if you’re reading this blog, you share a very special perspective on the Funkiverse. You keep coming back either to see how incoherent, tone deaf, and awful it can get…or…you cast aside whatever passes for narrative around here, and inject your own. In which case, today’s installment could be right out of a Coen brothers film: repressed midwestern matron Linda gleefully looking on as strapping Buck marches docile Bull out to dig his own cold, lonely grave.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

27 responses to “Shovel Off to Bull-fellow

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Batiuk’s oh-so-timely “take” on football and CTE: three days of gags about how dumb Bull is followed by (sigh) another trip to the ol’ nostalgia field. It’d be great if Buck bludgeons Bull to death with the shovel, buries his corpse and runs off with Linda thus ridding FW of the whole lot of them forever but fat chance of that happening. No, instead the guy with the rapidly fading memory will waste more of those precious neurons on a brief long ago four year period of his youth instead, because the joker who “writes” this thing is half-assing it again, two weeks into the new year no less. Sigh.

  2. billytheskink

    Jimmy Hoffa was buried in an end zone, just not the one at Giants Stadium.

  3. spacemanspiff85

    So wait, did these two guys used to play football or something? This strip is way too subtle for me.

  4. It’s nice that Bull can still get out of the house and point enthusiastically at outside stuff.

  5. Gerard Plourde

    So, based on Buck’s comment, they’re going to scrimmage on the Westview football field? And Buck is carrying a garden spade to remove the snow? Or are we in for some “clever” Batiukian pathos with Buck and Bull burying what’s left of Coach Stropp’s ashes in the end zone?

  6. In my case, I come here to see that yet again, the only means by which Tom Batiuk will ever come to peace with high school is when he finally dies. Funky is an awkward, ranting mess because he’s not BMOC no more. Bull is a pathetic shlub who’ll be reliving his career as a failure on the gridiron because Hollywood brain damage makes it happen. Les’s whole entire life is the revenge fantasy of an AV Geek. Holly is a butterball because Batiuk was passed over by the popular girls…..and the funky beat goes on.

    • Count of Tower Grove

      Never thought of Fungy as BMOC. More of an Everyman than Wally Clever.

      • batgirl

        Yeah, when I was reading this strip back in the day, Funky was just this guy, you know? Crazy was the stoner, Bull was the bully, Les was the dweeb, Funky was the ordinary guy, not a very good student, not on the sports teams (was he even in band?).
        I don’t remember there being a BMOC as such. God knows what TB would have had happen to him post-highschool – getting fat would be the least of it.

  7. Chyron HR

    Dang, Buck’s going to kill Bull and bury him in the end zone? A bold move by Batiuk, but what will he do for strips on Friday and Saturday?

    • LTPFTR

      Friday: Bull makes some lame pun about how he’s finally made it onto the end zone.
      Saturday: Everybody gathers at Montoni’s to praise Bull (faintly) and bear him off with smirks.

  8. redsnifit

    It looks like they’re out in their socks. Perhaps they intend to commit ritual suicide, the horrifying effects of frostbite providing motivation to bludgeon themselves to death with the shovel.

    Although given Buck’s scrawny t-rex arms in the first panel, he may not have the strength to finish the job before his extremities fall off.

  9. Rusty Shackleford

    The portrait of a man ( and his author) who never grew up, constantly living in the past. High School never meant so much to so many, save for the idiots in this strip and their creator.

    • redsnifit

      Buck didn’t even go to Westview, he has zero reason to be so obsessively attached.

      I suspect that Buck represents what Batiuk wishes his readers were like: Unflinchingly loyal no matter his failings, and always willing – no, eager – to subject ourselves to long-winded ramblings and trips down Nostalgia Lane and other various things we have no reason to care about, and generally willing to dump heaps of largely undeserved respect onto him.

  10. So, Tom Batuik hated the folks he went to high school with, and decided to start a comic strip to make fun of them.

    Then he decided he was tired of telling jokes and stopped doing so. So, the only thing left is his hatred of these characters. This is glaringly obvious in the case of Bull and Funky.

    This strip should be cancelled. It’s not even a healthy fantasy now.

    • Sully

      It should be marched in the snow to a High School end zone, beaten nearly to death with a shovel, and buried alive.

  11. Professor Fate

    About the only time I ever think about high school is when I read this strip and my thought is High School really? In my case high school was over 40 years ago. Not only don’t i miss it, I barely remember it. Something called life happened to me after high school.
    The FW life – mourn in a maudlin way for days that weren’t that great to begin with, obsess over comic books, eat cookies, drink milk, learn nothing, grow old and die.
    No thank you.

  12. Yes, this reminded me of “Fargo” but it also brought to mind “Old Yeller.” Well done TB…well done!

    • comicbookharriet

      “No Ma, he’s my lineman….I’ll take care of it.” *cocks shotgun*

      • comicbookharriet

        “Go on, Buck. When we gonna do it?”

        “Gonna do it soon.”

        “Me an’ you.”

        “You…an’ me. Ever’body gonna be nice to you. Ain’t gonna be no more trouble. Nobody gonna hurt nobody nor steal from ’em.”

        Bull said, “I thought you was mad at me, Buck.”

        “No,” said Buck. “No, Bull. I ain’t mad. I never been mad, an’ I ain’t now. That’s a thing I want ya to know.”

        The voices came close now. Buck raised the shovel and listened to the voices.

        Bull begged, “Le’s do it now. Le’s get that place now.”

        “Sure, right now. I gotta. We gotta.”

        And Buck raised the shovel and steadied it, and he brought the blade of it close to the back of Bull’s head. The hand shook violently, but his face set and his hand steadied. He swung the shovel.

        • Gerard Plourde

          If Steinbeck were writing this strip, the tone of this blog would be far different.

        • ian'sdrunkenbeard

          Sonofstuckfunky – Where else can you find snark that includes quotes from Steinbeck, Shakespeare, Goethe, Donne, Vonnegut, Clarke, Groening, Marx (Karl and Groucho), and so many other great philosophers? You’ll come for the snark, you’ll stay for the deep philosophical discussions.

          I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by crappy comics…

  13. batgirl

    Okay, if the football field (and thus school) is so close that a sick old man can walk there through the snow, why did Bull and Linda need a car parked at the school for Bull to drive away with in his CTE-rage? Why did Linda need a ride?

  14. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    “I knew I shouldn’t have taken you to that club, no matter how much you begged. Now we’ve got another stripper to bury.”

  15. Jimmy

    “You likely were a true fan of this comic back in the days when it did have these characteristics, in abundance.”

    Alas, I never tuned in for the salad days of FW. I picked it up in this weird Act III thing.

    On an unrelated note, is that Lesistopheles in the header?