Smirk ‘n’ Turf

January 12, 2018 at 2:14 am
I have a strong feeling they’re either:
A. Digging away the snow so Bull can recreate his “winning” play.
or B. Digging up the dirt where Bull “made” his “winning” play so Bull can take it home and preserve it.

And the correct answer is “B”, if by “preserve it” you mean plop it on a shelf where it will wither faster than Bull’s mind. I guess we can remove the quotation marks around “winning” now, as Buck ‘n’ Bull have, by sheer force of will, turned that long-ago loss into a win. And again with the “crazy” talk, though at least Linda means it figuratively. While thematically this week’s arc was nothing to write home about, what interests me (barely) about  today’s strip is Bull’s profile in panel 2. Not because his hair, which three months ago was brown, is now pure white. It’s that as he gazes at the relic of what is now seen as his life’s greatest achievement, he morphs into a bald version of his Act I self.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

32 responses to “Smirk ‘n’ Turf

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Buck looks way older than he should too, these people are in their fifties, not their seventies. But Batiuk doesn’t give a shit anymore, as evidenced by this piece of shit resolution to his piece of shit arc. Bull may be an imbecile and all but even he wouldn’t do something this stupid, even in his prime. It’s a lazy mix of stupidity and brainless nostalgia centering around a character he clearly dislikes, featuring two of the more loathsome supporting characters you’ll find outside Montoni’s and a punch line that no one could possibly be amused by.

  2. redsnifit

    I don’t really know what I expected from this arc, but I’m sure it was a better payoff than this.

    I don’t like to comment on Batiuk himself too much, but I find it somewhat frightening that he thinks that this level of childhood obsession is a normal, or at least understandable, thing that has the potential to strike a chord with readers. This is beyond midlife crisis levels.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Neither do I, while the strip is always fair game I try not to speculate too much on the author himself, as for all I know he’s a fantastic guy who just happens to write one hell of a lousy comic strip. Like that really nice and funny old guy who sells inedible hot dogs from a cart on the side of the road.

      But yeah, these stupid high school arcs make you wonder sometimes. I mean sure, occasionally revisiting the good ol’ days is all well and good but this is way beyond overkill. The man’s memory is vanishing and he’s wasting his few remaining days on the same football game over and over again? That’s not funny, it’s just pitiful.

      • comicbookharriet

        I wonder if the problem is less that Tom Bat is nostalgic about High School itself, and more that he long ago wrote these characters into a corner. And so has nowhere to go but back to the beginning. He doesn’t have the energy to take his rapidly aging, static characters, (at least the handful he still remembers) anywhere new; and he’s no longer as interested in reliving the trauma drama he put them through in Act II, so he’s trying to coast to the finish line waxing nostalgic for the good old days when this strip could still feel joy and whimsy.

        Tom Batiuk is 70 years old. Is it any wonder that Funky and Bull seem 70 too? That he ages the middle aged and de-ages the elderly?

        He once was a hip and ‘with it’ cartoonist, writing with the biting sarcasm and freedom of a young adult. Now he’s a old man being faced with his own mortality. The world he built over nearly fifty years is constantly crumbing around him into retcons, plot holes, and forgotten characters…and I think he’s figuring out that except for Dinkle and Lisa Cancer it’s not really remembered…it’s barely mattered anyway. It hasn’t been real and alive for years.

        What do you think the abandoned house was? An old man wandering through a decayed universe, trying to find something beautiful and poignant in it, while succumbing to fatalism.

        What do you think this CTE arc actually means? An old man stuck in his basement, surrounded by a mythical 1970 that he rewrites at a whim because it makes him feel young again. Back when he could still do anything.

        • Epicus Doomus

          One of my long-standing personal baseless theories is that he’s deliberately making the strip as boring, stupid and incomprehensible as he can specifically to drive readers away, with the idea being that if no one reads it no one will notice how badly he’s half-assing it.

          It’s a two-pronged strategy. He runs off older FW fans by totally ignoring continuity and placing the characters into inexplicable situations and he scares off potential new readers with his seemingly random hopscotching stories that never go anywhere and always referencing things only longtime readers would understand. Then he coats it with layer upon layer of awful jokes and boring patter, as a sort of insurance to chase away any stragglers.

          He’s going to cruise into year Fifty and get that Golden Ruler thing and when he’s introduced at the banquet they’ll go on and on about the groundbreaking innovation and the contemporary issues and no one will be the wiser. FW is unique in the world of entertainment, it’s both long-running and rarely seen, a totally obscure institution with no following, cult or otherwise.

          • I’ve long held the same theory. It’s the only way this “content” makes sense. I’m sure the existence of SoSF pisses him off, so the strategy is that, by removing everything that could be called “content,” you give the critics nothing to work with and they eventually just leave.

      • Double Sided Scooby Snack

        My impression, from all I’ve heard, and from comments he’s made, is that he takes himself way too seriously and is a humorless twit. I think if he were just a lovable old goof who wrote this awful comic strip, it wouldn’t get one tenth of the snarkage it gets now. But since he appears to be such a self-important pinhead, it’s all fair game.

        Remember the legal action against the original Stuck Funky if that helps.

      • I wonder if making a new series outside of the Funkyverse would give him a second wind. I have a feeling he would like to do superhero stories with how much he spergs about them.

  3. billytheskink

    Vandalism has never been less edgy.

    • Jimmy

      It would only count as vandalism if it happened to the venerable Montoni’s.

      I can’t wait for the arc where Dinkle digs up a piece at midfield to relive his glory days. Then Owen can grab a chunk of the end zone where he scored the illegal touchdown. Pretty soon the field will be nothing but potholes.

  4. ian;sdrunkenbeard

    What the hell is that flesh-colored thing sticking out in front of Bull? Decorum prevents me from hazarding a guess.

  5. spacemanspiff85

    Seriously, I never really wanted to criticize Batiuk personally, but a guy who thinks just calling someone with serious brain injury “crazy” repeatedly qualifies as acceptable humor, or really just humor at all, has problems.

    • Epicus Doomus

      The arc ends with Linda remarking to Buck that Bull’s cognitive decline hasn’t yet impacted his witless nostalgia over high school football at all. Yes, it CAN be done without referring to a brain damaged man as being “crazy”…and I don’t get paid ANYTHING to “write”.

    • LTPFTR

      I can only hope that some of the relatives of people affected by CTE would sit Batiuk down and carefully explain that the effects of this condition don’t render someone delightfully goofy and eccentric–they can be so frightened and delusional that they do harm to others or kill themselves to prevent it. Oh yeah, that’s quite a laugh riot.

  6. Ah, yes. Linda Bushka: long-suffering wife as brassy, punitive, unsympathetic and self-satisfied virago. Imagine what she would have been if Batiuk weren’t a festering bag of mommy issues.

  7. louder

    But the thing is, he’s not even trying to attract new readers, there is no one character that is being presented where someone new can latch on to, who serves as an entry into the comic. As had been said many times, if you don’t know the involved background of the strip you’re lost. You would think an editor whose on the ball would insist that Batiuk create a single story line, centered on one character, in the hopes that would bring new fans for the strip, thus making it viable for the closing years to come. Guess that’s too obvious though, for a comic that is drawn a year in advance. What a mess this comic has turned into.

  8. This is the sort of thing a person would do to indulge a very, very young child. Like, three or four years old. Wishing very hard that reality is different isn’t going to change reality one bit.

    In a recent blog post, Batiuk confesses: “Humor strips weren’t my thing, however”

    I’ll say.

    • Double Sided Scooby Snack

      You mean long term brain injury to the Bully Jocks who harassed him in high school isn’t slap-nuts funny? I mean, Bull is CRAAAAAZYYYY, man!

  9. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    If you are keeping score at home, remember that Bull and Les were “secret friends” in high school, not bullyer and bullyee. Also, Bull scored the winning touchdown and Westview did NOT lose The Big Game. (Expecting some sort of ceremony where Westview is officially awarded the winner’s trophy 40 years after the fact, Bull makes a pathetic, halting speech, and everyone smirks their asses off.) Next, we’ll find out that Duuuuhhhhren actually IS Goatee Boy’s son, thanks to an encounter between Less and Saint Lisa that we never ever heard about.

  10. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    Hi. Me again. Sorry.

    Just wanted to nominate “A little late to the tea party” for the BatDICKtionary. I’ve heard “late to the party,” with no tea involved. That is, unless this is another of those goofy Ohioisms I’ve never heard before.

    • comicbookharriet

      I think we’re all a little late to the Tea Party. I mean, that grassroots conservative moment was like….nine years ago.

  11. Where the heck is their daughter, Jinx, in all of these new Bull stories? Does she even know about her father’s new state? If so, how does she feel about it?

    • comicbookharriet

      I WOULD say that Batty assumes that we the readers have forgotten about her, and thus she would be to awkward to try to reintroduce. But then again, he pointlessly brought back a weather man no one had seen in years and years and years for ONE WEEK to fire him before moving on to something else…so I have no idea.

    • Double Sided Scooby Snack

      Huh? Bullsquat had a daughter? Was that with Linda or when he was married to Cyndi Summers? (Assuming each of the characters was married to Cyndi at some point.

  12. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    “Look at the mud you idiots tracked in! Buck, I think I hear your wife calling you. Funky, go get the mop!”