That Almost Imperceptibly Grinning Guy From Room /Z/

Link To Today’s Strip

Crankshaft’s fondest-ever possession and the one thing he secretly pines for the most…an old gardening catalog from the 1950s. Such a deep and complex character, no wonder BatStrips felt he merited an entire spin-off strip to himself. I like how Mort and Funky are completely indistinguishable from one another now, which will make things a lot easier for Batom in the long run, continuity (guffaw) be damned.

One can easily imagine a young Ed huddled in the attic with his catalog, some cookies and a glass of milk, engrossed in comparing rake prices and marveling at the innovations in wheelbarrow technology that made the entire post-war boom possible. Or one could continue to ignore Crankshaft, as I prefer. Whose heart is warmed by this drivel? Who’s been waiting years to see Ed crack a dreary dying grin? Do people who read Crankshaft but not FW even know that this is supposed to be Future Ed? Are FW readers who don’t read Crankshaft trying to figure out why Funky is in a nursing home and/or what the f*ck is going on here?

One can safely assume that Funky is eventually footing the bill for this idiotic gesture, probably without even knowing about it too. Funky essentially paid for the SJ collection Cory later pawned (and he’ll be paying for and hosting the wedding too, bet on it) for Rocky’s engagement ring, then he financed the Dick Tracy collection that’s keeping the Korner afloat. And now he’s buying Chester’s already-flailing comic book company some time via his dad’s impulse purchase which also impacts Pete, Darin, Jessica and little baby Skyler. Plus he supplies the town folk with pizza. The guy is the backbone of the entire Westviewian economy and he doesn’t even know it.

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17 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

17 responses to “That Almost Imperceptibly Grinning Guy From Room /Z/

  1. Tom Batiuk is running out the clock, as always. Once he realized he wasn’t going to win any awards, or even get nominated (“I just had my strip’s star marry a black woman! Come on, where’s my award!”) the strip turned to total wish fulfillment, 24/7.

    “My terrible comic book ideas were rejected? Ha, I’ll create my own comic book company, which will publish all my terrible ideas!! What, my other strip was completely ignored? Ha, I’ll stick endless references to it in the only comic strip I have that hasn’t died! Ha ha! Where’s my hot cocoa?”

    I shake my head. And shake it again.

  2. spacemanspiff85

    Man, I really would’ve loved hearing the first half of Mort’s sentence in panel one.
    “Hi, cranky guy down the hall. I was lurking outside your door the other day when that hot blonde and the loser were visiting you, and so I thought you might like to have this.”

  3. Gerard Plourde

    Also, back in TomBa’s “relevant stories” period, I think one of the arcs in Crankshaft revealed that he couldn’t read. This spawned an arc on adult education. So why would a 1952 catalogue be precious to him?

    • billytheskink

      This is a GREAT catch. I guess catalogs do traditionally have large numbers of nice pictures, but I imagine one from 1952 being quite a bit more text-intensive than a modern one.

    • Apparently, his illiteracy was so great that he couldn’t even recognize his own name. So, yeah, how did he even know this was a Bean’s End catalog, and how did he know it was from 1952? No award for you, Batiuk,

  4. billytheskink

    Wasn’t Crankshaft playing minor league baseball in 1952? Didn’t he play against Fidel Castro and Che Guevara in a sandlot game around that time? Didn’t he once strike out Hank Greenberg, Charlie Gehringer, and Rudy York in order?

    And we’re supposed to believe that he not only received this rare catalog during a time in which he was performing the travel-intensive and low-paying job that is playing minor league baseball but that it is was his prized possession over any of his old Toledo Mud Hens memorabilia? Uh huh…

  5. So……either we’re supposed to ignore the “Where’s my medal for raising awareness about adult illiteracy” arc or we’re supposed to Ed be uncharacteristically sentimental about having his late wife read it for him….

    Either way, it’s a rather slow and long slide to a baffling and frustratingly boring ‘happy’ ending.

  6. Chyron HR

    Today’s absence of dialogue really highlights the terrible art.

  7. Jimmy

    The most interesting aspect of this arc is Epicus Doomus’ analysis. It never occured to me how critical Funky is to the Westview economy.

  8. Rusty

    Wouldn’t he have to open his eyes to see what it is?

  9. Not only were Mort and Connie able to afford this rare catalog, apparently they sprung for same day shipping. Both are wearing the same clothes they had on when they started their quest.

    • comicbookharriet

      You know it’s a cheap nursing home when the orderlies don’t even bother to change and bathe the more mobile patients.

    • spacemanspiff85

      The entire arc could’ve been told in those two panels and nothing at all would’ve been lost.

  10. Hate to burst everyone’s bubble but Cranky smiles cause he just had the BM he’s been trying for the past two hours.The catalog reminded him because back in the day, in his favorite outhouse, toilet tissue and all…( “The Beans End catalogs were particularly good.”)

  11. It would be great if the face in the masthead was Dinkle being hit by a car.