Low ‘Rents

Like so much of Funky Winkerbean, today’s strip invites reasonable questions that have stupid and unsatisfying answers. Use the Q&A below to guide you as you take part in the frustrating experience that is reading today’s strip.

So when is Jessica moving back to Ohio?
I thought she had, but I was apparently wrong and she is still in California doing documentary work with Cindy. Durwood believes that she would not mind moving back to Ohio, so there’s that.

Wait… Jessica is doing documentary work for Cindy?
Well, she certainly was. If you didn’t have to blink back in November 2016 (the nerve of you!), you would have known this.

So Jessica is still working on Cindy’s Cliff Anger documentary 19 months after shooting the interview with Cliff and Vera?
Well… Cindy’s Cliff Anger documentary was nominated for an Emmy award in April 2017, so it is presumably complete. Either Jessica works so slowly that she has entered a time warp, an incomplete documentary was nominated for an Emmy award, or a certain writer forgot what he wrote 14 months back.

Why did Darin move back in with his parents in Westview instead of finding his own place in Cleveland, where he works?
Because he is a notorious freeloader who deserves to be nicknamed “Mooch” more than his old high school pal Eric Myers ever did. Recall his and Jessica’s previous residences in Act III, slumming with friends until getting kicked out (free), living with Les and Summer (free), and finally getting their first “real place” in the apartment above Montoni’s (technically not free, but Funky owned the unit and paid Durwood’s salary during this time).

Isn’t it hard on his senior-citizen mother to have him and Skyler living in the house on top of having to care for her stroke-crippled husband?
Of course it is, but Durwood is all about Durwood.

Does Darin not get along with his parents?
That seems to only be implied, but given that he has spent far more time beatifying his “bio mom” and “step dad” in Act III than spending any time at all (pleasant or otherwise) with the couple that loved and raised him from infancy, it is a very strong implication. Durwood is awful.

Why did Skyler move with Durwood, who is starting a time-intensive new job, into Ann and Fred’s cramped old house instead of staying with his mother, who is still living in a whole apartment that he was already comfortably living in?
Because Jessica is awful too.

Is Darin the worst?
No, Les is the worst… but Durwood is making a genuine effort at sinking to his depths.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

25 responses to “Low ‘Rents

  1. DOlz

    I came here for the blog, but found a Wikipedia entry instead. 🙂

  2. Epicus Doomus

    And also bear in mind that Boy Lisa is forcing his family to relocate yet again mostly because Pete really likes a local girl. Pete apparently doesn’t take his “best friend” and his family seriously at all, yet Boy Lisa is prepared to follow him through the gates of hell and back, his own family and their needs be damned. What a jerk.

    Yeah, the Jessica thing makes zero sense at all. That “documentary” was finished years ago and never mentioned again until now. And perhaps the nitwit could have hired someone to do the “subletting” if only he hadn’t donated thousands of dollars of artwork to Les’ idiotic bio-mom foundation. A weak excuse to avoid having to draw Jessica, if you ask me.

    And yes, how many more indignities must be heaped upon the poor Fairgoods? I mean the guy lived with Les f*cking Moore for years, his parents are a huge step up from that. And Doesn’t jessica’s mom live in a big fancy house? Why can’t they stay there?

  3. spacemanspiff85

    What the hell is it with the coffee mugs this week? They’re showcased in almost every panel. I mean Darin is actually reaching over in the first panel to squeeze his under the massive, boring dialogue bubble. I think either this strip is now sponsored by Big Coffee Mug or Batiuk is trying to show how hip these two guys are, drinking coffee from mugs in a coffeeshop and talking about their love lives.

  4. spacemanspiff85

    Also, what’s keeping Darin from getting an actual place? Just because Jessica isn’t there doesn’t mean he can’t get an apartment or an actual house. It’s like Batiuk thinks there’s no possible way a man could manage a house without his wife around.

  5. I’ve not paid any attention to FW for many months, but it’s obvious that neither Batominc nor Ayres the bear draws the comic any more. But by Jove, they still can mangle a body part! See Durrhey’s hand in panel 2. The war on bodily proportions continues, and—oh!—the horror! The horror!

  6. billytheskink

    Durwood is being the son that parents write to Dear Abby about, seeking to validate their complaints.

    And who cares when Jess is moving back to Ohio? I wanna know how Pete stole Ziggy’s nose.

  7. Remind me again why Batiuk thinks we should sympathize with this asshole. He’s ruining his life following that ass Pete, he doesn’t seem to give a shit about his family and he retroactively decreed the folks who raised him vermin because of this horrid cult of Saint Dead It’s Too Much Of A Bother To Keep Living.

  8. Charles

    I don’t actually know if it’s worse that Batiuk thinks Jess would still be working on The Cliff Anger Story after everything you’ve listed about it, or if Jessica joined Cindy’s staff for a number of documentaries that she was doing.

    For the latter, it’s ridiculous that a professional like Cindy wouldn’t already have cultivated contacts through her decades-long career and instead decided to hire the wife of a guy who worked for her pizza chef ex-husband because he asked her to. But also, even worse, if Jessica had a regular job with Cindy, that would mean that Darin took the job with Chester without even consulting his wife, despite the fact that she would have to quit that job and move across the country. And it gets even worse because unlike MBA and Pizza-App developer Darin with drawing comics, working in film documentaries was all Jessica was ever interested in. Darin decided all on his own to kill Jessica’s dream job to go back to Ohio to work for the flimsiest outfit imaginable.

    It’s incredible how Batiuk writes his characters as extreme assholes without even being aware of what he’s doing.

    • comicbookharriet

      Like anything where age is compounded with senility, we’re constantly finding new horrifying wrinkles in the Funkyverse. Thanks for pointing this one out. Durren is an asshat!

  9. gleeb

    No, Dinkle is the worst.

  10. Rusty Shackleford

    Wait wait wait wait….Les has a son, besides his step son, and he dated a black girl? I gotta read more closely.

  11. Funky Winkerbean–the only comic strip where every character is a villain.

  12. Smirks 'R Us

    Let me get this straight…Durwood had time remaining on his very expensive LA-area apartment lease, and the economic feasibility of this adventure requires them to find a sublease tenant. AND Jess has to stay behind to find said tenant and be separated by thousands of miles from her child, who will be moving in with Durwood’s adopt-o-mom and incapacitated adopt-o-dad. AND given all this, BatHack still feels the proper choice would be to go ahead and follow his comic book dreams.

    Add young married couples with children to the very long list of characters he has no clue how to write proper stories and dialog for.

  13. Either Jessica works so slowly that she has entered a time warp…

    To be fair, Jessica’s probably having trouble locating blank VHS-8 cassettes for that state of the art camcorder she works with.

  14. bobanero

    How’s it going? I would think it’s going great, since Fishsticks is happily providing free 24/7 childcare for young Skyler while Papa Durwood is busy drawing pictures of scuba heros. It is odd that Skyler is with Durwood, since the only time we saw Durwood take any interest in Skyler was when he took him to a birthday party and proceeded to ignore him the whole time while talking to his comic artist hero. I guess there’s no free childcare available in Hollywood.
    As for Jessica, she’s in high demand in Hollywood after pioneering the technique of filming a simple interview in a studio with a handheld camera. The viewer can experience first hand the tremors that come with the advanced ages of the 120 year old interview subjects. She’s now working with Cindy to wrap up “The Cliff Anger story, part 23 – The Tramp Steamer Years”. Maybe when she moves back to Westview she can pick up some part time work filming used car commercials.

  15. hitorque

    1. HOLY FUCK these are some penny-pinching cheapskate pieces of shit… All those millions he made in Hollywood in addition to the money he’s making now and he can’t even be bothered to get his own place?? Or did goddamned *Cleveland* somehow get a cost of living index higher than Hong Kong overnight? Darrin can’t even be bothered to spring for daycare???

    2. It’s funny because this “documentary” should have been finished ages ago, especially since Cliffe Angere did nothing but sulk in a New York apartment for 60 years after betraying his country…

    3. Here’s hoping Jessica makes the most of her time away from her brat and entitled husband and decides to make this “temporary” separation permanent.

  16. Epicus Doomus

    Also bear in mind that this marks the SECOND time Boy Lisa left his wife on the other side of the country to “get things together” while he chased his comic book dreams. I enjoy how Bathack explains this away via a line or two of throwaway dialog, as if this is just how married people normally operate.

    “Hon? After you finish filming your documentary, I’ll need you to sub-let the apartment and U-Haul our stuff back to Ohio. Me? I’ll be doodling, drinking coffee and gossiping with Pete, of course. Listen, when you ship Pete’s dolly collection could you mark the boxes “fragile”? When you shipped the treadmill it got a little dinged-up…thanks babe!”

  17. Professor Fate

    Let me add to the chorus: Boy Lisa is a repellant horror of a human being.
    If I had to guess this was the Author’s way of trying to stay hip and current by addressing the issue that a lot of young people are still living at home these days because they can’t afford their own place or have moved back home again for financial reasons. But Boy Lisa’s situation is completely different and it feels like he staying at his parents house because he’s cheap and wants free babysitting for the child he pays no attention to.

  18. It seems very clear that the relationship between Dullard and Jessica…isn’t. And hasn’t been for a while, ever since comic books became the sole focus of the strip. Not only does Dullard take Pete to the Flash museum, but Jessica is the one who sent him there. I get the idea that the two of them would rather not spend time around each other, but they feel that they “have to” for appearances.