The Gangrene’s All Here

Link to today’s strip.

Another dull entry…which would be a great name for this strip.

Imagine this particular episode presented with no dialogue–it’s just people standing around with a couple of handshakes thrown in.   Without the dialogue, it’s dull, but you have the possibility that adding dialogue might make it into something that could be interesting, possibly, depending on what these people say.  But in Funky Winkerbean, if you add the dialogue back, yes, it changes…but not for the better.  You end up with something no one could care about at all, except someone trying to reach a 50th anniversary on a project in which he has lost all interest.  And it shows.  Boring people saying boring things in a boring way.

I’m sure the idea is that Funky Winkerbean fans (those mythical creatures) would look upon this and shout, “Yes!  Vera and Cliff are back!  This is great!”  The problem–probably the main problem with the whole strip–is that in the real world, enthusiasm for characters comes from caring about them, because those characters are interesting, or do interesting things.  Here, these characters are uninteresting, do nothing but stand around, and we are given no reason to care about them at all.  This is because Tom Batiuk cannot create interesting characters, because he cannot care about anyone other than his various avatars (mainly Les, but also Dullard, John Howard and Dinkle).

Remember that time you were in a restaurant and you asked the table next to you if you could borrow their salt shaker, and you got an assful of stories that bored you to tears, but you needed that salt?  Say hello to Vera and Cliff.

While I can’t say much for his taste in clothing, it’s nice that Cliff and Vera dress up a bit when they’re going visiting.

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21 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

21 responses to “The Gangrene’s All Here

  1. bayoustu

    Re: Panel 2 Les- “Forehead?! More like a five-head!!”

  2. spacemanspiff85

    Man, this art just gets crappier and crappier. In addition to Mason and Darin being the same person, in panel two, Vera looks to have a goatee and Les looks like he’s about to use his mento-rays from his super brain to make everyone pay for what they did to him.

  3. Epicus Doomus

    BC: something like this, perhaps?

  4. In panel 2 Vera definitely has a Planet of the Apes look. And the BattyBlog shows some of his fans at one of his talks. Hard not to caption it as ” The Weekly Medina Losers Meeting”.

  5. erdmann

    “What’s wrong with these people? You’d think they never saw an underappreciated genius before!”

  6. Gerard Plourde

    I think that TomBa’s disinterest has resulted in a true (if unintentional) take-down of Les. How is it possible that in a town obsessed with comics where its senior class ended up in two scenes of the Starbuck Jones blockbuster, one of which was a disruption of its graduation exercises, he would only remember Cliff and Vera as part of Mason’s wedding which occurred at the world premiere at the Valentine and not know that Cliff and Vera were the original Starbuck and Jupiter? Even if he’s committed the unpardonable sin of not adoring comics there should have been all sorts of publicity about it in the local media. Les comes across as the Funkyverse’s ultimate clueless loser.

    • Hannibal's Lectern

      Because given the way “Starsuck Jones” bombed at the box office, everybody anywhere near the project has taken a lifetime vow of silence about it.

  7. Charles

    “Most unique”, Batiuk’s a master at his craft, I’ll tell ya.

    Also, it appears that Les and Cayla weren’t informed that these two remarkably well-preserved nonagenarians* were coming over. Way to be a great host, Mason, you terrifying-looking-in-panel-one-man.

    *-Seriously, Cliff and Vera were supposed to be adults sixty five freaking years ago. Hell, if Cliff’s “tramp steamer” story is supposed to be true, the guy was on his own earning his living SEVENTY EIGHT YEARS AGO.

    • timbuys

      This, so much this. I’m not so hot at the arithmetic but, jeez, if this guy was in front of HUAC, then there’s no way he’s squiring around another nonagenarian on his own in whatever day and age we’re supposed to be in. (Remember, it’s muggy in San Diego.)

      Sorry, even the best of us don’t age that well.

      • DOlz

        The reason he looks so well is that he was hiding out in “Gasoline Alley” where no one ever dies. In other words the anti-FW.

  8. billytheskink

    Little does Cliff know that he’s shaking the hand of a man whose wedding album includes photos of him dressed as Batman, his bride dressed as Robin, his best man dressed as Spiderman, Mason’s wife dressed as a genie or something, the Starbuck Jones films’ storyboard artist dressed as the Lone freaking Ranger, and the band box at a decrepit old pizza parlor in Nowheresville, Ohio.

    So don’t come here bragging about your unique wedding album Cliff. Your angle should be that yours is, remarkably, less vomit-inducing than Les’.

  9. At least he didn’t remember who they really are: the idiot who blacklisted himself and had to be pried out of his bolthole by Cindy and the martyr who wasted six decades of her life waiting for him to stop being a dimwit.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      And Batty was able to work cosplay into the dialogue to show that he is relevant and with it. He probably heard that word at Comic Crap.

  10. The Dreamer

    since when do Cliff and Vera live in LA? Mason and the Boys went and found him living in NY right?