Tortursday, August 30

Today’s strip was not available for preview. One can reasonably assume it will involve Lefty continuing to torture the poor folks who agreed to play in this alumni band.


So, without the current strip, let’s take a quick look back at Lefty in late Act II, who had just been named Westview High’s band director. Dinkle tries to get her killed for the sake of a bad pun. He is a monster.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

22 responses to “Tortursday, August 30

  1. countoftowergrove

    BWAWHAWHAWHAW! It’s funny because Todd has Dinkle channeling his inner Joe DiMaggio, who used to required any venue where he appeared be introduced as “The Greatest Living Player.”

  2. Epicus Doomus

    For many years I’ve postulated that ruining the Dinkle character was one of BatWad’s greatest FW missteps, aside from changing the entire tone of the strip for attention, that is. “Humanizing” Dinkle, having him age and giving him his very own pathos-laden cornball FW back story forever spoiled TB’s beloved marching band gags and forced him to not only continue using the otherwise worthless Becky character but also forced him to resort to all sorts of contrivances to find ways to work Dinkle back into the strip. Flashbacks, band candy awards, conventions…all because he couldn’t have Dinkle leading the band anymore.

    And this is a perfect example. Instead of just being able to do his traditional marching band gags he had to create this far-fetched scenario to one again re-live a past he voluntarily (and some would say gleefully) destroyed. If he’d have just left the old Dinkle character alone without any explanation this week would be all about band camp, marching in monsoons and etc. It’s another one of those FW conundrums that makes this comic strip so fascinating and vexing at the same time. Boring too.

    • spacemanspiff85

      He still brags about the time jump like it was the highest point in literature, ever. Which is my main problem with him. The many, many aggravating things in his strip wouldn’t be nearly as hard to stomach if he didn’t act like his work is the culmination of the entire history of the English language.

      • Epicus Doomus

        Agreed. In fact I’ve always felt that taking the strip in a “dramatic” direction was actually a huge cop-out, as IMO it’s way harder to write a reasonably funny gag every day than it is to write banal, trite and woefully predictable little stories centered around various contrivances designed to create artificial “suspense” or pathos. “High school girl gets pregnant”…”drunk driving accident costs trombone player her arm”…”business failure leads to alcoholism” and, most famously, “beloved wife gets cancer and dies”. Anyone can do that. The endless horn-tooting and self-congratulatory braying belies how dull and brainless the stories in question actually were. Aside from Lisa dying (which itself was fairly predictable and by-the-numbers and only remarkable in a daily comic strip context) every one of those “prestige” stories ended on a bland, predictable and uneventful note in the long run. It was all just “sensationalism” for the sake of it, a way of drawing easy attention and recognition just for being “different”.

      • William Thompson

        You mean, like the Book of the Apocalypse is the culmination of the Bible?

  3. countoftowergrove

    Will Becky lead the applause? Sorry, Becky.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Becky is the Crankshaft Lena character in FW. Her defining trait is her missing arm, she’s ugly, has a bad haircut, and has to live in Dinkle’s shadow.

      I would say she is a bad band director since she needs constant help from Dinkle. Then again, that jackass is always giving unsolicited advice.

  4. It would have been funny if she’d bonked him on the head with the megaphone.

  5. Gerard Plourde

    So eleven years ago Westview could afford to have a lift for the band director, but now they’re stuck with a ladder again?

    Also, shouldn’t Becky know how he prefers to be introduced after working with him for over a decade?

    • countoftowergrove

      Yeah, it’s not like they never see each other.

    • billytheskink

      Becky should really know how Dinkle likes to be introduced given that she has encountered this exact same scenario before.

      9 and a half years between reuse of the gag, that’s not bad by TB’s standards actually.

      • Check out that hatchet faced, Muppet mouthed profile on Becky in that second panel. I wonder if that’s one of the strips that John Byrne pencilled.

    • batgirl

      They can’t use the scissors lift because Becky’s mom’s body is still on it. Westview ‘sky burial’.

  6. Jimmy

    Given that Declan Sullivan died on a scissor lift at Notre Dame in 2010, I hope this Becky in the storm was written beforehand. Otherwise, it’s terrible.

    *Sorry to keep bringing up bad college football experiences. I’m actually a CFB apologist who has worked in the business.

  7. Back when this was a gag a day strip about a failing high school, his megalomania and obliviousness was funny. Now, it just looks pathetic.

  8. Rusty Shackleford

    At my old High School we had a drawing of Dinkle painted on the Band Director’s office door. As Paul Jones mentioned above, in the old days Dinkle’s big ego was kind of funny. Now it is just dreadful.

  9. I think I might hate Dinkle more than Les at this point, which is quite the accomplishment.

    • Buckeye Feculence

      Les and Dinkle must have common ancestors in their lineage as the source of their shared loathsome gene.

  10. Professor Fate

    It’s weird but seeing Dinkle raised a question in my mind- Just how old IS Dinkle supposed to be?
    I’m wondering because in this arc we are presented with a band reunion that includes folks like Becky’s mom who well lets say she had Becky at 24 or so would be mid 80’s now lets say 85. And of course there are the other alumni dragging around oxygen tanks so it’s understood we’ve got a lot of really really old folks out there.
    But if I understand correctly these folks had Dinkle as their band leader – when they were in high school as teenagers and he was an adult. So how old is HE if his former students are that elderly? 106?

    • Epicus Doomus

      Yet another reason he should have just let the stupid Dinkle character be. It could have been a long-running gag, the “ageless band director” who never seems to age or change in any way even as the other characters do. But he just couldn’t resist the urge to run him through his misery mill and use him for cheap instantly forgotten pathos for no other reason than to draw attention to how “daring” his comic strip was.

    • When you’re ¼ inch from reality, deaf centenarians can still conduct bands and, in Mort Winkerbean’s case, cigarettes cure dementia.

    • DOlz

      TB has the same problem with Dinkle that Agatha Christie had with Hercule Poirot. At least she acknowledged her mistake.

      “What a terrible mistake I had made in starting with Hercule Poirot so old–I ought to have abandoned him after the first three or four books, and begun again with someone much younger”