How they Dinkle, Dinkle, Dinkle, in the icy air of night!

Link to today’s strip.

Today’s strip was not available for preview, but we all know it’ll be Dinkle droning on about something unimportant, or something else equally unimportant.  And it will involve terrible, underthought wordplay somehow.  And people will smile at Dinkle, like “Oh my gosh, that is so true!”  You have to wonder if Batiuk is equally as bored creating this stuff as we are reading it.  And he’s still got, what, five years to go?  That sure seems like an awful lot of wry rejoinders to carve out.

Why is Dinkle even here?  He’s frickin’ retired.  But Batiuk just loves this character, possibly even more than Les.  Les is the bestselling author he always wanted to be, Darrin is the comic book artist he always wanted to be, John has all the comic books he could possibly want.  All understandable (if a bit off-putting) aspects of Batiuk’s desire that things in the past went differently.

Dinkle, on the other hand, just seems to be this father-figure mentor, a dispenser of wit and wisdom.  (Yes, there should be quote marks around a lot of that.)

Apropos of nothing, I think one of the reasons we see less and less Burchett is that he wasn’t getting considered for other projects.  Publishers would say, “Hey, the latest thing you’ve done is Funky Winkerbean, and the artwork in that is terrible.  No thanks.”  But if he can draw the fictional comic covers here (which admittedly are quite good–artwork-wise), he has something of quality to show to prospective editors.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

31 responses to “How they Dinkle, Dinkle, Dinkle, in the icy air of night!

  1. Charles

    It is interesting how virtually every year, Batiuk does a sequence about this convention featuring Dinkle and usually Becky, and it’s always about Dinkle. Becky’s just there to set up Dinkle’s “punchlines” and/or react to them. She’s just a vestigial appendage worth even less than her pinned-up sleeve.

    • spacemanspiff85

      It’s super weird. Clearly Batiuk doesn’t give a crap about Becky as a character or doing anything with her, but he’s still compelled to have her standing around. Like, somewhere there are FW diehard fans who’d call foul if Dinkle was depicted at this conference without Becky standing silently six inches next to him.

      • spacemanspiff85

        I mean, his commitment to continuity is such that he forgets his own characters’ last names, and people just spontaneously stop having debilitating, life-altering medical conditions, but he can’t just have Dinkle replace Becky with all this stupid band stuff. I guarantee that if he just went back to Dinkle being the band director, 99% of the people who would notice are commenting on this site.

      • comicbookharriet

        It’s a pretty clever comic book reference actually. They’re always trying to pass on a superhero title to someone younger and more diverse, but they’re always pulling it back. If they’re lucky, and not killed off in a huge crossover event, the diverse replacement gets to hang around the background of splash pages. See, Jane Foster’s Thor, Bart Allen’s Flash, Rhodey Rhodes’ Iron Man, roughly 27 Earth Green Lanterns of various genders, minorities, and sexualities, and in 5-15 years Miles Morales’ Spiderman.

      • Epicus Doomus

        He couldn’t just get rid of Becky lest he be accused of using her accident for cheap shock value, which of course is true. It’s the same thing that happened with Cayla. If he did a whole “interracial dating” arc then just ditched the Cayla character like it never happened he’d appear to have done it strictly for attention, so after that he had to keep them together permanently, even as Les mourned Lisa which was something he should have been doing during the years Batom skipped over but that’s a whole other thing.

        So after he lopped off her arm he had to find a way to keep her around and because she was in the band (a trombone virtuoso, no less) that became her one defining characteristic. So after he symbolically castrated the Dinkle character for even more shock value he slid Becky into the band director role, only to discover that a) one-armed women are not inherently funny and b) he has no ability whatsoever to write for female characters. So he brought Dinkle back into the fold as her permanent band director mentor, thereby giving himself the ability to do his beloved Dinkle arcs again. And Becky is forever doomed to stand in the background all pinned-up, grinning like a moron while BanTom wallows in Dinkle nostalgia.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Becky is easily one of the worst 4/5ths of a character in the entire strip.

  2. comicbookharriet

    Great title BC! Brought me right back to 10th grade English and learning the meaning of the word tintinnabulation.

    “What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
    In the silence of the night,
    How we shiver with affright
    At the melancholy menace of their tone!
    For every sound that floats
    From the rust within their throats
    Is a groan.”

  3. Epicus Doomus

    Cheese, candy and pizza samples? What the f*ck is this cretin babbling about (Dinkle, I mean)? Why would a music educator’s conference feature “samples” of ANY food? Just a few years ago Dinkle was honored by a candy company, why would plain old generic Band Candy make him this excited? What the hell is wrong with him? Why does this strip even exist?

    • comicbookharriet

      Going to disagree here. Obviously he is sampling possible fundraising suppliers. I’d totally believe that a good third to half of the ‘exhibitors’ are fundraising companies trying to get their cut of the Band Booster pie by marking up warehoused cheap chocolate and frozen pizza.

      • Epicus Doomus

        The candy I can see, but do marching bands really sell pizza and cheese too? See, this is what happens when you write a joke specifically for retired Ohioian marching band directors, the rest of us are left on the outside looking in.

        • comicbookharriet

          I was in several clubs in high school, (12-16 years ago) including Band, FFA, Choir, Speech, and even French Club for a year. Each club had their ‘food territory’ FFA sold cheese, sausage, and fruit. Band did chocolate and candy. And French Club sold frozen pizzas and frozen cookie dough. In Westview, where Band rules all, and no other sports have fundraisers, I’m guessing they provide and entire fundraising food pyramid scheme.

        • Hannibal's Lectern

          They sell mattresses, but BatHack seems to have already forgotten that. Of course, the sight of Hairy Dangle with a mouth full of mattress stuffing at the end of his Conference Sample Feeding Frenzy just might actually be funny. Can’t have that in FW…

  4. spacemanspiff85

    Clearly something broke in Batiuk’s head a long time ago and he thinks just mentioning band candy is innately hilarious. But it’s not, though. All he’s doing here is basically “hey, there’s this thing called band candy and band people like it”. That’s not funny. Band turkeys were slightly funny because that’s weird and unusual and kind of silly.
    Here’s an idea you can still, Batiuk: Atomik Komiks’ next superhero- the Band Candyman!
    I would take Les and Lisa crap in a heartbeat over this. Can we please get back to this strip being melodramatic and have Holly shoot Dinkle for causing her to get lung cancer from the smoke from her flaming baton routine?

    • Epicus Doomus

      Who can take a band candy gag,
      And tell it a million times
      Who can write a pun about it
      And even make it rhyme?

      The Band Candy Man can, the Band Candy Man can

      The Band Candy Man can ’cause he cackles when he does and makes the hatchet-face good

      • The Nelson Puppet

        Who can take a pizza,
        Sprinkle it with cheese
        Bake it in the oven
        And serve it late as you please?

        The Night Manager can, the Night Manager can

        The Night Manager can cause he trembles when he does and makes the service dog cringe

        • Hannibal's Lectern

          Who can take a mattress,
          Wrap it in a sheet,
          Lug it door to door
          As if it’s something that you eat?

          The Dinkle Man can, the Dinkle Man can!

          The Dinkle Man can ’cause he drags it through the mud and makes you slam the door!

    • @spacemanspiff85: Band turkeys were slightly funny because that’s weird and unusual and kind of silly.

      Band mattresses, OTOH, were weird and unusual and yet not funny.

  5. Paul Jones

    Once again, we are stuck dealing with the fact that he has no idea what to do with Dinkle that isn’t make him into an ugly and obsessive megalomaniac….and even less of an idea of what to do with Becky

  6. Miskatonic Sophomore

    My least favorite thing about today’s strip, out of several things I hate: the smiling extra in the lower left-hand corner of panel three. Dinkle’s screaming about breakfasts and band directors and waving a candy bar around, and that guy is reacting like it’s actually funny, rather than frightening or sad.

  7. I can’t believe TB has made Dinkle a more pathetic character than he already is. The most interesting thing TB has done with Dinkle was to make him suffer hearing loss, then he retconned it out of the strip. The most interested thing TB has done with Becky is give her a potential conflict with her mother, but then we haven’t seen her Mom is six-and-a-half years. TB’s not really trying anymore.

  8. Count of Tower Grove

    Wot eez theez? ‘Arry Dinkle eez not ‘aving zee Raisin zee Bar? Zee chocolaotier Belgique should take ‘is award away!

  9. Will

    How old is Dinkle supposed to be now, anyway? In the classic strip, when the main characters were in high school, he looked to be in his late 30’s-early 40’s. Now those characters are in their 50’s, right? Shouldn’t be be late 70’s or more?
    I don’t know a lot of retirees in that age bracket who continue to go to professional conferences.

    • I’m okay with a retired band director still going to professional organization stuff, really. He wouldn’t have a long career as band director if he didn’t like the world of it, after all. An annual conference where he can catch back up with the people he used to see all the time, talk about the stuff he loved doing for decades, keep in touch with what’s changing and what isn’t? That reads to me as appropriate.

      It’s how he’s been retired twenty years now and still comes in to work every day that’s an issue.

  10. Jimmy

    Dinkle’s companion, Mr. Whipple, just keep looking around for Charmin samples.