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.