R.I.P., Bull Bushka

Today’s strip.

Oh, hey, wow, apparently Wally was a soldier or something?  I didn’t know, there are so many facets to his character, I must’ve overlooked that.  And apparently two (or maybe one insane) off-screen people are talking about Wally?  I’m guessing it’s Ghost Lisa, and Ghost Comic Guy who died and left Darrin that crap.  Not sure why they’re discussing Wally, but whatever, Lisa was always pretty boring.  I foresee Adeela putting up a sign “Reserved: Struggling Muslim Immigrant”, and Les (he still works there right?) putting up a “Reserved: Tragic, Book-Inspiring Cancer Victim” sign and then there’s no parking for anybody.

Thanks for putting up with me.  Coming up tomorrow, the reins will be in the hands of either TFHackett or Batiuk himself, I forget which.  So we’re either in store for hilarious, insightful commentary or eye-searing profanity, insults, nit-picking accusations and Flash back issue reviews.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

30 responses to “R.I.P., Bull Bushka

  1. Question for the folks who know more about this than I…

    It seems that almost all of the Westview males are incapable of fathering a child. Bull’s kids are adopted, Wally’s kid are adopted, Funky’s kids are adopted, Creepy John’s kids are adopted…

    Looks like the only potent male in Westview, the only man who has fathered his own child, is–

    Les Moore. With that offspring being Summer Moore.

    Given the Author’s Intent Focus on Les Moore as Avatar, this really comes across as pretty creepy. But I am open to the education.

    • What? You mean you need more education that the author is pretty creepy??

    • spacemanspiff85

      Oh, like there’s something creepy about having the author’s avatar, who could never get laid or get a girl’s attention in high school, be the only man virile enough to father a child. Next thing you’ll be saying the strip where Les thought his high school tormentor, Bull, wanted him to impregnate his wife because he wasn’t man enough to get the job done was weird.

    • Batgirl

      Bets on Darrin having actually fathered Skyler? Of course, he’s TB’s other avatar. And Crazy Harry had two or three but you couldn’t prove it now.

      How convenient of Westview women to already have a child somewhere in their luggage (Cayla with Keisha, Holly with Cory, etc.) to save their men from having to engage in icky procreation.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Good question, BC. To the best of my knowledge, there’s Les, Wally, Harry (I assume), maybe Dinkle (?), Frankie, Boy Lisa and Fred Fairgood. Also note how none of the characters have any siblings. Summer and Fred Fairgood’s illegitimate daughter are the only two I can think of and in both cases Boy Lisa is the half-sibling in question. I seem to recall Cindy as maybe having a younger sister but if she did that character is long gone. I guess those twins who attend WHS count too, although barely.

      • billytheskink

        Cindy’s younger sister Mercedes “Sadie” Summers went to high school with Wally and worked at Montoni’s for a time after graduating (well, who didn’t), joining an all-star waitress roster that included Lefty, Rache, AND St. Lisa.

        Pete had an older sister named Ally, who was editor of the school paper before vanishing.

        There have apparently been 5 Wedgemans, though I think we’ve only seen two in the strip.

        Crankshaft, interestingly, is lousy with siblings. Ed has two daughters, Chris and Pam. Jeff Murdoch’s sister is John Darling’s widow Jan. Jeff and Pam begat Max and Mindy. Lillian and Lucy McKenzie were/are regulars. Heck, even the twins who attend WHS now, Emily and Amelia, debuted in Crankshaft as Lillian McKenzie’s nosy latchkey kid neighbors.

        • Epicus Doomus

          Yes, I remember Sadie, albeit barely. I don’t remember Ally at all though. I guess Jinx and Mickey count, sort of, and the Rana/Wally Jr. situation is murky at best. I remember Crazy’s daughter Maddie and I know he has two more kids but that’s the extent of it. It’s just always truck me as odd how no one has a regular brother or sister character, like Noah Moore or Jazzy Winkerbean or Lori Crawford, Lisa’s louder, far more extroverted and straight-haired older sister who survived cancer, left her painter husband and filmed a documentary about it.

  2. Wow, so it’s almost a YouTube level of creepy. I kind of figured that, but wanted to leave the question open, because (in TB’s world) I am a Beady Eyed Nitpicker.

    But you know, when there are so many nits to pick….

    • spacemanspiff85

      I really, really, don’t like analyzing writers’ work for deep psychological meanings most of the time, but Batiuk makes it seriously hard sometimes. It’s like, some writers, you read their stuff and think “maybe they’re having a difficult time moving on from their youth”, and then you have Batiuk where all of his characters’ lives peaked in high school and still somehow revolved around high school and they’re still defined by high school.

      • I don’t like analyzing folks’ works based on their lives either, but there’s a point where you have to say, “This is because you couldn’t score in high school, right?”

        I’m able to enjoy the works of many, many artists in paint, word, film and music because what they do transcends the fact that they were horrible people. But that’s because their work transcended their horrible-ness. None of them made their horrible-ness the focus of their work. All of them focused higher than their petty grievances.

        Unlike someone I could name. I’ve often said I don’t hate Batiuk, I just hate what he produces, and this sort of stuff makes that very easy.

        • Epicus Doomus

          Well, in Battyuk’s case there’s a forty-seven year long body of work there thus it’s pretty easy to spot certain recurring themes, tropes and situations and to wonder about the underlying genesis of those themes, tropes and situations. I don’t know the guy, I’ve always maintained that for all I know he’s the nicest guy in the world and a community pillar, my critiques are based on the work he presents for public consumption, not the artist himself. That said, yeah, he still has a few unresolved issues re: high school and a crippling nostalgia addiction too and you don’t need to be an official BanTom stalker to know that.

          What makes it even weirder is how he carries life-long grudges against characters he himself created. One theory I have is that the constant misery and woe of Act II was his subconscious response upon realizing he’d made a horrible, horrible mistake with his format change. He was punishing is characters for not being funny and for trapping him in a writing situation he was ill-prepared for. Of course he was doing it for the shock value too, but I’m not ready to start traveling down that wormhole right now.

          • spacemanspiff85

            You mean like how instead of writing a compelling story or building fully realized characters you can just have cheap shocking/depressing/melodramatic crap happen instead?

      • Charles

        I think it’s perilous and unwise to speculate about anything specific vis-a-vis Batiuk’s life and the reasons why he chooses to present what he does in his comic strip.

        For example, Cindy and Bull are pretty standard trope characters for a high school setting. So I doubt that either of them were spawned from Batiuk’s animosity toward a specific individual from his life, which runs counter to a lot of posts I see here from people speculating. Bull basically is the football-playing bully. Cindy is the vain, beautiful girl who dismisses the “good” characters, which makes it truly bizarre that she married Funky. The only thing weird about Cindy is that Batiuk didn’t make her a cheerleader and/or a model and/or an actress. That’s basically the only thing about her that’s against type. He makes her Megyn Kelly while every other hack writer makes her Grace Kelly (or Gwyneth Paltrow). I think that strange divergence might have something specific to do with him, but otherwise I don’t think Cindy’s portrayal says a whole lot about him.

        I mean, his following standard tropes isn’t exactly a weird thing. The Nice Guy trope is such a powerful cultural thing that even Lynn Johnston used it. You don’t have to have lived through it yourself to present it in that fashion.

  3. billytheskink

    It’s a good thing Wally took that extracurricular in sign hanging one the way to his business degree.

  4. ComicTrek

    So, umm… who’s talking??

  5. Epicus Doomus

    ComicTrek beat me to it but yeah, who the f*ck is the narrator here? Nice “writing”, Tom. These veteran-centric arcs are always tough to snark on, some folks are sensitive about the concerns of veterans and that’s understandable. At best you could probably say at least his heart was in the right place.

    Or not, as a more cynical person who knows how FW operates might see this as simple pandering, as well as another glaring example of BatYak’s comically poor character development skills. An even more cynical person might wonder if the sign is going to replace the more difficult to draw dog as the ever-present reminder that Wally is a DISABLED VETERAN, the trait that will apparently forever define him. And I, being even more cynical than those two hypothetical assholes, might wonder why a) the hotshot architect isn’t hanging the sign for him and b) whether Montoni’s generates large enough crowds to necessitate special reserved seating for anyone.

  6. The Nelson Puppet

    It must be Award Pandering Season. Batiuk has checked the boxes for Diversity, PTSD healing, CTE, and now Disabled Veterans.

  7. Paul Jones

    What truly annoys me about this is that it’s a really rather futile gesture. The way I see it, he’s probably the only person who can park there….

    • Gerard Plourde

      That thought crossed my mind too. The possible unintended benefit to Wally apparently didn’t occur to TomBa though.
      BTW the sign depicted is a real thing and raises some questions. Is a combat wounded space limited to actual recipients of the Purple Heart? Does this designation replace a regular disabled parking space and make holders of those plates and hang tags subject to ticketing if they park there?

  8. Tomorrow, new manager Adeela “puts her stamp” on Montoni’s by introducing segregated seating for men and women!

  9. Don’t those Parking spaces belong to the city? Then it would be up to the city government to decided who can park where. And wouldn’t Westview have parking spaces for the physically challenged?

    • Jimmy

      That was my response to this. Hang the sign in a private parking lot (which I’ve seen), fine. Hang it on a public street, get a fine.

  10. Rusty Shackleford

    Ah, in Batty’s world, one needs a college degree before they can do anything.

    In the real world, my cousin runs a successful pizza shop but has only a high school education. My vocational electronics students could have designed and installed a lighting system for a fraction of the cost of a high priced Muslim architect.

    I thought the joke was that Wally was so selfish, he grabbed the closest parking spot for himself.

    • Eldon of Galt

      My thinking went the same way. It’s an indication of how terrible most of the people in “Funky Winkerbean” are: I truly thought that Wally was setting up the sign for his own benefit. It never occurred to me that he would actually do this to help someone else.

  11. Count of Tower Grove

    BWAWHAWHAWHAW! It’s funny because veterans don’t need to get street signage permits from the municipal authority!

  12. Charles

    I would bet my house that Batiuk will never show Wally doing anything that he wouldn’t have been able to do without a business degree. He’s putting an absurd amount of stock into that thing. You’d think Wally wasn’t capable of doing anything prior to…. oh.

  13. Jimmy

    Have I missed an announcement about needing a password to access content? If so, how I do I create this?