Timeworn Warning

Link to today’s strip

So an unpleasant elderly woman demands to move in with her middle aged child? A plot line so timeless that Tom Batiuk has used it already. Did he miss Rose from Crankshaft so much that he decided to move a surrogate Rose to the flagship? How long until the elder Mrs. Budd is stabbing comic books and reminiscing on spatula spankings?

This strip is really about 50% recycled Crankshaft at this point. Elder antics abound, and the majority of the cast is aged 50-90 and drawn as an even 75. And it only highlights how much better Crankshaft is. I’m not saying Crankshaft is good but it is usually tolerable and occasionally amusing. Some of that has to do with residual ‘zany’ ideas being allowed there, like Crankshaft scaling a massive icicle with hatchets.

I think the real difference is the titular protagonist. When your main character’s explicit stock state is a grumpy, ignorant, sour old man, then it’s in character when he’s stupid or mean. But it hints at hidden depths when he’s thoughtful or kind. Like washed out, discount, diet Archie Bunker.

But when your main character is supposed to be a relatively intelligent, socially conscious, everyman, then he’s bland when he’s acting like himself, and just infuriating when he’s an asshole so dense and full of shit Miralax couldn’t clear him out.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

24 responses to “Timeworn Warning

  1. billytheskink

    Funky is smiling in panel 1 because he thinks, for a fleeting moment, that Holly is trying to tell him in a roundabout way that her mother is dead.

  2. Remember when Funky Winkerbean was a reality-based depiction of contemporary problems faced by young people?

    Yeah, me neither but this seemingly inevitable pivot to the extreme elderly doesn’t seem a promising direction for readers…though I suspect Tom Batiuk doesn’t care about readers. If he can get a handful of them to retweet his simple-minded statements, I guess that’s enough.

  3. Epicus Doomus

    Coming in October: a furiously raking Funky reacts in stunned disbelief upon learning that his mother-in-law is pondering the possibility of perhaps considering the ramifications of maybe moving in with them.

    You can see when BatYak is being lazy and when he’s being lazy and indifferent. Holly’s mother has been living with them for the last seven months, she already does live with Funky. The fact that he doesn’t remember or care that he did this very same arc just a few months ago is more alarming that the crappy content is.

    • Charles

      It’s bad enough that she’s stayed with them for seven months without Funky realizing that she’s living with them already, but it’s also bad that at no point in that seven months were we given any indication of why Holly’s mom was still staying with them or when she would be going home. Why would Holly’s mom have to say anything now? It’s been an indefinite stay this long. Hell, the only time this subject was broached with no resolution was two months ago. Are they both secretly terrified of her?

      Also, it’s a bit ungenerous, but Funky could just, you know, say no. She can move back to Ohio if she wants, but she’s not living with him.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        But they still have to drive down to Florida to pick up all her stuff….sell her old place etc..so ha ha, no good news for Funky!

  4. The Nelson Puppet

    Another elderly character, eh? Go figure.

  5. spacemanspiff85

    The worst part of this is it’s almost inevitable that we’re going to get more “wacky hijinks” where Funky tries to keep his dad from banging his mother-in-law on his living room couch.

  6. Paul Jones

    Another plus about Crankshaft is that we don’t get endless yapping about old comics and old movies and all the other lame-ass and tawdry garbage Batiuk has fixated on over the last sixty or seventy years.

  7. Rusty Shackleford

    Non sequitar still being talked about in yesterday’s Cleveland Plain Dealer.


    Batty is still not getting any attention.

    • Rusty, thanks for posting that. Though it happened a month ago, I hadn’t heard about the Non Sequitur controversy.


      • spacemanspiff85

        That has the be possibly the absolute dumbest “explanation” I’ve ever heard. “I accidentally allowed a profanity to be printed in my strip, oh no, how can I get out of this? I know! I’ll say it was totally intentional!”
        It also goes a long, long way to explain how Batiuk’s crap has been printed for so long, since there’s apparently not even enough oversight to catch f-bombs before they print.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          Yeah, I don’t buy it either. He’s a smart, creative guy. If he wants to criticize Trump, do it in a smart, creative way. What’s with these cartoonists today?

  8. I was really expecting the good news part to be that Cory and Rocky are expecting. (Even though, as far as we know, they haven’t officially married yet.)

  9. Rusty

    Now Tony Montoni can have the Florida place to himself.

  10. Buckeye Feculence

    Just dump her off at the place where Funky’s predatory dad lives.

  11. Don’t put away that shovel

    • comicbookharriet

      Amazing. I would love to see everything in this strip directed like a Cohen brothers film.

    • Hannibal's Lectern

      So Mama made one grab too many for the cheerleading trophy? Is that what pushed Holly over the edge?

  12. From a poorly executed gun control arc one week to a poorly executed mother-in-law arc the next. The versatility of TB’s mediocrity is indeed impressive!

  13. Miskatonic Sophomore

    So: three times in two weeks (and twice in two days), T-Bats uses a joke about how sometimes new information is so shocking it makes people incapable of standing up, so they had better sit down–but they don’t! They forgot! Bernie didn’t ask them to sit down, even though he should have!

    Increased cartooning efficiency or a diminished attention span? You be the judge.

  14. Count of Tower Grove

    BWAWHAWHAWHAW! It’s funny because a leftover January arc has been inserted in the middle of March!