Mail Day Part Two…The Sorting

Link To Today’s Strip

No artist, whether living, dead or in-between, captures the excitement and suspense of opening mail quite like Batiuk does. In one sense it’s kind of ridiculous that he’s resorting to this well-worn FW trope again, but on the other hand it’s entirely expected. I’d expect a professional educator to be a somewhat faster reader but Linda does have a lot on her mind. Bills, bills, over-laundering, bills…that’d have a negative effect on anyone’s cognitive abilities. Of course the fact that Battyack already spoiled the story makes this even more annoying and unnecessary, which I’m afraid will be true until this thing finally plays itself out a few (sigh) months from now. Boy that was a dumb, dumb f*cking move, I still cannot believe he did that. If there was any doubt that he doesn’t respect his readers at all that was all the proof you needed right there.

In any event, the opening has begun. Perhaps she’ll use a letter opener, perhaps she’ll just use her finger, but whatever the case may be, this train has left the station and there’s nothing left to do but patiently wait as Linda reacts to the mail. Good thing the artwork is in such capable hands, as dialog would only slow things down even more, as impossible as that may seem. I find it very interesting and very odd how she makes two piles despite there only being four pieces and one category of mail to sort. Is it like bill pile A and bill pile B? Very confusing. I mean come on, Batiuk, you already ruined the story and it’s not like this is your first arc involving opening mail, so let’s get the details right here, OK?


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

46 responses to “Mail Day Part Two…The Sorting

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Correction: she also received an ad in the mail, which I misread as “and”. So there ya go.

  2. CRM114

    “Special Offer Enclosed. Get A Guaranteed Life Insurance Policy. !!Now!! No Checkups, No Waiting”

  3. Max Power

    Maybe it’s a letter from Bull’s long lost bio-son who turns out to be Cody.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      It’s got to be misery inducing so I predict it’s a letter saying one of his awards is being taken away. Or maybe it’s a bill for the damage he did when he dug a hole in the end zone.

  4. Gerard Plourde

    So we’re to believe she walked from the front door of the house back to the kitchen and didn’t even look at what came in the mail before she started her sorting routine?

  5. Epicus Doomus

    The fact that he spoiled this story just for the sake of a NYT puff-piece gets me more and more angry each day. At the very least we’d have the “fun” of wondering what the hell was going on here. And then Bull’s death would have been a huge bombshell. But no, he had to go and blow his own horn again and gunk up the whole thing. Nice going there, dumbbell. What a jerk.

    • spacemanspiff85

      He doesn’t give one crap about his readers. He just wants attention and praise and to feel like a real, important, “artist” or something. I mean this is apparently the first time in five years or so that something’s actually going to happen to a character in this strip, so it’s real great of him to spoil it for everyone who might actually care.

      • Epicus Doomus

        Not only did he spoil the story, but he let them RUN THE ACTUAL STRIP too! As unbelievable as it seems there would have been some ACTUAL SUSPENSE here. And not only that, the Sunday strips are never available before midnight, so it would have been quite the stunning development. But now? It’s just aggravating and ponderous. It was a really stupid move and a huge middle finger to whatever audience he has left.

        • William Thompson

          In the hands of a real writer, the story could work despite the Big Reveal, because the story would reveal how people respond to a suicide. Their lives would change in different ways. In the paws of Batiuk, well, smirks and cheap shots will bury any human interest.

          • spacemanspiff85

            I mean, you’d think just doing a storyline about CTE and brain injuries and caring for someone who’s in a declining state would be worthwhile enough, and worth paying attention to, if done right. But Batiuk being Batiuk he has to shout to the world about the shocking morbid thing he’s doing, because that’s all that matters. Just like when she spoiled that Lisa was going to die, way in advance. He might call it “writing” but really it’s just throwing something in for shock value and then talking about it as much as possible just to get attention.

        • spacemanspiff85

          I mean, if he hadn’t spoiled it, I think it’s safe to say it would’ve been a legitimate shock. Even if he was clearly building up to that, I wouldn’t have believed he was actually going through with it, not the way his writing’s been lately.

          • Epicus Doomus

            It would have easily been the single most “holy shit!” moment in all of Act III, by far. And now it’s just this massive anti-climax, it just boggles the mind. Running the stupid NYT interview on the day the Big Reveal dropped would have made more sense but, in his zeal for attention, he just totally blew the whole thing. I mean why stop there, why not just give us EVERY future FW story arc right now so we can all save time?

        • Jim in Wisc.

          “… he let them RUN THE ACTUAL STRIP too!”

          That’s the risk a syndicate runs when they give the cartoonist full control of his or her work, that the person is an idiot who doesn’t know how to do publicity the right way.

          It kind of reminds me of 20th Century Fox screwing up, and releasing the novelization of “The Empire Strikes Back” a month before the movie, thus spoiling the big “I am your father” reveal at the end.

          • Epicus Doomus

            “I’ve been doing an ongoing story about a character suffering from football-related CTE and, well, I think my readers will really be surprised by where it goes”. How difficult is that? Instead he lets them run the climactic strip a MONTH in advance! He once had his legal team send this blog a cease & desist for linking to the strips a few HOURS early.

          • Rusty Shackleford

            Yes, Batty needs to have an editor…at the very least someone to give advice and push back on his stupid ideas.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I had the same thought. If Batiuk hadn’t spoiled the ending, this blog would be hella confused. “Well, they talked a little about Bull’s CTE, and now Linda’s opening some mail…” There’s no rising action.

      I really think he did it as a crutch. This story is so poorly plotted we’d have no idea where it’s going if he hadn’t told us all beforehand.

  6. billytheskink

    3 bills in a single day’s mail? What, do they have 15 Discover cards or something?

  7. William Thompson

    And once again we don’t see Bull, much less learn what he’s thinking or feeling.

    • comicbookharriet

      Batiuk gave him CTE remember? Now he’s a ‘stupid crazy’. So in Batiuk’s eyes Bull is a void character. Batiuk will consider what he thinks and feels as much as he would a toddler.

  8. William Thompson

    “National Alliance on Mental Illness? September is Suicide Awareness Month? Oh, thank goodness I can stop worrying about Bull in two weeks!”

  9. ian'sdrunkenbeard


  10. Lord Flatulence

    Who gets paper bills in the mail anymore?

  11. Charles

    Linda has a neutral facial expression in the third panel so that tomorrow Batiuk can devote the entire strip to her reaction to the envelope.

    That he has the stones to cash paychecks for this is extraordinary. It must really fuck up his karma.

  12. Charles

    “We regret to inform you, Mrs. Bushka, that there is no such thing as a brain transplant.”
    “Oh well, that was Bull’s last chance. It’s the compost heap for him now.”

  13. Paul Jones

    This is a slightly more rapid version of another false dilemma. Remember when we were made to worry that Darrin wouldn’t get the letter about Lisa before she passed? Same deal and it’s just as pointless twelve years later.

    Well, maybe less pointless. You could tell that even if Lisa had lived, she’d still be cold to him. Linda, on the other hand, is staring down the barrel of being told she didn’t do enough because mommy issues. Kinda stupid for a man who’s in that spot to say but here we are.

    • William Thompson

      You mean this letter could come from one of Bull’s kids, spewing bile over newly-created family issues, pushing Bull into suicide and guilt-tripping Linda? That would be so twisted, and so improbable, and so hard to relate to that you’ve probably called it.

      • Paul Jones

        There’s a rule of thumb I use when thinking about Batiuk: “Take the stupidest idea you’ve ever heard and try to make it stupider, crueller and less plausible and you’ve just cracked the Batiuk code.”

        Remember, this is also the same clod whose idea of a ‘doomed, tragic romance’ turned out to be ‘three stupid people who don’t talk to one another’.

  14. Rusty Shackleford

    Well what a treat, Batty trots out his favorite trope: the dramatic letter opening sequence.

  15. Rusty Shackleford

    Bills, bills, bills… Why do we keep getting Bill’s mail? Stupid letter carrier .

  16. louder.

    I actually read the NYT story, and this incredible statement ends the article:

    In the end, he said, his job is to tell stories, wherever they may lead.
    “Whether they’re heavy stories or lighter stories,” Mr. Batiuk said, “I’m a storyteller.”

    What. Crap. This whole story arch has been an example of a writer forcing his own agenda and creating a story coming at the reader from nowhere. What utter nonsense.

    • Gerard Plourde

      You’re right. Rather than create three-dimensional characters and follow their development, he shoehorns his stereotyped characters into whatever issue has crossed his radar.

      And he ascribes the weirdest choices to them. A classic example is Saint Lisa’s decision to stop treatment of her cancer. This was treated as a heroic choice because she was tired of fighting the disease but surrendering was truly a strange choice for a woman in her 30’s with a toddler.

    • comicbookharriet

      When writers say they ‘follow stories wherever they lead,’ it is always a cop out. You are the writer in control, not your plotbunnies. Stephanie Meyers followed her story wherever it went, and it led to a grown man falling in love with a baby.

    • Professor Fate

      1) it seems obvious that the Times reporter has never read Funky Winkerbean
      2) yes he’s a story teller, but he’s a very very bad story teller.
      3) One does wonder just how the Author following the noble principle of ‘telling stories where ever they lead” gave us the Talking Murder Chimp?

  17. Merry Pookster

    Remember how many days it took for Durwood to open his mail (adoption papers)?

    • Followed by the cast of “Seinfeld” commenting on the story.

    • Max Power

      “I’ve gotta.” He is so dim-witted he has to talk himself through the process of opening an envelope.

      • Charles

        I’ve read that stupid sequence multiple times over the years to marvel at its dumbness, and yet this is the first time I realized that that line in the first panel there is him effectively saying “I have to know the answer of who my biological mother was.” With the bad word choice and the ellipsis I thought it was Darin merely considering his letter-opening strategies. “I’ve gotta tear it with my finger instead of peeling back the flap!”

        I’m going to say that’s Batiuk’s fault.

    • Professor Fate

      If memory serves this is only the first of his letter opening sequence, the second coming when he got the letter that named Lisa as his biological mother. He open letters slowly.