And The Laundry’s A Hassle And The Game Film Is Too But It’s Sure Nice Talking To You, Group, It’s Sure Nice Talking To You*

Link To Today’s Strip

* When I find a post title theme I like I stick with it, dammit.

Ooooh-fa. Yet another poorly-placed and totally unnecessary joke that just kills the Very Serious mood here. While endlessly doing laundry and watching old football games is somewhat disturbing behavior, it COULD be worse, you know. I mean why not have friends and neighbors drop off their laundry and slip it into Bull’s daily wash pile? Monetize it, Linda! And it’s not like he’s wagering on those old football games, he’s just watching them. And seriously, is that all that much different than what pre-CTE Bull would have done? Methinks not. Anyhow, Batiuk is once again just treading water here until the Big Payoff, which will apparently consist of Bull killing himself to spare his long-suffering wife the burden of unnecessary appliance repairs. This comic strip really goes to some dark, dark places sometimes.

36 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

36 responses to “And The Laundry’s A Hassle And The Game Film Is Too But It’s Sure Nice Talking To You, Group, It’s Sure Nice Talking To You*

  1. Yesterday’s and today’s post titles courtesy “Crazy” Harry Chapin.

    • Epicus Doomus

      I heard “Cat’s In The Cradle” at the supermarket two days ago and once I get a song trapped in my noggin the parodies start. It’s so perfect for this arc too, that maudlin “the sands of our lives in the hourglass” melancholia. Plus the cadence is really easy to spoof and a lot of it rhymes well.

      • Melissa Jones

        I get a song stuck in my head sometimes. The worst is when it’s a religious or patriotic song, because then I feel guilty for trying to get it out.

  2. William Thompson

    That line in the third panel only works if you know (or care) who Peyton Manning is, and if he has some notoriety for watching, I guess, films of football games. But the whole strip works if you’re trying to offend an audience who expects a story about CTE, etc.

    • comicbookharriet

      Peyton Manning is a pretty good football player pull IMO. I would say a good 80% of Americans would be casually aware of who he is, since he now does a lot of ads. Really the only football player with better name recognition to the uninitiated would be Tom Brady.

      This is also a guy who name drops obscure comic book garbage all the time.

  3. William Thompson

    One thing’s certain: Bull is not going to die laughing.

    • Merry Pookster

      As no one is going to be laughing at this comic strip. Should be under the Obit section not the funny pages.

  4. comicbookharriet

    Okay. So Marianne Winters deciding not to jump off the Hollywood sign because of a Marilyn Monroe quote, Susan ODing because Les Moore wouldn’t love her, or this? Which is the most tone-deaf Funky Winkerbean suicide arc?

    • Epicus Doomus

      Les yelling about GETTING HER TO THE HOSPITAL is one of my all-time FW memories, so I’m picking that one. But this one is going to result in a fatality, so there’s that.

    • C.W. Major

      Asking as someone uninitiated in the rich history of FW. In Marianne’s arc and Susan’s arc, was there any build up, any effort in establishing the circumstances that led them to the point of suicide?

      … I’m wondering if they get build up because their attempts didn’t succeed and Bull’s is going to be more inexplicable because it succeeds?

      • Epicus Doomus

        Susan Smith was (ugh) in unrequited love with (ugh) Les Moore. Marianne was distraught over paparazzi photos that appeared to show her having an affair with Mason Jarre. Marianne is fine as far as I know and many years later Susan was banished from Westview for (ugh) sexually harassing (ugh) Les Moore.

        • spacemanspiff85

          Marianne doesn’t exist anymore, and I’m pretty sure Batiuk has totally forgotten she ever did. Sure, she didn’t kill herself and all, but she did go on to cease to exist and be forgotten about by her creator.

  5. Epicus Doomus

    As far as today’s artwork goes, I think this image…

    …totally captures the utter despair of the Linda character and FW in general, does it not? I mean geez, look at her there.

    • spacemanspiff85

      Here’s a behind the scenes fact-the model for that picture is what every reader of this strip looks like while they’re reading it.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      What does she have to despair about? We haven’t seen her lift a finger to help Bull, besides writing a letter to the NFL asking for free money. She doesn’t seem emotionally invested, except in her own moping. She’s selfish, always asking how things can help her, not Bull or anyone else. She talks about Bull right in front of him, like he’s not even there.

      This is at the heart of why Funky Winkerbean is so hate-worthy. You have unlikeable, unsympathetic characters moping about their not-very-unusual problems, which they show no other interest in, and aren’t trying very hard to solve.

  6. billytheskink

    Reading this arc so far, I have to say that I don’t think TB has gone dark enough in the strip. I think it should be much much darker, actually, to the point that the whole arc is just a series of completely black panels. No one can convince me that this would not be an improvement.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Agree fully. The Black Panel was the greatest single panel in FW history, bar none.

      • spacemanspiff85

        I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t go with a totally black strip when Bull actually offs himself. I mean I can 100% see a totally black Sunday panel, just as a giant “screw you” to his readership. He can say he’s being arty and edgy and get out of a day’s strip, both at the same time.

  7. AmigoLupus

    So what’re the odds that TomBat just Googled “which football player watched the most videos”?

    At least TomBat didn’t fall flat on his face with this reference by spelling the name wrong like he did with Joe Shuster.

  8. Charles

    It’s extraordinary that a week of “Linda looks at a letter” followed by a week of “Linda looks at her computer” is all the lead-up we’re going to get to the strip where she’s informed of Bull’s suicide.

    Not one panel devoted to what’s going on in Bull’s mind. Not. even. one.

  9. William Thompson

    I saw my therapist Wednesday morning. She’ll be fine in no time, thank you for asking. It turns out the bats in my belfry are in excellent health, so I’m still saner than Batiuk. She said she wanted to see me again, which are words no woman has willingly spoken to Batiuk. And she suggested that I join an on-line support group for Alzheimer caregivers, so I should thank Batiuk for helping me see what a good idea that is.

  10. Banana Jr. 6000

    Worse than the lame punchline is WE ALREADY KNOW ALL THIS. Nothing is advancing the story. The guy’s going to be dead in two days, and I figure he needs at least one to do the deed, so how can you spend time on something like this?

    The alternative – which I hate to even speculate – is that the Sep 29 strip is a dream sequence and Bull doesn’t actually die yet.

    • William Thompson

      Or he’s wandering around in a daze, and eventually turns up at his memorial service, where he has a good time listening to Creepy Les delivery his eulogy. When people stare at him in shock and disbelief he asks “Who died?”

  11. ComicTrek

    Even if it is being watched and re-watched, how is it watching “more game film than” anyone when it’s just THE SAME DANG FOOTAGE?!

  12. Paul Jones

    This leaves me wondering just what Bull is getting up to when she’s online 24/7. She spends more time complaining about having to supervise him than actually doing so so it occurs to me that in a moment of lucidity, he’s going to remember where the keys are. She’s not going to notice because he leaves the TV on and the arc writes itself.

  13. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    BAW haw haw haw!! No matter how bad it gets, and no matter how far down the rabbit hole Bullsquat goes, there’s always room for a slapnuts heeeelarious joke! BAW haw haw haw haw!

    “Hey… hey everybody out there in Support Group Land! Lemme tell ya… Bullo’s mood swings are soooooo bad…”

    “HOW BAD ARE THEY!”

    “Well lemme tell ya! He’s got it down to an art form. HI-OH! Talk about anger management! Oh, Bullo is angry, oh boy, lemme tell ya. He doesn’t need anger management – He needs an anger board of directors. Pow! Hi-oh! Hey hey! I can’t even talk to him anymore, lemme tell ya. He sits in front of the tube watching high school football tapes all day. But lemme tell ya, he’s watched more football tape than Peyton Manning, who is a retired football Sporto. Hey-OHHH!!! Oh? What? We gotta break…? Okay, we’ll be right back. Don’t you all go anywhere!”

  14. Banana Jr. 6000

    Imagine what this blog commentary would be like If we didn’t know Bull was going to kill himself in two days. The story is moving so slowly that it looks like the beginning of a very long arc. Bull killing himself in the middle of this directionless story would have been genuinely shocking. We would never have seen it coming.

    And that would have been… good? Yes, I think so. Many football players with CTE have suddenly and without warning ended their own lives. This could have driven that point home. By NOT setting up the plot for a suicide, the suicide would have been more surprising. And it justifies the complete lack of any story development.

    TB’s aimless storytelling could have actually worked to his advantage for once, but he nullified it by giving away the ending.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Oh, it would have been the biggest moment in SoSF history, bar none. But thanks to a certain blabbermouth we’ll never know.

  15. Funky Winkerbean is comic strip whose only intended audience is the author.

  16. billytheskink

    The news about Bull has reached Dick Tracy today.

  17. Professor Fate

    Ha. Ha. Quite the knee slapper. And has been pointed out, we already knew Bull watched the tapes of his games. So this strip was simply a way to deliver a pointless mean-spirited bloody joke that is just a nasty crack at a dying man. it’s like “Husbands with CTE am i right?”
    Nothing is happening and it’s happening at a glacial pace to boot So when Bull does off himself it’s going to feel as forced as the introduction of the talking murder chimp. Which came at the end of a strip that the author said was about people being put on trial by the media. We didn’t see that. And i think it’s a good bet we’re not going to get any insight in CTE or what living with a loved one with CTE is like.

  18. If I may share another gripe about Tom Batiuk…he’s got a category on the FW blog called “Cover Me“:

    …where the plan is to simply showcase really cool comic book covers…the kind of cover that would entice someone to pick the book up off the comics rack…Sometimes, I’ll tell you why I think a cover works, but most of the time I’m [sic] just let the cover do its’[sic] thousand word thing all by itself.

    I get it, I guess, but would it kill him to at least credit the artists?