Helmet Heir

If you read the New York Times, then you’ve already seen today’s strip.

Long time readers are probably wondering why this state trooper is reenacting the second most memorable thing about “The Electric Company” with Linda instead of hauling off her baked meteorite, as the disposal of dangerous foodstuffs is the historical role of the Ohio State Police in Funky Winkerbean. I’m right there with you, as I honestly don’t know.




Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

53 responses to “Helmet Heir

  1. William Thompson

    “Mrs. Bushka, we’re having trouble identifying the remains. The body in your car–the head was crushed so badly, it looks like a cinderblock.”

  2. Highway Patrol Man: Mrs. Bushka, you’re the luckiest woman in the world.

    Linda Bushka: Is my husband dead?

    Adapted and stolen from W.C. Fields’ film, “You’re Telling me” where it was not only funny but memorable. Two things Funky Winkerbean will never be accused of.

  3. spacemanspiff85

    You know, the more of these older strips I see, the less I believe there was ever really a Golden Age of this strip when it was actually funny. It was more just that Batiuk wasn’t trying so so hard to be profound and win awards, which does look pretty nice in comparison to today.

    • William Thompson

      I don’t know what’s funniest here–Creepy Les with the poorly-drawn machine gun? The cop’s mouth in the side of his face? The lazy hint of bricks in the background? The abject failure to show the mutant cooks? The radiation that will make Les Moore slowly go bald as he develops smirkanoma?

      • 7dials

        Aw, just look at those newborn baby bricks. So small, so fragile, so easily overlooked. And yet, from just such tiny acorns do mighty oaks sprung forth. For every brick his younger self disdained to draw, Batiuk – or, more precisely, the poor schlub he’s got doing his pencils – will now draw eighty-five.

  4. Honestly, too, that…thing…that Linda created as a meal is the most unappealing thing ever. It would be more suited if she’d called Bull and said, “Hey, Bull, I finally unclogged the toilet! Wait til you see it, it’s really horrible!”

  5. CRM114

    Last panel: I think maybe Linda just realized blood was dripping out of the helmet and onto her nice new carpet.

  6. billytheskink

    Is that the reflection of Linda’s hair in the window, or are those just trees?

  7. That meatloaf looks like the elderly version of the thing that stung Spock and tried to make him fly into the sun. Bull’s getting off easy.

  8. William Thompson

    “Mrs. Bushka, we found a note folded inside Mr. Bushka’s helmet–”

    “My Bull wrote a suicide note?”

    “I’m not sure. It says ‘My beloved Buck, soon we shall be together forever. Tonight I shall wear your favorite lace panties and–‘ The rest is smeared by a lipstick kiss, but it isn’t the color he was wearing.”

  9. Epicus Doomus

    “We found this on his genitals. He was also wearing a jockstrap on his head. CTE, perhaps?”


  10. Gerard Plourde

    I think that the correct protocol regarding a fatal accident requires that the helmet Bull was wearing would be transported to the coroner’s office with him so that it could be inventoried and kept with his other belongings.

    Also, from the silhouettes shown in panels five and six, it appears that Wally Winkerbean has joined the Ohio Highway Patrol.

  11. Banana Jr. 6000

    The idea of this police officer bringing Linda Bull’s football helmet is absolutely appalling. I looked up some police manuals online, and they say not to touch the body or move anything in the accident scene at all. More importantly, when you’re informing someone about the death of a loved one, you don’t bring them a souvenir, FFS!

    • ComicTrek

      Because TB expects us to be all “it’s BULL’S helmet, which means (*gasp!*) Bull is totally dead!!!”

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Yeah, this strip puts maudlin above all else, including making any sense. Note also the smoke still rising from The Meatloaf That Will Never Be Eaten.

  12. Max Power

    This reminds me of the Leslie Nielsen line from the Police Squad TV series: “We would have come earlier, but your husband wasn’t dead then”.

  13. ComicTrek

    You know something about Batom’s fatalities? Even in death, none of these ink-people get ANY respect.

    I’ll go so far as to say, not even Lisa. Does he seriously think that only bringing her out for the purpose of dramatic retcons or to show her suffering under the ravages of chemo is respectful in any way to her character as she was?

    Then we have strips like this. If the CTE arc was a well-researched and emotionally effective story, then I could cut TB some slack, but this felt as rushed and awful as when he killed off Rose from Crankshaft. Even the corniest, sappiest episode of, say, Little House on the Prairie can at least choke you up some. But not here. There’s so much nothingness about everything, it’s hard to feel much of anything except anger at the author.

    What an insult to a major character’s life and memory to have it end in such a way as this.

  14. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    Come on! You were all thinking it!

  15. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    Trooper Gloom: “I’m very sorry, ma’am.”
    Linda: “So am I. I burned the meatloaf!”
    And where’s Trooper Doom? Out in the car sexting his girlfriend?

  16. Paul Jones

    Why is it that the only character who was treated with the least amount of respect when he passed John Darling?

    Why do I assume that Bull kept the helmet on so that his brain could be saved for research?

    Why do I know that Linda will find that note two years after they’ve scattered his ashes?

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Hopefully Bull made tons of videotapes where he lectures Linda from behind the grave.

    • gleeb

      John Darling, who was murdered, got a whole long story after he was murdered, which he was. Jack Strop got a small item in a newspaper that creepy Les Moore happened to be reading while waiting for his replacement wife to be ready for something.

  17. Charles

    I love how he screwed up the meatloaf. He screwed it up! If it’s supposed to be burned because Bull never showed up for dinner, he screwed it up by showing Linda taking it out of the oven prior to calling Bull and discovering that he was missing. If it’s supposed to have gotten cold because Linda neglected it after she discovered Bull missing, he screwed it up by showing steam/smoke rising from it in today’s strip. He desperately tries his hand at pathos and just completely screws it up because he doesn’t pay any attention to what he’s done.

    And if you didn’t notice the screwup with the meatloaf, the screwup of the police officer bringing the football helmet in as if it would be something hugely significant in this circumstance is there as well. Batiuk just can’t help screwing up again and again.

    And as an aside, if Bull was supposed to be wearing his football helmet, I’m not sure how he managed to squeeze his head into his 40 year-old Chevette. He’d have so little headroom that his chin would be pushing into his navel or something. I mean, I know Batiuk didn’t present his physique as plausibly belonging to a potential NFL player, but I don’t think even 5’5″ Trindon Holliday would be able to fit comfortably in that situation.

    • ComicTrek

      Exactly! All of this! Especially about the helmet – surely he’d have outgrown it by now. I know teenagers aren’t exactly little kids, but that helmet seems pretty relatively child-sized. And, protective or not, wouldn’t it at least have blood, dirt, or scratches from the crash???

      • William Thompson

        It’s going to turn out that Bull’s CTE made him forget to wear his helmet, so his brain was ruined for scientific study. And when some toady tell Batiuk “What a brilliant use of irony!” the Lord of Language will say “Blast it all, I forgot to have Bull iron the laundry!”

  18. Rusty

    If Bull wanted to guarantee dying by car crash, protecting his head seems counterproductive. I suppose his mechanical tinkering could have been him disabling air bags, but again, that’s probably way beyond his abilities.

    Honestly surprised it’s not snowing yet in Westview.

  19. louder

    Batty is looking for pathos here, but he didn’t think of the possibility that in the real world, maybe a wife doesn’t want an accident souvenir of her husband’s fatal car accident just as she’s being informed of his death, or a reminder of the sport that took his sanity away. Just a terrible, unthinkable scene in reality.

  20. Smirks 'R Us

    The biggest controversy in this whole arc is the absence of Masky McDeath. That is a staple when a BatHack character shuffles off to the great beyond.

    Shouldn’t he have been in the front seat with Bull holding hands Thelma and Louise style?

  21. William Thompson

    Please don’t let it be Zanzibar who died! He’s the nearest thing this strip has to a beloved character!

    • Gerard Plourde

      TomBa did abandon the Butter Brinkel arc far too soon. Since Atomik Komix is hiring anyone who comes through the door, perhaps Zanzibar could be made a consultant on the Atomic Ape series.

      • CRM114

        Hold onto your heads cause we have, what?, another 5 or 6 weeks of this crap. The death game relatively early and suddenly with little real leadup. Batty has to pad the next number of weeks-how Bull really liked Les and made him what he is, mystery reveals, etc etc (gag/barf/puke).

      • William Thompson

        That’s more than likely. The Atomik Komix staff is top-heavy with knuckle-draggers.

  22. Dood

    Ma’am, your husband was ruled offside on Nobottom Road.

  23. Merry Pookster

    Who is going to break the news to his daughter.
    You remember, Jinx.
    What you don’t remember?
    Neither does Batiuk.

  24. Carrie Kube

    Personally, I was expecting a different method of death like hanging for bull.

  25. The Dreamer

    So now Linda can unretire and return to Westview in time for the dedication of Bull Bushka Stadium, and start up a romance with Bull’s friend from that other school who has been taking pity on hin

  26. The Dreamer

    So now Linda can unretire and return to Westview in time for the dedication of Bull Bushka Stadium and start up a romance with Bull’s friend from that other school who has been visiting and taking pity on Bull. He has really had the hots for Linda all along