Blunt Farce Trauma.

Link to today’s strip

Linda, the cause of your husband’s death was still blunt force trauma in a car wreck. And implying that the hits he took in football were the inevitable cause of Bull’s death takes away the agency of the decision he made to end his life.

In my belief, one of the most dangerous post-suicide rationalizations friends and family make is trying to convince themselves that the suicide was inevitable or unavoidable. I have compassion for people who try to cope this way, but depression or despair should never be approached as terminal conditions.

The silver lining of this entire nightmare of an arc was people here getting a chance to share stories of their own struggles with despair. This tiny community of snarkers hate-reading Funky Winkerbean may have been the only people on the entire earth to actually engage with this horrible story on a deeper level and come away with any positive results.

So don’t despair my fellow Funkysnarkers! Next week Tom promises to serve us a week of Harry Dinkle, scraped together from his bag of recycled gags. I look forward to finding something both funny and insulting to say about Batiuk beating a dead band turkey.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

28 responses to “Blunt Farce Trauma.

  1. Thank you, CBH. As one who has not (yet) confessed to suicide-level depression, I can say that depression is not something that can be waved away by saying, “Oh, he donated to your cause. Plus, that’s the only reason I texted you to come to my house. So you could put more bricks in order in your own house. Me? Bull? What do we matter to you, Les Moore.”

  2. Epicus Doomus

    Yeah sure Linda. What a soulless so-and-so. Don’t promise to ensure that Bull’s death wasn’t in vain by actually saying or (God forbid) doing anything, don’t honor his memory by bringing attention to his fate, just keep quiet, mope and feel sorry for yourself. Linda and Les deserve one another. Perhaps he could kill off Cayla next, bring these two cretins together and tear open a vortex in the bearded dick with ears fabric of the Funkyverse so powerful that not even wry wordplay could escape its grasp.

    “Bull commits suicide, police and his wife cover it up”…do tell, did Batiuk bring that up during his glowing puff-piece interview in the Times? This one makes even the Same Sex Prom arc look cohesive in comparison. The Big CTE Mega arc was a complete failure on every possible level, unless his goal was to tell his story in the most baffling and stupid way possible, in which case job well done there, Pulitzer (nominee) Boy.

  3. William Thompson

    Thank you, CBH, for addressing one of the things that made this arc so contemptible. Batiuk raised the topic of suicide, then dismissed it. That should make me angry, but for that, I’d need to have any respect for Batiuk. (Yesterday you invited everyone to say their worst about him. He’s a hack who only cares about feeding his ego, and when he retires, no one’s going to miss him.)

  4. William Thompson

    Sure, Les. Sure it will stay between you and Linda. Until you realize you can squeeze some more misery-porn dollars out of it. Don’t worry, Linda will approve. You still won’t say anything about dealing with CTE or preventing suicide, but you’ll win whatever award Batiuk is angling for.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Right, never talk about all the good things Bull did for you! He was just amazed to be close to you Les, since you are so amazing.

  5. billytheskink

    And yet, Les is still with us…

    • William Thompson

      So why would Tony Montoni care about Les? Is Les his son who chose to Anglicize his family name? Or does he expect to go to the Y and shovel him off the floor?

  6. Gerard Plourde

    I didn’t think it was possible for TomBa to do any more disservice to Bull and the issues he claimed to be championing but this coverup of Bull’s suicide is the final straw. The message he’s sending is that Bull’s struggle and decision are shameful and need to be hidden. The picture he painted though tells a very different story. From the time he retired on, Bull was abandoned by his friends. The only person to visit him was Buck, who he didn’t know and who has now conveniently disappeared completely from the strip because he’s no longer useful to TomBa. Faced with a progressively debilitating condition that is currently incurable and isolated from his community, Bull’s depression was exacerbated (although, God knows, TomBa never actually showed Bull suffering any symptoms beyond the one early expression of rage and the instance of impaired physical ability on the tennis court.)

    He also managed to make Westview the model town without pity by portraying the minuscule attendance at Bull’s funeral. The fact that Bull taught at the high school for decades, led the football team to a championship and successfully coached the girls’ basketball team should have ensured greater attendance at the funeral.

    However, not all is lost. Today’s strip featured appearances by a brick wall and autumn leaves.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Batty should know that high school football coaches are gods in NE Ohio. One local coach passed away last month and the police had to direct traffic at the funeral home due to all of the visitors. The Mayor spoke at his wake.

      Sorry Batty, but comics books never get that kind of attention.

      • Gerard Plourde

        “Comic books never get that kind of attention.”

        I agree, but for him comic books have achieved a quasi-religious status. When I read his May 10, 2018 blog post (“Match to Flame – 73”) I learned how seriously he takes his worship.

        The subject was the debut of the 1966 Adam West Batman tv series. His outrage and disdain come through unabated over a half-century later. The horror he expresses is the type reserved for blasphemy and sacrilege. You need to read it to fully experience the venom.

        (Caveat: Batman was my favorite comic book superhero growing up because, lacking superpowers and relying on his intellect, physical prowess, and technology to combat evil, he was more believable as a role model. And, of course, the thought of Robin, a kid about my age, as implausible as he was, sharing meaningfully in the adventure was pretty irresistible. Needless to say, eleven-year-old me who also grew up on Loony Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons loved the Adam West series in all its excess and campiness.)

        • ian'sdrunkenbeard

          You describe my Batman childhood. I had a few comics from the early 60’s. The Batman tv show aired teasers long before it actually started. All the kids in junior high were talking about it You were in Nowheresville if you didn’t watch it, and we all loved it!

          • ian'sdrunkenbeard

            Actually I have about 400 Silver Age comics (mostly DC) that are in 0 condition because I read them under the covers, in my tree house, in the car, and on the beach…I liked Huckleberry Hound, Ruff and Reddy, Clutch Cargo, Johnny Quest, all Warner Bros…

  7. William Thompson

    At the end, it sounds like Linda is confessing to Bull’s murder by hitting him over the head with something as blunt as Batiuk’s wit. Even though she has an iron-clad alibi? Can’t this strip get to the end of a story without retconning the bejeezus out of itself?

  8. Paul Jones

    There is something worse than Bull’s suicide being covered up so that an uncaring town can go on being uncaring: Batiuk’s belief that he did everything right. He doesn’t realize what a horrible mess he made of things because he shares one thing with Les: an inability to understand how normal people behave.

  9. ComicTrek

    Keep what between them? Did they really even say that much of anything? How didn’t ANYBODY in that town (besides Buck) know about Bull’s condition and what it usually leads to? When it was Lisa, everyone knew and offered their support. But by keeping things secret, CTE awareness is being swept under the rug! I was at least expecting another time skip and a “Bull Run” or something…

  10. Count of Tower Grove

    Everything Lindumb told Less will stay between them. Less isn’t going to tell anyone how much Bull admired him(?)*

    *(?) indicates uptalk.

    • billytheskink

      Les does not initiate any conversation that is not about himself (or Lisa, which is himself by extension because of the dang books) and Les does not continue any conversation that does not become about himself.

      He’s actually a great guy to tell secrets to. Huh, go figure…

  11. sgtsaunders

    “Hey Cayla! Guess what!?!”

  12. Don

    Yes, “blunt force trauma.” Not suicide. No reason for the insurance company not to pay – and probably pay double because it was an “accident.” Les is not a conspirator to insurance fraud. That increased donation to Lisa’s Legacy fund every year in Bull’s name will be merely a coincidence.

    • Hannibal's Lectern

      (Two comments for the price of one, since wordpress now requires me to enter all my details every time I post one)

      Lindumb is assuming the abbreviation “BFT” on the accident report stood for “Blunt Force Trauma,” when actually it stood for “Buck Futt Threesome.”

      So if he killed himself by blunt force trauma (assumed to be to the head), then he destroyed his brain as a subject for research. Which makes perfect sense in Todd’s pointy little bald head: after failing at everything in life, he then failed at a proper brain-preserving CTE suicide. Todd’s vengeance on the Sporto is almost complete. The only thing left is Lindumb goinking Less (brain bleach, please).

  13. I don’t know what TB is trying to say here…I just don’t know. Normally, the cause of death for most auto accidents, I would guess, is BFT. And while it’s not always the head that suffers the most impact, it is the most vulnerable and trauma is more likely to result in death (even if wear a 30 year old high school football helmet). That said, Bull died in an auto accident. So what is it that Les is supposed to keep to himself? That Bull liked him and coached his kid? That Bull was eccentric enough to wear a football helmet while driving? I know it’s called writing, but I just don’t get it.

  14. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    “I want you to know, Linda McPoodlehead Weedwhacker, that everything you said about covering up Bullsquat’s suicide, and conspiring with the police and the coroner, will stay between us because we are people of integrity who face society’s problems head on. Oh, sorry, Bull.”

    “Not funny, Les.”

    “Sorry, Linda, could you please say that a little louder into my coat lapel?”

  15. Banana Jr. 6000

    In addition to what’s already been said, this story is also a massive disservice to CTE awareness.

    By meaninglessly covering up Bull’s suicide, Batiuk also covers up the fact that CTE can cause suicidal depression in otherwise non-depressive people. Junior Seau, Andre Waters, Tyler Hilinski, Jovan Belcher, Aaron Hernandez, Dave Duerson, and Shane Dronett all killed themselves, and were all later found to have CTE as a root cause. Hilinski was 21, and had the brain of a 65-year-old with Alzheimer’s. Belcher and Hernandez and also killed other people. This seems like the sort of information you’d want to make people aware of!

    There’s also Bull’s intent to donate his brain to research. Real human beings have done this, like Dave Duerson. Stop and ponder that a moment: these men had a disease so horrible that they literally donated their own lives to fight it. What a horrible and noble act that is.


    Linda, you idiotic Chia Pet, you should be on the roof of the police station screaming at the top of your lungs that Bull Bushka killed himself. You’ve got proof: the police delivered it to you! Then again, people might not believe the story as it’s been told: Bull Bushka tampered with his own car despite having CTE and no mechanical skill; drove it off a 20-foot cliff; wore a helmet so his brain could be preserved for CTE research; died of blunt force trauma; and wasn’t a suicide. It’s all so contradictory I can’t even parse it anymore.

    Funky Winkerbean uses the word “legacy” a lot. If any character deserves that word, it’s Bull Bushka. He was a successful athlete and coach for the high school, worked with generations of children, did good deeds for his friends, and ultimately gave his life so future generations wouldn’t suffer as he did. He even grew as a person, something I can’t say for too many other people in Westview. But who gets a legacy? Lisa Lisa Lisa Lisa Lisa!

    Bull doesn’t get a legacy. Bull doesn’t even get the truth told about why he died, with his own wife and alleged friend participating in the cover up. Even though that truth is central to what Tom Batiuk told the New York Times he was going to raise awareness of. That is LOW. Lower than making Harry Dinkle deaf; lower than chopping Becky’s arm off; lower than every other pointless tragedy this strip dishes out and then refuses to address. It’s downright offensive.

  16. The NFL today announced its merger with the Pullet Surprise Foundation. The first act of the new, conjoined organization was to award Ohio cartoonist Tom Batiuk the first Heisman Trophy for Comics that are Totally Works of Art. Their second announcement was that future editions of the trophy would be called the Load of Bull. Finally, all future NFL games will proceed according to the rules of flag football.

    Dust off the bases of your tiny, mental baseball diamond, TB! You hit this one out of the park with your football bat.