Premium Tool.

Link to today’s strip

I’m a little ashamed to say it, but I chuckled unironically at the strip today. Well, it wasn’t really a chuckle, more of soft snort complete with an eye-roll. But props to Batiuk, this came within sighting distance of comedy.

Ayers deserves more of the credit though, the dead-eyed, wide-mouthed Dinkle in panel three hits my funny bone when partnered with the blunt punchline.

I wonder about the premiums paid out. It seems like even more fundraiser money sucked away from the band. I remember getting promised dumb prizes for selling enough during school fundraisers, but no one could sell enough to earn them.

Cabbage Jack yesterday in the comments pointed reader to Tom Batiuk’s blog. I’d never given it much of a look, but I browsed back a few months and it was quite a trip; an inane mishmash of narcissism and comics related shitposting. Most egregious are the little excerpts from his Funky Winkerbean volumes, where he deconstructs the history of his own creation like an art restorer painstakingly scraping the macaroni off a kindergardener’s project.

“The scenes with Fred and Ann and their son Darin were reflective of a different part of my life with Cathy and Brian that I was beginning to draw upon. Change was becoming a palpable part of Funky, and the biggest changes of all were just about to unfold. I didn’t have a master plan exactly, but I could see daylight ahead, and I was beginning to run toward it.”

“As was my habit, new characters continued to appear. Cindy Summers, the most popular girl in school, and Bodean, Westview High’s resident hood, joined the cast as the polar opposites of the high school continuum. Big hair was starting to come in for girls, and Cindy’s hair soon became the biggest of the biggest. Her tenure in the strip was destined to be remarkably long.”

And taking the cake, yesterday’s offering, where Batiuk goes borderline biblical talking about trying to renegotiate a contract.

“And lo, there came a day when the prophecy of the attorney in the beginning times came to pass.
It’s been said that the past is a knife (as an acolyte of Sigmund Freud, I’m all in on that one), and at the beginning of 1990 I was definitely feeling its point in my back.”


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

23 responses to “Premium Tool.

  1. spacemanspiff85

    Um, Becky was in the band when Dinkle led it. So why does she need to ask this?

    • Epicus Doomus

      Seconded. Once again the guy with the empty Pulitzer shelf in his studio just plumb forgot that Becky has known Dinkle since high school, all for the sake of another lazy gag centered around an old version of a character he couldn’t do away with fast enough when the opportunity arose.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Third: Didn’t she do her student teaching with him?

  2. billytheskink

    I agree that this one is worth a laugh, though it loses some punch with us beady-eyed nitpickers who would note that Lefty was in Dinkle’s band as a student and assisted him for many years and as such should be very familiar with his verbal abuse.

    The ultimate premium in my school fundraiser gift wrapping paper sales was a battery-operated 2.5″ black & white television. You had to sell thousands and thousands of dollars of paper to get it… and I could barely sell paper to my parents to wrap my own Christmas gifts (possibly because I obnoxiously pushed the Hanukkah paper on them for no better reason than that I liked the way it looked).

  3. I guess I’m unsure how, with everything online, students “place the most orders.” If Batiuk means they’re stealing credit card into to gain points, well, that could be very interesting and Dick Tracy might make a meaningful return visit.

    But the word “interesting” negates all of that. But yeah, panel three Dinkle head should be made into a sticker or an enamel pin. Maybe Batiuk could sell those at OMEA.

    I imagine the attendees are grateful for collections of the Act I Dinkle strips that he offers, as folks mention that Dinkle was a prominent presence in band rooms “back in the day.”

    I’m thinking that no one posts pictures of Act III Dinkle.

    • Epicus Doomus

      I have long maintained that ruining Dinkle was the single dumbest “artistic decision” he’s ever made. The ten year time skip is close, but ruining Dinkle was even dumber. IMO he either should have simply left the character as-is with no explanation or he should have turned Retired Harry into a deranged madman who’d stalk the band and terrify everyone with his insane ranting. But alas, instead he chose to go with his patented “cackling old coot” persona and here we are, desperately praying for Saturday to mercifully arrive. Sigh.

      • billytheskink

        The Act III Dinkle strips almost become entertaining if you assume that he actually did go deaf in late Act II and that what we’re seeing when he appears in Act III is what he thinks he is hearing and experiencing.

      • ian'sdrunkenbeard

        A couple of very long running gags was the fact that you never saw Beetle Bailey’s nor Dinkle’s eyes because their hats always covered them. That weird trait made them unique, but now we see Dinkle’s bleary old peepers all the time and he’s just another boring old fart. I guess aging just makes you blander in Westview.

        I think the time jump was the dumbest thing in the strip.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Not that it’s been consistently portrayed, but making Dinkle deaf was an abomination. To destroy your one interesting character by taking away the thing that drove him interesting, was a low point in an already hateful world.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Not surprisingly, nowadays he has pictures in hospitals. But as the article mentions, Bill Watterson (another NE Ohio resident) also donated.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        You’ll never guess which character he chose to feature!

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Batiuk said he donated a drawing of Dinkle because Dinkle was his most recognizable character. He’s right about that. And I’m pleasantly surprised he didn’t say Les.

          • Rusty Shackleford

            Well it is telling that he didn’t submit a painting of Lisa. Watterson submitted a painting of a dinosaur.

            Post Dinkle, there are no memorable FW characters.

  4. William Thompson

    “Lefty, I motivated my band members by yelling at them. And I didn’t need no stinking bullhorn like you used at the last band stalag!”

  5. Lord Flatulence

    I can’t click on the link.

  6. Paul Jones

    You gotta know that at some point, Batiuk will write an overwrought, immature and self-serving blog entry about stunted fungus garbage people who claim to remember his strip better than he does. It’ll be like Lynn Johnston whining about having to keep track of character’s ages or Brooke MCEldowney smugly defending getting “way station” wrong only to remove the post when his wife corrected him so he didn’t have to apologize or admit to fucking up.

  7. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    Coming soon: Dinkle smirks as he remembers screwing over the sportos and their coach for the sake of the almighty band. The next panel (with photo corners) depicts a group of tall sportos holding basketballs and gaping in slack-jawed awe at the huge mounds of turkeys covering the gym floor.

  8. Charles

    You know, Dinkle is so frequently and deliberately drawn with the left side of his mouth and face drooping that the only conclusion I can make is that Batiuk had him have a stroke at some point.