Today’s strip seems almost tame after yesterday’s turn of events, but still… Yes! To think, we all called Pete the creepy one.
Everything about this continues to be bizarre and off-putting. Why is Linda apparently conflicted about backing away from Buck’s advance? Heck, why is Buck making these advances to begin with? I mean, sure, he talked to Linda a bit when he came to visit Bull but… that’s just it, he came to visit BULL. Prior to Bull’s death, he spent 95% of his time at the Bushka house with Bull. Even when he was talking to Linda, they talked about Bull!
We know nothing about Buck other than that he played high school football and that he was miraculously diagnosed with CTE. Did he have a career? Prior relationships? Family? Friends? We have no context for this behavior, which means TB has painted himself into a corner without a way to make Buck come across as anything but gross and way out of line.
38 responses to “Buck off”
Don’t tell me, let me guess. “Oh, Buck, I don’t deserve a man like you! And I’m consumed by guilt for not having been good enough for Bull! His death is all my fault! If it weren’t for my cold heart and dislike of sports, my Bull would never have killed himself! In fact I pushed him into suicide! Punish me, I’m naughty!”
To borrow from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” “A spanking! A spanking!”
Batiuk is all over the place here in that annoyingly half-assed way of his. Is Linda outraged, disgusted, horrified, depressed or what? Who the hell knows? I am obliged to point out the fact that Buck is brain damaged and might not even be aware that he’s acting all inappropriately and creepy. Whatever the hell is going on here I sure hope it stops soon, as it’s gone way too far already.
This won’t end until Buck and Linda are married and (bad taste minimum) visit Bull’s grave for some pre-honeymoon smirks.
ALL of this! And you’re right – what exactly is going on with Linda? I know that everyone grieves differently and has all sorts of coping mechanisms to deal with loss and all that comes with it. But we all know how everyone else has responded to painful situations.
I’ll bring up Les and Lisa again, even though it pains me to do it. When Batiuk killed her off, her widower’s pain was palpable. It was skipped over in favor of the time skip, but we did see his depressed and neurotic state afterward, AND CONTINUE TO DO SO even long after he’s remarried. So we’re supposed to believe that Linda, who is consistently the most miserable character besides maybe Wally, is sailing along just fine right now?
I’m not saying that Linda is “supposed to” mourn that way. But consider the whole situation. This is ‘Funky Winkerbean’. Linda is a WIDOW. Where is that portrayal of the heartbreak that comes with that new life she’s been suddenly, and violently thrust into? Where has she found the willpower to get up and take care of putting away her husband’s football things? To get out, being sociable, going to eat lunch with a guy as if they were on a date? We’re not seeing any crying at night, or reaching out for warmth where Bull used to sleep, or a smell, or something. No reminiscing about moments they shared. Nothing like that at all.
Again, I know that there’s not just one way to grieve, ever, but this portrayal is terrible.
You’re exactly right: Linda hasn’t reacted to Bull’s death in any way whatsoever. Especially considering she’s kind of responsible for it. She didn’t hide the keys well enough, didn’t notice Bull was gone, and let him modify the car in the first place. I’ve seen real people blame themselves for tragedies that were a lot less their fault.
It’s one thing if she was unhappy in the marriage. But the story doesn’t tell us that, or explain her complete non-reaction to Bull’s death. If she was having an affair with Buck or wanted one, it’s taken way too long to get going. Linda is far too at ease handling the Football Helmet of Death, which would be in a disturbing condition considering how Bull died. Which was delivered to her like a Domino’s pizza, 30 minutes after Bull’s gruesome death. But that’s a whole other avenue of reasons this “prestige arc” is an incompetent mess.
In fact, why is the story even following Buck or Linda? They’re not doing anything! They’re not even talking about anything relevant to the story. “Thanks for helping me move Bull’s sports memorabilia,” said Linda, holding a box of Bull’s sports memorabilia. This is not a story, it’s niche porn for Batiuk’s “things that belonged to dead people” and “cuckold the jocks” fetishes.
Put it this way, if Buck is able to pull 4 consecutive lines of Byron out of his head in order to put the moves on Linda, it’s not CTE that’s making him behave inappropriately. He’s perfectly aware of what he’s doing – and if he isn’t, he sure as fuck needs to get out from behind the wheel and never drive again.
Waddaya want from a Big Walnut Tech guy?
Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d type: This makes me long for the days of gun-totin’, talkin’, murderin’ chimps from from the heyday of Tinseltown!!
Let us never forget the talking murder chimp. That is a thing that happened.
Isn’t this the only time Linda has ever bugged Buck? Previously, I always recall him just showing up unannounced.
This is Batiuk’s editorial director at King Features, in case you might want to tweet her…@teaberryblue
Does “earnestly full of shit” count?
How DARE he mention Battyuk and Ernest in the same sentence!? Jim Varney was genuinely funny!
You gotta love Todd’s own Editorial Director inadvertently copping to the fact that the last time the strip was “funny” was during the Nixon administration.
Seriously, is she referring to Less manning a machine gun in the school hallway as being “prescient” in predicting school shootings? Because I’m fucked if I can see any visionary ability in the gag-a-day strip it was back then.
TB likens himself to Woody Allen in this scene, where the aliens tell him: “We like your movies, particularly the early, funny ones.”
HA! Well, he already thinks himself on a par with Charles Schulz and Chester Gould…
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard someone say “He was a great writer decades ago, so there.” Or heard a Famous Author complain about being misunderstood. What claims like that make me do is look at the writer’s earlier works and see the first signs of the rot.
I read ‘most earnest’ as ‘worst’ an thought, Wow! Teaberry is being forthtright and honest!
Thanks for dragging @sonofstuckfunky into the debate there, Admiral!
That………That’s incredible. Someone on Batty’s creative team admitting that she gets why some don’t like the strip. But at least he’s earnest and serious about it. Amazing.
Of course, the fact that the Hearst people have been re-reunning the early Funky means I know she’s incorrect.
Wow, she has a cushy job. It’s obvious there is no editing going on. She just sits around all day on social media.
Can you imagine Todd letting anyone edit his genius? Let alone a woman?
That admission is astonishing. Given the opportunity to defend the work he’s done in the last however many months/years/decades, she just punts. She offers no defense of anything he’s done since 1979. He’s literally been dining out in the intervening years on the work he did over 40 years ago.
I don’t think any of us could come up with a criticism of Batiuk that would be even a tenth this devastating.
LOL “go back and read the funny ones from the 1970s”…yeah, that’s pretty withering.
Um, I’m pretty sure I used to joke about Buck and Linda having an affair, since several times when he came over “to visit Buck” he just hung out upstairs with Linda and sort of talked about Buck. That was a joke, but looking back at it now after this week, and today’s strip, it would make a lot more sense if they actually had been carrying on an affair while Bull was alive.
“looking back at it now after this week, and today’s strip, it would make a lot more sense if they actually had been carrying on an affair while Bull was alive.“
That scenario gives Bull an additional motive for suicide. That additional tragic turn would also provide potential for plot and character development – in short a complex and interesting story.
Instead, TomBa’s tell don’t show habit has given us two days of creepiness.
Tomorrow’s strip is clearly going to be all about how Linda only ever loved one man: Bull.
And about how she thinks she failed him.
And to think, we are stuck with this mess, all because Batty needed a way to shoehorn in a poem that he likes.
I’ve always thought creepy Les Moore was the creepy one. or at least since he started following his high-school aged daughter around everywhere.
Before Buck drifted into town, I proposed that Linda would wind up banging her work husband Les. Now Buck’s being sent off to die alone, we just need to get Cayla out of the way. Say, didn’t she used to be a sporto? She’ll be the next one “diagnosed with CTE.”
Linda gone cut a bitch before this is over.
Perhaps the story takes a dark twist as Buck realizing that he’s gone too far drives back to his small empty house contemplates his long wasted life no marriage no career worth talking about, his only fleeting moment of happiness was being a better football player than a man who the actually became a successful Athletic coach and a decent human being to boot and puts a bullet in his brain.
I’d like this to happen, again it’s the romantic in me.
So Buck essentially appeared out of thin air at the beginning of Bull’s CTE odyssey, and has existed for the sole purpose of having somebody for Bull to share memories of his glory days with, the implication being that the rest of his career was meaningless, even though, despite his lack of success in the NFL, it turned out pretty well. Hell, he led teams to championships in two different sports, and was responsible for rehabbing Summer’s injury to the point that she was a star athlete.
So, is Linda’s lame rebuff today going to enough to send Buck back into the ether forever, or will it strengthen his resolve to pursue her even more? TB has pretty much mishandled this CTE super-arc in every way possible so far. He’s taken a pitch straight over the plate and shanked it right into the dugout.
Pretty sure that Buck (being a male TB character) didn’t even register a rebuff from a female TB character.
If these were real people (break for hysterical laughter) the feebleness of Linda’s response would make some sense – she wouldn’t want to hurt Buck’s feelings by an outright GO AWAY CREEPER! Not so much because he’s done her a favour (and apparently he doesn’t think lunch was enough of a payoff), but because he’s shown he doesn’t respect personal space and she is in a confined space with him. Speak softly until you can get some distance, right?
Well there is a pattern here: After all Dead skunk head was coveting Wally’s wife while he was deployed or POW… John was playing Becky like a cheap quarter slot machine (or one-armed bandit)…. and eventually it worked.
So Buck was all the time just setting things up for some hot latina time… while pretending to be a Friend of old Bull…. but wait… Bull had no other “friends” visit it… no faculty staff… not Nate the Principle… nor Jinx even.
What a pathetic collection of charecters.