Aberrations of Aerators.

Link to today’s strip

I said it yesterday, and it was reinforced by our crack cadre of commentators: THOUGHT BUBBLES, TOM. Your characters already act twice as robotic as the Futurama reject threatening to lap your doughy, eponymous, supposed ‘protagonist’. Having them also loudly narrate the world around them is as jarring, messy, and unnecessary as a watermelon speedbump on the autobahn.

I have no idea what that thing in panel one is supposed to be. I know what an aerator is, I’ve seen several up close, and that is like no aerator I recognize. Please, in the comments, let me know if you’ve ever seen anything like this being used for turfgrass management. Because it looks to me like a corkscrew mated with Johnny Five.

Apparently it’s not like any aerator that Google images has ever seen either. Heaven only knows what forensic specialists would make of my search terms from the last several hours.

“Field Aerator”
“Football Field Aerator”
“Handheld Football Field Aerator”
“Handheld Mechanic Football Field Plug Aerator.”
“Bender Futurama”

I did, however, find a very nice pair of shoes that I’d like someone to wear while kicking Les Moore in the face.

Bam! Pow! Right in the kisser!


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

34 responses to “Aberrations of Aerators.

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Oh my. Obviously a certain someone saw an aerator, thought it looked sort like a robot and thought it’d be very funny if. The idea well ran dry some time ago and now there’s nothing left to dredge from the bottom but the dregs. God help us all, Funky is talking to a robot aerator.

  2. CRM114

    Robot kinda reminds me of the ones from Magnus Robot Fighter comics. Squeeee!

    • billytheskink

      Beat me to it. I rather enjoyed Gold Key-era Magnus when I was a kid, part of a selection of good (Barks’ Ducks), bad (Archie spin-offs), and ugly (Hanna Barbera TV show tie-ins) comics my dad had packed away from his childhood.

    • Doghouse Reilly (Philadelphia)

      Not surprising, seeing how much Battyuk apparently H8s his readers.

  3. William Thompson

    Not only is this the sort of strip where you need to be told what the artwork “looks like,” but the characters need several guesses to decide what it “looks like.” Only Batty and Ayers would try to outdo “6 Chix.”

  4. William Thompson

    Is Funky having a nightmare about a Starsux Jones character? That’s one more way he’s like the rest of us.

    • In fact, the robot is Starbuck Jones’ “metallic manservant,” Issac.

      • Epicus Doomus

        So Funky is hallucinating (I assume) a Starbuck Jones character? I might have known this if Batom had ever bothered with fleshing out the Starbuckiverse a little bit instead of basing every single SJ story around two bored guys sitting around in a comic book factory.

        And I always though SJ was more like “Land Of The Lost” on thorazine, not “Downton Abbey” on steroids. I see Holly is bad at analogies too. Boy those old Sunday strips sure are forgettable, you know? In fact I’d go as far as to say that I really hate the Sunday strips. They’re never relevant to anything, the reality bubbles are always totally brainless and they’re kind of pretentious in that annoying Batiukian way of his too.

        • Doghouse Reilly (Minneapolis)

          A soap opera in space? Would that be a space soap? Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is closer to Downton Abby than SJ is.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            Also “space opera” is the name of a known genre that Starbuck Jones belongs to. You’d think the creator would be familiar with it.

      • Hitorque

        Some campy, cheesy comic book series was “Downton Abbey on steroids?”

        You ever wish you could read back dialogue to some characters just so they can hear how it sounds??

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        That Starbuck Jones cover is a masterpiece of blandness. There’s nothing even accidentally interesting about it.

        Look at the “Magnus Robot Fighter” cover below. It’s not very good either, but there’s a fight going on, the hero seems invested, the washed-out colors and clothing man-skirt evoke the 50s pulp space hero, and there’s some text telling you what’s going on.

        Now look at the above cover. There’s just… nothing. It’s competently drawn, but lacks any style, charm, personality, or action. There’s not even anything bad, weird, or campy about it. Starbuck Jones looks like he lives in a universe without adjectives. “In today’s episode, our hero shoots his raygun at the enemy… on a planet!”

        • William Thompson

          “… while he cradles a friend’s lifeless body in one arm!” Except he’s a member of the core cast, so he’ll be revived after an incredibly lame adventure that steals cliches from a half-dozen of the worst Trek episodes on record.

  5. billytheskink

    Quick! Somebody call Magnus: Robot Fighter (4000 A.D.)!

    • Doghouse Reilly (Philadelphia)

      I was thinking Funky’s running buddy was a cross between Ilda, the robot secretary of futuristic private eye Star Hawkins in ’50s DC sci-fi comics, and John Byrne’s ’70s character Rog 2000. Sorry, no art samples.

      Seriously, though, what the what is this supposed to be? Winkerbean’s oxygen-deprived brain hallucinating? Did he accidentally get on Mopey Pete’s Cosmic Treadmill and run into the 24th century? Or is Battyuk using the track as a metaphor to run us into Phase IV, set circa 2120?

      And what is with that opening word balloon? That’s the clunkiest, oddest bit of exposition since the Flash exclaimed “I’ve got the strangest feeling I’m being turned into a puppet!” TB really has never had a conversation with another human, has he?

    • Epicus Doomus

      Billy, I continue to be extremely impressed and slightly frightened by your boundless wellspring of comic book and strip ephemera. This should be the cover of Batom’s biography, as it’s one of the most Batiukian things I’ve ever seen. “Venomous Vapor”…it’s like he wrote it himself.

  6. William Thompson

    It would be a terrible, horrible thing to kick Les Moore in the face with those spiked shoes. The spikes are clearly placed for stomping, not kicking.

  7. The robot is “Isaac” from the Starbuck Jones crap. The name is in homage to Isaac Asimov who created (with John W. Campbell’s help) the Three Rules of Robots.

    It’s another way to ruin something–apparently a Batiuk fetish–while simultaneously “paying homage” to it.

    • William Thompson

      “The Orville” named its robot after Sir Isaac Newton, and made it both a good bit of characterization and a good joke. (Something like “I named myself after Sir Isaac Newton because, like me, he was far more intelligent than the people around him.”)

      If Batiuk wanted to pay homage to Asimov, he could have swiped a name from one of his robot stories, or used the naming format for the production-line robots. I think his best choice would have been 4Q2.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Oh ok, I thought it was a Lisa Terminator.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Coming back to get Funky for not showing proper deference to all things Lisa.

  8. spacemanspiff85

    I like how Batiuk apparently thinks “a robot oiling its footpad” is just something that everyone immediately recognizes visually.
    What I don’t like is how he’s had to turn every single character into a comic/sci-fi obsessive. He already had multiple characters whose entire shtick was “nerd”. Would this week have suffered if he’d had Harry/Pete/John/Darin/Chester running and daydreaming about robots?

    • Epicus Doomus

      “A robot oiling its footpad”…at first glance these words made no sense to me. Nor did the aerator reference. It was like it was just a bunch of randomly generated words all thrown together. And I had no idea that the robot thing is already sort of a character.

      I read FW every day. The guy who writes this dialog has been doing so for almost fifty years. My failure to “get” what was going on here definitely represents a failing on someone’s part but I don’t think that someone is me.

  9. Gerard Plourde

    Leaving aside for a minute the question what TomBa thinks an aerator looks like, where is he going with this strip? I have to think he wants us to accept that Funky is hallucinating for some unfathomable reason but who knows where this strip is concerned.

    • Epicus Doomus

      If he doesn’t wake up next to a wrecked early 00s-era Estonian car I’m going to be pretty disappointed. He does always dream about Starbuck Jones during his comas though, so fingers crossed.

  10. Banana Jr. 6000

    This is like a really bad infomercial, where random Z-list celebrities very unnaturally talk about the ridiculous product.

    “Hi, I’m Funky Winkerbean and I’m training for the Lisa’s Legacy run! That aerator looks like a robot oiling it’s foot pad! Gasp! It’s Isaac The robot from the Starbuck Jones series! Hi Isaac!”

    “Hi Funky! Did you know you can get into shape faster and aerate your lawn in 30 minutes with the new Thighmulcher?”

  11. Hitorque

    Remember the good old days when Funkmeister spent a week trying to catch the end of some basketball game and then in real life we lost all sports for however long it’s been since then?

  12. Paul Jones

    If Isaac is here to slap Holtron with a paternity suit, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised.

  13. Count of Tower Grove

    BWAWHAWHAWHAW! It’s funny because Fungy’s being pursued by a Model XQJ-37 Nuclear Powered Pansexual Roto-Plooker, sans marital aids!

  14. Banana Jr. 6000

    Why do both characters’ heads change shape between panel 1 and 2? The robot’s head goes from trapezoidal to oval, and Funky looks like a rubber forehead alien from one of the crappier Star Trek iterations.

  15. gleeb

    It’s a special aerator for use on devil strips.

  16. Perfect Tommy

    Looks like Funky wrapped his car around a tree again.

  17. Professor Fate

    “We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold” – Hunter S Thompson Fear & Loathing in Los Vegas –
    As entertaining as the idea of a robot showing up in Westville (and why is it there? Maybe it escaped like Johnny Five?) i’m sure it will turn out this isn’t real and will end in making Funky look foolish and stupid and be banal and dumb at the same time. My money is on ‘this is a dream’.
    Oh how one longs for the days of the Talking Murder chimp.

    • William Thompson

      The robot is there because it’s rejoining the other androids in Westview World.