Threescore and Five

Oh, now hold up. Men’s Over Sixty-Five Division? This is the last time I’m going to harp on timeline and continuity: Batiuk clearly gives no fucks so why should we? But if you go by what Wikipedia says:

In 1992, Batiuk changed the strip’s format. It was established that Funky, Les, Cindy and all the rest of the previous cast had graduated from Westview in 1988…

In which case, today Funky would be right around 50 years old.

In November 2008, the gang assembled for a thirty year reunion (“the coming reunion”). This would make them WHS Class of 1978. Funky would be about 60 (at the “time pool” reunion in June 2015, any dates on the banners were artfully obscured).  This number also would jibe with Funky being 46 at the beginning of Act III in 2007, as shown on the “Meet the Cast” page. So we have what amounts to a time jump within a time jump. The characters are catching up in age with their creator, and Funky (and his peers, including ageless Cindy) are at least 65 years of age. Older than me, even!

41 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

41 responses to “Threescore and Five

  1. William Thompson

    Does this mean if someone gave Batiuk a prize, the pain in our communal ass would disappear just like that?

  2. William Thompson

    Funky hesitates: “But . . . but there was only one runner over sixty-five! How can I place third in a two-man contest?”

    Spokescreature: “Quit whining! Everyone’s astonished you did that well.”

  3. Captain Gladys Stoatpamphlet

    That’s an outrageous goof. It’s like TB merged Funky with Montoni (or maybe Funky stole his identity) to make him a generation older.

  4. Epicus Doomus

    I didn’t even notice that at first. There’s no possible way Funky is over 65, not even all that close. Years of drawing Funky as a decrepit elderly man has driven Batty batty.

  5. SeaCountry

    Hey, the timeline’s a mess, continuity is shot to hell, and apparently half the charity money was spent on medals, but at least Funky finally gets his award. It’s not like he’ll get one for being the best pizzeria in Cancerview or something. Now he can stop suffering.

    And now we can join Cayla as she swings her bat around the Moore house….oh, who am I kidding, it’s just gonna be some other damn thing that makes no sense.

  6. Gerard Plourde

    This wonderfully slipshod aging also means that Darren, Pete and Jessica are around 50. It also creates problems about Jfff’s age at the time that he and Pmmm saw Frankie and Lisa. And what about the Crankshaft arc that placed Pmmm and Jfff at KSU as undergraduate students at the time of the 1970 shootings?

    I guess anything goes as long as TomBa can get back to his collection of Silver Age Flash and can peruse the Sunday comics section of the New York Daily News from the 1940s.

  7. comicbookharriet

    When I was younger, my parents took us all out to eat at Sirloin Stockade to celebrate their 20 somethingith wedding anniversary. I don’t even know if they were past 50. But when the lady there gave them a senior discount, my dad was pleased as punch. Because ten bucks is ten bucks.

    I’m guessing Funky is also willing to take what he can get.

  8. nescio

    Forget about the time/age discontinuity, in the last panel Funky says “All the pain’s gone” when the pain is clearly still visible just past his left shoulder.

    • Hannibal's Lectern

      “And just like that, all the pain’s gone.”
      Yeah, a cerebral hemorrhage is like that. Rest in peace (or at least quietly, at Bedside Manure), Funky.

  9. Banana Jr. 6000

    Well, that was an inspiring story of someone working hard and overcoming adversity to achieve a long-desired award. Which they didn’t already have.

  10. J.J. O'Malley

    Hey, I’m satisfied with any sort of anachronistic nonsense that makes the original Westview Gallery of Losers older than me.

    Now that Funky’s pain is gone, maybe he, Les, Cindy, and Masonne can start up a search part and track down Marianne, who seems to have vanished from the race course since her appearance on Monday.

  11. billytheskink

    Michael Jackson, who Les and Funky saw in concert (and Les met) during the Thriller era as underclass high schoolers, wouldn’t even be 65 today if he were still alive.

    • Hitorque

      Wow… Meets the single biggest star on the goddamn planet at that time and Les still can’t avoid being a douchebag…

      And for the love of God, PLEASE tell me Les didn’t go to a Michael Jackson concert wearing his standard issue white polo with black golf slacks and penny loafers…

      • billytheskink

        Yeah, that’s what he wore. He also got Michael Jackson to autograph a baseball glove (I guess confusing him with Reggie Jackson?), to Funky’s apparent amusement.

    • Gerard Plourde

      Right. We would just have become eligible to take early Social Security. His 62nd birthday was August 29th.

  12. Boots Gandalf

    Medals donated by Shut the Fuck Up Now, Funky, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

  13. none

    Warning: Incoming blog post nobody asked for. I originally wrote this in response to William Thompon’s opening post, but I don’t think it belongs there. To wit:

    Does this mean if someone gave Batiuk a prize, the pain in our communal ass would disappear just like that?

    I decided to take a moment to look into comic strips and Pulitzer correlation.

    The author lost to Michael Ramirez that year. I’ve seen his work a few times before, and instantly recognized his depiction of Obama (with the distinctively grotesquely narrow head and wide ears). He’s had his share of controversy with his work, and many of his panels are still rather sharp today.

    The prize category in question is for Editorial Cartooning, which is a type of work that has its own distinctive formation, intent, and audience from newspaper comic strips. I believe that the general functional intent of newspaper comic strips is familiarity. A gag-a-day strip is expected to deliver a gag a day, and story strips move at a glacial pace – and this is all by design, and basically what the audience wants. I believe this explains why any kind of controversy which newspaper comic strips may encounter is for relatively very benign language or content. In contrast, editorial cartoons live on the edge of controversy. Without abandoning intelligence or decorum, the editorial cartoon lives and dies by making a direct gut punch to the subject with a provocative statement and image. It has no time to play safe or build a story.

    On this basis, I could definitely see reason why Berkeley Breathed winning with Bloom County would have been met with criticism and disdain. Despite Bloom County and Doonesbury leaning heavily into political commentary, the form and function of their medium is distinct from what the category is intended to recognize and award. Neither of those strips would exist as an Editorial Cartoon, and therefore should not have been judged as such.

    Therefore, on this basis, I see no reason why the author should have even been nominated with the Lisa cancer arc to begin with. Editorial Cartoons, Bloom County, and Doonesbury couldn’t be more apart from FW. Despite the subject matter, FW is still created as a newspaper comic strip at heart, and that’s most primarily evident in its commitment to not make any kind of controversial statement about anything, regardless of if the subject matter itself is controversial or not. Within the last year we’ve had a CTE arc that said absolutely nothing about CTE, and we’ve had an arc where he cites climate change for the subject, but says absolutely nothing about climate change to extent of what is causing it or anything else beyond that it exists. Indeed, on the Pulitzer website’s entry for the author, it cites the nomination on the basis of how the strip “portrays a woman’s poignant battle with breast cancer”, but we know that the strip really portrayed Lisa’s utter surrender to cancer, and that only scratches the surface of how ineptly and illogically that arc’s entire story was presented. On one hand you have deeply cutting political commentary, and on the other you have Lisa getting a MRI scan being depicted as if it’s a god damned children’s comic book cover. I can only guess as to how the Pulitzer jurors perceived FW when they judged its content.

    So, what would have been different if he won? I honestly don’t think it would be much. With winning, Lisa might have actually stayed dead when she died twenty years ago, but the other arcs such as the more recent ones still would have happened anyway, because that’s the kind of content which got him an award before. Perhaps there would be more self indulgent sanctimony, like Les taking an entire week to spew antipathic angst about humanity while standing in the ashes of Los Angeles (as opposed to one day), but otherwise, just like what was mentioned in a response to something I wrote here recently, I think he’d keep trucking along like Dinkle talked about in that recent disposable week which amounted to little more than a middle finger to us beady eyed folk.

    In parting, I leave with this quote from Berkeley Breathed’s wiki entry, which I think becomes more appropriate here with each passing day:

    “A good comic strip is no more eternal than a ripe melon. The ugly truth is that in most cases, comics age less gracefully than their creators”.

    • SeaCountry

      Now I’m kind of wishing there was a Pulitzer category for comic strips. Of course, it should have been established a long time ago, when masters like Charles Schulz and Mort Walker (or Bill Watterson and Gary Larson) we’re working. But even now, there’s some good work going on that deserves recognition. No, I don’t mean give Batiuk an award to shut him up. I’m thinking more along the lines of Wallace the Brave, or how Olivia Jaimes revived Nancy, or how Sally Forth is dealing with coronavirus while keeping some humor. Your tastes may vary, of course. Still, it seems like a real oversight when I think about it.

      • Hannibal's Lectern

        There’s always the Reuben, which is explicitly for print cartoonists and their comics. Past winners include Schulz, Walker, Watterson, Larson, Capp, Bushmiller, Drucker, Jaffee, Hart, even Johnston…

        Conspicuous in its absence is the name Tom Batiuk.

    • William Thompson

      I wonder how much of the Dying Lisa arc the Pulitzer Committee read, and how they learned about it. My uninformed guess would be that somebody recommended it to them, and submitted a few carefully-chosen daily strips. I can’t see anyone reading the story on a daily basis and being impressed.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Watterson:

      “This isn’t as hard to understand as people try to make it. By the end of ten years, I’d said pretty much everything I had come there to say. It’s always better to leave the party early. If I had rolled along with the strip’s popularity and repeated myself for another five, ten, or twenty years, the people now “grieving” for Calvin and Hobbes would be wishing me dead and cursing newspapers for running tedious, ancient strips like mine instead of acquiring fresher, livelier talent. And I’d be agreeing with them. I think some of the reason Calvin and Hobbes still finds an audience today is because I chose not to run the wheels off it. I’ve never regretted stopping when I did.“

      We will never see this kind of honesty from Batty.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Batty:

        “ A lot of it, initially, was people didn’t feel that a story about a woman with breast cancer belonged on the comics page,” Mr. Batiuk said. “They were really kind of wedded to the idea that the comics are called the comics for a reason and are supposed to be funny.”
        In the end, he said, his job is to tell stories, wherever they may lead.
        “Whether they’re heavy stories or lighter stories,” Mr. Batiuk said, “I’m a storyteller.”

        In other words, he doesn’t care what his readers think. He tells stories he wants to hear.

        • Hannibal's Lectern

          Yes, Mr. Batiuk–because at the time you began the “Lisa’s Cancer/Passion of Les” story, there were absolutely no comic strips telling long-form dramatic stories. You invented the form, and hats off to you for that.
          (sarcasm off)

  14. Hitorque

    Holy fuck… If Cindye is 65+ years old now I’ve *REALLY* got to question why Masone wifed up a woman damn near 30 years his senior, and why Cindye looks like Playmate of the Month in her bikini without a single wrinkle or sag…

    • SeaCountry

      Marianne should plan to use Cindy’s plastic surgeon when the time comes!

    • SeaCountry

      Instagram

      @endlesssummers (paid partnership)

      Wow, these @athleta running pants kept up with me at the Lisa’s Legacy Fun Run in my hometown of Westview, Ohio! They really keep you cool and dry! I wonder if they can make some for my old friend Funky… (j/k, Funky!)

      #blessed #running #workout #workoutclothes #breastcancer #lisasstory #65isthenew35

  15. Hitorque

    Damn, I’ve never seen Funkmeister get this excited about anything for years… And it’s for what is basically a participation trophy from a fun run with *maybe* a few hundred entrants??

  16. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    Concisely stated case, TFH. This is why you never expect FW to make sense.

  17. Maybe it means “over 65 centimeters tall.”

  18. gleeb

    It’s all just a dream. In the last strip of all Funky will wake up next to Suzanne Pleshette, thus allowing Batiuk to plagiarize someone other than Schulz.

  19. Merry Pookster

    At age 65… that makes the group “Class of 1974”. Runining the continuity of the last 20-30 years is just okay with me…. Because now they are where how they act. Except for the fact of Cindy being a playmate and Les still employed by the school district.

  20. The Dreamer

    So if Funky and Cindy are over 65, how old is Mason? Who is playing the young Les in the Lisa’s Story movie? Also the LL race wouldn’t have taken place this year due to COVID 19

  21. Gerard Plourde

    “In November 2008, the gang assembled for a thirty year reunion (‘the coming reunion’).“

    That was after Lisa’s death and the ten-year time jump, so it preserved the 1988 graduation date but means that the year the reunion was occurring should have been 2018 and that currently the strip is occurring in 2030, confirming that Funky would be 60 and therefore cheating in order to get a medal.

    Also, assuming that Lisa was either 16 or 17 when she gave birth, that definitely makes Darren and Pete around 43 or 44 years old.

    Finally, since this is set in 2030, shouldn’t there definitely be flying cars?

  22. Mela

    Maybe the joke is supposed to be that Funky isn’t 65; he just LOOKS it. Which in Westview would make perfect sense: another dig at Funky’s age and appearance, Funky not noticing or caring that he’s not over 65 because the medal is the important thing, and his friends ignoring it as well because, well, the medal is the important thing. It’s sort of mean, really, but it makes more sense than Funky (and all of the main players) suddenly being 65+.

    • Gerard Plourde

      “Maybe the joke is supposed to be that Funky isn’t 65; he just LOOKS it…It’s sort of mean, really, but it makes more sense than Funky (and all of the main players) suddenly being 65+.“

      I think your answer makes a lot of sense. It’s a covert way of taking a swipe at a character whose name TomBa has come to loathe. Just like the way that despite a vigorous exercise routine, Funky is drawn as an obese restaurant owner (who, oddly enough, is never seen snacking).

  23. The Dreamer

    Funky lied and entered the over 65 division so he could finally win a medal. Les will probably call him out on it and take back the medal

    • Charles

      That’s what I’m thinking, especially since Crazy turned 52 just 8 years ago. It was explicitly indicated in the strip, too.

      Either that or Funky’s the sort of guy who wasn’t able to graduate from high school until he was well into his twenties.

  24. T.H. Steady

    During the Bull CTE arc there was mention of him being in HS (I think) 47 years ago, which would put the gang in their 60s.