Heads You Lose

Link to today’s strip.

Today’s content just repeats yesterday’s–imagine that–Rachel getting more and more miffed by unexplained behavior by Wally.  As newagepalimpsest pointed out yesterday, this would be a typical scenario in an Archie comic.

But Archie’s creators never succumbed to the Pulitzer’s siren call.  So, its stories could still be fun and somewhat relatable.  Here?  I’m surprised that Rachel’s expression isn’t one of sheer terror.  Imagine, being abandoned by Wally.

She must have to hire a backhoe to find her self-esteem.

Me, on the other hand, what I’m struck by is Rachel’s head in panel three.  What the heck?  Is she auditioning to be part of the Peanuts gang?  She wants to be the Little Red Haired Girl?

I’d be interested to know how this took place.  Ayers drew her with her head sunk down, looking all irked, and Batiuk said “It looks like she doesn’t have a neck.  Make her head bigger.”

“That’ll just make it worse.”

[A long pause]  “…you like getting paid, don’t you?”


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

50 responses to “Heads You Lose

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Women…always jealous and pouty…amirite? As was pointed out yesterday, a simple text message would resolve the entire scenario and make this stupid arc totally pointless, but that’s never stopped BatBore before.

  2. SeaCountry

    Her head’s so big because it’s full of resentments.

    • SeaCountry

      No love for my paraphrase of the Mean Girls “Her hair’s so big…” line? Ah well. This strip’s boring and I’m waiting on a hurricane; they can’t all be winners.

      • William Thompson

        The hurricane won’t hurt this strip. It would take a lot more water than that to rid the world of Batiuk’s work. So imagine “Funky Winkerbean” and “Crankshaft” lined up and trying to board Noah’s Ark.

  3. Aurora Snorealis


  4. William Thompson

    And it would never occur to Rachel to think “Wally must be working on a wonderful surprise for me.” Because what sort of man would do a nice thing like that? Oh. Westview. Right.

    • erdmann

      Exactly what I thought of. Adeela is an architect, isn’t she? Maybe Wally has purchased some land and is working with her on plans for Rachel’s dream house.
      It’s bound to be something that trite… but at least it doesn’t feature Les.

      • Hitorque

        Yep, building a dream home without any input from the wifey whatsoever… That’ll go over well…

        • William Thompson

          Building and financing it will go over well with the little lady because it’s Westview. And it can happen because it’s 100% legal in Westview to exclude a wife from any financial decision.

      • Epicus Doomus

        She’s a pizza architect. Clearly they’re working on some sort of pepperoni optimization scheme to maximize the surface of the pie, which could have a profound effect on Montoni’s and Westview’s pizza-based economy as a whole.

      • Count of Tower Grove

        Wally’s a regular Mr. Blandings.

  5. Professor Fate

    Oh boy we’re on the road to wackiness.
    To quote Tom Servo “kill me please”
    Lord this was a tired storyline when they made The Phantom Empire.
    And just how bloody insecure do you have to be …oh yes this is Westville and this is FW and this is a woman.
    Now i miss the fire and skppy
    and the Murder Chimp.

  6. Olive McSweeney, LLC

    Oh. Haha. I thought that last panel was Cayla on her wedding day.

  7. Hitorque

    1. So is Walter burning up all his vacation days or his sick days on this little stunt? Oh who am I kidding? It’s the Funkyverse and people only have to go to work when they feel like it…

    2. What the hell is so important that he has to miss work? And if it is that important, why not just change his shift time?

    3. So he really *did* stand his own wife up for date night… Brilliant!

  8. Gerard Plourde

    Glaciers move faster than the arcs in this strip, And I agree that Ayers’ illustration is accurately reflecting the work he’s been presented with.

  9. billytheskink

    I guess Cory has time to cover Wally’s unexcused absences because he can live off his Private Snafu residuals.

  10. J.J. O'Malley

    “Oh, well, I’d give you more partial, second-hand information so that you can erroneously jump to conclusions, Rachel, but I’ve got to keep wiping down this unused countertop and the empty dining tables with my trusty rag until it’s closing time. Good luck in school!”

    Interestingly, the most sympathetic character in this storyline so far is Cory’s rag.

    By the by, I know it’s a little late, but did anyone notice that in yesterday’s first panel Rachel enters Montoni’s and simply says, “Where’s Wally?” No “Hi, Cory, can you tell Wally I’m here?” or any sort of greeting for a family member, just “Where’s Wally?” How rude. No wonder Wally’s cheating on her.

    • hitorque

      How the hell does Funky manage to turn a profit AND keep so many relatives on the payroll with zero customers? And why is Funky just leaving any random useless blood relation in charge of the shop? I thought there was more to running a pizza parlor than standing behind a counter with an apron? Or does he have one of those next-generation setups where all drinks are poured and all pizzas cooked to order automatically by the press of a button?

      • billytheskink

        Back in Act II we got the occasional glimpse into Montoni’s operation. Funky and Tony shoved pizzas into ovens, folks took phone orders and waited tables, there were deliveries (one of which involved Rachel and Lefty going Walker: Texas Ranger on a group of would-be muggers). Montoni’s even had a broad Italian stereotype head chef named Chef Boyardee Carlo Mastiani who stormed out of the restaurant when Funky suggested adding hot dogs to the menu.

        But we’ve gotten pretty much none of that in Act III, only main characters hanging out at Montoni’s to chat… even as Funky, Holly, Tony, Kahan, Les, Wally, Rachel, Durwood, Summer, Kiesha, Maddie, Cory, and Rocky have all worked at the place at one time or another since 2008.

        Frankly, I thought it was ridiculous that Funky never left Rachel in charge of the place, instead employing Kahan, Les, Durwood, Wally, and even Cory as managers. In my opinion, she should have been incensed! She started working there in the late 1990s and no one was employed at Montoni’s longer other than Funky and Tony himself. Hey, if it was brought up and she said she just wanted to stick to waiting tables or that a manager’s schedule would interfere with taking care of her son, that’s fine… but none of that happened. Instead, it just looked like Funky kept promoting thoroughly inexperienced men (Kahan was an illegal arms dealer, Les’ background is teaching and dickery, Durwood was a laid-off holder of an MBA, Wally and Cory were minesweepers with no apparent mess tent experience) into management over his most experienced and loyal employee. Just terrible.

        • hitorque

          So does Dr. Funkenstein still run the shop or not?? I’m just trying to figure out how a freaking “manager” like Walter gets to leave with Adeela and do whatever during their shift with no questions asked… I guess Funkmeister wasn’t providing any oversight because he’s too busy planning his ticker-tape parade in Cleveland over his Bronze medal in Lisa’s Fun Run…

          I don’t even care if there aren’t any customers at the moment… Isn’t one of the manager’s responsibilities supposed to be finding a way to BRING IN customers when business is slow?? I thought this place was supposed to be a local institution?

          But then again, naturally if there were customers then Cory wouldn’t have time to pay full attention to whatever Rachel’s malfunction is, and Rundfunk Vinkerbeanen wouldn’t be able to talk to Les whenever he walks in and nurses a cup of coffee for an entire week.

  11. Charles

    You know what would be a cool development? If after all of these false alarm adultery storylines that Batiuk’s written, he actually has one of his characters commit adultery.

    Plenty of his married couples have some pretty obvious issues, so it’s not as though it’d be unbelievable. Hell, for some of them, it’d actually give them something to do in their marriage. Cayla’s found someone who appreciates her after years of coming in second to her husband’s dead first wife. Les hooks up with Marianne because it’s obvious how little he cares about Cayla. Gross John has to come to terms with his realization that Becky’s been banging Dinkle on all of their convention trips. Becky discovers that Gross John’s been getting or giving handsies to Crazy and some of his more regular customers, and Donna has to figure out what that means for her marriage. Darin finds out that Jessica values their marriage as much as he does as she’s constantly getting railed by some guy she worked with on documentaries. Mopey finds out that Mindy’s banging some guy on the side because she just doesn’t understand what this monogamy thing means, among plenty of other things she doesn’t understand.

    Funky and Holly, naturally, don’t cheat because any notion that life could be better for them escaped them a long time ago.

    It’d actually inject some drama into this strip, as opposed to the fake drama that ends at the end of the week that Batiuk’s relied on for years.

    • William Thompson

      And Batiuk says “‘Issues’? The only issues I see are the Atomik Komix issues on sale at the Komix Koroner!”

    • ComicBookHarriet

      What do you think this is? Act II Funky Winkerbean?

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Actually, I think Funky and Holly have an honest relationship. Not Les and Cayla…well

    • Epicus Doomus

      Also consider all the potential premises he missed out on in his mad zeal to pair everyone off. If he didn’t saddle Wally with Rachel for no reason, Wally could have had a huge prestige arc where he ended up proposing to Adeela. They could have moved to Afghanistan, had kids, the works. Throw Rana in there and it’s almost a new spin-off strip.

      Or Cory. Instead of stupidly pairing him off with the ridiculous Rocky (second only to Buck in the “dumbest new Act III character” category), the New And Improved Cory could have returned home to sweep recent college graduate and new WHS gym coach Summer Moore off her feet. Throw Keisha in there and it’s almost another new spin-off strip.

      Or Owen and Cody. Imagine a lengthy prestige arc where their friendship is torn asunder over Alex and the head injury Owen suffered while he was the WHS mascot comes into play. They brawl over Alex, Owen gets CTE and Cody and Alex vow to care for him until he drives off a cliff. Throw Bernie in there and it’s almost another new spin-off strip.

      Or the biggest miscalculation of them all, Cayla. Imagine a Funkyverse where Cayla never existed. Les falls in love with Marianne, they get married and she becomes the new Lisa. Then, of course, she gets cancer and you know the rest. No need for all those stupid contrivances, he could have just flat-out done “Lisa’s Story” again. It practically writes itself.

      • Charles

        Or the biggest miscalculation of them all, Cayla. Imagine a Funkyverse where Cayla never existed. Les falls in love with Marianne, they get married and she becomes the new Lisa.

        Back in the Lust for Lisa days, I suspected that Batiuk was kicking himself for introducing Cayla when he could have easily instead wrote about the world famous actress who plays Lisa marrying Les instead of the world famous actor playing Les marrying Cindy.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      It is a great idea in principle. The problem is that even Batiuk’s mundane relationship stories sound like they were written by a 10-year-old boy. “Oh no, he forgot his special pizza date with his wife! And he’s doing something with another woman! But it turns out he wasn’t actually cheating! Ha ha ha, what a mixup!” He’d be way over his head if he tried to explore any of the topics you mentioned.

    • Boots Gandalf

      Les cheating on Cayla would make us hate him.


  12. hitorque

    4. If a woman really DID try that third panel pose, wouldn’t her boobs become jammed under her chin?

    4a. As an aside, I REALLY FUCKING HATE these lameassed contrived story setups that stopped being useful once pagers and later mobile phones became widespread. I know it so well because 90% of the plot complications that drag on for months over in “Luann” could be instantly resolved by two characters actually *talking* to each other…

    5. So we’re just going to ignore the fact that PTSD boy is regularly skipping out on his fucking job? He must have been an E-4 mafioso in the Army? As others have noted, Walter+Rachel are presumably their late 40s, so this silliness should in theory be beneath them… But then again, we got Funky talking to robots, Jeff talking to movie characters in a cave, Masone reading fucking comic books to prepare for a role and Pete+Darrin going to the Flash Museum…

    6. Where is Les to point out Rachel’s hair color looks like something he saw at the yarn store? You know, since he’s an expert and all…

    7. Has anyone ever tried to map out a family tree for all these Funkyverse characters? Because I’ve still never gotten it into my head that Walter is Funky’s cousin and not his son, and I’m certain there are other family connections that would shock and/or utterly confuse me. Seems like literally everybody in town is either an in-law this or step-something that or former spouse, etc…

    • Margaret

      I would love to see a map of how all the characters are related to each other. It’s so confusing! I’d especially like if it included timelines. Then we’d actually know how old everyone is. But Batiuk couldn’t do that because it would reveal that none of it makes any sense, as has been pointed out a lot recently. Funky is over 65, but Les is what, 50 something? despite the fact that they were in the same high school class? He long ago lost control of that kind of continuity.

      Also, I think it’s been noted here that one of the special weirdness of this strip is that very few of the characters have biological children. The majority are adopted. That really is odd. It must say something about Batiuk’s psychology.

      And while I’m on the subject of obscure characters, didn’t there used to be a character way back in Act I who played video games all the time and always wore a full helmet, and in the end turned out to be a girl? Whatever happened to her? Did she disappear, or is she one of the dozens of 4th stringers?

      • Gerard Plourde

        “didn’t there used to be a character way back in Act I who played video games all the time and always wore a full helmet, and in the end turned out to be a girl?“

        Yes. I think the character was called “The Dominator“ who turned out to be a girl named Donna. She married Crazy Harry and, unlike most of the characters, they have a number of biological kids, one of whom, Maddie, appeared In Act III and has fallen off the radar.

      • Epicus Doomus

        Well, let’s see. Off the top of my head…

        There’s Summer, Les and Lisa’s daughter, then there’s Keisha, who’s Cayla’s and somebody’s daughter. Cory is Holly’s son. Jessica is the spawn of Jan Murdoch and John Darling. Crazy Harry and Donna (The Eliminator) have three kids, one of whom is named Maddie. I believe Bull and Linda have one bio-kid, Mickey the FG kicking girl. I think Dinkle and Harriet have one too, although I’m not sure if she’s a placekicker. Wally Jr. is Becky and Wally’s kid. Rachel has Robbie and Boy Lisa and Jessica have little baby Skyler. I’m probably missing a whole bunch more.

        Boy Lisa, spawn of Lisa and Frankie, was famously adopted by the Fairgoods. There’s Wally’s adopted daughter Rana and I believe Bull and Linda adopted Jinx. Again, I’m sure I’m missing a few, at least.

        • Gerard Plourde

          Mickey is actually Bull’s step-daughter, Linda’s bio-daughter by a previous relationship. TomBa also decided at one point to inflict impotence on Bull, possibly as a result of steroid use, if I recall correctly.

          Halle Dinkle, daughter of Harry L. and Harriet, and who I don’t think has ever appeared as a named character in FW, is a general music education teacher whose exploits appeared in the publication of the Ohio Music Educators Association.

          • J.J. O'Malley

            I’m surprised TB never gave Bull chronic jock itch, or athlete’s foot fungus from spending so much time in the showers, while he was at it.

    • SeaCountry

      Tired: “This meeting could have been an email.”
      Also tired: “This comic/romantic misunderstanding could have been a text.”

  13. Count of Tower Grove

    Itza stilla no bigga deela.

  14. Count of Tower Grove

    Rachel looks like she keeps missing the 00:001 layup replay.

    • hitorque

      A shame that Funkmaster Flex never discovered the internet, otherwise he could have watched the replay ad nauseam from every conceivable angle at NBA.com

  15. Merry Pookster

    PAUSE-EX: Okay, so another combat Veteran returns to work the counter/wash dishes at a pizza joint. With all the VA benefits, training and education programs… well you’d think these 2 sad sacks would . Funky is probably taking a tax-credit for employing this GI realtives

    • batgirl

      Remember, none of those benefits exist in the Funkyverse. Just like Crazy Harry was let go when the local post office closed and seemingly has no pension or benefits, and Cindy was fired from her anchor job and had no union or discrimination protection she could use, etc. Perhaps they all walk in the footsteps of the Blessed Dead Saint Lisa, who refused all legal remedies for her misdiagnosis.

  16. hitorque

    MEANWHILE, over in Krankenshaaften…

    Well fuck me… Batiuk actually *IS* capable of making a sci-fi reference from the latter part of the 20th century. Has he been holding back on us?

    • Gerard Plourde

      You enticed me to look. Truly amazing that he’s referring to a movie that was released a mere 43 years ago.

      • J.J. O'Malley

        Yes, but why is a bookstore owner and “best-selling” author like Lillian the Reptilian making a movie reference instead of a literary one? Why not something about “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” or “ask not for whom the going-out-of-business bell tolls” or “funny, I was just looking up ‘schadenfreude’ in my German-English dictionary”? The reason, of course, is linked to Lil’s uncanny resemblance to Emperor Palpatine. Think about it; Have you ever seen them in the same room at the same time?

  17. Cabbage Jack

    This is so stupid. Wall-eye and Adeela are designing a house. He’s either going to surprise his wife with a finished fucking house for them to move into or with a purchased lot and a floorplan.

    Both of which are a crappy thing to do to the spouse you expect to live there.

    Although good for Adeela for grabbing that brass ring by designing a house for free for your boss, meanwhile you schelp pizza all day with your fancy architecture degree.