55 responses to “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is

  1. Captain Gladys Stoatpamphlet

    Bill F*******g Clinton? In twenty g******n twenty? That’s enough. This story arc is TB trolling.

    • Count of Tower Grove

      Nah, he’s noted antique car collector, Jay Leno. Jay’s gonna donate one of his cars to replace the Montoni’s delivery car. The insulated bag is another matter.

  2. Captain Gladys Stoatpamphlet

    Bill Clinton is 74. Funky, remember from the Lisa’s Legacy run, is over 65. So the 50 year old man and the teenage boy in that photo have an age difference under nine years.

    • You’re forgetting the so-called “time jump” which should actually be called the “age jump.” It’s kind of like John Wyndham’s “Midwich Cuckoos.” You walk into Midwich and you fall unconscious, you walk into Westview and you immediately age 20 years.

      I’d recommend Wyndham’s book, as well as the first (“Village of the Damned”). I’ve heard the John Carpenter/Christopher Reeve movie isn’t as good, but then, Reeve played Superman.

      • William Thompson

        And, Midwich or Westview, you end up getting screwed.

      • ComicTrek

        I’ll never understand how everyone became unrecognizable after a “time jump” of ONLY 10 years! Look at Holly for example. TB has basically given Holly’s Act II design to Act III Cindy – but not only are they unrelated, they’re supposed to be the same age.

  3. William Thompson

    Why Clinton? Why not Carter? He could build a house for somebody, which would give them a place to hide from this story. Or Dubya. He could get Cheney to take the right people quail hunting and shoot them in the face. Which would improve the appearance of any of these characters.

    • Epicus Doomus

      I figured it’d either be Jimmy Carter, Mr. T or maybe Joe Charboneau, but as usual BatYam crossed me up again.

      • ian'sdrunkenbeard

        Joe Charboneau! You get two thumbs up for that one!

        Joe could teach them how to open a beer bottle with their eye socket.

        “The charismatic Charboneau arrived on the scene as that promising prospect who was the life of the party. His off-the-field tales were epic — opened beer bottles with his forearm or his eye socket (only once or twice, he clarified). Fixed a broken nose with pliers. Stitched up a cut with fishing line.” https://apnews.com/article/0a51a5b8e8447fcbc7d0e38d101bda15

        My friends and I used to go to a few Indians games at the old stadium. It cost $2 to get in and we’d take a bottle and a bong under our jackets. Simpler times, man.

        It was Joe’s rookie season (he was 1980 Rookie of the Year) and was in the late innings of a game with the Yankees. The score was within one run, and the Yankees had a guy on third with one out. The batter hit a deep foul fly to Joe in left. It’s clearly foul and Joe is right in front of the 320′ sign. If he catches it, the runner will tag up and try to score. If it drops, the batter gets a strike. Everyone is yelling, “Let it drop!” because it is so deep, but Joe catches it and throws a bullet to the catcher. The guy was out at the plate, and I remember the Indians went on to win the game. Joe could hit, but he also had a great arm.

      • comicbookharriet

        Because Carter hasn’t shown up in some obscure strip arc that came out when I was learning my ABC’s from Cookie Monster.

      • Count of Tower Grove

        Joe Charboneau could impress ICE with his eye-popping bottle opening technique!

  4. Mr. A

    Haiku of the Day:

    Let’s get Bill Clinton!
    He can pull some strings with ICE.
    I’m sure Trump won’t mind.

  5. That loud THUMP *splash* you just heard? That was the sound of my jaw hitting the floor.

    Is…is Bill Clinton on some board which gives out awards? That’s the only reason I can think of that this arc has swerved into oncoming traffic.

    In all seriousness, I used to think I could predict Batiuk’s creative processes, in that they’d be really boring and obvious. This makes me rethink that.

    • Epicus Doomus

      That’s the thing about BatHam, BC. Just when you think you have the answers, he changes the questions. It’s just totally impossible to think like he does. You think you have him figured out then bam, there’s a big fire, someone loses an arm or Bill Clinton appears completely out of nowhere.

      • It just makes me think, why didn’t Funky use this card earlier for Wally? “Hi Bill Clinton, former president, can you help me with my brother/son/nephew/cousin Wally, who has been declared AWOL because of a clerical error? I’m sorry, what did you say? You can only help if the person is a devout Muslim? What does that mean? Hello? Hello?”

        • Epicus Doomus

          Possibly because he wasn’t finished beating on Everlast…er, I mean Wally yet. Man, he really let Wally have it back in the day, just one indignity after another.

          Or, even more likely, it never occurred to him as it just wasn’t stupid enough.

  6. Epicus Doomus

    OK, so who had Bill Clinton in the “who saves Adeela?” pool? Stupid me, I had Jimmy Carter.

    Just a friendly reminder: PLEASE try to avoid any sort of partisan squabbling and/or personal attacks. We try to adhere to a “no politics” rule around here and granted, that might be, uh, difficult this week. But I believe in each and every one of you, dammit, so do it for SoSF and your ol’ Uncle Epicus. Thanks in advance.

  7. J.J. O'Malley

    But WHERE are the delivery car and the insulated…oh, forget it. This is just too, too goofy for words.

    If Holly thinks a Democratic ex-president would have any pull in the Trump Administration’s ICE, or that there would be enough time to contact Bill, drum up public interest, and/or find some judicial means to stop Adeela’s imminent deportation, she’s taken one too many flaming batons to the head. And why was it necessary to the photo down off Montoni’s “Wall of Fame” (how come there are no brothers on the wall?), except, of course, to set up tomorrow’s dialogue-soaked explanation? They’d have better success getting Snidely Whiplash, whose picture is apparently hanging there in panel three, to come up with one of his fiendish schemes.

    Also, why aren’t the pitchers in panel four green? And, finally, how much do you think they’re asking for the Montoni’s t-shirts in panel two?

  8. Captain Gladys Stoatpamphlet

    A momentary glimmer of potential – if only she had gone for the photo of the weirdo in a top hat and monocle.

  9. Banana Jr. 6000

    Deus ex Montoni’s.

    • comicbookharriet

      Because it’s always a Deus ex Montoni’s.
      I need a place to live. MONTONI’S
      I need a job after college. MONTONI’S
      I need a place to find my wife. MONTONI’S
      I need a place for my wedding. MONTONI’S
      I need a sponsor for my charity. MONTONI’S
      I need a decent pizza. SBARRO.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        I need to get my driver’s license. MONTONI’S.
        I need a lawyer. MONTONI’S.
        I need a place to host my book signing. MONTONI’S.
        Catering. MONTONI’S.
        It’s Valentine’s Day. MONTONI’S.
        Thanksgiving. MONTONI’S.
        Christmas. MONTONI’S.
        Wedding reception. MONTONI’S.
        50th wedding anniversary. MONTONI’S.
        Any time the characters need to discuss any subject. MONTONI’S.

        Montoni’s is practically a character in Funky Winkerbean. It’s not just a backdrop where people congregate, like the diner in Garfield or the fern bars in Shoe. It is actively presented as the solution to any problem that arises in the story. You’ve been wrongly detained? Don’t call your family, your friends, a lawyer, a church, or an advocacy group – call Montoni’s! They’ll have some stupid solution that will solve the problem way too quickly!

  10. Gerard Plourde

    I have no idea where this is heading. Does TomBa think that ex-Presidents retain their powers after they leave office? What could Clinton do twenty years after his term expired?

    • William Thompson

      Holly and Cindy. What do you think really brought him to Westview way back when?

      • Rusty Shackleford


        And of course Batty’s favorite president ever was into comic books! Batty sure kissed his butt.

        I totally forget that arc—and for good reason!

  11. Banana Jr. 6000

    I’ll give Holly this: at least she realized that Amicus Breef is goddamn useless. Which makes me wonder why the story even bothered introducing him.

    • Charles

      I think Batiuk realized that if someone were to find himself in this situation, he’d want to get a lawyer involved, but he has no idea what a lawyer would do, and he sure as hell isn’t going to bother finding out. I mean, Jesus, his client’s in an emergency and he goes and sits at the bar in a pizzeria and just talks to a bunch of idiot numpties.

      Also, I love how deeply cynical the resolution to this is going to be and the fact that Batiuk seems completely oblivious to that aspect of his story. Something bad happens to you? Well, you need to have a friend who knows a really powerful person who can pull strings in your favor. What’s right and what’s wrong doesn’t even enter into it. It’s a god damn travesty.

      At this point it’s not even about the legal system around immigration. Screw that unimportant shit. All that matters is that Funky met Bill Clinton once. That’s the only thing that matters.

      Also, has anyone noted how absurd it is that there are apparently two Adeela S.’s in Westview, and they both look enough alike that facial recognition fails to distinguish between them?

    • Rusty Shackleford

      He was introduced so that Batty could finally use that punny name he had been saving up.

  12. none

    Next time anyone wants to rag on the current art, as awful as it is, let’s have this featured Act II strip serve as yet another remember that it was equally terrible if not worse so many years ago. Get a load of Funky The Beady Eye Cyclops there in that first panel. Jesus.

    Also on that strip’s subject – why the fuck would Dinkle have a box of fucking comic books laying around to just give to people? Dinkle? Why? Not a turkey or some band candy (smirk!) but fucking comic books? Comic books? Why?

    “Hello, Mr. President of the United States and fellow senior aged male, I’m another senior aged male and I’m glad to have made your brief acquaintance. Please take this box of comic books as a token of our felicitous meeting.” Comic books. Jesus.

    Was there ever a time that this strip wasn’t set in Stupid World? Ever?

    • none

      *yet another reminder.

      I always find at least one thing wrong in every post I make after I make it.

    • newagepalimpsest

      “Not even a nice, curated collection, or a bunch of new stuff that the comics shop got in that week. Just a box of random old comics that I had in a cardboard box in my attic or garage or unfinished basement. I hope you also like vermin poop by the way.”

  13. Hitorque

    1. I guess maybe that means they should have found a REAL fuckin’ attorney to help and not some random mook who’s a friend of a friend of a friend of some other friends from junior college that you happened to eavesdrop on?

    2. Now I’m supposed to fucking believe that WILLIAM FREAKING JEFFERSON CLINTON OF ALL PEOPLE IS GOING TO DROP WHATEVER HE’S DOING AND FLY TO SHITSBURG, AHIA TO PULL SOME STRINGS!!?! And all because Holly Freaking Winkerbean called him at 4 in the morning?!

    3. Seriously… Why not call Masone Jarre? or Chester the Molester? or other Ohio stalwarts like Halle Berry or Steven Spielberg or Martin Sheen or Lebron Freaking James?! Hell, why haven’t they called Les yet? You just know this is a situation he was born to assume command of like MacArthur and order everyone around…

    4. So to sum up, they didn’t call a real lawyer, they didn’t call the State Department, they didn’t call USCIS, they didn’t call the Iraqi Consulate, they didn’t call and of Adeela’s family, they didn’t call Rachel Maddow, and in true white savior fashion, they haven’t called a single Middle Eastern immigrant who actually knows how to navigate the bureaucracy… They’re going to call a former U.S. President and they’re going to pray for rain, I guess?


    5a. (It’s funny because I remember Kanye and Kim pulling this same hustle to get their pet cause celebre freed from prison… Don’t get me started)…

    6. Is it too late for TB to just conjure some fairy godmother from some comic book who can just make everything right with the wave of a wand? Oh wait! Doesn’t Atomikkk Comixxx have some dumb time traveling girl who can just show up, make sure Adeela has her full legal documentation and phone numbers of the best lawyers in Ohio before she decided to make that fateful delivery?

    • Westview Radiology

      Bill Clinton: “Holy Holly ! I remember you !!! Man what you did with those flaming batons …. hehehe … And then we “shared” a cigar together!!

  14. William Thompson

    How and why do these people shuttle between Stalag ICE and Montoni’s? Is Adeela being held at a Westview facility, or do Walleye and Be Brief prefer to waste their time driving around eastern Ahia, just so they can mope with the other characters? If Batiuk needed to have the Winkerbeans talk with the Dipshit Duo, wouldn’t a phone call have made more sense? This bit where the Little Rascals need to meet at their clubhouse kills any sense of urgency.

  15. Count of Tower Grove

    I don’t remember if it was here or at CK, I made a reference to Todd’s devotion to the Edson-Hasen school of comics narrative.
    For you young ‘uns, Edson-Hasen did a strip called “Dondi,” about a foreign born orphan growing up in some unnamed Midwestern town with plodding and repetitive storylines. Dondi’s adopted grandfather, Pop Fligh, played MLB for the St. Louis Browns, who used his influence to lure Sandy Koufax away from his 27 win season and fourth no-hitter to meet Dondi.
    And so we see Todd again invoking the Edson-Hasen model to advance an unlikely storyline.
    Does Todd pay attention the world around him? Trump has spent his entire term blowing the Clinton dog whistle, and Bill’s going save the day. Talk about realistic “story telling.”
    Call George Gene Gustines of the New York Times for this scoop!

  16. Count of Tower Grove

    Where is Corky, and why isn’t he wiping down the counter?????

  17. Dood

    Speaking of insulated bags — buh-dum-bah — props to Holly Budd Something Winkerbean for stepping up in this crisis.

  18. Banana Jr. 6000

    “Do you want me to open the present the band director gave you, Mr. President”?

    Yeah, right. In real life, the Secret Service would have immediately thrown the box into a bomb disposal unit, arrested Dinkle, and half the security team would be fired for letting someone get that close to the President with an unknown object. Presidential appearances have a LOT of stage managing and security rules. And the Secret Service does not mess around. They’re an elite security detail, not a comic book delivery service.

    Oh, and you can’t serve the President homemade food either. At least not without a metric ton of vetting and protocol they wouldn’t waste on a fleabag dump like Montoni’s. I bring this up because Bill Clinton’s connection to Montoni’s has to be either comic books or pizza, and there’s no way they could have given him either.

  19. Perfect Tommy

    Editor: um, Tom? I don’t think the legal system works quite like –
    Don’t lecture me underling! I have the complete series of “Jake and the Fatman” on VHS! Now go fetch me some hot cocoa! And in a white mug this time!

  20. louder

    I think Holly would have better luck with either of the people in the other two photos behind her back in panel #4. The bowling team might be okay, but I would definitely check out and see if the guy in the top hat and monocle is available…

  21. Mela

    As if a one time photo op automatically makes you “best buds”. SIgh, this is about to get silly.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      If Montoni’s really wanted to get in touch with Bill Clinton, they’d have to call his speakers bureau. They would ask Funky what kind of event he’s hosting, and how they’re going to wire the $50,000 deposit.

  22. newagepalimpsest

    The only thing I’m going to say is that this is probably going to be a bad week for the damned souls forced to moderate Comics Kingdom.

  23. The Dreamer

    It’s Bil Clinton maybe because several years back, as you might recall in the news, two women American news reporters/producers were captured by the North Koreans and held hostage. It ended with Bill Clinton flying over there to guarantee their release. Is Bill Clinton going to fly to Baghdad and bring back Adeela?

    • Gerard Plourde

      I had forgotten about that event that happened back in 2009. I had no idea that TomBa was doing his plots a decade in advance. (Also if the time jump puts this in 2030, wouldn’t Clinton be 84 years old?)

  24. Charles

    You know, associating a pizza place with the Clintons is generally not a great idea.

    That said, if that’s a consequence of this development, I’d be amazed and appalled and impressed that Batiuk chose crazy over boring.

  25. Westview Radiology

    1) Adalalilly is being mourned like she’s a member of this Funkian Family. The hand wringing and shock on these faces.
    2) Rachel is a blonde again.
    3) Amicus Fruit of the Loom Briefs Looks like a younger version of Les sans goatee.
    4) No customers in Montoni’s.
    5) Not a pizza in sight but plenty of piping hot coffee.
    6) Wallys face is panel 1!
    7) Hollys ever morphing face.

  26. Gerard Plourde

    I know that I’m posting this late in the day, but the fact that TomBa has his lawyer character completely unaware of the remedy of injunctive relief is just unpardonable. An attorney at the time of filing the Writ of Habeas Corpus would also ask the court to issue a stay of any removal of Adeela until the issue of mistaken identity was resolved. The purpose of temporary injunctive relief is to prevent permanent harm occurring before adjudication can occur.

  27. thepayne78

    So what exactly would Bill Clinton be able to do?
    No one gives a crap about him any more.
    Even being a former president he doesn’t have any power to do anything about deportations.

    And why in the heck would he help some he met once? My dad has met him twice , one time as city manager and another at a charity event. Bill Clinton takes tons of photo ops it’s not like he gives out his number and says “hey if you ever need anything because I took a picture with you give me a call.”