Bricks and Shoelaces

In today’s strip, Wally stops to make sure he’s tied his shoes. Or he is stopping to think about what he’s supposed to do when he reaches the street. Or he’s freaking out because he thinks there’s a landmine buried in the street in front of him. Or he’s pausing dramatically just in time for Montoni’s to explode after Becky’s mom planted a bomb because of Wally’s sign. Or who the heck knows, because this is such a bad strip.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

48 responses to “Bricks and Shoelaces

  1. Captain Gladys Stoatpamphlet

    I know it’s just bad shading, but man, Wally looks haggard in panel 1.

  2. TryingTires


    • William Thompson

      Jump! Jump! If there’s one place that could be a fatal leap, it’s Westview!

    • Mr. A

      He didn’t look depressed yesterday. I’m leaning towards “I am satisfied with my life, therefore I have a terrible feeling that some disaster is about to strike and ruin everything.” And in Westview, there’s a better-than-even chance that he’s right.

      • TryingTires

        To be fair, when I made my attempt no one realized I was depressed.

        • Mr. A

          I’m sorry you had to go through that.

          Within the context of Funky Winkerbean specifically, as opposed to the real world…that doesn’t seem like Batiuk’s style. All previous suicide attempts in this strip (wow, what a phrase) gave the character a clear reason to be upset or unstable beforehand: romantic rejection in Susan’s case, CTE in Bull’s.

          • Mr. A

            Oops, forgot when Marianne Winters almost jumped off the Hollywood sign because of mean Internet rumors. Though she changed her mind before actually going through with it…do we count that as three, or two-and-a-half?

            (I apologize if I seem flippant. I want to be clear that it’s the strip I find ridiculous, not the concept of suicide.)

        • William Thompson

          Same here. Batiuk handles suicide (and mental illness, and so much more) in such a willfully incompetent way that you have to mock what he does. It’s either that or get angry, which is just harming yourself again.

  3. Samuel Beckett’s turn as “Funky Winkerbean” writer doesn’t get a lot of critical attention these days.

    • Epicus Doomus

      To me the funniest thing about this one is that there’s no way to get to the upstairs apartment within the building, which means that Wally has to go outside, lock up, then go around the corner and climb those outdoor metal steps. It’s like insult to injury, one last indignity to face for the day.

    • Doghouse Reilly (Minneapolis)

      Ever try. Ever fail. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

  4. Epicus Doomus

    Third dialog-free strip in a row. Now Monday’s strip seems even more obnoxious than it did then, as it turned out to have nothing whatsoever to do with anything at all. Thanks for that, BatYam.

    It’s not BatHam’s weird Wally fixation that’s the problem, it’s that (as usual) he has no idea what to do with him. Maybe he’s having some sort of curb flashback or something, but honestly, who gives a shit? On one hand one could argue that at least the Wally character has “developed” over the course of Act III, as he’s not all sullen, jumpy and suicidal anymore. But on the other hand, what he’s “developed” into is something no one especially wants to see, as he’s really, really boring and useless now. Yet another Batiukian paradox.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Wally has the same problem as every other character in Funky Winkerbean: they’re all exactly the same. He didn’t grow so much as transform into yet another empty vessel for smirks and pizza. Batiuk puts his characters through so much misery, and it has absolutely zero impact on who they are. Except for Les, whose one personal tragedy is way too much of who he is.

    • Third dialog-free strip in a row.

      It’s called writing!

  5. William Thompson

    “I could park my car here, if we only had a parking space reserved for veterans. Too bad we gave it up for the latest Pulitzer cause.”

  6. J.J. O'Malley

    Oooh! Oooh! I know what’s going to happen in tomorrow’s strip! Wally’s going to set one foot onto the street when he’s abruptly run over by neophyte driver Adeela, who was so excited over recovering the long-missing Montoni’s delivery car!

  7. Count of Tower Grove

    Walleye looks at the parquet bricks and remembers Kevin Mchale being on “Cheers.”

  8. William Thompson

    Wally gazes at the gutter until he sees a vision . . . of a man. He’s walking! In shoes just like Wally’s wearing! But he’s fat! It’s Funky! He approaches an abandoned house, alone in the wilderness outside Westview! He enters it! He looks around! He straightens a picture! He leaves! Then a mean little kid kicks Wally in the shin and tells him to get his mind out of the gutter.

  9. none

    For the record, I don’t read ahead, so my post yesterday about “Wally tying his shoelaces just right” as content for a strip was actually made in jest. If only someone would have taken me up on a Shiny Nickel bet on that.

  10. Mr. A

    Haiku of the Day:

    Does this mean something?
    Maybe we’ll find out Friday.
    Dramatic tension!


    Zeno’s paradox:
    His sneakers forever approach,
    Never reach the curb.

    • Mr. A

      Ahhh, one too many syllables in line 2 of the second haiku. Knew I was going to make that kind of mistake one of these days. Please drop the word “His” in your reading.

      • ComicBookHarriet

        More care is taken in your haiku than this entire months’ strips.

      • billytheskink

        Don’t worry ’bout it
        I’ve done the same many times
        Like in this haiku here

        Counting syllables
        I do it on my fingers
        Like a five year old

        Extra syllable
        Small mistake when compared to
        How many Tom makes

  11. Gerard Plourde

    What a weird week this is. The closest thing it resembles is the arc William Thompson referred to above. TomBa probably thinks this is some sort of foreshadowing.

  12. billytheskink

    I’d call this naval gazing but Wally was in the Army…

  13. ComicBookHarriet

    Quality edit. I’d believe Wally is this lazy.

  14. newagepalimpsest

    Wow, you guys are so dramatic. Mason and Marianne and Cayla and Adeela would be proud.

  15. Banana Jr. 6000

    And here’s my new editorial rule #3 inspired by this week’s random dump, after “no more sideways panels” and “no more 11-month lead times”.

    No more Montoni’s logos.

    That name and/or logo has now appeared 137 times in less than two months. I’ve never seen such obnoxious product placement. And the logo on the door is the only thing that’s decently drawn in today’s shitshow. A minimal number will be allowed to establish location. But no more punchlines about Montoni’s, no more weeklong arcs about Montoni’s, no more aprons with the Montoni’s logo when we’ve never seen anyone make a pizza or wash a dish.

  16. Charles

    Thrill as Wally walks outside and looks at the sidewalk! Tune in tomorrow for more neck-breaking excitement!

    Man, those are little itty bitty feet he has.

  17. Chyron HR

    My guess is it’s a 9/11 tribute. You might argue that it’s November, to which I would respond: he calls it writing.

  18. Mr. A

    Leaving out the election day strip, let’s review what happened this week, to see if we can figure out what’s coming next:

    – Wally makes a sign for the front window of Montoni’s, promoting tolerance.
    – Cayla complements Les on his essay promoting tolerance.
    – Wally plays a song about being “out of tune with the rest of the world”. He is alone. He looks happy.
    – Wally locks up. The tolerance sign is visible in the background. He is still alone. He steps towards the curb for an unknown reason. There is an extreme close-up on his feet.

    Taking this as foreshadowing, I draw two parallel conclusions:

    1. Something bad is about to happen to Wally. He is happy, which goeth before a fall in FW, and he is alone, which makes him vulnerable.
    2. The forces of “intolerance” are about to rear their ugly heads. If Wally and Les represent tolerance/good people, and Wally is “out of tune with the rest of the world”, then “the rest of the world” is full of intolerance/bad people.

    Putting those two together, here’s my prediction: some nameless, faceless, hateful person (similar to the 1996 post office bomber) is about to seriously injure Wally for having the audacity to hang that sign in the window. Or for being friends with Adeela. Or maybe they’ve mistaken him for gay. The point is, Wally is about to suffer at the hands of intolerant people.

    Of course, it’s possible that I’m reading way too much into this…

    • Mr. A

      Also, I can’t explain why Wally is stepping towards the curb, or the close-up on his feet. So if anyone has an alternative theory that can explain those…

    • Gerard Plourde

      I think you’re on to something. I don’t want to imagine the irrelevant detail that will become the focus overriding the larger issue.

    • I think Batiuk kind of shot his bolt for the year with the ICE stuff, in terms of mean people creating drama. Given how that fizzled out, your scenario is way too interesting and requires actual writing.

  19. batgirl

    When did Wally stop wearing his army jacket? He was wearing it in the original Adeela arc – can’t remember if it had been a continuous thing, or just brought back along with his sudden discomfort with Middle Eastern dress.
    And now I’m wondering if he used to wear military boots, too.
    Man, these are the burning questions of the day, all right.

    • Gerard Plourde

      That was part of the original Adeela meets Wally at KSU arc. I forget the details but it was a conscious choice on Wally’s part.

  20. Clearly, Batiuk is building toward something, as he’s stretching this stuff out with absolutely zero tension or interest. I get the feeling the “something” could be told in a single Sunday strip and be done with it, but that’s not how he’s going to fill all those strips until retirement.

    This is why he’s so terrible at long-form storytelling. This is like a storyteller who tells you, “Chapter One. It’s a nice looking day, thought Jimmy.” He then closes the book and asks you to come back tomorrow for more.

    The next day, it’s “Jimmy decided to walk to the park. Don’t forget your keys! he told himself.” And the book is closed again.

    It’s doubtful that storyteller would have anyone there on day three.

  21. Count of Tower Grove

    The Todd apologists at CK are speculating Walleye is contemplating suicide. As of today there’s no new article by George Gene Gustines in the New York Times for Todd to tip his hand.

    • William Thompson

      “Apologists?” We’re optimists! Which never works in the Funkyverse, but (like Batiuk) you never know what will go wrong.

  22. bobanero

    I’m expecting a bomb to go off in Montoni’s in the next day or two.