Tearing Up the Street

In today’s strip, Wally and his tube of toothpaste (he apparently waits until he’s at work to brush his teeth) walk by a construction worker. I wonder if it was Batiuk or Ayers who got really excited at the thought of being able to draw a jackhammer, because clearly someone put a lot of effort into that, and overlooked other things, like how the paint from Wally’s sign is somehow bleeding off the sign onto the curtains of the restaurant. I have a feeling that sign is now going to be shoehorned into every strip possible. It’s the new Becky’s Pinned-Up Sleeve.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

47 responses to “Tearing Up the Street

  1. batgirl

    Is the city going to jackhammer away Wally’s ‘veterans only’ parking space?

  2. TryingTires

    Ahhh, good ole PTSD trigger, if only he has a service dog for that… oh wait.

  3. Epicus Doomus

    Oh OK, I get it now. Wally hates curbs, probably because of some curb-related trauma from his very dramatic past. Then today he reports to work (is he the day manager or the night manager or both?) and, much to his delight, the curb is being torn up and replaced, probably with an earthen berm or something. So at long last things are finally looking up for ol’ Wally. It all makes perfect sense now.

    Four silent strips in a row. That probably hasn’t happened since Summer’s game-winning shot took a week to drop or that time Boy Lisa opened his mail for a month and a half. Sometimes I wish they were all silent strips and honestly there’s no reason they couldn’t be, as nothing would be lost. Just the characters silently reacting to things like small construction projects, deportation stings and humongous fires. I think there would be little if any drop in quality.

    • batgirl

      How many silent strips did it take for Funky to wander around a derelict house and look at a painting?
      Oh! How many for Funky to take a flight to some clinic somewhere for unspecified results from an unspecified test?

      For the FW archivists among us – has Les had a silent strip sequence in Act 3?

  4. Rusty Shackleford

    So dumb, so dumb.

    • Mr. A

      So much for my theories on the previous post.

      We’re doing a curb cut for a wheelchair ramp, folks. That’s what’s happening. That’s why Wally was looking at the curb last night. Montoni’s accepts everyone, and part of accepting everyone is being ADA-compliant.

      I’m certainly not opposed to wheelchair ramps—I’m not a monster—but from a narrative perspective, is this really the best use of our time? And why wasn’t this done already? It’s been 30 years since the ADA passed.

      • Mr. A

        Ah, wasn’t intending to post that as a reply…I guess here is as good a place as any.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Yep. I had a good friend who was in a wheelchair. Diving accident when he was a kid.

        He hated people who patronized him.

      • J.J. O'Malley

        A wheelchair ramp…in the middle of a city block as opposed to the street corners where they are located 99.999976 percent of the time? Makes perfect sense, Battyuk. And Wally was so keen on this upcoming civic improvement that he made a welcoming sign for the front window (Are we sure the Montoni’s entrance is ADA compliant?)? And, unless this is meant to portend that Ed Crankshaft will be rolling in for a surprise 100th birthday celebration, why does any of this minutiae matter, as there are no other characters I can think of who use a wheelchair on a regular basis?

        Just when I think 2020 can’t possibly get any weirder, a nationally syndicated comic strip (apparently) spends a full week on a series of dialogue-free strips depicting sidewalk demolition and repair. My God, “Funky Winkerbean” really is as exciting as watching concrete dry!

        • William Thompson

          If it’s a wheelchair ramp, it fits with the general dumbness of that mini-parking-lot in front of Montoni’s. Yes, the ramp would make it easier to park your car at a right angle to the curb, then get your wheelchair from the street to the sidewalk. But that means you’ve parked with your car’s trunk protruding into what would normally be a traffic lane, and it would mean that when you leave you have to back out (blindly, if another car is parked to your right) into traffic. Like this strip, that’s an accident that’s not even waiting to happen.

        • Mr. A

          A wheelchair ramp…in the middle of a city block as opposed to the street corners where they are located 99.999976 percent of the time? Makes perfect sense, Battyuk.

          If they’re also adding a full handicap-accessible parking space to go with the ramp, then I think it would make sense. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.

      • William Thompson

        So Batiuk is about to give us a new character, one with a physical disability? With his usual sense of perfect year-in-advance timing, he does that when The Witches is being criticized for having physically-deformed villains. If Batiuk ever explained this, it would sound as lame as Warner Brothers’ excuse.

  5. William Thompson

    What’s the city doing? Installing a high-volume drain between the sewer and Montoni’s restroom?

  6. William Thompson

    And of course there’s a falling autumn leaf in panel 2. Does that sign of death and decay mean Creepy Les is about to appear?

  7. Rusty Shackleford

    What is with the door? Do they have a Montonis ghost that flitters around?

  8. Wally seems okay with what’s happening. Sure hope he cleared that with Funky and Tony.

    • spacemanspiff85

      Seems like something you’d need to clear with the city, too. I doubt you can just stare at a curb and the next day have someone put a ramp in.

      • Mr. A

        To be fair, we don’t know exactly how much time elapsed between the previous strip and this one, or when Wally put the call in. Maybe he really did set this up with the city weeks ago, and when he was looking down at the curb he was thinking, “Tomorrow’s finally the day.”

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          I think there’s supposed to be a time transition between panels 1 and 2. Normally an artist would show this by having them be obviously different seasons with different weather, but Batiuk thought one leaf and open vs closed signs was enough.

  9. Mela

    No, I think the jackhammer is about to hit a gas line. Remember the golf club?

    • J.J. O'Malley

      Saturday: the Construction Worker (who’s looking a little different from his Village People days) strikes a gas main and the explosion blows out the windows of Montoni’s.

      Sunday: In an action-packed sequence, Wally’s combat training drives him as he puts down his toothbrush, grabs the green pitcher from the office, and dives to safety through a flaming Montoni’s, then in the last panel collapses while reaching into the blown-out window to save his burning “All…Welcome” sign.

      Monday: Wally is hauled out of the window frame by a pair of metallic arms, starting a weeklong story in which he is taken to the underground kingdom of Murania. Hilarity ensues.

  10. Mr. A

    Haiku of the Day:

    Who can hear Wally?
    Jackhammers would drown him out
    If he ever spoke

  11. Count of Tower Grove

    I’m sticking with my Kevin McHale premise. You will recall, the gang at Cheers did start taking apart the parquet.

  12. Banana Jr. 6000

    Oh, I get it, it’s a Hocus Focus crossover. Okay, I’ll play:

    1. Leaf
    2. Traffic pylons
    3. “all are welcome” sign.
    4. worker’s tool is different (jackhammer vs. line painter )
    5. Sign says “open” instead of “closed”
    6. logo is different
    7. Wally is missing
    8. worker’s shoes are a different color

    I thought there were always six differences between the panels, so I’m confused why I found eight.

  13. Aurora Snorealis

    This is some real art here. Confusing people is a stroke of genius.


  14. Gerard Plourde

    It does look like the big reveal will be that a curb cut for wheelchairs is going to be installed.

  15. billytheskink

    Somebody needs to tell the guy with the jackhammer that he missed Montoni’s by about 6 feet…

  16. batgirl

    Doesn’t Funky have an AA sponsor who’s in a wheelchair?

    The Komix Korner is severely non-ADA compliant. I guess disabled people, like girls, aren’t acceptable comics fans.

  17. newagepalimpsest

    Sometimes a jackhammer is just a jackhammer.

  18. Banana Jr. 6000

    This aimless week has been a perfect example of how Tom Batiuk’s idiosyncracies make Funky Winkerbean the ugly, confusing mess it is.

    Sideways panels lead to excessive wordiness, and are difficult to read, like Monday’s.

    11-month lead times lead to the strip being horribly out of date, like it was on Tuesday.

    Batiuk inserting his own obscure tastes into the strip confuses readers, like happened on Wednesday.

    Excessive Montoni’s logos make the strip look like a commercial, as it did on Thursday, and for most of the last two months.

    And Batiuk’s insistence upon week-long arcs leads to filler strips, like Friday’s.

    This is what editors are for: to steer creative people away from their own worst instincts. Taking these five behaviors away from Tom Batiuk would be a huge step towards making Funky Winkerbean better than it is.

    • Mr. A

      I’ll be honest, the Montoni’s thing doesn’t really bother me. So your characters work/hang out a lot at this one pizza parlor? Sure, whatever. Lots of sitcoms do that kind of thing. That pizza parlor has its name in the window? Of course it does.

      You could argue that Batiuk is not making the best use of the other settings he’s established in the strip, and that a little variety would be nice…or you could argue that he should lean into it, retitle the strip Montoni’s, and have all the plotlines revolve around the restaurant and its patrons instead of just half. Like Cheers.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Once again Batty painted himself into a corner. He needed a stage for his characters when they graduated high school and he had to choose Montoni’s because he wanted to butt kiss the folks that run Luigi’s in Akron.

        So hence you get these awkward scenes where the characters sit around and drink coffee like they are at Roy’s lunch counter in Shoe.

        Ever see people sitting around a pizzeria at a counter drinking coffee? Neither have I. It’s called Batty writing.

        • Gerard Plourde

          Right. Unless Akron is very different from most of America, pizzerias aren’t hangouts. Then again, aside from Crazy Harry when he worked as a letter carrier, who else actually was shown hanging out (or even regularly patronizing) Montoni’s?

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            It’s juvenile. I can see a pizzeria being a hangout when all the characters are still in high school, a la Archie Comics. These people are all in their 30s at least. It’s also not relevant to the story as a workplace, like the office in Dilbert or the newspaper office in Shoe. And Westview is implied to be a decent-size town, so the “only restaurant in a small town” trope doesn’t work either. There’s no just no reason for so much action to take place there.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          Damn autocorrect. Roz’s

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        I don’t have a problem with Montoni’s as a setting. But its role in Funky Winkerbean grossly exceeds that.

        The Adeela/ICE plot was entirely driven by Montoni’s pizza. ICE ordered it, Adeela delivered it, an agent ate it, Bill Clinton remembered it, Funky sent it to Clinton, the ICE agents praised it, and returned Funky’s $12 insulated pizza bag. Someone being arrested and deported was treated like a minor subplot. (Funky’s missing car was never addressed either. Absolutely none of that was essential to the story.

        I will frame this problem more broadly, by saying that Batiuk needs to stop using the strip to butter up his friends and promote his pet interests. Luigi’s, the Ohio Music Educators Association, Kent State University, and all his comic book artist buddies have had enough pointless exposure. Tom needs to write actual stories that might appeal to an average reader. Or retire.

  19. With the wheelchair ramp and the window sign, Wally is sure taking on an owner/manager role. Did he clear any of this with Funky, or is it just expected Funky will say “Aww, that’s lovely and thoughtful.”

  20. The Merry Pookster

    Once the scene of a sidewalk bistro….. that space has now shrunk down to about 4 bricks wide only.

  21. newagepalimpsest

    This is boring, let’s have a Lisa arc!

    – Keisha screams in despair as yet another “For the Stepchild” tape appears on her pillow. In order to purge it, she must endure yet another family dinner.

  22. Ray

    Not to be insensitive, but just telling it like it is…

    You try to bring a wheelchair though the front door of the “real-life Montoni’s”, and it’s damn near impossible. We’re talking 1940’s vintage width. Add to that the convoluted entrance/cashier area, and the crowds that are waiting to be seated(pre-Covid anyways) and it’s going to be a whole mess going on.

    We’re not even in the “1/4 inch from reality” ballpark with this one.