36 responses to “All Dressed Up, (With No Place to Hide.)

  1. Captain Gladys Stoatpamphlet

    I hope Crazy Harry is right-handed. There’s no way he can hold a pencil with that stumpy thumb.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    Crazy Harry stopped being “crazy” years ago. He should called “Contrived and Stupid Harry” now. Of course it’ll turn out that the stupid salad dressing is only part of his anniversary gift, as there’s no way he’s going to depict any sort of actual non-humorous marital conflict here. And, of course, the seldom-seen Donna will love it AND we won’t hear boo about their litter of missing kid characters either. I think it’s safe to assume they’re long, long gone at this point.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Yep. Harry is going to give his wife a cheap, insulting gift as part of a shitty joke. She’ll think it’s the greatest thing in the world, instead of breaking it over his head as any real woman would do. And this will all be portrayed as sweet and charming. Ugh. This strip is vile.

      • batgirl

        Thankfully Harry is non-sexual, or he might follow Dinkle’s example of mentioning that he expects his wife to put out in return for his gift.

    • gleeb

      I think they must have sold the children and really, best thing for them.

  3. billytheskink

    How many comics readers would expect a Sunday strip to be completely and entirely rehashed on Monday?

  4. J.J. O'Malley

    Salad dressing. After a week of a sidewalk ramp, after a week of piano lessons, Battyuk is apparently fixing to treat his readers to a week of occurrences (I can’t being myself to call them jokes) around an anniversary present of a bottle of salad dressing. If it turns out that there is no O. Henry-like twist at the end of this arc, that the dressing is the actual gift, then TB is indeed as clueless and self-inflated as the character to whom he ascribes this “quirkyeccentricendearing” behavior.

  5. Gerard Plourde

    CBH – Thanks for unearthing those troubling strips. I could certainly be wrong about this and would welcome being set straight, but growing up I never heard any girl talk about “the girls against the boys”. In my experience, girls always seemed to be inclusive in their play rather than exclusive.

    The words that TomBa put in Donna’s mouth DO sound like what an eight to ten-year-old boy in the “yukky girls” phase would say, Am I wrong about this?

    • Rusty Shackleford

      At our local Montoni’s they had a Space Invaders game that we would play. There were a couple girls that would come in and play with us. We loved it!

      I had a crush on one of them and OMG, I just remembered her name was Lisa. Thanks Batty for ruining that name.

    • Maxine of Arc

      This is “a girl who reads comic books is a bold explorer into uncharted foreign territory that is not for her,” not “comics are for everyone.” Goddamn, these are depressing.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      I would say that, during my 90’s childhood, there were still some spaces that were considered more of a ‘boy’s turf’. But there was never any sense that a girl had to become male to come inside.

      I would say that in college, I worked at a daycare, and I had a little girl ask me why I was wearing a boy’s shirt, because I was wearing a Star Wars shirt. I told her that since I was a girl, and it was my shirt, it was a girl’s shirt.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      You’re right, and the problem is pervasive. The entire world of Funky Winkerbean operates at about a third-grade level. “Girls are yukky” was just the plot of an entire week’s arc. This salad dressing is very much a gift an eight-year-old boy would think of to give his mother, if he didn’t have a father who would steer him towards a better choice. And her reaction will be the same: to pat him on the head and say she loves it, even if she doesn’t, or is even hurt by it.

      These supposedly adult characters are all defined by pizza, comic books, school crushes, and other childhood interests. Their relationships are affectionless and asexual. When they try to be adult they seem to have no idea how, saying things like “I’m trying to get you to take advantage of me… the playground will be closed for repairs” If you asked an eight-year-old to write an adult soap opera, these are the lines you’d get.

      Despite all this wallowing in childhood, there is no joy or fun to be found anywhere. Life is a grim slog where you must accept every indignity with only smirks and eye-rolling. You may not set any standards on the behavior of others, even if you’re an authority figure. You may not seek recompense from those who have seriously wronged you. You may not deviate from the Tom Batiuk-approved norms in this universe.

      And they’re selfish. My god, these characters are selfish, like children who haven’t learned how to share their toys yet. “My husband is dying of a degenerative brain disorder, but how does that help me?” This salad dressing is just Harry showing off how clever he thinks he is, and being cheap. And Les Moore’s behavior could fill an abnormal psych thesis.

  6. William Thompson

    Batiuk tries to destroy another of Les Moore’s rivals for attention and respect by turning Crazy Harry into a bozo with no understanding of women. The trouble is that Creepy Les occupied that ground long ago, crowned himself as its king and executes all pretenders to the throne..

  7. Rusty Shackleford

    Well she deserves salad dressing as a present.

    I’m glad to see architect Adeela’s renovations are complete. She wanted to make it look like you are dining inside someone’s rectum.

    • newagepalimpsest

      That’s why they pay her the big bucks!

      *puts hand to earpiece* Oh… I have just been informed that Adeela is still at the Pizza Misc. (p/t) paygrade.

  8. I notice your list skips #2. That’s because Batiuk provides all the #2 needed.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      *cough* of course that was intentional. >.> A very intentional meta joke I put into the post intentionally. As intended.

  9. Don

    Say, that wouldn’t be Italian salad dressing, would it? I can almost see it now:
    Donna: “It’s a bottle of salad dressing”
    Crazy Harry: “Yes, but what kind?”
    Donna: “Er, Italian, from the looks of it”
    “You’re getting me a trip to Italy?”
    Crazy Harry: “Yes – for two!”
    Donna: “That’s wonderful! I wonder who I should take with me?”

  10. hitorque

    So this Holly clone was doing the whole “gender fluidity” thing before it was cool?

  11. hitorque

    1. So we’re doing this all week? Montoni’s regulars continue to drop vague, ambiguous hints that this is a shitty anniversary present and Harry continues to not understand??

    2. Hey Funky+Holly — Try flipping your declaration around and say that “Not a lot of WOMEN would accept a gift as trivial as salad dressing…” instead!

    3. Yeah, we know Harry is crazy and dumb but he isn’t THAT dumb… We all know that Harry and Donna either went to Montoni’s on their first date or the night they proposed and that specific dressing flavor has some kind of sappy sentimental meaning for them… Of course Harry can’t come out and say that directly because then Batiuk won’t be able to stretch this out for another two weeks…

  12. hitorque

    4. Um yeah, I’m going to need some context here on just what the hell Donna is talking about in the flashback… Was she a vigilante? An Evel Knievel wannabe? A professional racer?? A Hollywood stunt double?

    4a. And I don’t care what sheltered generational era she came up in… Girls being into comic books and video games even in the early 1980s would have been no big thing, and neither would young women in the 1990s who were obsessed about motorcycles, racing or vigilantism…

    4b. And no, I’m not going anywhere near the revelation that somehow in circa 1981, 14-year-old Donna wasn’t able to find *ANY* inspirational female comic book characters to emulate, nor will I ask why the hell she was emulating a comic book character to begin with…

    4c. I’m sorry, but what the hell is that thing on her head supposed to be in that photo with the arcade game? And why is Donna on the “Wall of Fame” to begin with? I don’t care if she reset all the high scores at Montoni’s back in the day, unless world records were involved she isn’t wall-worthy…

  13. newagepalimpsest

    There’s a lot going on there with those vintage strips and I’m not going to touch it.

    So instead I will say that I do love the idea of Crazy Harry and Mrs. Crazy Harry just giving the salad dressing to the Food Bank and laughing at how stupid the Winkerbeans are as they eat at one of Westview’s Forbidden Restaurants for their anniversary treat.

  14. batgirl

    If I remember, the helmet-wearing game kid was retconned to have been Donna. There’s a strip where his off-panel mother calls him home as “Donald!” Not sure, though, when it became canon that Don was Donna – was it in the arc CBH shows?
    I’m 62, and I remember occasional ‘girls against the boys’ episodes from elementary school. While I ran into a fair amount of ‘girls can’t do X’ back then, I _never_ encountered any pushback for being into comic books. Or even for being into particular genres of comics.
    Does TB really understand that there are genres of comics? He seems to be utterly fixated on superheroes. There was a little nod towards the Harvey-type kiddy comics with Wayback Wendy’s art style, but that may have been Ayres’s work.

    • Westview Radiology

      Bat Girl I am 62 as well. I was first introduced to Archie Betty Veronica and Jughead comics by the girls at school, maybe 4th or 5th grade.

    • newagepalimpsest

      I was also thinking that Wayback Wendy looked very much like Harvey Comics… Too bad that there’s stories about salad dressing to be told.

  15. Banana Jr. 6000

    So Donna was never really interested in video games, she was just trying to make some kind of misguided point about gender equality, at age 12.

    The inauthenticity of this comic strip knows no bounds.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Well he has to retcon everything to reflect current opinions, how else will he get another interview with the NYT?

  16. William Thompson

    Did Batiuk go to a parochial grammar school? Because the only time I saw a boys-versus-girls attitude as intense as his was in the nuns at dear old St. Hedwig’s. (My first grade teacher, Sister Mary Eucharia, punished boys by making us sit with the girls at lunch, “and wear a beany like a girl!”)

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Wow. That is appalling. What a horrible lesson to teach children, of any gender. I’m sorry you had to be exposed to such people.

    • batgirl

      Wow. And collaterally shame the girls, who had done nothing. Maybe that sort of policy is responsible for Brooke McEldowney. Congrats on overcoming the mindwarping, WT.

  17. Mr. A

    I’m getting a 404 error for the strip link. Is that just me?