I Saw The Light

Link to today’s strip.

This is another baffler. In panel one, young Funky appears to be having a pleasant acid trip. In panel two, old Funky carefully arranges huge Christmas lights on a tree that looks unable to support said lights.

I guess it’s something to with colored lights being nice to look at? The odd candle-lights Funky is arranging are the same colors as the floating balls in panel one.

Whatever Batiuk is going for, this is way too subtle for me. Or dumb. Reader’s choice.

40 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

40 responses to “I Saw The Light

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Yeah, I think he’s aiming for a sort of childhood Christmas nostalgia thing here and it might have almost worked if he didn’t look twenty-one in panel one. But alas, he does and the overall effect is baffling and quite stupid. Why not just draw young Funky looking at, you know, a f*cking Christmas tree?

  2. Rusty Shackleford

    Ok, so I just called Medina County 911. Batty lost it.

  3. William Thompson

    Uh . . . panel one, Young Funky sees the Lawrence Welk show in color for the first time? Panel two, Funky imagines Obi-wan Kenobi and Darth Vader swinging their light sabers under a Life Day tree topped by the Death Star?

    • none

      Name dropping The Lawrence Welk Show is more Plugger territory than Funky’s.

      While I’m here, is it time to add a “silent” or “no speech” tag to the list? This seems to be rather frequent yet.

      • William Thompson

        When we’re spared Batiuk’s concept of “how the humans make their talk,” the tag should be “merciful.”

    • ComicBookHarriet

      1977 Strikes Back! With Myron Floren on the accordion! An’a one an’a two!

    • Hitorque

      Is it true that Welk had a “casting couch” that would shame any low-rent hardcore xxx director, or was that just an urban legend?

      • ComicBookHarriet

        As far as I’ve seen and heard, he was relatively squeaky clean.

        Gene Rodenberry…that’s another story.

  4. Coco

    They’re bubble lights. The bubbles are drawn in the vertical part.

    • billytheskink

      I had to look these up because I have never seen them, but you are most definitely right. Are bubble lights a regional thing or was I just never invited over to the cool kids’ houses?

      • ComicBookHarriet

        Bubble lights were popular for a while, but they would get very hot, like burn your hand hot, and could basically torch your whole tree, presents, house, children, ect. So they really fell out of favor. If Funky accidently leaves those on too long, he’ll be rebuilding the restaurant for the second time.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Yes, we had these exact bubble lights when I was a kid, and then later when they started making them again. It’s a shame this strip was so poorly done, because it really hit home with me. I always loved watching those lights, and probably always will. Like Adeela’s strip Tuesday, a nice sentiment is ruined by poor execution.

  5. billytheskink

    No matter how hard you might try, you’re not getting your own “Cow Tools” TB.

    Certainly not with a strip where Act I Funky is tripping balls and Act III Funky is decorating the world’s saddest Hanukkah bush with electric basters… The key to the “Cow Tools” madness (other than the fact that The Far Side had genuine fans) is that people thought they were close to getting it and wondered what element they were missing. This, though? No one is going to think this means anything, and they are right to think so.

    • Epicus Doomus

      The really sad part is that this is such an un-f*ck-up-able premise. You have young Funky helping his parents decorate the family tree, then you see “now” Funky using those very same lights. I mean it writes itself.

    • Mr. A

      I never expected to see the phrase “tripping balls” depicted so literally.

  6. Mr. A

    So are the reindeer still on the roof, or…

    • J.J. O'Malley

      Yes. As panel two illustrates, Funky is brewing them a fresh pot of snowman-infused coffee which he’ll soon take upstairs to help them get through the night shift. Those Ohio rooftops can be cold in December.

  7. Gerard Plourde

    How appropriate for Westview. The liquid used in the lights is toxic.

    https://www.poison.org/articles/2011-dec/bubble-lights-the-hazards-of-nostalgia

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Possibly he has old really old bubble lights filled with oil. Oil bubble lights give a more mesmerizing, acid like, slow bubble, like tiny lava lamps.

        • ComicBookHarriet

          I take it back. I have watched a 25 minute long youtube video on the history of bubble lights, yelled at me by an overenthusiastic man who seems to be on the spectrum, and oil bubble lights were never manufactured with the kind of base we see in the strip.

          Even when I’m not the poster at the helm, Batiuk’s weird references keep me falling down the internet hole.

  8. J.J. O'Malley

    Clearly Young Funky is dreaming of growing up to someday become Silver Age Batman foe/”The Suicide Squad” co-star Polka Dot Man.

  9. Hitorque

    1. Why is yung Funkenstein wearing a hot day-glo neon green plaid shirt that would have been out of place in any decade, much less the 1970s?

    2. These people at Montoni’s *do* have homes of their own, right? I presume they’re able to put up better and more elaborate holiday decorations there, so why not show us that instead??

    • billytheskink

      I don’t think Tony has a home in Westview, when he returns he’s usually depicted walking into Montoni’s with a suitcase like he lives there.

  10. Count of Tower Grove

    BWAWAHAWHAW! It’s funny because Mopey Pete wears fifty year-old hand-me-downs from Fungy!

    • J.J. O'Malley

      More than likely MP gets his wardrobe from a place I don’t know if TB has ever depicted: Westview’s oh-so-funky thrift store. I imagine it’s the campy, Bohemian haven that Crazy Harry, Ruby Lith and other “oddballs” frequent, filled with old WHS band uniforms, Bull Bushka’s football trophies that the “Hall of Fame” didn’t want, multiple copies of Les’s books, and all the ’70s fashions from Act I FW. When he does get around to showing it, Battyuk will probably have it being run by some colorful eccentric named Hans Medown or Second-Hand Rose.

  11. Banana Jr. 6000

    Tom Batiuk has a tendency to assume everyone shares his experience. Today’s strip assumes that everyone has seen bubble lights and knows what they are. They’re not drawn in a way that would make sense to anyone who is not already familiar with them. The second panel needed a closer shot of the light, with the bubbles more visible, so the reader can get the connection the young Funky admiring the bubbles in the first panel.

    And, as BeckoningChasm said, it’s another case of the strip being too subtle for its own good. Subtlety is about saying saying important things in small ways. It’s not about withholding key information and forcing the reader to figure it out.

  12. Perfect Tommy

    Nice Todd Rundgren shout-out!

    • Rick Brooks

      Some things in the seventies were actually pretty awesome.

      • Margaret

        Yes, most of the music was! A lot of great movies. And there was some amazing interior decor that’s starling at first, but kind of grows on you. If you could get rid of the Vietnam War, racism, and The Donny and Marie show, the 70s would be pretty great.

  13. The Dreamer

    So how old is Funky now? In October he finished 2nd in the 65 and over division of the Lisa’s Legacy run. Si he must be like 65 or 68. Les would have to be the same age and that must mean Les’s currently college age daughter Summer must have been born when he was in his mid to late forties. Okay…

  14. So, everyone who has experience with bubble lights, I’ve got a question…

    It looks from the second panel that each light has it’s own color, in that the color is provided by the transparent material, and not the bubbles themselves.

    So how does panel one make sense?

    • William Thompson

      Panel one will make sense after it’s had years of therapy and appropriate medications.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      The color is provided by actual dyes within the liquid.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      My guess is that young Funky is seeing the bubble lights as he remembers them. Everything about Christmas is so much more wondrous when you’re a child. Which would be a nice sentiment if panel one Funky WERE a child, and not an adult.

      Come on, Funky Winkerbean, these are simple sentimental Christmas scenes! Why do you keep getting them so wrong?