I Wish He’d DisAPPear

I’m going to ignore the “haha, apps are confusing mystical objects that nobody can understand” “humor” here and just focus on Becky. What in the world is her expression about? The raised eyebrows and smirk look more seductive/romantic than anything else (although in the second panel she looks eerily like Pete and Summer, because for some reason only three or four face types exist in this strip). And honestly, if it was revealed that Dinkle and Becky were actually having an affair, it would vastly improve the logic of this strip.  Because “deaf band director who retired decades ago is constantly shadowing the current band director for no real reason” is stupid. It was the same thing with Linda and Buck. I think it’s a sign of bad writing when totally unintended subtexts actually make more sense than the actual plot.

29 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

29 responses to “I Wish He’d DisAPPear

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Why the hell would Dinkle even need a “guidebook”? He’s been going to this event for decades now. I mean it can’t possibly be all that much different from year to year, can it?

    • William Thompson

      “Where is everyone going to hide from me this year? It was easy to find their safe places when they taped arrows to the walls, but how can a man make sense of these newfangled apps?”

    • Count of Tower Grove

      Dinkle is trying to summon the app from an ice cream sandwich.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      And Dinkle doesn’t do anything when he’s there, except wander around the lobby and look at the unfunny signs. We never see him go to a seminar, give advice to younger teachers, or anything else. Which is the whole point of these conventions: sharing knowledge. Shouldn’t the World’s Greatest Band Director and award-winning Belgian chocolate salesman be giving a seminar by now?

      • William Thompson

        You’d think Batiuk would have had him inseminarated by now.

      • Actually, I seem to recall that he did have a seminar on one occasion–the only thing I remember is that he advised the attendees to pretend to be interested in the brochures, don’t just eat all the pizza and cookies.

  2. J.J. O'Malley

    In the meantime, are the Westview High band members still standing in the conference center entrance hallway because their teacher has become so ensnared with her mentor’s ongoing technological struggles? Come on, Becky, be a sport and lend him a…oh, forget it. At this point it’s just no fun anymore.

  3. The Dreamer

    This is ridiculous. The OMEA would have been canceled this year due to COVID! Nobody is having any in person conventions right now. How far in advance does TomBat write these? You’d think the syndicator would complain. Harry Dinkle in his 90s shouldn’t be leaving his house these days, he’s high risk!

    • Epicus Doomus

      I’ve always maintained that he writes ALL the strips in January. He most likely already wrapped up 2022 a week or two ago. So we won’t see any pandemic strips until January of 2022 at the earliest, at which point (ideally) it’s in the past, which is going to make FW appear QUITE STUPID when that happens. Ideally. Unless we’re all already dead by then, which would put quite a damper on the FW’s 50th anniversary.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Even worse, Crankshaft is doing a “Crankshaft is afraid of the flu” arc. He wears a hazmat suit all the time; there are jokes about the school bus being a breeding ground for illness; he takes ineffective over-the-counter medication; and his anti-flu measures interfere with his daily activities. It’s almost a decent satire of the social distancing we’ve all had to do for 10 months now. All it would need is a few minor wording changes. But nope! It’s never called anything but “the flu.” How lazy can you be?

    • Count of Tower Grove

      Indeed. If Todd was keeping current, we’d be clutching our guts with Becky securing an N-95 mask on her face with a safety pin.

    • Mr. A

      Personally, I don’t care if FW skips COVID. It’s a fictional universe that doesn’t need to copy ours in every detail.

      On the other hand, if we suddenly start having COVID storylines a year behind schedule (as some people here have predicted), I will be irritated. You can choose to do work that reflects current events, or you can choose a workflow where you produce your output a full year ahead of time, but you can’t do both.

      • ComicBookHarriet

        Agreed. The Funkyverse is miserable enough without a global pandemic.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        I agree, but if Batiuk’s not going to address COVID, he needs to be a little more careful about what he does address. In the last two weeks we’ve seen an in-person convention, an in-person doctor’s visit, and a “flu virus” that Ed Crankshaft is overreacting to. It’s unclear whether this is supposed to be some kind of commentary, or if the author just doesn’t care how tone-deaf his work is. In the Funkyverse, the latter is usually a safe bet.

        Or, he could just come out and say one way or the other. TV commercials have disclaimers like “this was filmed before COVID”, and other comic strip artists are on the record whether or not they would address it in their worlds. Batiuk has said nothing about it, even in his blog, which would be a perfect place to address the question.

      • Epicus Doomus

        IMO when he finally “addresses” it in 2022 he’ll be incredibly vague. “The way things are these days” and so on. Also, if he starts drawing the characters with masks on no one will have any idea who they are, even less so than now.

  4. Gerard Plourde

    As has been mentioned above, the Westview Band is also attending. Becky, as their teacher, is responsible for them. Giving them a 47 page handout doesn’t relieve her of her obligation to supervise them so that they don’t get murdered by Zanzibar The Murder Chimp (we can always hope he makes a cameo appearance). More likely, TomBa forgot about that part of the story. If this is any indication of TomBa’s behavior as a teacher it’s no wonder that he left the profession.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      There is no story. Sunday and Monday we got the Westview band kids, who we won’t see again. Yesterday we got we a walk-on character we won’t see again. Today we’re getting an app we won’t see again. Tomorrow the goddam pun signs start. All of which are jokes we’ve seen a hundred times before. Why does Tom Batiuk insist on depicting this dumb convention when he has nothing at all to say about it? Why is this forced arc the biggest filler of them all?

      If Funky Winkerbean is ever going to get better, The OMEA is the first recurring topic that has to go. The second is that stupid pizza box monster, another pointless annual arc that’s basically a commercial.

  5. billytheskink

    The “convention guidebook app” is a ruse. OMEA hired Durwood to write a buggy guidebook app (they didn’t tell Durwood to fill it with bugs, he was hired because of his app-writing reputation and he lived up to it) in an attempt to keep Dinkle occupied with something other than pestering fellow attendees into insanity. Looks like it’s working.

  6. Hitorque

    Isn’t Rebecca supposed to be looking after 30-40 students from her own high school?

    • J.J. O'Malley

      Yep, along with tending to Harry and attending any workshops on her own. That’s sure a lot balls to jug…oh, you know the rest. It’s still no fun anymore.

  7. The most interesting aspect of this strip is the complete disconnect between what the author thinks he is doing (groundbreaking, unique, thoughtful work with just a hint of humor) and the actual content of the strip (dull, plodding, humorless inertia).

  8. Perfect Tommy

    OMAC! One Man Army Corp! I loved that comic! But it ended too soon after the sentient satellite got………….
    What’s that now?
    Oh. Never mind.

  9. So the students were basically a smokescreen to sneak Dinkle back onto the premises, after the restraining order finally came through? Becky, that’s not nice!

  10. Banana Jr. 6000

    And there’s a new FunkyBlog entry, where Tom Batiuk blames the failing of his comic strip on everybody but himself.

    As if the First Cartooning Commandment wasn’t enough to spoil your day

    Why the hell would it? I’m not a cartoonist, like most people on earth aren’t.

    The Second Cartooning Commandment:

    The Cartooning Commandments do not exist. I can’t find them on the Internet, which is where Tom Batiuk said he found them, and I’ve never heard of them from anyone else. (And I refuse to believe that Tom Batiuk used any search engine other than Grandpa Google.)

    Thou shalt return to “Go” at the start of each new strip, and your characters shall never grow up.

    Oh look, the Second Cartooning Commandment is another thing Tom Batiuk disapproves of. How much you wanna bet they all are?

    I refer to this as the “Peter Pan Principal,”

    Learn how to spell.

    it’s one of the reasons that the newspaper comics have been relegated to the stagnant backwaters of the entertainment industry.

    No, it isn’t. Newspaper comics have fallen into irrelevance because newspapers themselves have. And, a lack of quality after Bill Watterson, Berke Breathed, Gary Larson, and Charles Schulz all folded their strips in the 90s.

    there have been, and still are, obvious and wonderful exceptions to what I’m about to say

    Yeah, like Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft. Seriously, even if these “commandments” did exist, no one is holding Tom Batiuk to them! Or to any other standard I can identify.

    I get that, I accept that, and I don’t care about that. I’m trying to make a point here, and I don’t want the waters muddied with contradictory facts and stuff.

    These 32 words say absolutely nothing. Seriously, you printed this in a book?

    Simply put, I had moved my characters into their adult lives

    And here come the self-congratulations. Tom Batiuk is just soooooo brave for daring to do what plenty of other comic strips were doing, and doing better, long before.

    and (I) was on a roll with the work collected in this volume

    No, he wasn’t.

    as I attempted to plot their futures.

    Batiuk just said he was on a roll. Now he’s “trying” to plot his characters’ futures? What an insincere hedge.

    Meanwhile, their companions on the comics page were on a roller coaster that returned to the same starting point every day. Every. Day.

    This is a great example of Tom Batiuk’s inability to understand any point of view but his own. And his unjustified self-righteousness. And his dismissive attitude towards comic strips much better than his own. And his hypocrisy.

    Not every comic strip wants to age its characters. It makes no sense for Calvin, or the Peanuts gang, or Opus the Penguin, to age. It would destroy the worlds these characters live in. Strips like The Far Side don’t even have regular characters. Many other strips with adult characters choose not to age them, so they can keep drawing them the same way. There’s nothing wrong with not aging your characters, if it makes sense in your world.

    But there is something wrong with keeping your cast in high school 20 years, then turning your comic strip into a Lifetime Original Movie, deciding you’re Sherwood Anderson, introducing time skips that make no internal sense, complaining about restrictions on your work when there’s no evidence that any exist, and then looking down your nose at everyone else because they don’t age their characters correctly. What an ingrate.

    • Well said. And as for Tom Batiuk’s “comic strips never age their characters” I have two words: Gasoline Alley.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Or For Better Or For Worse. Despite its horrible Anthony ending, it handled aging and serious topics much better than Funky Winkerbean ever did.

    • Margaret

      And he doesn’t age his characters correctly. How old is Funky? He ran in the over 65s marathon, which would make him how much older than his classmates? Did he get held back for failing a lot? And how about Cindy, who is at least 50 something and looks like she’s 30? Come to think of it, he could have done a big prestige arc about her plastic surgery. I’m not about to try to figure it out, but should Skyler still be a pre-schooler? I’m not sure how old he’s supposed to be but the last I remember of him, when he was throwing a tantrum at Christmas, he looked to be maybe four. When was he born?

    • none

      There’s no point in aging your characters if none of them mentally mature beyond their starting point. Which they haven’t.

  11. Margaret

    And yeah, it sure would have improved Dennis the Menace and Blondie if the characters aged, wouldn’t it, Batiuk?