Take a Long Rest, Tom

Aw, the lovebirds are enjoying a quiet moment together, enjoying someone else’s “pun”. (Is it a pun when you use a symbol? It seems like it could be.). As glad as I am to not have Dinkle or Becky talking, would it have killed Batiuk to have a little more of a joke here? Like maybe have one of them say “What an arresting display!” or something? At least the sign wasn’t crappily taped to the side of the table. I’m kind of amazed by that.

39 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

39 responses to “Take a Long Rest, Tom

  1. J.J. O'Malley

    So, that odd-looking squiggle on the sign means “poop”?

    Also, Becks and Dinkleberg are both thinking about making off with the valuable trumpet sitting out on the unattended table, aren’t they?

    Also also, where are the Westview students?

    • Rusty Shackleford

      It is certainly a crappy representation of the musical “rest” symbol.

      My goodness those two are ugly. And why did Becky get her cheek pierced?

    • 1) Yes! Pooping is important, especially if it lets you avoid a visit from these yahoos.
      2) Yes! A more sensible person would take it with them, or ask one of the other vendors to keep an eye on it, but this is Batiukverse Ohio so…
      3) Dead! Becky left them outdoors and it started raining and so they all looked up at the rain and drowned.

  2. Didn’t he do the same joke last year? Someone holding a sign over their head and saying “I’m under a rest!”

    You know, Tom, when people didn’t laugh the first time, it’s not because they needed time to allow the humor to fully reveal itself. They didn’t laugh because it wasn’t funny then…and strangely enough, it isn’t funny now.

    Odd how that works, isn’t it.

  3. Epicus Doomus

    From THE official FW blog:

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

    I refer to this as the “Peter Pan Principal,” and it’s one of the reasons that the newspaper comics have been relegated to the stagnant backwaters of the entertainment industry. Okay, before I continue, I should acknowledge that I’m speaking in the broadest of generalities here and that there have been, and still are, obvious and wonderful exceptions to what I’m about to say. 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. Simply put, I had moved my characters into their adult lives and was on a roll with the work collected in this volume as I attempted to plot their futures. Meanwhile, their companions on the comics page were on a roller coaster that returned to the same starting point every day. Every. Day.”

    Wow. So the endless puns and non-stop wordplay are actually character development and rehashing the premise for six days in a row every single week is “plotting the character’s futures”. I’m grateful that he cleared that up, as I was sort of assuming that he was just mostly dicking around for the last ten years or so. Apologies if that’s contradictory and stuff.

    • Mr. A

      I feel like all long-running works of fiction, newspaper comics included, run into a certain problem: there is only so much character development you can do to a character without changing their identity entirely. At a certain point you have to either give up on character development (by shifting the focus to plot mechanics and/or humor), or move the “developed” characters to the background and bring in a fresh crop.

      How this concept applies to FW is left as an exercise for the reader (because I’m fairly fuzzy on everything that happened before Act III).

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Funky Winkerbean has no characters, much less any character development. Everyone in Westview is basically the same. They love comic books, they belong to the Church of Dead Lisa, they make bad puns, they barely react to major tragedy, they dislike the same things, they roll their eyes and smirk at everything. And they’re never in conflict with each other, or even mild disagreement. Their only real differences are their hobbies. So I don’t know where Tom Batiuk gets off being snotty about the alleged lack of character growth in other strips. His characters are all interchangeable slugs.

      • Jimmy

        Maybe he needs to go back to school to learn the difference between principle and principal.

        Gasoline Alley also was aging characters long before this hack got in the game. But only Batiuk alone can lift this art form to its rightful place.

        • ComicBookHarriet

          “I’m trying to make a point here, and I don’t want the waters muddied with contradictory facts and stuff.”

          Not to get controversial here…but is this Batiuk, or a politician sperging on Twitter?

      • ComicBookHarriet

        Mr. A, I would disagree on one point, most long running fictions like sitcoms and the like can gradually evolve and deepen distinct characters without fundamentally changing who they are. Even pretty trashy and basic material, like Friends or Big Bang Theory are able to grow and change characters without losing them completely. The key is not to treat any character change as a final apotheosis of self-actualization. Really, sitcoms are almost better at this than dramas, because in sitcoms the audience has the expectation of characters continuing to struggle with things a drama would have closed the book on already.

        • Mela

          Yes, Sheldon from Big Bang Theory is an excellent example of this. He was essentially the same guy all the way through the show, yet definitely had growth and thus became more well rounded. Contrast that with Larry Linville, who recognized the limits for Frank Burns’ development and left the show when his contract was up because he felt he had done all he could do with the character.

      • And it seems that every time a character starts to show some development, they disappear for years at a time.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Or, Batiuk skips over the part where the any character development would happen. The time skip after Lisa died is a perfect example, because Les never had to cope with her death. One of the things that makes you cope with the loss of a loved one is adjusting to that person no longer being in your daily life. Les never had to raise Summer as single parent, never had to adjust to the loss of his wife’s income, never had to re-find his purpose in life (common when someone you’ve been caring for dies), never had to grow up in any manner whatsoever. And 13 years later, Les is still wangsting about Lisa’s death, as if it happened earlier this week.

          • Epicus Doomus

            In strip time it’s twenty-three years later, which makes it even weirder. If he wanted to depict Les struggling to cope after Lisa’s death, why didn’t he just do that? IMO the answer is that he may have WANTED to skip over all that and pick things up in the future, but HE couldn’t get over “Lisa’s Story” thus he continuously kept drawing attention to it, as those were HIS glory years. The way it turned the Les character into a laughingstock was just peripheral damage.

          • Mela

            Exactly. I understand that you never really get over losing someone, but yes, it’s like Les’ grief is as fresh as the day Lisa died. And for him to still be acting that way 23 years in is not a sign of devotion-it’s a sign that he should have kept going to that therapist.

    • Professor Fate

      1) Doonesbury did it before you and better – mostly by not taking victory laps about it all the bloody time –
      2) One of the more disturbing things about Tom’s Blog Posts is that you see the vast distance between the strip as it exists in his head and the strip we the readers see.

  4. Mr. A

    I don’t hate this. But I want to say that the joke would work just as well without having Dinkle and Becky there to witness it. If you’re going to give half the strip’s space to them, they should be doing something. They seem to be here only to model a proper reaction for the reader. “Ah, now this is something to be amused by! No, don’t actually laugh out loud, that would be going too far.”

    • Perfect Tommy

      Right? We’ve all seen single panel strips where something goofy is happening, with some random character giving it a double take. That’s funny. But no, TB has to turn it into Adoration of the Magi.

    • Count of Tower Grove

      But it just wouldn’t be the Fungyverse if Todd denied us Dinkle’s grimacing smirk!

  5. billytheskink

    TB is photo-referencing a real OMEA booth he once visited here, where he totally stole that “A Winner!” plaque.

  6. Lord Flatulence

    A quarter rest from reality.

  7. Aurora Snorealis

    Coda this be any stupider?

  8. Gerard Plourde

    I guess that by “plot” TomBa actually merely means establishing the setting (the OMEA conference) for this week’s crop of gag-a-day strips.

    • erdmann

      Batiuk: That’s right. “Peanuts” stunk because Charlie Brown wasn’t a 56-year-old recovering alcoholic and divorced from Lucy by the time it ended. That’s why my work is high art and that hack Schulz is forgotten! Don’t confuse me with facts! I’m the god! I’m the god! [Runs the imaginary bases.]

      Although it’s been said many times, many ways, get help, Tom.

      • Professor Fate

        Yes this – also Calvin and Hobbes was trash, Pogo – hackwork, And let’s not get started on Krazy Kat or Little Nemo in Dreamland
        Actually looking over the examples of what are considered classic comic strips it would seem that timelessness is a basic element.
        Of course the Author has to be impressed with his work. Few other people are.

      • Professor Fate

        Yes this. And yes Calvin and Hobbes, Bloom County, Pogo, Little Nemo in Dreamland, and especially Krazy Kat were just hack work.
        Actually one can make a case that timelessness is an essential part of the best comic strips.
        While I do find the Author’s apple polishing of his own strip more than a bit off putting- I guess he feels the need to – as nobody else praising his strip.

        • Professor Fate

          please delete a dup

        • Mela

          Even though Luann was just a bit younger than I am when her comic started and is now only about the age of my daughter, it’s probably good that she has aged slowly. I always had Cathy to read if I wanted a young (and later older) adult gal to sort of relate to.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        He has help! He has an editor. He has a publishing syndicate, which has been known to cancel underperforming comic strips. He has plenty of Internet feedback, if he ever cared to read it. He has a blog, but doesn’t allow responses to it. I can only chalk his attitude up to willful ignorance. And, this willful ignorance being enabled by people who should have an interest in making the strip better.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          That editor girl is asleep at the wheel. A real editor would tell him not to use omea but call it a music educators conference as nobody, save for band geeks who grew up in Ohio, has a damn clue what OMEA stands for.

    • Mr. A

      That third strip is my favorite. Partly because I have no concept of what the original dialogue might have been (and I have no desire to find out).

  9. Say, what do you suppose those big purple books over on the left are?

  10. Unrelated to the actual “joke”, but one of my peeves is when I go to a shop that’s manned by a single person and it’s closed and I see the sign “back in 30 minutes” with no other time reference. I am left to ponder the question, did this person leave 29 minutes ago and is coming back right away, or did they leave 2 minutes ago and I have to wait 28 minutes for them to come back (exacerbated by the fact that I don’t know if I can trust this person to only be gone for 30 minutes). Tell me what time you think you’re coming back, not how long you’ll be gone.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      On a similar note: it’s an industry convention. The instrument company paid for this space, presumably to sell instruments and/or raise awareness of them. Emergencies aside, you don’t leave a stall empty during exhibiting hours! Much less have a pre-made sign with a forced, stupid joke on it for the situation.

      People don’t even say they’re “taking a brief rest”. They say they’re taking a break, at lunch, away from their desk, or something like that. But those just wouldn’t set up the oh-so-wacky music pun! The same pun we saw less than a year ago! Good Lord, this sucks.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Commandment number 3: it doesn’t have to make sense, because I said so.

        Commandment 4: it’s called writing

      • I would imagine that a booth like this would have multiple people tending it. At least two, so that a) one of them could take a bathroom break, and b) so that more than one customer could be served. But that removes the need for any word play, so that can’t be done.

  11. Westview Radiology

    Adolph Hitlers sting back the fen wearing Pet’s shirt!,