Comic Book Harriet here again! Can’t believe I’m up again already. It seems like yesterday I was struggling to find a band turkey joke that wasn’t as overdone as the ones in the strip. But Tom rolls on like an ever flowing stream of consciousness, bringing me back again, panning through his muck for fool’s gold.
I want to give special commendation to SpaceManSpiff 85. He was given a relentlessly dim and myopic arc, and managed to fill the week with a overwhelming flow of cataract puns. Sir, you have my admiration. And my sympathy. Because it seems I’m going to be just as burdened this week with shortsighted visual humor.
I asked earlier this arc if Funky has always been a hapless character that only exists to be neurotic and spout lame puns. My interactions with Act I Funky come through flashback photo-cornered panels, car accident coma dreams, and the offerings of our resident Batiukian researchers. Longtime Stuckfunkians Rusty Shackleford and Banana Jr 6000 were kind enough to reply, and both used the term ‘burnout’ to describe Act I Funky, which kind of surprised me. I can’t see the preachy Batiuk, with more cheap soapboxes than a Palmolive warehouse, insinuating his main character was dating Mary Jane Wackytabaccy on the weekends, and playing it for harmless laughs. Crazy Harry? Sure. But the eponymous protagonist?
I can see it now. Panel two has Act I Funky, in all his mellow glory, blissed out on his tiny bed, with every comfort a baked adolescent needs within arm’s reach: lamp, pizza, soda, music, The Amazing Mister Sponge. Curled up in a tiny cluttered nest of his own hedonism. He even has his SHOES on the bed, that’s how much he DNGAF.
Stark contrast to Act III Funky in panels 1 and 3, sitting on a huge, empty bed, in a mostly empty room. Only a featureless smartphone and a rapidly expanding mattress his plebian pleasures. His specific interests have been pulled out, leaving us with a boring box containing a boring man with a face slowly drooping like a blobfish.
I wish Funky could have gotten glaucoma instead. We could have had burnout Funky back.
21 responses to “À la Recherche du Temps Pizza”
He should have a package labeled “medicinal marijuana” on the night table in panel one and a bong in his hand in panel two. Then it’d be funny. It’s so jarring and strange to see Funky enjoying something through an entire three panel strip. No wry remark or sarcastic wisecrack to burst his bubble, no crushing realizations or sad caveats to harshly drag him back into the mire, you just don’t see this sort of thing very often with Funky.
Yet there he is, grooving to his favorite Eddie Cantor records without a care in the world, just like when he was Westview’s ordinary Everyman back in the day. The last time I remember Funky being this happy Les made him apologize for it. His surgery was a success, he’s happy for three straight panels, there’s no sad-sackery to be had anywhere…it’s actually kind of strange.
“Funky, the doctor also said you should wear your eye patch!”
I actually like today’s comic, it does have a nice, humorous touch. No bashing tonight, just more of this flavor please, not the usual bitter and boring nonsense we’ve been having for over a month.
If you actually enjoy a strip, never ever ever be afraid to say it. Admitting to ourselves when a strip is good or tolerable helps us to tare the scales in our minds, so we can truly measure the badness of the bad.
I agree, it’s a nice comic strip. It’s good to see Act I Funky again; his observation in panel three touches on something real about adult life; and all the story elements work together for a change.
TB gets a golf clap for this one, as it successfully brings a regular Act I scene into Act III. Funky chilling on his bed with a pizza and music cranked on his turntable was a common sight during the 70s part of Act I. This also brings to mind the long list of characters in this strip who probably have just sat and listened to music recently, because unlike Funky, they don’t work. Most of them have jobs too, which is the sad part.
I probably wouldn’t peg Act I Funky as a burnout, or at least I don’t think TB intended for him to come across that way. Act I Funky was more of a malleable good-natured everyman, neither nerd nor jock, popular nor outcast. He was the guy to build That said, I’m sure most 70s kids who smoked a little grass were much more like Funky than explicit space cases like Roland or Crazy Harry, so it isn’t as if the burnout description is wrong.
But would a burnout be reading that crappy comic book? Superman, Batman, I could see, but not that sponge nonsense. I would show him listening to Pink Floyd and reading Edgar Allan Poe.
I question whether a high school kid in the mid-late 1980s would be reading ANY comic book. I’m about that age and it just wasn’t something that teenagers did, at least not openly. The first Michael Keaton Batman movie didn’t come out until 1989, partly because nobody in media thought such a thing could be viable. And even the mania behind that movie didn’t suddenly get kids interested in superheroes like they are now. And if the time skip moves Funky’s graduation further into the past, this becomes is an even bigger problem.
Nerds. Nerds would. Source: was teenage nerd in the mid-late 1980s.
Fair enough. I was more of a computer nerd in those days. And Funky is by himself, so I guess there wouldn’t be any stigma to indulging one’s childish hobbies.
Of course, pizza and comic books: the mandatory diet, it seems, of all Westview males for the last 60 years or so.
I agree with the consensus that today’s strip is actually pretty good. It’s nice to see Funky genuinely enjoying himself–in fact, I can’t recall the last Act III strip where that occurred.
My only kvetch would be the word zeppelin in panel three; as usual, Batiuk’s way with words involves a lot of side streets.
I’ll join the consensus that this strip is fine, but I’ll second beckoningchasm’s observation about the word ballon in panel three and offer the suggestion that reversing panel two and three and having Holly’s statement in panel one being the only dialogue would make for a memorable strip.
Your version is better. I don’t mind the word balloon in this case, but it really should have been a thought balloon if it’s going to exist at all.
My long held theory is that the drawings–including the word balloons–are done months before any dialogue is, uh, “crafted” to fill them. It would explain the over-wordiness or huge blank spaces in the balloons.
I’m altering my theory. I think the word balloons are drawn first, with the, uh, “action” squeezed in around them.
A evocation of simple pleasures – and I will join in with the rest in not snarking on it – other than worrying about getting pizza grease on the bed.
Not the bed–the Komix Book! Funky committed the Unpardonable Sin of getting pizza grease on the Sacred Pages of a Classic Batom Komik, and forever after Battocks has punished him: making him fat, old, and alcoholic, having him fail in a business venture that might have gotten him out of Worstview, and most of all exiling him from the never-ending post-graduation high school that everyone else in the strip inhabits.
Has Todd ever had this procedure? You wear a patch and take it easy until the caregiver takes it off. Once it’s off, then it’s back to breaking in the lens with Farina 000 flour flying in your eye.
I agree with the general sentiment: it’s nice to see Funky enjoying himself for once. Or more accurately, enjoying himself without inflicting terrible wordplay jokes on near-strangers who
(judging by their facial expressions) would rather be anywhere else.
I mean, I could try to make some snarky intellectual point about “of course there’s a flashback to his teenage years, because in FW all pleasure is rooted in nostalgia and nobody developed new tastes or interests after leaving high school,” but my heart wouldn’t really be in it. Let the guy have his music!
I’m happy for Funky, too! And for once a character is talking about music because they are enjoying it.
French major (a long time ago) enjoying the Proust reference!