Seeing Red. Maybe. I Think.

Link To Today’s Strip

Poor Funky’s fallen down the subjectivity vs objectivity hole. His dual vision has left him with the niggling suspicion, and growing fear, that everything he had hitherto seen and labeled was merely him giving voice to his own perception. And in telling that label to another person, he could never truly know if the red he told them about was the red he saw. And when you think about it, what is red anyway?

And Crazy’s just like, “The healthy human eye sees red when it looks at light with a wavelength between approximately 625 and 740 nanometers. Any object that reflects light at this wavelength is red. Now shut up, Nightwing’s talking!”

Pretty sure it’s Nightwing on the TV in Panel One. The hero persona of the grown up Robin, Dick Grayson, for the uninitiated. Which means we’re getting to the end of our Batman TAS binge. Gonna guess we’re supposed to think these two just watched some of their favorite episodes, since they’re both in the same clothes as Tuesday, but it’s pretty fun to think that these guys have been parked in front of the TV for 45 straight hours binging feverishly on their drug of choice.

I mean, if you’re watching your favorite Batman episodes, and it doesn’t include a Nightwing one, I don’t know what to say. You’re missing out. Dick Grayson is such a great character, when written by a competent author. A boy with a backstory similar to Bruce Wayne, who becomes a hero without becoming vengeance or the night. Instead, usually being presented as warmer, more open, healthier, than his foster dad.

Before we’d like to close out our Batventures through the Batverse, please allow me a completely self-serving story.

In 2016 I was able to go to a small Wizard World Comic Con being held in my state. I went with one of my nerdtacular besties, who is one of the biggest Nightwing stans in the universe. Stars of the convention were Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman, and Loren Lester, the voice of Robin/Nightwing. So of course, we went to their joint panel. It was great, except for the omnipresent voice actor panel questions of ‘BuuT hOaw Do U Git inTO VA WRK PLZ?’ (Seriously, if you are ever at a convention. Just don’t. It’s been asked a million million times, and everyone knows the answer.)

But as the panel progressed I couldn’t help but feel that Conroy was monopolizing things a bit. Understandably so, maybe. Questions that were nominally posed to both men, were obviously directed to The Batvoice. But Lester is an accomplished actor in his own right, and I couldn’t help but feel like the charismatic Conroy was getting a little puffed up on all the Batpraise. The man is talented, friendly, and gracious but DANG, you could see his ego from space with the naked eye.

So, I got in line for the mic. And as luck would have it, I was the last question of the panel.

And because it is modern day, some stranger I didn’t know was filming, and posted the video to YouTube, where I could find it this evening, and post it back to some niche comic strip blog.

Time stamp is 44:22 to hear an invisible Harriet offend Kevin Conroy.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

23 responses to “Seeing Red. Maybe. I Think.

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Panel four: Cliff Anger walks in. “Now THERE’S red…comrade!”. You know, because of his commie leanings and all.

    But anyhow, yeah, everything is back to normal and now this is an arc about seeing, which seems to indicate that new material is in woefully short supply over in that studio of his. Sigh.

  2. It’s kind of a shame but entirely predictable: Batiuk cannot have Funky just enjoying himself, so we’re back to the “my entire life is a miserable lie” status.

    I do like panel two, with the white eyes. It reminds me of the old Warner Bros cartoons, which were entertaining. (Batman TAS was also made by Warner.)

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I like how Batiuk’s two main characters are black outlines with stick-on google eyes from Michael’s, while Robin is depicted in vibrant, pointillist detail. And in an arc questions perception versus reality. It’s almost a meta-statement on this comic strip’s priorities.

      • I’m pretty sure this is the first time we’ve seen “enhanced” silhouettes. Usually, like the strips in the side panel, they’re just black shapes. I wonder why he felt he needed to do that?

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          I think you were on the right track with “it reminds me of…” Maybe it’s a stylistic homage? The characters in the Batman animated show often appear as black silhouettes with white eyes, so maybe the strip was trying to draw Funky and Harry in that style.

          If that was the intent, then it fails for the usual reason: it’s too understated. Funky and Harry in B:TAS style should be more buff, have the wide, triangular, eyeball-less eyes that Batman has; a garish, sharp-angled, Gotham-looking background and so on. The dialog works: I can imagine Batman asking this question in a context where he’s puzzling through something. But make it clear that you’re drawing them in a stylized way.

          And honestly: it would be pretty fun to see. Even lame old Garfield occasionally draws its characters in fun out-of-context ways, for dream sequences and whatnot. This strip talks endlessly about comic books, but fails to invoke anything that’s fun about them.

  3. billytheskink

    If Dick Grayson is Nightwing, then we are into the KidsWB! New Batman Adventures era, which typically matched the quality of the earlier Fox episodes… though there was more than one complaint that the new artwork made The Joker look like the long lost fourth Warner sibling on Animaniacs.

    And to answer Funky’s question, Johnny Bench is the correct Red, though we would also accept Joe Morgan, Barry Larkin, or Dave Concepcion. The incorrect Red is one-time Westview High School substitute gym class teacher Pete Rose…

    • erdmann

      Joker [voiced by Mark Hamill, of course]: Hello, Batsy. I just got back from Lake Titicaca. Happy to see me, or is that bologna in your slacks?
      Harley: Hellooo nurse!

      Oh, the crossover possibilities!

    • Epicus Doomus

      But not Rob Dibble. Rob Dibble is never the correct answer.

  4. William Thompson

    Big deal, Funky. My eyes have had slight but noticeable differences in color values for decades. What next? “Have you noticed how when you look straight at something at night, it’s harder to see than if you look off to its side?” (It’s called averted vision.)

  5. louder

    This is the thing that bugs the heck out of me about Batty. He starts the week off nicely, with a good, humorous and sweet comic. Instead of working off that, we get crazy himself, and everything goes completely wonky, leading to some kind of place that makes zero sense. From Funky in bed, just enjoying life, to this… whatever it’s called — just lazy and shows no creativity. It’s all SOS: same old s***

    • Epicus Doomus

      In BatHack’s defense, there were two consecutive not-that-bad, kind of upbeat strips this week, which had to have left him totally spent. You won’t see that again in this decade, that I can guarantee. Every so often there’s one here or there but two in a row is just unheard of.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      For the third day in a row, a decent idea for a joke is wrecked by atrocious writing and failed editing.

      The problem here is the word “say.” Funky says “except, say, a dog” as if the dog is an arbitrary choice. It needs to clearly be a dog or not be a dog, because dogs’ vision has a unique quality relevant to the joke: they can’t see the color red. Dogs’ eyes lack red-green cones, which makes them unable to distinguish between those two colors:×430.jpg?auto=format

      If you remove that one word, and Funky says “if there is red and only a dog is there to see it, does it exist” then the joke works. It’s a spin on the old chestnut “if no one is there to hear a tree fall in the forest, does it make a sound?” But Funky’s waffling about what kind of animal is leaves the joke in an unclear limbo.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        But knowing that Les is lurking backstage, I have to say that I am ok with this strip. I’ll take a Funky waxes philosophical over Les’ preaching any day.

        Lisa would like that too.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Oh, I agree. The concept is fine. This really should have been a great week; it had two good strips and three good ideas. But the good ideas were done in by Batiuk’s needlessly verbose writing style, focusing on unimportant details, and general ignorance of the mechanics of joke telling.

  6. Red St. Rouge

    Well, now, we stopped the Reds from coming anywhere near the USA startin’ back in ‘46 or so, and that is all there is to say about… the Pontiac I had in ‘68 came with power seats which cost me half a month’s… Anyway…

  7. Bad wolf

    Haha, thanks for posting that little clip from the Panopticon, CBH. The voice actors and artists behind B:TAS always sound warmer and more professional than a lot of live action actors but maybe thats just a personal bias.

    I think Gail Simone started out writing small comedic commentary essays on comics and frequenting comic cons, you know. If you’re not careful those skills might take you somewhere!

  8. sgtsaunders

    Funky, to quote Mr. Hand, “Are you people on DOPE?”

  9. Mr. A

    This strip reminds me of a month or two back, when I spent half a day on Wikipedia going around and around in circles with articles about “Mary’s room” and “the Chinese room” and the “hard problem of consciousness.” All I got from it was a vague sense of depression and anxiety over whether “I/me” is a meaningful concept or merely a sum of parts. I hope FW doesn’t head down the same rabbit-hole; the strip already has enough ways to be gloomy.

  10. Charles

    The strips where Batiuk crawls up his own ass are some of the worst.

    Also, he’s using the phrase “beg the question” wrong.

    • Charles

      But it does beg the question: if Batiuk crawls up his own ass in every single one of his strips, wouldn’t that mean by definition that his worst strips are those where he crawls up his own ass?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      When was the last time Batiuk crawled out of his own ass?