I Get Carried Away

Link to today’s strip.

As I mentioned yesterday, we really have no timeframe for the events in Crankshaft and Funky Winkerbean. I, therefore, find it funny to think that Lillian’s been on the job for only a day or two and has immediately been proven unsuitable.

I think that’s the first time I’ve found the strip “funny.” So, good job.

I don’t know why Batiuk insists on doing these terrible crossovers. Scratch that–I do know why. It’s to get people interested in reading the other strip. The thing is, if you’re telling people you’ve got something else that they may like, that something else better not be Crankshaft.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

30 responses to “I Get Carried Away

  1. Epicus Doomus

    I don’t read “Crankshaft” but I obviously assume that old people dropping dead in hilarious ways is probably a long-running gag over there and I can certainly see why, given how side-splittingly funny that visual is. I likewise assume that Lillian will die in the traditional “Crankshaft” way…either alone in a nursing home or alone at the foot of the stairs after a nasty spill. And it’ll be a Sunday strip too, no doubt.

    Coming next week in “Crankshaft”: Ed is selected to drive the refrigerated truck full of COVID victim corpses. It stalls on the train tracks with hilarious consequences for all.

    • Can you imagine how incredibly entertaining this strip would be if you wrote it? Because I can, and it’s glorious.

      • Epicus Doomus

        I’d gladly give him thousands of ideas, absolutely free of charge (or at least until I secured licensing rights). And “Crankshaft” crossovers? You betcha. By the time I was finished the entire cast of “Crankshaft” would be deader than Lisa.

    • J.J. O'Malley

      I like to imagine a scenario where Lillian trips down the stairs after stepping on an old pile of love letters intended for her sister that she had hidden away for decades and was about to burn.

      One thing about Battyuk; I have to admit that he touching on a current trend in comics. For the last several years DC and Marvel have had an unending array of “universe-changing” Infinite Secret Crisis Wars events and rarely give their customers a break from one “opus” to the next. This being the Funkyverse, however, this storyline has all the impact of one of those mid-’70s Saturday morning “Goober and the Ghost Chasers” episodes that guest starred the “Partridge Family” kids.

      • billytheskink

        Since you bring up the stolen love letters that Eugene intended to send to Lucy…

        Lillian goes to church, so she presumably believes she’ll have to answer for what she did to her sister. Whether she dies at the church organ or in her unlicensed garage attic book store doesn’t matter in that regard. Frankly, people would probably be more apt to say nice things about her if she died at the church organ…

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Lillian is an awful bitch, but that whole Eugene story is just stupid. He walked away from a woman he loved, over not getting a response to a letter. During World War II, when mail delivery might be a tad unreliable. What a perfectly Batiukian idea of a doomed romance: two lovers who couldn’t be together because they ran into a minor obstacle and made no effort to overcome it. You’d think the story would at least explore Lillian’s over destroying her now-dead sister’s happiness, but she’s like “eh, sucks to be her.” Or give her some karmic payback, but she becomes a famous author instead.

    • Charles

      To be fair, Crankshaft isn’t about making fun of old people in “hilarious ways” of questionable taste, it’s more about making fun of old women in “hilarious ways” of questionable taste. Every old woman in Crankshaft eventually gets her turn to be abused for our amusement.

      Christ, that just reminded me of the time Crankshaft told his then-elderly girlfriend that she didn’t need to carry mace because no dude would rape her because raping an old woman would be too disgusting.

  2. William Thompson

    Too late, Lillian. Batiuk already got carried away with this arc.

  3. Mr. A

    For anyone who cares to compare the flashback panel with the original Crankshaft strip from March 2nd:


    • none

      So does the author want a beady eyed nitpick? Here goes.

      In the Crankshaft panel more so than this one, the depiction of the note is not a whole note; CS it’s an eighth note, here it could be a quarter. Either way, it should be a whole note with a fermata over it, to signify that the freshly dead corpse is permanently slouched over the keys. If it is not a whole note, then perhaps we should see the freshly dead corpse bouncing off the keys and captured midflight before landing head first onto the marble and smearing cranial blood over the sanctified floor.

      Maybe when Dirty Harry shows up, he can say something like “So Mr. Whole Note took a dirt nap, eh?” with a snide smirk out of his massive lantern jaw. Everyone else will smirk along with him while pushing the memory of actually witnessing a person dying out of their collective memories. Fun times!

      Oh wait, hold on, sorry, I have blundered here. This is the strip where we’re supposed to notice the use of the word “ladies” in panel one and we’re all supposed to collectively lose our minds over the fact that this implies that the chorus is all-female. That’s right. Ahem:

      “Holy shit, people, what in the world does TB mean by having whats-her-name say ‘ladies’ there?! As if we all don’t know that the chorus wasn’t 100% female whenever the hell this event was supposed to take place! Wow, I hope someone got fired for that blunder!”

    • Hitorque

      IS THAT SHIT SUPPOSED TO BE FUNNY? Jesus Fuckin’ Christ I’m beyond words…

      • hitorque

        EDIT: Now that I think about it, Batiuk does have an established record for humiliating or undignified deaths for any character not named Lisa Moore…

        Just in recent years we’ve had:

        1. Jerome Bushka who not only had a humiliating death, but a funeral which all of six people showed up and Les naturally made the burial eulogy 99% about himself, AND his formerly bitter high school rival came THIS close to boning his widow before his body was even cold…

        2. Butter Brickle — ‘Nuff said…

        3. That bitter as hell retired comics artist (Phil Holt?) who earned peanuts working his ass off in the 50s and 60s and even at 85 years old had to work as a funny caricature artist for carnivals and kids’ birthdays just to afford his groceries and prescriptions every week, and then because he was a complete idiot with no friends or living relatives he decided to will all his vintage comics artwork and memorabilia (that he clearly never had appraised) to Darrin (who he met fucking ONCE at a kid’s birthday party and had ONE conversation with) and because it’s the Funkyverse Darrin instantly discovers the crap is worth six figures which he instantly donates to the Lisa Legacy Fund instead of, you know, starting a college fund for his brat since he knows it’s the Funkyverse so he’ll always fail upwards into better and higher-paying jobs…

        4. In light of this, now I really want to know why Batiuk created a wildfire that instantly consumed 35% of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area only to NOT kill anybody…

        • Hitorque

          Oh and don’t forget Batiuk turned Phil Holt into a force ghost *just* to bring him back so he could lament to force ghost Lisa as he watched the memorabilia he thought was worthless go for six figures…

    • Gerard Plourde

      On a visual level, how is it that TomBa’s “eagle eye”, which “caught” the discrepancy of a man in the choir of an unreleased draft, missed the organ pipes adjacent to the keyboard in today’s strip that didn’t exist in the Crankshaft rendition of the same scene two weeks ago on March 2? Is he now turning the strip into “Spot the Difference”?

  4. Banana Jr. 6000

    Well, of course it’s funny. How else are you supposed to react to something this horrible? Poor old lady falls over dead in church, and her corpse plays a discordant note on the organ. This is something out of Family Guy, not a world that runs on serious medical drama, and where honoring the memory of Dead Saint Lisa is carried to absurd lengths.

    Here, let’s give Lisa’s death all the dignity this woman got:

    No Masky McDeath, no long romantic goodbyes against white backgrounds, no lucrative book deals, no decades-long Viking funeral. Lisa gets “a quarter inch from reality” instead. Because the human body empties its bowels when it dies! Y’get it? Sure, I’m reducing someone’s entire existence to a cheap joke, but, eh, that’s life, whatcha gonna do?

    I know “red shirts” are a trope. But even the original Star Trek treated their deaths with importance. It wasn’t played for laughs or shock value, like this is. That second panel could have been Elenor’s sheet-covered corpse being loaded into the ambulance. Or the standard “photo corners” flashback shot of when she was still alive. But we all see the storytelling choice Tom Batiuk made here.

    • Charles

      Les: “Did she say something?”
      Extraordinarily Crass and Hilarious Nurse: “Aw, damn, she just shit herself! Does that mean she’s dead? I’M not cleaning this up!” [Looks at Les] “Hey asshole, now’s your chance to show how much you loved her.”

  5. Rusty Shackleford

    Wouldn’t this work better the other way around where Dinkle appears in Crankshaft?

    This would also give Batty an excuse to make Dinkle a permanent fixture in that strip.

    • billytheskink

      It would work much better, yes. Especially since Dinkle ostensibly “retired” back in late Act II, so it is not like 10 years or whatever prior to Funky Winkerbean‘s “now” he would be too busy to play the church’s organ.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Right, Dinkle would fit right in with the Crankshaft crowd.

        But no, instead we get a long winded explanation from Batty as if he created something deep and meaningful here. He’s answering questions nobody asked.

  6. Professor Fate

    And we care why?
    Really we barely give a damn about the regulars in FW we’re supposed to feel something for this person? And if, as what the blog hints happens, Dinkle becomes the new organist one will have to fight against the urge to gouge one’s eyes out with a spoon.
    How is this even a story? What next? Les goes shoe shopping?

  7. sgtsaunders

    Can anyone find a scintilla of humor in a church organist collapsing dead on the keyboard during a church service? Other than Battic, of course not.

    • Gerard Plourde

      Certainly not in the context TomBa has set up. I’d hope that in his mind he had conjured some witty, absurd Pythonesque scenario but was so involved with running the imaginary bases at the thought that he never put it on paper.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Nah, he just took a few seconds to photoshop out a man and replace him with a woman. Deep stuff.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      The problem is the tone. Funky Winkerbean gives us all this death and injury and illness that we’re supposed to take seriously… and all of a sudden here’s a woman falling over dead and bonking her head on the organ keys! With no explanation as to why it’s presented so crassly. There’s no shift into comedic tone, no storytelling reasons for this person to die this way, or anything else to justify it. It’s all treated like a joke. So it’s very jarring.

      • Gerard Plourde

        You’ve identified the core problem and it also reflects his inability to differentiate between his two strips. Despite the occasional foray into seriousness, I don’t think that readers expect the level of angst that is the hall mark of FW. No one can take seriously the antics of a charater whose hallmark includes running over Kiester’s mailbox, forcing mothers carrying lunches to chase after a moving school bus, and BBQ pyrotechnics.Trying to shoehorn that into FW is where the cognitive dissonance kicks in.

        He seems incapable of seeing the inherent difference that separates the two strips, but that may also be due to the fact that his characters have no real substance, being cardboard cutout vehicles for whatever pops into his head.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          That’s a great observation. The scene wasn’t as bothersome to me when it originally appeared in Crankshaft, and I couldn’t put my finger on why. But you’re right: Crankshaft has a wackier tone. And Lillian was talking trash about Elenor while they were putting the toe tag on her. The strip could be genuinely good if it would really embrace the awfulness of its two main characters. And if it were written by someone who could pass 7th grade Creative Writing.

  8. Banana Jr. 6000

    There’s new Funkyblog entry, where Batiuk shows off all the pictures he took of the real St. Spires church. Most importantly, he says this:

    a retired band director told me that he had a new gig playing organ for a church choir. For whatever reason, I was totally charmed by that idea and decided that it would be a perfect fit for my retired band director Harry L. Dinkle. I’d need a church, of course, so I decided to use the one that I already had in Crankshaft, St. Spires.

    Well, why TF didn’t he say that in the first place??? What he said 12 days ago was:

    I had this story arc coming up in Funky that needed a church, and, rather than make one up out of whole shroud, I just thought I’d borrow the little small town church from Crankshaft, St. Spires.

    I’ve been banging my head trying to figure out what that meant. I thought he was re-using the artwork or something. What he needed to say was “I got an idea for a Funky Winkerbean story that takes place in a church, but there isn’t an established church setting in FW, so I used the St. Spires church that exists in Crankshaft.” Which has its own set of problems, but at least it would have been clear what he was trying to say.

    This is what makes Batiuk a terrible writer. He tries so hard to show off his cleverness that he forgets to convey any meaning. Which is the entire point of writing. It’s not that hard: be clear, be plain, delete what isn’t necessary, and use precise words when appropriate. Batiuk writes like he’s doing some kind of performance art.

    • Gerard Plourde

      Do you think he’ll ever get around to telling us that it’s St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in Valley City, OH?

    • Mr. A

      After reading that, I’m curious to see if there’s anything more to this story arc than “wouldn’t it be neat if Dinkle played organ for a church choir? Well, now he does!” I give it 50/50 odds.

  9. There is absolutely zero reason why this week’s arc is in FW, and not a continuation of the arc in Crankshaft (which this week started with a weak joke about Cranky being literally “glued to the TV set”, and completely fucks up the joke by continuing with a week long flashback to show how he got in the situation). Seriously, I’d take a “Durwood gets Lasik Surgery” arc over this.