This is the farmer sowing his corn

Link to today’s strip.

Good grief, look at that word zeppelin in panel one.

This the dolt who made the call
To schedule the audition
To fill the position
To be the organist
Down at the church that Tom built.

Presumably Harriet was right there the whole time and knows what was going on; of course, given the writing in this strip I’m surprised she didn’t repeat his words verbatim in her panel five frog-face. After all, she outlined all his other accomplishments and (of course) concluded that he was the best thing evar. In probably the fastest 180 I’ve ever seen.

The reason being, this entire episode is Tom Batiuk publicly patting himself on the back. “Look at this terrific character I created! Is this award-winning or what?”

As mentioned yesterday, unless this church has a single Sunday service, Dinkle will be spending a lot of time there. Most churches I’m familiar with have several Sunday services, a couple on Saturday and at least one every weekday. Let’s not even bring up holidays. That’s going to cut into a lot of Dinkle’s other activities. (Come to think, how does Lillian manage to run her bookstore? Answer: it’s magic. Dark magic.)

All of which promises what could be could be an interesting twist: what if Dinkle failed the audition? I think it would be the first time in the strip when he didn’t get everything he wanted. It might humble him and make for a rounder character.

And of course it will never happen. The strip is now total wish-fulfillment and trivial observations. Where every “hero” character is Superman.

And with that, I am out of here. Please welcome the always erudite and entertaining Epicus Doomus who will be your host for the next couple of weeks. Exit, stage left!


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

29 responses to “This is the farmer sowing his corn

  1. Epicus Doomus

    As usual I know what he was going for here but, as usual, it fails like the old Tacoma Narrows Bridge. It’s like he feels he needs to get his readers up to speed on who Harry Dinkle is, which is of course ludicrous unless you just started reading FW recently, a situation that has never come up as far as I know.

    What’s missing here is a silent split panel before the last one where Harriet imagines life with Dinkle at home all day (lots of Sousa music and bloviating) and without him (doing some knitting while watching her afternoon stories). Then the final panel would make sense. But that would have meant going out of his way to be funny and WE CANNOT HAVE THAT. Sigh.

  2. William Thompson

    Is that woman wearing brown lipstick? It is lipstick, isn’t it?

  3. Banana Jr. 6000

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH. Sheesh, Harriet, I wasn’t expecting a jump scare.

  4. William Thompson

    Batiuk can’t use the obvious explanation for an old man to keep busy: it helps you avoid senile decay I guess Dinkle can’t be presented as having the sort of fear that comes naturally to us mere mortals.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Remember, according to Harry Dinkle himself, band directors are not allowed to retire:

      So he’s practicing what he preaches, I’ll give him that.

  5. BigDickJohnson

    I barely look at the comic now, I basically go strait to the comments

  6. The Dreamer

    This is ridiculous. This church is replacing their organist because she’s gotten old and doesn’t want to die on the job. So they are going to replace her with Dinkle, who is likely older than she is! Dinkle was Westviews middle aged band director back in the early 1970s! He has to be late 80s or early 90s and probably as old as Crankshaft! It makes no sense that the church would hire him or that he could handle the stress of the job. Being a full time church organist isnt some easy side job you do a couple of hours a week!

  7. J.J. O'Malley

    “This is the farmer sewing his corn”? With all due respect, beckoning, may I humbly suggest as an alternate headline: “This is the cartoonist spilling his seed upon the ground”? Not since “Portnoy’s Complaint”–or maybe “American Pie”–have I witnessed such an orgy of calculated self-love with an “artistic” avatar. Where in the midst of all the slathering of Dinkle praise is anything close to a punchline or humorous conclusion? Smirk-filled pun sessions recounting the latest volume of Claude Barlow’s biography would be better than today’s strip and the threat–er, promise–of the week to come.

  8. ComicBookHarriet

    Thanks for getting us through a grueling couple weeks BC. Hope you recovering from slogging through such heavy smug pollution for so many days.

  9. Mr. A

    Notice how we cut away from the action just as Harriet’s attitude shifts? My theory: she’s a robot, and Batiuk didn’t want to show how Dinkle opened her maintenance panel and cranked the admiration dial to max.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Yes, it’s totally bizarre. It reads like he just for the life of him couldn’t think of anything else to fill that word balloon.

      And it’s a really odd juxtaposition too. In panel four she’s nearly hysterical with concern, but by panel six she’s thrilled to just be with him. It’s quite a mood swing, which is to be expected as after all, this is FW and she is a woman.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        I’m not even sure who says “but then, why not” in the next-to-last panel. Is that Harry’s answer to the question, or is Harriet just taking in circles?

        • Epicus Doomus

          It’s like that “Sopranos” scene where Phil Leotardo becomes a talking house (0:43)

  10. Gerard Plourde

    TomBa really has veered completely into fantasy hasn’t he? As was pointed out further up, Dinkle is either an octo- or nonagenarian and TomBa has him pulling an 80 hour work week.

    • Charles

      He never really does consider the implications of what he has his characters doing. He wants X and he doesn’t care how unrealistic it is or how divergent it is from what he’s written before.

      I’m reminded of how many titles he’s been piling on Mopey with Atomik Comix when for years he portrayed Mopey as a guy who couldn’t handle writing even one title without falling into these weird anxious psychosis dreams featuring a physical manifestation of his inadequacies.

  11. Hitorque

    If he’s so great, why isn’t he conducting the Cincinnati Pops or something? Why all these penny ante minor league jobs?

  12. sgtsaunders

    I’m gone puke.

  13. Rusty Shackleford

    I see Batty is using his worn out “there is no real winter anymore due to climate change” over on Crankshaft.

    Great timing running the on the first full day of spring when everyone is looking forward to the weather warming up.

  14. It’s amazing what a person can accomplish when they’re a fictional character and their creator makes no allowance for their age or how many actual hours each of the activities demands.

    I guess in TB’s world, Dinkle just shows up at 9:30-ish on the Sunday morning, jots down the hymn numbers from the wall sign, pulls out the sheet music, and plays flawlessly, then heads home during the second syllable of the final AMEN.

  15. Perfect Tommy

    Sometimes, I’m not sure which is worse, Batty’s work or his blog.
    Life’s rich pageantry blah blah blah. Dude gives himself a reach around because he took some pictures of a church.

  16. Banana Jr. 6000

    Late Act III Dinkle is just Tom Batiuk trying to define what it means to be a band director. Apparently it includes working yourself to death.

    Look what Dinkle’s been doing lately: Taking every music-related job he can find. Hanging around Becky, who seems to be hell-bent on acquiring all of his worst traits. Telling that nameless friend of his not to retire because of a stupid pun. Having other idiotic opinions like:

    This is another example of the “there’s only correct way to do things, and I’m going to tell you what it is” theme that’s so prevalent in Funky Winkerbean Only certain comic books are right, only Les gets to define Lisa’s Story, and only Harry Dinkle can be the model of a high school band director.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Dinkle treats music like a Klingon treats battle. The only noble venture, all things revolving around it, and he wants to die slumped over a music stand twitching fingers gripping the baton with his last death throes.

  17. A couple of days ago, Batiuk posted a strip around when Les married Lisa. I honestly cannot see the difference between Funky and Lisa. They look like identical twins.

    • Gerard Plourde

      You’re right! But what I find even weirder (and even did at the time) was the idea that they’d dress up as Batman and Robin. (I could never figure out if TomBa was clueless or trolling Fredric Wertham.)

    • Charles

      Lisa’s hair had a prominent swoop to it, whereas Funky just had the “hacked at it” short haircut. They both had bodies without secondary sexual characteristics, though. They were both built like oversized 11 year-old boys.