Has Harry Ever Been Experienced? Well, Has He?

Link To The Thing

Now that you mention it I can’t recall ever seeing Dinkle actually playing a musical instrument. Surely he has and I’m just blotting it out for obvious reasons, but isn’t he really more of a conductor of sorts? Or am I just remembering his entire ten thousand year character arc all wrong?

Look how angry he is in panel two, as if these old biddies would know who the hell Harry Dinkle is. Where the hell did he learn how to play a big church organ anyhow? In the Army or something? It’s all so stupid and implausible. He couldn’t even create a backstory here, where we learn that Dinkle’s dad Hinkel used to play the organ at his old church and young Harry used to tag along or whatever. He’s just the “music guy” and BatHam’s go-to whenever “music” is somehow involved, like Les and smugness or Boy Lisa and blandness.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

29 responses to “Has Harry Ever Been Experienced? Well, Has He?

    • billytheskink

      This is a remarkable improvement, about as remarkable an improvement as is possible with a Tom Batiuk comic strip. But with this strip, even Dinkle lapsing into his Act I megalomania and telling Lillian (I think?) off would be an improvement.

      I can’t believe I’m saying that, but such are the depths to which this strip has sunk.

      • Epicus Doomus

        It’d be fun, so obviously there’s no chance of that happening. Maybe in a low-key, wordplay based, off-screen way, but even that might be overly optimistic.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      THIS is the quality content I stay on this blog for.

  1. The question is…well, there are a lot of questions. Here’s the main one.

    We saw Dinkle on the phone on Sunday, so presumably he told them why he should have an audition–ie, “Here is my experience.” But no, no one at the church has any idea why he is even there.

    So I guess he called the church, said he wanted the job, and they said “Sure, come by whenever.”


    • Epicus Doomus

      A-ha! It happened on Sunday, and sometimes Sunday strips are canon and sometimes they are not. It’s more or less random, like the time jump. I don’t think he even “writes” them at the same time and I highly doubt he refers back to the daily strips when he’s filling in the Sunday word balloons.

    • RudimentaryLathe?

      Yeah, that’s been bugging me too. He specified he’d arranged an audition. They should NOT be surprised to see him.
      Also, as others have pointed out, the minister and/or elders should be involved in a hiring decision. I’m guessing Batiuk won’t bring in the minister/priest/reverend/what have you because he doesn’t want to risk “endorsing” any specific denomination, but why bring up a church arc at all? We already know the only true religion is the cult of Noble Les and His Dead Wife Saint Lisa.

      • It seems to me like it makes sense as small talk, if Dinkle’s interview is with the minister or elder or someone, and the choir is just people who happen to be there and are talking with Dinkle because he’s got a couple minutes free.

        I grant this wasn’t made explicit, but it can be hard to guess what the comic strip figures needs to be explicit.

        • If I’m arriving at a place for a job interview or audition, I go to the lobby and wait for someone to come get me. I can’t imagine just wandering though the building.

          Yet that’s exactly what Dinkle did. He parked, told the cleaning lady he thought he knew where he was supposed to go and started chatting with a group of random people. It’s been pointed out that none of the folks he’s talking to would have a say in whether he’s hired or not.

          I can easily imagine a minister or pastor waiting in his office, glancing at his watch. “When is that fool supposed to show up?”

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            It’s the same as Westview High School. Dinkle just goes wherever he wants to. Modern security standards don’t exist in this world. It’s perpetually 1987 in the Funkyverse.

  2. J.J. O'Malley

    Does anyone else think Lizard Lil’s panel-one balloon needs a rewrite, one where she’s telling Dinkleberg that the St. Spires choir loft has been Y chromosome-free for a decade, and she’s wondering if he has one of those male “organs” they’ve heard so much about? The rest of the dialogue would be fine as is. Would that I were well-versed in Photoshop.

    I do like the look of righteous indignation on Harry’s face in panel two. How dare these women in a different town from the one he lives in not know that burg’s retired high school band instructor when he shows up in the saggy, wrinkled flesh?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Oh, I’m already re-doing this entire arc as a porno. It’s practically begging for it. Here’s the first installment:

  3. Mr. A

    Ah, there’s the Dinkle we all know and love: a snarling tyrant.

    I’m only half-joking.

    Dinkle was born as a caricature of a domineering band director, and he works best as a caricature. There is nothing particularly interesting about his character, beyond the traits that are holdovers from his caricature days. And yet we are asked to care about his hopes and dreams, as if he were a well-rounded protagonist.

  4. Hitorque

    This is only funny if someone like John Legend or Paul Mccartney walked in… And Harry ain’t either of those guys.

  5. Banana Jr. 6000

    I want a job interview like this. I want to apply for a software developer job that says “must have strong understanding of C#, SQL, XML, JSON, REST and software development life cycle”, and then have them ask me if I like computers.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I asked if they have seen my Python work. Would you like to?

      I didn’t get the job.

  6. Jesus Christ Superfood

    You’re probably all wondering where the real tension is in this arc.

    Boy, do I have a surprise for you! On Saturday, major league competition will challenge Dinkle for the job, and her name is Hosanna Rosanna Donna, and no one, I mean NO ONE, bangs out “Angus Dei” like she can.

  7. sgtsaunders

    That’s a legitimate question – I’ve never seen Dinkleberry play a damn thing.

  8. Rusty Shackleford

    Actually many Schools of Music and Conservatories have pipe organs or have access to them via church affiliation so it’s not unlikely that he learned how to play.

    It’s just a dumb story—especially after hearing about all the research and photoshop work that was done.

  9. robertodobbs

    He certainly knows how to play a piano, since most musical types start with that. But he has been overseeing band his whole life, which is brass, woodwinds, and percussion. No strings or keyboards, unless you count the glockenspiel as a keyboard. High school music teachers usually have a rudimentary knowledge of every instrument in their orchestra/band, but that would not include a pipe organ. A piano player can’t just suddenly play a pipe organ, that takes serious training and practice. Not buying it!

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      This ambiguity about Harry’s organ-playing skill would be fine if this was a different kind of story. If the story was going to be Dinkle arrogantly talking himself into an audition for an instrument he has no idea how to play, and then failing hilariously at it, you wouldn’t draw attention to his incompetence beforehand. It would give away the joke. I Love Lucy ran on this kind of setup. We all know the famous conveyor belt scene.

      But we all know that Harry Dinkle is going to get the job, because he’s the pet character of a very thin-skinned creator. So for this interview process to work as a story, we need to know that Dinkle really can play the organ. We’ve never seen him do it, it’s not a natural assumption from his background, and it hasn’t been addressed in dialogue. It becomes a plot hole.

      The failure point is probably #2. Batiuk sucks up to band directors, and looks down his nose at any art form that isn’t comic book covers. So he assumes that anyone brilliant enough to teach high school band in Ohio has automatically mastered a large, complex instrument. This is the same logic Calvin used to determine that bats are bugs. An organ plays music, right? And it’s complicated, right? Come on, this is taking all day!

  10. Maxine of Arc

    Being able to play the piano =/= being able to play a damn pedal organ.

    • Gerard Plourde

      Right. About the only similarity they have is that both possess a manual keyboard. For the organ mastery of the manuals is merely step one.

  11. Westview Radiology

    Most hateful character …. ?