Hey, I know who that is in today’s strip! No, not the choir lady. Bunhead. She went to community college and/or Kent State with Wally and Adeela! She even changed her sweatshirt mid-class once. No, twice! She also was in one of Rachel’s community college art teaching certification classes, apparently. And now she’s answering the door in a neighborhood deemed moneyed enough to waste money on
band choir candy! Moving up in the world. Maybe one day she’ll graduate from college, or at least wear something other than a sweatshirt. It is good to have goals.
I have nothing else to say about this strip other than “at least Dinkle isn’t in it”.
At least Dinkle isn’t in it.
41 responses to “Looking for Mr. Goodbar?”
There’s not even a joke here, unless you’ve been reading FW for many, many decades and “get” the reference. I’m sure the other guy feels the same way.
Oh, there’s a joke, all right. And it’s on us. Just like it is every week. What, we thought those angry faces in the chorus all week meant something? We thought this story was going to do anything at all before cutting immediately to the whole doing exactly what Dinkle wants? He’s getting as bad as Les.
I know, right? You’d think the church ladies would put up a bit more resistance to the insane egomaniac taskmaster who made them practice until 2 a.m. and then tore open his shirt to show off his weird medal. But no, this woman looks pleased as punch to be going door-to-door with her basket full of candy. *Sigh.*
Here’s a reference for TB to “get”.
I got the reference!
I got the reference!
Bunhead? Number 12 looks just like you.
And I got THAT reference!
To paraphrase the great Hank Hill, this is just asinine.
Banana pointed out back on Monday, choir robes aren’t that expensive. These ol’ gals could just buy them out of pocket, OR a (real world) church big enough to warrant choir robes would already have a budget for them in place. Batty is going to ridiculous lengths for a character archetype (DINKLE DOES KOOKY FUNDRAISING) that nobody even cares about.
One other thing that comes to mind: churches have had to be adept at raising funds for years. Many churches regularly supplement income from their weekly collections with pancake breakfasts, chicken barbecues, 50/50 chances, card parties, church carnivals, lawn fetes, etc.It’s truly amazing the sheer breadth of topics that are common knowledge that TomBa appears to be unaware of.
Let’s see if these ladies actually invite anyone to attend their church while trying to garner funds for robes.
TB’s research on a given topic or setting is literally surface-level, as in it consists entirely of him going out and taking pictures of physical locations that will appear in the strip (a strip he rarely ever draws anymore). It is all he talks about in his blog, taking pictures, looking at settings. He never mentions trying to learn about how things work, talking to people involved in the settings and subjects of his stories, or reading books or articles about how they operate. And his writing in Funky Winkerbean bears that out. He doesn’t know or care how a church choir operates and by all appearances he never even attended a service at the church that “inspired” St. Spires or discussed his story idea with anyone who might help him with its details. In his own blog he admits he already had the story largely written when he visited the actual church (when it was not holding services) to get photos of the choir loft… and he acts like getting the reference photos was the most critical element of research necessary for this story. Also amazing, that this tale of snapping reference photos required TWO separate blog posts to tell.
And all this effort for what? Pictures of the inside of a church. Or in the Hollywood arc, a bunch of dull office buildings. Funky Winkerbean is not exactly a visual spectacle that warrants this kind of attention to detail. Which he gets wrong anyway.
TomBa’s California “research” is particularly interesting and revealing because it appears that while he was driving around taking pictures, he didn’t even notice the time that elapsed or the distances he covered. Otherwise he should have realized what a huge conflagration he described, extending from Malibu to Hollywood.
Furthermore, choir robes are a pretty unnecessary expense for a church waste money on. No one expects them anymore. Sunday clothes are equally acceptable to congregants. Burning money like this is practically sinful.
A church that spends more on itself than it spends on charity and outreach is doomed to a slow selfish death.
Then again, everyone and everything in Funkyverse is doomed to a slow selfish death.
Dinkle’s behavior is even more appalling when you look at it through the lens of Christianity like that. He’s not in church to glorify God or serve others. He’s there to glorify himself and make others serve him.
Exactly. It’s really bad form to go and knock on someone’s door representing a church without at least mentioning the spiritual reason why you go there.
Our choir wears robes, but only for special services where the choir members are involved in processing down the aisle toward the altar. Otherwise, we dress in regular Sunday clothes as we sit in the back of the church anyway.
Kooky fundraising that isn’t kooky at all. There’s nothing entertaining about it. When Spongebob Squarepants does his ridiculous bubble-blowing ritual, it’s fun to watch, and to watch other characters imitate it. This is just swapping child abuse for elder abuse.
Hey, I have a killer humorous comic sequence! First I’m going to tell you about how these biddies are going to sell candy door-to-door, and THEN I’ll have a strip SHOWING them selling candy door-to-door!
Naw. This lady is obviously selling tissues door to door. One, that’s what the boxes look like. Two, no way that old biddy could carry all of that if it was chocolate.
It’s so sad to see that Violet from “Peanuts” has fallen on hard times and must resort to background appearances in “Funky Winkerbean” to make ends meet.
Actually, this entire spectacle is sad on just so many levels.
This “Dinkle Forces His Charges to Sell Door-to-Door” schtick might have been marginally funny when he was a high school band leader. That’s because it was exaggerating a stereotype of band directors as dictatorial martinets lording it over teenagers who had no way to push back.
This is random and completely out of left field. There is no stereotype of dictatorial church music directors forcing elderly ladies to rehearse till 2 AM, sell door-to-door, etc. It’s not exaggerating a stereotype for humor; nor is it pushing the schtick far enough to be surreal. Batiuk’s switched on the auto-pilot and is dozing at the wheel.
The maddening part is all Batiuk had to do was modernize this gag to make it suck a bit less… But that would have taken 30 seconds of effort.
“HI! I’M FROM ST. SPIRES CHURCH AND WE’RE SELLING….”
1. These “studly bro” Baker Mayfield calendars…
2. COVID masks and hand sanitizer…
3. Our “Little Old Choir Ladies” swimsuit issue!
4. A one-year exemption from having to attend church, with the guarantee that it won’t negatively affect your ‘credit rating’ with St. Peter in your afterlife!
5. Private, pastoral, idyllic burial plots on prime church real estate! You don’t want to be buried in some giant cemetery all packed in there with the unwashed masses like sardines, do you?
6. Official ‘CLERGY’ placards for your car dashboard! Park your car everywhere for free, no questions asked!
7. This autographed headshot of local legend Harold L. Dinkle! Who was he, you ask? Well let me tell you his entire life story!
8. These magical vintage comic book reprints! Guaranteed to make an 11-year-old Force Ghost version of you instantly appear when you start reading!
9. Bill and Hillary Clinton’s home phone numbers! Prank call them any hour of the night!
10. The newest book by Harry L. Dinkle titled “How to Hustle in the New Gig Economy After Retirement”
11. A raffle ticket for a free PlayStation 6!
12. This life-sized, 200-lb model of Ironman! We picked it up for pennies on the dollar at some geek loser manchild’s post-divorce fire sale!
13. A subscription to Harry L. Dinkle’s hard-hitting political newsletter! Did you know that “cancel culture” is a plot to eradicate all marching band music? Remember, when band music is banned, it will only force banned musicians banded by big government as traitors and criminals to band together and play their illegal banned band music — In some kind of makeshift band, I’d guess…
Any of those would have been wonderfully entertaining.
Thus, none of them had a shot in hell of actually being used.
#4 is the best. Batiuk could call it The Pardoner’s Fail, and waste a blog entry on how Chaucer had the makings of an adequate comic-book writer.
Using #4 as a springboard would require him to read The Canterbury Tales or at least some abbreviated Cliffs Notes version of it. Not happening.
14. Harry Dinkle’s latest book, “Getting A Career In Music When You’re Deaf”
Tomorrow, Dinkle congratulates himself for having raised the money to buy some splendid choir robes. On Sunday we see the ladies decked out in marching-band robes, with Dinkle wearing a choirmaster’s robe that outdoes Hermann Goering for pomposity.
Hey, look. Instead of a high school kid, it’s an old lady. And instead of band candy, it’s choir candy. My expectations have been subverted, or something.
1. Forcing little old ladies to go door-to-door instead of just going online or selling them from one central location is funny I guess, because reasons…
1a. It’s funny because Dinkle still clings to these horribly outdated, inefficient and labor-intensive methods to sell candy bars that fell out of favor 20+ years ago… But then again, Dinkle’s internal calendar is forever stuck on 1984.
1b. It’s funny because you’d think the Big Dink would do the easy no-brainer thing which is to juice the congregants on Sunday as they’re passing the plate, especially since St. Spires easily looks big enough to hold 500-800 people every Sunday…
1c. It’s funny because there’s NO WAY IN HELL the Big Dink could have procured an order from Van Houten in Bruxelles in the day or two that has passed since yesterday’s strip — So I’m just going to assume these little old ladies are selling dusty, rat-eaten chocolate that has been rotting away in Dinkle’s garage, giving each bar the a unique flavor and aroma that can only be created from the years of marinating in a floating particulate cocktail of motor oil, kerosene, weed killer, WD-40, dried lawn clippings and old tires…
1d. It’s funny because there’s NO WAY IN HELL Dinkle could have gotten official approval so fast to use church funds to buy his 1000+ chocolate bars, and I promise you nobody gave his ass permission to drop St. Spires’ name in a fundraising campaign… But from everything we’ve seen, St. Spires clearly doesn’t have a pastor or anybody in charge so these little old ladies must be the de facto executive board and I presume every Sunday service is just silent bible reading interrupted by the occasional hymn…
1e. And of course it goes without saying that GOD DAMN IT TO HELL FUCK SHIT PISS TITS BALLS THESE PINHEADS COULD HAVE JUST *BOUGHT* THE REGALIA WITH THE MONEY THEY SPENT TO PURCHASE THE CHOCOLATE BATIUK YOU IGNORANT UNFUNNY SONOFABITCH!
The invisible pastor at this church would have shut this down SO HARD.
The invisible pastor would have never have let this start, because they would have ripped Dinkle a new one for that 2 a.m. rehearsal stunt. Churches cannot have people treating its volunteers like that!
I’m beginning to think that St Spires is an abandoned church, and these ladies are just squatting there and pretending that they’re a real choir. We have yet to see any actual pastor, church administration, or congregation, and I have no reason to believe we ever will.
Look, we haven’t seen Zanzibar the Talking Drunken Murder Chimp in a while. I’m just saying….
All I can figure is that Batiuk thinks his readers are exactly like him, and when they see Dinkle they’ll say “Oh, boy! It’s Dinkle! He’s so awesome, and this story is going to be great!”
From Batiuk’s Blog:
“Having a full understanding of the settings, somehow makes the telling of the stories richer and adds a certain verisimilitude. In short, they work better.”
That may be the single funniest thing he’s written in 30 years.
He does seem to miss the point that there has to be a story to tell. A designer can create a wonderfully realistic stage set, but it’s a waste of effort without a play to perform.
Not only that, but an “understanding of the setting” means more than 2-D images of architecture.
A church is more than an exterior. A high school is more than bricks and poorly-taped signs. There are people and customs and schedules and systems and infrastructures.
The only setting in the Funkyverse that is more than a hastily-painted backdrop is Montoni’s (and no, the Komix Korner is no exception) and that’s only because it’s based on a place that TB actually walks into once in a while.