Trolling the Depths

That guy in the first panel sure looks happy. I hope he hasn’t discovered a new addiction to donuts.
Is it just me, or is that sentence in the second sentence super unwieldy? I can’t really think of a better way to phrase it, and it doesn’t really lead into the third panel at all.
Haha, “news that’s unfit to print”, that’s never been done before. I guess “Troller” is supposed to be a play on “Twitter”? Except it doesn’t sound at all the same, and I’m positive Batiuk has already made up a spoof of Twitter.
But yeah, reading the news is stressful and can lead to a relapse into alcoholism. True, but not really great material for a comic strip.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

36 responses to “Trolling the Depths

  1. The panel one guy is easily my favorite new FW character. He doesn’t care about Funky’s idiotic rant, he just wants a donut.

    You know, after being a guest host for several centuries, I’d settle for a donut too.

    • Epicus Doomus

      We used to offer free donuts at SoSF World Headquarters but the guys in the mail room were hogging all the good ones so we did away with it. “Pantsless Fridays” were a modest hit at first but then it devolved into a whole huge HR thing, so now it’s optional.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    It’s not just you, that sentence is more unwieldy than carrying two laundry baskets full of cats up a flight of stairs. In his zeal to work “Troller” in there he just ignored the fact that this makes no sense. I guess he means he was really bored, but he could have said as much without working that dig at Twitter in there. This BatHam guy is either trying way too hard or not trying at all, there’s no middle ground with him.

  3. billytheskink

    Funky avoided the news to keep from drinking, never heard that one before… What else did he do, refuse to let Cory drive his hot rod Lincoln?

  4. Lord Flatulence

    The link to today’s strip doesn’t work.

  5. Mr. A

    As with Crankshaft, it looks like we’ve jumped straight from “What pandemic?” to “Hey, remember that pandemic we had?” It’s a stealth time-skip.

  6. none

    Hold the fucking phone.

    “When stay-at-home order first came down last year…”

    What the fuck is this? “Last year”? Now we’re Crankshafting a year past the start of the pandemic and everyone is still being depicted as acting as if nothing has changed the entire time? We didn’t have this revealed to us until today, after prior strips have mentioned the pandemic!

    We’re all crowded together in a small room with minimal ventilation and no masks now after a year of the pandemic has passed? Does this mean that if we go backwards one year to whatever the strip was doing on this day in 2020 we’re to assume that’s when the pandemic was ongoing as well? Was Los Angeles burned to the ground while hospitals were already at maximum capacity? Were Film studios were making Hallmark trash in 2020? Did the Ohio Band Conference Thing occur during this time? Bull’s funeral? The Limp For Lisa run? Adeela evaded contracting COVID while in custody? Yes? No? Hello?

    Good fucking christ what a trainwreck. Please pay attention to my strip’s rich history but fuck chronology and linking the timing of anything together because fuck you beady eyed nit pickers. God damn.

  7. J.J. O'Malley

    Wait…so did Funky’s jog with a robot not really happen, then?

    And what exactly is it that’s keeping Mr. Donut Guy from logging on to Troller these days? Why was it such a lure during that oh, so fondly remembered Pandemic year?

    • Hitorque

      To be fair, a lot of people (especially introverts like myself) kind of had twitter overdose in 2020… For many of us it was our primary connection with the outside world when we were shut in, and you had to keep track if anything just to be up to speed on the latest thing Trump did or said, since it would always come out on Twitter first.

      • Bad wolf

        Not to mention my Twitter follows were miles ahead of the curve on both stocking up for emergency and health tips

        Some anime anons did much better than a lot of state governments or health institutions

  8. William Thompson

    Funky needed help to not think? Since when?

  9. Gerard Plourde

    Well, this certainly shows the pitfalls of sloppy work. He probably wrote this arc around May of last year after the first lockdown which closed everything except grocery stores, when the national case count was hovering around 18,000 to 20,000 cases per day and before most states were affected. Why he didn’t pull this last fall and write a substitute arc ignoring the pandemic when it was clear that it had become a major disruptive event and cases were surging is beyond me.

    • Hitorque

      I’m still waiting for TomBa to acknowledge that after decades of abject pain and misery a Cleveland sports team finally delivered a championship… It was only five years ago…

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Also, the social distancing and masks have persisted a lot longer than was originally projected. Today’s strip was clearly written in May 2020 with the idea that society would return to normal by football season. It won’t be back to normal for the football season of 2021.

  10. Rusty Shackleford

    Ha ha ha, Lillian is “marinating” herself in hand sanitizer. Sorry Batty, that wasn’t funny when you had Ed say it, and it isn’t funny now.

    What would be funny is Batty getting the boot just before his eligible for his golden felt tip or whatever that award is called.

  11. Dood

    Is it awards season, again?

  12. Professor Fate

    Either deal with the reality of Covid-19 i.e. masks inside in situations like this or don’t (it is a comic strip – i doubt Dick Tracy is sporting a mask) this half assed dealing with it is simply infuriating. Add that to the standard ‘how can i phase this in a way no human would ever say out loud’ dialogue and stupid ho ho aren’t i being clever word play and non-pun puns (I pretty sure Mad Magazine did a play on all the news that fits and such in the 50’s) and it becomes rage inducing.

    • erdmann

      I’m sure some people would actually be justifiably offended by the way Batiuk has handled the pandemic here and in Crankshaft. That is, if anybody actually read either strip.

      By the way, the gawdawful dialog is panel 2? “I found sticking to a schedule helped keep me off the hooch.” Fixed.

  13. Hitorque

    First we’re supposed to believe the pandemic came and went already, so I’m guessing the current year is 2022 or whatever…

    Now we’re supposed to fuckin’ believe Funkensteiger Vinkerbean even knows what Twitter is, much less find it online to actually read it or participate?!

    Just your daily reminder that this is the same assclown who wasted two weeks of our lives pestering his friends in trying to catch the amazing ending of some basketball game that he missed, never knowing all this time THAT HE COULD HAVE IMMEDIATELY GONE TO MOTHERFUCKING http://WWW.NBA.COM AND WATCHED ALL THE HIGHLIGHTS AND RECAPS HE WANTED(!) Or God forbid he follow the NBA/Cleveland Cavaliers accounts on Twitter for instant highlights…

    But we all know Funkmeister doesn’t have the first clue about what Twitter is besides being some word he kept hearing on the news and he wanted to sound “hip” and “with it”

  14. Sourbelly

    What a mind bender this is. On Monday, Funky explains to the Hole Foods worker that he now needs two boxes of doughnuts, because the pandemic has caused the AA meeting’s ranks to swell. As if the pandemic were a new thing. Then at the meeting, he breaks out the “last year” thing. Did we have a 1-year time jump between Funky’s visit to the bakery and the meeting later that day? Does anything I just typed even make sense?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      You make perfect sense. It’s Funky Winkerbean that doesn’t.

    • Mr. A

      I think the intended reading is that people who became alcoholics during the pandemic are just now starting to trickle in to AA meetings. To me, that doesn’t seem entirely implausible, but I don’t really know.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Then that’s what Funky should have said to the donut shop cashier! Instead of “the pandemic is causing the ranks to swell somewhat.” Your phrase “became alcoholics during the pandemic” conveys more information, more clearly, in less space. “Joined AA during the pandemic” would be even better. But Tom Batiuk won’t have his characters speak plainly, because it doesn’t show you how clever he is. He’s the writeriest writer there is and has to show it off it all times.

    • Perfect Tommy

      I like to think of this as crewman Daniels enlisting Funky’s help for a mission during the temporal Cold War.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Naw. He just meant that all the AA members have gotten fat.

  15. Banana Jr. 6000

    This is such a quintessential Act III strip. A bunch of middle-aged schlubs, sitting around in a room, listening to one of the main characters whine about something. Something that didn’t affect them at all, because the story skipped over that.

    Have you ever noticed that for all the suffering in Funky Winkerbean, nobody ever actually suffers? Becky’s missing arm has never inconvenienced her, even though she teaches musical instruments that require two hands to play. Lisa made no effort to stay alive, as if she realized that she’d be much more important as a dead person. She just sat in bed and complained that people weren’t doing enough to save her. Les never had to cope with losing her, because time skip, even though he’s clearly not over it 14 years later. The failure of the New York Montoni’s should have bankrupted Funky several times over, but he still has his McMansion. The CTE arc had nothing to do with CTE. When Bull died, nobody gave a shit, least of all his wife and children. The gay kids who wanted to go to prom were never seen or had a line of dialog. And now Funky is talking about COVID as if it were the Spanish Flu that died out a century ago.

    Because Funky’s alcoholism is the important thing here, even though we haven’t even seen him fight it lately. And who’s to blame for tempting him into alcoholic relapse? Why, it’s the Internet’s fault, of course! Even when that makes no sense! He avoided drinking by setting a schedule of not going on to “Troller?”

    All Funky needs is a Montoni’s pizza box in one hand and a copy of The Flash #123 the other, and this would be the defining strip of the last decade.

  16. Jimmy

    So, I saw the One Day at a Time poster. It got me to wondering if the 1970s TV show by the same name was about an alcoholic. Turns out it wasn’t, but it does appear to be a confusing and unfunny sitcom, if the Wikipedia page is to be believed. So I guess there is a parallel after all.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      It wasn’t bad. I remember seeing it in syndication when I was too young to understand any of the adult jokes. It might actually be fun to review, but better 70s sitcoms exist (Mary Tyler Moore, WKRP, Taxi, All in the Family). ODAAT also doesn’t have a defining moment or episode like those shows do.

      • billytheskink

        The most memorable thing about One Day At A Time is probably the theme song, which is a pretty good tv theme even if it isn’t hall of fame-level.

    • Gerard Plourde

      But also “One Day At A Time” is a key principal of AA and other 12 Step programs. It means “Don’t focus on a long-term goal. That usually fails. Concentrate on staying sober as the goal of each day.”

  17. Smirks 'R Us

    So attendance has “swelled” to 8 people and for that the Funkster needed 2 dozen donuts?


  18. Banana Jr. 6000

    There are some really great comments today. You guys really nailed all the reasons why today’s strip is so, so bad. And you explain it so well.

  19. bobanero

    You can either write your strips a year ahead of time or you can make them topical. YOU CAN’T DO BOTH. Stop insulting your readers with this crap!

  20. Bad wolf

    I guess I’m going to have to give up on what i was hoping to see one day in Funky. It was the dream that kept me going all last year:

    Panel one: Funky in mask: “something something Montoni’s something”
    Panel two: Les in mask: “something social distancing something!”
    Panel three: Les and Funky both in masks
    Panel four: Funky in mask: “I’m smirking wryly”