Ominous Donut Box

So today Batiuk takes a shot at PBS for being obsessed with the pandemic, for some reason. I’m guessing it’s solely because it was low hanging fruit for what qualifies as wordplay to Baituk. it I would have gone with “Coronavirus News Network” myself.

This is very odd too, because it seems to be implying that the news was covering the pandemic too much? I mean, maybe some were, to a certain extent, but the vibe of “Stop talking so much about the pandemic that’s brought the entire world essentially to a screeching halt for over a year” is very strange to me. I really think Batiuk wrote this in early March last year and assumed the virus would blow over in a month.

The first panel is kind of hilarious to me. “I tried to avoid the news as much as I possibly could…but it just kept chasing me down and forcing me to watch it!”. If you don’t want to watch the news, don’t watch the news.

This arc really makes me feel that “recovering addict” is the perfect character type for Batiuk’s style of melodrama. You can milk a ton of cheap drama and pain out of it without anything really having to happen. Funky will never drink again, because that would be drama, and that doesn’t happen in this strip. But he will moan and complain, you’d better believe it.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

28 responses to “Ominous Donut Box

  1. Epicus Doomus

    You know, Funky is normally one of the very few FW characters that doesn’t instantly fill me with disgust and rage, but he really needs to shut the f*ck up already and cede the stage to someone less self-pitying and whiny.

    I don’t think he was going after PBS specifically with his clumsily-worded gag. I totally agree that when he wrote this he assumed the pandemic would be old news, which is surprisingly optimistic for him. I think he was trying to tag “TV news” as a whole as the “Pandemic Broadcasting Service”, like he was tired of the wall-to-wall coverage. Apparently he somehow remained blissfully unaware of how TV news works up to that point.

    • LTPFTR

      Crankshaft has regularly taken shots at PBS for their too-frequent (in his estimation) fundraising appeals, so it appears that Batiuk does have a beef with PBS specifically and not TV news in general.

  2. Banana Jr. 6000

    Ok, Funky, you’re just repeating yourself now. Time to sit down and let someone else have the floor.

  3. billytheskink

    Last time Funky was at AA, back in January 2018, the constant negativity of the TV news made him never want to drink again due to the futility of it all… the Batiukiest reason that could possibly be conceived.

    Now its the opposite? Make up your mind, dude.

    Also, I don’t think I see any of the folks Funky was meeting with back in ’18 at this current meeting. Maybe someone should be worried about that.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      And it’s the opposite of what he said yesterday! Yesterday he wanted to watch “wine with DeWine”, which was a daily COVID-related press conference. Now PBS – the most staid news source of them of all – is just too much for him to bear.

  4. RudimentaryLathe?

    Y’know, Batiuk’s not even the one pissing me off right now. He’s clearly gone off into “Old Man Yells at Cloud” territory. But this tone-deaf, tell-don’t-show, faux-woke (PBS is right-wing propaganda? F*cking wat) inanity has flown by a (supposed) editor AND the ad-hungry crew at King’s Features and EVERYBODY’S all “yeah this is fine to publish”? No.

  5. J.J. O'Malley

    PBS was the “Pandemic Broadcasting Service” last year? I seem to recall a lot of public affairs shows on a certain nationwide election, a plethora of Ken Burns documentaries, and reruns of “Antiques Roadshow,” but it doesn’t strike me that the network had more COVID coverage than local news shows or, say, CNN, MSNBC, or even Fox…you know, the 24-hour NEWS CHANNELS! Is Battyuk picking on PBS because his free tote bag got lost in the mail?

    Also, where was Holly when all this anxiety spiking was going on? Couldn’t Funky have tried talking to his wife?

    Lastly, does anyone know how often AA chapters meet? Weekly? Monthly? Shouldn’t Funky have already kvetched about all this nonsense a couple of months or more ago, or are we supposed to believe this is their first “post-pandemic” public gathering…which also makes no sense, since the donut lady asked Funky if he was picking up “the usual” and he send attendance was up.

    All I know is, after reading this week’s arc, I need a good stiff drink. Where’s my bottle of Moxie?

  6. ComicBookHarriet

    The Caramel Creme edition of a 2011 model Cayla (All the full bodied ethnic structure you missed in a new lighter package!) is just amused as can be that watching the news nearly drove Funky to drink. It seems a knowing smirk is never an inappropriate response in Funkyverse.

  7. Gerard Plourde

    Isn’t Funky’s fancy new TV hooked up to cable? He could have watched on demand movies and shows. Or one of the many specialty channel like Food Network or the Travel Channel.

    And looking back over the 570,000 deaths and the amost 32 million reported cases over the past 13 months, this week’s strip seems particularly tone deaf.

  8. The Nelson Puppet


  9. erdmann

    Oh yeah. Sitting in your McMansion, watching the news on your OLED 4K 58 -inch TV caused your anxiety levels to raise, Funky? Sitting there, with your overstuffed butt on your overstuffed couch, watching the media overhype the pandemic made you want to drink?
    You know who anxiety levels rose, you whiny, self-centered douche? People on vents in the hospital, struggling to breath. You know who else? Their families, confined to the hospital parking lot because of the lockdown, waiting for word if their loved ones were still alive. Did you know any of these people, Funky? Did you care?
    Need more, you addlepated pile of moose droppings? How about the healthcare workers who risked (and continue to risk) their own lives to treat patients. Some of them couldn’t take the strain and fell by the wayside, leaving those who remained to deal with dwindling staff AND increasing patient counts. Do you think they could use a stiff drink?
    Ye gods! Some days this strip just makes me mad, but this one really takes the cake. Batiuk and all his enablers at King deserve a good, swift kick in the shins for not pulling this garbage months ago.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      So true. My wife and I are so thankful we are vaccinated, that we never contracted the disease before, that we were both employed throughout, that we lost no friends or loved ones.

      But no gratitude from Batty…

  10. Charles

    Oh Funky thought his comment on PBS was so very clever. What a clever boy he is. You’d think he wasn’t trying to be funny because he looks stricken in all three panels, but that’s just his default expression. Instead, just look at those smirks in his fellow attendees. He sure burned that mean ol’ PBS with their dire pandemic coverage.

    I think that Batiuk may have realized that if Funky was portrayed as trying to tell a topical joke with his nickname for PBS, it would have bombed horribly because of how smarmy it is, which is why he had Funky look so grim instead. I hate when he pulls punches as a default cover for his dumb jokes’ dumbness. Can you imagine if someone actually used that line in real life? The whole room would have gotten up and beaten him down for how dumb and gratuitous it is.

  11. Rusty Shackleford

    I’m really surprised that Batty passed up an easy opportunity to bring more death and misery into this strip. The story writes itself: Summer goes on spring break and brings the covid back with her. Les and Cayla catch it from her…and so on…the word balloons fill themselves.

    Maybe Batty has given up on chasing awards?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Batiuk’s only chasing one award now: the Golden T-Square, which is given for 50 years as professional cartoonist. There is no minimum quality requirement. So as long as he maintains a pulse and fills in three panels with something, he’ll get it. In fact, he’s going to cross the finish line any day now: March 27, 2022 is almost exactly 11 months away.

      • Bad wolf

        I’d feel bad for someone in a profession where working on a product for 20 years is still considered ‘the fresh kid on the block’ (some strips have retired without so much as a whimper—Edge City ran for 16 years, anyone remember it?). But considering he can have fill-ins, guest artists, fully admitted swipes of classic comics and just half-assed clockpunching for a decade or two, maybe ‘feel bad’ is overstating the case

    • Hitorque

      If nothing else, having a relative or lifelong friend waste away in hospital (which he can’t visit) would have been a perfectly reasonable temptation for Funkenstein to relapse into the alcoholism…

  12. Rusty Shackleford

    Avoiding the news is always a good idea to help you keep your sanity. I do this myself. But more importantly, you need to rid yourself of people that constantly complain about things. Avoiding people like this helps me stay positive.

    In Funky’s case, he is surrounded by complainers and idiots, no wonder he wants to drink. But he has to get away from them as he is becoming a complainer himself.

  13. Look how the lady in the last panel is looking straight at us. It’s as if she’s saying “That was a good one, wasn’t it.”

  14. Dood

    Batstrodamus working a year in advance brings it all in terms of tone-deafness and shitty optics. PBS, seriously?

  15. Both FW and Crankshaft seem to be going to Herb & Jamaal level lengths to avoid specifically mentioning the words “COVID” or “Coronavirus”, so any wordplay on CNN is definitely out.

    As for AA meetings, it’s been 20 years since I’ve attended one, but as I recall there are a few different formats for meetings. The group I was affiliated with had four meetings a week with different formats. Some meetings encouraged sharing, while there was an open meeting that consisted of one or two people speaking and nobody else sharing. That was usually reserved for people celebrating anniversaries and such, but the speaker could talk about whatever they wanted. Maybe this week’s arc has Funky as the speaker at an open meeting relating his “pandemic” experience.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      And “Contagion News Network” was beyond his ability. Or “Pox News.”

    • Mr. A

      I’m willing to wager that Batiuk actually came up with the “CNN” gag first, and then thought, “Hmm, nope, can’t use the word ‘coronavirus’…what news network has a ‘P’ in it?”

  16. Sourbelly

    Tom came out throwing haymakers at mainstream media this week. Never came close to connecting.

    I think this strip is better when Tom doesn’t even try to make a joke. Well, “better” may not be the right word, but still….

  17. Hitorque

    Is he making some kind of crack at the media for too much coverage? I mean, it’s not like a half million Americans were killed by it in a year or something, you bloated shitstain… It’s funny until you remember that this time last year, the leader of the free world (after months of playing down and ignoring the worst-case potential) went on national TV and literally suggested that Americans INJECT HAND SANITIZER TO PROTECT THEMSELVES!! I’m utterly shocked at how this entire comic universe swims in an ocean of pathos and self-pity, but characters can’t ever have any sympathy for others…

    I think I’m noticing a Funkyverse pattern here: 35% of Greater Los Angeles burns to the ground and not only does no character die, none of their peripheral friends or family die. And now we have the same magical phenomenon with Covid-19… Nobody got sick and nobody died, not even friends of friends of these random AA meeting attendees… But yeah, Batiuk will still spend three goddamn weeks trying to force down our throats that some random old lady church organist who dropped dead mid-service is hilarious…

    Forgive me, because my family has known multiple Covid victims, including one of the very first to even die in my state so half-assed cracks about the media and Twitter ring kind of hollow if he isn’t going to mention how we’ve normalized the funerals on Zoom…

  18. Hitorque


    • Rusty Shackleford

      Tell me about it. When I mentioned I was getting the vaccine several people lectured me about it. I just smiled and said I was happy to have some protection and that I’ll take my chances with the vaccine over taking chances with covid itself.

  19. Westview Radiology

    Pretty sure Dead Saint Lisa recorded an instructional tape about dealing with pandemics.