Black Cat Familiar

Link To Today’s Strip

Yes Dinkle, we know. We know you know all about mascots. Just like you knew all about playing music and directing and fundraising. You’re a former high school band director. WE ARE PAINFULLY FAMILIAR WITH THE CONCEPT.

And who isn’t familiar with mascots? Was he being ironic? If so, why did we need an entire panel of him imagining a school logo?

And in what universe does this exchange not come across as extremely dickish? Lillian was explaining that the cat was the mascot, she wasn’t asking if Dinkle knew what a mascot was.

It would be like showing a friend your new Jeep and having them roll their eyes and tell you that they are familiar with the concept of internal combustion engines.

And Dinkle is imagining the school logo. He didn’t even have the decency to remember the actual live goat he bought to stand on the sidelines and nibble chemically treated turfgrass while watching the Scapegoats lose. Paul deserved better.

Our Funkistorian Billy The Skink posted these back in 2018. But for any of our more recent readers, a little journey back in time.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

32 responses to “Black Cat Familiar

  1. Epicus Doomus

    This is one of the laziest FW gags I’ve ever seen and believe you me, I’ve seen way, way, way more than my share of lazy FW gags. This is just f*cking awful. In fact, the only way this is even a joke at all is if you go into it under the premise that Dinkle is a mentally defective imbecile, which probably isn’t BatYam’s intent although really, who can tell?

    Maybe this will be a new running gag, where someone mentions something and we see Dinkle’s brain somehow relate it to him being a marching band conductor. Like for example, someone would say “pizza” and we’d see him thinking about the time he was trying to divide one pizza for the entire band. “Yes…pizza, the stuff the band eats”. Or “car”…”cars, oh yes, the marching band members’ parents would often drop them off at practice in one of those”. I mean hey, it’s no more or less dumb than this current arc is, no?

  2. Mr. A

    Dinkle isn’t just imagining a mascot—he’s imagining a logo, words and all. Perhaps he’s not as familiar with the concept as he thinks he is.

  3. William Thompson

    What does it mean it be “sort of like a mascot?” Should we be saying Batiuk is sort of like the strip’s writer? Why not say something like “The cat is our choirmaster.” “How’s that?” “Have you ever tried to reason with either?” Or “Benign’s not just our mascot. He takes care of the rats.” “How does he do that?” “He’s a sly one. First he cozies up to them, just like now.”

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      In a manner of speaking, Tom Batiuk’s writing style can be kind of, sort of, you know, somewhat described as perhaps possibly maybe “waffling.” The man cannot write a simple declarative sentence without loading it with weasel words. Even in situations that don’t call for them. You’re allowed to call the cat your mascot if you want to, Lillian. Or if you want to be non-committal about it, say it in a more meaningful way, like “unofficial.”

  4. Gerard Plourde

    The more I see of this, the more I’m convinced that it’s connected to the “Saluting America’s Band Directors” Rose Parade event. But how many puzzled looks do you think will there be if the float features effigies of Dinkle, the St. Spires Choir and the cat mascot?

  5. Banana Jr. 6000

    Did Dinkle take ecstasy this week? He’s just way too happy that this cat exists. And that somebody said a word he knows.

  6. Sourbelly

    Darndest thing, ComicBookHarriet: Those three strips you included – they’re kind of funny. Like “He thought of that all by himself.” Back then, it was OK to make fun of Harry for his lame attempts at humor. But not now. No, everything he says now has to met with knowing smirks. Why? We need more Paul Goats in this strip.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      It is almost as if someone else wrote the strip back then. But nowadays that person has big things to say.

      So why is there a cat in the church?

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Whoever wrote the strip back then was capable of criticizing his main characters. Dinkle’s been nothing but a pompous, abusive dickhead to these choir women, and they just hang on his every word. You’ll never see them make a snarky aside questioning his priorities. Or complain to church leadership about his behavior, in what’s supposed to be a realistic world. To say nothing of the avalanche of horseshit the people in this world take from Les Moore.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          Les has become completely insufferable. I wonder if Batty is like that to his friends?

      • Maxine of Arc

        Probably the cat decided the church was a good source of mice and shelter and moved on in there, and the pastor decided to let it stay and then the choir ladies adopted it. I love cats and I’m bored to death.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      It’s almost like those strips were written 40 years ago… when the writer was fresh with young ideas.

  7. none

    A squandered opportunity for Dirty Harry to exclaim “I got that reference!”

  8. I like cats (and dogs) a great deal. But I also hate Dinkle a great deal. There’s not enough cat to cancel Dinkle, so I rate this strip in the “loss” column.

  9. billytheskink

    Sure, Lillian, a cat is a nice mascot and all… but have you considered replacing Bingo with a fascinating squirrel instead?

    • ComicBookHarriet

      You know. I had that arc too. Whenever I get the Dinkle arcs, I always get the weirdest and worst ones.

      It’s a curse.

  10. J.J. O'Malley

    Gosh, so Dinkle is familiar with the concept of mascots! That puts him in a rarified status with…oh, I don’t know, maybe 98 percent of all living Americans who follow sports; have insurance or use banks; buy food in a supermarket; or basically function in capitalist society! How is that even close to humorous?

    “These new choir robes are basically our uniforms! Yes, I’m familiar with the concept!”

    On an unrelated note, is everyone aware that this Friday more than two dozen strips are taking part in a “No Pants Day” clothing charity campaign that will feature characters sans trou ( I’ve not seen a complete list of the strips taking part, but I hate to think we could be just a day away from seeing Harry with his Dinkle hanging out?

    • William Thompson

      Consider the flip side of that question: what if we see his Dinkleberries?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Probably closer to 100%. The school mascot is literally one of the first concepts children learn about their school environment. I hate how characters in this strip act like the banalities of American life are deep, meaningful experiences that happen to only them.

  11. Hitorque

    Whatever happened to that goat anyway? Haven’t seen him in forever and he’s easily more compelling than any Westview student…

    Wasn’t there a storyline back in the day about the goat being stolen by the bullies at Big Walnut Tech Academy?

    And I’m sorry, but why the hell does a choir need a “mascot” in the first place?? And even if you did get a mascot, shouldn’t it be like a dove or a songbird or something? Man these are some lonely and pitiful women…

    And are we ever going to meet the pastor, or God forbid some of the congregants??

  12. The Duck of Death

    We’re gonna keep going for “these clueless ladies don’t recognize The Great Dinkle,” aren’t we? We’re just gonna keep going for it.

    I think Batty’s aiming for something like:
    [guy at party]: And that’s why we shouldn’t worry about Iran’s war capabilities.
    [old man overhearing]: Iran is a serious threat we must reckon with.
    [guy at party]: Look, old man, we’re talking about Middle East policy here. Not exactly something you and your shuffleboard buddies would understand.
    [old man overhearing, who is actually Henry Kissinger]: I have some familiarity with the region’s politics.

    Oh! The understated humor! Which would work, if only Tom would pick a side:
    a. Dinkle is world famous and once the ladies find out who he is, they’re ashamed not to have recognized him (like my Kissinger example above)
    b. Dinkle THINKS he’s world famous and this ridiculous idea is played for laughs (which would fit better with the Act I-II Dinkle character)

    But instead we’re in this limbo. EVERYBODY knows Dinkle and his accomplishments, yet in reality nobody knows and he’s talking to himself, and the cartoonist keeps pushing this unresolved, unfunny idea, lather, rinse, repeat.

  13. The Duck of Death

    As the psylocibin mushrooms took effect, Lillian’s head seemed to elongate and curve, as if it were turning into a boomerang. The dark cat grew larger and larger. A vision came upon Dinkle: Snoopy’s ears turning into spiraling whorls. The beloved cartoon dog was eyeless, and displayed an upside-down M on a banner. Harry wondered idly whether this stood for Charles M. Schulz’s middle initial, or for the word “Mascot,” a concept with which Harry was familiar. As the vision dissipated, Lillian’s head seemed to morph back into human proportions. The black cat grew and grew. Its face was no longer cat-like — it seemed almost human, or perhaps a half-human/half creature hybrid, like a Dr Suess character. How long had Harry been tripping? Years, perhaps. The pandemic was over. Or it was still continuing. Or it had never existed. Or all three simultaneously. Why not, Harry mused? The important thing was the choir loft, and the cat. Harry was confident that all of existence was contained within the loft, within the cat, and nothing had ever existed that was not part of them, part of here, part of now. In the choir loft. With the cat. Forever.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      This is better than anything I’ve read all week. And accurately depicts what it feels like staring at this strip for an hour, trying to find something to say about it.

    • Gerard Plourde

      I agree with CBH. The narration fits the illustrations better than the supplied word balloons. It certainly enlivens the otherwise totally non engaging strip.

    • hitorque

      Far out, man… Please write stuff like this more often…

  14. Perfect Tommy

    Life was so much better B 4 this arc started.

  15. louder

    You know, I can’t even anymore with this comic. There’s no rhyme or reason to anything taking place, no reality to it. It has to be that a troll account has taken this strip over because there is not one creative thing going on here.

  16. I like you, Joey. You make me feel tall.