Choir Loft Capers

Link to Today’s Strip.

Is it possible to sue a comic strip for pain and suffering? Because today is unbearable. An agonizing compound fracture of compounding classic Batuikitis: the swollen grouping of tropes that chokes out all humor.

We have a restatement of yesterday’s problem.

We have a restatement of yesterday’s ‘joke’. (thinking outside something.)

We have references to Crankshaft.

We have Batiuk’s weird habit of refusing to reference Crankshaft by name.

Dinkle is present.

Dinkle speaks.

Taken as a whole, today’s strip is insufferable for people following Funky Winkerbean closely and incomprehensible for people reading one-off random strips casually.

I guess if I want quality dramatic storytelling about a wacky church choir and their pet cat sidekick, I’ll have to look to Guideposts to provide.

Spoiler Warning: The cat read ‘The Complete Funky Winkerbean’ in one sitting.
Waiting for natural disasters is an easier way to make money than door to door candy sales.
Music by Claude Barlow
Dinkle’s life story, like you’ve never seen it before.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

31 responses to “Choir Loft Capers

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Know what might be interesting? If BatYarn would “think outside the envelope” and attempt to do a Dinkle arc that DIDN’T center around band fund raising efforts. But alas, that’s just simply not going to happen. Ever.

    This is like week five of this arc now, a fact that just boggles the mind. I hope the marching band’s scissor lift somehow gets involved, just so we can finally put a wrap on the long-forgotten Becky’s mom arc, the oldest unresolved arc of Act III.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Is that an older unresolved arc than Big Gay Castle Mystery?

      • Epicus Doomus

        The Gay Prom Scenery mystery may be older, but the scissor lift arc just stopped and never resumed. It’s kind of a gray area, I suppose. He never really wrapped up the Frankie Goes To Hollywood Food Film arc either. They stopped Marianne from jumping, but they never exacted their revenge or anything. It just kind of died on the vine.

    • gleeb

      Nah, that just turns into Claude Fucking Barlow puns.

  2. Mr. A

    I know that using the Monday strip to rehash the Sunday strip is a thing that happens in soap opera comics. But surely there’s a way to do it that doesn’t imply Dinkle’s going senile. You already went over this during the meeting, Dinkle! Why can’t you remember?

    (P.S. Thanks, CBH, for sharing those book covers. They’re fantastic.)

    • Mr. A

      P.P.S. I assumed that the speech bubble in the first panel came from Lillian. It now strikes me that it may have come from Dinkle himself, which would make it terrible in a different way.

      “I’ve discovered that our fundraising efforts failed!”
      “By ‘discovered’, you mean that you heard Carol’s report during the meeting we both attended?”
      “Let’s not get hung up on details.”

    • Epicus Doomus

      Seconded, those book covers are the stuff of nightmares, although I really need to read “The Comatose Cat” before I die. That’s gotta be quite a trip.

      • ComicBookHarriet

        All of the book covers were gold. Like if Norman Rockwell was slowly going blind, and slowly realizing he hates the human form. I think there were 20 some books in the series. I just tried to pick the ones that had parallels to the strip.

        • Maxine of Arc

          I’m kind of intrigued that this is clearly a series but has multiple authors. There are stories behind stories!

      • Rusty Shackleford

        I’d rather read those books instead of one of those FW collections Batty is always pushing on his webpage.

  3. billytheskink

    What a wacky next door neighbor Lillian used to have! He sounds a lot like the school bus driver from Centerville the drove Dinkle and Co. to the OMEA conference in Cleveland back in the 90s.

    But it couldn’t be the same guy… could it?

    • Epicus Doomus

      I remember this arc, I believe it was the one where I used “Killing Ed Softly With Baton” which was my favorite post title of all-time. I’ll never understand why they all seem to remember Ed but a) they never remember his name, which is the commonly-used name “Ed” and b) they all don’t realize that they’re all talking about the SAME insane bus driver when they tell their Crankshaft stories.

    • Mr. A

      Hey, who does that bus driver think he is? He doesn’t get to complain about the band students’ sloppy behavior! That’s Dinkle’s job!

  4. J.J. O'Malley

    Oh, for the love of…you’re a CHURCH CHOIR!!! Just pass the plate around an extra time for a Sunday (Saturday?) or two and tell the congregation (Remember them? The people down on the ground floor you’re singing with?) it’s a special offering to pay for new choir robes. In the real world churches do this all the time for “mission funds” or “building funds” or “lawsuit settlement…er, special project funds.” It’s not that difficult…and, frankly, it’s NOT that interesting.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Choir robes are a trivial expense anyway. You can find them at online shops for $20-50 each. And this choir appears to have about 12-15 members.

  5. saturnino


    Does that imply that in FW, Ed is already dead?

  6. Gerard Plourde

    And I’m going to ride my “favorite” hobby horse. HOW IS LILLIAN UNAFFECTED BY THE TIME JUMP? (Sorry for shouting.) She’s Crankshaft’s contemporary. Given the ten-year time jump after Lisa’s death, it should be 2031 and he and Lillian should be centenarians. If TomBa is somehow placing this in 2021 that would still be the case for most WW 2 veterans. Even someone drafted in 1944 at 18 years old is about 95.

    I propose a modest solution. Since TomBa seems to be able to “borrow” DC characters, maybe he could throw in a story of how Westview was stolen by Braniac and kept bottled like the Kryptonian city of Kandor for ten years. Tired of listening to a decade of Les, Dinkle and company, Braniac decides to return Westview to the time and place where he pilfered it so its loss is undetected. It would make more sense than anything else in the strip.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Ayers does seem to draw Lillian a bit smaller and droopier in Funky Winkerbean. And there was an elderly man at our church who was living on his own, and driving, at 99. So it’s not out of the realm of possibility, but it is still very unlikely that Lillian would still be of sound enough body and mind to live solo.

      • What’s strange is that Ayers used to draw Lillian regularly when he was the Crankshaft artist. It’s like he forgot how he used to draw her, or more likely put the thought of all those characters out of his mind when he left the strip. I almost feel sorry for him, having to be brought low again.

        Then again, he seems to be having his revenge by providing the shoddiest artwork I’ve ever seen in a “serious” strip.

    • Hitorque

      Hey, I’m still trying to figure out how Cindye Sommers-Jarre (Westview High Class of 1978) has the face and bikini body of a 26-year-old Victoria’s Secret model… Zero wrinkles, cellulite, gray hair and no sag whatsoever.

  7. Batiuk has one goal: get to that 50th anniversary so he can get the Golden Butthole Award for pumping out bilge for 50 years.

    The award has nothing to do with quality or innovation, just longevity. In other words, it’s a participation trophy.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      See this is exactly why Watterson stepped down when he did. He had pride in his work and knew the quality would suffer if he stayed on.

      Batty just uses his strips for pushing his own interests.

  8. Jimmy

    I checked out on the strip a couple of weeks ago. This is still going on?

    God bless all of you who can sit through it.

  9. Banana Jr. 6000

    Today’s strip is unusual: one of Batiuk’s preferred characters and preferred plots was actually an in-universe failure. And Dinkle is being accountable for it. Unlike Les, whose precious Lisa died in a way that wasn’t really anybody’s fault and no one could have done anything to stop.

    This will probably be undermined by tomorrow, when Dinkle comes up with an even bigger, dumber plan that will make him a smashing success, But for now it’s a positive plot twist as the Funkyverse goes.

    • gleeb

      I think Lisa’s incompetent oncologist, who mixed up her records and thus delayed treatment, bears a little blame.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        True. But even that could have been managed, if Les had any interest in keeping Lisa alive.

        • billytheskink

          Les actually made an effort… not one involving suing for medical malpractice or anything, but he found some oncologists that Lisa could have switched to. Lisa shot the idea down, one of the first major signs that she was giving up.

          • Rusty Shackleford

            My gosh that is dreadful. He expected to win an award for this crap?

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            Lisa had no reason to give up that early, and Les never tried to get her to fight it. She basically committed suicide while he watched.

  10. Sourbelly

    Harry, quit whining and play a few tunes on that organ you’re sitting next to. You CAN play it, right?