Stockholm Improvement

Leave it to Batty to give a line about “going insane” to the character who’s famously struggled with mental health issues. Funky may not be going insane, but this extended reno clearly has taken a toll. He’s had that bemused look on his face all week. Everything happens to Funky!


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

43 responses to “Stockholm Improvement

  1. What’s with Funky’s broken, melted face in panel three? He had the same face in panel one yesterday.

    It should looke more like this:

    Unless he wants to keep it like this, in which case do it with the Batiuk style:

    • Sourbelly

      Thanks for the gore. It eases the pain of reading this strip.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      I, for one, welcome more body horror into this strip. I want these characters to resemble on the outside the way the audience feels for them on the inside.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Yes, especially if it impacts Les.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Currently on the Funkyblog, Batiuk is patting himself on the back for his 1997 date rape plot involving Susan Smith. There’s an awesome (by which I mean awesomely terrible) drawing of Les screaming “LEAVE HER ALONE!!” at some big guy. I’m like “Yeah, Les, you go get in the face of an angry high school football player, put up your non-rope-climbing arms, and let’s see what happens to you.” And if Les did save this girl from a beating, she’s just going from one predator to another. (SEE ALSO: Caine, Anthony.)

          • Rusty Shackleford

            Oh man, Batty thinks he is the ultimate white knight.

            What garbage. Ah but the 90’s, those were idealistic days on the comics page. So much misery.

          • The Duck of Death

            Oh, that blog post is GOLD. “To people who might say the comic strip format trivializes the subject, Batiuk said, ‘I think cartooning is capable of mature expression, and can carry the weight of these kinds of topics.'”

            Such brave and groundbreaking words. And only 17 years after Art Spiegelman had started publishing Maus in serial format! But that was just about the Holocaust, a comparative cakewalk compared to life in Westview.

          • Charles

            Man, Les should have married Susan instead of Cayla. She’s like Lisa Fucking Junior with all the crap she got into.

            To add onto Rusty’s point about how the abuser is always a jock, what’s with the notion of jocks going for the mousy awkward girls? Why would Batiuk’s-described “Big Man on Campus” date Susan Smith?

            Also, the dating abuse that they describe is usually a lot more subtle and insidious than a guy beating up his girlfriend behind the pizza place, but I certainly understand why Batiuk couldn’t show that.

          • Jeff M

            ” I could now revisit various events in the Funkyverse and add different tones and colors to create richer backstories for my characters—once again opening up whole new avenues of exploration.”

            One of the most frustrating things in modern American life is the fact that Batiuk’s blog doesn’t allow comments. Imagine my relief at finding this website.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            Others have said this, but: I want to read the comic strip Tom Batiuk thinks he’s writing. It sounds amazing.

          • Hitorque

            @Charles — Yeah, I’d asked on numerous occasions in the past why some “star quarterback” from a rival school would even want to date, much less assault Lisa, who was nerdy, nebbish, neurotic, and just an anti-social ditz back in high school… Unless of course he was one of those psychopaths who literally get off on violating the weak, defenseless, naive and innocent…

          • Hitorque

            As outrageous as Les heroically saving some girl from assault is, it’s still not in the same universe of eye-rolling as Les running into a burning condo to save the sexiest A-list actress in Hollywood when literally half the L.A. metro area was on fire…

            (Not to mention Les trying to fuckin’ give her acting guidance between takes so she could properly “become” St. Lisa)

          • Charles

            And of course, there’s Lisa peeking out from behind the door as Les confronts the bully. Not like she’d have any connection to Susan seeing as how they were both women who got assaulted by their boyfriends in alleys which might lead her to go out there and confront him. No, she needs to hide and stay silent as her ridiculous husband goes out there and confronts the enraged football player.

            But that would be dramatic, and it would appropriately call back to an earlier story, and neither of those two things are important compared to having dipshit Les swoop in and be the hero.

            (I realized after writing this that the whole Frankie-assaults-Lisa story was a retcon that Batiuk undoubtedly came up with in the last ten years, so when Susan was getting abused, Lisa didn’t have an abusive boyfriend in her past. Oh well. It’s bad in many ways, I guess.)

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Tom Batiuk is always trotting out that tired “people don’t want serious stories in comic strips” canard. His ego can’t deal with any criticism whatsoever, so he has to spin any resistance to his genius as some kind of closed mindedness towards him. Cartooning is capable of serious expression, Tom; the problem is that YOU’RE not.

          • Rusty Shackleford

            Batty’s a real maverick. And notice it’s always jocks causing all the problems, never a Harvey Weinstein type.

          • Charles

            I mean, he really doesn’t approach whatever story he tackles with any creativity or interest at all. He writes the most straightforward, superficial version of whatever he’s trying to include and thinks that that’s enough. You could come up with any subject about a serious topic and predict exactly what Batiuk would do with it.

            Writing about the Holocaust: Prejudice is bad!
            Writing about the Kent State students being killed in 1970: Killing students is bad!
            Writing about Kony: Conscripting children as soldiers is bad!
            Writing about teen dating abuse: Beating up your teenage girlfriend is bad!
            Writing about ALS: ALS is bad!
            Writing about teen sex trafficking: Trafficking teens for sex is bad!
            Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera

          • Charles

            I mean, seriously. I’ve never actually read the strips in question but here’s how I suspect it went down.

            Susan has a new boyfriend! He’s a football player!
            Things happen to suggest that not all is well with Susan and her boyfriend’s relationship.
            Les catches Susan’s boyfriend beating up Susan, tells him to stop.
            Susan’s boyfriend is vanquished. Susan breaks up with him. Maybe he gets punished.
            Les is celebrated for stepping in and saving Susan from her abusive boyfriend.

            You know what doesn’t get addressed? Whatever led Susan to get together with an abusive boyfriend. What was it that led to her boyfriend being abusive? Why did he think that hitting her was an appropriate thing to do? Does Susan learn anything about herself and how she views the world such that she can avoid going for another abuser? Is he going to be abusive with his next girlfriend? Who cares! That’s waaay beyond “Beating up your teen girlfriend is bad”, so it’s beyond Batiuk’s capabilities.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    Uh yeah, Wally claiming he’d “go insane” if faced with a home reno is a bit much. At least it’d be a short trip. Bear in mind that he was a POW for like nine years, his former wife left him for a comic book guy and his kid hasn’t been seen or heard from in ages. Meanwhile Funky is rather insensitively whining about redecorating his mansion, an opportunity Wally does not and never will have. It’s comical on so many levels.

    • Hitorque

      Comparing both women, Walter clearly got the sweeter end of the deal when his wife ran out…

  3. Banana Jr. 6000

    Was there another time skip between panels one and two? What the hell happened to most of Wally’s hair? And why did it mostly grow back for panel three?

  4. William Thompson

    I have my own mental health issues (PTSD and major depression, plus the ongoing stress of some autoimmune problems) and I sometimes find myself talking unironically about how trivial things can drive another person crazy. But if I were talking to Funky, well, the effort to keep the sarcasm out of my voice would drive me bonkers.

  5. Sourbelly

    Why the hell is Wally smirking in panel 3? Funkstick (as always) didn’t say anything remotely funny. I’d like to think that tomorrow, Wally is going to sit Funky down and explain to him what Stockholm Syndrome REALLY means. But I doubt it.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Um, yeah, that’s a REALLY bad word choice from Funky there.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      He’s imagining bludgeoning Funky with the umbrella…

    • Hitorque

      Wally getting captured once was an unfortunate tragedy, but when he got ‘caught’ a second time, I’m utterly shocked the Army didn’t just write him off as a deserter or defector.

  6. Banana Jr. 6000

    Funky, what is there to “see their side” of? They’re building contractors! They do the work you hire them to do! What were they trying to convince you of that you were resisting? That state employment law requires you to give them a lunch break? There shouldn’t be any disagreements about cost or materials at this point. And if there are, you need to sort that out with your wife. I’ll admit those cans taped to the ceiling still need some explanation, but seriously, what are you on about?

    All you’ve done is passive-aggressively whine at everyone in earshot EXCEPT Holly, and we don’t even know what you’re unhappy about. Who do you think you are, Les? Is this renovation your Lisa’s Story? Are you just going to pout and fume until everybody figures why you’re not happy and gives you whatever it is you want?

    • Mr. A

      Maybe if “the workers” weren’t a vague, nameless horde, we could understand their motivations. Or maybe not, given that they’re the kind of people who like to hang tin cans from the ceiling.

      I don’t understand what Batiuk is doing with this strip. Is he really trying to wedge a plot into this gag-based complain-o-fest at this point? If not, why is Funky getting all sincere? Or is this meant to be a gag? Perhaps things will become clearer tomorrow.

  7. Gerard Plourde

    I may be wrong, but if memory serves, the kitchen “reno” arc started after New Year’s and the early portion of it dealt with Holly’s decor selections. Given that they are apparently rewiring and having plumbing work done the article I’m linking to states that the job takes three to five months. But time is an elusive concept in the Funkyverse.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Yeah, that’s the answer I’d expect from HGTV. Those people live to have their houses remodeled, and don’t seem to have anything else to do. All those shows are like “Zach and Brittany are a young couple just starting out. She’s a substitute schoolteacher, and he sells artisan potatoes door-to-door. They have a small starting budget of only $700,000.” It’s enough to make you reconsider communism.

  8. J.J. O'Malley

    “You’d think so…but I think some kind of Stockholm Syndrome is setting in! And what’s worse is all the loud noise their power tools make! All day long it’s WHIRRRRRRRR, BUZZZZZ, CRRRUNCH, WHIRRRRRRR…hey, Wally, why did you jump under the table and put your head between your knees while you rock back and forth?”

  9. Hitorque

    What the fuck would Walter know about it? Doesn’t he live in an apartment?

  10. Dood

    It’s funny because Funky is suffering from Reno failure.

  11. Hitorque

    Why can’t Funkmeister just count his fuckin’ blessings and be happy that he can afford a new kitchen and bathroom in the first place?

    Why can’t Funkmeister just count his fuckin’ blessings and be happy for all the decades he’s lived at his house without needing major work done? Most homes of that vintage are falling apart now without regular repair and upkeep

    • The Duck of Death

      Funky is the crybabiest little bitch ever to grace the comix pages. When I needed eye surgery, I was grateful that I had the means and the access to high-quality care, and that my eye had a chance to be okay again. When he went in for routine, elective eye surgery, he complained incessantly and insulted the medical team repeatedly. He’s never been grateful for a single thing as far as we’ve seen. It’s wearying even to read — he’s a real downer.

      • William Thompson

        The question is, is Batiuk doing this just to make Funky look like every other loser in Westview, or is he doing it to make Creepy Les look good by comparison? (Bear in mind that the Hollywood Holocaust arc started with Les modestly letting someone call him a hero, went on to have Les rescue two girl* characters from a fire, and then have him courageously admit to Marianne Winters that he’d been wrong to criticize her never-seen acting skills.)

        * Yeah, “girls.” Batiuk sure doesn’t make adults out of Winters or Summers.

        • Mr. A

          Oh, slap me with a fish. I just realized that Marianne Winters is so named because she was an antagonist to Cindy Summers. (In fairness, I was not reading FW or this blog when Marianne first appeared.)

          • I just realized that Marianne Winters is so named because she was an antagonist to Cindy Summers.

            That never dawned on me. And maybe you’re giving Batiuk too much credit. He’s reading this right now smacking himself on the forehead.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Everybody in Westview is a crybaby bitch. They’re not making Lisa’s Story the way I want. Book signings are soooo hard. My candy sale didn’t work. I missed the game-winning basketball shot. People on the Internet are mean. Kids are so dumb. People don’t like the right things. Comic books shouldn’t have expensive Hollywood movies and multiple universes. Waah, waah, waah, waah, waah.

        Meanwhile, this week’s Crankshaft is about this young couple losing their livelihood and home, and they talk about it like they forgot their change at the vending machine. “Oh, you like this part of the theater because it’s where you went into labor?” Of course, you moron, childbirth is a defining moment in a parent’s life! And despite their casual indifference to their own uncertain fates, they still manage to whine incessantly, making wry comments about their failure rather than do anything to fix it. Getting “Radio Ranch” off the marquee would be a start.

        • Maxine of Arc

          They COULD start by showing movies somebody might conceivably want to see. There is a market for old movies if you handle your marketing very carefully and show movies with some kind of redeeming quality. Radio Ranch or Phantom Empire, either way, it is very very bad. Nigh unwatchable. One midnight showing, maybe, but they couldn’t get any more blood out of that stone. I can’t even feel sorry for those nitwits and I LIKE old movies.

          • The Duck of Death

            There’s a market for old films, but they have to have, as you said, some redeeming quality. Some years ago, one of our art/indie/repertory film houses had some great silent film festivals — a week or so of programming with different double-features every night. The Lon Chaney and Fritz Lang silent-era festivals packed ’em in nightly, and this theater had pretty decent-sized rooms.

            OR…. you could show crap so bad it’s not even kitschy fun.

        • Hitorque

          Okay I haven’t read Krankenschaaften in ages, I don’t know who these idiots are and I hate them already… I don’t need to know their kid was born during a showing of “Plan 9 From Outer Space” and I sure as hell don’t need to know they’re exhibitionists who get off fucking in the balcony while paying customers below pretend not to hear and smell what’s going on and watching them reminisce over the specific places they yeeted their bodily fluids…

          It’s funny because three years ago the Valentine was the center of the entertainment world when they got to host a exclusive red carpet premiere of “Statsuck Jones, Part I” in front of a packed house and national media coverage… It’s odd that the management at the Valentine didn’t learn a single thing from that successful night and build on the momentum…

          But don’t worry, I have no doubt that Masone and Cindye will swoop in to save their asses yet again, since the entire City of Los Angeles didn’t burn to the ground over in the Crankshaft timeline…

          • Mr. A

            FW is ten years ahead of Crankshaft on the pseudo-shared timeline, and the Starbuck Jones premiere happened in FW. So the current Crankshaft storyline has the classic “prequel problem”; we already know that these characters are going to keep the Valentine going somehow, because we’ve already seen it happen.

          • Charles

            Apparently the only story Batiuk can squeeze out of one of his characters owning a vintage movie theater is it going out of business. Undoubtedly it will be saved by some stupid gimmick so that he can simply run the “Valentine is going out of business” story again in a year.