Haiku post for today's strip
Where nothing happens

"Who spent most of his
Time at war with the world and
Ev'rything in it"?

We talking about
Phil Holt or that Ed Crankshaft?
Both? Makes me shudder

C'mon now, Durwood
Phil did not know a dang thing
About your mother

C'mon too, Mindy
Who here cares one iota
About your granddad?

Pete here wins the strip
Only offense is a smirk
Default win's a win


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

43 responses to “Haikranky

  1. Wow, talk about stretching it out without filling it in.

  2. William Thompson

    Never mind the time jumps; Funky Winkerbean is now sliding sideways in time, leaping from one parallel timeline the next. Yesterday, so to speak, it was in a time where Flash Freeman hated Phil Holt with a passion. Now, whatever that means, the strip is in a universe where Freeman secretly admired Holt. The next jump to the left may reveal that they were in a group marriage with Rubella, until she eloped with Zanzibar the Murder Chimp and gave birth to Mopey Pete.

    • Mr. A

      Flash never said that he hated Phil. He said that their relationship deteriorated and that it would cause trouble if they were in the same room together. I read that as Phil hating Flash’s guts, but not necessarily the inverse.

  3. Epicus Doomus

    So apparently Flash is reconsidering his decades-long feud with the late Phil Holt, as today, just completely out of nowhere, Phil was actually a “good guy” who graciously gave away comic book covers for cancer, just like Crankshaft. At least that’s what I got out of this one. Again, that’s a quick arc synopsis that only a regular FW would understand.

    Coming tomorrow: the comic book plane is shot down over the Salton Sea. It spins in. There are no survivors. The arc is long-forgotten by Monday, when Funky complains to Wally about needing a new hot water heater.

    • Professor Fate

      late to the party but again we, the reader, have no idea WHY their relationship went south. That Phil was grumpy with a heart of gold is debatable but still we don’t have a clue what happened.
      It’s called not writing well.

  4. Charles

    I would stop snarking on Batiuk for a year if he had one of his “good” characters, like Flash here, upon hearing Mindy mention her grandfather, snap at her “No one gives a shit about your grandfather.”

    Darin’s comment completely breaks the flow of this exchange, btw. The way it’s written, Mindy seems to be suggesting that Crankshaft bequeathed something to someone who was able to sell it in order to raise money for a charity.

    Also, Crankshaft’s not a good guy. He’s an incredible shithead. You can’t claim he means well when he treats whatever-the-fuck-his-name-is-who-has-the-mailbox the way he does. Nor can you say that when he treats the mothers of the children on his bus rounds as badly as he does.

    He’s an asshole Batiuk. You used to embrace it, but now you’re just lying to yourself when you claim he’s a good guy. Go back to reveling in him being a shithead. It’s more honest.

    • Charles

      I would also find it funny if anyone besides Darin or Mopey started talking about “That Cranky Bus Driver” and Mindy blurted in that “That’s my grandfather, Ed Crankshaft!” And everyone ignored her and continued to talk about “that cranky bus driver”.

      And I don’t simply mean in that conversation, but in every subsequent conversation too, seeing as how it’s inevitable that Batiuk’s going to have his Funky characters talking about Crankshaft for no reason as if he’s being clever.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        “Like my old bus driver used to say…”

        “That’s my grandpa! Ed Crankshaft!”

        “Really? Anyway, he used to say ‘tough shit’ to schoolchildren who were two seconds late for the bus stop as he drove away, spewing exhaust into their faces. God, he was an asshole.”

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      The Funkyverse would get a lot less snarking if anyone would ever yell at anyone to STFU when they richly deserve it.

      “Funky, this is a meeting for recovering alcoholics. Some of us are here to talk about our emotions, and learn from others. Can we get back on topic please?”

      “Les, if you leave me for one more I-have-to-protect-Lisa trip, you’ll be coming home to divorce papers.”

      “So, Dinkle, what stupid shit are you selling this time? I didn’t see you at the Lisa’s Legacy run. Or any other charity event for anyone other than yourself. And can you learn how to knock in a way that doesn’t sound like a police raid? I flushed a joint because of you.”

      “Ed, if I hear the words ‘toilet paper’ come out of your mouth one more time, I will put locks on all the bathrooms and build you an outhouse to shit in. You like making mulch anyway, you can do it in your own living space instead of ours for a change.”

      “So, Crazy, you’re buying your wife salad dressing as a wedding gift because these are your salad days? Things are that bad, huh?”

      “So, Lillian, you destroyed your sister’s relationship out of petty jealousy and you run an illegal bookstore with child labor? Wow, you’re a bitch.”

      “So, Eugene, you sent a marriage proposal by U.S. Mail from a war zone, then you and your true love both walked away rather than contact each other even once?”

      “Pete, come out of the closet already. It’s not 1957 anymore. Your ‘beard’ act isn’t fooling anyone except yourself. Stop leading that poor girl on, so she and Ruby Lith can finally move in together, and Jessica can go be the single mom she wants to be. You’re single-handedly keeping two shitty relationships together.”

      Sorry, I got on a roll.

      • Mela

        And quite a roll it was. Excellent points!

      • Hitorque

        “Cindye Sommers-Jarre, if I hear you bitching and moaning one more time about your so-called faded beauty and low self esteem because you no longer have the validation of getting catcalled by construction workers (yes she really said that, setting the feminist cause back 40 years) and your husband has to occasionally kiss starlets as part of his job when you’re a multi-millionaire living on the beach in Malibu with the wrinkle free face and sag-free bikini body of a 24 year old without the crutch of elective surgery, I’m going to blackmail Batiuk into drawing you more like somebody you’re supposed to resemble, like Mary Worth!!

  5. Gerard Plourde

    Wow TomBa actually remembered that he killed off Phil Holt. Or is he “being clever”? He did kill Wally twice. And given his research skills he might think that faking one’s own death is easy and mostly nonconsequential.

  6. Mr. A

    Darin is looking very jowly today.

  7. erdmann

    How long has Dillweed known Flash? A year? Two? And in all this time he never once mentioned his connection to Phil Holt, the artist who drew all the stories Flash wrote? Suuuuuure he didn’t.

  8. billytheskink

    I feel like it should be re-stressed that Durwood’s point rings hollow. Phil had nothing to do at all with Durwood’s Lisa charity cover auction, selling his artwork for charity after his death says absolutely nothing about his “good guy” credentials.

    • Charles

      “He’s a real bad man. When he died, he left me a bunch of original covers which I sold for smack money. He should have known better. After all, he saw how much I neglected my own child.”

  9. J.J. O'Malley

    Is Phil Holt some relation to Steve Holt (“Steve Holt!”) from “Arrested Development”? It seems like whenever anyone speaks about either, they have to use their full name. Why couldn’t Darwin just say “When Phil died…” ? I doubt Flash would have been confused.

    Tomorrow, Battyuk will have Durwood finish his backstory: “…and all those covers that Phil Holt, the artist who drew all your stories and who I asked about your break-up with, which you still haven’t gotten around to explaining, gave me after his death and which I auctioned off for my dead birth mom’s cancer scam…er, charity, well, they were all bought by Chester, the guy in the seat in front of you, and he later used some of his fortune to buy original Miss American artwork for its forgotten creator, Ruby, the women who is also sitting in front of you, and who, like you, will be inducted into the Comic-Con Hall of Fame in San Diego, which we’re flying to right now, even though it’s an at home event this year!”

    “He sounds a lot like my grandfather!”

    “Shut up and mind your own business, girlie! I’m explaining something to the kid here!”

    Hard to believe Mopey Pete was the most likable character today.

    • Except just looking at the image, I’m pretty sure Pete is about to turn toward everyone and contribute something that will instantly dissipate any likeableness his silence generated.

      Probably, “Hey, Phil Holt is the guy who inspired me to surpass him, as a writer!”

  10. ComicBookHarriet

    Holy Cow! Flash’s forehead is BEHIND his eyes today.

    But any day with a Skinky Haiku post is gonna be okay.

  11. Tyler Fitzgerald

    I’d rather be on a 16-hr flight with a screaming baby than have to endure these assholes for 10 minutes.

  12. Hitorque

    1. Thanks Flash, you’ve just described any one of a billion people who have lived throughout history… How about a bit more substantial detail to your vague-ass story?

    2. Shut the fuck up, Min… Ain’t nobody talking to you! Your grandfather at this moment is measuring toilet paper squares and counting how many tampons you mom goes through…

    2a. Just your daily reminder that Krankenschaaften’s appearance and personality are at least partly based on Ohio State Buckeyes legend Woody Hayes — And we all know how *that* story ended.

    3. It’s funny because Phil bequeathed his stuff to Darrin to pass on a piece of history and celebrate their shared bond as artists or something, NOT for Darrin to turn right around and flip it to the highest bidders… And is Darrin going to mention that Lisa was only his birth mother who gave him up for adoption and he knew nothing about her until he was adult age?

    3a. I guess we aren’t going to entertain the possibility that deep-down-he’s-a-good-guy Phil willed those covers to Darrin just to give a final FUCK YOU to his surviving relatives or children?

    3b. It’s funny because I already know this smirky reminiscing over the life of Phillip Holt is going to completely ignore the fact that he died penniless and bitter (along with the fact that neither Darrin nor Flash did Jack Fuckin’ Shit to help him), leaving him doing sketches as an 80-something year old at children’s birthday parties for 60 bucks just so he could afford groceries for the week…

    4. I really hope Mr. Mystery Guest shows up and produces a legal claim of ownership for those covers Darrin auctioned off…

  13. Banana Jr. 6000

    Not only is this non-story talking in circles, it’s contradicting itself. Earlier in the week Flash and Phil couldn’t be in the same room together; now he wasn’t such a bad guy. With no detail as to why either of those things is true.

    And it wastes even more time namedropping old, irrelevant storylines. Mindy might as well be saying “He sounds a lot like my grandfather! Ed Crankshaft, the beloved title character of Crankshaft. (turns to camera) His fifth book ‘Your Favorite, Crab Cakes’ is on sale now!”

    Funky Winkerbean is an endless advertisement for itself. It’s always talking about what’s going to happen or what has already happened in it. And when something “happens” it’s just the characters talking in circles about it, before and after it’s resolved off-screen.

  14. Sourbelly

    Whatever this is, it isn’t a conversation. Flash isn’t anywhere near addressing the original question, but it doesn’t matter, because Durwood and Mindy aren’t listening. They’re just waiting for a pause so they can blurt out what ever pops into their heads.

  15. be ware of Eve hill

    Aside from giving birth to Darin, what exactly did the Dead St. Lisa do to deserve such devotion from him? Did any of the tapes in the Dead St. Lisa Video Collection even have Darin’s name on them?

    Like Darin, I’m an adoptee. When I refer to my birth mother, that is exactly what I call her, “my birth mother.” When I refer to my “mom’, I’m talking about my adoptive mother, the woman who actually raised me. In Darin’s case, that would be Ann Fairgood. You folks know Annie. She’s the one presently raising Skyler.

    Darin never mentioned keeping some of the Phil Holt auction proceeds for his seemingly oft forgotten wife and child, so it’s implied that all of the money went to the Lisa’s Legacy Fund. With college tuition skyrocketing it sure would have been nice to have a nice college fund set up for Skyler. Sorry kid, it looks like you’ll have heavy college debt to look forward to. Wouldn’t it have prudent to keep some of the money in an emergency fund? Perhaps both Darin and Jessica are just lucky enough to have six figure salaries.

    • The reason is simple, Batiuk does endless self-promotion for the one thing he did that an awards committee gave him some recognition for. (Wow, what a sentence, I should write this strip.) So whenever there’s an opportunity, even slight, to bring up Lisa’s Story he’s going to seize it with both hands.

      It’s why Les can do book tours and signings for a 20-year-old book. Because the book is always brand new and it’s always relevant to everything and Les is the only person in the world whose suffering needs to be praised.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Hear Batiuk describe Lisa’s importance himself:

        “In terms of taking the work to a new place, Lisa was the tip of the spear. Starting with her high school pregnancy, Lisa was the character who would shepherd my most ambitious efforts to the comics page. Opening new doors seemed to be her specialty.”

        From https://funkywinkerbean.com/wpblog/binge-worthy/

        To be fair, Lisa probably did inspire Batiuk’s most ambitious efforts. But that’s saying very little. Stay tunred for tomorrow’s strip, where Flash Freeman will use 76 words to announce that he and Phil Holt didn’t get along.

    • Gerard Plourde

      “what exactly did the Dead St. Lisa do to deserve such devotion from him?”
      You keyed into the crux of what ails this strip. As beckoningchasm and Banana Jr. 6000 point out, the internal consistency or logic of the strip isn’t what’s important – it’s what brings attention to TomBa that counts. It’s why the characters are all one dimensional cardboard manipulated mouthpieces. They haven’t been granted any existence that doesn’t serve their creator’s interest.

      Successful characters develop traits and characteristics that end up giving them some autonomy – a good author realizes and respects that, even going so far as to alter a plot because he/she/they realizes that the originally intended action would no longer be plausible for the character to perform.

      Sadly, that doesn’t occur in FW. Even his brave beloved Lisa succumbed to this – in order to achieve his goal of having her die, he has her abruptly abandon treatment despite having a preschool child to live for. (Although she might be forgiven considering it also entailed a potential lifetime wit Les.)

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        “what brings attention to TomBa” is the major driving force, but there’s also “TomBa bringing attention to things he likes.” Stories seem to be driven by how many times Radio Ranch, Montoni’s, Kent State, comic book efflluvia, and other people’s intellectual property can be shoved into the artwork. It’s like watching an Adam Sandler movie.

        • I think the first drives the other. “Now that I’ve drawn them in by showing them how serious I am with Funky having to deal with COVID, I need to show them I also have a fun side, so…time to talk about about Radio Ranch.”

    • beware of eve hill

      Thanks for all of the replies and upvotes, folks. It’s nice to feel like I’m part of the discussion. I usually post in the Funky Winkerbean discussion over at Comics Kingdom, but it no longer seems worth the effort. I replied to a post a little after 6:00AM MDT. As of this minute, one reply, one upvote. YaY! /s

      A long time-reader of SOSF but a short time poster. I hope you all don’t mind if I hang around for a bit. 😉

  16. newagepalimpsest

    I don’t even think Phil Holt, the artist who drew all of Flash’s stories, even knowingly gave those covers to Lisa’s Legacy, the charity Les Moore founded in memory of his wife who died. He just sort of handed them over because Darrin, Lisa’s bio-son that she gave up for adoption, gave him a ride.

    Also, shut up Mindy, the grandaughter of Crankshaft, who is not as marketable as Garfield!

    • Hitorque

      And because I can’t stress this hard enough, he gave the covers to Darrin because he was too fucking dumb to have his artwork appraised so he thought he was giving away nostalgic kitsch when in reality it was worth high six figures and he was living in abject poverty!

      CALLING IT RIGHT NOW: Chester anonymously bought the covers at that auction because when he isn’t playing with his hedge funds and derivatives he spends his day on Fleabay snapping up all the undervalued comics geek memorabilia he can find…

      So at ComiCon Chester Hagglemore will make a big public show of giving the art back to Phil’s son or whoever and the entire AK crew will have trouble fitting their oversized halos in their luggage for the flight home…

      There, now you won’t have to read this strip for the next 8 weeks…

      • Mr. A

        That sounds incredibly plausible. Of course, there’s no reason Chester would have Phil’s artwork with him at Comic-Con, but I think Batiuk can make it work. (And by “make it work”, I mean “ignore that it shouldn’t work”.)

        • Hitorque

          It not only makes sense, it’s the only way to explain why Chester is even coming along on this trip (and flying in coach with the peons, no less)…

          How many multi-millionaires would ever in a million years make the choice to fly coach cross-country??

      • billytheskink

        I will say that the Chester buying everything at the “Phil Holt cover auction for Darin’s bio-dad’s mawkish cancer charity” produced Burchett’s finest work on this strip.

        • Hitorque

          The fact that Chester is celebrating mean he almost certainly bought them for a fraction of their real monetary value…

          And I don’t care how much of a geek loser millionaire he is, no grown ass man should be celebrating that hard over motherfucking comic book covers… No wonder he lives alone and jerks off by the hand every night… Or maybe this is the convention where Chester finally gets assigned his very own generic blonde comics geek girlfriend?

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Did force ghost Phil even comment on what he left behind? “Those things were worth that much money? I could have lived comfortably! I could have gotten my liver transplant! I could still be alive! Shit!”

  17. Perfect Tommy

    I’m hoping for a bird strike to the plane, forcing it to land on water and thus ending this ridiculous conversation. That would really be a miracle on the Cuyahoga.