Landing at Bore-mandy

Blah blah blah today’s strip… blah blah blah Phil Holt… blah blah blah comic books… blah blah blah The Subterranean… blah blah blah yackity smackity…

Meanwhile… *stupid cloud bubble panel border that TB inexplicably thinks should indicate an in-strip shift from one place to another*

Everyone’s 5th favorite Stooge, “Curly-Joe” DeRita, and Darth Vader himself are hanging out at Ye Olde Comic Shoppe. What’s that all about? Spacemanspiff85 is going to be our guide as we find out (provided we do in the next two weeks). Thoughts and prayers, man, thoughts and prayers.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

40 responses to “Landing at Bore-mandy

  1. Mr. A

    1. As with Thursday’s strip, how is this the first time that Darin has told Flash about this? They’ve known each other since 2018. Flash drops by Darin’s workplace all the time. They were sitting next to each other for hours at that Free Comic Book Day event 2019, where a guy loudly accused Flash of stealing credit from Phil Holt. This should have come up before.

    2. Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but Flash seems to be implying that Phil’s pet project needed a touch of the old Flash magic to save it from utter failure. Even if he’s right, I think saying it makes Flash come off as a bit of a jerk. Was that intentional? I’m guessing not.

    3. Looks like our mystery character is a short, stocky white guy who enjoys cigars and dramatic unmaskings. I’m thinking about moving to the edge of my seat.

    • bobanero

      They were sitting next to each other for hours at that Free Comic Book Day event 2019, where a guy loudly accused Flash of stealing credit from Phil Holt. This should have come up before.

      Could it be that this guy is the mystery character?

      • The Duck of Death

        The Beady-Eyed Nitpicker! aka The Twitter Tot! Arch-villain and arch-foe of brilliant, misunderstood cartoonists throughout time! Quick with a complaint or accusation! Can only be defeated by a superheroic Artistic Genius of the first order, such as Tom Ba — er, Phil Holt!

  2. It’s all going to end with Chester hiring everyone, isn’t it. (Said in the most world-weary voice ever.)

  3. Sourbelly

    What the red fuck is going on? Our Mystery Villain of Xtreme Interest is going to wear a Darth Vader helmet to the stay-at-home Comic-Con? I have zero confidence that this will result in a satisfying, or even coherent, conclusion. It’s written by the same guy who resolved a deportation issue by having Bill Clinton fix everything magically in exchange for a couple of Montoni’s pies.

  4. Gerard Plourde

    “Looks like our mystery character is a short, stocky white guy who enjoys cigars and dramatic unmaskings.”

    Does this mean that in the Funkyverse Phil Holt is dead but Jack Kirby is alive?

  5. Banana Jr. 6000

    This is peak Act III Funky Winkerbean. It spends a whole month telling us crap we already know, then cuts to a bizarre scene with no explanation at all. Why is somebody wearing a goddamn Darth Vader helmet during an ordinary visit a comic book store? What could they possibly be talking about that has anything to do with a plot about comic book artists falling out in 1954? Does this mean Star Wars and Starbuck Jonesexist in the same universe? How does he smoke cigars with that thing on? Why is the other guy cosplaying as Unkar Plutt from Force Awakens? Is he going to give Darth Philholt a quarter portion? Why don’t any comic book stores in this universe have modern display fixtures? Why is Darren just now telling Flash that he knew Phil Holt, after a four-hour flight where Phil was apparently the only thing they talked about? WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY.

  6. William Thompson

    And with another jump to the left, we enter one more warped parallel-timeline. Here it was some cruel twist of fate that kept Holt and Freekman from working together on the now-subpar Subterranean. Or is Freekman just a gloating, gaslighting asshole? Maybe he expects that Diarrhea will help spread his version of events, and nobody will check Holt’s career for a metaphorical knife in the back. Which would be in keeping with the way Batiuk pictures creatures like Les Moore, Dinkle and Crankshaft as good guys.)

  7. Hitorque

    It’s like Batiuk is actively trying not to tell us the story…




    • William Thompson

      Don’t be surprised if the awards ceremony is interrupted for a special announcement: Phil Holt has, by unanimous consent of the HOF Politburo, after a special request from the heroic writer and storyboard artist of the SJ movie, been admitted to the hall of fame! But do be surprised if it takes Batiuk less than two weeks to make the announcement

    • batgirl

      Pete the Fixer isn’t gonna make that happen because Darrin never suggested it, even though Phil Holt did him a bigger favour than Flash or Ruby have ever done for any of the bullpenners.
      I’m pretty sure Phil died bitter and penniless because TB wanted to remind everyone how unappreciated comics creators are by the undeserving public and Evil Editors/Publishers.

  8. billytheskink

    Flash’s head is longer than the head AND beard of the guy in the foreground of panel 4… and that guy even has a Peyton Manning-esque fivehead… Sheesh, maybe we should be making “the Banking Clan will sign your treaty” jokes about him every day.

  9. Epicus Doomus

    And I guess it’s just implied that after “The Subterranean” Flash just slipped into that weird FW suspended animation and did nothing of any note for around sixty years. For a guy who loves old-timey comic books so much he sure does write some really boring and shitty stories about them.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Hence why he was never hired to work for a real comic book company. His gag a day stuff rightfully earned him a spot on the comics page, but then it got to his head. Next came the unnecessary drama of killing off John Darling, and soon that gimmick would be used any time Batty wanted to manufacture drama.

      He got his wish and gained total control of his strip, and look at the mess he made. Lucky for him newspapers are on the wane and so nobody cares as long as he fills the space daily.

      FW is now just a vanity project for Batty, designed to push whatever his interests and beliefs are. For someone who brags so much about how he made it possible for strips to discuss serious issues, he sure missed a chance by ignoring covid.

      He’s run out of material and should have retired as Breathed and Watterson did. The Pulitzer committee was wise to pass over his work.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        And when drama genuinely occurs, he fastidiously avoids it, or screws it up. Les and Summer coping with Lisa’s death just magically happened offscreen. The much-hyped CTE arc was mostly about trashing Bull Bushka. And who suffered the most from quarantine in 2021? Lisa, in a contrived, badly retconned backstory. But Funky droned on for weeks about how COVID mildly inconvenienced him. The man has had enough chances to do “serious issues”, and he makes a shitshow of it every time.

  10. erdmann

    Recapping Flash’s part of the four- or five-hour long conversation between him and Dogwood:

    It’s a shame Phil Holt, the artist who drew all of the stories I wrote isn’t being inducted into the Hall of Fame, although I wouldn’t want to be in the same room with him. He was always at war with the world but he was a great guy. But he was difficult so I got more attention and he resented it. Then he quit Batom in a huff because they wouldn’t publish his new character and allow him to retain ownership. Too bad, because we could’ve worked on the book together and made comics history.

    Wow. We still really don’t know why Flash and Holt fell out, nor do we know why the Subterranean was such a big deal. TB makes it seem as if Holt threw away his entire career over the character, but why? How would he have made history? What set him apart from the Fin, the Green Lama, the Jester or Bozo the Iron Man? In short, what made him so goddamn special?
    From his name, I’m guessing he wasn’t a debonair bon vivant and gentleman detective who solved crimes from his luxurious Park Avenue penthouse with the assistance of his chauffeur, a two-fisted Irish ex-prize fighter who was quick with a quip as he was with his mitts, and a plucky girl reporter with a nose for trouble and a father who was the police commissioner. Otherwise, we know bupkis, which, all things considered, might be a blessing.

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      Thoroughly enjoyed your salute to four Second Banana Heroes (as Ron Goulart would call them). As the Red Mask, the one-time foe of Captain Triumph would say, attention must be paid even to those nice guys who had the personalities of deck chairs.

      To which Katisha in *The Mikado* would doubtless add: “Mercy even for Pooh-Bah and the Subterranean!”

  11. Arctic Flunky

    Does anyone really care about any of this?

    • ComicBookHarriet

      This blog makes a concerted effort. But on days like today, the ‘care’ is more ironic affectation than genuine emotion.

      Now, if you were lurking in the comments during nonsense like Bull’s CTE arc, or the ICE deportation nonsense…

  12. Bad wolf

    Oh wait, the Phil/Flash PhFallout is a red herring, and it’s just the one villain we’ve had for the entirety of Act 3: It’s Franky again.

    Well, that’s fine, I’ve come to like him so much more than any of these other characters. Maybe he’ll take over the whole strip like Tiffany took over Luann.

    • Hitorque

      Someone needed to take over the strip, since Evans clearly ran out of ideas for his title character yet refused to make his legacy cast members grow the hell up after he graduated them… That’s how we ended up with “college students” with the maturity and mindset of 8th graders.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Basically what happened to Funky Winkerbean after 1992. And now it has 55-year-olds with the maturity and mindset of 8th graders.

  13. Professor Fate

    The questions are unanswered and a cigar smoking dwarf with a Darth Vader Helmet is going to crash Comic Con for unknow reasons.
    Fine. This is fine.
    Obviously the story to the Author does not mean the same as it does to us.

  14. Gerard Plourde

    “It’s Franky again.”

    Honestly, that makes about as much sense as the rest of this sorry mess. Although, given the short stature and overall body type, I’m hoping for an appearance by Zanzibar The Murder Chimp.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Or some other right wing villain who arrived by tramp steamer in San Diego to crash the @home event. And you know this mysterious villain hates Lisa too.

  15. Margaret

    Chester in panel four is just hilarious. This is an very unusual FW strip: it’s funny! I just keep cracking up looking at Chester peering over Darrin’s shoulder. If only Darrin would stop suddenly! How are they not noticing Chester trying to overhear every world of a story that Flash would surely tell him if he just asked?

    • beware of eve hill

      Chester makes me chuckle too. He’s getting closer in each subsequent panel. If there was one more panel, I suspect Chester’s head would be sharing the neck hole of Darin’s shirt.

      As I commented the other day, “I will admit that I am slightly intrigued by Chester’s eavesdropping. I’d like to think that TB included it for a reason. Probably not.”

  16. Hitorque

    2. Oh and fuck Batiuk for not even bothering to mention that this time last year Southern California was burning like Armageddon…

    3. “Ye Olde Comics Shoppe?” Is he serious?? Why not just call it “Comics Cornah” since it’s obviously a 100% clone of the place in Westview? There’s even a Funkenstein doppelganger managing this joint!

    3a. Another independent comics store, and once again the only people inside are over 60… Take a drink.

    3b. How much you wanna bet that Batiuk’s “ComiCon” looks more like a Social Security/AARP seminar?

    • Hitorque

      4. And Darth Vader makes zero fucking sense unless Mystery Guest is somehow Flash Freeman’s dad or something… Or maybe since this dude is like four foot ten, he’s really trying to channel Lord Dark Helmet from “Spaceballs”?

      Whatever happened to Dr. Doom? He’s a perfectly fine supervillain! Hell I dressed up as Dr. Doom for Halloween back in 1984 and everything worked out….

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        I can already see the dramatic third panel of Darth Vader Head announcing “he was my father!” about Phil Holt. Tom Batiuk will talk about this on his blog like it’s the most brilliant satire in comic strips since The Shmoo.

        • Mr. A

          And then Chester will hire Holt Jr., and pair him up with Flash to finally make The Subterranean a reality. Holt Jr. will agree to this even though he came to Comic-Con specifically to denounce Flash.

  17. Banana Jr. 6000

    So Flash is just today learning from Darren that Phil Holt drew caricatures at childrens’ birthday parties? For a guy he’s so torn up about, he sure didn’t care where he’s been the last 65 years. That’s another fun theme in Funky Winkerbean: we’re supposed to be invested in these relationships the characters themselves clearly don’t care about.

    That stupid Lucy-Eugene-Lillian story from Crankshaft is another one. Really, they both walked away from true love because one letter got intercepted, and these people are supposed to be tragic victims. No, they’re not. They’re lazy, overly passive people who wouldn’t lift a finger to find out why their ‘true love’ stopped talking to them all of a sudden.

    • Gerard Plourde

      Your observations r”egarding the Lucy-Eugene-Lillian arc is spot on. What real-life couple would abandon life plans without trying to find out what happened?

      It’s another example of TomBa’s manipulation of plot and character to suit his preconceived result with as little effort as possible. A more diligent author would work to bring about a plausible reason for the breakup that could involve Lillian’s jealous interference but it would take more effort than TomBa is willing to commit (or is capable of).

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        The story wouldn’t work if it was in any way realistic. If Lucy and Eugene wanted to be together, Lillian would have not have been able to stop it. They’re adults, they don’t answer to Lillian, and they can be together if they want to. The fact that neither looked into what happened betrays that they didn’t really want to.

        Batiuk loves building lifelong misery out of minor, easily solved mishaps. Linda took a week to open that stupid letter from the NFL, the importance of which to her and Bull’s life was never explained. Instead of realizing that lawsuit settlements routinely deny payouts and make people jump through hoops to collect it. Darren nearly missed out on knowing Lisa was his mom because he missed one piece of mail, and then fretted over it for a week.

        Following up on anything just doesn’t exist in this universe. All anyone can do is throw their hands up and say “oh well, that’s life.”

        • Hitorque

          I have no fucking idea why the Bushka home would have gotten a letter from the NFL, unless it was an advertisement for the NFL Sunday Ticket on DirecTV…

          Lest we forget, Bull’s NFL “service” lasted all of two weeks in rookie training camp for the old St. Louis Football Cardinals — So his ass wasn’t ever covered by the NFLPA since he never had a chance to join…

          He *could* have some sort of legal claim against the NCAA since the damage to his brain clearly came from his college football career, but of course Batiuk didn’t explore that possibility

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            According to the CTE story, Bull spent a year on the Cardinals’ practice squad. That would make him eligible for an NFL settlement between about $12,000 and $50,000, depending on the severity of his condition. Two weeks in training camp wouldn’t do it, though. It’s a forgivable retcon to make a CTE story work, but Batiuk made such a shitshow of the whole thing he shouldn’t have bothered.

  18. erdmann

    Once again Batiuk has proven to be a magnificent master of misdirection. The mystery villain in the Vader mask has nothing to do with the Flash Freeman and Phil Holt, as we will learn Saturday when Ruby Lith is found murdered in her hotel room. The suspects:
    Dopey Pete. Pete just learned that his fiancé had been having an affair with Ruby. He was last seen in the hotel bar drunkenly swearing revenge.
    Mindy. She thought Ruby cared for her, but immediately after breaking up with Pete she found the older woman in bed with a Spider-Gwen cosplayer. She fled the room tearfully swearing revenge.
    Flash. In 1954, he nearly died from a mysterious case of poisoning and was hospitalized for two weeks. He just learned it was because Ruby cleaned her brushes in his coffee. He swore revenge.
    Cliff Anger. Ruby named him as a fellow traveler to HUAC in the 1950s, leading to his imprisonment. He also swore revenge.
    Chester and Dead Skunk Head John. They realized a planned omnibus edition of Ruby’s work would sell better as a memorial tribute.
    Durwood. He has no known motive, but one of his special imported pens was found in the pool of blood beneath the corpse. The police investigation will quickly focus on him.
    Cindy will be on hand to report on ComicCon and will begin her own investigation. She will realize that the body has been posed after death, mirroring crime scene photos she has seen from the Butter Brinkle case 80 years earlier. Then, she sneaks a peek at a forensic report on the pen. There is blood from two sources on it – and one isn’t human.
    Meanwhile, angry nerds are gathering outside the San Diego jail, threatening to write scathing blog entries and Instagram posts about Durwood.
    Can Cindy discover the truth before it’s too late? Find out in “Murder at Comic-Con,” the latest thriller from Lillian McKenzie. Available at illegally operated bookstores everywhere.

    But seriously, folks, I suspect Banana Junior 6000 and Mr. A have called it. The story will end with a big Kumbaya moment and TB will run the imaginary bases thinking, “to heck with the Pulitzer. This arc is a blueprint for world peace. Gimme my Nobel, baby!”

    • Gerard Plourde

      It’s a shame that your murder mystery scenario isn’t what’s going to happen. It’s worthy of the combined talents of Jessica Fletcher, Matlock, and Perry Mason.