Help Me Tom, I’m Only Bleating

Link To Today’s Drip

Batty usually has no problem with dreaming up new premises, as the problem is typically everything that happens after that. But jeepers, this one is mighty thin, even by his lowly standards. It’s like he decided to do a “back to school” arc, then completely ran out of ideas immediately, then decided to forge ahead anyway. And in his defense, who would even know?

But anyhow, yeah, he’s already resorting to testicle gags, the lowest of all gag forms. At this rate we should be getting into the fart jokes by tomorrow at the latest. I mean what can you even say here? This isn’t merely a lifeless outing, it’s an exhumed corpse outing.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

41 responses to “Help Me Tom, I’m Only Bleating

  1. At this rate we should be getting into the fart jokes by tomorrow at the latest.

    Perhaps a Marvin/Funky Winkerbean crossover?

    • none

      After what happened to My Father, John Darling, The Asshole Who Was Murdered Dead And Is Still Presumably Dead lol, I’d hope that Armstrong would not want to do anything with him anymore. Hopefully. For the sake of the sanctity of the newspaper comics page if anything.

      Marvin itself has the excrement punch line quota filled until 2076. Please, no more. Please.

  2. billytheskink

    Les does NOT want these kids to find out what he was up to at the school paper when Watergate was raging…

  3. William Thompson

    So the staff of Dah Bleet is going to . . . . expose corruption in Westview? Reveal the sinister plot that keeps incompetent teachers on the job while the school board can’t pass any levies? Uncover the truth behind Bull Bushka’s assassination and its cover-up? Didn’t Poverty Row make movies like this back in the late Thirties, with Tim Holt as Bernie, Bonita Granville as Lisa and Charles Middleton as Les?

    Or, maybe they’ll just demand the return of the vendos. You know how Les’s shallow, complacent students are about their priorities.

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      “Charles Middleton was Ming the Merciless,” as “Science Fiction Double Feature” doesn’t tell us in mentioning Flash Gordon’s silver underwear (cup size?).

      As an old movie fan, I applaud your choice of actors, especially since I saw “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” again recently, and Tim Holt was the youngest of the three prospectors. (Not on an actor on a par with Humphrey Bogart and Walter Huston, to be sure, but he’s good here, and also good in “The Magnificent Ambersons.”)

      • William Thompson

        Some day I hope to see Les drawn as Ming the Merciless. If nothing else it would force Les to groom that scuzzy beard he flaunts.

    • Westview Radiology

      How about an investigation into where Summer & Keisha are?

  4. Also, it’s nice that the election and the pandemic forced the staff to “raise their journalism game” by “playing hardball”, but it would be really nice if we knew exactly what the fuck they did. I have a feeling that instead of telling us, we’ll just get more dumb wordplay on Saturday and more wordplay on Sunday.

    • Bad wolf

      “Playing hardball” followed by a smash cut to Les at home on a couch on a zoom call to these kids might have made me chuckle. Might have.

  5. The Dreamer

    Those twin girls are still in his class?! How many years have they been at Westview now? Les must’ve failed them a couple of times 🙂

    • If we are to believe the FW 10 year time jump, based on their appearance in Crankshaft they were at least 8 years old and probably closer to 10, so they should be in college now.

  6. Mr. A

    I’m not saying that I want Batiuk to do athletic cup jokes. But if he’s going to do one, he should go all-in.

  7. Sourbelly

    Les says “play hardball”, and the fat kid with the glasses runs off to get an athletic supporter (cup) to protect his genitals. Like, he took Les literally. Oh, goodness gracious! Is that the joke?

    Full disclosure: I took a two or three year sabbatical from this strip at some point, so maybe during that time this child became a fully realized character with a variety of humorous and relatable quirks and foibles. Just kidding. This is just the same ol’ random idiocy, right?

    • none

      That’s Bernie. His defining characteristic is that he’s an idiot. Sometimes he’ll say something which he thinks is witty and cross his arms with a smirk to bask in the response.

      This is different from the twin girls, who are merely idiots and just speak to release air out of their heads, and the other guy who never speaks and doesn’t have a name yet after attending the school for the past twelve years. Did you notice that his shirt is red? Old Red Shirt, that guy is.

      • be ware of eve hill

        What kind of a nincompoop creates a recurring character and neglects to give him a name? Only Batty.

        Hey Batty! If you can’t give the poor kid a name can you at least give him a few lines? 😂

        • batgirl

          I have an affection for Nameless Black Youth as (one of) his first speaking parts was “That’s not humor.” to Dinkle.
          Keep speaking truth to power, Nameless Black Youth.

  8. If I put this amount of effort into my own work, I’d stop. Seriously, this strip is just busy-work, the kind of things you make young school children do to keep them from causing trouble.

    It makes me wonder what Batiuk would do if he wasn’t “busy” “writing” the strip. Would he walk around and peer in people’s windows or something?

    • Epicus Doomus

      Theses are ALARMINGLY bad gags this week, even worse than the usual FW fare. If Bernie merely says “good thing I wore my cup today” it’s a really bad joke, but having Bernie actually get up and go get his cup makes it way, way dumber. You’d think someone who’s been doing this for fifty years would know that and self-edit himself accordingly. You’d think.

      • “I need you to play hardball, Bernie!”

        “But I don’t find you attractive at all, Mr. Moore.”

      • be ware of eve hill

        A few years ago FW featured some comic strips that were supposedly created by Pete and Darin from when they attended Westview High School. They were titled SOPHOMORIC SIGHTINGS.

        Even those pretend amateurish comic strips were better than the strips we’ve witnessed over the past couple of days.

        Remember the comedy gold of Bull Bushka’s school record for career rushing yards consisting of a measly 43 total yards? Lame indeed but still better than today.

  9. J.J. O'Malley

    “Last year the pandemic…forced us to raise our journalism game”? Didn’t said pandemic in fact force your school to shut down for some extended periods of time in 2020-21, with students taking part in online classes at home? Since Battyuk–of course!–never bothered to show us the intrepid Bleat staff doing ANY sort of home-based podcasts or meeting online to discus the topic, exactly what game was raised? Oh, and we never saw them cover the election, either

    If anyone is keeping score, this is the THIRD day in a row that Lester has said something that, once it’s given a nanosec of thought, makes no sense. And let’s not even get into Lester, Jr.’s asinine “punchline,” as though a high school student really thinks “playing hardball” requires protection for something that, in all likelihood, he’s not using and probably won’t until he someday settles down with a cancer patient of his own.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I was expecting some strips showing the teachers struggling with technology at home. Les would be shown fumbling to get a Zoom meeting started,etc.

      But Batty was too lazy to do something new. Instead it was all shameless self promoting of Lisa’s Story.

  10. Gerard Plourde

    Yet more proof that TomBa wrote this between the initial outbreak and before last year’s fall spike occurred. And, leaving aside COVD, what exactly would a high school news broadcast have done during the election? Send a team of reporters onto te campaign trail?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      This may be a new first. Not only did we not see any of this cutting-edge journalism, but it wasn’t even talked about. It was never even mentioned that they were inschool Tom Batiuk has moved past “tell don’t show” and “talk about, don’t tell” to “cut directly to praising Les, don’t bother with anything else.”

  11. Banana Jr. 6000

    This is isn’t merely a lifeless outing, it’s an exhumed corpse outing.

    Well, if there’s any comic strip that can get material out of an exhumed corpse…

  12. hitorque

    I just want to remind y’all that Jerome Bushka died about two years ago, retired from coaching high school about four years ago, and WE STILL HAVEN’T SEEN OR HEARD ANYTHING ABOUT HIS SUCCESSOR (!)

    Why can we get on with a new coach and have an old fashioned Westview Scapegoats sports storyline?? Anything is better than this shit…

    Oh, and please stop talking to these idiot kids like they’re a real journalism outfit, Les…

    Wait a minute — Has Les Freaking Moore even spent a day in the news industry? Because if he hasn’t, why in the fuck is he even teaching/mentoring/whatever this club?

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Yeah, Batty forgot to plan ahead again. The natural replacement would be Summer, but she would have to graduate first.

      At my local High School the football coach is the highest paid teacher and earns a lot more than the highest paid English teacher and so it would be great to see Summer come in and make more than Les!

      • hitorque

        I guess we’re pretty much forced to assume Westview High School cancelled all their sports teams in Bushka’s memory?? The good news is the remnants of Westview’s players and assistant coaches all moved south to Columbus and founded a new school called Bishop Sycamore… And the rest, as they say, is history.

  13. Y. Knott

    Is Bernie stupid? Or is he smarter than everyone, having found a cunning way to leave this meeting and avoid any further speechifying?

  14. Run-D.M.V.

    Pandemic??? Election???

    I read this strip to escape real life. If I want politics, current events, and social commentary, I’ll read Heathcliff for crying out loud.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Batty doesn’t like to hear that. Those statements sound like his mythical laws of cartooning.

      Batty believes it is his job to force you to deal with things, things that he thinks are important. What you or I think is irrelevant.

      We should be awed by whatever this masterful story teller creates for us daily.

      • Anonymous Sparrow

        You remind me of the two priests watching the slugfest in “The Quiet Man.”

        Father Paul : Father! Father Lonergan!

        Father Peter Lonergan, Narrator : [not wanting to disturb the fish] Ssh, ssh, ssh, ssh, ssh.

        Father Paul : It’s a big fight in the town!

        Father Peter Lonergan, Narrator : Listen, there’s a big fight in this fish right here, too.

        Father Paul : I’d have put a stop to it, but seeing it’s…

        Father Peter Lonergan, Narrator : You do that, lad. It’s your duty.

        Father Paul : But seeing it was Danaher and Sean Thornton…

        [Father Lonergan turns at stares at Father Paul in amazement]

        Father Peter Lonergan, Narrator : WHO?

        Father Paul : Danaher and Sean Thornton!

        Father Peter Lonergan, Narrator : WELL WHY THE DEVIL DIDN’T YOU TELL ME? Oh, you young…

        [Throws down his fishing rod and the two run back into town. They abruptly stop behind a gate]

        Father Paul : Father, shouldn’t we put a stop to it now?

        Father Peter Lonergan, Narrator : [relishing the fight from a distance] Ah, we should, lad, yes, we should, it’s our duty!

        And they do nothing of the kind. Praise Les!

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        And you know what’s really, really important to Tom Batiuk? The Silver Age comic books bullpen! Because look who’s back in the header. It’s Not Dead Phil Holt, as opposed to Dead But Unkillable Lisa. This is the beginning of Act IV, folks. Lisa’s Story is finally over, except for a few victory laps, largely because Tom Batiuk was in a hurry to wrap it up so he can get back to what he really cares about.

        Funky Winkerbean in 2022 will be at least 50% comic book stories.

  15. Perfect Tommy

    Why does it seem like Les should have a flashlight under his face?

  16. Jimmy

    I couldn’t care less about the storyline, but that image of Funky sneaking up on his wife in the banner gave me an honest to goodness guffaw.

  17. batgirl

    It’s not quite up there with Is Phil Holt Dead? but the Was Bull Bushka a Bully? issue remains. We have plenty of evidence from the original run that Bull was indeed a bully, at least to Les. And recently that was restated in flashback.
    Yet, when Bull was helping Summer with ACL rehab, he and Les told her that actually Bull had pretended to bully Les in order to protect him from Bull’s posse (the old ‘nobody beats up my brother but me’ stance).

    I posit that that was a lie. Bull and Les concocted a retcon (retconcocted?) for Summer’s sake, so that she wouldn’t feel uncomfortable having her father’s old nemesis at their home, helping her recover.
    Les is still an ungrateful lickspittle who holds onto grudges like kidneystones, but it would explain why he continues to harp on being a victim – and also why Bull’s supposed posse never appears anywhere but that one strip.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      All of Funky Winkerbean is a lie. Any history, no matter how important or well-established, can be discarded at any moment for today’s strip. And then it can be re-established just as instantly. Tom Batiuk wanted Bull to come off as sympathetic for a nanosecond, so he made up that “bullying Les to protect him” horseshit. Then it was just as quickly forgotten. As was his decades of friendship and all the kindness Bull showed to Les. But the story needs Les to be eternally butthurt about high school, so all that goes out the window so Les can whine about that. Which also ignores the “bullying Les to protect him” retcon. Round and round it goes.

  18. Housekeeping

    Forgot to Confirm