I’m always forced to admit it when I find an FW character’s situation relatable to my own. My family photos aren’t collected in neat, tidy albums. They live in boxes and bags in the attic, and I need to, one of these days, take the time to sort and organize them. It’s a daunting task, to be sure, and that’s why I keep putting it off. But when I do find myself going through old photos, the memories they hold always bring a smile to my face. In today’s strip, Holly appears to be utterly distraught as she cowers on the floor amidst her family snapshots.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

39 responses to “Photobombed

  1. Banana Jr. 6000

    “Oh, no! I need another pandemic so I can finish sorting my photos!” Well, I’ve got great news for you, Holly from 11 months ago…

  2. Interesting that the only color we see on the photos is blotchy red. Are these photos of shooting victims?

    • William Thompson

      Strangulation victims, no doubt killed by some unkempt fiend who uses his ragged fingernails like claws. Holly has just become aware that there is a psycho-killer in her family, and he does not limit himself to murdering psychos. But who does she know who is crazy like that, other than Les Moore? Say, why is Funky sneaking up on her in the banner?

  3. J.J. O'Malley

    Apparently Funky didn’t bother to get his hair cut during the pandemic, so I’m not surprised that…I’m sorry, what’s that? That’s supposed to be Holly? My bad. Guess there’s a whole week of photo scrapbooking ahead.

    Also, all the photos appear to black and white with occasional splotches of red. Was Fun…er, Holly taking pictures at a screening of “Schindler’s List”?

  4. Epicus Doomus

    Sudden Jarring Change Of Pace Arc alert! Holly and her meddlesome old bag of a mother have suddenly emerged from FW character purgatory for yet another wacky pandemic-themed “story”, or so it would seem. There’s a certain weird blitheness to these pandemic arcs. First you had Marianne jabbering about how the pandemic worked out great for her, now we have Holly wishing for another mass casualty event so she can tackle a few more household chores. It’s the kind of light-hearted negativity FW is known for. Doesn’t make it any funnier, though.

    I also have to point out that Holly’s mother lives there thus making it highly unlikely that she’s just noticing the massive pile of pictures now, unless they keep her confined to one room or something.

    • Mr. A

      I was about to say. There’s no way Holly’s mom hasn’t been in this room since “the lockdown” ended.

      Wrestling with the timeline again…I’m assuming that the re-opening of Montoni’s marked the end of “the lockdown”. We had a flashback to that in June, so we know the reopening had to be before that. In fact, we know it had to be before April 19th, when the strip first mentioned “the pandemic” that happened “last year”, because Funky was already in no-masks post-pandemic mode at that time. And to be really over-analytical, Crankshaft‘s first mention of “the pandemic” that happened “last year” was a week earlier, on April 12th. So, even if you discount the ambiguous non-time of the lost year entirely, these pictures have apparently been lying around on the floor for five full months of normal time. If you do count the lost year, it’s probably been fifteen months.

  5. Banana Jr. 6000

    This strip showcases three of Tom Batiuk’s worst conceits.

    First, he treats his characters’ first world problems as a massive crisis, but a pandemic that’s killed 700,000 Americans is a punchline. This from a guy who constantly demands to “tell more serious stories” because gag writing is beneath him.

    Second: there isn’t a single piece of technology in this shot. Sorting photographs must be done exactly like it was in 1985, with big cardboard boxes of Polaroid prints, while sitting on the floor in your grandmother’s living room. My mother is at least 20 years older than Holly is supposed to be, and she’s been doing this digitally for years. Batiuk is constantly forcing his Internet-free world on everybody.

    Third is how horribly out of date this remark is. We already have another goddam pandemic, or maybe the first one never ended. But Funky Winkerbean is just going to press on with its jokes that made sense in October 2020 but don’t any more .

    • Mr. A

      RE: your second point: it’s possible that this week will end with Holly getting all her photos digitized. I think it’s a plausible variation on Batiuk’s classic “Dinkle learns about online fundraising” plot.

  6. Sourbelly

    So, Holly, you’ve had a full year* to sort through your all of your old photos, and yet it looks like you started 20 minutes ago? What the natural fuck is wrong with you? And wishing for another pandemic? Stay classy, dipshit..

    *I just can’t care anymore about all the time gymnastics we’re supposed to perform to work through Batdick’s time jumps forwards and backwards and working a year in advance and all that.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      “you’ve had a full year* to sort through your all of your old photos, and yet it looks like you started 20 minutes ago?”

      I mean, it’s the way I do my taxes…

    • none

      There should be no concessions granted on the bending of time behind his strips, because it’s unreasonable to expect the common reader to even be aware of the year lead time and the skips and their inconsistent treatment. It should be entirely expected for a reader to look at today’s strip as if it had happened today and judge its quality (and lack thereof) accordingly.

      But he gets a carte blanche pass. For some reason.

  7. The Duck of Death

    Why does Batiuk feel the need to stick his oar in re: the pandemic? Most comics have ignored it. When he does delve into it, he completely misses the point. The pandemic has remade the whole world politically and socially. His way of dealing with that was to have Funky grieving that he had to temporarily remove the “barstools” and jukebox, then put them back.

    Tommy, stop trying to make “topical” happen. It’s not going to happen.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Because Funky Winkerbean is a Very Mature And Important Work That Tackles Serious Issues. Diseases and suffering are Tom Batiuk’s brand. So he has to try, even if he doesn’t have anything to say about it.

  8. Rusty Shackleford

    What happened to the strip featured in the masthead of Funky sneaking up to Holly? That looks like fun, though I’m sure the second panel will feature a wall of nonsense text.

  9. Gerard Plourde

    Another thing – How is it that most of these photos aren’t already in digital format? Inexpensive digital cameras have been around for about two decades and phones with cameras for almost as long. Not long after that the market for inexpensive film cameras disappeared and so did they.

    • billytheskink

      Given all of the red smears on the photos and the grayscale flashback image of Holly’s mother in the header, I’m guessing most of these “old” photos date back to Holly’s days as a red-and-white clad high school majorette (so, 70s and 80s). So the lack of digital photos makes sense on that level.

      The fact that Holly is acting like she’s been working this for the better part of a year while her mother, who lives in the very same house, is just now finding out about it does not make sense (there’s no reason the setup couldn’t be Holly STARTING on this project, other than that not giving TB a chance to drop the pandemic in there). But that’s not going to matter much in a few days because I am sure this is simply an awkward and distasteful setup for a week of sepia-toned flashbacks of Holly in high school.

      • batgirl

        Holly needs to hire the guy who puts the photo corners on all the flashbacks. He’d have her pictures organized in no time!

      • Gerard Plourde

        “ I’m guessing most of these “old” photos date back to Holly’s days as a red-and-white clad high school majorette (so, 70s and 80s).”

        That could be, in which case, Holly’s mom could give Becky’s dad (who had a video camera permanently attached to his face) a real run for the money.

  10. Professor Fate

    This does seem to be the absolute worst thing happening to Holly right now. In terms of tragedy it feels almost on a par with Funky’s lost discman.
    But on does expect this level of self absorbed unworldly nonsense from a strip that had a man who survived the great California Wildfire come home and give his wife a rock as a present.
    Is Funky sneaking up on his wife to strangle her? The strip hasn’t had a murder in while so maybe.

    • The Duck of Death

      Oh, goody! Like JohnDarlingJessicaDarling’sFatherWhoWasMurdered, perhaps Holly will be HollyWinkerbeanFunky’sWifeWhoWasMurderedByAn”Intruder”WhoWasNeverFoundOhWell.

      • The Duck of Death

        That appears to have cut off, so maybe it needs hyphens.


  11. Banana Jr. 6000

    Funkyblog news: production sketches of yesterday’s oh-so-scintillating comic book cover have been released. Apparently the guy throwing the lightning bolt was Doctor Atmos. And the character is even more stupid and confusing than we thought:

    What the hell do either of those things have to do with being made of air? And yes, the blog makes it very clear: that drawing is of Doctor Atmos, not Killerwatt.

    • The Duck of Death

      1) Lightning doesn’t harm air. Nor does air need to be grounded (?). (Isn’t grounding antithetical to air?)

      2) If this character is made of air that’s contained in a muscle-stud-shaped suit, then what the hell is his face made of?

      • William Thompson

        Lightning can “harm” air by creating ozone and oxides of nitrogen, but so what? The lightning would have to pass through Dr. Atmos to harm him, and what sort of superidiot would zap himself . . . oh. A Funkyverse hero, indeed.

  12. batgirl

    I should find Holly’s situation relatable, as I planned to use the lockdown to sort through my dad’s photographs, and am still struggling through hundreds of sets of Viewmaster reels (10-20% have some writing on the reels or boxes) from the 50s-70s.
    As TFH noted, it’s an emotional journey with a lot of joy. But in the Funkyverse, the only childhood memories that bring joy are those of solitary comic book reading.

    • The Duck of Death

      You bring up a good point I’ve often pondered. Most people’s treasured childhood memories involve parents, friends, relatives, or even pets.

      Not Batty’s/Les’s. Just him and a hot cocoa and a comic. Who brought him the hot cocoa, anyway? Never mind. It was probably a female, and they live to serve anyway.

  13. newagepalimpsest

    Don’t worry, Holly! I’m here to help!

    Okay, all of these photos of Les can go in the garbage. So can all of the ones with Crazy Harry. Oh, is this your wedding photo with Funky? Ew, I hate that tie. Oh well, the march of fashion is merciless…

    Any photos you are about to use to make us view a flashback belong in this pile here, because bonfire weather is coming up.

  14. The Duck of Death

    The major unanswered question: Are these photos A) coming OUT of albums with Patented Funkyverse Photo Corners, or B) going INTO albums with Patented Funkyverse Photo Corners? There is no option C.

  15. Ralph the Wonder Llama 🦙

    In some cases it’s not only a daunting task, it’s impossible. I went through my parents’ old photos a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, there are only a few photo albums and most of the photos are loose in shoe boxes. The color photos start to appear approximately in the summer of 1962. The brownish photos (sepia?) are from the 1940s and earlier. The photo albums are photos on a sticky surface under a clear plastic page. There are no albums with photo corners. Take that, Batyuk.

    Sadly, my mom and dad didn’t write on the back of their photos. Who is in the photo? When and where did it take place? Were these people friends or relatives? There are scores of photos like that. Both Mom and Dad are gone now. Sad.

    After retirement, my parents traveled a lot. The photos of their trips are still in their envelope from the photo developers but nobody bothered to write the trip location or the dates on the envelope. Is this photo from a Caribbean island or Mexico? Is this photo from Italy or Greece?

    The dates in the margin can be a great help. Case in point, there was one photo of a little tiny baby laying on my great-grandmother’s lap. There is a date in the margin. It’s dated one month after my birth date. That little baby, It was me! That was pretty cool.

    There are also a lot of treasures like my parent’s wedding album, class photos of my siblings and me, postcards, and my little league and peewee football team photos.