Healing fact-or fiction?

Oh sweet Sousa, it’s HIM! I guess we all knew his appearance was inevitable after Holly brought up band alumni yesterday, but I think we were all hoping he wouldn’t show up as soon as today’s strip. But now he is involved AND he is tossing around comic book/video game terminology like he‘s DSH or the other guy in this strip named Harry, making this story arc go from insufferably bland to straight up insufferable in three panels flat. And now we know Holly wasn’t the only majorette he routinely maimed…

Holly really shouldn’t be surprised he remembers her, though. After all, he named his shoe brand’s majorette marching boots after her. I guess that means he is being sincere then telling her she was the best majorette he ever had, though I’ll also bet he‘s been keeping her royalty checks from the sale of those boots for the past 29 years too.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

45 responses to “Healing fact-or fiction?

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Why would she think Dinkle wouldn’t remember her? They’ve lived in Westview for their entire lives and Dinkle knows Morty, her father-in-law. Surely Holly and Dinkle must have crossed paths at least a few times since Holly graduated, unless Dinkle doesn’t eat pizza, which is just too ludicrous to even consider. It’s just bizarre.

  2. Gerard Plourde

    I know that this strip has nothing to do with reality but the last time I looked Dinkle was retired and Becky was the music director (admittedly with Dinkle as a constant, although unexplained presence). If Melinda (manipulating Holly) is planning to hijack the homecoming game, shouldn’t the call go to Principal Nate rather than the retired band director?

    And while we’re speculating, who is the new football coach? Shouldn’t that person be involved as well?

    • Sourbelly

      That was my first reaction, too. Why, of all people, would she contact Dinkhole? He’s a retired, deaf (?), former band director who is now the organ player/fundraiser/director of a “gospel” choir at a church in another town.
      And of course, her squinchy-joy facial expression when Dinkhole commends her for her ability to heal from horrible burns is either pathetically sad or sadly pathetic. Or maybe squinchworthy.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Yeah. why the hell would she smile at that? And it’s a warm, happy smile, not an embittered, sarcastic one. Leave to Tom Batiuk to NOT use a wry smirk the one time when he should.

        • William Thompson

          “Mr. Dinkle, I miss the good old days of abuse and agony! I want to end up in the burn ward one last time, where the doctors and nurses actually cared about my well-being!”

  3. erdmann

    “Of course I remember you! You were the best at what you did, but what you did wasn’t very nice! I mean, that one time, you melted all the band chocolate!”

  4. billytheskink

    Holly’s healing factor was off the charts? What about Dinkle’s hearing factor?

    • Epicus Doomus

      Maybe he’ll do a retcon arc to explain that someday.

      “And Becky, who was unable to properly hold the trombone anymore, lost control of the slide. It struck me in the side of the head and, just like that, my hearing loss was cured!”

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      Is Holly related to Wolverine? He’s got a healing factor, too!

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        No, because Wolverine is a Marvel character, and nothing Marvel can ever appear in Funky Winkerbean. It is their eternal punishment for their short-sighted decision to not hire Tom Batiuk, and then immediately promote him to head writer of Spider-Man, when he was 24.

        • Anonymous Sparrow

          How unfair, especially when Marvel seemed to recognize the error it committed! Chris Claremont wrote an *X-Men Annual* in which Jarvis, the Avengers’s butler, looked forward to a quiet spell in which he could learn “what’s new with *Funky Winkerbean*!” (The third Annual, from 1979.)

          Tom Batiuk may have sent out a peace feeler when he had Les Moore recognize that someone was wearing a Scarlet Spider costume. (One should never clone alone…)

          I would not have Wolverine related to Holly for all the farms in Cuba or all the Vibranium in Wakanda.

  5. J.J. O'Malley

    Far be it from me to tell an old man how to spend his remaining time above the ground, but should Dinkleberg be concentrating on his Tournament of Roses Parade Retired Band Director March routine? January 1st is only about 100 days or so from now.

    • Hitorque

      And what about his church choir? And his nursing home jazz band? And the fact that he’s still spending 3-4 days a week at Westview High talking to that one-arm girl? And the biography he’s writing about that famous musician? And his own autobiography? And all those regional/state/national conventions for high school band directors?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      It’ll go like every other marching band performance does in Funky Winkerbean: he’ll complain constantly about everyone else’s incompetence, he’ll keep them practicing for inhuman amounts of time, then the performance will go perfectly.

  6. RudimentaryLathe?

    I suppose it’s to be expected this “story” would circle back to The Band Director From the Black Lagoon. But in Act 3 Quarter-Inch-From-Reality™ context, that panel 3 “punchline” is intensely cringe.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Yeah Batty has to constantly remind people that: I created Dinkle, I created Dinkle, it wasn’t always about cancer, I created Dinkle too!

      • gleeb

        Well, confession is good for the soul.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Funky Winkerbean exists just to continue existing, and Dinkle is the symbol of that. When you think of Snoopy, or Hobbes, or Opus the Penguin, you think about all the great moments they had. Dinkle does only one thing: being Dinkle. He’s the “wacky band director”, even though he hasn’t done anything wacky since at least 1991. He’s an exercise in branding.

        He’s not just a one-hit wonder; he’s an obnoxiously bad one, like “Cotton Eye Joe” or “Achy Breaky Heart.” And Tom Batiuk just keeps going out there and playing it, even though nobody wants to hear it anymore.

  7. Dinkle held his wedding anniversary at Montoni’s, of course he knows Holly. This is just terrible, because Dinkle is the worst.

    I hate him more than Les. Les, at least, knows he doesn’t deserve what he’s given. Dinkle sails through life being horrible all the time, and he’s showered with awards and acclaim, and he needs to be killed by spiders.

  8. Hitorque

    A tiny little burg like Westview where everyone knows everyone else and bumps into each other on a daily basis and I’m now supposed to believe Holly hasn’t seen or talked to Harold Leroy Dinkle in 40 years? Dinkle hasn’t ONCE knocked on her door during one of his million fundraisers? Montoni’s hasn’t ever delivered to his house?

    And I always thought she was Holly Winkerbean? She kept her original name after getting married??

    And help me out here — What the fuck does Holly actually *do* for a living? Yeah I know she works at Montoni’s, but she had some kind of life and career before marrying Funkman, didn’t she?

    And “healing factor?!” Who the hell talks like that? And how would Dinkle know anyway when he isn’t a doctor??

    • batgirl

      Women in the Funkyverse don’t have careers or lives except as required to have them nearby to listen to their men bloviate while the men are at work. Linda is at the school (again) so she can listen to Les and Suspenders Guy. Becky is at school so she can listen to Dinkle. Cayla is at school so she can listen to Les when he’s not at home. Holly works at Montoni’s so she can listen to Funky and Crazy. Mindy and Ruby are at Atomik Komix so they can listen (wryly) to Darrin, Pete, and the Silver Age Foxes. Cindy lost her job so that she could be insecure about her looks, then got another that would place her for finding a man that she could listen to (and talk to about being insecure about her looks). Cindy is the sort-of exception.

      • be ware of eve hill

        👏 YaY!

        One can almost imagine a Funky Winkerbean male character placing an index finger on his female partner’s lips and command Hush now. Men are talking.

        Misogynistic Batty. Kick him in the shins (I know. I know. Aim higher).

  9. Rusty Shackleford

    Over on Crapshaft the poor storytelling continues. I like how the reporters name is hastily taped on his computer. And like others have mentioned, what is Batty’s thing with amputees? Why introduce another character like this? The story would be just as bad if Skip had both arms.

    I thought we would be seeing more of Crankshaft’s granddaughter and her loser husband.

    • batgirl

      I think Crankshaft’s granddaughter is the Interchangeable Blonde engaged to Pete R. It’s Crankshaft’s grandson Max who is moving back home with his Interchangeable Blonde wife and infant-soon-to-be-memory-holed.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Ah right. Thank you for the correction.

      • hitorque

        So the bankrupt couple who liked to get it on in their own movie theater are now moving in with Krankenschaaften?? I can’t wait to see his reaction to all the nonstop loud angry marathon sex that he’ll be forced to listen to all night in the next room…

        And holy fuck these idiots are moving in with a LOT of shit… Weren’t they bankrupt? Wouldn’t they have been better off selling some of that unnecessary furniture and office equipment??

    • hitorque

      Yeah, this “Skip Rawlings” character I’ve never heard of is NOT exactly firing up our passion for the romantic principles of print journalism with such a lameassed screed of misery… And what year is this? He looks like he’s typing on a 1970s era green-screen computer??

      But yesterday’s strip just tears it… He goes on about the Sentinel being the newspaper of record all the way back to the American Revolution and I’m trying to figure out how the hell that’s possible when white settlers didn’t come to what we now know as Ohio until the late 1780s… Way to check your facts, Skippy…

  10. Of course, over on his blog he’s having an orgy of self-congratulation.

    It makes me wonder if this whole Holly-cheerleader stuff is going to be tied into the Rose Bowl Parade, somehow.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      My word, can Tom Batiuk kiss own ass any harder?

      I don’t blame him, though. He’s a pragmatic glory-hound who’ll turn anything into a Funky Winkerbean showcase if you let him have any say in it. I blame the leadership of the Rose Parade. Really, this is how they think they’re going to stay relevant in 2022? By giving a platform to Funky goddam Winkerbean? Do they think it will keep the young children interested, like the Snoopy and Underdog balloons once did?

      And “celebrating America’s band directors?” Really, Rose Parade? Two years of doctors and nurses working themselves to death, and this is who you think needs to be celebrated? The most vainglorious people on Earth?

      Big, stupid parades are already near the top of the list of “boomer cultural crap that needs to die.” We don’t need to show the Soviet Union how much more productive our farms are, thank you very much. That was the point of these things, you know. It’s all a big Victorian folly. It also doesn’t fit within modern mores of environmental consciousness, because it is a massive waste of energy and agricultural output. And it’s surprisingly disgusting. There was a Dirty Jobs episode about cleaning up after the Rose Parade, and it lived up the standards of that show.

      • Hannibal’s Lectern

        One of the few side benefits of the pandemic and lockdown has been that nearly all parades have been canceled. I’m in a bagpipe band, and in a typical year we’ll march in about a dozen of the things. Strictly for the money (and, particularly at St. Patrick’s Day, the opportunity to crawl the pubs afterward and drink a lot of Guinness that somebody else paid for). I have never attended a parade as a spectator, and honestly have no idea why anyone in their right mind would want to.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          In the three-network era, I remember the parade being what you watched on TV to nurse your New Year’s morning hangover, until the bowl games started. Nowadays, I think they start at 9 AM Eastern and continue non-stop until Valentine’s Day, so there’s no need.

  11. Maxine of Arc


    • Banana Jr. 6000

      And it’s one of Tom Batiuk’s most annoying storytelling tropes: having the characters tell each other things the audience already knows. It’s exactly what Editing 101 class tells you to omit from the story. Just cut to Dinkle directing Holly at her first practice. The readers can piece together how she got there. Use a narrative box, or a forced bit of expository dialog, if you must.

      Funky Winkerbean spends so much just… talking about itself. While it completely ignores important story points like: why the hell is Holly doing this?

      • Maxine of Arc

        And who does he think is going to react to a scene of Holly calling Dinkle with anything other than a groan and a slug of tequila? If it wasn’t glaringly obvious before that he has nu audience besides himself…

        and us, I guess. I am grateful to Funky Winkerbean for assembling this crowd of commentariat anyway.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Batiuk thinks he has an audience, because he’s cross-promoting to it. Dinkle’s here so Batiuk can hype his oh-so-important appearance in the 2022 Rose Parade. Mr. Eleven Months Lead Time was right ready with that blog post, wasn’t he?

          I bet that was the impetus for this entire lame-brained arc. “How can I get Dinkle to make more appearances in the comic strip before the Rose Parade? What else can I have him direct? I know, I’ll have one of the main cast members want to relive their high school band experience!” Because that never happens in Funky Winkerbean. (smirk, eyeroll)

          On top of that, I expect this story to completely lose track of Melinda. Holly’s only doing this because Melinda pushed her into doing it, despite her horrifying history of burn damage. But now very day’s going to be Dinkle Dinkle Dinkle Dinkle Dinkle, as the two of them lamely re-enact jokes from 1988 that weren’t even funny then. It’s like a clip show, except a clip show admits what it is.

  12. Perfect Tommy

    I can’t believe Holly actually called Dinklebag instead of just randomly showing up at his home. Can the bar get any lower?

    • billytheskink

      That’s a big part of what’s so silly about this. “Do you remember me? I have your home phone number…” But then again, we’ve established that the Winkerbeans have Bill Clinton on speed dial, so I guess this… works on some level?


  13. newagepalimpsest

    At least this pairing is more logical than “I want Dinkle to meet Lillian so ummm I guess she’s a devout chorister now and Dinkle suddenly fears the wrath of God and wants a church gig.”