Don’t sleep in the subway, Holly

The day of the big alumni band Holly and Melinda Budd vanity performance has arrived in today’s strip, and the nastiness continues. No, I’m not talking about the weather, though most of us are aware that monsoon rains during band performances are quite possibly the longest still-running gag in this strip (predating even Garfield and lasagna/Mondays, though far far less accessible).

Good crowd on hand, considering the weather, probably the biggest since Bull retired. Whoever replaced him must be doing a good job, crowds were pretty thin when Bull’s teams were struggling.

Sorry, scratch that last paragraph. This is Funky Winkerbean, so I’m sure the crowd is really here to see Holly…


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

29 responses to “Don’t sleep in the subway, Holly

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Oh yeah (sigh), the rain gag. You see, back in the day every marching band event was held in a torrential downpour, which believe it or not was sort of funnier than it sounds, at least at first. But like all things Funky, it was quickly driven into the ground through sheer repetition until it became just another annoying FW running gag. Like with the leaves.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Every marching band event was held in a torrential downpour, but Holly still managed to light herself on fire every single time.

      • Epicus Doomus

        Ironically enough, yes. See? Life is just FULL of ironic defeats, setbacks and disappoinments! That’s what’s so FUNNY about it!

        • Anonymous Sparrow

          There’s irony, yes, but there’s also just plain annoying.

          Alanis Morrissette has probably inspired more debates with one song than Tom Batiuk in forty-nine years of this comic strip.

  2. DickJohnson

    I don’t know if its just because of how boring and potato-like she normally is but I’m liking this iteration of Holly

    • ComicBookHarriet

      It’s nice to see her show a little backbone, even if it’s just her getting her hackles up.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Very true. In fact, this arc flirts with adequacy. But it’s all exposition and no rising action. We’ve seen the underlying tension between Holly and her mother, and we can infer why it’s there. But at some point they need to stop sniping at each other, and the real conflict needs to emerge.

        My proposed strip for tomorrow:

        PANEL 1: MELINDA: Now, you’ll never be a majorette with that attitude!
        PANEL 2: HOLLY: I never wanted to be a majorette! It’s your dream, you do it! (Holly angrily shoves the baton into Melinda’s hands)
        PANEL 3: ANNOUNCER: And now performing, Holly Budd! (Holly has left the shot. The spotlight lands on Melinda, who is holding the baton and has a deer-in-headlights look.)

        I think that would be hilarious.

  3. I think it’s a bit telling that Mom isn’t even trying to shield her daughter from the rain. Batiuk comes up with these characters that you can’t imagine can be made more hate-able, and he finds new depths. It’s kind of amazing when you think about it.

    • Epicus Doomus

      It the level of detail he puts into it. Every single little facet of the strip is carefully crafted to be as baffling, annoying, exasperating and nonsensical as possible. No stone is left unturned. And if it isn’t being done deliberately, it’s even more amazing somehow.

  4. billytheskink

    The football field’s sideline is awful close to the bleachers. Combine that with the rain and the ambulance should be busy…

  5. RudimentaryLathe?

    I’m actually impressed that we’re seeing the homecoming performance already. I figured Batty would drag it out until November.
    The Melinda/Holly dynamic continues to be pure cringe though. In a previous post I compared them to the mother/daughter relationship in “I, Tonya”. But I kinda sympathized with Tonya (the movie version, at least); here I just want both of these shrews to get struck by lightning.

  6. Gerard Plourde

    This is supposed to be a band reunion. Where’s Dinkle and where’s the alumni band?

  7. Sourbelly

    Has Westview’s stadium always been that huge?. It looks like my college’s stadium, a low-level BCS school.

    I guess the Budd broads are going to just stand out there in the rain until halftime, and then watch Holly clomp around the field with a non-flaming baton, while her mother shrieks in humiliation. What better way to maximize their misery and seething hatred for each other? Funny stuff!

    • Rusty Shackleford

      We had a large stadium where I grew up. It was shared by all 3 High Schools in the city.

    • hitorque

      It’s not a stretch to think there’s been some investment and upgrades for Scapegoats Football after Jerome Bushka won his improbable state championship… Hell, my (private) high school sucked for decades until about 10-12 years ago when they broke the bank to hire a top public school coach in the region… 2-3 years later they’re winning their first state title, 2-3 years after that they’re playing primetime games on ESPN 2, and after that the Clemsons and Alabamas of the world started calling(!) to recruit our players…

  8. Rusty Shackleford

    I hate when Batty does this. I grew up in NE Ohio and I was in band, everything was not a washout or a blizzard. In fact, my friends and I all loved fall— and not because of cancer or falling leaves. It was just a nice season.

    Everything is misery in this strip. Why?

  9. J.J. O'Malley

    Well, I for one would like to offer a hearty “Thank you” to Tom Batiuk. Thanks, TB, for not prolonging this by several more weeks filled with Dinkleberg talking about how great a band director he is, old Westview alumni we’ve never seen before complaining about their aches and pains, and, of course, any looks at the school’s current football team or band, because why should this strip concern itself with the everyday goings-on of contemporary teens?

    By the by, Holly REALLY seems to be enjoying this exhibition, doesn’t she?

  10. Banana Jr. 6000

    Annoying Funky Winkerbean characters should be told to shut up more often.

  11. be ware of eve hill

    Hey Hully, congratulations. Seems like you finally found a way to control your godawful unihorn (a.k.a. the cowlick from hell).
    Hully: OH, SHUT UP!

    I get a kick out of the expression on Melinda’s face in panel #2. She’s looking up at the sky and smiling.
    Melinda: (thinking to herself) As long as Holly is miserable, I’m happy.

  12. Hitorque

    1. What the fuck is Melinda doing on the sidelines? Is she a coach? Is she planning to perform?

    1a. What the fuck is Holly bitching and moaning about? She’s been doing her baton thing long enough to remember what a typical late autumn night in Northeast Ohio feels like, and she used to do it while showing a lot more skin, might I add…

    2. Where the fuck is Dinkle and the band? It was Holly who put this whole stunt together, right? Or is she going to go out and do her solo thing center stage and then the band performs?

    3. I’m disappointed in Batiuk… In the old days Holly would have seen a announcement in the news from the NFL about wanting a bunch of 60-year-old former high school band members plus one lucky 60-year-old majorette to perform at Super Bowl halftime in Miami, and it still would have rained buckets on her ugly head…

    4. Where the fuck is Dr. Funkenstein? You’d think if anyone would be on the sidelines offering moral support it would be him… And in what universe would Funkman allow his wife to humiliate herself in front of a sellout crowd **without** finding a way to promote Montoni’s in the process??

    5. It’s freaking homecoming, this is the first scene of Scapegoats Football we’ve seen since Bushka’s suicide, and we still aren’t going to find out who the coach is…

    6. Hard to believe that this entire bullshit storyline started all because Holly didn’t know how to sort her old band photos…

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Speaking of BS storylines, Crankshaft just keeps getting worse. Batty always expects things to stay as they were in 1972. Perhaps newspaper circulation went down because modern technology gave people more choices. Now instead of having only the local paper, people could choose to get their news elsewhere.

      And yes, those evil investment companies, always trying to earn a profit on their investment. At my work an activist shareholder group got control of the company and forced out all of the top people. It was the best thing to happen as the new team brought us back to focusing on our fundamental products and put an end to us buying out other companies.

      Our stock price went up and I am happy about that as I am getting close to retirement.

      I do not know anything about the newspaper business, but that silly canard about investors buying something just to close it down is silly.

      • hitorque

        Well, there’s a huge difference between buying a newspaper and making it better to reap rewards on the investment, and slashing payroll by 60% along with selling the physical assets off in a fire sale to turn a quick buck…

        As I said the other day, what Mr. One-Arm is lamenting about has been going on for two decades and it has happened in damn near every city in every state. I don’t believe Batiuk is ranting against investment firms themselves, they’re just a boogeyman stand-in to represent ALL forms of profit-obsessed outsider predatory corporate ownership who never cared about news quality or the readership or the employees… (Case in point: My local paper was bought out a decade ago by some big-time attorney with ZERO media experience who lived 500 miles away. Folks were a little skeptical, but the situation was dire and the dude said all the right things so he was hailed as a savior… Well it turns out that he wasn’t, and that was like three or four ownership changes ago… I don’t need to tell you what has happened since)…

        And it’s not just media — We’ve seen plenty of examples of half-assed sports team owners who refuse to allow the “sports people” to make decisions and treat their franchise like a free bank account to prop up their other business ventures while never investing in the actual team…

        So while One-Arm is mostly correct in illustrating the issue, my gripe is he’s late as all fuck to this party, and long past the point of people caring. Batiuk should have been running this storyline 15+ years ago. Or did I get my timelines mixed up and the year in Krankenschaaften is like circa 2006?

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Newspapers don’t seem like a good candidate for corporate raiding anyway. Maybe they were once a solid thing to own, because they were 365-days-a-year income generators. But circulation has been on a huge decline, and there’s just no way the industry can turn it around. And they don’t have handy stocks that can be bet against, like GameStop.

          • hitorque

            A generation ago they were good candidates, especially the medium-size and larger dailies working in an old building in a primo about-to-get-gentrified downtown location; newspapers that owned their own printing facilities, etc…

            But the fatal wound to the industry was the decline in advertising revenues, since that was our lifeblood… Once local businesses (especially car dealers) started going online with advertising or even their own websites, the writing was on the wall…

            And yeah, the industry is but a shadow of itself and has been for a very long time… Yeah, most major cities will keep one of their downsized legacy dailies, and we’ll always have our national “papers of record” like the Chicago Tribune, WaPo, NYT, LAT, WSJ, etc… But for some reason everyone in the world has known and accepted this years ago except for Mr. One-Arm — Which is why I’m honestly asking what year it is in the Krankenschaaftenverse…..

        • Rusty Shackleford

          No, selling things at a fire sale isn’t a successful investment strategy. Nobody buys things at top dollar only to turn around and sell them at fire sale prices. This is what you do when you want to cut your losses and get out.

          And maybe if newspapers trimmed the fat themselves they could have weathered the storm a bit better.

          But I do agree with you on the timing of this strip. Why is Batty discussing this now?

          • Mr. A

            I don’t claim to be an expert, but I imagine the cycle runs like this:

            – Big investor sees newspaper. It is not very profitable.

            – Big investor thinks, “They’re obviously not very good at business. But I am! I’ll buy them and do [X], and then the money will start pouring in!”

            – Big investor buys newspaper and does [X].

            – It turns out that doing [X] is useless at best, and horribly counterproductive at worst.

            – Big investor decides to cut their losses, looks around for someone to buy the newspaper.

            Different big investor sees the newspaper and thinks, “They’re obviously not very good at business. But I am! I’ll buy them and do [Y]…”

            – First big investor sells off to second big investor (for less than they paid originally).

            – Repeat until bankruptcy.

  13. Suicide Squirrel

    * GROAN * It’s the old overdone rain at the battle of the bands joke.

    It’s raining bad ideas, and I don’t see it letting up anytime soon. Better get your dumbrella out.