As someone who has ridden in an ambulance with a parent after breaking a bone while competing in a sport, I found there to be nothing at all redeeming about today’s strip. At least yesterday we had some America’s Funniest Home Videos visuals, solid work from Chuck Ayers for once, but today… today… just get out of here with this tripe!

No one wants to see Holly apologize to her mother for, um, for breaking her ankle?! What?! No one wants to see this whole cruel and miserable experience turned into a nostalgia trip. No one wants to know what kind of hairspray Holly uses that has kept her terrifying hair claw intact despite spending extended periods in a driving rainstorm.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

34 responses to “Grosstalgia

  1. Epicus Doomus

    In Westview an ambulance ride is a positive bonding experience, full of the kind of heartwarming wryness that brings families closer, dammit. For the rest of us, however, it’s kind of a weird downbeat drag, which was actually a rejected title for the strip, believe it or not. Good thing he went with “Funky Winkerbean” instead, as how else would we know what it’s about?

  2. bayoustu

    Judging by panel 1, Holly has a lot more to worry about than a broken ankle. She appears to have fallen victim to a dreaded flesh-eating bacteria… or an incredibly indifferent artist.

    • Sourbelly

      Most importantly, her hair claw appears to be melting! Everybody has ankles, but hair claws? That’s Holly’s special gift!

  3. billytheskink

    I hope the EMT in the black coat also checks himself into the hospital. His neck appears to be sliding down to his chest and that just can’t be good.

  4. be ware of eve hill

    I had to chuckle when I saw Holly’s unihorn in the third panel. Battered, broken, and sopping wet, Holly’s unihorn is flying!

    Somewhat strange that any laugh I receive from this strip is due to the artist, not the writer.

  5. Lord Flatulence

    Haven’t you done enough? Go away you old hag!

  6. be ware of eve hill

    @BillyTheSkink, it’s nice that you had a parent ride to the hospital with you when you broke a bone at a sports event. At least you had parents who took the time to watch you play.

    I badly sprained my ankle in a high school volleyball game and had to meet my parents at the hospital. It was only the final game of my high school sports career. My parents weren’t at the game. They never were.

    Yeah, Holly apologizing to Melinda is so wrong. It actually makes me kind of weepy.

    • be ware of eve hill

      Damn. I wish I didn’t post that. A lot of kids had upbringings a hell of a lot worse than me.

      It would be really nice if we had a delete or edit function.

      Sorry, Mom and Dad. You were good parents.

  7. J.J. O'Malley

    So, this week we saw Funk…er, Holly yell at her mother and call her Jane Fonda; tell her to back off; tell her to shut up; injure herself to prove Mom wrong…and now she’s apologizing to her? Talk about toxic mother/daughter relationships! This storyline makes Joan and Christina Crawford look like Lorelai and Rory Gilmore!

    Just out of idle curiosity, where was Herr Winkerbean during his wife’s big show? Was Montoni’s expecting a large postgame crowd, or is he still talking at his AA meeting?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Don’t forget Melinda flippantly hoping that Holly would get hurt (“it’s your funeral”) when she couldn’t kick as high as she could at age 17. Even though her kick height was quite good for someone of her age.

      And what’s the point of this story? Melinda bullied Holly into majoretting and getting severely injured her entire life, and now… she bullied her into majoretting and getting severely injured. And there’s no emotional impact of this. It’s another Aborted Arc that just stops rather than having a resolution, or even a plot. It’s just here to fill space between comic book publishing stories.

  8. Mr. A

    I said a few days ago that Holly genuinely enjoyed being a majorette. While I stand by that statement, I’m beginning to wonder if it’s a form of Stockholm syndrome. She was forced into it for so long that she must have developed some kind of emotional defense mechanism.

  9. Rusty Shackleford

    Batty accidentally describes himself in today’s Crankshaft. “The pipeline for new and younger talent had long been shut off”.

    Sounds like today’s comics page where the old timers like Batty hog up all of the space.

    • Mr. A

      Pretty sure most of the “new and younger talent” is ignoring newspapers entirely and going into webcomics. That’s what the Stripped documentary was about, right? (I haven’t actually seen it…)

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      “The pipeline for younger talent is shut off”? Whaaaaat? Colleges are producing huge numbers of journalism and media graduates! To say nothing of the Internet, low-cost self-publishing, and the wide availability of technology like affordable cameras and editing software. All of this allows ordinary people to produce and publish sophisticated media. And some of it is great. It’s a goddam golden age of younger talent! Just go to YouTube and you’ll find tons of it.

      This is just another backhanded slap at the Internet. Young people aren’t “coming up” the way Tom Batiuk thinks they should, so he acts like they don’t exist. I’ve contributed to an online news source for over 10 years now, we’ve broken some actual stories over the years, and many of my teammates have gotten jobs elsewhere in the industry. I just do it for S&Gs at this point, but it’s a legit news source that I’m proud to be a part of.

      Tom Batiuk is the #1 example of what he rails against: “old media” that is long past having any value, and needs to be retired.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Right. He can only see things through the eyes of the past. If it isn’t being done like it was back in 1972, then it isn’t real.

        Just like his blog entry where he implies baseball is not real because the team owners are millionaires. Ah right, money corrupts everything absolutely, yet I bet he never passes up on collecting his royalties.

        And he gets paid despite recycling old bits over and over again.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          And complaining about “millionaire owners” shows how hopelessly stuck in the past he really is. $1,000,000 doesn’t get you a summer college amateur team anymore. But if you really want a good old-fashioned night at the ballpark, there are viable non-MLB options almost everywhere in the US. Three different Cleveland suburbs each have their own minor league team: Akron, Avon, and Eastlake.

          But Tom Batiuk would than whine about not getting his ideal experience than embrace its modern alternative. And he does this with EVERYTHING. It is beyond tiresome.

        • Professor Fate

          The hell? Teams owners were almost ALWAYS millionaires – or at the very least extremely rich by standards of the day – in Chicago Wrigley made a fortune in all things Chewing Gum before he ended up buying the Cubs and getting the field named after him, Charles Comiskey wasn’t broke either but his stinginess – for example making the players wash their own uniforms – helped turn the players feelings about him into the ugly mess that paved the way for the Black Sox scandal. Bill Veck did manage to buy the White Sox in 1975 without a huge fortune but he was the last and even then an exception.
          Now the constant wine that it’s not the same because the PLAYERS are millionaires well that’s been part and parcel of attacks on players making too much money has been with us for YEARS- hell when Joe Dimaggio held out one year for $100,000 the press coverage was bad enough to make one think he had become a Marxist. And that was 1949.
          Babe Ruth had the best response when told that he was making more money than the president at the time Herbert Hoover he said “I had a better year than he did.”

  10. The Duck of Death

    Hopefully while she’s in the hospital, Holly will get that sharp, bony skull protuberance looked at. Perhaps it’s some type of unusual osteosarcoma.

  11. noahabaddi

    It’s been commented on before, but how odd that we haven’t seen Dinkle or anyone else from the old Westview crowd in the audience, or on the field.

    In fact, all we see is silhouettes. Nobody’s face. Nobody is identifiable except for Holly and Melinda.

    This appears to be some horrifying David Lynch-esque dream sequence. Performing a cheerleading routine with your stiff, broken-down body, in front of a stadium filled with dark wraiths, perhaps ghosts of the past. Rain pours down. There is no band. There is no team. There are no fellow cheerleaders. There are no friends. There is only you and your hateful crone of a mother in the cold, driving rain. There is no light but the glaring, flickering greenish light of the sodium lamps. There is no sound but the crack of your snapping bone. And you can’t wake up from high school. You can’t move on. You’re there forever, doing the same old tricks, but no one is left to watch or care.

    • Mr. A

      L’infer…c’est Westview.

    • hitorque

      I presume that no identifiable characters are present because even as stupid and indifferent as Funkyverse citizens are, at some point *SOMEBODY* would have told Holly to take a minute to reconsider if this bullshit stunt was really a good idea…

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I think the lack of detail is because Tom Batiuk doesn’t want to acknowledge that football is still being played at Westview High School.

      A halftime show requires football to still exist, or pivot to another sport. But Tom Batiuk is too lazy to bother with that. So he avoids the problem by refusing to show you a single player, coach, band member, or recognizable person in the crowd. Or even Dinkle, even though Holly needed his permission to perform. He’ll acknowledge the existence of football, but no one is allowed to enjoy it, because Tom Batiuk no longer approves of football.

      If Funky Winkerbean wasn’t such a bottomless pit of suck, Westview dropping football could have been an interesting story. Their beloved figure Bull Bushka drove himself off a cliff because of the damage the sport did to his mind. That might have led to some soul-searching about the importance of football, as it has in real life. A lot of high schools are dropping the sport, though others are picking it up so the net decline isn’t much. Dare I say, it could have been a powerful story about real-world issues facing high school students today. And it could have helped this story, too.

      • The Duck of Death

        Have I missed something? Did Batiuk repudiate foootball? Did he show Westview repudiating football? Serious question — I’ve missed a few periods of FW in the last few years, so I may be out of the loop.

        BTW, noahabaddi above is me. WordPress is being cutesy and logging me into an ancient account I don’t think I ever even used.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Not overtly. But I think Act III has a clear antipathy for the sport, unlike Act I when it was embraced as an important part of high school life.

  12. hitorque

    1. So are we to assume Dr. Funkenstein didn’t give enough of a shit to even attend the game his own wife was performing in? His ass is the one who needs to apologize…

    2. Holly lets her ego, her addiction to nostalgia for her teenage years, and her overbearing bitch of a mother twist her arm into doing some stunt she knew damn well she had no business attempting; and with minimal practice and training beforehand. And on the way to the hospital for installation of an artificial hip or reconstructed knee or pins in her ankle or whatever, SHE ACTUALLY APOLOGIZES TO HER MOTHER?! I’m not a psychologist but I know there’s some psychological term for this abusive and destructive relationship Holly and her mommy have with each other. The only thing missing is Holly calling her mommy “ma’am”…

    3. Hell, if anything Holly should be apologizing to Harold Leroy aka “Greatest Band Director in the Solar System” Dinkle for fucking up **HIS** moment in the spotlight, and at Homecoming, no less… Until Holly straightens this out with the “GBDSS,” she’s going to need a 24-hour police guard outside her hospital room.

    • hitorque

      4. Are we really to believe that there hasn’t been one single majorette at Westview since nineteen freaking eighty-seven? No younger alumni band members wanted to be involved?

      5. Evidently accidents and fear of accidents are a very real thing:

      6. I guess this is how it’s supposed to go:

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        From one of your stories in #5:

        while she was teaching students how to throw fire batons, the fuel splashed on her and ignited. Harrison had burns on her face, arm and leg, and she was airlifted to the hospital. There she spent six days in ICU, which was followed by acute care. Harrison had to undergo debridement on her face, but the main focus of her recovery was walking.

        That’s horrible! How the hell is any of his supposed to be funny?

      • be ware of eve hill

        Flaming baton… and a high leg kick.

        How does Batty know so much about majorette routines? Is he a closet twirler? Does he look good in sequins?

    • Suicide Squirrel

      1. So are we to assume Dr. Funkenstein didn’t give enough of a shit to even attend the game his own wife was performing in?

      Funky should be able to find somebody to watch the restaurant. Doesn’t half the town already work there?

      Isn’t Wally supposed to be the NIGHT MANAGER?

  13. Doghouse Reilly (Minneapolis)

    Did Holly ever get the photographs organized or are they still scattered all over the floor?

  14. Suicide Squirrel

    Today’s comic strip is a perfect example demonstrating the relationship between Holly and her mother. Melinda prefers to keep herself dry with the umbrella rather than shield an ailing Holly from the rain.

    I’m not sure Melinda riding in the ambulance with Holly is a good idea.
    EMT: Ma’am, I’m giving you something for the pain.
    Melinda: She doesn’t need that. I don’t want her hooked on dope.
    Holly: MU-THUR! SHUT UP!

  15. Professor Fate

    It’s a horrible end to a horrible and depressing series of strips showing that the relationship between Holly and her mother is toxic beyond belief – with a Whatever Happened to Baby Jane level of creepiness.
    One does hope that in the driving rain the ambulance takes a turn too fast and goes over the same cliff that Bull went over and both of them perish in a fiery crash. Again that’s the romantic in me.