32 responses to “Who was that Boxed Monster?

  1. Epicus Doomus

    “Every year around Halloween, Funky Winkerbean runs a week-long story about a monster made of pizza boxes who steals a pizza from the local pizzeria”…this is why regular FW readers never talk about FW with non-readers, as merely describing it to a normal person makes you appear totally insane. “Pizza Monster uses a helicopter to sneak into Montoni’s”…you know that’s going to be the entire extent of this arc, right? Everything that’s going to happen here already has. Yet it’s only Tuesday. Sigh.

  2. Mr. A

    Whoever the Monster is, they have enough money to rent a helicopter…or own a helicopter. Chester Hagglemore? Mason Jarre? William Jefferson Clinton?

  3. Does Batiuk have any idea how loud a helicopter is? They are extremely loud. If you’ve ever heard the radio station’s traffic copter, you know this.

    A helicopter close enough to hover above a roof is going to make an ungodly loud racket. It’s not going to be a “What’s that?” type of noise.

    • William Thompson

      It’s also going to rattle windows, dinner plates, coffee cups and light fixtures, not to mention blowing around dirt, grit and loose debris. It’s not illegal for a helicopter to fly that low over an inhabited area, but it’s reckless when it’s for a stunt like this. And if this is how the Pizza Monster arrives, then it also blows away any chance that he’s a supernatural nuisance.

  4. William Thompson

    I don’t know who the Cardboard Culprit might be, but I’m sure it will turn up as the next Atomik Komix supervillain. At least it will be made of the appropriate material.

  5. J.J. O'Malley

    Fun Silver Age Comics Fact: Revealing the Green Goblin’s secret identity two years after his debut was a key factor in the Stan Lee/Steve Ditko break-up on “The Amazing Spider-Man”: writer Lee felt it should be a known character already close to Peter Parker, while artist Ditko wanted Gobby to be a complete stranger. I bring this up because I wouldn’t be surprised if Battyuk himself has no idea what lurks beneath the Pizza Monster’s mask…er, boxes. Lord knows he seems to done this in the past when trying to wrap up “mystery” storylines (Zanzibar the Murder Chimp, anyone?).

    Another thing: Does the PM actually steal a pizza from Montoni’s, or did they simply phone in an order and arrive in costume in their 2019 introduction? And if it’s theft, why doesn’t someone just knock or remove the boxes off PM’s head?

    • Green Luthor

      Although that’s the story Lee would tell, it’s almost certainly untrue. Ditko claimed that he planned on the Goblin to be Norman Osborn all along, having him start as a background character and slowly become more prominent (including introducing his son as a college classmate of Peter’s). And, honestly, Ditko’s version seems more likely (not least of all because, by pretty much every account, Lee and Ditko weren’t even speaking to each other by the time he quit; Ditko would plot and draw the issues, then send them to Lee with notes for scripting. So the idea that they even discussed the Goblin’s identity like that – or discussed anything at all, really – is fairly unlikely). (And ASM #37, Ditko’s penultimate issue, has some fairly huge clues that there’s more to Norman than was previously shown.)

  6. Hitorque

    Stealth helicopters with classified flight plans and no radar signature? Special Forces commando mercenaries conducting nighttime raids from the rooftop? I knew that someday, when all the pieces were set up on the chessboard, the United Nations “One World 🌍 Government” shadow army would swoop down on the heads of freedom-loving Americans like us and illegally grab all our (fill-in-the-blank with whatever it is you’re most worried about the One World Government grabbing); but never in my wildest conspiracy research did I figure they’d start with pizza first… Next will be Sony Discmans and after that the Starsuck Jonese decoder rings… Now do you see how the dominos of our society and our way of life are about to topple? Five years from now we’ll all be forced to communicate in Chinese! Start building the bunkers and stockpiling comics!!

  7. Sourbelly

    To misquote David St. Hubbins, “It’s a fine line between wacky and stupid.” Batdick is going for wacky hijinks, which the kids today seem to dig. But he lands squarely on the side of stupid. And nobody of any generation likes that. Stick with whiny, maudlin, and self-aggrandizing, Tombat. It’s what you do best (which is to say, least worst).

  8. billytheskink

    Maybe Phil the Forecaster has hijacked the former Weather Chopper 1.

  9. Banana Jr. 6000

    I see what Mr. A was talking about yesterday: this looks like it’s trying to be a story, at least. It’s a huge improvement from last year’s “I might be an icky girl:, as if Pizza Box Monster was trying to join the Little Rascals.

    I know it goes against the author’s self-proclaimed “quarter inch from reality” ethos. But give me “too goofy” FW over “takes itself too seriously” FW any day. We all loved Talking Murder Chimp for how random and ridiculous it was, after the story was so grim.

  10. Hannibal's Lectern

    I find myself wondering about the “real” Pizza Box Monster, the one who’s been showing up at Luigi’s since 2007. This year will be the fifteenth time this person has put on a costume made of pizza boxes and lumbered into the restaurant. I suspect he/she’s got to be absolutely sick of it by now, wishing he/she’d never come up with this silly idea.

    I have some experience in this. I’ve been playing bagpipes for close to twenty years, which means St. Patrick’s Day is a Big Deal. Multiple parades (which are required, as they pay the band’s expenses), then crawling through the pubs. It was a lot of fun the first few years–hey, look, people are falling over each other to buy beers for the pipers, wow–but by the time the pandemic canceled St. Paddy’s Day events two years ago, I was actually kind of happy to be able to spend that day at home. These things get old after a while.

    All of which makes me wonder if the Luigi’s PBM is still the same person, or if there’s a group of three or four who rotate the duty so they’re actually looking forward to it. I wonder if maybe the original PBM retired years ago, and now the person in the suit is actually being hired by Luigi’s to keep the “tradition” (that is, the promotion that brings in a little extra business during Halloween week) going.

  11. Banana Jr. 6000

    Tom Batiuk as Virgil? Interesting comparison, but I like I think he’s more like MC Hammer. Specifically, when he and his entourage very conspicuously drank Pepsi at the Grammy Awards. Also, he hasn’t done anything good since about 1991.

  12. Maxine of Arc

    I decided to do a quick run on Grandpa Google to find out how much it would cost to charter a helicopter in Ohio. One of the first results is for Cleveland helicopter tours (look I don’t know, I’ve never been there, maybe there’s lots to see) and it appears you can get a 10-minute sightseeing tour for around $100, half an hour for ~$240. So the mere existence of a helicopter doesn’t necessarily mean the PBM is made of money. Now, to get a helicopter to drop you on a roof in the middle of town, that will probably have to run you some extra bribe money, but even so, if this is the highlight of the PBM’s sorry existence, they could have been planning this since last year.
    So I don’t think we’re limited only to Chester Moneybags. A couple of high school kids with part time jobs chipping in might be able to make it work.

  13. The blog entry for today is…something else. I mean, it’s almost completely incomprehensible (other than his usual patting himself on the back for being “uncompromising”). The language level is amazingly terrible.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      “I’m seeing what you could become, Holly! A lonely old majorette who comes to the games and relives her memories!” Good Lord.

      • Mr. A

        It’s a bit on the nose, isn’t it? But since the “Match to Flame” blog posts are material he wrote for a book intro years ago, and the strip itself is written with a year’s lead time, it has to be a coincidence. I wonder if Batiuk is aware of it.

        • Mr. A

          OK, “years ago” was inaccurate. Amazon says that The Complete Funky Winkerbean, Volume 10, 1999-2001 came out this February. Given that, it seems plausible that Batiuk wrote this blog post and the Holly arc close together in time.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Batiuk doesn’t even see the contradiction, does he? Holly just got seriously injured being exactly what the Christmas Carol ghost warned her not to become: someone who is constantly “reliving their memories.” You could argue she was bullied into it by Mommie Dearest, but that’s just another maturity problem: being unable to draw proper boundaries for adult relationships. And I need hardly list all of Les’ unhealthy “reliving” of things.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      For a moment I was almost insulted. Then I realized you were talking about Tom.

    • Y. Knott

      Well, at least he apologized to Charles Dickens. Now he just needs to apologize to every single other person who ever lived.

  14. Based on the visage of (I think it’s) Cory in the masthead, I’m guessing that he’ll turn out to be the pizza monster, so maybe Rocky will be retconned into having been a helicopter pilot in the Army, and she “borrowed” a helicopter from the local armory to pull of the stunt.

    • Gerard Plourde

      That would be a great solution, so we can probably discount it as beyond the scope of TomBa’s planning.

      Another minor fly in the ointment – as near as I can tell, the Ohio Army National Guard doesn’t possess helicopters. Their aviation unit appears to be maintenance only. (Although it does appear to be based at the nearby Canton-Akron Airport.)

    • be ware of eve hill

      Cory Winkerbean crossed my mind too. He’s ex-military and has always shown a propensity for mischief.

      On the other hand, I can’t see Batty ever revealing the identity of the Pizza Monster. We’ll be seeing a Pizza Monster story arc in the last week of October for as long as Batty keeps the comic strip going. I guarantee it.

      • be ware of eve hill

        During the Wally/Adeela graduation story arc more than two years ago, Funky said Cory and Rocky were engaged and had plans to move out west. Yet, Cory and Rocky were still working in Montoni’s last Fall during the Adeela v. ICE story arc. Batty always seems to forget the little details he writes and brings back certain characters whenever he needs them.

        If that is indeed Cory in the masthead as a portent of things to come, part of me wouldn’t be surprised. Even though Cory must be in his mid-twenties, Ayers draws Cory like he’s an adolescent.

        • hitorque

          That’s actually an improvement… Cindye Sommerse-Winkerbeane-Jarre is, depending on which retconned timeline you’re using, aged anywhere from her early fifties to her mid-sixties yet she could still be the cover girl for SI’s Swimsuit Issue… It’s like Jessica Fletcher in “Murder She Wrote” being non-ironically portrayed by Angela Lansbury’s 1944 sexpot Nancy in “Gaslight”…

          My only shock is every leading lady of a certain age in Hollywood isn’t kicking her door down demanding to know her anti-aging secrets…

          • ComicBookHarriet

            There are no leading ladies ‘of a certain age’ left in Hollywood. Cindy broke into their homes and beheaded them all, one by one. Lightning strikes, the quickening surges through her, and youth and beauty are hers forever. There can only be one.

  15. Y. Knott

    The pizza boxes are made of vegetable material, leading Les to discover that Peter “Plantman” Moss, out of jail, is now back to wreak revenge.

    Les will write a terrible book about it. The book tour will last seventeen years.

  16. batgirl

    I think we can also rule out Becky as the Pizza Box Monster. And Skip Rawlings.
    Oh yeah, and Funky’s AA sponsor.

  17. Anonymous

    Tour the world
    In a heavy metal band
    But they run out of gas
    The plane may never land

    A tip of the Anonymous Sparrow feathers to They Might Be Giants (who tipped their hats to James Goldman’s play when they named the group).

    Say what you like about Virgil, he was Dante’s guide through Inferno and Purgatory. Beatrice showed him Paradise.

    This week Tom Batiuk will show us fear not in a handful of dust, but in a boxes and boxes of pizza.

    But don’t cry, don’t raise your eye, it’s only Winkerbean wasteland…