Before we get started, a huge shout-out to Comic Book Harriet, who always brings the knowledge. Her ability to analyze and correlate is second to none–and you certainly won’t see anything like that from me! Which means my mundane and dim-witted commentary will seem refreshing because of the contrast!
…I always knew I’d end up thinking like a Batiuk. With any luck I can get therapy for this, maybe with some kind of salve.
Today’s entry is kind of baffling. Seems to me he wrapped up the Pizza Box Monster arc pretty well yesterday, yet he felt he needed to add this weak coda. I guess he thought “CSI: Montoni’s” was too clever to leave out, but when it came time to write the strips he forgot to add it.
Weird how Rachel is mooning over TBM, while her husband is standing right there. Nobody respects Wally. Oh, and check out Holly–you can see it looks like she’s holding some kind of crutch, as a middle finger to everyone who said “Well, she’s limber and can get to the roof easily, because he wrote this arc several years ago, before he decided Holly needed a broken ankle.”
I did not. I completely did not. I am just as creative and innovative now as I was forty years ago!
46 responses to “Not with a Bang but a WHUP WHUP WHUP”
WTF is this? It’s not like last week was so jam-packed with laughs it required any spillover. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and declare that perhaps the Pizza Monster is all of us, like a mass collective consciousness kind of thing. Because everyone likes pizza, I guess.
I know. Why is he dragging this crap out for another day?
The number of story arcs in this strip that beg the same question is staggering.
The thing is, there are so many stories he could tell. For example, over the weekend I went to a wedding and there were lots of teachers there as the bride and groom were both educators.
They had so many crazy stories about teaching during the pandemic that Batty could generate a year’s worth of strips. One interesting trend was how some of their introverted middle of the road students actually shined during remote learning with some rising to the top of the class.
But Batty doesn’t want to listen and learn from others, he just wants to do his own thing and then tell us how great it was.
Batiuk has no interest in learning. Because he already knows everything.
This has bugged me since the Pizza Monster showed up the first time. It ‘steals’ maybe 1 pizza, maybe none, and disappears into the alley or from the roof or whatever – and leaves behind a detritus of pizza boxes that were presumably part of its costume.
NONE OF THOSE BOXES HAVE HOLES IN THEM FOR A HUMAN BODY.
So I’m going to say that there is nobody inside the pizza boxes. When the alley was littered with boxes that first time, it wasn’t because of the costume being hastily torn off and discarded – it was because the spirit animating it departed.
This one is harder to parse, because not only do the boxes have no cutouts, but the distant figure on the rope ladder doesn’t appear to be missing the arm or half-leg that the discarded boxes would constitute.
Or perhaps the Monster is a person with the mutant power to conjure Montoni’s pizza boxes out of the ether. Upon claiming their sweet pizza prize, they are so overjoyed that they lose control of their powers, and their boxes runneth over.
Maybe I’ve seen too many cheaply made horror films but a pizza monster forming from items discarded in a dumpster sounds right up their alley.
Rachel: Sorry, your pizza sauce with the super special secret ingredient didn’t work out Wally. Seems that voodoo priestess didn’t know what she was talking about. Let’s just throw the rest of it in the dumpster.
Do not give Atomik Komix any more character ideas….
They already have one character (“Inedible Pulp”) made of soggy paper products. Perhaps the Pizza Box Monster can be the Pulp’s love interest. Wonder who Battocks could tap for that Very Special Sideways Sunday wedding issue…
In the immortal words of Linus, “Bleaugh!”
If it murders six or seven Westview residents, I’m willing to give it a shot.
Rachel looks like she wants the Pizza Monster’s “super special secret ingredient”.
I’ve wondered how those pizza boxes stay in place. Congealed pizza sauce? Double sided carpet tape? Pumpkin spice Gorilla Glue? Good intentions?
Some of those boxes would have considerable cut outs, especially those constituting the torso.
The discarded boxes that spontaneously regnerate is another mystery. Comic strip physics?
Here’s a minor mystery: how did those boxes “fall off of” of the Pizza Monster, and which parts of the costume were they? As far as I can tell, practically every box in the costume would have a large hole cut through it, but the box Funky is holding appears perfectly intact. Not to mention the half-dozen we saw in yesterday’s strip.
Ah, I see batgirl beat me to it.
When I went alllll the way back, I saw that BC had noted it upon the Pizza Monster’s very first (dis)appearance.
Where does Pizza Box Monster get the unused Montoni’s pizza boxes from in the first place?
Who said they’re unused? Odds are PBM raids the Montoni’s dumpster for tossed-out returns from dissatisfied customers.
Throughout this PBM thing, Funky’s reactions have been way over the top. Like this was supposed to be a terrifying Halloween tale. But, as far as I can tell, it’s also supposed to be…funny..
It’s neither. It’s just, well, stupid. And we’ll never know who the PBM is, because Tombat wants this to be an awkward, heavily manufactured recurring tradition for years to come.
I had to ask Grandpa Google about BOLO. It’s either a large knife used in the Philippines, or police talk for Be On the Look Out.
I mean, oversized, inappropriately strong reactions are glorious. Look at any of the soap-opera comics when, like, Mary Worth discovers someone is dating a person on the onlines and calls out a full force-ten intervention.
So I don’t know why Funky’s ridiculous reaction isn’t tickling me. It’s reasonable for a pizza shop owner to be irked, I guess, if all this is going on and he’s not included in the joke. And coming to the brink of melting down over “a guy in a silly costume comes and takes the pizza he ordered(?)” is an exaggerated reaction well out of what’s reasonable.
I guess I’m not buying that Funky wouldn’t be in on the prank, so all his fear and rage is for the benefit of who?
The problem is we have nothing to gauge it against. Characters in Funky Winkerbean don’t have strong reactions when they should. So when Funky has a strong reaction over something silly, there’s no juxtaposition. Everyone in Westview is so smug and detached all the time, that showing any emotion about anything seems almost sarcastic.
Making matters worse, no other character in the strip has any reactions either. When Linus wanted to sit up all night and wait for The Great Pumpkin, the other kids had opinions about it that helped drive the story. All last week, no one ever reacted to what Funky did, beyond a small bit of initial confusion. They didn’t think it was stupid. They didn’t think it was hilarious. They didn’t think Funky needed to calm down. They didn’t think the PBM needed to be captured. They didn’t get invested in it themselves. They just stared blankly while Funky acted like a jackass. Again, there’s no juxtaposition to create any humor.
John Cleese said this was central to what made Fawlty Towers work. Anytime Basil had a meltdown, it was in front of some hotel guest. And the guest would react to it in a way consistent with their character. That’s where the funny came from. And it’s just missing here.
Agreed… The general character reactions last summer during the wildfire that ate up literally one-third of Greater Los Angeles were oddly subdued….
And don’t get me started on the reactions after a legendary comic book artist made a shock public appearance after being legally dead and buried for 3+ years, with ZERO fucking plausible explanation…
I think it’s also a sentient tank in a series of books by Keith Laumer.
And don’t forget bolo ties. You know, those string ties old-timey country singers wear.
And speaking of “thinking like a Batiuk,” I watched the season premiere of “Doctor Who” today and when a female character was introduced who was missing an arm I immediately thought of Becky.
The lunatic is in my head. Curse you, Tom Batiuk.
My wife does not read this comic strip but for the odd occasion where she looks over my shoulder when I am reading it before posting here… such as tonight.
“This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen” were her exact words. Like I said, she doesn’t read Funky Winkerbean but very occasionally.
Mrs. TheSkink clearly has reasonable powers of observation and a keen sense of truth-telling.
Well, today’s flogged equine corpse is perhaps the most unnecessary sequel since “The Sting II.”
At least I got a nice chuckle out of BC’s blog post. So all in all, today was a good day.
This indicates the PizzaBox Monster is Mason. The regular Westview gang couldnt afford to rent or buy a helicopter. Mason, being a movie star, may own one or could easily afford to rent one
You’re right! That is suspicious. Someone should look into this further.
I’m pretty sure a multimillionaire Hollywood A-lister has better uses for his free time… But then again this is the Funkyverse, so Masone probably doesn’t.
Put out a bolo I’m going to the vendo.
My first thought upon seeing today’s strip: back when Dick Locher was drawing and writing “Dick Tracy,” one of the bad guys met his end by falling from a helicopter into a smokestack. Ayers drew both of those thinks in today’s strip, and by Chekov’s Law… (not to mention PBM is combustible).
This thought left me with a warm feeling that should last until I see tomorrow’s strip.
1. It’s funny because PBM is littering his body parts and other shit all over Westview…
2. It’s funny because Funkenstein is barking out orders like he’s J. Edgar Hoover knowing damn well he has neither the resources nor the legal authority. “Put out a BOLO to local airports”? Are you shittin’ me?? Why not skip to the chase and scramble the 180th Fighter Wing of the Ohio ANG (Toledo) with orders to shoot down?
2a. It’s funny because it hasn’t occurred to anybody yet to call 911 and report a theft (along with littering, harassment, etc.)
3. It’s funny because you’d think Dr. Funkman would smarten the hell up and realize that if the PM is a thing that’s going to happen every year whether he wants to or not, God forbid he try to make some fuckin’ money off of it by making Halloween a big event and charging the public to see the PM… But then I’m reminded that Funkendruber absolutely sucks as a businessman, as evidenced by the ZERO customers in Montoni’s all evening.
Or request some extra police presence at his store if he’s that concerned about the theft of one pizza every year.
Alternatively, he could have just locked the back door to Montoni’s.
Rachel’s comment makes me think the Pizza Monster is actually a woman.
Actually, I am convinced that every year’s PM has been somebody different; there may even be a backup in case one of them is caught, and just as he is about to be “unmasked,” another shows up to distract everybody.
It’s another fine showing for a female in the strip. Some guy (presumably, but maybe not) running around in pizza boxes swiping food is a dreamy swashbuckling rogue. I think she’s been inhaling the scent of pepperoni way too long.
In Rachel’s defense, for a woman of her beauty, patience and kindness, she’s tragically underappreciated and neglected by Walter… Funkyverse women set the lowest possible bar for marital satisfaction from the men in their lives, and Wally doesn’t even meet that standard…
Wally’s idea of a big romantic “date night” is seeing some MST3K fodder of 1950s schlock horror movie at the Valentine… And when Rachel surprised him with front-center seats (which cost god knows how much) to a “Monsters of Heavy Metal” concert for his birthday, Wally stayed all of 20 minutes before leaving because it was too loud for him and his service dog(!)…
Seriously… This asshole literally took his service dog to the front of a packed-house arena heavy metal festival, which was neither funny nor forgivable… Fuck this guy with a cactus, PTSD or not…
The way Batty features Buddy in this
comicstrip totally pisses me off.
Batty depicting Buddy doing his job serves his purpose when he wants to get all PTSD solution-conscious and show just how much he supports vets and is aware and all the rest of it, but when he needs Wally’s disability conveniently rolled back to square one so that he suddenly can’t sit in a library next to more than one person (even after just being in a classroom), then it’s like service dogs are useless.
There’s no consistency, and certainly no respect, when it comes to this topic. It’s not done for any other reason than for Batty to try to glom onto a relevant topic while he quite literally screws the pooch by totally misrepresenting it. See, Buddy isn’t even a service dog because Batty couldn’t be bothered to learn the difference between service and emotional support animals. Which is no doubt why he thinks it’s “cute” to show Buddy being even more freaked out than Wally when it comes to thunder, lightning, and sirens.
I love dogs and my son is an air service veteran.
Go pleasure yourself with a cactus, Batty!
Last week, I wondered why Rachel was even in the strip. When Wally graduated from college, Rachel said she was quitting Montoni’s to return to her studies.
I now see Rachel is in this story arc because Batty needed a ditzy female to swoon over the Pizza Monster. Who better in that role than oft put upon Rachel?
It speaks a lot for Wally that his wife his clearly ready to run away with a total stranger whose gender and appearance she doesn’t even know and is covered in greasy used pizza boxes.
I think we’re approaching this from the wrong angle, assuming the PBM is a human being in a suit made of pizza boxes. What if, following exposure to polonium dust in a failed crossover promotion with AtomiK KomiX, the pizza boxes at Montoni’s became sentient and aware of their wretched existence (stored on a shelf until wrapped around a slab of grease, then discarded) and are fighting back? In particular, gathering together into a collective organism for the purpose of rescuing at least one of their brethren from the nightmare that is Montoni’s? True, many brave pizza boxes did not make it back from the mission, but perhaps one truly deserving box was saved.
Think of it as BatYam’s answer to “Saving Private Ryan.”
Okay. Forget everything I said all week. This is my canon now.
Would this mean that the Pizza Monster will one day become the Pizza King?
A rat king is a collection of rats whose tails are intertwined and bound together by one of several possible mechanisms, such as entangling material like hair or sticky substances like sap or gum or getting tied together. Historically, this phenomenon is particularly associated with Germany. There are several specimens preserved in museums but very few instances of rat kings have been observed in modern times.
Or, worse, will Pizza King be like the Doors’s Lizard King, who can do anything?
I know 99% of Wally’s character now is just “loser”, but having to say the Pizza Monster is escaping by helicopter as everyone is watching the Pizza Monster escape by helicopter is just really crappy writing.