Stark Contrast

Link to today’s strip.

Ah–the penny drops. Now we know why we had to revisit Holly’s broken limb–because Tom Batiuk saw a cast-type thing on someone’s leg and thought, “Hey, that looks like Iron Man’s boot!”

Before you say, “Oh, pshaw! No one would do that!” remember this is Tom Batiuk whose work we are discussing. Of course he’s done that, many, many times. And he will no doubt continue to do it, many many times.

I thought DSH John sold the “dolly” a while ago. Perhaps Chester bought it back and donated it. For a rich guy, he sure likes throwing money away. I was pretty sure rich people did the opposite of this, but then I’ve been wrong about a great many things. And I’ve certainly never been nominated for a Pilitzer!

As for the strip itself, it’s actually rather sad. Funky was one of the very, very few characters who didn’t regard comic books as holy relics. I seem to recall when asked about them once, he claimed disinterest, saying something like “*I* grew up.”

How have the mediocre fallen.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

35 responses to “Stark Contrast

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Now this just plain stinks. It’s stupid and it tries way, way too hard. And correct me if I’m wrong here, but doesn’t visiting Komix Kingdom entail climbing a steep flight of stairs? All for a really shitty sight gag like that? Seems kind of cruel.

    • billytheskink

      When I broke my leg for the first time, I was just starting the 5th grade. The 5th grade classes were all on the second floor of the school, which was in an old building that was not built to be a school… and it had no elevator. So I went up and down the stairs by sitting on them, lifting my sitting self up and down them with my hands while a friend carried my crutches.

      What I’m saying here is that I really, REALLY hope that is what Holly had to do here, because that would make this humorously pathetic instead of just pathetic.

      • The Duck of Death

        We already saw her dash up to the roof of Monotoni’s in the PBM arc.

        I’ve had orthopedic surgery on my foot, and I used a similar method. Sitting on each step and bumping your butt down to the next. Climbing is fun too; that was best accomplished with both hands and my one good knee.

        I was amazed at how quickly Holly’s foot — er, ankle — uh, leg — let’s say Fankleg — healed to allow her to run to the roof at the same speed as everyone else, after a hard day apparently spent on her feet, working at Montoni’s. Perhaps the reason you and I had to coddle our healing bones was that our injury didn’t constantly move around our limbs.

        Or perhaps Holly has a bionic fankleg.

        • J.J. O'Malley

          Good points, Duck, but you lost me at “a hard day…working at Montoni’s.” How hard can two or three pizza orders–one coming from the PBM–and Crazy Harry’s cup of coffee over the course of 12 hours be?

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          I like “Monotoni’s.”

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      The pizza box monster arc implied that Holly ran up the stairs in pursuit. If she can do that, getting to Komix Korner isn’t an obstacle.

  2. William Thompson

    Is this Batiuk’s twisted twist on those FB pictures of someone with a disability overcoming it? “Being in a wheelchair didn’t keep me from climbing this mountain!” or something equally demanding? Somehow “I broke my ankle but I can still pose with an Iron Man toy” isn’t as impressive.

  3. Y. Knott

    I have no idea what it is, but I hereby nominate the writers of Son Of Stuck Funky for a Pilitzer!

    • Epicus Doomus

      We did get nominated for a Phewlitzuhr, which is slightly less prestigious, but still. We lost to “This Thing Still Exists?”, the “Nancy” snark blog.

  4. Sourbelly

    Confession: I’m not at my best when looking at an image sideways, but Iron Man’s lower leg looks nothing like Holly’s boot. Speaking of which, it looks like Holly’s boot fits her lower legs quite poorly.

    Also, this isn’t remotely funny to any human beings.

  5. J.J. O'Malley

    If memory serves me right (feel free to correct me, people), some bozo came into the Korner a year or two ago, sold $5,000 worth of books to Skunky and Crazy, and immediately re-invested it in the life-size Iron Man figure (Crazy making a statement about it coming with complimentary divorce information). The fact that it’s now back in the store, that Funky remembered it’s there and somehow made a connection between the armor and Holly’s boot, and that Battyuk felt this merited an entire “Sideways Sunday Strip” says more about this strip and TB’s state of creative energy than I ever could.

    So, next week we’ll see Becky visiting her husband’s boutique and posing alongside a statue of Legion of Super-Heroes reject Arm Fall Off Boy?

    • none

      Yup, it’s all right here:

      The only error was naming the price as $5000, when it was $8000.

      I suspect that he remembered that he had the doll there at one point and forgot about the prior strips.

      Speaking of forgetful strips, did we forget a background here? Nothing says “comic book store” like a solid color of nothing for the setting.

      • Epicus Doomus

        I forgot all about that one but yup, it was THIS YEAR! And I was hosting at the time, too. Instantly forgotten, as soon as it happened. Might have been a year ago, might have been ten. FW is timeless, but not in a positive way, more like literally.

      • Mr. A

        I’d like to imagine that either A) the guy’s wife made him return the statue immediately, or B) they actually did get divorced, it turned ugly, and the guy had to sell the statue back to the Komix Korner to pay his lawyer.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Oh, that man lost his wife the second she saw that stupid thing. He also waived any chance of not looking like a complete jackass in divorce court. And all the strip had to say about it was “oops, looks like I bought comic books again!” as if this were cute somehow.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      That was a bizarre subplot. That guy was going to get divorced over a tiny little box of comic books. He shows up at Komix Korner to sell them, and Harry and John mock him for it? Considering what their wives put up with from them? And he trades it for a $5,000 life-size figure, as if to say “Well, I’d better give my wife a legitimate reason to divorce me.” Did he not like his wife? This whole thing made zero sense, and was never fleshed out.

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      Arm Fall Off Boy has a definite place in my heart along with Queen Azura of the Planet Femnaz.

      Long Live the Legion!

  6. Banana Jr. 6000

    Any excuse to draw a comic book cover.

    • Y. Knott

      Any Excuse To Draw A Comic Book Cover!: A Collection of Funky Winkerbean Sunday Strips

      Coming in 2022, from Kent State University Press!

  7. spacemanspiff85

    I really don’t understand how Batiuk does this, and I really am tired of it. There’s no copyright information at all about Iron Man or Disney here. There’s no “tip of the Funky felt tip” to anyone. He’s just copying someone else’s work and using it to benefit his own. He’s done this kind of thing repeatedly, with Flash and other superheroes. He could have used his own original armored superhero, and actually done something creative. Having his artist trace Iron Man next to a pretty poor drawing of potato-head Holly with a receding hairline sure isn’t what I would call creative.
    I don’t know if he thinks because he’s in comics, nobody minds if he rips of their work, or what. I really don’t understand how he hasn’t been sued, other than the fact that probably nobody sees his work anymore, and if they did, they know the vast Batom fortune wouldn’t be worth the effort.

    • William Thompson

      “We could sue Batiuk for plagiarism . . . but to make our case, we’d have to convince a judge and jury that his ‘drawing’ of Iron Man could be mistaken for any copyrighted images of the character.”

      • spacemanspiff85

        I’m just imagining some newspaper executive looking at this and wondering why they pay Batiuk the amount they do to so they can print a sideways drawing of someone else’s character.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Yeah, I don’t typically go too hard on the artwork but man, that is a really, really shitty Holly drawing. She’s supposed to be Funky’s wife, not his sister. And why are her eyes closed? Is she supposed to be so full of glee she can’t even open them? Her life is THAT devoid of meaning?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Batiuk doesn’t just blatantly use other people’s intellectual property; its presence is the entire point. Getting your ankle boot off has nothing to do with Iron Man, but there he is. It makes zero sense. The entire strip is nothing but an excuse to draw him. John Darling was full of this, too. But at least that strip told you how the joke was supposed to work.

  8. spacemanspiff85

    Also, can anyone else decipher the last clause of this sentence from Batiuk’s blog a few days ago: “So, I let them go and began to trust my own instincts more, and those instincts were pushing me to create work without the intervention of the outside world, and frankly not giving a flying fig not caring if it tried.”. I think maybe he’s saying he doesn’t care if it (the outside world?) tried to intervene? But that is not how the English language, and those words, work. It’s especially funny because it comes at the end of a long, rambling paragraph praising how great he is as a writer, and the cartoon accompanying it is one where Lisa tells Les she wants him to have holding penalties against her, even though she has cancer.

    • Epicus Doomus

      So before he decided to go in a “reality-based” direction, the “outside world” was somehow “intervening” in his strip? Is he implying that he was somehow forced, pressured or coerced into doing all those gags about gym class and the talking leaves? The Syndicate was ordering all those puns, wordplay and “groaner”-type gags? Or was it his rabid fan base and their insatiable demands? Because quite frankly neither of those things sound right, or even plausible.

      He sure does put a lot of effort into those blog posts of his, though. They’re certainly more entertaining than the stuff he cranks out for his day job.

    • The Duck of Death

      “I decided that I could communicate far better by throwing off the pedantic shackles of grammar and a lot of things important so say making of statement big big very statement ok so I prizeprize mademaking Pulitzer.”

    • none

      I think the simplest explanation is that he intended the words to be “nor caring” instead of “not caring”. Removing the two words from the sentence makes it clearer and actually conform to English grammar standards.

      The strip does “have also have” an editor, so suggesting that the blogs should also be reviewed is a non-starter. No, he’s just going to keep squeezing his content out, proclaim how great it is, and nobody can tell him otherwise.

  9. Suicide Squirrel

    Holly’s walking boot resembles Iron Man’s boots? The resemblance never crossed my mind and it isn’t even a close match according to today’s strip.

    I can see the resemblance between Holly’s boot and a ski boot. Why not take a trip to a local ski shop and pose with a mannequin in full ski paraphernalia? Thumbs up with one hand, a cup of steaming cocoa in the other. YaY!

    Why is this strip even sideways? Does Batyuk have a certain Sideways Sunday quota he has to fulfill?

    Just wondering, has Batyuk ever done an upside-down or mirror image comic? If he wants to be annoying why not go the whole nine yards?

  10. The Duck of Death

    Meanwhile, in Crankshaft, Ed continues his demented jihad against trees. Batiuk, for the second time this year, has Ed buying a long-handled pruner and using it to commit arboricide. Apparently he thought that joke was so funny we needed to see it again.

    A quick web search reveals a near-endless supply of gardening chatchkes that are much more ripe for humorous potential. But clicking is work, and “first thought best thought,” so here we are again with the pruner. Sigh.

  11. Professor Fate

    Seeing as, as everybody has noticed, Iron Man’s boot looks nothing like Holly’s, it possible that the reason for that is that the Artist just didn’t bother to make the boots look the same since the Author wasn’t clear to him what the Joke was? Or is it that the Artist is just sick to death of the comic books fetish and drew it badly on purpose in an act of passive aggressive sulking?
    And even if the art was better, it’s still stupid.

  12. Doghouse Reilly (Minneapolis)

    I bet Iron Man would prefer it if Holly would stop groping his bum. Cheeky bum groper.

  13. First, I’d like to express my mild disappointment at beckoningchasm for not rotating the image of the strip that’s linked from today’s blog entry. I can usually depend on SoSF to show me a properly rotated image so I don’t have to crane my neck to see it right side up. On the other hand, it really wasn’t necessary to look at today’s strip right side up to see that there really wasn’t anything there.

    Second, the thought occurs to me that potentially Batuik started with today’s strip and reverse-engineered the entire 4 week story arc to lead up to it.