Always Room For Six More

Link To Today’s Strip

I guess calling Becky the “current band director” would have bruised Dinkle’s ego a tad too much. By the same token, I guess having John putting on a normal shirt would render his character unidentifiable. And I guess Rana is still a Muslim, Billy is still alive and Wally Jr. joined the circus or the army or something. And why didn’t Wally arrive with the rest of the Winkerbeans? Why was he relegated to the B-team? My God, what a slog.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

56 responses to “Always Room For Six More

  1. William Thompson

    Harriet didn’t tell Dingle that she was inviting all these people? Maybe she saved her breath because she remembered he’s supposed to be deaf. Although when you consider that she didn’t have him bring up the chairs until guests started arriving, maybe she forgot to tell herself. Either way, I look forward to the house getting so crowded that Groucho Winkerbean gets on the phone and says “Hello, room service? Send up a bigger room!”

  2. bayoustu

    “And this is my empty sleeve…”

  3. J.J. O'Malley

    Oh, for the love of…

    This week’s strips make those old “Husband-Forgets-to-Tell-Wife-He’s-Asked-His-Boss-Over-for-Dinner” sitcom episodes (the only time I know of that actually happening was, of all shows, “The Jetsons”) sound like Eugene O’Neill-level drama by comparison.

    So, I assume Saturday Les, Les’s second wife who is not Lisa, and their two daughters who are probably working as shopping mall elves will knock at Harry’s door, followed by Crazy Harry and his wife, who will at least bring a bottle of salad dressing. And the Sideways Sunday strip will feature a fully extended dining room table so that the casts of “Crankshaft” and “John Darling,” whose title character was murdered, can be accommodated.

  4. Sourbelly

    This feels like a strip-ending gathering of all the beloved Act III characters for one last self-congratulatory feast. But of course it isn’t. No, there’s so much more of the Westview story to be told. Dinkhole’s triumphant takeover of the Tournament of Roses Parade, Voldemoore’s acceptance speech at the Oscars for Best Writer-God-King-Martyr-Ever speech, Motherfunker’s best ol’ small-town-pizzeria award jubilee, Atomik Comix’ Flesh Floppyhead and Philled Hole’s Most Stupendous Nonagenarian Comics Team Comeback from the Dead Gold Medal, etc.

  5. It’s certainly strange that Tom Batiuk outsourced the artwork, so he could concentrate on the writing–the task he is least able to perform.

    I guess he thought that if he concentrated on the writing, he’d…come up with something? In a kind of “Emergency situation causes latent super-powers to emerge” thing?

    Um, the super-powers have not emerged. Batiuk, you’re nor Rick Jones. You’re still Snapper Carr.

    • J.J. O'Malley

      Hey, Daddy-O, like, what’s with the downbeat vibes on the JLA’s mascot, Lucas “Snapper” Carr? Man, that cat was the coolest hipster ever to make the Silver Age scene, from his hi-fi finger snappin’ to his oh-so-swingin’ teen patois!

      • Anonymous Sparrow

        Mr. O’Malley, your comment made this a truly gay day for a tardy card! Go to the bakery and charge a flour tower to me and go ape with your chow chompers!

        Because your hip quips deserve no ,less!

    • Perfect Tommy

      I’m fairly alarmed that I got the Snapper Carr reference. Surely the end times are nigh.

  6. spacemanspiff85

    A woman and her current husband inviting her ex-husband and his family to dinner at the house of the guy who used to have her job is about as far as I can imagine from “a quarter inch from reality”.
    Why are these people here? They all have actual families. Dinkle’s whole shtick was that he was a dictatorial asshole, and now he’s a beloved center of the community? And what is even the point of Harriet inviting all these people over? It’s not like Harry is lonely or starved for social interaction. He’s currently leading two differently musical groups.
    Even then, all it would have taken is one panel of Dinkle saying how Thanksgiving isn’t the same with just two people, and this week would have made more sense. Instead, it’s just reeking of Batiuk realizing he can kill space by having characters reciting other characters’ names. I look forward to the next few weeks when Dinkle walks through the house greeting each person by their full name and asking if they need a chair.

    • Jeff M.

      Jiminy Crickets, if you want to have a reunion mishegas all you need is the tiniest plot contrivance: “Qh dear! The power is out all over Westview but the Dinkles have a massive generator (which I’m sure they do actually) so Harriet just starting inviting people so they won’t miss Thanksgiving.” There! Done! You’re welcome!

  7. billytheskink

    OK, now this group of stragglers showing up the Dinkles makes sense. No way any of these people can cook, not even the two who work at Montoni’s.

    I want to know where Rachel traded in Robbie for Billy.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      As Khan’s secret son, Robbie/Billy has to regularly change his name in order to protect his identity from the dangerous terrorists looking for revenge that Khan has angered over the years.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Funny how Batty can’t keep track of all of his characters. I guess he was too bust chasing awards to take any notes and now is too lazy to look at the archives.

  8. Mr. A

    Here’s my prediction for where we go from here:

    Saturday: Dinkle is overjoyed to have so many guests. Then Harriet realizes they’re out of cranberry sauce, and sends Dinkle out to get more.

    Sunday: Just after Dinkle leaves, a meteor strikes the house, killing everyone inside.

    Monday–next Sunday: Funeral(s) for the deceased. Les is bummed.

    Next Monday: Dinkle flies to Pasedena to practice for the Rose Bowl parade.

    (Okay, okay, that won’t happen. But my brain wants to believe that Batiuk is stuffing all these characters into a single house for some purpose beyond “Dinkle felt lonely for a moment, so let’s fix that”.)

  9. The Dreamer

    Tomorrow Harry meets Wally’s Therapy Dog, who he never goes outside without. The Dog caused a scene at the dinner table Then the whole gang gets sick eating twenty year old frozen band turkeys

  10. The Dreamer

    And why was Becky *introducing* Wally to Harry? Way back when, Wally was in the Westview Band! .Conducted by Harry!

  11. Jeff M.

    Good grief, this is where you just employ a Millie Helper character. Mrs. Dinkle’s out of town cousin is their only guest until…ding dong! Then if you really just have to do this rundown, she’s at least introducing the visitors to a stranger. But I guess that would interfere with the Dinkle worship?

    Anyhow – it’s Friday, why are people still arriving?

  12. Banana Jr. 6000

    I think this is all just an excuse to draw Dinkle twice, because Harriet is really just Dinkle in drag.

  13. Rusty Shackleford

    Oh wait, so now Harriet invited these people. I can already picture the large Sunday montage of everyone piled into the Dinkle’s tiny dining room.

  14. Rusty Shackleford

    Hmm, so will we find out if Lilian remembered the cranberry relish or did Batty forget that he set that situation up?

  15. Gerard Plourde

    And where is Wally Jr., the biological son of Wally and Becky? Has he been retconned out of existence?

  16. be ware of eve hill

    What the heck. I’ll throw out a prediction too (I’m always wrong). I suspect tomorrow Harry will wake up from a tryptophan-induced coma with a rivulet of turkey gravy running down his massive chin. He’ll wake up to discover the parade of guests was all just a dream.

    It sure is nice to see Rana. The last time we saw her (mid-November 2018) she told Wally she wanted to go back to Afghanistan to teach at a girl’s school there.

    Since November 2018, we have witnessed the removal of the U.S. troops and the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. I think the Taliban would take a very dim view of an American woman teaching at an all-girl school. Rana would probably get stoned (in a bad way). Nice to see she made it out of Afghanistan in one piece. Batty probably doesn’t even remember sending her there.

    Actually, in the hands of a competent writer, the tale of Rana leaving Afghanistan could have made an interesting story arc. I’ve witnessed other comic creators feature stories with content “ripped from the headlines” within a matter of days. I’ve even witnessed a comic creator fix a typo a commentor pointed out in the same day. Yeah, some comic creators actually communicate with their readers. Imagine that.

    Batty brags that he creates his content one year in advance, but I fail to see the advantage of working that way. We’ve witnessed this handicap badly mangle the integration of COVID-19 into his strip. If Batty was flexible at all, he could make adjustments. Instead, he has the turning response of a Boeing 747, and we get stuck with… this. Yuk.

    Tom Batiuk can no longer write compelling material, and he doesn’t draw anymore. It’s nice work if you can get it.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      But Batty put Muslims in his strip, nobody did that before. He deserves a Pulitzer!

      And Batty loves communicating with his readers, provided they are praising him.

      • be ware of eve hill

        I’ve read that Batty lives in a large house in the country. Seems as if he lives in his own little castle and handpicks the moments he converses with the “unwashed masses.”

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      It’s worse than that. Tom Batiuk can no longer write coherent material anymore. It’s the Highlander II: The Quickening kind of bad.

      The reviews cited “Lack of motivation for the characters, blatant disregard for backstory (such as the unexplained resurrection of Ramirez), glaring plot holes, a messy and nonsensical story structure, the filmmaker’s inability to balance unrelated plots and subplots, and obvious contradictions in the film’s internal logic… see his imagination running rampant… a blatant disregard for anything logical or previously established.”

      The Funkyverse is a mixture of that and Patch Adams, with its maudlin cliches, forced pathos, manipulativeness, obnoxious main character, and unearned happy endings.

      • be ware of eve hill

        You’re right. Batty’s stories are uncompelling because of the reasons you mentioned in your reply. In addition, I’d like to mention Batty’s “unique handling” of the English language.

        I’ve never seen that particular Highlander movie but it does appear to be the epitome of Batty’s writing over the last year or so.

        I’ve seen Patch Adams but that was when it first came out. I don’t remember much about the movie. Not much of an impact on me it seems.

        • Y. Knott

          You haven’t seen Highlander 2 because there is no such film. They ended the series with the original Highlander

          It might be interesting if a sequel to Highlander existed, but it doesn’t. There is, in particular, no Highlander 2. Any references to there ever having been a Highlander 2 are incorrect. Anyone who tells you there is a Highlander 2 is wrong. Anyone who describes or reviews Highlander 2 is lying.

          To repeat: there is no Highlander 2. Do not look for it. Live the rest of your life secure in the knowledge that in seeing the film Highlander, you have experienced the totality of the Highlander franchise. For Highlander 2? It does not exist.

          • Y. Knott

            Pfffft. A website anyone can post on.

            Again, there is no Highlander 2. It does not and never has existed. Any “proof” to the contrary is false. There is only Highlander. After that, they stopped.

            If there HAD been a Highlander sequel, maybe it would have been good. Who knows? Or maybe it wouldn’t have been good. We will never know for sure. For there was no Highlander 2. There was Highlander, and there it ended. Any assertions to the contrary are simply the confused, Mandela-effect reflections of a disordered mind.

            So, with this in mind, be sure to watch the Highlander films in their proper sequence:

            1. Highlander

    • batgirl

      The original story of Rana’s adoption was quite good, with some genuine suspense and pathos (the deep dive into Khan-as-Pizza-Monster touches on it). But clearly TB doesn’t care any more, and his focus has shrunk to a half-dozen houses, the high school, and the pizza place. Rana’s escape from Afghanistan – if it turns up next year – is likely to be worried conversations at Montoni’s and a phone call to say she’s arrived back at Westview, unless she shows up at Wally’s door unannounced.

      • be ware of eve hill

        Rana’s escape from Afghanistan – if it turns up next year – is likely to be worried conversations at Montoni’s and a phone call to say she’s arrived back at Westview, unless she shows up at Wally’s door unannounced.

        Batty won’t write about Rana’s escape from Afghanistan because that story doesn’t involve Les, Dinkle, or Funky. Rana is too far removed from the main characters to be the lead in a story arc. As @Rusty Shackleford mentioned, Rana was created as award bait.

  17. Count of Tower Grove

    That’s a strange look DSH John is throwing Dinkle’s way.

  18. Margaret

    I predict that more people will show up tomorrow, maybe as J.J. said, Crazy Harry and Donna. Maybe Linda? Klabatchnik? It’s impossible to get everyone, there’s too many even if TB hadn’t forgotten about a third of them. I wouldn’t put it past TB to have Mason and Cindy arrive. But I think that the last ones will be Les and Cayla, because you save the best for last right?

  19. Margaret

    Sorry, I meant to say “even though TB has forgotten about a third of them.”

  20. The look on Billy/Robbie’s face pretty accurately reflects my feelings about this week’s arc. He clearly has no desire to be there.

    I’m guessing that tomorrow Adeela, Les, Cayla, Summer, and Koosha will arrive, maybe even followed by Harry (and family), Linda, Buck, and Kablitchnik, leading up to a comprehensive single panel Norman Rockwell panorama on Sunday. To accomodate this crowd, we’ll either see that Dinkle’s dining room is infinitely expandable like a TARDIS, or that they’ve moved the whole party to Montoni’s where Funky will unveil his new Turkey/Stuffing/Mashed Potato/Cranberry pizza.

    • The Duck of Death

      But what about the Atomik Komix crew, including the two centenarians and the Resurrected One?

      We’d really have something to give thanks for if Zanzibar made the scene.

  21. The Duck of Death

    In P1, looks like Mort is getting down to business, bellowing at Dinkle’s unnamed granddaughter to “Sit on my lap and give Uncle Mort some sugar!”

  22. Banana Jr. 6000

    Why is John is wearing his Batman t-shirt to a formal Thanksgiving?

    Is it a visual cue to identify the character? No, because John is one of the most distinct characters in the Funkyverse, and he’s being introduced by name. Animated characters often have unique shapes, clothing, or colors, but the Funkyverse generally doesn’t do this anyway.

    Is it characterization? No, because it makes John look like a lazy, unbathed slob, and comic book people are universally perfect in this world.

    Is it to indulge Tom Batiuk’s comic book fetish? Yes, because one of his other favorites is in the shot: Becky’s stump and its pinned-up sleeve. God, I am sick of seeing that. Has Becky ever made an appearance where that wasn’t being shoved in the reader’s face? There’s no reason that child couldn’t have been positioned in the foreground. And there’s no storytelling reason for emphasizing it so much. And there is absolutely no reason for having a second amputee character with a pinned-up arm sleeve, Skip from Crankshaft.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      And why does Becky always have to look so ugly? It’s like Batty goes out of his way to do so. Is that so that Cindy looks better by comparison?

      Same with Pmmm in Crankshaft.

      • be ware of eve hill

        I don’t know if I’d say Becky is “ugly.” She is most definitely plain and unattractive. Becky has short hair and is always dressed in a drab dark pantsuit. No makeup and almost indiscernible stud earrings at best.

        I suspect it’s because she wants to be as sexually unappealing as possible to DSH.

        • be ware of eve hill

          Becky does appear to be slightly unhinged in today’s strip.

          Becky: I’m celebrating Thanksgiving with my schlub of a husband. Where’s the goddamn wine?!

    • The Duck of Death

      Oh, when I saw Skip, that’s when my suspicions were confirmed: This guy has a creepy amputation fetish. Same arm, same uncommon at-the-shoulder amputation. Most amputations leave at least part of the affected limb, but not in Westerville.

      Something tells me the Centerville-Westview Metroplex hospital system isn’t ranked very high in quality.

      Cancer patient pathology slides? Throw ’em in the pile. We’ll figure out whose is whose later.

      A broken ankle? Get a good X-ray of the metatarsals and toes so we know what we’re dealing with. Then we’ll whisk the patient into surgery to deal with that broken leg.

      A fractured elbow? Nurse, get me forceps and meat cleaver. I’ll solve that elbow problem for good. Notify the discharge team to prepare a safety pin to send home with the patient.

  23. Perfect Tommy

    Ding Dong. Why, it’s local high school English teacher Les Moore and his emergency back up wife! And look! They are accompanied by their blended family daughters on break from their ninth year of college. Harry! Bring up another turkey carcass. STAT!

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Accompanied by the ghost of Dead Lisa. And she and Cayla are smiling at each other like it’s some kind of Sister Wives thing.

  24. The Duck of Death

    You know what the saddest thing is? There’s one particular Westviewian who could probably really use an invite to this Thanksgiving dinner. She doesn’t seem to have a family. She’s probably spending the holiday alone and forgotten, with nothing but haunting memories to sit at the table with her.

    Linda Bushka knows at least half of these people, and the Dinkles couldn’t be bothered to invite her.

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      Very true. Since I’m a sucker for happy endings, let’s just imagine that Linda’s with daughter Mickey (remember Mickey?) and the good times are a-rolling fast and furious.

  25. newagepalimpsest

    Becky is already wasted, and none of her family can look her in the eye. Happy Thanksgiving!

  26. Westview Radiology

    How about Simmer & Keeyusha? Are they home from year 11 of college to dine with Leslie & Caucayla?

  27. Y. Knott

    Big thumbs up for “Son Of Stuffed Turkey”. Took me a couple of viewings to notice. Nicely done!