It Was Good a Call

This is not a doctored panel.

Yeesh, the things Dead Skunk Head gets emotional about…One thing I’ll say about reading and commenting about FW on a regular basis: you can learn a lot. I never knew until this week what a comics “pull list” is, nor that you could download comics online. All this knowledge absorption  has worn me out. Luckily billytheskink rides to our rescue, starting Monday, bringing plenty of ammo for shooting all these fish in a barrel. Save a seat for in me in the comments section, won’t you? Happy holidays and thanks for reading.

60 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

60 responses to “It Was Good a Call

  1. William Thompson

    Well, if I had a choice between downloading comics and buying them from DSH, I’d go digital each and every time. (And I’m not suggesting I’d be around Skunkhead long enough to give him that special digit.)

  2. billytheskink

    I guess Jff brought home one too many rocks from Murania if Pm is making him get rid of all his comic books.

    • batgirl

      I don’t have the stamina to work backwards through the Crankshaft arc of Rose-moving-in-with-Pam-and-Jeff, but I recall a strip with Jeff packing up the attic of her house and finding a box of his old comics, which of course he sat down to read.
      I know TB isn’t big on consistency of characters (or anything, really) but it is so jarring in retrospect that Rose – TB’s archetypal abusive mother figure – did NOT throw out his comic collection. And here’s Pam, who was happy to get a rock (cue Charlie Brown Halloween clip), who patiently puts up with her father’s demented antics, joining the stereotype ranks of my-mom-threw-out-my-comic-books. Which you’d think would be massively triggering to her husband, given childhood trauma like Rose slashing his colouring book in front of him.

  3. none

    Meanwhile, Skyler got bored, left the store, wandered away, and got hit by a car.

    RIP Skyler, the world’s oldest 7-year old, 2006*-2021.

    *I’m not going to look up when he was introduced.

    • Sourbelly

      Actually, Li’l Skylab is there, just barely visible in panel 5. During the week, he grew from waist-high to shoulder-high, but now he’s shrunk back to his original height. By panel 6, he’s too tiny to appear in the frame.

      The question isn’t, “why is he growing and shrinking?” It’s, “why is he there at all?” He was introduced at the start of the week, and since then no one has acknowledged his existence in any way. It’s as if the artist saw no reason to keep Skylab’s appearance consistent, and the writer forgot Skylab was even there.

  4. Banana Jr. 6000

    Comic books. Comic books comic books comic books comic books comic books comic books comic books comic books comic books comic books. Comic books, comic books comic books comic books, comic books. Comic books? Comic books! Comic books comic books comic books comic books.

  5. Hey, speaking of people who like the strip, remember Funky Fan? He would always positively assess the current strip, then sign off with “I am completely real, and I love Funky Winkerbean!”

    Unlike Red Ronin, people would wonder what asylum he had wandered away from, and why the staff weren’t more attentive.

    • Hannibal's Lectern

      I figured he had wandered away from Bedside Manure. If Dinkle can walk out of there with a whole jazz band (and drive them away in the home’s van), the place must not have much security.

    • be ware of eve hill

      I remember that nut job. He’d write a huge paragraph complimenting Batiuk… and then cut and paste it a dozen more times. We always assumed he disappeared because the asylum took away his internet privileges.

      Funky Fan‘s presence introduced me to the merry world of Disqus account blocking.

    • The Duck of Death

      As I was thinking about Red Ronin yesterday, and how some folks believed he was TB himself… wasn’t Red Ronin outspokenly “LGBTQ”? He was also a big Hillary fanboy, IIRC, and inserted that fact aggressively into the most nonpolitical discussions.

      I have no way of knowing what TB is like when he lets his hair down. I suppose it’s possible he’d be foulmouthed and belligerent, like Red Ronin, and he’s clearly a fan of the Clintons. But I find it hard to believe he’d claim to be “LGBTQ.” Anything’s possible, I suppose. He could have been trying to throw us off the scent, but that tactic seems to be too clever by half.

  6. Gerard Plourde

    I was going to ask whether Pam had become possessed by Jfff’s comic book stabbing mom, but then I remembered that Mindy’s brother and his wife have moved back to the family home in the wake of the Valentine’s conversion to a strip club. Do they have any kids added to the mix as a result of their coital shenanigans in the theater? (I haven’t paid attention to Crankshaft in ages.)

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Mindy’s Brother’s (Max) and his ‘Partner’ Hannah, who may or may not be his fiancee at this point had a baby boy IN the theatre during a snowstorm in February 2020. Crankshaft and his girlfriend delivered. As horrible as it sounds, it was actually sort of sweet.

      Crankshaft interacting with his great-grandson is also cute, in a low bar to clear kind of way. Se, for example, September 26ths Crankshaft strip.

  7. Y. Knott

    And what I’ve learned? People who write comic books and hang out at comic book stores apparently have really dull conversations. The only way to relive the tedium is by messing around with the word order.

  8. be ware of eve hill

    How old is DSH supposed to be? I always thought he was similar in age to Becky.

    Today, DSH looks like a gray-haired man in his 70s, wearing the world’s worst toupee. He looks like he’s wearing a throwaway black shag remnant from Barney’s Discount Carpet &Tile Emporium.

    DSH had a ponytail back in the earlier days of his character. He was kind of a poor man’s Comic Book Guy. Why is he drawn with this bizarre hairstyle in Act III? I’ve never seen an older adult with a hairstyle like this. To me, it screams loser. Is that the point?

  9. Persil

    That fucking Batman shirt must stink to high heaven.

  10. ComicBookHarriet

    Thanks for a great shift, with many clever post titles, TFH! And thanks for the blog!

  11. The Duck of Death

    Is this a thing? Where one grown-ass adult “makes” another grown-ass adult sell something they care about?

    Wimmen, amirite? LOLOLOL! Yucky ol’ girls never did understand the important things in life!

  12. The Duck of Death

    That’s quite editor an that King Features has.

  13. The Duck of Death

    I said yesterday that Batiuk can still surprise me. Welp, here we are. A tired old topic, to be sure (mean women don’t understand how important comix are — why do I think Tom is still mad at his mom for throwing out some crumpled comix in 1964?)

    Today’s surprise is that we now know it’s literally true, what we’ve suspected all along: TB doesn’t read his work over, not even one single time, before he sends it to the syndicate. He doesn’t even glance over the sentence he’s just lettered to make sure it’s coherent. Even though this is his job and he’s being paid to do it, and it’s being published all over the country with his name signed to it. Even though there are only a couple sentences in the entire strip and it would take literally 10 seconds tops to proofread it.

    Tom’s a special one.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Why do I think Tom is still mad at his mom for throwing out some crumpled comix in 1964?

      Tom Batiuk must fight his battles, must’nt he?

      It might help if we had any idea why people are forced to sell their comic books. In the real world, there are three common reasons this would happen in a relationship: to de-clutter the house, to raise money from the proceeds; and to impress upon the husband that he needs to grow up. In all three cases, coming home with more comic books is not going to be acceptable.

      But Batiuk can’t imagine any motivation for this act, so it becomes a pointless “women, amirite?” thing that the men simply circumvent. And being a childish, selfish jackass is a central theme of Funky Winkerbean.

  14. The Duck of Death

    [smacks palm to forehead] Guys, I just realized what this is about: He’s currently flogging the FW hardbacks on his blog.

    Sure, you could read the strips online, but where would the fun be in that? You should buy expensive hardcover omnibus editions! Use codeword HOLIDAY25 for 25% off! The perfect stocking stuffer for annoying in-laws and bitter enemies alike!

  15. Hannibal's Lectern

    “You could just download them online.”
    “And where would the fun be in that?”

    Since you asked, DSH, let me count the ways that downloading comics online might be superior to buying “books”:
    1) You can carry your entire collection with you wherever you go
    2) The color range and resolution of nearly any current mobile device screen is better than the printing processes used for most comics–especially ones printed on pulp newsprint, but even those printed on fine white acid-free paper.
    3) Never a worry about registration errors in the printing process.
    4) You can (depending on quality of the image file) zoom in far closer than you can by holding the book close to your face.
    5) Never a worry that the basement will flood and destroy your collection.
    6) Easy to collate, organize, and find the specific issue, story and page you are looking for when arguing with other fans about which was the best alternate-universe “Flash” story.
    7) Easier to snap images to back up your arguments–which, by the way, are probably online anyway.
    8) You can non-destructively mark-up and annotate your collection.
    9) You never have to worry about your spouse or mother ordering you to throw your collection out. Even if she drives a stake through your screen, your collection is safe in the cloud.
    10) Nearly all comics are created digitally these days, so a digital version is a more faithful reproduction than a printed-on-paper copy anyway.
    11) You don’t have to interact with creepy Dead Skunk Head to procure a digital download.

    About all you lose by downloading your comics is the “joy” of handling and storing and preserving paper things that were meant to be read and thrown away. And, I guess, the whole business of scarcity and trading and dreaming that maybe that one thirty-year-old comic your mother didn’t throw out might just be worth a fortune.

    • And if you want scarcity and trading, there’s NFTs.

      • The Duck of Death

        I was just pondering that myself…. if and when Batiuk finds out about NFTs, I’m sure we can expect some salt about it because he’s not likely to get into the field or understand it, and anything newfangled he doesn’t understand is bound to create feelings of befuddled envy.

  16. bayoustu

    “Gooda Call” sounds like it’d be the name of the local telephone operator in Westview! “Hello, Gooda? Connect me with Amicus Breef!”

  17. Banana Jr. 6000

    Reminds me of this Dilbert comic strip:

    “Great news – my wife is making me sell my comic books! That means I get to go to the comic book store, talk about comic books with other comic book people. spend any proceeds on more comic books, keep doing whatever comic book stuff I feel like, and be the center of even more Funky Winkerbean comic book arcs! Why, the last man who had to ‘sell his comic books’ came home with an $8,000 lifesize Iron Man statue! It’s almost like there’s no point to at all!”

  18. Don

    Not only is there online comics, but you can have print comics delivered to you – and, unless you live close by to a comic book store, they’re (a) cheaper and (b) more likely to be in stock, if you don’t get enough of them on a regular basis to warrant a pull list.

  19. Epicus Doomus

    Oh, I get it. The mean, overly-practical woman “made” her husband get rid of his box of childhood whimsy and dreams, because the gurls just don’t understand. How many times is he going to recycle that old trope? “My mom threw them away” has been a trope since the 1970s, at least.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      And “don’t throw your kid’s collectibles away because they might be worth something” has been a trope since at least the 1980s.

      • Epicus Doomus

        I was involved in the whole “collectibles” thing for a while and EVERYONE believes their junk is “very valuable”.

        “I have this “Laverne And Shirley” lunch box, how much do you think it’s worth?”

        “Uh, I dunno, four dollars?”

        “YOU’RE TRYING TO RIP ME OFF THIS IS PRICELESS!”

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          “But I heard this lunchbox sold for $250,000!”
          “That was in perfect 10 Gem Mint condition with original packaging. What you’ve got isn’t even a 4.5 ‘very good minus.'”

    • William Thompson

      And when will he use the real trope “I tried to sell my valuable collection, but the best offer I got was ‘Twenty bucks, dude, take it or leave it.'”

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        And don’t forget the classic “if I ever see one more comic book in this house, I’m leaving you.”

  20. Green Luthor

    I honestly couldn’t tell if “it was good a call” was a mistake, or another one of Batiuk’s… unique phrases.

    Actually, I’m still not sure. And I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts having other characters use the new expression, just to say “hah, see, it wasn’t a mistake, I MEANT to write it that way!”.

  21. Hitorque

    Is that mannequin kid the first child character in the 115-year history of the comic strip to **NOT** ask grown-ups annoying questions or destroy shit or otherwise misbehave every panel?? THAT’S WHERE YOUR HONEST-TO-GOD COMEDY COMES FROM, GOD DAMNIT!

    Is Batiuk not familiar with Dennis the Menace? Mark Trail? Rex Morgan? Mary Worth? Nancy? Curtis? Family Circus? Bart Simpson? Calvin and Hobbes? Blondie? How many hundreds of others are out there? Meanwhile Batiuk doesn’t even let this dumb kid say a word the entire week!

    • Y. Knott

      To be fair to the kid, he may be the most mature person there. Would YOU want to get involved in a conversation with these particular people?

      • Hitorque

        What wrong with a simple garden variety “HEY UNCA PETE! WHAT’S THIS THING FOR?!” as the brat is reaching up a high shelf only to fall and get buried under an avalanche of comics?

        It would have been the most normal thing we’ve seen in the Funkyverse for a long time.

    • Charles

      Even ignoring your valid points, here’s a kid in a comic book/toy shop and he’s spent all his time standing around watching people instead. This past week he’s just stood there while Mopey buries his face comic books that he’s interested in, screw the kid and what he might be interested in. Meanwhile, his other guardian Mindy has spent all her time screaming at a weird stranger. They’ve both completely forgotten about the kid. Good thing he’s his parents’ kid and thus possesses no actual brain. He might actually do something that would require their attention otherwise.

      Seriously, he’s in a store with colorful books and toys everywhere and he just stands there doing nothing. In any other strip that’d be a kid who was abused or severely neglected. But instead in this strip he’s just a kid who Batiuk doesn’t give enough of a shit to come up with something for him to do.

      • Epicus Doomus

        Batiuk COULD be doing an arc where little baby Skyler discovers the magical world of comic books for the very first time, but that would involve effort. So it’s better to continue using Skyler as a prop as opposed to making him an actual character. Besides, it’s too late now anyway, as the hobby has been totally ruined anyhow.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        That’s because he *is* being abused and neglected. Mindy and Pete have ignored him, put him in danger, not cared about his feelings, or indulged him at all. Lord knows what Darrin and Jessica are so busy doing, but “comic books” is the #1 Family Feud answer.

        Tom Batiuk wants to promote comic book collecting as a good thing, but he could hardly make it look any more toxic. People ignore their spouses and children over comic books. They spend obscene amounts of money on comic books, to the point of not meeting family needs. They stay in dead-end comic book jobs and let their wives make most of the family income. They go into burning caves and almost get killed over comic books. (Yes, that was Phantom Empire, but it’s so silly and central to Tom Batiuk’s fandoms that it might as well be a comic book.)

        Then there’s the constant “forced to sell his comic books” theme. This is not cute, it’s not normal, and it’s a sign of an unhealthy relationship. Collecting things is a benign hobby, and most spouses don’t mind it until it becomes a problem. And from everything we can see in the strip, these people have problems with their comics fandom.

      • William Thompson

        How many of the toys in the shop would appeal to a normal, contemporary child? The place generally looks like a dumping ground for toys from Batiuk’s childhood (which did end at some point, didn’t it?) Beside, Skylark probably knows if he touches anything, he’ll get his hand smacked. Along with a lecture on the history and importance of the sacred relic he just defiled.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Komix Korner isn’t just kid-unfriendly; it’s downright scary. This poor child just had to witness a shouting match while his babysitters forgot he existed. There’s nothing he can touch, play with, or even look at. The grown-ups might as well be talking about their 401(k) plans for all he can relate to it. Look at his face in the next-to-last panel, he’s clearly saying “huh?”

          And I say this all the time, but the layout of the Komix Korner store is just awful. I cannot imagine a more unwelcoming business space. It looks like it’s in somebody’s apartment, at the top of a long flight of stairs with a closed front door. Do you have to knock if you want to buy a comic book? It has no proper fixtures. There’s no organization. There’s random junk all over the walls. And DSH John and Crazy Harry aren’t the friendliest hosts.

          Have you ever been to Las Vegas? Every single design choice is intended to steer you to the slot machines. But it’s welcoming. It looks opulent and fun. The whole places makes you feel like Caesar himself, as if the glamorous world is parting before you like the Red Sea. It bombards your senses with every kind of experience you could imagine. Komix Korner is the complete opposite of that. It looks like a North Korean retail store. Just endless bare-bones shelving with random products crammed into every square inch, and zero thought given to design or customer experience. And if you want to buy anything, you have start an awkward conversation with these very uncomfortable people.

          Watch this video from 0:45 to 1:30 and tell me it isn’t exactly what going to Komix Korner would be like:

          • Gerard Plourde

            Who would have thought that Westview is actually in North Korea? The resemblance to the Komix Korner is uncanny.

        • Maxine of Arc

          Good point. My local Temple of the Almighty Word has plenty of old crap and collectibles behind glass, but it’s also got an excellent game section, tons of Funkos and colorful stuff kids like, and manga and younger readers sections. But then, they actually want customers.