No No No, Who Wouldn’t Go?

Hi, I’m billytheskink and I love Christmastime. A lot. So folks who find me insufferably cheery at this time of year can take some solace in knowing that this year I have volunteered to take time away from playing holiday novelty records just a bit too loudly and dumping sprinkles on yet another batch of cookies to read AND write about Funky Winkerbean.

Crazy, you’ve had a beard for decades… no one has ever compared you to Santa Claus when you wear red? Not one time? Reading today’s strip, you would think Skyler is the first person ever to make the connection between a bearded man in a red hat and old Kris Kringle.

Skyler’s smarter than he looks, though. He knows that with parents like his, he’d better go straight to Santa to make sure he winds up with something good this year, and not (Starbuck Jones-themed) clothes again… or the coal that Durwood and Jess are sure to find in their stockings.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

34 responses to “No No No, Who Wouldn’t Go?

  1. Y. Knott

    Well, now we know why Skyler was there. *Something* had to stretch this plot into week 2…

  2. Epicus Doomus

    I HATE it when he just ignores time like this. Skyler is eight years old, as he was born late in 2013, yet he’s trapped in some sort of perpetual toddlerhood, much as his parents are seemingly forever a “young couple just starting out” despite being married for twenty years now. I mean this BatYam guy obviously adores comic books and here he has a child character who could be discovering the majesty of comic books right now, but instead he’s still monosyllabic, like a two year old. Another golden comic book opportunity and again he totally whiffs on it.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Still monosyllabic? When he bumped his head at his grandma’s in 2019, he was talking in complete sentences.

      CTE claims another victim.

  3. William Thompson

    “Santa!” “Santa!” Is Skylark three years old? I think that’s the limit for single-word exclamations like that from a child. “Look, mom, it’s Santa!” seems more likely.

    On the other hand, congratulations, Todd. You resisted the urge to give Skylark a word zeppelin that could have carried him across the Great Divide.

    • Epicus Doomus

      “Look Skyler, it’s Santa!”
      “That’s just Crazy in a Santa suit. Hi, Crazy.”
      “Uh, hey Skyler…ho ho…ho?”
      “They grow up so fast.”

      It’s better than this drivel. Why can’t the freaking kid just be eight? It took me sixty seconds to check on when Skyler was born, it should take Batom half that.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      He was speaking in complete sentences two years ago:

      Forget how old he’s supposed to be; I just want to know if he’s taken brain damage.

      • hitorque

        Damn he’s a spoiled little brat, isn’t he?

      • spacemanspiff85

        Presumably Pete and Mindy lost the real Skyler somewhere and just grabbed some random kid to take his place and nobody noticed or cared that he was five years younger.

  4. Banana Jr. 6000

    Mindy looks so annoyed in panel 1. “Oh, Lord, what does this little brat want now?”

  5. billytheskink

    No Skyler, that’s Kenny Rogers.

    You think I can’t make that joke anymore because Kenny Rogers is dead… but we’re living in Phil Holt’s world now.

  6. Skyler doesn’t know how to spell “Satan”?

  7. J.J. O'Malley

    So…has Crazy Harry been schlepping around the Komix Korner during this entire “story”? If so, may I just point out that would mean that there were THREE supposedly adult males who just stood by and did feck all while Mindy was defending the good name of Atomik Komics to a hostile stranger who is, ironically, the publisher’s most devoted fan. What a positive representation of the average comics shop and its habitues.

    • bigd1992

      While we’ve correctly criticized Tom for his handling of female characters, I actually think Tom struggles more with male characters. He can’t write characters with men with any positive male traits. His men are all either incredibly wimpy such as Les, Pete, Darren, DSH, or Tom attacks masculinity. Lisa’s baby daddy is always shown as a predator, Bull was a bully and stupid, Wally is a slacker. “Sports” are bad. If some guy got into my wife or girlfriend’s face like that asshole in the comics store (I know, WHICH asshole) I’d have dealt with it.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        They’re all wimps, yes, but they’re a specific kind of wimp. They’re all toxic nice guys. Especially Les. They know they’re unappealing to women, so they try to make up for it with clingy, inappropriate, over-the-top gift-giving and favor-doing. And the Funkyverse rewards this behavior. Men who take any other approach to dating, like being handsome, well-dressed, intelligent, wealthy, funny, kind, loving, successful, mature, and not whining about every tiny setback in life, are in bad relationships or none at all. Look at Bull Bushka and Chester Hagglemore.

        But these men are also a second type of wimp. And it’s this guy:

        They don’t play the guitar, but they have the same pretentious, snotty attitude about their own art, despite the fact that they demonstrably suck at it. To make matters worse, Tom Batiuk can’t throw money, recognition, and awards at these douchebag characters fast enough.

        So yeah, they’re wimps, but they’re a very punchable kind of wimp. The kind of wimp that’s full of unjustified arrogance and thinly-veiled sexual predation. This is the only notion of a “good man” Batiuk can think of.

    • bigd1992

      While we’ve correctly criticized Tom for his handling of female characters, I actually think Tom struggles more with male characters. He can’t write characters with men with any positive male traits. His men are all either incredibly wimpy such as Les, Pete, Darren, DSH, or Tom attacks masculinity. Lisa’s baby daddy is always shown as a predator, Bull was a bully and stupid, Wally is a slacker. “Sports” are bad. If some guy got into my wife or girlfriend’s face like that asshole in the comics store (I know, WHICH asshole)

  8. Hitorque

    1. Harry is genuinely surprised because he can count on one hand the number of times Komixxx Korner has had a visitor under the age of 40…

    2. I’ll still never understand how Pete Rattabastardo eats, drinks and breathes comic books 24/7/365 yet he and Mindy want to spend their fucking day off at Komixxx Korner… Are we really supposed to believe Darrin and his “Generic Blonde Wife template #03-CM” haven’t already taken him to KK and Montoni’s a hundred times?

    3. Just your daily reminder that Pete has got a stupid amount of wealth which means he could take the brat somewhere really special if he cared enough to put in the effort (courtside seats for the Cavaliers, to cite an example)… Hell, if he wanted to “introduce” the brat to the wonderful world of comics, why not take him to the Atomikkk office and let him see how they’re made up close? Let him get new autographed issues from the three resident fossils! At least that would be a memorable experience for him…

    4. Am I the only one wondering why if everybody in this part of Ohio ages 2-99 is so ga-ga batshit about their comics geekdom, why aren’t there more comics stores to meet local market demand? Why doesn’t KK have a competitor in the business?

    • Green Luthor

      Eh, if he brought Skyler into the Atomik Komix office, the kid would probably say some “adorable” malapropism that the Keane family would roll their eyes at, and then everyone would instantly decide that had to be the basis of their new comic (sideways Sunday strip!), and then they might realize they didn’t actually need Pete for anything.

      Best for Pete to keep the potential competition away from his workplace.

  9. The Duck of Death

    “Huh? What? What is ‘Santa’? Ever since I started wearing this fetching hat, children are pointing at me and uttering this word, ‘Santa.’ It must be something about the hat. Come to think of it, when I bought this lovely warm chapeau, which I wear indoors all winter, it was from a display that said ‘Santa Hats.’ And I did find it odd that it was near a tableau of artificial conifers and strings of lights, but then I find there’s much that’s odd about modern retailing. Anyway, as common as it is to hear children interject ‘Santa!,’ it still somehow takes me aback every time. Well, I guess it’ll remain a mystery. I’ll have to make a note of it for when I make my monthly report to my home planet. Won’t they be surprised to hear about this ‘Santa’ phenomenon. Ha! Humans! What won’t they do?”

  10. The Nelson Puppet

    Proof positive that Skylab is dyslexic. It’s not “SANTA”, it’s “SATAN”.

  11. Gerard Plourde

    Chalk one up to disjointed storytelling. Did Harry just materialize out of thin air? Harry works at the store and appeard to be replenishing stock. Why didn’t he wander over to see “Santa” while the adults were arguing, which normal child of that age would have done spontaneously.

    What we have here is TomBa needing to provide a strip, and rather than follow whatever storyline he intended, reverts to gag-a-day format, without taking into account the context he’s set up. Supposedly Pete and Mindy took Skyler to DSH’s store to introduce him to the world of comic books. Shouldn’t they be reading one to him and showing him the illustrations? (Hopefully, DSH has Duck Tales or Wayback Wendy in stock, because I doubt Skyler would find the complex storylines of Spider-Man and company to be at all interesting at his age.)

    But this does raise a bigger and troubling question. The Act 2 storylines were melodramatic, but they stayed on track. Even the beginning of Act 3 told coherent stories, but over time this has disappeared. The biggest example is the death and resurrection of Phil Holt. TomBa, as we all know, did a strip with Phil and St. Lisa conversing at the auction of his stuff, only to bring him back this year claiming he faked his death so he could work on developing The Subterranian uninterrupted. Is this just laziness or is something neurological going on? Or has he decided to consistently give his most loyal readers, the SOSF crew, something to write about each day?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      There have been a lot of mistakes in the last month or so:

      – The “Westview Fire Department” in Crankshaft
      – “good a call”
      – the constant Thanksgiving introductions of people we already knew, the characters already knew, and had just been introduced to each other
      – forgetting how old Skyler is and that he can actually talk

      But it’s hard to blame this on a neurological condition, unless it’s a slow slide into one. The strip has long made these kinds of continuity mistakes. Like forgetting Pete’s last name. And forgetting that Les was climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and therefore unable to comment in person on Funky’s car. And if those things didn’t worry anyone at the syndicate enough to get Tom Batiuk some help, this isn’t going to push them over the edge.

  12. The Duck of Death

    I know this is a beady-eyed nitpick…. and yet, it isn’t. The Fallout Shelter sign is a fixture in the background of DSH John’s Comix Shoppe and Kiddie Diddlery. Yet I don’t think Ayers has gotten it right even once, and he’s old enough to have done “Duck and Cover” drills, so he should know. Or, you know, he could have spent 2.4 seconds doing a Web search. I have one myself, pried off some wall long ago. It looks like this:

    There’s no white on it anywhere. There’s never been white on a Fallout Shelter sign.

  13. Perfect Tommy

    P3: Skyrocketsinflight clearly sees through Harry’s disguise as he peruses the “Adult” section.

  14. Banana Jr. 6000

    Well, here’s something I didn’t expect to see on the Funkyblog: a Canadian Football League jersey of Ed Crankshaft. With the wrong number (16 instead of 13). And Tom implies that it was a gift from the team. How the hell did that come about? The Toledo Mud Hens stuff is bad enough, why on earth would the city of Winnipeg, Canada need to honor northeast Ohio’s ninth-best cartoonist?

    • billytheskink

      Maybe the CFL has a program now where its teams dole out jerseys to cartoonists as thanks for raising the profile of Canadian football by drawing American football players using the CFL football with the 360 degree white stripes instead of the correct 180 degree stripes (NCAA and most high schools) or no stripes (NFL).

      I’m not going to drag TB too much for this mistake because so so so many cartoonists and commercial artists make it. Even Dr, Pepper’s official College Football Playoff tie-in logo has a football with the incorrect 360 degree stripes… which has gone 6-7 years now without correction.

      • hitorque

        I’m not even going to ask what the hell Lester Moore Jr. and 40-year-old Lena Dunham are even doing at the game, or why the QB in the middle of his reads is even looking at the goddamned mascot in the first pla- OH WAIT — THIS WAS WHEN BULL PUT CHULLO KID INTO THE GAME AND HE CAUGHT A GAME-WINNING HAIL MARY(!) AND THE RESULT STOOD EVEN THOUGH BULL BROKE NO FEWER THAN 20 OHSAA REGULATIONS REGARDING INELIGIBLE PLAYERS…

        Yes that was an incredibly stupid storyline completely ripped off from 1986’s “Lucas”, but damn — At least moderately interesting stuff actually used to happen in the Funkyverse back then…

        But I digress… Over at TWIM we had the same discussion some months back, and I was willing to SWEAR that the 360-degree white stripe ball was widely used in high school/youth football in the 70s and 80s… But after searching I could find no hard evidence to back up my claim.

        • billytheskink

          I believe you are right about the 360 degree stripe ball being common in American high school football many decades ago, even some college and pro teams used it in the 60s and early 70s I believe.

          I mostly point out stripe error in jest rather than in genuine complaint, it amuses me for no good reason. It is an easy error to make and not an especially important one, especially if you are not a football fan (as I suspect many illustrators are not). It is not unlike drawing a basketball with the incomplete seams or football-like laces that basketballs used to have many years ago.

          It does bug me when it comes up in Gil Thorp because football is a central element of that strip and I have a greater expectation that they get small details about the sport right.

          • Phil

            “I mostly point out stripe error in jest rather than in genuine complaint, it amuses me for no good reason.”
            If you are amused while reading Funky, for any reason at all, may god bless you, sir, and fortune smile upon you this day.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        I’m not as bothered by the stripe as I am by the way he’s holding that football. He looks like he’s bringing a pizza to the table, not throwing a forward pass. On the plus side, that skill will serve him well in life once he leaves Westview High School.

  15. Sourbelly

    If Harry is so “crazy” that he doesn’t know he looks like Santa, why does he even react to the Wee Baby Skylab behind him saying, “Santa” ?

  16. newagepalimpsest

    My new headcanon is that Darrin and Jessica are at the mall, helping police identify the bodies of last year’s gift wrapping elves.