Batiuk’s Level of Preparation is Low

Today’s strip could’ve been one of my favorites ever if the third panel had depicted the director acting the way a real human being would, by telling Dinkle to sit down and shut the *#@% up. I do find it extremely hilarious that the World’s Greatest Band Director Harry L. Dinkle isn’t directing this band. Especially considering that the guy who was chosen to lead it seems to be missing a chunk of his head, possibly in an accident suffered while marching in the rain.
Oh, and apparently Mike Sewell was a real band director that is being honored in the parade this year. I feel like 99% of the readers of this strip would just assume he was another character in this strip and not give it a second thought. I also think it would be nice if Batiuk had highlighted Sewell a little bit more rather than making this all about Dinkle.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

30 responses to “Batiuk’s Level of Preparation is Low

  1. Epicus Doomus

    This is one of those strips that was created just for two people…Batiuk and whoever the hell Mike Sewell is. I’m sure Mike appreciated it, too. Doesn’t do a whole lot for the rest of us, though.

  2. You know when an unknown character is drawn in a weirdly specific style, it’s gotta be a real life FOB (Friend of Batiuk). The guy leading the rehearsal is not Mike Sewell, the late Ohio Band Director who is being honored with the float. It’s Jonathan Waters, who in 2014 was fired as band director at The Ohio State University after an investigation found that he failed to address a sexualized culture within the band. He has since found employment at Heidelberg University, and in fact will be directing the Band Directors Band in the parade.

    He sounds like kind of an asshole:

    • Epicus Doomus

      Seems like a fun guy. And his entire life revolves around marching band music. What’s not to like?

    • billytheskink

      You mean he sounds like kind of a Dinkle…

      • Based on the YouTube video linked above, perhaps a cross between Dinkle and Buddy Rich.

        • erdmann

          And, based on his profile in panel one, Frankenstein’s creature.

        • The Duck of Death

          I’m getting a distinctly Paul Anka vibe. “When I move, I slice like a fuckin’ hammer!” Except, of course, Anka was a legit performer whom people paid to watch, and who wrote and performed many hit songs. He may have been a huge asshole about it, but it was fundamentally reasonable to expect professional musicians to earn their pay.

          But Jonathan Waters? This nobody, this Literally Who band director is a tinpot dictator working with volunteers, and mostly teens at that. He puts on a uniform and thinks that somehow makes him a real 5-star general who should be saluted and whose every order must be greeted with a SIR YES SIR!

          “We teach music. We teach life.” Gag me.

          Legendary Anka rant:

    • Sourbelly

      Between Batdick, Dinkhole, Sewell, and that asswipe Waters, the Buckeye state is being proudly represented in today’s strip.

      • Gerard Plourde

        I wonder if TomBa considered what Mr. Waters would think about being criticized by Dinkle and placed behind Dinkle and Michael Sewell (who was a high school band director and not the director of university bands) on the list of greatest band directors.

    • J.J. O'Malley

      Seriously? The reich director for this week’s marching band brouhaha is modeled on someone named Jon Waters? Where’s the formation salute to Edie the Egg Lady?

      Honestly, when I first saw his mesa-modeled cranium in Panel Two, I thought this whole Parade of Roses exercise would turn out to be an elaborate scheme for him to get revenge on Dick Tracy for the death of his grandfather, Flattop.

    • Dood

      That is incredible that he’s directing this band directors’ band in the Rose Parade. What a dumpster fire.

      One other thing: In a normal world, a comment like Dinkle’s made among professional peers like that would be met with eye rolls, laughter, coughs masquerading muffled calls of “bullshit” and more.

      • Hitorque


    • The Duck of Death

      Those articles were very enlightening. I grew up in Manhattan, and marching bands mean absolutely zilch to me. Apparently they are a big, big thing in Ohio, though. Suddenly I understand a large part of Batiuk’s otherwise inexplicable popularity, and Dinkle’s too. I learn something new every time I come here.

    • Perfect Tommy

      What a huge jerk head.

    • Hitorque

      Naturally the YouTube comments are mostly blaming the student for being some soft effeminate PC loser, because marching band has to be the Marine Corps or something 👎

  3. Y. Knott

    I was thinking that Banana Jr. 6000’s anti-bandleader stance (from yesterday) was perhaps a little harsh. I mean, snark all you want about the fictional characters in a comic, but these bandleaders are real-life people here…

    Then I listened to the video posted above.

    THIS is the guy the American bandleaders themselves chose to honour, by having him lead all the other bandleaders. THIS is the guy they are holding up as the epitome of bandleaders. As the exemplar of what music educators should aspire to.

    Banana Jr. 6000, I hereby withdraw any reservations I had. Everything about this is vomit-inducing.

    • I’ve been reading up on this jerkoff since I came across the news items from 2014. He’s no Joe Paterno, but it’s interesting to note how band alumni came to his defense, much like many Penn State alums fiercely defended Joe Pa.

      • Epicus Doomus

        I suppose if Dinkle had been a beloved marching band director who everyone loved and who was best known for making marching band rewarding and fun, it wouldn’t have been so goddamned funny. But apparently “not being fun” is a big part of it, so I don’t know anymore. I mean, being berated by a legendary marching band director seems like bottoming out to me, as it would mark the point where I’d start re-assessing my priorities, but I guess it’s just one of those Ohioian rites of passage BatHam likes to write about so much.

      • Sourbelly

        Yikes. Speaking of squick.

      • Hitorque

        Oh there’s a definite Woody Hayes parallel here…

        And as I’ve pointed out countless times before, it’s no coincidence that Krankenschaaften is a thinly veiled Woody Hayes avatar, down to the ballcap and red windbreaker.

  4. Must have been a struggle for Batiuk to cough up these words. On the one hand, he wanted to highlight the person who was giving exposure to Dinkle, but then he couldn’t allow anyone to be seen as better than Dinkle.

    It was a struggle he lost, anyway.

  5. Banana Jr. 6000

    So today we learn why Dinkle thinks it’s okay to keep children and senior citizens rehearsing until 2 a.m.: because of a stupid, denigrating cliche he heard once. He scoffs at the very notion of anyone ever rising to the occasion, because he thinks everyone but him is a barely sentient moron who can only perform music by being browbeaten into it. I would suggest that Dinkle’s inability to instruct or inspire might be part of the problem.

    I know I was harsh on the band directors yesterday, but the role attracts abusers like Dinkle. A bunch of strutting little Napoleons who are so obsessed with their dumb halftime shows, and the power they have over others to make them happen, that they think it’s okay to treat people like they do.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Your criticisms were valid. I was a band geek. I quit during my senior year as I was playing weddings, bars, bar-mitzvahs, etc and getting paid to do so. I did continue with jazz band and theater, and also played in a percussion ensemble.

      The band parties, etc were great but then I grew out of them. Yes, I remember the band initiations and other rites which would be considered abusive today.

      Overall, I had a positive experience, but I can see why a lot of people did not. Plus today, it’s all about scoring an invite to Disney or one of the big parades. The biggest thing we did was play at Cedar Point in the summer. Everything else was local.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        The success of Act I Dinkle as a character is really an indictment of the scholastic band experience. He captured the negative experiences that a lot of people had with it. His ego, self-importance, obsessiveness, condescension, megalomania, disregard for the students, and absurd time demands all rang true with a lot of people.

        No, our band directors didn’t keep us until 2:30 a.m., or make us march through a hurricane, or, commandeer the football field from the football team. But he wasn’t much of an exaggeration.

        Dinkle was the pointy-haired boss of his day. Except that actual bosses realized that the PHB was supposed to be a bad example, and responded to the popularity of the character by trying to be less like him. Dinkle is a non-ironic hero to these people.

        Yesterday I questioned why this band directors group would want to align themselves with Dinkle. Now that I learn they’re aligned with this Jon Waters character, it makes perfect sense.

        • Maxine of Arc

          Yes! Act 1 Dinkle was good for a wry chuckle because we all knew That Guy and his outsized ego and ridiculous expectations, which is why he ended up taped to the band room door. How he morphed into the World’s Actual Greatest Band Director is a mystery to me.

  6. J.J. O'Malley

    Based on today’s off-putting Jonathan Waters “tribute,” I predict next week’s first arc of 2022 will feature those creepy Midwich Cuckoo twins having after-school slices at Montoni’s, where they’re approached by a “talent scout” who bears a striking resemblance to Ghislaine Maxwell.

  7. ComicBookHarriet

    That hatted alien in the background of panel 3 looks nervous that he might be found out…