Where Are the Photo Album Corners?

This is such a strange comic strip. I really have no idea what the joke here is. It seems to be “Dinkle doesn’t know how to relax”, or “Dinkle is obsessed with band”, which, we get it already. But Harriet says they never went on vacation before, not that they never had a good vacation. So is she just totally forgetting that they went to the beach?  (And I guess Batiuk has just given up on the photo album corners and sepia tone for flashbacks.)
And really, if flying halfway across the country to stand on a street corner and watch your husband do the same thing he’s been doing for decades is the closest thing you’ve had to a vacation, that is so sad.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

45 responses to “Where Are the Photo Album Corners?

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Actually no, they went to Niagara Falls a few years back for their 50th anniversary. Once again BatYam forgets/ignores his own recent history. If you saw his most recent blog post (which was discussed in yesterday’s comments), you know he has QUITE a lofty take on his own “creative process”, however there’s absolutely no evidence of this at all in his finished product.

  2. Harry dragged Harriet to Belgium when he went to accept his stupid band candy award; I guess that didn’t count as a vacation either.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Forgot all about that one. The whole theme of their 50th anniversary trip was “we’ve never taken a vacation/honeymoon”. Why does he think this is a funny enough gag to use multiple times?

      • Y. Knott

        Well, after you’ve come up with the classic gutbuster “And their Metro stations are immaculate”, surely you can be forgiven for coasting a little bit.

    • Gerard Plourde

      And as evidence that TomBa is an equal opportunity copyright infringer, I see that he put the station mural depicting Hergé’s Tintin and the gypsy girl from Tintin’s adventure “The Castafiore Emerald” (« Les Bijoux de la Castafiore »)  in the Belgium trip.

      Ironically, juxtaposing this particular appropriation today following TomBa’s “Match to Flame” blog post from yesterday highlights the polar opposites these writers represent. Hergè (Georges Remi) was meticulous in researching his stories – producing twenty-three complete graphic novels (as we’d call them today) and one unfinished work over the course of nearly a half century.

      Excuse the rant. Tintin (and Classics Illustrated) were the gateway through which I moved from reading Silver Age Comics in the early Sixties to reading Jules Verne and on to Tolkien. Stories featuring Bat Mite, Bat Hound, Krypto the Super Dog and Mr. Mxyzptlk just didn’t compare.

      • Those “Match to Flame” blog posts are excerpts from Batty’s intros to The Complete FW series. Hoo boy, they are exhausting to read, with all those chatty, parenthetical asides. Not to mention that he compares himself to the Beatles, Springsteen, and Andrew friggin’ Wyeth.

        • spacemanspiff85

          I feel like if someone picked one of his books up in the store and started reading one of his intros they’d put it down and back away. And if they read it after purchasing it they’d panic thinking it was written by a cult leader, given the amount of inflated ego and self-delusion they contain.

        • Epicus Doomus

          Oh, that took some serious balls, all right. “Sgt. Pepper”, “Nebraska”, “Lisa’s Story”…which one of those is not like the other two? And that nonsense about not telling anyone about his kernel of an idea before it was finished…he totally lost me with that bit of claptrappery. For an achingly sincere and unassuming guy he sure can be pretentious.

          • Rusty Shackleford

            Lisa’s Story is not like the other two, because it is a perfect story, at least according to Les.

            Amazon’s best seller ranking would disagree, but the fact that it is not a commercial success means that it is a success to the author because it shows that the world is too dirty, too commercial to see the beauty of Lisa’s Story.

          • The Duck of Death

            Yet, I distinctly remember his putting Adeela in his blog before she appeared in the strip, with a “coming soon” blurb.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            If anything, TB *should* run some of his ideas past other people before printing them. His biggest problem is that he’s too much in his own head.

            “Trust your own judgment, tell the story you want to tell, and don’t tailor to what your audience wants” is fine in principle. But when the results are this consistently bad and incoherent, it’s time to consider a different approach.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            There’s something kind of “Talking Seattle Grunge Rock Blues” about it all. How you can succeed by being pretentious despite a complete lack of substance.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      This is exactly what I was thinking about when I read today’s strip.

      So this was not a vacation?

      And I thought The Beatles were talented.

    • Gerard Plourde

      Closer examination of panels 1 and 2 of the Belgium strip leads me to conclude that Panel 1 is the result of extensive Photoshopping. Here’s the actual mural.

      What TomBa has served up is a mashup. The right hand of panel 1 (on which the mural is based) is taken from “The Seven Crystal Balls” and shows the Moulinsart (Marlinspike to English-speaking readers) train station. On the left side The left-hand side of the picture showing the buildings might be TomBa’s work with Tintin, Miarka (from “The Castafiore Emerald”) and the man in the blue hat Photoshopped in.

      And who drew the almost human-appearing Harry and Harriet in the foreground?

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Well, that explains Dinkle’s bizarre line about the metro stations being immaculate. Most American visitors’ reaction to metro or train stations in Europe is “wow, they exist! And you can actually make useful trips with them!” I wondered, what metro station was Dinkle comparing it to? But it’s just Batiuk injecting his writing process into the story again.

  3. DickJohnson

    If they’ve never had a vacation and they’ve been married for something like 50 years then surely thats cruel and mean behaviour?

    • Phil

      I’m not sure. I think vacationing with Dinkle would be cruel and mean as well.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Judging from the flashback in panel 3, Dinkle may have been married to Cindy Sommers-Winkerbean-Jarre at some point.

  4. Epicus Doomus
    January 2, 2022 at 10:35 pm
    The thing that bothers me most here (aside from the fact that it’s running in the first place, of course) is how his hat isn’t down over his eyes anymore. That was Dinkle’s thing and without it he’s just another cackling old band director. If you’re gonna bring Dinkle back then do it right, dammit.

    Happy now, chief?

    • Epicus Doomus

      It’s better. He should look like that all the time. Giving Dinkle a whole face was a terrible idea, especially given how poorly it turned out.

  5. Who is he talking to? That’s not Harriet Innsmouth.

    • RudimentaryLathe?

      That stood out to me as well. I cannot imagine that it’s more difficult to draw the normal human woman in P3 than it is to draw the Jabba-in-a-wig that Harriet usually appears as. Does Ayers actively hate women or does he just resent his job so much he’s deliberately this lousy at it?

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        It struck me as Generic Funkyverse Blonde Woman clone. The younger Harriet looks just like #12.

  6. Sourbelly

    At least in the flashback, Harry’s hat covers his eyes. So that counts as…continuity? Sort of?
    Regardless, the idea that Harry was always a monomaniacal asshole doesn’t elicit a chortle from me.

    • billytheskink

      “Sort of” is a fair continuity rating for the third panel. Harry’s hat does cover his eyes, which tracks, but Harriet is visible, which doesn’t. She was an unseen character during Act I and most of Act II, like Mrs. Columbo.

      As a once unseen character who became visible, she hasn’t even worked as well as the icily-received Mrs. Columbo.

  7. Hitorque

    Hasn’t The Big Dink been retired from teaching full time a good 15-20 years in Funkyverse time? Yeah we know he had some kind of unofficial “emeritus” position at Westview, but clearly all he does there is meddle with the one arm lady’s duties, stroke his own ego and wax poetic about the good old days. He *clearly* isn’t a Monday-Friday 8-5 employee and he clearly only goes to Westview when he wants, right? Not to mention his fatassed grandfathered pension, his freelance teaching monies, his chocolate bar dividend monies, his book monies, his church choir monies and his Bedside Mannerisms monies…

    The point is The Big Dink easily has enough money saved to retire to Madagascar or Aruba or Tahiti or Polynesia or some shit and live out his days teaching music to local disadvantaged kids on the beach… In fact, his wife should be demanding at least this much after sacrificing her youth and happiness at the altar of her husband’s ego… Oddly enough, if he did this Dink’s life would be no different than it is right now; the only thing that would significantly change is the appearance of his students.

    • Epicus Doomus

      The gag is that Dinkle is so obsessed with marching band that he’s been a neglectful, shitty spouse for the entirety of his marriage, but in a fun, zany way. It’s the whole point of almost every Dinkle/Harriet interaction. I mean, I don’t think it’s particularly funny and you probably don’t either, but Batom sure as hell does. That Mrs. B must have the patience of a saint. Imagine the wordplay she deals with on a daily basis.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      And he was a school teacher to begin wiith! They get every single summer off! Their alleged failure to take a vacation (even though they actually did) was nobody’s fault but Dinkle’s. Hell, it’s his defining trait! But FW characters love complaining about the problems they themselves caused.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Well, Dinkle works most of the summer running band camp and so he gets extra pay for that. His schedule is more like a normal working person’s schedule, unlike the other teachers who get most of the summer off.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          True, but he doesn’t have to do that. And even that schedule would give him a week or two to take off if he ever wanted to. Dinkle’s really just whining that the universe doesn’t cater to his sick, misplaced priorities in life. Same for Les and “I have to protect Lisa” shit. Nobody is making them do these things.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Shouldn’t those hills should be black as coal from the great LA fire? It can take years for vegetation to come back in arid ecosystems?

      • Y. Knott

        Those hills were cured by the same miracle substance that reversed Harry’s deafness and Mort’s Alzheimer’s! Of course, “Band Turkey Tonic” is not yet approved for general use by the FDA, as side effects can be a little unpredictable — it de-aged Skyler by about five or six years, and in previous trial tests turned an ordinary chimp into a talking murderer.

  8. William Thompson

    Is P3 supposed to evoke the time Nixon went for a Kennedyesque walk on the beach? That’s all I got.

  9. Dood

    Unless I’m mistaken, Act I Dinkle pretty much did it all without Harriet. Those band funds don’t embezzle themselves.

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  11. The Duck of Death

    Harriet has been with Harry for 50 years and not once has he ever consented to take a vacation with her. Not a single time. Not even a honeymoon. Not even a weekend in Sandusky.

    Going to Pasadena to stand on the sidelines, cheer Harry, and tell some chinless rando not to dart across the boulevard is as close as she’s gotten to a vacation.

    And yet, she’s portrayed as being deliriously happy to be Harry’s wife. She seems to bask in his presence (an apt metaphor, as she looks like some kind of amphibian that feeds by catching insects).

    And yet I’d wager that TB really, truly thinks he’s a feminist. The cognitive dissonance is staggering.

  12. Mela

    Maybe it only counts as a vacation when it’s not band related or when Harry’s not wearing his uniform in the ocean.

  13. be ware of eve hill

    Geez, as if spending a week reminiscing about the parade wasn’t bad enough, now Batty wants to inflict Dinkle’s home movies on us?

    Batty, if you’re going to invite us over for home movies, can you please at least serve us dinner and drinks first?