It Was a Thrill, Just Like the Last Two Times

Three things about today’s strip:
1. Batiuk still depicts signs as being on the inside of the door, which is silly.  I’m guessing he’d think people would miss the vitally important detail that this conversation is taking place in the band room, and he can’t think of a way to arrange the layout so you can see the outside of the door.  (Also, there’s no hilariously crappy tape holding the sign up.  Maybe we’ve made a difference!)
2. Based on my ten seconds of Googling, “finale list” isn’t a thing. I’m assuming it’s a play off of “bucket list”, (“he’s a musician, he wouldn’t talk about buckets, he’d talk about finales!”), but just swapping one word for another doesn’t instantly make comedy, despite what the existence of Crankshaft would have you think.
3. But hey, Dinkle is talking about his finale, which can only mean he’s about to die soon. Here’s hoping for a Sunday sideways “Death of Superman” “homage”, which will be extra awkward when it’s Becky cradling Dinkle’s corpse in her arm.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

48 responses to “It Was a Thrill, Just Like the Last Two Times

  1. Everything in this strip is loathsome. I guess that’s an achievement of some kind, right?

  2. Epicus Doomus

    “Yeah! Now that you mention it, I guess it was quite a thrill!”. And BatYam wonders why everyone makes fun of his moronic comic strip. This is Dinkle, he should be incessantly gloating and carrying on about the stupid parade, yet suddenly he’s all nonchalant about it, like it was just another minor goal to cross off his list. It’s totally out of character and makes no sense whatsoever. This awful false humility and constantly focusing on the mundane is almost pathological now.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Westview runs on humblebragging. And in real life, people HATE humblebragging. They don’t bemusedly smirk at it like Becky is doing.

      Since when did Dinkle have any aversion to openly bragging about himself? He legally changed his name to include ‘The World’s Greatest Band Director’, FFS! This phony coy act just makes him even more detestable. He obviously went to the school to brag, because he’s got no other reason to be there, so why isn’t he bragging? He’s done nothing but brag this whole time!

      And Les is even worse, with his “oh woe is me, I have to go to another Hollywood party because my book has been optioned into a movie again” act. In a town full of working class people who barely have jobs.

      It’s like Batiuk thinks he’s making his characters more likable, but he’s doing the complete opposite.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        And what is there to brag about? Dinkle directed a band that was chosen to perform multiple times in the Rose Bowl Parade. That’s a higher honor than marching in the parade.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          And the selection to be in this band directors’ band wasn’t merit-based at all. Dinkle literally accomplished nothing.

  3. ComicBookHarriet

    It was so amazing Becky! Just the best! I wish you could have gone…but… you know…only the BEST band directors, (and one’s that can still march with instruments in hand) were allowed.

    REMINDER! Voting January 7th at midnight for the Worthy Awards!

    Go out there and show your support for a fellow blog snarker!

  4. Sourbelly

    “So you marched in that parade.”
    “Yep. One less thing I have to do before I die”
    “Notice that my left arm is still missing, and you have some bizarre wing-like bag under your left eye.”

    No wonder this strip still gets published!

  5. Y. Knott

    The apotheosis of Batiuk’s creative work: there is literally nothing about this cartoon that is interesting on any level whatsoever. Not for long-term readers, not for first-time readers.

    No matter who you are, you can bask in the wonderment of a product that has no other purpose but to entertain, yet provides an entertainment value of zero.

    • spacemanspiff85

      It takes skill to make someone read your comic in the paper and think “wow, I wish that space had gone to an ad instead”.

    • Epicus Doomus

      He had a reasonable premise…”Dinkle is invited to march with other band directors in the Rose Bowl parade”, then he systematically excised every bit of entertainment value from that premise. Nothing humorous or exciting happened and now that it’s over, Dinkle barely seems to care. The “climax” of the story (as it were) was Dinkle navigating a street corner. The story itself focused on packing, naming streets and gags about airplane food. Even the part where Dinkle acknowledged he was living his dream was tamped down by Batiuk going out of his way to remind us that Dinkle wasn’t really any different from all the other band directors. In fact, when you look at it that way, the whole thing was more depressing than anything else.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      The purpose of this strip is to entertain the author and win awards for him.

  6. billytheskink

    So that’s where Alan Alda’s hair went!

  7. Gerard Plourde

    Once again the strip ignores the fact that this is Dinkle’s third Rose Parade. I’m also curious whether one of those Westview High appearances occurred while Becky was a member. But, hey, let’s not let continuity get in the way of whatever the current story line might be.

  8. J.J. O'Malley

    “I suppose it was, young man…er, Becky, it was a great thrill! One that, as the actual current band director for Westview High, you should have been the one to experience instead of a retired geezer like me, someone glomming onto a chance to hog the spotlight one more time! But, hey, it’s not as though you’ve ever suffered any hardship in life and needed something to look forward to, am I right…er, left…er, whichever?”

  9. Lord Flatulence

    It’s wonderful to be here
    It’s certainly a thrill

  10. The Duck of Death

    On another topic…. Batty has a “Match to Flame” entry up on his blog.

    He seems to use these to describe his creative process, such as it is. But one thing continues to confuse and annoy me: What the hell does “Match to Flame” mean?

    Wouldn’t you say “Match to Tinder” instead? Or does he mean something akin to “Light a Match” or “Striking the Match”?

    • Rusty Shackleford

      The match ignited his immense creativity which beget Lisa and empowered him to create the rich tapestry of interesting characters that you see today.

      It’s a shame he didn’t actually win a Pulitzer, because Batty would have liked that.

      • The Duck of Death

        I get the “ignition” metaphor. All I’m saying is: If you put a match to a flame, nothing much happens. Other than the match burning up.

        I guess “match to flame” might be an appropriate expression after all.

        We’ll file it along with his hundreds of other expressions that use English syntax, but have no discernable meaning. Syd Barrett did it much better, I must say.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          Oh, ok. Yes, I see what you mean. I guess I am just used to Batty talking nonsense all of the time that I do not take the time to parse the actual words.

          Those book introductions are horrid. But it’s not like anybody is buying those books anyways. I got volume 1 from the local library as I wanted to reread the earlier strips.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Part of the problem with that phrase is, I don’t know what “to” means. Does it means “match becomes flame”, “match moves to flame,” to “match creates flame”, or what. It’s vagueness pretending to be cleverness.

  11. hitorque

    Dumbassed smirks? Take a drink…

    Dumbassed smirks at unfunny punchlines? Take a drink…

    Two feet of snow on the ground? Take a drink…

    A high school setting without a single teenager in sight? Take a drink…

    Pinned up sleeve? Take a drink…

    Door sign on the wrong side? Take a drink…

    Absolutely NOTHING that could remotely be classified as “work” happening? Take a drink…

    Becky completely lacking any kind of professional life or ambition or agency of her own? Take a drink…

    Becky constantly stroking the Big Dink’s ego because she’s now for all intent his “workplace wife” now? Take a drink…

    Becky only ever being able to converse about the Big Dink’s favorite subject (himself)? Take a drink…

    Over-the-top fake-assed artificial smalltown middle American humility on display? Take a drink…

    Chicks with dude hairstyles? Take a drink…

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Careful, with a drinking habit like that you may have to go to AA and listen to a pudgy old man blather on about discmans for a couple hours.

  12. hitorque

    1. I’m trying to figure out why Westview High School in some external shots is this huge, modern facility while in other external shots it looks like a single-story elementary school…

    2. It’s funny because the Big Dink is supposedly the greatest band conductor who ever lived yet even his own workplace didn’t give enough of a shit to even make a mention of his Rose Bowl trip on the message board…

    • batgirl

      The same way nobody cared that Les and Cayla were jetting off to Hollywood to hobnob with movie stars and survive a massive fire. .
      And nobody but close relatives came to the Valentine, or supported whatever that newspaper was.
      Does anybody but the central cast even live in Westview/Centerville? It’s like a Potemkin village – or maybe one of the Doom Town sets built for atomic testing.

  13. Maxine of Arc

    oh my GOD no one CARES

  14. be ware of eve hill

    A very brief entry has been added to the Batty blog today, titled Rose Parade Redux. Apparently Batty feels the broadcast networks did an insufficient job of mentioning Dinkle, and he has to beat his own drum again.

    • be ware of eve hill

      To quote @Maxine of Arc: “oh my GOD no one CARES”

      • Maxine of Arc

        Usually I at least try to muster up more words than that, but at this point in the Rose Parade flogging, OH MY GOD NO ONE CARES!

    • Y. Knott

      Even in his attempt at self-promotion, the images of the banners are indistinct and the banner text is completely unreadable.

      No big loss of course, as no-one cares. But still very, very sad.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        And again, Tom Batiuk doesn’t have a single word to say in thanks or congratulations to the Salute Band Directors group.

        • be ware of eve hill

          Excellent point.

          Batty prefers to thank the imaginary Dinkle as if he is a real person. I can’t help but wonder how many of the “pretty cool places and honors” Harry has led Batty on are imaginary too.

        • The Duck of Death

          It’s just as tacky and low-class as hell that he couldn’t write a simple sentence like, “Thanks to the artists and organizers who work tirelessly to make the parade a great experience for participants, spectators, and TV viewers” or “Thanks to every band director who participated and put on such a great show. I’ve always said every band director is a star” or whatever. Absolutely trashy, and it really makes me think less of him.

          And was he there in Pasadena? What was the experience like? Nothing. Just: “Thanks world, for honoring Harry and me again.”


          • Banana Jr. 6000

            It’s just like Pete thanking the long-dead Hoagy Carmichael for helping him invent an idea, instead of his fiancee who actually invented it.

      • be ware of eve hill

        The way Batiuk built the parade up, I thought it was the ‘Saluting America’s Band Directors’ marching band and float featuring Funky Winkerbean’s Harry K. Dinkle.

        With three little banners in the back row, it makes me wonder how much Batty paid in sponsorship for them to include Dinkle.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          I wonder who paid who. The foundation got a lot more out of this partnership than TB did. He put them front and center in the comic strip for two whole weeks. They buried his undersized banners at the back of the group, where they wouldn’t be noticed.

    • be ware of eve hill

      Has anybody commented on how the banner carriers were dressed? In the blog photo they’re all shown wearing a red windbreaker, a white shirt, black pants and black shoes. All that’s missing is the red trucker’s cap.

      They’re all dressed up like Ed Crankshaft! Coincidence?

    • Mela

      Probably because they were too busy talking about the real band director who made enough difference in real kids’ lives that his family put together the float and the band of directors to honor him.

      • Mela

        Sorry, the above was in reply to beware of eve hill’s post regarding the networks’ insufficent mention of Dinkle.

        • be ware of eve hill

          I got it. Thanks!

          It’s so sad. When he died, Mike Sewell was the same age as my little brother. I couldn’t imagine losing him so young.

  15. Westview Radiology

    Flunky Cancerbean consists of douchebag men who are adoringly loved & worshipped by their women. Uggghhhh.