FUNKY AWARDS VOTING! IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO PICK WHICH LES MOORE FACE IS MOST PUNCHABLE. VOTE TODAY!
Link to today’s nonsensical offering.
Many of you yesterday were baffled by how obtuse and unfunny Funky telling his wife he couldn’t find hamburger was. So much so, that poor Duck of Death could only wave the white flag of defeat.
Batiuk’s done it. He’s created The Unsnarkables™️, a series of comics so nondescript that they can’t be mocked. Like a piece of driftwood, a discarded gum wrapper, or a random rock in a park, they just exist uselessly without making any kind of impression, leaving no openings for snark or humor.
I admit defeat. Tom has won.
This is TRAGIC. A valued commenter has been weighed down by the sheer baffling yet boring inanity of Funky Winkerbean in January, and now sits slumped in the trenches, unwilling to fight. I hunch down by our wearied and war torn comrade, shell shocked by a barrage of nonsense, and I whisper in their ear the warcry of the Son of Stuck Funky blogger: “Nothing is Unsnarkable.”
Our gallant sergeant SpacemanSpiff85 once snarked for 100 words on a silent strip of sidewalk renovations. Staff-sergeant Billy the Skink once wrote six hilarious haiku on three wordless panels of a woman realizing her brain damaged husband had taken the car keys. I’ve snarked over dialogue-less panels of SALAD DRESSING! Look around you Duck of Death! These brave nitpickers once snarked for an entire week on nothing but envelope opening!
Are you tired? Rest. We shall take up your burden. But know. Know deep in your heart. That someone here will fight this beast. Someone here will take on this monster. Someone here will find SOMETHING FUNNY to say ABOUT NOTHING.
And cheer up. While today’s strip makes somehow even less sense than ANYTHING I’ve seen in weeks. At least it has the possibility to get a great Beach Boys song stuck in your head.
And now for your Comic Book Harriet Useless Factoid Report.
- It is believed that there was a real Sloop John B. It sunk off the coast of the Bahamas in the 17th century.
- The lyrics to the Bahaman folk song were first published in 1916, by Richard Le Gallienne, in Harper’s Monthly Magazine.
- Richard Le Gallienne had a friendship, and even a brief love affair, with Oscar Wilde. Though he was also a notorious womanizer who was married three times.
- Poet, Carl Sandberg, included “The John B Sails” in his 1927 collection of American folksongs, The American Songbag.
- Carl Sandberg won three Pulitzer Prizes in his lifetime. Which is three more than Tom Batiuk has won.
- Carl Sandberg claimed he collected the song from American artist, war correspondent, and political cartoonist John T. McCutcheon.
- McCutcheon owned a private island in the Bahamas, where he often lived.
- In 1932, McCutcheon won a Pulitzer Prize for cartooning. Which is one more than Tom Batiuk has won.
49 responses to “I Wanna Go Home”
This is Funky’s coded way of telling his wife “I’ve been out cruising.” Probably it involved Skunkhead John.
Well at least he wasn’t up leaving a “tramp steamer” in the toilet.
If the journey involved DSH John, I’d expect a Cleveland steamer.
Somebody had to say it.
Let’s ask Cindy how Funky’s mainsail sets.
Does he frap or reef his sails?
Another outtake that should have stayed taken out. He lost me here. I’m assuming this is a potty gag, and I know what “Sloop John B” is, but other than that I can’t ever parse what he might have been going for here. It’s like he said “draw me a scene where Funky is returning from a late-night bathroom trudge”, then had no idea what to do with the word balloons, so he made up a weird reference he thought was witty at the time, only to discover later that it wasn’t. Then, while scrambling for some last-second content, he found it in the “blech” folder, shrugged, and said “f*ck it”. I mean, what else could it be? Am I missing something here?
It’s the Tom Batiuk approach to joke writing:
1. Bury the joke in as many unnecessary details as possible.
2. Get every one of those details completely wrong.
3. Omit any parts of the joke that would enable the listener to understand it.
Same as his writing, basically.
I can’t come up with any snark or observation that would make this strip make sense, so I’m just gonna go with the random Beach Boys reference and say that if anyone hasn’t seen the Brian Wilson biopic “Love and Mercy” it’s worth a watch. Paul Dano’s performance is marvelous.
“This is the worst strip, I’ve ever snarked on.”
“Where did you go?” as if her sixtysomething husband doesn’t get up to take a leak a couple few times every night. Here, TB, I salvaged it for you:
It’s so obvious. For FIFTY YEARS he’s been getting paid to come up with gags like that and you just did it for free off the top of your head in one second. Not starting my own comic strip right after high school has become one of my biggest life regrets.
I was gonna suggest that maybe “Sloop John P” was what TB intended, and some editor at King Features spotted it, thought it was a typo and changed it. But we all know that Batiuk’s output receives zero editorial oversight of any kind.
It’s just baffling. Every so often he throws one at me that just leaves me scratching my head. Most of the time I can at least identify what he was trying to do, but this one is a mystery.
The joke definitely works better this way. If I see/hear Sloop John B, I’m not thinking john=toilet. I’m hearing the great Beach Boys song in my head and picturing misery on a ship. I think he intended us to think “john/toilet/old Funky/funny”, but those of who get the reference are all hearing Brian Wilson and Mike Love in their brains which will overpower any intended toilet humor. However, changing it to Sloop John P makes it an obvious potty gag. I’m still hearing the Beach Boys, but at least I get the joke.
I stand in line – this is a really good gag. Because I retain the mentality of a 13 year old boy, I was thinking “…the sloop John BM…”
I stand in line like the rest, TFH, but I think it would be even better as the Poop John Pee.
^^^I can’t believe I just wrote that and said it would be an improvement on anything on this Earth. Welp, folks, here we are.
We fed 10,000 Tom Batiuk cartoons into an A.I. bot, so that we could do one of those hilarious internet things where someone ostensibly feeds like, every Batman script ever into an A.I. bot, and it spits back a wacky, surreal Bat-mash-up. Except, y’know, we wanted to see what would happen if we fed it Tom Batiuk cartoons….
The memorial service for the A.I. bot — which rather than go on, decided to kill itself well before reaching 10,000 cartoons — was held earlier today.
You are not alone, Duck of Death. You are not alone.
“Funky”…”bathroom”…”Beach Boys”…”night”…hmmm, what is my FW strip dialog generator trying to tell me here? Funky…goes to the bathroom…at night! Yes! And, uh, “Sloop John B”, I guess, as sloops are boats that sail on water which is contained in toilets and excreted through the bladder. Makes sense!”.
I believe “Sloop John B.” is code for “created a Funky Winkerbean strip”.
Funky talked about having a bowel movement. Imagine the same scenario with Les.
You can’t, can you?
Like Bartleby the Scrivener, I would prefer not to.
I wonder if TB has been watching “Outer Banks” on Netflix. There’s a fan theory that the show is largely based on the song. For example:
I don’t know why TB would be watching a teen drama, but media targeted to juveniles seems to be his thing.
“John” is sometimes used as slang for the bathroom, so I guess that’s the joke? Ugh.
What catches my attention here is the look in Holly’s eyes as he crawls back into bed, the look that says, “Dear God, he must be drinking again, or he’s gone completely insane… .or both!” Tomorrow she will tell her story to the authorities, explaining she had to kill him with that pizza cutter before he killed her. She will not be charged and many in town will agree it was only a matter of time before he snapped.
The remainder of this week will be taken up by more strips showing that Funky hasn’t refilled his Elavil prescription.
If this is the start of Funky sneaking out at night because he has a horrible drug habit, then yay. Or he’s having an affair. Just as long as there’s melodrama.
Really though, I can totally see Batiuk celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of his strip with a full panel of Funky dead from an overdose. He rang in the new year once with Funky drunk in a gutter, after all.
Truly, “this is the worst trip I’ve ever been on.”
Since no one else has mentioned this, I will: Will and Judy Robinson sing “Sloop John B” on the “Castles in Space” episode of “Lost in Space.”
Call me a lame-brained lump if you will (Dr. Smith would), but I thought it belonged in the comments.
Anyone for dried dragonflies?
Yeah, well, did John T. McCutcheon successfully punk the New York Times into writing an article about a “serious” albeit extremely poorly researched and executed comic strip story arc about CTE? I didn’t think so.
Shame there’s no award for that. We should start one!
I honestly thought the punchline had something to do with “John” = “Toilet”… I’d never even heard of this freaking song before…
*Sips a giant steaming mug of Diet Mt. Dew*
I love the smell of fresh snark in the morning. Smells like…victory.
This baffling, unfunny comic strip doesn’t deserve CBH, but days like this I sure am glad she’s here. Bring on the factoids! (I’d never say “useless” because it is my contention that someday, SOMEDAY I will KILL IT on Jeopardy with all the detritus littering my brain. If only I could pass the qualifiers. I always bomb it on geography and contemporary literature.
Pet Sounds still holds up after 55 years. I’ll listen to the whole album probably once a year.
Is this our “Manos: Hands of Fate” moment? Is this the strip that breaks our spirit? Our will to snark? Stay strong brethren.
Now you’ve done it. I have to go back and watch “Manos” again so that I can make a comparison whether it or Act 3 of FW is more disjointed and baffling.
There’s an award TomBa could seriously contend for.
I should also have included “pointless”.
Manos, for all its myriad flaws, has characters and tells a story. They’re dumb characters, and the storytelling is poor, but those elements are there.
Can’t say the same thing for Funky Winkerbean.
I think Manos is a lot more historically significant than it gets credit for. Yeah, it’s bad and incompetent, and it deserves all the snark it gets. But it also saw the future. It was proof of concept for things like YouTube, where ordinary people could produce complex multimedia content, and find an audience for it.
Ode to a Midnight’s Journey
We came across old Funky
Needing to take his pee
I said philosophically
It don’t make no sense
Well, I feel so woke up
Please pizza stay down!
The story lines rushed this year
It can’t get any worse
Go ahead and call my bluff
Don’t be shocked. Just watch it, it will
I need a good tale. Yeah. Yeah.
Well, I feel so woke up
Please pizza stay down
*picture the Citizen Kane clapping gif*
I stand in line!
When we lived in Long Island we owned a sail boat (sloop rigged) that we kept across the street from our house. We would frequently invite friends and colleagues to come out with us on a weekday evening (we called them sunset sails). Anyway, most of our guests were not sailors, and the sum total of their knowledge of sailing came from the lyrics of “The Sloop John B”. Thus we were subjected to various poor renditions of that song from our guests through the years, and that’s pretty much all I have to say about today’s strip.
First, CBH, thanks for the much needed pep talk. I felt my resolve weakening, my spirits flagging, my mojo faltering. But let us go once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; or close the wall of text up with our snarking dead.
“… We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that snarks this strip with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in Akron now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Lisa’s day.”
To that end: I think the last few days have been Tom trying to do his version of the old MAD feature, “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions.” For the format to work, both have to be true: The question has to be stupid and the answer has to be snappy.
TB has successfully done a couple “Snappy Answers to Perfectly Normal and Expected Questions from People Who Were Just Trying to Do Their Jobs, for Fuck’s Sake.” But they’re not funny, because tormenting some working schlub trying to get through the day is punching down, which is never ever funny.
Here we have a further perversion of the format that works even less well: “Incoherent Answers to Normal Questions.” Funky, not to put too fine a point on it, is being a total sarcastic asshole to Wig Funky as she tries to do normal activities like cook and sleep.
That’s it, folks. That’s this week. Another week of Funky being a simultaneously self-pitying and selfish jerkwad to people he rightfully should be kind to. Ba-dum-TSSSH.
That’s the spirit, DOD! Premium grade, high velocity snark right there! You blew this strip 10 ways to Sunday!
Yup. Bang on. I recognized that Batiuk was trying to do “Snappy Answers To Stupid Questions”, but couldn’t put into words what he was actually doing. You nailed it not only with “Incoherent Answers to Normal Questions”, but with his ongoing forays into “Snappy Answers to Perfectly Normal and Expected Questions from People Who Were Just Trying to Do Their Jobs, for Fuck’s Sake.” 10/10.
I also recognized a bit of “Snappy Answers”, but as you’ve pointed out the questions aren’t really that stupid unless Funky is just irritated with his wife because a) she thinks he’s too incompetent to find recognize hamburger in the freezer and b) where the hell else would he be going in the middle of the night?
Which is more appalling: That Flunky and Wig Flunky apparently retire before 8:52 PM, or that they’re still getting back into bed at 8:52 AM? One of those is apparently true.
It’s 5 minutes to 9 on Funky’s analog alarm clock. I’m nearly a geezer, but I can’t imagine having been in bed long enough to need a Sloop John (whether of the P or BM variety) at such an early hour. This lends credence to our SOSF trope that TB fills the word balloons in a year after Ayers draws them.
Oddnoc! Always good to see you here, you old salt!
I am a geezer and I can’t imagine being in bed at either 8:52 am or pm (unless I’m recovering from jet lag).