Funk You! It’s January!

VOTE! Only Two Days Left

Funky in today’s strip has, once again, gone full Crankshaft on us.

This Sunday, many of you pointed out that poor Funky in the final panel was looking like He-Who-Shall-Usually-Not-Be-Named-In-This-Strip.

But when I really thought about it. Funky has been Crankshaft every single time he appeared this week.

Sunday. He complains while watching football.

Wednesday. He fails to find something he’s looking for in the basement.

Thursday. He wears stripey old man pajamas and gets up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.

Friday. He refuses to lose weight with the power of wordplay.

Today. He sneers and ‘corrects’ a beloved family member who was attempting humor or encouragement.

And you know what? I like Crankshaft better. Crankshaft has always been a cantankerous old coot. It was what he was designed for by his creator, and he works hard at it. Funky has fallen and decayed to this state due to neglect and indifference.

Today’s strip stands out to me as especially mean spirited, even for Crankshaft. It is approaching Lockhorns levels of snippy. This is a strip that needs some smirks. But instead Funky looks offended as he slaps down his wife’s futile attempts at wordplay and spoons up another dripping cotton ball to eat.

As Banana Jr. 6000 put it yesterday.

FW makes no distinction between groan-inducing but harmless dad jokes, and hurtful remarks poorly disguised as humor. I’m sure you’ve known people whose idea of a “joke” is really just backhanded, passive-aggressive insults about people. Then when you don’t like it, they accuse you of having no sense of humor. Westview is full of that guy.

As Professor Fate said, “It felt mean spirited and a substitute for confronting the deeper conflicts that nobody wanted to face.”

Duck of Death put it more bluntly. “But this type of humor, Snappy Answers to Perfectly Normal Requests, is just assholery.”

This week of pathetic non-humor felt like it was cobbled together from stuff they dug out of the trash. They just put all this out here to fill some time, to take up space. It reminded me of an old running gag from one of my favorite YouTube channels, RedLetterMedia, making fun of how January and February are used by movie studios as a dumping ground for movies they’ve lost all hope for.

Did you want entertainment? Did you want quality? F**k you, it’s January!

(This video has foul language. Obviously. Viewer Discretion Advised.)


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

27 responses to “Funk You! It’s January!

  1. Epicus Doomus

    OK, I get it now. They’re both fat and they’re both too dumb to do anything about it. I love it when one of these FW arcs comes around full-circle like that and everything becomes clear, as sometimes this shit can be utterly baffling and or inconceivably dull. See, I’m totally capable of acknowledging when Batiuk does something right.

    • be ware of eve hill

      Funky Winkerbean can be utterly baffling and/or inconceivably dull.

      Reader #1: It’s utterly baffling!
      Reader #2: It’s inconceivably dull!
      Kings Features Syndicate: Stop! You’re both right! Funky Winkerbean is two comic strips in one! It’s both utterly baffling and inconceivably dull. It confuses readers within seconds. Dullest comic strip of all.

      Yes, only Funky Winkerbean is two *pow* two *pow* two comics in one.

      Look! Funky Winkerbean is a unique, one-of-a-kind comic strip. Funky Winkerbean captures all struggles of a comic creator grasping for ideas. All the laziness of a comic creator too full of himself to perform a modicum of actual research.

      What’s more, Funky Winkerbean is written within the narrow interests of the comic creator. The “I don’t give a damn what the reader likes” attitude of the writer that makes the comic so inconceivably dull.

      Yes, Funky Winkerbean is the strip that gives you both. Baffles you in seconds. Dullest strip of all. So read Funky Winkerbean!

      Remember, only Funky Winkerbean gives you two *pow* two *pow* two comics in one.

      F-U-N-K-Y W-I-N-K-E-R-B-E-A-N. Funky Winkerbean!

      Apologies to Certs®. You’re a fine breath mint/candy.

  2. William Thompson

    Didn’t Holly only break her ankle doing that fire-baton schtick for Dinkle? Was that break malignant, going all metastatic until it became an entire broken leg? I hope so. Westview needs more cancer deaths to uphold its reputation.

    • Y. Knott

      It’s a rare “variable” break. It was originally located in the ankle. Tuesday, it went away entirely. Now it’s the whole leg that’s broken.

      This mysterious affliction may in future travel to the upper thigh, the lymph nodes, or the left clavicle. Or disappear again entirely overnight — much like Alzheimer’s and hearing loss are wont to do!

  3. Sourbelly

    The Red Letter Media video may serve as a premonition of FW’s future: “Fuck You It’s January? Now it’s Fuck You Forever! Endless trash!”

  4. billytheskink

    No, don’t get up, Funky. Just let Holly drop all of that stuff on the ground as she tries to make it to the table.

    Chivalry is dead but Funky Winkerbean isn’t… what a time to be alive.

  5. J.J. O'Malley

    Is the kitchen interior we’re privy to seeing today the end result of last year’s lavish “reno”? If so, I’m wondering what the contractors did with all the money they got.

    Oh, and Funky’s a jerk to the wife who’s been willing to put up with his nonsense.

  6. Tom Batiuk, we GET IT. WE GET IT. You hate your “central” character, because with his “wacky” name, you could never get the serious, award-considering attention that you crave. WE GET IT. EVERYONE gets it.

    The only thing left to do is end the strip. Seriously. You know you want to. You know you’ve been looking at Wilbur Weston’s “demise” (totally fake, BTW) and have had a lot of envy.

    So, do it.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      At least Moy and Brigman didn’t announce Wilbur Weston’s fate months in advance.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Nor did they write a long winded, unnecessarily wordy blog post about how they are breaking new ground and smashing all of the unwritten rules of the trade. Nor are they desperately seeking attention and recognition.

  7. Banana Jr. 6000

    “I’d like to see you do some exercising”? Crankshaft is over 100 years old! He struck out Charlie Gehringer, FFS! Only a handful of ex-major leaguers within 10 years of his age are even alive! I’ve got to side with Crankshaft on this one. He doesn’t have to prove squat to anyone.

  8. Gerard Plourde

    One thing this week proves is TomBa’s “submit anything” attitude. He couldn’t even be bothered to try to rework dialogue for existing artwork.

    We’ve been going on the premise that he left these out because he rejected them. I our premise might be wrong. To use a movie metaphor, I’m beginning to wonder whether he thinks he’s showing work he considers to be clever but that didn’t “make it into the final cut”.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      So glad that he works a year in advance as it allows him the time to work on all of those cutting-edge close to reality stories we see throughout the rest of the year. It also gives him time to prepare those sumptuous “Match to Flame” blog posts.

    • Hannibal’s Lectern

      Coming soon to a theater near you: “Funky Winkerbean—The Final Cut.” It’s 90 minutes of Act III “FW” collections, and of course all three Dead St. Lisa “books” being fed through a shredder. 99% rating from Rotten Tomatoes.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I don’t think there was ever any doubt. Any idea TB has is going straight into the comic strip. He has no concept of “this doesn’t work”, “this violates continuity”, “this adds nothing to the story”, “this is out of context” or “this just isn’t that good.” He can’t even be bothered to re-use his throwaway strips in a correct order!

      An editor should have rejected yesterday and today’s strips, or the one from earlier in the week where Holly’s ankle was healed. A serious injury can’t just flit back and forth between the two states. And TB really can’t go on his blog and congratulate himself for his realistic use of time.

  9. Hannibal’s Lectern

    Fascinating…The premise of today’s strip (taking words out of context to reverse their intended meaning) has plenty of potential to produce humor. I can recall MAD magazine using it to great effect back in the ‘60s, starting with movie posters selectively editing negative reviews to make them appear positive (“Under no circumstances should you see it!” edited down to just “…see it!”) and applying the same idea to things like political speeches (editing a candidate’s grade school “how I spent my summer vacation” essay into a confession of being a communist) and so forth. Good funny stuff.

    So how does Batiuk manage to make this funny premise so desperately un-funny? Part of it is the inconsistent relationship between Funky and Holly. This joke could work in the context of a loving marriage, where both partners are in on the humor—but in that case the final panel should depict smiles (or at least FW’s trademark smirks) rather than the “one-hour-from-suicide” expressions we get. Or Holly could be allowed to deliver the whole joke without Funky’s passive-aggressive corrections. For example, “My doctor’s said I should start putting weight on…” (next panel) “he said something about my broken leg, but I didn’t pay much attention to that.” Not hilarious, but at least a Walker-Browne level of joke crafting.

    Tom Batiuk: offering a master class in how to mess up a decent joke premise.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Another problem is that FW’s humor depends on forced, unnatural dialog. Bone doctors don’t say “put on weight” when they mean “put weight on your healing body part.” Even if they did, it would be clear from context what they meant, like “when you first put weight on, do it only a few minutes at first.”

      Holly would have to be pathologically dishonest, or stupid, to go to a bone specialist and think she was given approval to pig out. It’s not a reasonable situation. To say nothing of the continuity problem where Holly was just seen standing normally on her ankle, making the premise pointless to begin with. There’s simply no way this scenario could happen.

      “Snappy Answers To Stupid Questions” in Mad Magazine works, because the questions and answers resemble reality. This doesn’t. It’s an obvious forced joke by a hack writer who’s out of ideas and doesn’t have any discipline.

  10. be ware of eve hill

    Am I the only one that thought Holly was being serious? She’s been portrayed as an idiotic nincompoop for so long, I just assumed she believed that’s what the doctor meant.

    Batty seems to enjoy portraying middle-aged women as overweight, half-witted hausfrauen who can’t make it through the day without being led by the hand by men. They have the physical build to play linebacker for the Cleveland Browns. These poor women will take any gift and treat it as if it were made of gold.

    Batty seems to have a narrow view on how to portray older women. I wonder if Batty has mommy issues?
    I, like Crankshaft better than Funky Winkerbean. I’m referring to the comic strip as a whole rather than the eponymous characters.

    The strip was much more entertaining before Batty decided to make Lillian his writer avatar in the strip. Lillian ran a bookstore, so of course she’s immediately qualified to become a prize winning author. According to Batty, anybody can instantly become a published writer. All they have to do is make an effort. When Lillian became an author, Batty mellowed her character. To me, Lillian became a real bore and the strip suffered.

    I prefer the role of Lillian to be the oft put upon neighbor. To play the ‘Mr. Wilson’ role to Crankshaft’s mischievous ‘Dennis’. The hated destroyer of sister’s lives. The harridan. Most of us hated Lillian for over thirty years. We’re supposed to like her now?

    Why not make Pm the author? Pm’s character has been reduced to a ho-hum straight man for Crankshaft. If I had a dollar for every time Pm said “What are you doing, Dad?”, “Where have you been, Dad?” or “What’s that, Dad?”, I could pay off my mortgage.

    Pam Murdoch, the most pathetic and irrelevant character in comics. Pm’s a twit, but at least she’s not built like a lineman for the Cleveland Browns.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Because TB wanted to torture Pam by having her not become an author, and be bitter about it. This was during the “pointless ironic cruelty” era of the early 2010s, exemplified by Dinkle’s deafness. It was a complete ham-fisted retcon of Jeff and Pam’s marriage, which had been pretty positive, to serve a forced arc which would soon abandoned anyway. Here’s the only strip I could quickly find about it:

      • But that’s not Pam, that’s Fred Fairgood’s wife. “Anne” I think?

      • be ware of eve hill

        I don’t remember the strip, but I believe @Beckoningchasm is correct.

        I, too, believe that is Fishstick Annie. It makes far more sense for Ann Fairgood to be talking to her son Darin and DIL Jessica than Pm.

        I know, it’s confusing. There’s a limited number of models for female characters in the Batiukverse. The interchangeable young blonde, the short-haired young lad, or the idiot hausfrau lineman. Apparently there’s a boring bespectacled Pm model too.

        • be ware of eve hill

          Especially since the character is talking about sports. Fishstick Annie was a basketball coach.

          Apparently it sucks to be a female in the Batiukverse. While I was a decent athlete in high school, my skill level didn’t equate to college level. I certainly don’t feel like “an echo” of my former self. High school sports were fun, but I found other interests.

    • Y. Knott

      According to Batty, anybody can instantly become a published writer. All they have to do is make an effort.

      Well, in his own personal experience, this is true — whatever he thinks up gets published. All the time, every time. Ergo, anyone who is NOT getting published must be incapable of thinking up a continuous stream of great thoughts. (But maybe the ‘Match To Flame’ posts will give them some inspiration!)

      • be ware of eve hill

        Thanks to @Dood, every time I see “Match to Flame” I’ll think “Head Up Ass.” Literal LOL!

        Also, I like @SuicideSquirrel equating reading the Batty blog to reading a legal agreement. BORING!