The Touchback

Voting Ends Sunday Night for the 2021 Funky Awards.

At least they’re not sneering at each other today.

And remembering Bull fondly for once is nice.



But then again,

So, I guess..

And that’s it for me today! Join me tomorrow as we begin AWARDS WEEK at Son of Stuck Funky!



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

45 responses to “The Touchback

  1. William Thompson

    What a brilliant idea! If Holly falls on her face, it won’t be bruised. But unless she knows how to fall, she could end up with a neck injury when that face-guard hits the ground.

  2. Mela

    I’m going to make a somewhat reasonable assumption that Bull owned more than one football helmet. However, Holly was on crutches clear back in October when she hobbled up to the roof to see the escape of the pizza monster, so I’m not quite sure why she’s worried about falling on her face now.

  3. Epicus Doomus

    Yikes. I TOTALLY FORGOT that Linda gave away Bull’s death helmet. Obviously this is yet another old strip that didn’t make the 2021 cut. I’m beginning to wonder if he ever bothered writing the 2022 strips at all. Imagine a whole year of wildly out-of-context outtakes. Bull just popping up randomly, Lisa dropping by Montoni’s in her cancer hat, Khan stopping in to borrow some turmeric, with no explanation at all. Other than us, who’d even notice?

    • Count of Tower Grove

      I might start reading this strip and commenting regularly again if that were to happen.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Yeah, FW could be fun if it would just lean into the absurdism, instead of acting like it’s so blasted deep and meaningful while also making no sense.

    • Lakeview

      These are the 2021 strips that were displaced to accommodate the Rose Bowl strips. The Rose Bowl float didn’t happen in real life until mid-year, well after the 2021 strips were done.

  4. none

    Did they check to see if that helmet still has bits of Bull’s encrusted blood and brains inside it before handing it off?

    By the way, asshole, you drew this for the boot coming off last November: , not to mention prior strips within THIS FUCKING WEEK where she was without any physical impairment.

    We’d still be shitting in outhouses and dying from cholera at 30 if everyone had his work ethic. What complete trash.

  5. be ware of eve hill

    Oh, c’mon. Be real. I badly sprained my ankle last December. I was required to wear a boot for a few weeks but I never needed crutches. I never feared falling on my face. I never asked to borrow my husband’s motorcycle helmet.

    Sad and pathetic Holly can’t take care of herself without Funky’s help. *sigh*

    • be ware of eve hill

      A co-worker of mine broke her leg skiing back in 2018. Her leg was placed in a plaster cast. Holly’s broken ankle/leg/thigh required an orthopedic boot. Is Westview’s medical technology ahead of New Mexico’s. Say it ain’t so.

      • Y. Knott

        Nah, they just got tired of the Snappy Answers to Perfectly Reasonable Questions routine. To move things along, they now just give everyone an orthopedic boot — for broken legs, for COVID, for bad breath, for sunburn…

    • Green Luthor

      Well, Funky *is* her medical sugar daddy…

  6. Banana Jr. 6000

    I’m speechless. What next, they’re going to chill champagne in it at Jinx’s wedding?

  7. It’s the Batiukverse. Everything changes on the whim of the creator. Nothing is set, everything is fluid–until those award committees wake up!

  8. Gerard Plourde

    The outtake dump continues. Holly’s injury happened in either late September or early October. That was about fifteen weeks ago.

    • be ware of eve hill

      Excellent recall, sir. Holly broke her ankle leg suffered her great injury in the September 30th strip.

      My Comics Kingdom trial finally proves useful.

  9. billytheskink

    I’m not saying this isn’t a danger at all, but… as someone who has spent far more time in my life than Holly has on crutches and has fallen with them plenty of times… I still have all of my teeth. I don’t think I ever fell straight forward when on crutches because the reason I fell is that one or both of the crutches slipped. This caused me to fall sideways each time.

    One time I fell shortly after surgery, when my knee stiff and difficult to bend from being locked in place at the hospital for several days. The fall somehow loosened up my knee and I could bend it.

    And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! I have dozens more crutch anecdotes that I think are at least on par with this strip. None of them involve the unsettling use of a dead guy’s football helmet.

  10. J.J. O'Malley

    Okay, so clearly Batiuk decided that Dinkle’s fulfilling a lifelong dream he achieved twice earlier by marching in the Tournament of Roses Parade was–like Barry Allen’s travelling into his own past to stop the murder of his mother by the Reverse Flash–a “Flashpoint” singularity that changed the time/space continuum of the Funkyverse. Thus 2022 will find all of the previous year’s events happening in “retro-chronological order”: Holly’s leg will unheal; Phil Holt will return to his grave, while St. Spire’s longtime organist will miraculously return to life; “Lisa’s Story: The Motion Picture” will get unmade; and one of only two Discmans still in existence will jump up off the floor by Funky’s treadmill and find its way back to a safe perch. Ti ot drawrof gnikool.

  11. ComicTrek

    Nooooo, man. No. No. No. If it’s that bad, you either go get her a fresh helmet or make a quick trip to the local drugstore and get her some protective gear. Why call your friend (who is way too free with that Death Helmet as it is) to let you borrow an old child/teen sized helmet that should be not only too small by now, but should have sustained enough bangs and dings over the years, including a car crash, as to be considered quite replaceable? Don’t even get me started on the fact that that thing should probably be at the police station with an “Exhibit A” label or something. Didn’t Linda give it away to Buck? Did Funky even LIKE Bull or Linda? What is wrong with these people? Why am I asking all these questions???

    Holly getting hurt is not even about her. It’s just to make us remember that CTE “awareness” story. That’s pretty messed up.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Probably the first time they have spoken since Bull’s death. Classy.

      • The Duck of Death

        Has anyone spoken to Linda (other than Buck) since Bull’s funeral? She seems to have been shunned by the whole town. I noted when the mob showed up at the Dinkles’ for Thanksgiving that she was the one who was most likely to need company, and also the one who was either totally forgotten or pointedly not invited. Nasty small-town clique.

        • ComicBookHarriet

          Les also came over briefly after the funeral. Linda showed up in like three strips this year, all in the context of a teacher complaining about ‘last year’s pandemic’

  12. The Duck of Death

    It’s interesting to note the differences between the strip’s treatment of The Widow Bushka and The Bereaved Les.

    Losing a loved one to cancer, especially when a young child is involved, is obviously horrible. But it could be argued that losing a loved one to CTE is even worse. It erodes the victim’s personality in frightening ways. It leads to dangerous impulsivity, paranoia, and sudden outbursts of aggression and violence. It causes depression and suicidality that can encourage substance abuse. While all this is happening, the victim may have increasing trouble speaking, swallowing, and moving, with Parkinsonian symptoms. And many CTE sufferers experience dementia similar to Alzheimer’s.

    In other words, you not only lose the physical person you love, you lose the “soul” of the person you love. And their suffering can’t be controlled with opioids, unlike cancer pain.

    Les was “the real hero” (a phrase that, at least in my mind, will live in infamy). The Widder Bushka? She was a dishrag appendage to the hated, then beloved Bull who stood by drearily as Batiuk ticked a few boxes of CTE for award-bait, committed insurance fraud with Batiuk’s blessing, then politely endured Buck propositioning her, then disappeared. Whatevs. Don’t look for books about “The Last Touchdown” or “The Other Cleat.” No “real hero” she.

    SOAPBOX ALERT: Caregiving and self-sacrifice is the lot of women. They shouldn’t expect applause. But when a man actually accompanies his wife to a few chemo appointments? Strike up the band!

    Samuel Johnson said in the mid 18th Century of female preachers, “Sir, a woman’s preaching is like a dog walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.”

    Batiuk appears to think a man caregiving is similar; you are surprised to find it done at all, and even scattershot efforts, followed by an “it’s okay for you to [die] now,” are worthy of awe. You can see a similar attitude in the more recent strips of Funky grudgingly caring for Wig Funky. “No Advil for you, but here’s some pig collagen. Yay me.”

    • Mela

      There has been much previous discussion about the whole “it’s OK for you to die” part of the Lisa arc, so here is my take on this. It’s perfectly fine and selfless to say “it’s OK to let go”, but you say that at the very end. After your loved one can’t fight anymore yet somehow continues to do so and you just don’t want them to suffer anymore. You don’t say it while your wife is still sitting up in bed next to you and still well enough to do normal activities. I’ve always thought that TB read someone else’s cancer story where something similar happened, put it in LIsa’s story and then botched the entire context and timing of that moment. If Lisa had heard Les in her final moments saying, “You’ve fought so hard for me and for Summer. It’s OK to go and rest now.” that would have been much more powerful. Instead Les says it way before she’s on her deathbed, making Les look like a self-centered ass and giving us a forever snarkable moment.

      • The Duck of Death

        Yes. You would say it as someone is actively dying, to help put their mind at ease during their last moments. You don’t say it in conversation. I think you’re absolutely right about the genesis of this: TB saw it somewhere and figured, “I’ll bung that in! It sounds noble!”


    • Anonymous Sparrow

      To rewrite Johnson’s observation on London: “Sir, when a man is tired of reading the Duke of Death on *Funky Winkerbean,* he is tired of life, for there is in His Grace’s criticism, all that life can afford.”


  13. Suicide Squirrel

    Crutches? Where’s the mobility scooter? Has anybody checked the brakes? What if Bull’s football helmets are cursed? It would be a real shame if Holly took her very own last ride to Nobottom Road (a.k.a. the basement stairs).

    Chocks away, boys!

  14. Perfect Tommy

    This quantum physics/multiverse overlap is making my head feel funny.

  15. The Duck of Death

    By my reckoning, we’ve gone from ankle (the initial source of the cracking noise and visible fracture) to foot (in the examining room) to … ankle? to leg, and now back to foot.

    That woman’s lower limbs are a hot fuckin’ mess.

    I had major surgery on both feet, in successive years. I have 3 large screws in each foot. I have to assume Holly has hardware too, because why else would she have been rushed into emergency surgery?

    I can confidently say that, grotesque continuity errors aside, Batiuk has gotten not one thing right about the whole process. Not one thing.

    All of which leads me to today’s comment: Bitch, you BETTER be worried about hurting your foot. Apart from the agonizing pain, ripping hardware out of the bone that’s healing around it may cause irreparable damage to your foot that revision surgery can’t fix.

    But that’s Batty for you. Even when there are stakes, his lack of continuity renders them null and void. If she goes slam dancing, nothing will happen. If she re-breaks her foot, nothing will happen. In Westview, even death is reversible, so why should we care if Holly falls on her face in Bull’s Deathhelmet?

  16. I’ve read this comic almost from the beginning and I can’t begin to tell you how difficult it has been to process today’s strip. The helmet that Bull died in? That’s your joke, TB? I guess he really didn’t like Bull at all.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      It’s sick, isn’t it? I play the video game “Rimworld.” The characters won’t wear clothing that someone else died in. It doesn’t matter how good or useful the clothing is otherwise, or what the person died of. It’s just taboo. And Rimworld lets you get up to a lot of sick stuff if you want to.

      Sheesh Funky, buy her a new helmet, you cheap, sick bastard.

      • The Duck of Death

        Even better, dissuade her from using a helmet. If there’s ever a time when you need your peripheral vision, it’s when you’re learning to use crutches.

        Actually — you know what, Funky? Go for it. Make it as hard as possible for her to see her surroundings. Put the family heirlooms — the “Miss Golden Baton 1978” award, the “Runner Up: Northeastern Ohio Pizza Making Contest” trophy — on a small, tippy table nearby. Hilarity ensues, along with another trip to the ER. What fun. What fucking fun.

  17. Mela

    See, I don’t think it’s supposed to be the one he died in. Funky asks if Linda has “any of”, indicating that there is more than one. I assumed that she gave Buck one dinged up ones from high school which (as Buck stated) he was responsible for denting. And I’m assuming that one Holly has is not “death helmet” since it looks to be in decent shape. Handing out his helmets is creepy enough, but gifting or loaning out the death one would be really sick.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Which is odd since Funky was also on the football team….but I guess he didn’t keep his helmet?

    • none

      This is the correct way to read it, but it’s still an incredibly crass question to be asked to a widow by someone who, as far as we’ve seen, has no direct relationship with her. They weren’t classmates. They weren’t coworkers. Neither was Holly. He really shouldn’t even have her contact information. And then he’s asking for that to be lent to him?

      This is like asking Holly if she has any spare bras laying around, or Funky if he has any half-finished bottles of booze to spare, or if Les is doing anything with that wheelchair that Lisa once sat her holy ass upon – and having those questions asked by someone whose relationship with those persons being tenuous at best.

  18. Hitorque

    I got no words that can properly express my frustrations with this endless retconning bullshit.

  19. The Dreamer

    Funky is thinking ‘why is my wife old, fat and has a bad leg, while my ex-wife is still young, smokin’ hot and dating a movie star? God is punishing me! ‘ 🙂

  20. Pingback: Wait, did Funky Winkerbean just give his wife the helmet Bull Bushka died in? – Another Blog, Meanwhile