Welcome, one and all, to the first ever Funky Winkerbean Awards Week!
And a very special welcome to an unexpected guest here at the awards, Batton Thomas!
It seems very appropriate that this week Tom Batiuk’s own author avatar has another of his John-and-Bat-gush-over-comics arcs. Because this week we are judging what Tom accomplished, and failed to accomplish, in the comic universe he controls.
2021 was the year of the author mouthpiece, the strawman, and the wry observer. Our first award goes to the unnamed character who managed to stand out in a sea of melting tired faces. Whether by attempting to one up the main cast in insufferability or obtuseness, or by giving voice to the feelings of the audience, these characters ensured that while we may never know their names, we are sure to remember their faces.
Your Nominees for The Thatsnot Hewmore Award for Standout Unnamed Character:
1.) Referential Heckler
2.) Suffering Saint Nursing Assistant
3.) Average Comics Fan
4.) Mature Comic Con Attendee
Another Batiuk mouthpiece monopolizes the mike.
5.) Zombie Orderly
The true face of existing in the Funkyverse.
6.) Oblivious Parade Spectator
I guess Harriet needed someone to blather at…
And the Winner Is….
AVERAGE COMICS FAN.
Though Referential Heckler made a strong showing, earning more than a quarter of the votes, the winner was clear early on. Whether it was cursing in front of children, complaining about the artwork, or paradoxically consuming the entire corpus of the comics he can’t seem to stand, we all saw a little of ourselves in Average Comics Fan. In attempting to make a strawman of his critics, Batiuk unwittingly built up the most relatable character all year. Bravo.
One way Average Comics Fan was like us is in complaining about the portrayal of women. While he complained that the women of Atomik Komix were too ordinary, we noticed women in the Funkyverse being stereotyped, being props, and flat out disappearing. Despite his seemingly earnest attempts at female empowerment via women in comics and media, it’s clear that Tom Batiuk will forever have trouble relating to, and portraying, the female characters he has created.
In recognition of this we present you with the nominees for
The Livinia Memorial Award for Achievements in Feminism
1.) Women Be Shopping
2.) Women Be Changing Their Minds
3.) Women Be Jealous
4.) Women Be Catty
5.) Women Be Another Species Entirely
6.) Women Be Tiny and Disappearing in the Background
And the winner is….
WOMEN BE JEALOUS
For a while, it seemed like ‘Women Be Tiny and Disappearing in the Background’ was a sure winner, but late in the game voters seemed to realize that Jessica Fairgood’s only arc this year was to become livid and suspicious at her husband of over a decade after half-hearing a single vague conversation, and then instantly gushing over his new, nerdy appearance. Though other strips might have been more blatantly stuck in the women-are-from-Venus, men-are-from-Marvel, mindset that plagues Batiuk’s thinking, and there were more tone deaf attempts at white-knighting, this arc showcases Tom’s willingness to betray the integrity of his female characters for a week of cheap ‘humor’.
Join us tomorrow, as we puzzle over Tom’s inability to remember his own history, and see which Les Moore face you wanted to punch the most.