The 2021 Funky Awards Week! Day 1

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

The smirk that launched a blogwide meme.

2.) Suffering Saint Nursing Assistant

Giving Holly the pity she deserves

3.) Average Comics Fan

The Man who spoke for us all.

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.

33 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

33 responses to “The 2021 Funky Awards Week! Day 1

  1. Sourbelly

    “Women-are-from-Venus, men-are-from-Marvel.” Well played, CBH. Thanks for all your work on presenting the first annual Funky’s!

  2. Y. Knott

    I’m loving this!

    Best decision by the academy: ensuring the award winners do NOT give speeches.

  3. billytheskink

    If it wasn’t Batton Thomas this would be better? I dunno, maybe not. DSH would presumably still be there.

    What would not be there, in my comic book store shopping experience, are comic strip collections of any sort.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Interesting how Batton eschewed using the internet or making a phone call in favor of schlepping up that dingy, creaky old KK staircase to ask John in person. He must be a true Westviewian, born and bred.

      Well, my two choices won. I rather enjoyed (relatively speaking) Average Comics Fan’s insolence and general disagreeability. Likewise, Jessica’s childish possessive jealous rage made her an easy winner IMO. The only woman in the strip with anything close to a “multi-faceted” personality died fifteen years ago (sort of). Unfortunately, those facets were really annoying, but still.

      Instead of an “in memoriam” segment of the awards show, maybe we could do the opposite and feature all the characters who came back to life in 2021…(still B&W photo of Phil Holt appears in background).

      • Rusty Shackleford

        That’s our Batty. He probably doesn’t use a gps either, just drives around searching for the address he is looking for and ends up turning around a hundred times.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        schlepping up that dingy, creaky old KK staircase

        I still say that’s the most unwelcoming storefront I’ve ever seen.

  4. Banana Jr. 6000

    If there was a write-in mechanism, I would have written in “embouchere” for the Adventures in Feminism award. One of the most sexist, degrading, hateful, misaimed attempts at humor I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen Andrew “Dice” Clay.

    • Hannibal's Lectern

      The one thing that can be said for ADC is that his jokes were actually funny. True, they left you wanting to take four or five showers and hoping nobody saw you watching, but at least they were properly assembled and delivered sexist and degrading jokes. The same can’t be said for the “Dinkle’s embouchure” strip.

  5. J.J. O'Malley

    “Well, there’s another volume in that series featuring the once-funny ’70s high school strip that ruined itself by aging the characters, making their lives a series of disasters, and developing preachy, ill-researched “topical” arcs mixed with self-indulgent Silver Age comic book references, but I can’t give away anything after the first two or three! Can I interest you in ‘The Complete Sidney and the Hat’ instead?”

  6. gleeb

    Don’t blame me, I voted for Mature Comics Con Attendee.

  7. If a Les Moore face isn’t asking for a knuckle sandwich, does it exist at all?

  8. Dood

    WTF are they talking about in today’s strip?

    First, is the attempted humour in the fact that Cartoony McDoofus is alive and the presiding officers of the Dead Cartoonists Society? Or is he a force-ghost like Phil Holt and what’s-her-name?

    Second, in the last panel, are they talking about the handful of people who clip and save newspaper comic strips? Jeepers, this shit is arcane.

    • Y. Knott

      It’s a near-verbatim transcript of a real-life in-joke conversation between Tom Batiuk and his favourite comic book dealer. It was barely amusing to the two people having the conversation, and utterly without a speck of interest to anyone else in the entire universe.

      We’ll be hearing excerpts from it all week.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      It made me think of the movie “Dead Poets Society”, which is another layer of confusing.

  9. The Duck of Death

    Well, I was with the crowd generally, except I voted for Mature Comics Con Attendee.

    His phraseology reminded me of preambles like, “I’m not racist, but…” (inevitably followed by a racist statement). If you’re not coming from a place of arrested development, it should be obvious from what you say. If you are, no disclaimer will change it.

    Plus I hate the “comics changed my life” avatars that TB sprinkles in more and more often. How about showing, not telling, how these comics changed people’s lives? How about an arc where someone does something heroic or self-sacrificing, despite great fear, because they were thinking, “What would Superman do?” Nah, better to keep those avatars slapping at straw men.

    Having said that, every entry in the bunch was totally deserving so I can’t complain.

  10. The Duck of Death

    Gotta defend Batton Thomas on this one — there are plenty of compilations of old comic strips, and new ones are still being published. My comics-nerd neighbor just bought a $200 compendium of Krazy Kat strips. My small local comics store has plenty of newspaper strip compilations, both old and new. What it does not have are the FW compilations. Make of that what you will.

    • be ware of eve hill

      What it does not have are the FW compilations. Make of that what you will.

      Your local comics store doesn’t stock items that don’t sell?

  11. Don

    “Any new collections of old comic strips?”

    “Well, the next overpriced Funky Winkerbean collection from after it stopped being funny is supposed to be released a week from tomorrow” (and, according to Amazon, it is – “2002-2004,” for “only” $45)

    “2002 – isn’t that when Summer was born? That would make her 20 without the second time skip after Lisa died, wouldn’t it? And she’s still an undergraduate in college?”

  12. Banana Jr. 6000

    I voted for “Got The Reference” lady. It’s a rare walk-on character who can match Les Moore in faux-intellectual smugness, but she pulls it off nicely.

  13. Hannibal's Lectern

    “Speaking of which… are there any new collections of old comic strips to be found?” Something no native English-speaker ever said. More evidence that “Tom Batiuk” is actually an AI struggling to learn human speech.

    • The Duck of Death

      There are still a few bugs to be worked out, but the BatiukBot 3000 is progressing nicely, says King Features.

  14. Well, my two choices won, so I guess I’m pleased, but honestly the choices in all categories were like looking at a slice of bread completely covered in mold and trying to choose which bit was slightly edible.

  15. be ware of eve hill

    I neglected to write down my choices, but I believe my picks were ‘Referential Heckler’ and ‘Women Be Tiny and Disappearing in the Background.’

    I’m 0 for 2. 😞

    After reading ComicBookHarriet’s blog, I thought she forgot to link today’s FW strip. I read the strip, but it was so unremarkable I immediately forgot it.

  16. be ware of eve hill

    Does anybody know where the stairs for the Komix Korner are accessed? Do you have to enter Montoni’s first? In some previous strips, access appears to be directly from a set of steps from the outside. Is there more than one entrance?

    Morphing architecture?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I still say the KK store is renting out an apartment space. My neighborhood is full of old mixed-use buildings like that. Access to the second-floor residences is often up a narrow staircase like that. It usually spills out into a hallway, though, instead of going straight to the door.

      • be ware of eve hill

        Two upstairs apartments? Makes sense. Do Wally, Rachel and Billy Robbie live in one of the apartments? Or is it Darin, Jessica and Skyler? More than two apartments?

        I always thought Komix Korner was accessed from the back alley fire escape. There was a week of strips where the Komix Korner was moving from the basement after a flood. The help was shown using those stairs. Mopey Pete was one of the movers.

        Batty had a sketch of the Montoni’s fortress in one of his blogs. Maybe that could provide an answer. I believe it was one of those ‘Match to Flame’ efforts.

        • be ware of eve hill

          Found the sketch accompanying the blog ‘Match to Flame 135.’

          There is a small entrance just left of the center under the awning. The entrance is narrow, and there appears to be a set of stairs visible through the door glass. The narrow entrance is to the immediate left of the leftmost Montoni’s doorway. Montoni’s has three doorways?

          Just how old is this sketch? The windows appear to read ‘Lisa Moore.’ Presumably, her law office. Did Komix Korner move into the same space?

          • be ware of eve hill

            Yessir, won’t we got here is called a shutout. No replies.

            (Sounding like Eeyore) Sorry to bother you. I’ll take my questions, research, and conjecture and go. Is my tail still there?

            Oh well, 30 days in the nuthouse for talking to myself.
            Kryptonian Council: Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!

          • ComicBookHarriet

            Yeah, Komix Corner is where Lisa Moore’s law office used to be. You can see the entrance a the very left of the Montoni’s. Komix Corner used to be in the basement of Montoni’s.

          • be ware of eve hill

            @ComicBookHarriet, thanks for crashing my pity party.

            In light of the comic’s dullness, I tried to start a conversation. Failed.

  17. I know I’m late to the party here, but RE: today’s strip…Batty made a big deal a couple years ago of Wally cutting the sidewalk outside Montoni’s to install a rather impractical looking ramp for the handicapped. Yet Komix Korner kustomers can only access the shop via a steep and narrow staircase.

  18. Hitorque

    1. FFS doesn’t Batton Thomas have anything better to do with his time besides piss around in some third rate comics shack? Does he not have a wife or family, or a job for that matter??

    2. If John seriously greets his regular customers this way, why does he have any customers at all?