Back to the Past, Again

Okay, so Harry has apparently gone back in the past. And the first thing he does is leave behind the helmet that enabled him to travel through time. For such an avowed nerd he’s doing one of the silliest things possible in a time travel story. If there was any chance of this being actual time travel and not an imaginary story, I would really be rooting for Harry to get stuck in the past forever.
I’m sure it won’t be explained at all, but I am a little amused by Harry also travelling in space for some reason, I guess because the Westview Town Square is a beloved landmark that every reader would immediately recognize, and Harry’s attic isn’t? Although it would be far more amusing for Harry to randomly appear in someone else’s attic in the past.

35 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

35 responses to “Back to the Past, Again

  1. Epicus Doomus

    I agree, leaving his time-traveling helmet under a bench in the town square seems awfully irresponsible. But then again, he IS the “crazy one”. And furthermore, this isn’t even the first time he’s time traveled, so he knows what he’s doing, I suppose. See? I told you it was even dumber than you thought it’d be.

    • Y. Knott

      It’s a truly extraordinary superpower Batiuk has. Even when his dumb ideas have the potential to be interesting, he’ll make sure they never come close to actually reaching that potential by executing said ideas in the most unabsorbing way possible.

  2. Sourbelly

    “It looks like I’ve traveled back into the past. Of course, if you’re traveling back, where else would you be going?” That’s not how jokes work.

    “It looks like I’ve eaten a muffin. Of course, if you’re eating a muffin, what else would you be eating?”

    Is there even a word for whatever this is? Something to do with brute-force tautology, perhaps?

    • William Thompson

      The word may be “amphigory.”

      • Sourbelly

        Nice. I had to look it up on Dictionary.com: “a meaningless or nonsensical piece of writing, especially one intended as a parody.” Cut out the “intended as a parody” part. and this word applies to so much of Batdick’s dialogue. Thanks, WT.

  3. billytheskink

    “Better hide this helmet so no one thinks I’m crazy…”
    – Crazy

    • Epicus Doomus

      Whenever a FW character time travels, they always end up in a very specific time and place. No one ever goes back to medieval times or the early 1900s, it’s always (sigh) high school aka early Act I. Which is the exact time period BatYam has spent decades distancing himself from.

      Coming tomorrow: Crazy visits a young (ish) Batton Thomas, and urges him in the strongest possible terms to write his new female character out of the strip and forget about her. Crazy returns to the present and discovers he’s still a mailman, Funky is still married to Cindy and Les is still a huge dweeb.

      • Charles

        See, your idea already goes too far and underestimates the solipsism Batiuk imbues his characters with. Crazy’s just going to talk to his past self. He’ll certainly never have any meaningful interactions with anyone else.

        Except maybe Lisa or Bull, so it’ll be ironic. It won’t be anything else, mind you. But Batiuk will make sure that that irony is palpable.

  4. The Dreamer

    Crazy is going to see young Lisa, and tell her she’s going to get breast cancer as an adult and to get regular mammogrsms Lisa does not die of cancer

    Then he goes to see young Bull and tells him he will get CTE as an adult and die, so he should quit football

    Crazy has altered history and when he finds his helmet and travels back to.Act IiI Lisa and Bull are still.alive and back in the cast

    • Mela

      And there goes the Oscar for Marianne/Les.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      We’ve speculated that Batiuk wants to bring Lisa from the dead. This time travel arc could be the mechanism for how he’s going to do it.

      • Maxine of Arc

        Nah. If Lisa doesn’t die, then she can’t INSPIRE so many people with her TRAGIC and HEROIC story, and we can’t be having that. I’m sure we’ll see her soon, but the Sacred Timeline must remain intact.

      • William Thompson

        How will Replacement Lisa react?

  5. erdmann

    Eleven-year-old Donna is going to find the helmet and decide “Hey, this just what I need to cover up my girliness so I can play video games with the boys!” isn’t she?

  6. ComicBookHarriet

    Ah you see Spaceman, him travelling back in the past AND being in a different place does make sense. For every time machine that takes your body as it is and puts in the past must also be a teleporter.

    The earth is spinning, rotating around sun in a solar system that is itself spinning around a galaxy that is hurtling through space. Every single hour of your life, you occupy a physical position in the universe that you will never return to again. You go to sleep at night, wake in the same bed, having travelled nearly a million miles. If you physically traveled back in time, and yet remained stationary, you would end up lost in the void of space.

    Too bad for us, that didn’t happen here.

  7. sorialpromise

    I, for one, am eagerly awaiting great things from this story. I expect a beginning, middle, and a climax. He is off to a great start, as compared to last week’s dribble. I have wanted Mr. Batiuk to write a story with a point. This could be it. (I am optimistic, but not brain dead. I realize there is just as much of a chance that Crazy Harry goes back into the past to relive eating the best pizza that he ever ate.) Even if it means Dead Saint Lisa comes back to life, the Winkerbean strip is changed forever. (Whew! Sell this boy some swampland in Arizona. We got a buyer!)

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      An alternate reality where Lisa never died, and Les never became a famous writer/lifesaver/hero/Oscar winner because of it? That could be very interesting… if it were written by anyone other than Tom Batiuk.

      Say what you will about The Simpsons, but that show has a very keen sense of what it is and what it isn’t. Its criticisms of itself are spot-on and very funny, like in the “Poochie” episode. Funky Winkerbean, to put it mildly, does not. Tom Batiuk lives in a fantasy world about what FW is, and its importance. If he had to rethink what Les and Lisa would be like in a world that didn’t fall all over itself to make them celebrities, his first storyline would be finding another way to make them celebrities. He is blind to the character flaws that such a situation would explore. (Personally, I think it would be a great deconstruction of Never Speak Ill Of The Dead. Everybody in Westview respected Dead Lisa, but nobody can stand Alive Lisa.)

      Also, the Westview pantheon of characters is so bland, and their personalities so unexplored, that a radical shift in the world wouldn’t change them very much. What would Summer be like if she had her mother growing up? We never saw how her mother’s death affected her, so who the hell knows? There wouldn’t even be anything to explore.

  8. Banana Jr. 6000

    The story point of “Harry has gone back in time” should take one panel to convey, but we’re going to spend the rest of this week watching him piece it together.

  9. Gerard Plourde

    If this follows the established pattern (Funky’s post-accident coma, Les fainting spell at the Reunion), at the end of the present arc, Harry will wake up from his oxygen-deprivation induced fainting spell. Whether anything meaningful to the overall course of the strip occurs is a toss-up.

  10. sgtsaunders

    “Forward into the past!” – Prof. Catherwood

  11. be ware of eve hill

    After Monday’s incorrect guess, I am officially out of the FW story prognostication business. Trying to predict a Batiuk story arc is like trying to catch light in a box.

    I have now entered the arena of wishful thinking. Here’s hoping Crazy’s visit to the past has a butterfly effect where Lisa is alive and has made a cottage industry out of the death of her husband Les, who died from cancer.

    Les, getting shot to the death by Peter Mossman, alias the Plantman works too.

    ——————————

    To be honest, this story reminds me of that week when Funky explored that abandoned house. What the hell was that all about?

    • Gerard Plourde

      While we’re engaging in fantasy, I’d like to believe that under Butterfly Effect Les actually becomes the person attempting to kill John Darling, but fails in the attempt, is found to be incompetent to stand trial and spends the rest of his life in an asylum. Lisa’s timeline alters to extent that she marries a European millionaire and remains in Paris.

      Obviously, this eliminates Summer and generations of students are saved from Les’ passive-aggressive snark.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        I don’t know if I ever posted it here, but I once made a Photoshop with a similar idea:

      • be ware of eve hill

        Works for me. 👍

        Both Les and Lisa are gone from the strip.

        Too bad about Summer, but she serves no purpose away from Les anyway. Cayla is spared from her duties as Les’s housekeeper and playing second fiddle to a ghost.

  12. Tom from Finland

    If this storyline follows the typical pattern of Batiukian halfassery, Crazy Harry will be waving good bye to his old friends and returning to present at latest on friday, saturday will be a recap of the story to Donna and Sunday an unrelated filler strip

  13. Captain Gladys Stoatpamphlet

    If you’re traveling back, where else would you be going?

    Gee, there was a series of movies about this… Back to the something

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      “We don’t need cancer… where we’re going.”

    • none

      Of course it’s the past, but nothing about there being a new gazebo implies that it is specifically in the past. Maybe it’s 2050 and it just got newly rebuilt to match the old one after some town fire or something.

      He chooses to make it be this bad. Every time.