Console-ation Prize

I like how Harry’s reaction upon seeing someone who was famously brutally murdered on live TV alive again is just “hey, an old console TV” and not “HOLY CRAP JOHN DARLING, THE FATHER OF JESSICA DARLING, WHOSE FATHER JOHN DARLING WAS MURDERED IS STILL ALIVE!!!!”. If you wanted a good example of what makes this strip “special”, a guy travelling back in time and his main reaction is “wow, the TVs are old in the past” is hard to beat. I also can’t think of much worse to play on TVs you’re trying to sale than a news show talking about taxes.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

37 responses to “Console-ation Prize

  1. billytheskink

    No, Harry, what should have told you that you were back in the past is that a business besides Montoni’s and Komix Korner was still operating.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    Yeah, Crazy discovers the date in the dullest possible way AND has the dullest possible reaction, too. “Gee, it’s forty-two years ago…prices sure have gone up since then!”…what a scalding “hot take” that is. These characters have been way too wry for way too long, they just don’t know any other way anymore. “Penny Pincher”…you know he’s been waiting years for an opportunity to use that one.

  3. William Thompson

    Why do I get the feeling that Batiuk still has that console TV?

    • Hannibal’s Lectern

      It’s perfect for him. An old console won’t tune those new-fangled digital channels, nor would it have video inputs for connecting a DVD player or streaming box, so all he’ll be able to do is watch is his old VHS tapes and play early video games on his Mattel-O-Vision. Through one of those channel 3 modulators that makes everything just a bit blurrier.

    • Epicus Doomus

      With the doily and the Lisa figurines on top, and maybe a bowl of solidified ribbon candy too, just like grandma in 1980.

  4. none

    “You see this strip, King Features? I wrote it! That’s my character! Mine! Me! I made him! You can’t control him at all! AT ALL! Because it’s MINE! Me! ME! I created John Darling and there’s nothing you can do about it! Nothing! Because it’s MINE! Forever! It’s MINE forever and I can do whatever I want with him! Me!”© Tom Batiuk April 7 2022.

  5. Sourbelly

    I guess that the joke is that console TVs are, like, so OLD, amirite? Seriously, that’s today’s joke, right? Figuring out what Batdick intends as humor has been getting harder and harder.

    On the plus side, nice masonry by Ayers, as always.

    • Y. Knott

      Today’s joke is that Batiuk gets paid to do this.

      It was also the joke yesterday. And the day before that. And the day before that, and the day before that, and the day before that…..

    • Hannibal’s Lectern

      King Features is probably breathing a sigh of relief that they don’t own John Darling.

  6. Gerard Plourde

    I don’t know where TomBa gets his price information, but a console color tv cost between $500 and $1400 in the early 1980’s, depending on the manufacturer. No way a tv that size would be selling for $91. Unless, of course, we come to learn that Westview’s main industry is actually fencing stolen goods (which would be a potentially interesting storyline, so we know it’s not going to happen).

    • Hitorque

      Thank you!! I was thinking this was some kind of secondhand store or a rent-to-own joint since that TV looks dated even for 1980?

      And that $91 price irks the hell out of me since as a toddler living in 1980 even I remember household appliances and furniture prices always ending like $269.99 or $199.99 or $89.95 or something in the newspaper ads…

      • Hannibal’s Lectern

        Do ya think TomBa had one of those TVs with the “quarter meter bank” on the back? You’d drop in a quarter and the TV would turn on for a while. Then it’d turn off and you’d have to feed it another quarter. Repeat until it’s paid for or it breaks.

        Sounds like something Battocks would be familiar with.

        • hitorque

          God, I remember those from the airport! Me and my parents were stuck at a flight connection in the mid-80s somewhere (Orlando?) and it was Sunday so I remember my dad going to the newsstand and getting a bunch of quarters to watch the Giants-Vikings or whoever on CBS…

          As a kid I thought making a captive audience pay for TV access was so crass and un-American because TV IS SUPPOSED TO BE FREE, MAN!!

    • Dood

      The author seeks awards and prattles endlessly on his blog while he can’t be assed to do a two-minute bit of research on what things actually cost “in the good old days.”

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Lately he’s been showing off this 50th anniversary gifts. Which so far consist of a drawing by Chuck Ayers, a grocery-store cookie basket from Jeff Isabella, and that’s it. I don’t think any other comic strip acknowledged the anniversary, any newspaper did a story about it, or any fans sent any congratulations. But he’s just blathering on. “The biggest gift my readers have given me is following Funky on his arc through the decades.” Well, judging from the photos, that’s very true.

  7. batgirl

    I don’t remember newscasters giving the date and the year – and especially in a generic piece like tax advice. The classic time-travel date clue is looking at a newspaper at a news stand or box. C’mon, TB, go with the tried and true! Radios and TVs are for plot-relevant updates.

    • Leading with the date for a Tax Day piece is natural enough. (The Fourth of July, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve too.) It’s the year that’s a touch odd.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        What’s unnatural is that camera shot in the second panel. Apparently the host and guest are both facing the camera. They added the guest to the shot by moving the camera to the right and shooting the host’s face in profile. I guess they will talk about taxation while side-eyeing each other. To put it mildly, this is not how you frame a two-shot, not even in 1980.

    • Hitorque

      Cronkite used to sign off with the date on his “That’s the way it is” segments way back when…

      And I could have sworn there was a short time in the late 80s or early 90s when it was trendy for the national nightly news broadcast to open with the date (ABC or NBC I’m guessing since that’s what my parents usually watched)

      • Jeff M.

        “Nightline” (ABC) always started out like that, and it first aired in early 1980. I know other evening shows used that trick – I think it was felt to lend gravitas for some reason.

  8. Suicide Squirrel

    Penny Pincher? Why does Batyuk always create lameass names like this? It must really suck to live in a world where your work occupation is predetermined by your name.

    Penny’s Mother: “Do your math homework, sweetie.”
    Penny Pincher: “I don’t need to know math, mom. I’m gonna be a comic strip writer.”
    Penny’s Mother: “Aw, sorry sweetums, that is never going to happen. According to your name you have to be a tax expert.”

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Penny’s Mother: “Also, you’re a girl.”

    • Hannibal’s Lectern

      Actually, the family name is Pinscher. When Penny hits menopause, she’ll morph into a Doberman.

      Makes as much sense as this “comic.”

      BTW, an Australian author named Max Barry actually used the trope that your job matches your name in his satiric novel “Jennifer Government.” But his twist was that your last name was that of the corporation you worked for, so you had characters like Hack Nike and Joe Pepsico, and if you changed jobs, you changed your last name as well.

      Not related to today’s strip, but perhaps (and therefore?) more interesting.

  9. ian'sdrunkenbeard

  10. be ware of eve hill

    Grrr! Typical Batty. It’s almost been two full weeks. Stop pissing around and get to the point of the story, already.

    If this story arc doesn’t pick up the pace, I’ll might bail along with J.J. O’Malley.


    Did everybody wear Elton John glasses back in 1980?

    Maybe those aren’t eye-glasses. Did Harry end up on the planet of the bug-eyed people? Boiiinngg!!! 👀


    Wishful thinking department, part deux.

    I don’t know how this all going to end, but I’m hoping for a Wicker Man type ending. The Edward Woodward version, not the incredibly bad Nicolas Cage version.

    Perhaps Children of the Corn? Outlander! We have your helmet!!


    If this story arc ends up with a Wizard of Oz no-place-like-home type ending, I’m going to find out Batty’s address and leave a flaming bag of dog poop on his porch. My husband and I own a Dane-Shepard mix. That’s a lot of poop.

    • Hannibal’s Lectern

      Wish I knew how to do strikethroughs on this board, because the phrase “Edward Woodward version” is just dying to have the “ward”s struck out.

      • be ware of eve hill

        I know how, but I’m not telling you because you besmirched Edward Albert Arthur Woodward, OBE, a fine English actor. How dare you!

  11. be ware of eve hill

    A web search indicates nothing exceptional happened on Tuesday, April 15, 1980.

    Jean-Paul Sartre died on that day, but I doubt it meant anything to Batty.

    Perhaps it was the first day Montoni’s was featured in FW. I reckon that would rate as a banner day for you-know-who.

    • Bad wolf

      Sending him back to Mar 27 1972 might have been interesting for… oh what am i saying.

      Forty two years ago? Well, it makes some of us feel old, maybe that’s about it. Come to think of it, inflation, gas prices, etc were a big thing in late Carter days, but not last year. Could Batiuk’s out of touch approach finally pay off with something prescient and prophetic? Probably not!

    • billytheskink

      The April 15, 1980 Funky Winkerbean featured Dinkle mocking Coach Stropp’s lack of trophies be showing him the band’s trophy case, which contained only the trophies Dinkle won in the last month.

  12. Maxine of Arc

    I’d rather be reading Skunky Funkybuns.

  13. Captain Gladys Stoatpamphlet

    “That tells me I’m back in the past and when.” is nonhuman speech. How about “That tells me where in the past I am.”