Anamoly, Shmanamoly

I think that Harry has already managed to top the stupidity of abandoning the helmet that allowed him to travel through time. “I wonder if my past self seeing me will collapse the space-time continuum and destroy all life? What the heck, I’ll do it anyway!” I would have really loved if the third panel was just black, and this was a surprise end to the entire strip.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

36 responses to “Anamoly, Shmanamoly

  1. William Thompson

    “Hey, kid, why would I buy a dollar for four quarters? Don’t you realize how much a 1972 quarter will be worth in 2022?”

  2. Epicus Doomus

    Why were they calling it “Defenders” last week? The machine is right there…”Defender”. He was obviously going to use a real arcade game all along, so how could that mistake have happened?

    I always liked Act I Crazy. Act III Crazy doesn’t really bother me in any particular way, unlike characters like Les, Dinkle, Pete, Linda, Boy Lisa, Flash and so forth, who I genuinely dislike. I mean yes, he’s really stupid, repetitive and dull, but he isn’t especially objectionable in any major way. Sure, this arc is a laughably piss-poor piece of shit and all, but I suppose it could be worse. And it probably will be, soon. But nonetheless.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      And on April 15, 1980, guess what arcade game didn’t exist yet?

      • Epicus Doomus

        Hilarious, it’s right there on Wikipedia…”Defender 1981″, two seconds worth of effort involved. Obviously there’s no proofreading involved here at all. The “Defenders” thing didn’t bother me too much at first, as I assumed he was just slightly altering the name to avoid any licensing issues or whatever. But there’s the Defender console, just as it looked back in the day. How could he not catch that?

      • Y. Knott

        Batiuk tops himself. The Wikipedia article on the Defender video game — literally the laziest piece of on-line research one can do — is actually titled “Defender (1981 video game)”. YOU DON’T EVEN NEED TO CLICK THE LINK TO RESEARCH WHEN THE GAME DEBUTED.

        On the other hand, Batiuk suddenly seems to have remembered that thought balloons exist. So, y’know, there’s that.

        • Epicus Doomus

          And it’s not like 1980 has any special significance, it just as easily could have been 1981 or 1982 and it’d have made no difference. Which makes it even MORE baffling, especially given how he used the actual game, not a generic knock-off. Just incredible.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            He did use a generic knockoff! He called it “Defenders”! But when it was time to draw the cabinet, he drew an exact replica of the real Defender. Multiple times. Then he made the time travel contradict that.

            This is why “Tom Batiuk is 75 years old and can’t do details like he did thirty years ago” doesn’t fly. If he’s really this incapable because of age, then he needs to retire.

          • spacemanspiff85

            He didn’t even need to specify a date, honestly. The whole “joke” yesterday was about a console TV. If you’d just had a live John Darling talking on a console TV, that would’ve been more than enough to establish that it was the past.

          • Hannibal's Lectern

            I’m figuring it’s because Ayers still has some shreds of dignity left, and actually did research what a Defender game console looked like… along the way learning the game’s actual name.

            Every now and then I see little hints that Chuck’s unhappy to be drawing this comic. Look in the lower right corner of the second panel, which features a stack of Montoni’s pizza boxes and a bit of a sign. All we see are the words “NO NO,” which I take to sum up his desire to continue drawing this strip.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            @Hannibals’s Lectern If you’re right, then Funky Winkerbean has a serious problem. Ayers’s job is to draw what Batiuk tells him to draw. There’s plenty of room for Ayers to express his creativity within the constraints of what needs to be drawn to tell the story. If he’s intentionally countermanding what Batiuk is writing, and Batiuk isn’t doing anything about it, then the syndicate needs to get involved. Especially because Ayers would be blatantly violating copyright in this scenario, and theoretically subjecting them to legal action. (In a universe where anyone cared about the strip’s blatant appropriation of other people’s intellectual property.)

      • ComicBookHarriet

        Batiuk absolutely didn’t need to give us an exact date for this little time travel arc, but I’m so glad he did.

        It’s like a clown throwing out the rake you know he’s going to bash himself in the face with over and over again.

      • Hitorque

        Thanks for saving me the effort of typing out a really long rant…

    • spacemanspiff85

      Harry has started to annoy me more and more now since the majority of his character is just “comic books are amazing!” like basically every other character now. And unless I’m wrong, it was Harry who went on the week long rant about how bad it was that Apple recommended songs he might like.

      • Epicus Doomus

        Crazy is a mere shell of his former self. IMO no FW character fell farther than Crazy Harry did. He’d already been effectively neutered by the time Act III began, but at least being a weird, vaguely conspiratorial mailman was something. But BatYam couldn’t resist the urge to torture Crazy too, so he took away his only character trait for no reason other than sheer spite. Then he sentenced him to being f*cking John’s sidekick, which is even worse than being Owen’s sidekick. At one time Crazy was a major FW player and his zany antics carried the strip for weeks at a time. But now, alas, he’s just another comic book shill with the same personality as everyone else.

        • Bad wolf

          Would i have absolutely loved a Crazy who spent the last few years ranting Alex Jones-style about QAnon, lizard people, the Illuminati, vaccine mandates, and ‘Russian disinfo’? Even with Batiuk’s proclivity for getting everything wrong in both tone and substance, all signs point to “yes”

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            Maybe in early Act III, but in the 2020s I think we all get enough of that in real life. And, I think Dale Gribble milked that character archetype for all it’s worth.

  3. Sourbelly

    I’m not going to be a fussbudget about any spacetime continuum disruptions in this arc. This is, after all, Batdick’s work. It’ going to be nonsensical and maddening on so many levels. Guaranteed. Worse yet, given the pacing so far, this may stretch out for several pointless, tedious weeks. And in the end it will amount to absolutely nothing.

    This is going to hurt.

  4. Gerard Plourde

    It’s certain that this arc will continue next week, which brings up the question of what the topic of Sunday’s strip will be. A giant sideways panel of young Crazy Harry playing Defender perhaps?

  5. Banana Jr. 6000

    “If I go in there and meet my younger self, will I set up some sort of temporal paradox?”
    *goes in*
    *meets younger self*

    “If my younger self sees me, will I set up some sort of time anomaly?”
    *makes no effort not to be seen*

    • Charles

      “If I do this*, my actions could obliterate both me and my entire family, and quite possibly most of my friends and their families as well.”
      “I’M GONNA DO IT.”

      *- “This” being wander into a pizza place to see if there’s a dumb high school kid in there playing video games.

  6. none

    I thought Montoni’s didn’t have a corner storefront.
    I thought the Defender(s) “video” at Montoni’s was in the basement.

    “For this part of the story, I’m going to make it a dream sequence, only, I’m going to cite specific locations and dates, and get those details totally wrong within the context of the setting, and I’ll also keep everything else as mundane and unfantastic as possible.” You reach for them stars, Mr. Writer. Caress each one.

  7. sorialpromise

    I am not up on my Act 1 lore, so please answer a question: if this is 1980, why is young Crazy Harry still in high school? Wasn’t he in school in 1972 when the Strip started? Please explain.
    A comment: Yay for small victories! We got thought balloons.

    • Epicus Doomus

      The strip wasn’t serialized back then. The jokes were the focus then, the characters were merely delivery systems for those jokes. The characters didn’t become defined individuals until later, back then Les was the dweeb, Crazy was the weirdo, Cindy was the popular hot chick and so on. He didn’t start aging them or fleshing out their characters until later. And we all know how that turned out.

    • Y. Knott

      For about the first 20 years of the strip, the cast didn’t age. In 1992, there was a 4-year time jump from high school to post-college, and from that point forward, the characters started to age semi-normally. Sort of. When Batiuk remembers.

      Of course, it’s been established in FW that our main characters all graduated as the class of 1988. Which means that on April 15, 1980, Harry would have been 9 years old and in grade 4. And apparently also playing a “video” (not a “video game”, heaven forbid!) that wouldn’t be invented for another year. Probably paid for with the money saved on buying a $700 TV for $91.

      But ignore all that. It’s called writing. IT ALL MAKES SENSE UNLESS YOU’RE A BEADY-EYED NITPICKER.

      • ComicBookHarriet

        See, it WAS established that the main cast graduated in 1988 back during Act II. But when Act III aged all characters up, but still remained in the ‘present day’ it actually meant that the original main cast’s graduation seems to have been pushed back into the past again. When? IDK, Batty seems to want it to stay vague. The Act III class reunions always have the year obscured or absent.

        Which means giving this time travel arc a specific date is a really weird choice. He didn’t do that for the Time Poor or Car Crash arcs.

    • spacemanspiff85

      I was kind of wondering why Batiuk specified that Harry’s travelled forty-two years into the past, since he looks like he’s aged a lot more than that. He’s apparently supposed to be anywhere from 56-60, but given how long he’s been totally gray I would’ve guessed he’s in his 70s-80s, like the way all the other Act I characters except for Cindy and Les are depicted.

  8. erdmann

    Meanwhile, 400 miles away, 17-year-old erdmann walks into a much better pizza joint and starts playing Centipede(s). An older man walks in and suddenly smacks the youth in the back of the head.
    Young erdmann [rubbing his head]: Ow! What was that for?!
    Old erdmann: For being an idiot.
    Young erdmann: I’m not an iditot!
    Old erdmann: Yes, you are. Otherwise you’d know the game you’re playing won’t be introduced until next year.
    Young erdmann [surprised]: Next year? How can you know — Oh, my God! You’re from the future!

    Coincidentally, Centipede was co-created by a woman named Dona. Great Aunt Wikipedia makes no mention of her wearing a space helmet to hide her gender from her fellow Atari employees.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Thanks. Centipede was one of my favorites. Yeah the whole “I gotta disguise my gender” because the boys won’t let me play is total BS.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Fox Trot had some good story lines about video games and gender. Back when Tomb Raider ruled the world, Jason was having trouble coming to terms with playing a video game as a female character. But he had a dream that showed him he’d inadvertently been doing this for years, and thought nothing of it.

        Just from that one strip, you can tell this arc has some real weight to it. Unlike this stupid-ass “Donna wore a helmet just to play video games” crap that makes no sense and doesn’t even square with reality. And apparently exists only to set up the 5,784th story about comic books.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          It occurs to me that I criticize Tom Batiuk for using copyrighted characters when this strip does the same thing. The difference is that Fox Trot used Lara Croft and Ms. Pac-Man no more than necessary to tell the story it wanted to tell. Tom Batiuk does not.

          Just this week, FW has featured the Defender logo constantly, when it wasn’t necessary to the story at all. He uses the Batman logo every time John Howard shows up. (Though to be fair, it’s usually drawn so sloppily that he’d have a defense if DC Comics ever made a stink about it.)

          Using no more of the copyrighted material than necessary is a major factor in Fair Use.

        • Charles

          Unlike this stupid-ass “Donna wore a helmet just to play video games” crap that makes no sense and doesn’t even square with reality.

          He really should have just shaggy dogged it, which would have had the advantage of staying true to his original conception.

          “Why did you wear that weird space helmet to play video games?”
          “Because I fucking felt like it, you ass. It’s not my damn fault you assumed I was a boy.”
          “Why did your mom call you Donald?”
          “Oh, that. Whenever she got really angry and frustrated with me, she’d call me Donald to show she meant business. I don’t understand it either.”
          “That’s weird.”
          “As if anyone in this stupid world is in a position to pass judgment.”

  9. Professor Fate

    Small nit pick to go with the much lager nit picking- in 2021 -who carries change?

  10. LTPFTR

    Is there a chance that Crazy Harry can give everyone covid in 1980 and put an end to the next several decades of misery before they even start?

    • Gerard Plourde

      This raises an interesting question – One of the concerns about space travel is the risk of introducing unknown pathogens to the Earth. If time travel actually were possible, would there be a corresponding danger of introducing future mutations of even common diseases like the Flu against which the then-existing vaccines would be ineffective?

      • LTPFTR

        That is an interesting question, and one that TomBa would answer in the least interesting way imaginable.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Harry brought a deadly plague into the past, but luckily it can be cured by eating Montoni’s Pizza and reading comic books.