Humor Fluid

So, apparently when Harry was a teenager, any random old guy could just give him change for a dollar and tell him he was him from the future and he’d believe it, no questions asked. I don’t think “Crazy” is the right adjective to describe him.
This really is reminding me of the Dick Tracy storyline, where he got to use a classic comic character and all he did with him was have him carry boxes. Batiuk is such a big sci-fi fan, but when he finally does a time travel story, all he’s done with it so far is a guy going back into the past to play an arcade game with his past self.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

38 responses to “Humor Fluid

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Boring Harry, Tiresome Harry or Tedious Harry would work just as well. And why is it suddenly “Defenders” again? Why does he keep doing this?

    • Banana Jr. 6000


    • billytheskink

      Maybe TB and co. habitually called it that back in the day, kind of like how older folks where I’m from call Kroger “Kroger’s” for some inexplicable reason.

      Whatever his reasons, the real mystery is why he thinks we would be able to suss them out.

      • Epicus Doomus

        Also note how it’s yet another example of FW characters being completely unfazed by remarkable occurrences. Cory returns home from the army a completely different person, shrug. Summer goes to college for ten years, yawn. Les helps make a film that wins the lead actress an Oscar, meh. The cops stop by and give Linda Bull’s head, snore. Crazy meets his younger self while time traveling, whatever.

      • Hannibal’s Lectern

        Still going with the hypothesis that when Battocks sketched this up, he left it to Ayers to figure out what the game machine looked like, and Chuck was professional enough to look it up online. Y’know, do some research.

        This hypothesis makes sense to me because Batty’s dialogue still calls the game “Defenders.” It’s like the writer and artist are in different universes.

    • Don

      When was it ever “Defender” in the strip (well, besides on the side of the game cabinet)? Not only that, but when it was first mentioned, it was always underlined, which was never done for “Space Invaders” or “Pac-Man”.

  2. billytheskink

    Has anything changed at Montoni’s over the years? Even in 1980, Crazy was their only customer, he’s just swapped “Defenders” for bottomless coffee. No wonder Tony hasn’t called the truant officer…

    • Hitorque

      Yeah, I was wondering why in some small cozy Ohio town with one high school where everyone knows everyone else’s business would a well known kid be allowed to regularly skip school and spend all day at the town’s only hangout spot without being spotted or somebody telling his parents??

    • be ware of eve hill

      Tony Montoni apparently allowed kids skipping classes to hang around his place of business without calling the school. He probably tossed them an apron and offered them jobs. Tony Montoni, a real upstanding member of society. /s

      I wonder if Crazy Harry has continued the tradition at the Komix Korner. Is the Komix Korner a haven for a new generation of kids skipping classes?

  3. Sourbelly

    The 1980 version of Crazy Harry is so time-period-fluid that he uses a 2020s-era term like “time-period-fluid” in 1980. Getting Rick and Morty vibes here. Except without the humor.

  4. Y. Knott

    “So in the future, does everyone’s nose change from a pretty triangular shape into … something vaguely blobbish?”

  5. none

    “Time period fluid”.

    Is he deliberately making a backhanded insult against people who identify as “gender fluid” or is he so completely tone deaf that he has no idea how this couldn’t be interpreted as a backhanded insult against people who identify as “gender fluid”.

    Is there any other way to interpret the phrase regardless? I quite honestly cannot recall anyone honestly stating or writing that they are “fluid” as an identifying trait without having any word other than “gender” immediately proceed it.

    I’m being 100% serious here. I have no idea how this isn’t a brazen insult to a specific subset of people at large.

    • Epicus Doomus

      While it might read that way to some, I don’t think he meant it as an insult in any way. He just heard “fluid” somewhere and decided to adapt it in that weird, somewhat misinterpreted way of his is all. Typical clumsy, ham-fisted wordplay that only regular FW readers would even understand.

  6. The Dreamer

    Isn’t young Crazy looking at the dates on those quarters Old Crazy gave him?! When the vendor takes the change out of the machine, and sees a bunch of 2018 or 2020 quartera, he is going to complain to Mr. Montoni! He is going to accuse Crazy of using some fancy slugs to play

  7. Hitorque

    1. “I’m pretty time period FLUID??” You know what? I ain’t even mad… I am honestly and genuinely impressed at how Batiuk keeps adding to his arcane encyclopedia of “SHIT NO REGULAR PERSON WOULD EVER SAY IN NORMAL CONVERSATION IN ANY TIME ERA”

    1a. “Oh hey mister! Don’t worry because I’m BI-CHRONOLOGICAL which means I’m totally down to party with people from the future AND the past!! So what’s your pleasure, sailor? Because I’m yours for the rest of the day for just a buck’s worth of quarters!! Now let’s get cozy over some two-player Defender — I got the joystick knob all warmed up and greasy for you…”

    2. It’s funny because I was the one making a joke earlier about Donna’s possible gender fluidity and now Batiuk drops the same reference in his trademark painfully stilted and awkward manner… Don’t tell me this isn’t 100% intentional on his part— This sentence is engineered for maximum discomfort and displeasure of the reader. It’s uncomfortable to read, it’s uncomfortable to mentally process, and it’s uncomfortable to say aloud.

    3. Middle of a bright sunny April day and naturally there isn’t a single dining customer in the most popular (and only) pizzeria in town…

    3a. And I can only assume now that Defender was the only arcade game to ever come to Westview and all throughout the 1980s there weren’t any arcades, bowling alleys, roller skating rinks, movie theaters, amusement parks, shopping malls, rec centers, supermarkets, Putt-Putt Golf, airports, bus stations, truck stops, hell even 7-11s within a 50-mile radius?? Because that’s just a few of the places I could go in the early 80s and be guaranteed to find some kind of video game!!

    4. It’s funny because Harold is conflating “crazy” with “ignorant”

    • Hitorque

      5. Let’s just skip to the part where Donna comes in and Future Harold “unmasks” her in front of everyone by lifting up her t-shirt…

    • Bad wolf

      “What’s your pleasure sailor?” Is about the vibe i got from this one too. Pretty sure kids were warned against talking to strangers, even old dudes innocently hanging out in the video arcade, even then.

  8. ComicBookHarriet

    Ayers did a pretty cute bit of 50th anniversary art for Tom. So strange to look at that cute and clever little comic, an compare it to this week of nightmare melty faces.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      He can do nice work when he wants to. I’m heading down to Akron today to visit this brewery and Chuck does all of their artwork.

      • be ware of eve hill

        Did Chuck draw the beer logos? Nice! The artwork is almost unrecognizable. It shows the high level of artwork Chuck can do when passionate about it.

        Enjoy your visit, Rusty.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          Yes, and apparently he goes down there to drink too. This place is much better than Luigi’s. I’m not a big beer fan, just going for a birthday lunch with friends.

          • Gerard Plourde

            Thanks for sharing this. I am a beer fan and their selection looks really interesting. AND they can ship to my state.

          • Suicide Squirrel

            Lock 15 Brewing is only a few tenths of a mile away from Batyuk’s beloved Luigi’s. It’s only a fifteen-minute drive away from me. My lady friend and I have been there a couple of times. We enjoyed the place.

            Happy Birthday, Rusty!

      • billytheskink

        Even the brewery makes Ayers draw a bunch of bricks… the guy can’t catch a break.

    • Gerard Plourde

      This is really excellent work. I guess he does FW more out of a sense of obligation than anything else.

      • Y. Knott

        Given the writing he’s forced to work with — and the fact that the syndicate doesn’t edit the strip at all, ever, and are seemingly satisfied if the comic strip simply contains something resembling English words accompanied by pictures — it’s astonishing that Ayers puts as much effort into FW as he does.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          This great little 50th anniversary cartoon is more evidence that FW is far beneath Ayers’ skill level.

  9. Perfect Tommy

    Meanwhile, in Quantico VA, a profiler for the FBI’s Behavioral Science Division throws down his Batiuk file in disgust. “Blast!” he growls in frustration. “I just can’t figure this guy out!”

  10. be ware of eve hill

    No clue as to what Batty intended with this story arc. I’m guessing he was going for heartwarming and nostalgic. Too bad he ended up with this airball. A lackluster story with numerous errors and plot holes.

    A story arc that has left me pondering several unanswered questions:
    1.) What did Donna hope to accomplish by making Harry put on the helmet?
    2.) Why is Harry dreaming/hallucinating?
    3.) Did Harry immediately pass out after putting on the helmet?
    4.) Why the specific date of April 15th, 1980?
    5.) What was the significance of showing John Darling, who was murdered?
    6.) Where is everyone else?
    7.) What is the point of this story? WHAT’S HAPPENING?!
    8.) Is that all there is?

    Is That All There Is
    Song by Peggy Lee

    I’m most likely wrong (as usual) but I have the feeling a new story arc is starting tomorrow.

    • Suicide Squirrel

      Sorry, you’re wrong again, as usual (your words).

      The magic SOSF banner displays Crazy Harry’s decapitated head. As a portent of things to come, this calamity will continue tomorrow. Stay tuned for the next week of ‘Funky Winkerbean’ when absolutely none of your questions will be answered.

      The question I have is, what are Donna and Maddy doing while Crazy Harry is in dreamland? Didn’t this story arc start out about Donna?

      • Y. Knott

        Well, one question will be answered: “How can Batiuk make this even more boring, inane, badly-written and dull than I could possibly anticipate?”

      • be ware of eve hill

        Do you really think the story is going to continue? Don’t you think it would be just like Batty to drop the story dead in its tracks at this point?

        I hope Donna and Maddy play a prank on Crazy Harry while he’s in la-la land. A prank such as placing his hand in a bowl of water, drawing on his face, duct taping him to a chair, etc.

        A multiple week Funky Winkerbean story arc about Donna?

  11. Rusty Shackleford

    Man the comics page has been bad for the past couple of weeks. Boring storylines being dragged out forever, stupid dialogue that nobody uses. (People have been counting the number of times “school management “ has been used in Mary Worth.)

    I think I need to take a sabbatical from the comics page. I may quit entirely. I made the dumb mistake of thinking Batty would do something interesting, shame on me.

    • That’s pretty much the Mary Worth modus operandi. Sure, they dragged out the “school management” thing a bit too much, but then they followed up this week with an awesome Toby psychedelic dream/nightmare sequence. I will, however, never forgive Moy for not killing Wilbur when she had such a golden opportunity.

  12. robertodobbs

    It’s not only the dates, but current quarters look nothing like quarters in 1980. The eagle hasn’t been used on the reverse for more than 20 years, replaced by all kinds of commemorative designs such as the 50 states, etc., and on 2022 quarters Washington is facing to the right instead of the left.

    • Hitorque

      That’s not going to matter… The average teen at that time would see they’re silver, they got George’s face on ’em, and the weight+sound of them feel right… Being in Ohio, Young Harold’s only real concern should be that Kris Kristofferson’s long-lost homeless cousin isn’t passing him Canadian quarters or something…

  13. The Dreamer

    I know whats going to happen! Old Crazy ia going to decide to stay in the past, so he gives young Crazy the helmet and tells him video games are much cooler in the future So younfmg Crazy puts the helmet on and zaps himself into Act III Where he walks into modern day Montonis and nearly gives old Funky a heart attack ‘Its me Funky! Man you havent aged well! ‘