Murky Whaters

After reading today’s strip, in five seconds of Googling, I found this: “By the late 1970s, the “spoiler” term began to catch on in the subculture of science-fiction fandom.” Yes, it’s possible Young Harry himself never heard it for some reason (but not very funny), but the gag here is supposed to be Old Harry using a future term and confusing his listener, so this really doesn’t work at all.  It took so little research to confirm that’s really not a new term, I really don’t get why Batiuk couldn’t do that himself.  Honestly, I would be kind of shocked if he hadn’t used the term in one of his own strips from the seventies.
On the subject of things that don’t seem to work, I’m really wondering who else is in Montoni’s, and what Young Harry’s explanation was for the old stranger he’s eating alone with when he should be at school. I’m also confused as to why Old Harry’s okay with spoiling everything related to his career, but draws the line at discussion about his wife.  Other than comic book talk being more important than relationships, obviously.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

33 responses to “Murky Whaters

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Spoiler alert: this story arc STILL isn’t as dumb as it’s gonna get. Then again, you already knew that, thus it’s not really a spoiler at all.

    • Sourbelly

      Normally, I’d say you were just toying with us. But in the Batdickverse, “It gets even dumber than this” is always possible. In fact, plausible. This should be, um, “fun.”

    • Y. Knott

      SPOILER ALERT: Having Funky Winkerbean in your life spoils things.

  2. William Thompson

    I’m sure Batiuk did a lot of research for this arc. How else could he have picked the dullest moments in the life of these two dullards?

  3. Banana Jr. 6000

    It took so little research, I really don’t get why Batiuk couldn’t do that himself.

    I do. It’s because he’s pathologically lazy and ignorant, and is held to no quality standards of any kind.

  4. billytheskink

    Applicable to nearly every FW strip:

  5. Gerard Plourde

    “this story arc STILL isn’t as dumb as it’s gonna get”

    With that clue, I’m fully expecting The Eliminator to make an appearance.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Isn’t it amazing that this arc started as The Eliminator’s origin story, and after 15 strips it would now be dumb for The Eliminator to appear in it?

  6. Cabbage Jack

    My “favorite” part of this arc is that the women were just there to launch the story and are now quite gone. The Eliminator’s helmet and her daughter’s curiosity about it: just a device so we can spend a tedious week with Harry.

    • William Thompson

      Maybe we’ll get lucky and old Harry will bore young Harry to death. That might be the sort of paradox that causes the space-time continuum to disintegrate, but Reality would probably accept it as a mercy killing.

    • gleeb

      Batiuk does love spending time with tedious characters named Harry.

    • be ware of eve hill

      Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Donna and Maddy are twiddling their thumbs.

      Donna: Mr. Batiuk, are we done here? Will you be needing us anymore? Can Maddie and I go out for lunch?

      Batty: Donna and Maddie are busy doing woman things, like discussing department store sales, make-up tips, and Maddie’s period.

  7. Banana Jr. 6000

    Off-topic: Theresa Jean-Pierre Coy was a lawyer who recently died from cancer at age 41.

    The news story about Coy’s death talks about her devotion to principles, lack of cynicism, extensive community involvement, willingness to take unpopular cases, passion for the law, double-majoring in college, joyful spirit, infectious laugh, openness about her illness, fearlessness, tenacity, courage, and what she meant to the people around her. Oh, and she had six miscarriages in addition to the cancer.

    She puts Dead Lisa to shame.

    If Lisa was worth remembering as much as Tom Batiuk wants us to, this is what her life would have been like. It wasn’t. Lisa was a selfish, woe-is-me little naif who was overwhelmed by everything, couldn’t make a decision, needed constant rescuing by her dipshit husband, and didn’t care enough about her own family to bother staying alive. She wasn’t an advocate for anything or anyone besides herself. Unless there was a comic book store that needed protecting from a soccer mom. She had that death penalty case, but that was just Mr. Watch Me Talk About Serious Issues checking capital punishment off his list. Atticus Finch she was not.

    This is why Lisa’s Story sucks, both in-universe and out. There are much better stories in real life. Like his crappy 9/11 comic strip, Tom Batiuk’s only interest was in making himself the face of suffering, even though he had nothing to say about it. But those comic strips were just useless; Lisa’s Story is downright harmful. If someone you loved got cancer, Lisa is everything you wouldn’t want them to become: selfish, negative, bitter, self-pitying, mentally weak, passionless and lazy. And like his 9/11 strips, Tom Batiuk is PROUD of Lisa’s Story when he should be ashamed of how badly it holds up.

    • hitorque

      Interesting story… I’m going to try very very hard to ignore the fact that she defended a piece of shit like Drejka…

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Don’t feel bad, a lot of people couldn’t ignore it. But Coy was clearly one of those lawyers who believes that everyone deserves representation, and fair treatment under the law, even if they are a piece of shit.

        • Gerard Plourde

          The law only works if it ensures that everyone, even people like Drejka are represented by competent counsel. There have been cases where innocent defendants have been wrongly convicted, like the “Central Park Jogger Case”.

  8. ComicBookHarriet

    “If someone you loved got cancer, Lisa is everything you wouldn’t want them to become: selfish, negative, bitter, self-pitying, mentally weak, passionless and lazy”

    Of course, this is how every FW character comes across.

    What strikes me the most about FW is how nearly every character is written in the same bland, uninteresting way. Lisa, Cayla, Jess, Wally, Becky, Mindy, John, the all act exactly the same.

    The 90 minute Phantom Menance review has a great section where they ask people to describe characters without using their job description, appearance, or what they physically do in the story. Save a few outliers like Dinkle, applying this to the Funkyverse would just be the same description copy pasted a thousand thousand times.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I think Lisa (and Les) actually come off as worse than most of the self-entitled whiners in this world. And Batiuk shills them so relentlessly.

  9. hitorque

    1. No more spoilers?? You’re not going to even tell him about the black president?

    2. Am I really to believe no other Funkyverse characters from 1980 have wandered into Montoni’s and these two assclowns have been there the entire afternoon?

    3. I was never a “school-skipper” as a teenager, so help me out here — Why would you spend your entire day at an empty Montoni’s? (which only has one freaking video game, mind you).. It’s 1980!! Unfortunately the Cleveland Indians are in Dallas playing a series against the Texas Rangers, but Young Harold could easily be at the mall, at a real honest-to-god video game arcade, the bowling alley, the roller rink, just taking a walk in the park, riding his bike or skateboard, hell he could have just stayed home and locked himself in his bedroom and smoked a spliff while listening to his Pink Floyd records OR GOD FORBID HE BE AT THE GODDAMNED MOVIE THEATER IN THIS MOST KICKASS OF YEARS IN CINEMA!! (Sadly, “Empire Strikes Back” won’t premiere until May 20, “The Shining” on May 23, “Blues Brothers”, “The Blue Lagoon” and “Brubaker” on June 20, “Urban Cowboy” on June 6, “Airplane!” on July 4, “Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie” and “Used Cars” on July 18, “Caddyshack” on July 25, “Prom Night” on August 15, “Kagemusha” and “Private Benjamin” on Oct. 15, “Raging Bull” on Nov. 14, “Flash Gordon” on Dec. 5, “Popeye” on Dec. 12 and “Nine to Five” on Dec. 19… ) But then I guess he could in theory be watching something like “The Final Countdown”, “The Fog”, “Foxes”, or “American Gigolo”, “Coal Miner’s Daughter”, or “Midnight Madness”…

    • Cabbage Jack

      +1 for Used Cars. A gem so underrated, I forgot it existed until I read this! “We have miles of cars!”

      • Epicus Doomus

        When my parents first got cable, Used Cars was on The Movie Channel on a loop, must have seen it fifty times.

        • be ware of eve hill

          Lookout Marshall Lucky! It’s High Prices!

          Classic. We laughed at that scene so hard we were crying.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      It’s 1980!! Unfortunately the Cleveland Indians are in Dallas playing a series against the Texas Rangers

      Too bad Harry didn’t land arrive in 1974, when the Indians were at home. Harry would have enjoyed that game: mass drunkenness, weed, explosives, nudity, mob violence, and Tim Russert. The 70s were a weird time.

  10. be ware of eve hill

    be ware of eve hill:
    (Asleep, head lolling over back of my chair) *snort*
    (Wakes with a start, mutters) No kiss, no gentle word could wake me from this slumber.
    (Fully awake, raises head and wipes drool off chin) Oh, hello there. I was just resting my eyes. This story didn’t put me to sleep or anything.

    I lied. Almost three weeks into this story arc, Batty has accomplished two things. Jack and shit.


    Well, first comic books and now Montoni’s pizza. That’s two thirds of the holy Batiukian trinity. Is there any doubt that the Dead St Lisa’s name will be mentioned before this story arc is over?

    • be ware of eve hill

      Batty brags in his blog about the conversations he’s had with other comic strip and comic book creators. Too bad he’s never asked any of them for feedback on his strip’s pacing.

      How many times have we seen a multi-week story arc that drags on for days and then abruptly ends in a ridiculous and unsatisfying way. It’s like he starts a story arc, gets bored with it, and ultimately puts it out of its misery.

      If Batty actually knew anything about pacing, we could have watched his characters mature and grow in real-time. Instead, we received those insufferable time jumps that skipped over important periods of his characters lives. Time jumps, the tool of a sucktacular writer.

      What a hack!

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        I think Batiuk is full of shit about that too. He brags about his letter from Charles Schulz. Schulz was a prolific correspondent who would send personal replies to almost anyone who wrote him. And his letter was pretty generic. But that didn’t stop TB from adopting his usual more-writer-than-thou attitude about it.

  11. So, the two crazies are having pizza together. I have to assume that future Crazy is going to pick up the check, since 80s Crazy probably just spent his last dollar on video games. Is he going to pay with one of the 20 dollar bills with the giant picture of Andrew Jackson? Is that going to arouse any suspicion, or is this currency even legal tender in 1980?

    • hitorque

      Easy… Old Harold just hands Mr. Montoni one of his Visa/MasterCards and hopes he doesn’t look too closely at it.

      Remember, this was how credit card payments were processed in 1980, so it would be several business days before Montoni learned he’d been had…

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Especially not the expiration date. “2/26? This card doesn’t expire for 46 years?”

      • batgirl

        Utterly irrelevant, but in my youth I called that a ka-chung-chung. And people usually understood what I meant.

  12. Hannibal’s Lectern

    “No more spoilers”?

    C’mon, Harry, you’re in Montoni’s. Everything is pre-spoiled for your barfing convenience.

  13. batgirl

    So Young Harry is familiar with “gender-fluid” and its variants, but not with “spoilers”??
    Look, if your punchline involves out-of-period vocabulary, don’t start by blurring the vocab timeline. When “fluid” was used in a modern sense, it established that the language wasn’t going to be accurate to the time. So the reader isn’t going to assume that “spoilers” doesn’t fit, and there will be a stumble at the final panel – why doesn’t Young Harry understand?
    That’s why? But he ….
    Okay, whatever.