Unlike other initialisms, which were invented and grown on the internet, “your mileage may vary” goes back to the 1970s and ’80s in the U.S. During that time, automobile manufacturers frequently promoted their estimated mileages to compete…However, due to the variations in driving conditions, they had no way of guaranteeing the exact mileage customers would actually get. Therefore, these ads would feature the disclaimer, “Your mileage may vary.”
What Does “YMMV” Mean, and How Do You Use It?, Vann Vicente, howtogeek.com
What a weird taunt. “Beat that!” is sufficient…adding “your mileage may vary” suggests that you can score as well or even higher than me, but maybe that phrase was just coming into vogue. Batiuk’s been getting considerable mileage out of sending his Act I characters back in time. It’s been nearly 12 years since Funky’s car accident sent him back to the town square of late ’70’s Westview, where he would encounter his teenaged self as well as his future mate, before checking out the comics spinner rack. Five years later, the entire gang got to meet their middle aged selves (except Lisa LOL) during another month-consuming story arc that was the Time Pool Reunion.
54 responses to “YMMV”
He tried to be too cute by half here, and the gag makes no sense as a result. It’s a high score, it doesn’t vary. You either top it or you fall short, there aren’t a lot of variables there. So what was she right about? BatHam just never thinks these things through, he just goes with his first impulse, stuffs it in the envelope and calls it a day.
SO DO YOU AND MOM LIKE VIDEO GAMES? DID YOU AND MOM PLAY A LOT OF VIDEO GAMES? WERE YOU OR MOM BETTER AT VIDEO GAMES? CAN WE PLAY A VIDEO GAME RIGHT NOW? IS THAT SOMEONE OUTSIDE? OH GOD I THINK I HEAR SOMEONE OUTSIDE! (grabs Harry by the collar DO I HAVE BAGS UNDER MY EYES? OH GOD I HAVE BAGS UNDER MY EYES, DON’T I! CAN THEY TEST YOU FOR BATH SALTS?! I’M TWEAKING HARD, MAN!
Hey, Batdick: Leave the non sequiturs to Bill Griffith. He knows what he’s doing. You don’t.
As great as our bloggers and posters are on SOSF, we still need material. That is Mr. Batiuk’s job. Boy has he failed his best audience. There are no diamonds in the rough, and you can’t polish what he is giving us. Who could have guessed that raising Phil Holt from the dead was the high point of Batiuk’s creativity. Even with Les getting an Oscar, there was plenty of material to snark.
But this…the are no nits to pick. And it keeps going on day after day, and week after week. But I truly believe in the SOSF motto: I will endeavor to persevere. Someday soon, Mr. Batiuk will raise his level of mediocrity back up to our standards.
The thing is, you have to judge FW on an entirely different level than you would any other form of entertainment. Getting a root canal is “better” than having your wisdom teeth pulled all at once and fracturing your tailbone is “better” than breaking your femur, but it’s all relative. An individual FW strip that generates a weak chuckle will probably win “Best Strip” honors at next year’s Harries, but it’s still pretty crappy when measured against, say, “The Family Circus” or something like that.
And here’s where the use of “your milage may vary” makes sense! I’ve broken my femur twice and compare the experience favorably with reading this comic strip. Not everyone who breaks their femur is going to share this opinion (TMMV), though I’ll bet I’m not alone.
And I’ve fractured my tailbone twice! Obviously a broken femur is way worse, but nonetheless, it was still remarkably unpleasant and not recommended. It’s like the difference between “Funky is upset by Holly’s reno spending” and “Morton tries to sexually assault that old bag from “Crankshaft”. One of those is way worse than the other, but either way it’s no bargain.
The worst part, I think, is waiting in the emergency room for an x-ray to confirm what you already know to be true. Not unlike how the worst part of nearly every FW story is waiting for it to get to the insipid and unsatisfying point that they all reach.
The key difference is what comes after. After you finally get that x-ray, the healing process starts. You get prepared for surgery, you have surgery, you crutch around until you are healed and strong enough to walk. But when you finally reach that x-ray moment in a FW story… you go right back to waiting in that emergency room.
@Billy that’s a great analogy. Batiuk’s always trying to milk drama by stalling the reveal of something obvious. Then he skips over any kind of resolution to create something new he can not reveal. He doesn’t even bother with the “healing process” part. The Holly’s broken ankle storyline spent weeks working her through the emergency room, then randomly skipped around the healing process for lame gags that made no sense at all. Funky Winkerbean is like a bad horror movie that’s nothing but jump scares.
Hey, TFH gave us a little history lesson today on YMMV. He fact checked Batiuk and we all came away from it a little more educated. That is making something out of nothing.
He grabbed that single nit he could find, and squeezed an iota of material out of it. Bravo.
Maddie. Babe. I get not wanting to listen to your parents or anyone else in this strip at all. I get not wanting to pay attention to anything they say at any time. I understand.
But you basically asked this same question and had it answered nearly a month ago:
You not having even this little in knowledge of your parents’ lives is what led to the prior month of … whatever the hell this is.
Does this mean that tomorrow is going to have Donna mention that she was “””””””””””””THE ELIMINATOR”””””””””””””””””””” and this entire month will repeat itself again?
Seeing as how we haven’t seen Les or Dinkle in a month, I’m not against the idea.
It really is an odd question, not just for Maddie to ask but for TB to dwell on. Crazy’s personality is loving comic books and having a past where he did weird stuff like play pizzas on a turntable and organize an air guitar band and wear a patrol cap from the army surplus store. Donna’s entire personality is that she is good at video games. Barring another retcon, the answer to the question is inherent to this strip.
Don/nald’s other known trait is gender dysphoria.
And both are forgotten until TB next needs to make a point about comic books. In the meantime she’s another dumpy hausfrau, this one with an allegedly zany husband.
The more TB adjusts the Westview timeline (what was that about the groundbreaking ageing of characters in real time?) the more Don/nald’s “girls against the boys is just like the extermination of monstrous mutants” looks like something that should have been addressed by therapy.
Except that it was never given any weight. It’s just something Batiuk declared to be true, without justifying it or making any sense. If Donna really felt compelled to conceal her gender to play video games, it sure didn’t have much effect on her life. She went down the heteronormative “marry an Act I character, disavow your agency, and get fat” career path just like every other female character.
Now you’ve done it. Les and or Dinkle are sure to appear soon.
Maddie has the memory of a goldfish. She wears the hat to hide a lobotomy scar.
Maybe my memories from going to a nearby video arcade during lunch hour with some co-workers (working downtown had some perks) four decades ago are erroneous, but I think that the most a high scorer could do in those days was enter a maximum of three initials. Laying down on screen taunts wouldn’t fit.
Defender‘s high score table was only three letters, and it was pretty de-emphasized. High scores were rarely displayed on screen. Unlike other arcade games where the top score, and sometimes its owner, were almost always present. People didn’t compare scores on that game; just being able to play it was impressive enough.
Besides, once you’ve maxed out the difficulty level of an arcade game, high scores are a test of endurance and attrition, not skill. Assuming the game doesn’t have a kill screen, like Pac-Man and Donkey Kongfamously did.
Defender also had a weird bug that you had to manage: every event between 999,000 and 1,000,000 points gave you an extra life. But after you cleared 1,000,000 you wouldn’t earn any extra lives until you had passed the extra-life goal that number of times. It was almost like a loan.
Which raises another problem: the display “rolled over” at 1,000,000 points, so scores higher than that couldn’t be registered. Some players would intentionally end their game at 999,975 for this reason (which was harder to do because of this bug). But, again, that’s not the same as being the best.
It’s amazing how little effort Batiuk puts into his own mythology. Most creators, especially those who tout their realism, would want to explore little details like this. Batiuk just borrowed the cabinet art and was done with it. He didn’t even care enough to make the dialog make sense (or maybe his dialog writing is just that bad).
Got married in 1975. Had a kid in 1978. So no disposable income to play arcade games. Never played Defender. Did play on my sister’s Atari 2600. Yet have so much respect for SOSF that I read BJ 6000 post, and read his link on Defender. I watched some of all 3 videos. To quote CBH, I was educated today!
Also, thank you to TFH for finding the one nit in today’s pick!
Yes, three letters presumably for your initials, although there was always someone who would enter ASS or FUK just for giggles.
Imagine traveling back in time, and cancelling Funky Winkerbean from comics existence. But you’ve somehow saved the last three or four weeks of strips in your own personal files! Then, you travel back forward, and present these weeks of material — full of tensionless quasi-activity and a virtually random assemblage of phrases in place of actual dialogue — to a comics syndicate as a sample new comic strip.
Would the strip merely be rejected? OR would the syndicate’s rejection slip include an addendum with information on where and how the submitter could book a complete neurological work-up?
That’s always been another huge FW paradox. Much like a long-running soap opera, the strip is written for people who’ve been reading it for years and years, as you almost always need context in order to make sense out of it. Someone who just started reading FW out of nowhere a few weeks ago would have no earthly idea what to make of it. Yet, paradoxically, The Author often ignores continuity, his own history and sometimes even time itself, which in essence tells longtime readers they’ve been wasting their time by paying attention, as none of it matters anyway. That’s what FW is really all about, conundrum after conundrum, all intertwined into a huge knot of nothingness that you can never totally untangle. And whether that’s deliberate or not is a whole other mystery, after all these years I’m not 100% sure either way.
‘Every issue is somebody’s first issue,” said Tom DeFalco when he worked for Marvel, so creators were instructed to make coming aboard reader-friendly.
It’s like Captain Marvel Jr.’s magic words being “Captain Marvel” and not ‘Shazam.” That way, kids might go from the Little Blue Cheese to the Big Red Cheese.
Kimota, I say.
You’d get a job writing for Mark Trail.
Can I just say that the table they’re sitting at is absolutely TINY. Who has a kitchen table barely big enough to unfold a Scrabble board on?
It was the best they could afford what with Crazy’s Harry’s comic book store salary.
“Beat that! Your mileage may vary.” Yeah, that sounds like a combination of words a human being would actually say. Good a call, Tom, we stand in line.
“And she was usually right!” …About what? About your mileage varying? How does that follow the previous statement? Do I need to find some 40-year-old plastic and start huffing its out-gassings to make sense of this?
“Your mileage may vary” is typically used after giving advice or sharing experiences. It means, “I got certain results, but you may not get the same results.”
“I found that drinking a Mountain Dew just before playing Defender always boosted my score. Your mileage may vary.”
Using it after an imperative is just stroke-victim word salad.
“Turn that music down! Your mileage may vary!”
Ayers’ Achilles’ Heel is noses.
In all seriousness, why is Maddie drawn to look so insanely interested in this? She reminds me of this:
She’s looked like this two days in a row, and today is worse than yesterday, so I have to think this is an intentional storytelling choice. Another bizarre one.
Except that this is funny.
And the artwork is much better.
Is it just me, or does anyone else wonder what kind of bank Batiuk makes off of this crap? Obviously not Peanuts level money, but jeez, dude’s been at it for fifty years.
Other than his base salary, probably not much. His merchandising and online book sales are non-existent. It’s revealing how much time Tom Batiuk spends sucking up to entities that should be beneath his attention, like the Ohioana Book Fair, and band director groups. He’s had a national comic strip in every newspaper for 50 years, and this is what he has to do to find an audience.
I would imagine that between two long-running comic strips, if he lives frugally, he’s probably okay. Still, his peak earnings were probably 25+ years ago, when he may have sold a few Crankshaft volumes on top of the comic strip revenue … what trickles in now is probably a rough equivalent to a very modest pension. Which may be one reason why he continues to hold on to both gigs.
As the creator of two syndicated comic strips, I wouldn’t be surprised if Batty pulls down a six-figure salary. A commenter from another Funky Winkerbean forum claimed that Batty lives in a 3,000 sq foot home in the country.
As @Epicus Doomus pointed out last month, Batty’s longevity is rare among comic strip creators. It’s common to see successful comic strip creators retire from creating their strips due to the daily grind.
A couple of years ago, Terri Libenson (The Pajama Diaries) and Norm Feuti (Retail) retired from their comic strips to write children’s books. Coincidentally, both created their respective strips over the same time frame, 2006 – 2020. Both just turned 50 when they made the career switch.
Jan Eliot (Stone Soup) also retired in 2020 at age 70 after 25 years. She wanted to devote more time to travel, socializing, and focusing on other creative projects.
Batty just turned 75. Other than the quality of the strip, he shows no signs of slowing down. Does he have any interests outside of comics?
A friend of mine who lives in Ohio says the local schools are desperate for teachers. Batty was a middle school art teacher before Funky Winkerbean. Why not do something socially beneficial? Contribute to society. Heck, he might even win an award!
Can you imagine Batty writing children’s books? 😱
The Cat Had A Hat…a children’s story by Batty BatYam, written in Funkic pentameter:
There was a cat.
You ever notice how things have changed for the worse?
The cat had a hat.
Comic books are fun, but speculators have ruined it for everyone.
The cat had a hat.
The cat had a hat.
The cat had a hat.
The cat had a hat.
The cat had a hat.
The cat had a hat.
Did you hear about the cat? He had a hat.
Does he have any interests outside of comics?
If you ever read Batiuk’s blog, or his interviews, it’s pretty clear that he doesn’t.
Bill Watterson retired Calvin and Hobbes while in his late 30s.
In early 2010, Watterson was interviewed by The Plain Dealer on the 15th anniversary of the end of Calvin and Hobbes. Explaining his decision to discontinue the strip, he said,
This isn’t as hard to understand as people try to make it. By the end of ten years, I’d said pretty much everything I had come there to say. It’s always better to leave the party early. If I had rolled along with the strip’s popularity and repeated myself for another five, ten, or twenty years, the people now “grieving” for Calvin and Hobbes would be wishing me dead and cursing newspapers for running tedious, ancient strips like mine instead of acquiring fresher, livelier talent. And I’d be agreeing with them. I think some of the reason Calvin and Hobbes still finds an audience today is because I chose not to run the wheels off it. I’ve never regretted stopping when I did.
Batyuk is the epitome of the comic creator Watterson didn’t want to become.
I think Batyuk’s visit to a high school classroom would go over just as well as Batton Thomas’s a couple of years ago.
April 12-19, 2020
Mr. Moore’s journalism class gets a visit from cartoonist Batton Thomas, creater of the comic strip Three O’Clock High.
Teacher: “Kids, I would like to introduce you to Tom Batiuk. He’s the creator of the Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft comics strips.”
(Kids with blank faces and soulless dots for eyes)
Student: “Groovy Winterlegume? Is it about gardening?”
I can’t even type a comment today… Because for me to do so I’d have to actually understand whatever the hell these characters are trying to say in all three panels…
*kneels next to you in the trenches, claps a comforting hand on your back*
“At ease, soldier. We’ll get him tomorrow. We’ll find those nits, and make them pay.”
I feel comforted. I am packed up and ready to go tomorrow and find those nits!
“I think this life is affecting my brain,” as the Kinks sing in “Yes Sir No Sir.”
Does anybody else wonder why Maddie is always wearing a hat?
What is she hiding? Devil horns? A third eye? A parasitic twin? Male pattern baldness? A Klingon head ridge (Maddie
Maddie reminds me of a former work acquaintance who was ginger. She used to make fun of my broad shoulders and large hands (I can palm a basketball). I used to fight back by calling her a hellfire demon, suggesting she would combust in direct sunlight, and accusing her of not having a soul (thank you for the last one, Eric Cartman).
It’s like Becky and her arm. Without it (or with it, as the case may be), no one would know who the hell she is. Like how that annoying hair strand is the only way to tell Mason and Boy Lisa apart.
Good point. Batty gives Maddie the hat to differentiate her from the other young(ish) redhead, Rachel.
Although for some inexplicable reason, Rachel is often a blonde in the Sunday comics. 🤔
I think it’s Tom Batiuk’s idea of something a hipster would wear.
It’s not unusual for a comic strip character to always wear a signature article of clothing (think of BD’s football helmet in Doonesbury, Charlie Brown’s zig-zag sweater, Calvin’s striped shirt). Also, we see that papa Crazy also wore the similar hat in the early days of FW, so perhaps she is emulating her Dad.
I feel like Batiuk thinks readers view the Act I period as the Golden Age of this strip, and views it as a treat to them whenever he has characters go back in time.
That, or it’s just in-strip advertising for the Complete FW volumes he’s selling. I’m surprised he doesn’t go more all-in on that. “For more of the Eliminator, read Vol. 3! To fully understand why Harry is telling teen Lisa to get a mammogram, read Vol. 11!”
Today’s Battyblog is … Christmas-themed? With particularly self-congratulatory word-vomit about Lisa?
Kinda easy to understand why the blog doesn’t allow comments.
I swear he’s posted that “Lisa was the tip of the spear” comment before.