April 26, 2022 at 11:10 pm
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 nits to pick…Someday soon, Mr. Batiuk will raise his level of mediocrity back up to our standards.
Here’s a reminder why your friends here at SoSF limit ourselves and one another to to two-week shifts. Because you get strips like today’s strip that do nothing to advance the plot, such as it is. And Harry didn’t exactly say Donna was the better gamer; only that she “usually” posted a high score.
While these three panels only serve to pad out this limping story arc through Saturday, they’re not visually unsatisfying, and yes, that is the strongest praise I can muster.
41 responses to “The Eliminatrix”
He does this all the time. He dreams up a perfectly reasonable premise, immediately loses interest, then pads it out with lots of repetitious filler material. Repetitious filler material. Repetitious filler material. See what I did there?
It was discussed a bit in yesterday’s comments but if you missed it, Batom threw up a real corker of a post on the blog of his, a bunch of stuff about how Lisa was a great engine of massive artistic achievement and change and etc., and it’s amazing because the complete opposite is true. You rarely see people pat themselves on the back that hard, as it’s bad for the shoulders.
Tom Batiuk: proving himself terrible with words in two very different ways! On his blog — where you’ll wretch at his limitless capacity for writing self-congratulatory swill! And in his comic — where you’ll cringe at his uncanny knack for creating dialogue that reads as if an AI learning English somehow contracted early-stage Alzheimer’s!
Each of these Batiuk creations is awful! But, fascinatingly, in two very dissimilar ways!
Speaking of repetitious filler material: Batiuk DID post that “tip of the spear” line on his blog before, last July 5, in graphic form: https://funkywinkerbean.com/wpblog/binge-worthy/
And again, last September, in a different graphic: https://funkywinkerbean.com/wpblog/booking-it/.
Yesterday’s post is verbatim the same quote as in those graphics, minus the last sentence “And Lisa wasn’t finished.” I see why Batiuk removed it this time: I’m sure he wouldn’t want to imply that dying 15 years ago stopped her in any way. But that’s beside the point.
How far up your own ass do you have to post a compliment you wrote to yourself in your own book on your own blog three times?!
I didn’t see your comment or TomBa’s blog post before I posted my short rant below. Like all of the women portrayed in the strip, Lisa’s passivity is her main trait. The prime example of that is her decision to forego continued treatment despite the fact that she has a preschool aged daughter. To make matters worse, instead of usung the time she has to bond with her child, Lisa chooses to sequester herself for days on end making videos giving useless advice about hypothetical situations, knowing nothing of the actual issues that Summer would be confronting. Summer would probably be better served searching YouTube. And I don’t want to get started on the chutzpah she demonstrates making a video for Les’s next wife.
Lisa is passive-aggressively passive. She won’t lift a finger to save her own life, but she’ll co-opt somebody else’s trip to lecture Congress that they’re not doing enough to save her.
I want to see a realistic story where she tries that shit on a Senate subcommittee. “Ms. Moore, isn’t it true that you’re refusing treatment? What right do you have to demand this body allocate future resources on your behalf when you refuse to use what’s available to you now? Billions of dollars and years of research have been spent to develop effective cancer treatments… which you refuse to use. Ms. Moore, your testimony does not convince me. And I frankly think this body has better things to do than be lectured by you. I move to adjourn.”
Amazing how far the author climbs into his funky winkerbean.
You mean his Skunky Funkybuns.
“Was mom REALLY the best video gamer in town back in the day?”
“You have no idea…”
“Did mom REALLY disguise herself as a boy and create an alter ego just to beat the boys at their own game?”
“Your mileage may vary…”
“Was mom REALLY better than you were at video games back in the day?”
“You have no idea…”
“Did you REALLY have to put in 25 cents every time you wanted to play a video game?”
“Your mileage may vary…”
“Was Defender REALLY the only video game you had to play for a 100-mile radius back in 1980?”
“You have no idea…”
“Did you and mom REALLY skip school just to play the same goddamned arcade game all day long?”
“Your mileage may vary…”
A Zoltar machine would make a better parent…
I picture the Lord of Language as he instructs his devoted follower on how to decline the most common verb in Funkyverse writing: “I have no idea; you have no idea; he, she or it has no idea; we have no idea . . .”
Hard to admit?! Try reading it…
To TF Hackett:
Thank you so much for the kind posting. You are appreciated.
@sorialpromise thank you for reading and commenting! We appreciate you too.
I appreciate everyone here! You all have such fun and insightful things to say.
Funky Winkerbean deserves all the spite it gets, but it certainly does drive fascinating meta-discussion.
I’ve gotten more joy from hating on Funky Winkerbean with you fine people, than I have tepidly liking the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.
At least for today’s strip he managed to use sentences that actual human beings would construct, and that follow logically from one to the next. Even if it’s completely inane, it’s still way better than the random statements that made up yesterday’s strip. It’s still not *good*, but otherwise there’s not much to really snark about. It’s just… there.
Maybe it’s just me, but I find it hard to believe that, given the legendary status that The Eliminator achieved in Westview, Harry would find it difficult to freely admit the fact. But it’s obviously TomBa’s sexism rearing its ugly head again. “Gurls” are only useful brining milk and cookies up to their men who are holed up in their sanctum reading old comic books (or maybe finding “The Phantom Empire” playing on some obscure web site).
Related to this, the casual stereotyping that runs rampant in this strip grinds my gears. No effort is made to provide any depth to any character.
This has already been talked about in this arc. “I was the reigning champion until the Eliminator defeated me.” As if one video game high score in 1982 settled the whole matter permanently. Which the story is implying, so how is Harry being magnanimous here? He’s just acknowledging what the score was, like the Cincinnati Bengals in the last Super Bowl. And they had several conversations about this in the past, so what’s even the point here?
I don’t have much to say about the pointless dialog in today’s strip, so I’ll try snarking on the artwork (it’s been worse than usual lately).
Panel 1: If I’m wearing long sleeves when washing the dishes, I push the sleeves up to avoid soaking them in filthy dishwater. Then again, Donna’s shirt looks like a shitcanned bath mat, so maybe it doesn’t matter.
Panel 2: What’s up with Donna’s head? Did Ayers farm the panel out to a middle school kid, or is he as bored with all of this as we are?
Panel 3: Double smirks, and a double nose for Donna.
Did Ayers farm the panel out to a middle school kid, or is he as bored with all of this as we are?
Listen — every day before nine AM, Chuck Ayers stares deeper into the abyss of boredom than any of us have done collectively this entire century.
You and I? We can just read Funky Winkerbean, and be done with it in a matter of seconds.
Ayers has to draw it. Every single day.
Is he as bored with all of this as we are? Son, your boredom compared to Chuck Ayres’ is as the heat of a microwaved potato to the combined heat of every single sun in the Milky Way.
Personally, I do not know what sins Ayers committed — or imagines he has committed — to bring this punishment on himself. But surely we can show some compassion! If Ayers occasionally hurries through a drawing in order to shave even a couple of seconds off his daily burden? I for one will not begrudge him even a nanosecond of his daily parole.
If Ayers doesn’t like his work, he can quit any time he wants. FW has been drawn by other people in the past, and he stopped doing Crankshaft in 2017. He’s the same age as Batiuk (born in 1947) and must be thinking about retirement anyway. Who knows, maybe that’s what will finally end this shitshow.
We know from the beer labels (and I need to go back and get the name of that brewery, as I might be passing through Akron this summer) that Chuck can do some excellent work when he wants to. This leads to the question, why is the FW art so awful? Maybe he’s just lazy, but I’d like to think he’s still a pro who takes pride in his work. Which leads to the terrifying possibility that the art is awful because this is how Batiuk wants “his” strip to look, and actually rejects any strip that Ayers drew well. Maybe he believes that True Comic Art is supposed to look like a “cartoon”; that is, simple and a bit amateurish. Somehow, this would not surprise me. It fits in well with the idea (which I’ve raised before) that Batiuk thinks proposing premises and letting them fizzle out into long, repetitive, boring filler is somehow in itself High Art, as it captures the reality that most of the time nothing actually happens.
“Which leads to the terrifying possibility that the art is awful because this is how Batiuk wants ‘his’ strip to look, and actually rejects any strip that Ayers drew well.”
I find this to be totally plausible and, in fact, the likely explanation.
I agree, but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. Batiuk may want his guest artists to draw the strip as he once did, to preserve the tone it had, or whatever tone Batiuk thinks it has now. Compare Mark Trail, which I think totally loses its appeal with the new, improved art style. Its earnest, wooden nature was a lot of its charm, and turning it into a ball of self-snark hasn’t served it well IMO.
If the syndicate is going to let Batiuk use Funky Winkerbean as his comic book fantasy world, then he’s well within his right to set standards for how the art is done. I can imagine Batiuk is a pain in the ass to work with, but if Ayers doesn’t like it, he can step down if he wants to.
Agreed about Mark Trail, I’ve stopped reading it. Mary Worth, on the other hand, has benefited from a refresh.
Agree on Mary Worth also. Its art isn’t the problem; it’s the Batiukian tendencies that have crept into the writing. Of course I’m talking about Wilbur.
But CAN Ayers step down? He’s tried before … but every time he thinks he’s out…
Yeah, they are even writing in Batty dialogue…school management?
As a longtime video gamer (yes, long enough ago that I was playing “Defender” in the arcade), this really pisses me off. Is Donna merely the better player at “Defender”, or is she better than dear hubby at literally everything they’ve ever played? Because if it’s the latter then Harold just totally sucks as a gamer…
And if these two are such hardcore gamers, why don’t they have a gaming PC or console or a driving rig or a flight sim rig setup in their house?? Don’t fucking try to tell me they’re too old or something in a Funkyverse where 75 year old dudes lose their shit daily over comic books, superhero action figures, cosplay themed weddings and decoder rings from a cereal box…
Serious question, is Tom Batiuk half-asleep when he writes these up? Or is he deliberately putting out the worst he can come up with to see what happens? Maybe he’s protesting the strict deadlines, or not getting the recognition that he wants.
Why are couples besides Les and Lisa depicted so blandly? Are we supposed to believe that video games are the zenith of spicy romantic banter in this world???
Why does Donna look like Holly Budd now? Just like half the younger women look like Summer Moore All the women characters don’t have to look alike you know
Your milage must have varied!
You have no idea!
Q: How crappy has this week of Funky Winkerbean been?
A: You have no idea!
How crappy is next week going to be? You have no idea.
Crappy – even
Real Crappy – 2-1
Crappiest thing ever – 3-1
Very good 1000-1
Best arc ever – odds incalculable
‘Best arc ever’ is actually a pretty low bar…wouldn’t it be a more likely outcome than “very good”?
Copy and paste weekly.
But your mileage may vary!
Lisa would have liked that.
Unlike Batty yesterday, that is the proper usage of the phrase.
Q: @be ware of eve hill, how much mileage did you get out of today’s FW strip?
A: About thirty feet. Enough to drive to the end of the driveway and back.