Heart To Heart Failure

Link To Today’s Strip

It wasn’t enough for Dick Facey to merrily prance and frolic on Mary Sue Sweetwater’s grave. Now, as sort of a coup de grâce to mark another triumph over another old high school foil, he takes a shot at his “best friend”, reminding him that he might keel over and die at any given moment. I have to admit, I kind of like Funky’s “what a dick” semi-smirk in panel three, as it’s actually an appropriate facial expression there. I imagine it’s similar to the face Ayers makes when BatHam tells him what he’s putting in the word balloons.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

42 responses to “Heart To Heart Failure

  1. Banana Jr. 6000

    Yeah, Les, we’ve all seen how you treat your friends.

  2. Les, you smarmy bastard. I like how it’s assumed that Funky will be on his deathbed first.

    • Epicus Doomus

      And that detestable look on his obnoxious face, as if he’s actually proud of and amused by the way he can’t express a heartfelt sentiment without wrapping it in a smug, sarcastic dig at his “friend’s” many health issues.

      “I love ya, you big lug, and I just wanted to say that before your health issues and propensity for misery and woe kicks you in the ass again, tubby”.

      The single most loathsome and despicable character in the history of fiction. And consider for a moment the rest of the field he’s easily whipping. Dinkle, Summer, Flash Freeman, Horndog Morton, Pete, Linda…these are top-tier detestable characters here. But they’re all just Shams next to Les’ Secretariat. It’s an incredible body of work. Just this year alone he stole a young wayward hayseed’s Oscar and joked about Funky’s coronary disease, and that’s a really slow year for him.

      • Charles

        For a guy who’s supposed to be a super sensitive super excellent writer with an uncommonly incisive talent for words, Les sure doesn’t demonstrate any of it here.

        There are ways to express this sentiment that don’t require that you talk to a friend about when and how he’s going to die.

        “Thanks Les, and I wanted to tell you that, well, you’ve been around in my life for quite a while, and I didn’t want to wait to tell you until after I got that phone call from Cayla telling me that you’ve shit yourself to death.”

  3. Gerard Plourde

    Of course, for Les friendship is gauged in terms of “What can I have you do for me now?”


    “Funky, someone stole my wallet with all of my identification, credit cards, and my plane ticket. Can you drive from Ohio to New York City to bring me home?”

    “Bull, Summer injured her her knee. Can you put together supervise a rehabilitation regimen for her?”

  4. Captain Gladys Stoatpamphlet

    Just getting it out of the way now. God forbid I should have to say a kind word when you might need a lift.

    • Epicus Doomus

      “I’d have to drive to the hospital, find a place to park, take the elevator, find your room, then look at you there with all the tubes and whatnot. That stuff just bums me out. This way, when you’re lying there dying, you’ll know I care. Well, for today, at least.”

  5. sorialpromise

    A Blue Rain’s Going to Fall!
    (Or CBH Makes Me Do This!)
    Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
    Where have you been my own darling Funky?
    I’ve stumbled across some 12 crooked tombstones
    We’ve chattered and jabbered thru Mary Sue’s funeral
    Les blathered aloud about being a lifeboat
    Les and the Funk man are a dozen dead oceans
    We’ve read ten thousand strips without any point at all

    And it’s a blue, and it’s a blue, it’s a blue, it’s a blue
    It’s a blue rain’s a-going to fall!

    Oh, what did you see my blue-eyed son?
    I get all my news from celebrity obits
    If I’m not in there, the news must be really so good
    They spelled Mary Sue Sweetwater’s name as Dead St. Lisa
    Sure, Les and Funky make it all about them
    We’ll wait for them in a room with our hammers ableeding
    It’s still early days, so we’ll have to be patient
    How did poor Bob Dylan get himself dragged into this?
    No one invited Himmm! and his Funky to even come.

    And it’s a blue, and it’s a blue, it’s a blue, it’s a blue
    It’s a blue rain’s a-going to fall!

  6. billytheskink

    Just kill him right here right now, Funky. You’re already at the cemetery and he’s already dressed for the occasion.

  7. William Thompson

    “Can you have that heart attack now, Funky? It would be convenient for me. It would be even more convenient if you’d die right after I say something so crass it makes the history books.”

  8. ComicTrek

    Funky’s suspicion in the second panel is also appropriate when you consider their dynamic. You could buy that he and Les were close friends during the first two acts, but the most they do together these days is jog.

    And correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Funky already have at least one heart attack?

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Heart Attack, no. But he did collapse during a Lisa Legacy Run.

    • Charles

      Funky also seems quite disquieted in Panel 1 where Les tells him that he’s his friend.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      It reminds me of the second panel of the salad dressing strip, where Donna has this look of disappointment and confusion, before declaring it the greatest gift ever.

  9. be ware of eve hill

    Well, Mary Sue, I’m sorry you were killed off in such a meaningless story arc. For what purpose did you die? To serve as a catalyst for one of Les’s confounding speeches about life and death? Talk about life’s indignities.

    What does a rigged roulette wheel have to do with reading celebrity obituaries, Bob Dylan and lifeboats? I’ve taken too many Batty blows, and my comprehension is down for the count.

    What kind of stories do you get when you mix all of these elements together? That’s tight, a mess.

    Mary Sue Sweetwater Blevins, much like Bull Bushka, died for no apparent literary reason whatsoever. Batty’s alleged CTE prestige piece fell apart almost as soon as it started. What was the purpose of that CTE story arc? Insurance fraud is cool?

    Both Bull and Mary Sue treated Les with kindness, and Batty killed both of them off. The cautionary tale here seems to be, don’t be nice to Les.

    Cheer up, Mary Sue. It’s all over now. You’ve escaped the Funkyverse. Run! Be free!

    • newagepalimpsest

      Thank you for giving Mary Sue Sweetwater a tasteful eulogy.

      • ComicBookHarriet

        Mary Sue’s death bothered me much less than Bull’s. Mary Sue was a personality-less prop in her Act I form, and really only had a couple meaningful strips in Act III. IMO she is an acceptable choice for a storyline like this, and I prefer the callback for the weirdos ‘in-the-know’ rather than making up a completely new/old character. Bull’s death was awful because he was a major character for decades and it still turned into a Les Fest.

        Les and Funky are getting to the age where a few high school classmates would be expected to go out due to cardiac events, cancer, or diabetes complications. And I know from my own parents comments that hearing a classmate died is a real mortality mindfuck. (They still live in the same town they went to high school in, just like Les/Funk and crew. I think this adds to the mindfuckery.)

        IMO, in concept a funeral arc where a minor Act I character is buried and Les and Funky ponder the passing of time is a fine idea. But like so much that Batiuk attempts, the execution is more botched than poor Mary Queen of Scots’. Because they blather about celebrity deaths, newspaper typos, and nonsensical tangents on roulette jokes, before ending in a tired old aesop. It goes from bafflingly obtuse to painfully on the nose, with nothing of value or interest.

        • newagepalimpsest

          I mean, they could have spared one of the word zeppelins to say “Poor Mary Sue. We should have tried harder to stay in touch after the reunion.” (Hey, it’s more consideration than Bull and his family ever got.)

          But since the funeral itself is just a vehicle for the latest “I realized that I am mortal and that sucks” storyline, they didn’t and it doesn’t matter. Funky might as well be ruining yet another AA meeting, and Les might as well be at home, pondering the mystery of how Lisa’s ghost keeps the house stocked with toilet paper.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            It really is amazing how horrible these characters are, and how much Tom Batiuk expects us to like them. And how puzzled he is that people don’t.

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      No one gets away with insurance fraud, cool or otherwise, when I’m on the case!

      Yours Truly,
      Johnny Dollar
      (Fabulous Freelance Insurance Investigator with the Action-Packed Expense Account and Good Friend of Nick Danger, Third Eye)

      • none

        Still one of the best radio series made. I put that up there with The Saint and The Lives of Harry Lime.

        Not too many noteworthy persons come from Hartford, CT, fictional or otherwise.

      • Gerard Plourde

        I used to listen to it in my old car on the Sirius/XM Radio Classics channel. Also listened to another detective series starring Bob Bailey called Let “George Do It”.

        This reminder makes me want to hunt down episodes on the web.

  10. What I like about this week is how well it sketched out Mary Sue Sweetwater’s entire life in a few thoughtfully curated moments. You can imagine the alternate comic strip that followed her cast of characters around.

  11. Gg83

    Looks like Les really took Mason’s commencement speech to heart!


    Y’know, six years later. Sometimes it takes a while for him to recognize any words he didn’t write or say himself.

  12. ian'sdrunkenbeard

  13. ComicBookHarriet

    A reminder that THIS STRIP was the last time Les and Bull appeared together.

    • gleeb

      Was this the time complete failure, kick-him-as-you-pass Jerry Bushka tripped while carrying Jack Strop’s ashes to bury at the goal line?

    • be ware of eve hill

      That was the last time? Bull died three years later!

      When Les said, “Take care of yourself, Bull”, it appears as if he meant “goodbye forever.” Once Bull started exhibiting signs of CTE, Les wanted nothing to do with him. Wow.


      • be ware of eve hill

        I checked the FW archive. Les discussed Bull with Linda at the school during February 2019. About seven months before Bull’s suicide. Linda mentioned not being able to retire due to financial hardship because of Bull’s CTE. Les offers his “help”.

        As one of the richest men in Westview, Les does not offer Linda any financial assistance for his “friend”. Les doesn’t even offer to check in on Bull.

        I’m curious to know what Les meant by “help”. Lending a sympathetic ear?
        Gee, thanks, Les. Why actually help anyone when you can get your warm fuzzy with a hollow gesture.


  14. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    Lowlights from Bull’s funeral.

  15. saneharry

    I’m calling it: Les’s next book wil be “Funky’s Story”.