Mal. Bad. In the Latin.

Link to Today’s Strip.

Logan is playing an age old scheme. A game as old as the rolodex and the address book. She’s not really interested in Malcolm now, in fact, never really wanting to see him again, but still wants to keep the echo of a line open. Another invisible thread in her bundle of similar invisible threads so that, when time gets short or she get tired of the hunt, she can yank on that bundle and see which fish haven’t been caught yet. See which fish have gone from bony bait to a trophy. Catch and release romance.

erdmann and newagepalimpsest had a different take on Malcolm and Logan reiterating over and over to each other that this is their last date:

And…wow. The nihilistic existential dread in the idea that you are an unimportant fictional character that is doomed to not only cease to exist, but cease to be remembered, the moment the eye of your uncaring creator finally passes from you. That you are conscious and aware only in this meaningless moment, and all that you have is the companionship of those trapped in the same hell, teetering on the edge of the cliff that will plunge both of you into damnatio memoriae. That is some psychological horror that Batiuk never has the guts or ambition to delve in to.

I feel sick.

Existential horror isn’t the only nightmare we’re subjected to today. We also have a visual monstrosity in the background of the first panel. In fact, you guys have been spotting weirdos in the background all week. I wonder what it is like to experience the Funkyverse from their eyes. What their stories might be.

Jeremy ‘Jay’ Raffe knew that wearing his hair down would hide the damage from the accident, that horrible day with the taffy puller that had changed his life forever. He’d grown his hair out intending to do just that. But…gradually he had realized, self-acceptance is all about control over what you choose to be. You cannot be a freak without your consent. And if he was going to be a freak, it would be for the manbun he chose, and not the neck that he didn’t.”
Paul Roberts’ mother told him that his father was a great man, a great man who had worked for great men. Before he’d left her, he’d shown her a Philips-Norelco PC80 color broadcast camera, and said that when his son was old enough to lift it, he should take what was under it and come find him. She’d only find out later about all the cameras. All the cameras, all the women, and all the green plaid shirts. Dozens of boys and men, travelling the country, wearing the emerald flags of their patrimony, hoping to find their father, and instead finding brothers with the same story and the same dream. Many had stopped the search for Father Roberts, taken off their shirts and changed their names…but Paul still held out hope. Even as his shirt faded, his dream never died. That someday from out of the crowd he would feel a hand on his shoulder, and a voice calling him, “Son.”
“‘Seven days….” the childlike voice had whispered over the phone. But Charles ‘Chet’ Bruin wasn’t too concerned. His buddy, Seth, knew he had the tape and knew he was going to watch it once he’d dug his parents’ old VHS player out of the downstairs closet. It was just a senior prank. ‘Seven Days’ to graduation. Much Lulz for the TikTok.

Chet was running home after the ceremony to grab his trunks when he heard a crash from the living room. He ran in to see his dad’s precious 146 inch Samsung LED flatscreen had fallen off the wall. When he lifted it, underneath he found her, soaking wet in a nightgown. A little on the wan side, maybe, but kinda cute. She looked up at him with the palest blue eyes. He had to at least give it a shot.

“You wanna go to a graduation party?” Chet asked. “My sister has a swimsuit that would probably fit you.”

She smirked at him. Then opened her mouth impossibly wide. And Chet knew, it was gonna be a good party.”

25 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

25 responses to “Mal. Bad. In the Latin.

  1. Epicus Doomus

    There’s a beginning, there’s an end, but there’s nothing in-between, and there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it. This is one of the most Batiukian weekly arcs ever.

  2. sorialpromise

    The background characters have better stories than the main characters.
    Just think how this strip would evolve if CBH was given the writing responsibility for just one year. It would be almost sad that Les was cremated, killed, and buried (yes, the order is correct!) during CBH’s first 3 days. Funky was last seen wearing pizza boxes. But all was forgotten as we got used to reading actual plots, character development, and fascinating stories. I get shivers!
    P. S. Did I detect a hint of the Divine Comedy?

    • ComicBookHarriet

      LOL. Maybe just a little in the damnatio memoriae.
      I don’t if anyone could take in hand what the Funkyverse has become at this point, and I would certainly balk at trying.

  3. billytheskink

    I like how Logan is acting like they aren’t both going to Kent State…

    Judging by that fellow in the background of panel 1, this mall may be on Kamino.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      It’s interesting that Kent State hasn’t come up in this arc about two Westview kids’ college plans. Normally Batiuk shoves that school down your throat like he does Montoni’s and comic books. But Malcolm can’t go to Kent State, because Batiuk wanted to bash student loans, and Kent State cannot be portrayed negatively. My question is: why isn’t Logan going there? She could have gone to Kent State and still kept the “going to different colleges” narrative for this story, with Malcolm somewhere else.

      I have two hypotheses, and they’re both ugly:

      1. Batiuk didn’t give a thought to where Logan is going to college because she’s a girl.
      2. Logan is too accomplished to go to Kent State. Anyone talented enough to sell a blog to ABC at age 14 probably got much better offers.

  4. Sourbelly

    Nice plot cul de sac. I didn’t care going into it, and I don’t care coming out of it. And we still have another day with these nonentities and their weak modern-day technology observations. And then some irrelevant Sideways Sunday panel, before we go back to…Dinkhole, I’m guessing?

    • Y. Knott

      It has been a while.

      On the other hand, Les may yet have some further delightful observations to share with us all. Or hey — there’s always something fresh and riveting happening over at Atomik Komix, right? Or maybe we’ll be treated to a “Lisa: The Lost Tapes” arc!

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Lisa lecturing from beyond the grave in videotape 1S12b: “How Les needs to be treated when you invite him to your graduation party.”

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          The Lisa tapes always make me think of this Robot Chicken bit. (It’s Robot Chicken, so the usual content warnings apply.)

          • Rusty Shackleford

            Ha, that show is great. Been watching it again on HBO Max app as subscription includes Adult Swim. Funny stuff.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            Robot Chicken has the rare ability to be funny while it’s eviscerating your childhood.

          • Sourbelly

            “The Heart, She Holler” played with this concept as well. Patton Oswald played Hurlan Heartshe, whose dad Boss Heartshe died at the beginning of the series and left (thousands of?) tapes for Hurlan to help him negotiate life as the new town boss. The creepy twist is that the tapes invariably address specific situations that Hurlan has just encountered. I’ve wondered if this were some sort of parody of the Lisa Tapes, but that reference would be far too obscure for any audience outside of us posting on this site.

        • Anonymous Sparrow

          It sounds like it should be a Neil Gaiman short story. Perhaps the hosts will turn out to be bug-eyed aliens from Neptune who will feast on Les Moore waffles.

  5. none

    Hey what the hell. I was just looking up some End of Eva clips to refresh my memory on how it specifically ended. I was going to cite it as a sarcastic answer to “a movie where the bad guy wins” because Shinji survives. So, big thanks for conflating two of the most detestable and irredeemable fictional characters in the existence of human creation into one horrifying image.

  6. J.J. O'Malley

    BUT WHAT DID YOU BOTH THINK OF THE “LATEST MARVEL MOVIE”!?!? I NEED MORE COMICS-RELATED REFERENCES!

  7. gleeb

    What cruelty in your heart would make you want to subject the background characters to a more prominent role in a Batiuk story?

  8. Banana Jr. 6000

    “Existential dread!”
    “Actually, there’s no reason it has to be that way.”
    “Existential dread!” (Laugh track)

  9. Rusty Shackleford

    Will we ever find out why they won’t see each other again? Comic books? It’s because of comic books right?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      No, because comic books can never be portrayed even the slightest bit negatively in Funky Winkerbean. Ditto for Montoni’s, Kent State, high school band, Dead Lisa, and Westview in general.

      Tom Batiuk is still fighting his childhood power struggles. Especially over his comic books.

  10. Banana Jr. 6000

    https://skyfutonsockfun.files.wordpress.com/2022/06/petes-bro.jpg?h=100

    “They all laughed at me when I left The Far Side,” said Thag Simmons. “I was sick of randomly getting killed all the time. That will never happen here in… wait, what comic strip am I in now? Oh, shit.”

  11. Dood

    Couldn’t these two just vendo to the solo car date?

  12. The Duck of Death

    The funniest part of this is that I can’t think of a single Westviewian who DOESN’T see all the other Westviewians all the time. People don’t “grow up” and “move away.” In the rare cases in which they do, they remain in the tractor beam of WHS, to the point where even if they are married to a Hollywood action star, the star himself will develop an inexplicable fascination with the mundane town and be drawn back to visit obsessively again and again.

    The only possible explanation is that, as erdmann and newagepalimpsest posited, this duo will cease to exist like Mary Sue Sweetwater, or both die in a Nobottom Road cancer IED explosion.

    What happens to the characters who just disappear? Do they go to the Island of Non-Misfit Characters? Are they sent to the cornfield? Are they raptured, leaving a pile of clothes as they ascend? Are they whisked up into a spaceship heralded by a comet?

    Or is it just cancer? I bet it’s cancer.

  13. robertodobbs

    Facebook? I think the number of high school kids that use Facebook is around 4%.

  14. Andrew

    Didn’t they use to call it MyFaceSpace in this strip