The Gospel According To Stan

The moment we’ve all waited for for years is finally here! No, not the wedding, I mean Funky Winkerbean characters talking about comics.
So according to Marvel, Stan’s Soapbox ended in 1980. I really have no idea how old anyone in this strip is supposed to be, but I’m guessing Rocky and Cory are around their mid-twenties to early thirties. So that means in their wedding vows they’re quoting something that ran in comics either two or three decades before they were born. Even if Batiuk has to indulge his compulsion to make every single one of his character’s life revolve around comics, would it have been that hard to find something that would make sense for these two people? Were they only allowed to read twenty and thirty year old comics as children? I am grateful they’re not cosplaying, at least.
I tried searching for this full quote, and I couldn’t find it. The passage I did find ends with the line in the first panel, and I couldn’t find anything at all related to Stan Lee when I searched the other lines. So I’m really not sure if only the first line (which is from a discussion of not having your characters be pure good or pure evil) is from Lee, or the other lines are as well and just somehow aren’t anywhere online.
I do kind of like Crazy Harry’s totally unwarranted smug expression here. Like it’s the coolest thing in the world that someone is quoting Stan Lee in their wedding vows. And does Donna honestly expect him to be able to recognize random uncited quotes from scriptures? Because there is nothing at all in Harry’s background that would make me thing he could do that at all.
I really don’t think this is a great selection to read for your vows. Basically the only time I hear the phrase “rainbow bridge” is referring to a pet dying. And nirvana is commonly interpreted as the end of rebirth and existence itself. Never mind, it’s actually perfect for this strip. All that’s missing is a Lisa quote and a falling leaf.
And on the subject of not doing things alone, Epicus Doomus will be taking over tomorrow!



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

53 responses to “The Gospel According To Stan

  1. KMD

    And this is a perfect example of why TB has failed as a writer in Act III. Even when two of his characters are getting married, TB makes it all about his own interests and passions. Instead of seeing the world, all he does is take in a forest of mirrors showing him only his own reflection. This is a far cry from Act I and even Act II. Sad.

  2. Y. Knott

    I just have no words. This is so sad — we are watching the deterioration of a human mind from the inside.

    I can’t feel anything but pity for Batiuk. And I’m assuming Ayers and the syndicate are keeping this going in honour of the idea that he WAS vaguely talented once … and because continuing to ‘write’ keeps Batiuk happy and out of trouble in his dotage.

  3. erdmann

    The line is “we can never march across the Rainbow Bridge…” Is Rocky hoping she can get an annulment based on her blowing her wedding vows?

  4. billytheskink

    Wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait…



    It looks like Durwood is Cory’s best man!!! Hahahahaha, what on God’s green earth?! Did TB and Ayers forget this isn’t Pete and Mindy’s wedding? No… No, he’s there because Cory has never once been depicted as having any interaction at all with another male his age. Good grief this is amazingly awful!

    • Epicus Doomus

      Uh yeah, what the f*ck is THAT all about? Why would Boy Lisa even BE there? He was a Big City MBA while Cory was running roughshod over WHS. Of all the people he could have chosen, why him and not Wally or something?

      • Bad wolf

        So the Pete and Mindy wedding remains as a potential (completely certain) future… how exactly is it going to be any different? It almost makes more sense that Batiuk had a comic-themed wedding on his mind for them, but then thought he needed to shoehorn Cory and Rocky in to it, and throw in a couple of reminders that Rocky was in the Army…?

    • J.J. O'Malley

      Okay, so Dermont somehow struck up a heretofore unknown friendship with Cory so that he would be best man instead of, oh, say Wally or someone connected to him (I’m a little surprised it wasn’t the Pizza Box Monster). But who is Rocky’s maid of honor? The straight hair means it’s not Jessica, and there’s only one so it’s not the Grady Twins. Does she actually have a friend outside the Montoni’s/WHS/Atomik Komix circuit? Is that allowed?

      Also, when did Malcolm find the time in his senior year of high school to become an ordained minister? And when did Maddie find the time to change from her yellow flowered dress on Thursday to a white flowered one today in Panel One? And what is Linda Bushka doing in attendance in Panel Five (Did Cory play football at WHS? “You know who we have to invite to our wedding? The widow of my high school football coach!”)? Honestly, when I first saw her I thought it was a transitioning Mopey Pete, but then I saw him a few chairs over.

      Oh, well, at least Batiuk didn’t have Cory step on and break a glass while Crazy Harry shouted “Excelsior!”

      • be ware of eve hill

        Geez, O’Malley, how about leaving something for the rest of us? I’m glad I read your entry before I posted. You took three of the talking points I was going to make. Hog.

        Just kidding. Good question. Why is Linda there? At best, she was Cory’s math teacher.
        Carla: Hello! Thank you for coming. I’m Carla, the mother of the bride. How do you know Cory?
        Linda: Hi, I’m Linda Lopez-Bushka. I was Cory’s math teacher in high school.
        Carla: Oh. Was he one of your favorite students?
        Linda: Ha! Not even close. I’m here because Funky needed more fannies in seats for Cory’s side of the aisle. He said he’d cover the cost of the wedding gift. He said there’d be an open bar. Have you seen it?

        We have a difference of opinion who the woman in the floral print dress is. You say Maddie. I mentioned the other day I thought it was Rachel, and we’d know for sure if she was a blonde on Sunday. Well, there she is and with blonde hair. I believe I read somewhere the Monday through Saturday strips are colored by KFS staffers, and on Sundays the artist colors the strip themselves. Chuck Ayers always colors Rachel’s hair as blonde on Sundays. I’m chalking up her dress changing color for the same reason.

        Malcolm found religion after the dust up at the mall. Became an ordained minister via an online course.

        Why is Mopey Pete there?
        Mopey Pete: I’m a paid extra. Batiuk pays double on Sundays.

        • be ware of eve hill

          BTW, has anybody ever commented on the facial resemblance between Linda and Mopey Pete? The baggy eyes. The gormless smile!
          Mopey Pete: Mom? Is that you?

        • J.J. O'Malley

          My sincere apologies, eve. You know the guy who always fills his plate to overflowing at the wedding reception buffet? That’s me with today’s nuptials. To borrow from the Bard, “Is it possible disdain should die while she hath such meet food to feed it” as a Batiuk Sunday strip.

          I based my ID of Panel One woman as Maddie based on the oversized chapeau, which was similar to hers on Thursday, but you bring up a good point on hair color. I guess Maddie would still be wearing her hand-me-down cap.

          • be ware of eve hill

            No need to apologize. First come, first served. I had trouble sleeping last night and thought I’d get a jump on the folks who post in the morning. I don’t know why I think that way. It’s not a contest.

            I don’t know if I want to say anything about great minds thinking alike. Most people would be horrified to discover what goes on in my mind.


      • Banana Jr. 6000

        This is a good point. The cast of characters at this wedding illustrates the bankruptcy of character development in Funky Winkerbean. The bride and groom don’t have a single friend their own age, despite the strip having a cast of about 100 people, one of which is Cory’s half-brother. There aren’t even any extras who look like they could be friends of the bride and groom.

        And the bankruptcy of storytelling. There is simply no story here. Again, these characters were 36th and 55th on CBH’s list of character appearances in 2021, There was never a subplot about their relationship, nor was it ever relevant to anything else. And we all know it never will be.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      But why were they shown as ghosts the other day? I guess it doesn’t matter if they die, Batty will just bring them back if he needs them.

      This arc is just so dumb, so unnecessary.

    • It just illustrates what a terrible writer Batiuk is. He nmever bothered to develop a social circle for either Cory or Rocky, outside of each other.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        It’s even worse than that. Batiuk doesn’t even realize that the bride and groom’s lack of a social circle is a problem to the story. He doesn’t care because, well, the story of their wedding isn’t about them anyway. Comic books! Montoni’s!

  5. Sourbelly

    So…more comic book shit.

    End this strip. Tom, it’s time to quit.

  6. Gerard Plourde

    The past two weeks have been hectic so I’m just catching up on the Rocky and Cory wedding arc. This has to rank as one of TomBa’s most half-baked efforts. We jump from planning right to the day of the wedding all treated with a series of weak gag-a-day strips. And then we to get top it off with today’s gibberish.

    I would grudgingly believe that the Stan Lee quote could make some kind of sense if spoken by the officiant as a kind of introduction or a “Friends we are gathered here” statement of purpose but it makes no sense as the vows or promises that the couple make to each other in the ceremony. And how is it that in yesterday’s strip Funky and Holly are shown at the reception if the ceremony is the subject of today’s strip?

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Just shows that Batty can even drain the life out of other people’s work!

    • Perfect Tommy

      This made me think of the Frasier episode where he gave the bar mitzvah speech in Klingon, thinking it was Hebrew. Now that was funny.

  7. Epicus Doomus

    Here’s something to ponder re: the Cory character. A few years back, BatYarn did a lengthy ultra-mega-arc about Holly putting together a complete “Starbuck Jones” comic book collection for her son, who was still in the army at the time. She went through all sorts of wild comic book adventures, meeting people like Chester and that guy who had a heart attack that time. Plus, that was where he really began to expand the whole SJ mythology, which in turn spawned countless arcs.

    Then Cory came home and she gave him the complete SJ collection. Cory then sold the collection to John, to get the money to buy Rocky’s engagement ring. The tone of that particular story seemed to indicate that while he appreciated the gesture, he was putting aside childish pursuits and growing up.

    So of course now, all these years later, he’s mindlessly blathering on about comic book bullshit, during his own wedding, no less. Once again Batiuk builds up years of back story, only to end up totally ignoring it on a whim. It’s like none of it ever happened, which makes you seriously wonder why it did in the first place.

    • spacemanspiff85

      Why did it happen in the first place? To fill up space.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Literally every part of this wedding story was about comic books.

      Buying the ring was about selling comic books.

      The “unity ceremony” was about displaying comic books.

      The vows are about quoting comic books

      And I bet it’s not over yet. I wonder if the honeymoon is going to be at the comic books museum.

      • J.J. O'Malley

        Well, July is right around the corner, so maybe the “happy” couple will honeymoon in San Diego, just in time for the SD Comic-Con. They can meet up with Mickey, the guy who helped Phil Holt return from the dead.

      • Anonymous Sparrow

        How many cosmic treadmills do you think Rocky and Cory will find in their wedding presents?

  8. newagepalimpsest

    Mort and Melinda totally ditched this lame wedding and I can’t say that I blame them.

  9. Angusmac

    So the reception was before the wedding?

  10. ComicBookHarriet

    Forget the Best Man, where is Cory’s bio-dad and Rocky’s dad?

    What I find weird about so many Funkyverse families is that Batiuk makes people step-parents, but always has the non-custodial parent be a complete non-entity. The only real ‘blended’ family is Becky-John-Wally all sharing Rana when she reappeared a couple years ago.

    I don’t know about you guys, but in my experience it’s really really unusual for a biological parent to be so estranged from their kid that they don’t even get a wedding invite. Way more unusual than a kid having three or four parents attending their wedding.

    • be ware of eve hill

      I know you’re just using Batiuk’s terminology, but oh, how I hate “bio-dad”. It’s cold and sounds like a laboratory creation. It’s the typical case where Batty tries to create a cutesy term but ends up being cringeworthy and offensive. As an orphan, I’ve always used “birth father”.


      Batty seems to be hooked on the divorced woman with one child, who has remarried, and an unknown first husband who has disappeared off the face of the earth.

      They ought to form a club. I probably missed one or two.
      Holly – married to ? One child, remarried.
      Cayla – married to ? One child, remarried.
      Linda – married to ? One child, remarried.

      Holly’s first husband: Gee, Mr. Batiuk, I look forward to being featured in your comic. I can’t wait to attend my son Cory’s wedding!
      Batty: I never bothered to create you. You don’t even have a first or last name. You don’t exist.
      *poof* Holly’s first husband disappears in a puff of spoke.

      Rocky’s father: Uh, Mr. Batiuk…
      Batty: Go away!

      It makes me wonder what happened to the first husbands. Was Holly’s ex a serial killer now on death row? The head of the local Nazi party? A rock musician always on tour? A decent man who just simply couldn’t tolerate Holly anymore?

      • ComicBookHarriet

        How could you forget
        Rachel – married to ? (Khan) one child (two names) Remarried.

        • be ware of eve hill

          Thanks, I thought of Rachel the other day, but blanked out today. Good ol’ Rachel and Robbie or Billy, you can take your pick. Billy Bob?

          Reading about Rocky and Cory’s wedding made me think about how few long term first marriages seem to exist in the Funkyverse. There’s the Dinkles, Klinghorns, and Fairgoods. Principal Nate?

          What’s that about Khan? Was he married to Rachel? Or was Khan divorced with one child and remarried?

          • ComicBookHarriet

            I have no idea of Khan’s canon marital status. But it it my headcanon that he’s Robbie/Billy’s father, based on appearance and proximity. And also going with my headcanon that the Pizza Box monster is Khan, so by making sure Funky retires early and Wally inherits, Khan is providing for his ex-wife and son.

      • newagepalimpsest

        Holly’s ex was allergic to pizza and hated comic books. The cops never did find his body.

  11. sorialpromise

    I have a question for all:
    What are the plans for SOSF when Mr. Batiuk does retire or meet his demise? Does the website fold, or become a encyclopedia for previous postings?
    I really enjoy this site. I no longer can stomach FW. Foolishly, I had high hopes for a good story when CH went back into the past, but like this marriage-plot, it was just an excuse to write an old comic book as the climax to the story. Pointless!
    I have total respect for all of you. Yet I question our commitment to someone completely undeserving of our creativity.
    What will SOSF evolve into? And should it begin moving in that direction already?
    Does it move toward a general posting of comments and articles? If it was just ComicBookHarriet reading the weather, I would be hooked! I want more articles and opinions on other topics by CBH. That goes for TF Hackett, billytheskink, Epicus Doomus, spacemanspiff85, and would love to see BeckoningChasm post articles here. Don’t even get me started on the brilliance of JJ O’Malley, Banana Jr. 6000, Y. Knott, and the beautiful essays by Be Ware of Eve Hill.
    Wow! This is going on too long. TL:DR!!!
    Bottom line: FW sucks. SOSF superb.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I would guess Ayers or someone takes over the strip, unless Batty has a clause that says the strip dies with him and the syndicate can only rerun the originals.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      I plan to see this through to the bitter end, even if it goes full Apartment 3G on us. Because I know that, no matter what, there will be something to talk about.

      After that? I have no idea.

      I kind of imagined that it would be like that scene at the end of Return of the King where Frodo wakes up and one by one all the surviving members of the Fellowship enter smiling, laughing, as the music swells. Last to enter would be Epicus. He and TFH would share a wistful and knowing look, that what they’ve been through together in their struggle to the end has been something that forever sets them apart.

    • be ware of eve hill

      I’m not sure why I enjoy this website so much. I guess I take pleasure in watching a lazy, self-centered pompous know-it-all twit get pulped.

      It’s his strip to do whatever he pleases, but I feel a certain sense of betrayal concerning its evolution. An enjoyable gag-a-day strip evolved into narrow self-interests and award chasing. The amount of effort he puts into this strip nowadays has to be insulting to comic strip creators struggling to make a living. Anybody who claims to be a fan of the present-day strip is most likely nostalgic about what FW used to be.

      If Batiuk retired, I wouldn’t be surprised if he forced KFS to take his strips down.
      Batty: I’m retiring, and I’m taking Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft with me. My attorneys will be getting in contact with you about their removal.
      King Features Syndicate: Good. That means we don’t have to pay you anymore.

      I’m not sure what would happen to SOSF. That’s up to the web team and the dedicated team of bloggers. If it ends, I’d miss it. I still read the Funky Winkerbean discussion on Comics Kingdom, but it’s missing the insight, knowledge and passion from a lot of the folks who post here. People post on CK to get laughs. There’s no critical analysis like there is here. Here on SOSF, I can relive FW’s better days through ComicBookHarriet’s research and billytheskink’s ability to remember strips from the past. In the CK FW discussion, I’d be considered an expert. Here I’m learning things I never knew or have long forgotten.

      I agree with you about this wedding story arc. Disappointing, sure, but it’s hardly surprising. As usual, he builds it up on his blog, only for it to arrive D.O.A. Tomorrow, the disappointing wedding story arc will painfully continue like the pain from a throbbing toothache. I look forward to tomorrow’s autopsy.

  12. Gerard Plourde

    Weirdly, over on the FW blog there hasn’t been a post since June 19 (a John Darling retread). No Flash Friday (which requires him to write something), no Match To Flame post (reprint from a Complete FW introduction), no Cover Me (which just requires at the most a scan and upload). Is something up?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      No images have been uploaded since the 18h. But TB has uploaded some images which will apparently accompany a future post about the early days of Funky Winkerbean.

      By the way, I am not a hacker. The FW blog has a major security problem that exposes some things TB probably doesn’t realize are exposed.

  13. Hitorque


  14. Miskatonic Sophomore

    For a fraction of a second there, I thought “march across” might be a very oblique reference to the happy couple’s background in the army. That’s how desperately some part of my brain still wants this comic strip to make sense/be funny/not be this goddamn terrible.

  15. sorialpromise

    This month, I honor the passing anniversary of Be Ware of Eve Hill’s father. To a great man that Eve loved. It happened far too soon. The good years were never long enough.
    Light and Life.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Well said.

    • be ware of eve hill

      Oh, wow. Thank you, @sorialpromise. I really appreciate your kind words. You have a good memory to remember my post from so long ago.

      Dad was never demonstratively affectionate. He was there, but he wasn’t going to show it. You had to kind of perceive it. I never heard him say, ‘I love you’ until the final years of his life.

      He wasn’t my birth father, but the greatest thing he ever did for me was just be “Dad”. He was my godfather and welcomed me into his home. He was supportive and had good advice when times were tough. You could always count on him. Needed a ride home from school after practice? Dad was there. Needed help with my homework? Dad was there.

      I moved away from him and Mom after graduating from college, but I always phoned them once a week. I always talked to Mom, even if it was only for ten minutes. Dad’s contribution was always Mom saying, ‘Your father says Hi’. I regret not telling Mom to put Dad on the phone more often.

      My little brother’s birthday is next month. It’s the big 6-0 so hopefully older brother will call with birthday wishes, and they’ll work out Dad’s funeral arrangements. Covid has receded. I’m praying that they can put aside their differences and give the poor man the funeral he deserves.

      Thank you. Wishing God’s best for you.

      • ComicBookHarriet

        I’m glad that you were able to see your dad’s love in his actions. Everyone has a different love language they speak, I’m glad your heart listened for the ways your dad told you he loved you.
        Praying for your family.

      • Gerard Plourde

        I hope that your wish for reconciliation in your family comes to pass. May the memory of your dad be a blessing.