Yeah, I’ve used that title before, but so what? Another single paneler…this thing isn’t just running out of momentum, it’s actually rolling backwards now. As much as it pains me to admit this, Les’ barely-veiled disgust is probably the funniest moment of this arc so far. I’ve always wanted to see Dick Facey go in that direction and become a full-time, no-holds-barred asshole, all the time, instead of just occasionally. But alas, the bearded dick with ears can’t even do that right.
Two things really stand out here. First you have Summer, who’s becoming less and less recognizable by the day. Please, just ship her back to KSU and let her prepare for her triple junior year already. And then there’s Holly’s “muscatel memory” gag, which has to be one of the bottom ten all-time FW gags ever. I mean yikes, man, that’s just awful.
And what a shitty wedding. Awful, awful pop-culture gags, no one taking it seriously at all, Summer lurching around making wisecracks and a pile of shitty pizza…if I was a guest I’d seriously consider stealing my gift back.
72 responses to “Take Another Pizza My Heart Now, Baby”
Funky was a fool last week to think he would get to eat before Funky Winkerbean‘s most important character, Les.
And this is the food he wanted? He insisted in being first in line to eat the Montoni’s pizza he makes every single day of his life?
So did Adeela prepare and deliver all the pizza by herself? Because I’m pretty sure every other Montoni’s employee is in the wedding party, or married to someone who is.
All that, and she wasn’t even invited.
There’s also Wally, who is the groom’s half-brother. He jolly well should be at the wedding, but hasn’t been seen. And Rachel, who has about a 50% chance of being at the wedding because a redhead woman has been depicted. I guess they’re doing all the cooking?
I assumed Wally has to be a guest, even though he hasn’t been depicted at all. It’s pretty said that Darrin and Summer have been featured more than Wally.
Wally is Funky’s cousin, not his son Which makes him Cory’s second cousin Except not really because Cory is Holly’s biological son not Funky’s
Wait a minute. Wally and Cory are half-brothers? Is Wally now Funky’s son? I can’t keep up with all of Batty’s retcons.
First his nephew, then his cousin and now his son?
It’s astounding how much detail in this strip falls by the wayside. Some day, I expect to see a strip where Funky wakes up in bed lying next to his wife, Livinia.
I guess Batty figured if the characters snarked about this event being catered by Montoni’s then we wouldn’t be able to. He underestimates us 😈
Just because the teller of a bad joke lets the audience know that they know it’s a bad joke, that doesn’t stop it from being a bad joke.
Speaking of bad jokes, I think it Funky who’s making the “muscatel memory” knee-slapper, as it appears to be in a separate word balloon from Holly’s. Besides, isn’t it just that much more hilarious that an alcoholic can crack wise about his addiction?
This is all just so sad on a myriad of levels.
That’s some really slipshod word balloon placement there at the end, where it’s not immediately clear who’s dropping that “muscatel memory” line. And on top of that, Funky is around pizza literally all the time. If being in the presence of pizza triggered his alcoholism, he’d be swilling grain alcohol from a gallon jug every morning.
He wouldn’t be able to swish his Listerine without chugging the bottle.
Funky Winkerbean, always asking the cutting edge questions! Today’s topic of debate: are multiple half-assed, awkwardly written, unfunny ‘gags’ worse than just one? I mean, at least there’s proof here the writer is working to give you quantity, if not quality. And as you’re never gonna get quality from FW, could this strip be considered an improvement?
OR … is Funky Winkerbean helping to provide real-world proof of a long-established mathematical formula? (i.e., it doesn’t matter WHAT you multiply zero by; you’re always gonna end up with zero.)
Could Tom Batiuk create a joke so bad that even he himself wouldn’t use it? Apparently, we’ll never know.
The idea that there is a cache of Batiuk’s rejected FW ideas is simultaneously both too laughable and too frightening to consider.
If it exists, I really want to see it.
First try at improving the dialog:
Les “Funky made the pizza with those round green wedding mint-discs!”
Not-Lisa: “That’s pepperoni.”
Summer-or-other: “Pepperoni isn’t green.”
Funky: “Should we tell them the pepperoni got moldy?”
Holly: “No, let Les enjoy himself.”
The word balloon situation on the far right is FUBARriffic. Who is saying that dreadful muscatel memory line? The “True..” part makes me think it’s Funky’s line. But… I dunno.
Pseudo-Psummer’s line is completely gratuitous and not funny. I get the feeling that things are somehow going to get even worse from here.
Just terribly designed and executed word balloons, with no voice indicator arrow on the punch line balloon, which kind of defeats the whole point of word balloon voice indication arrows. The strip is failing this week on every imaginable level.
The most terribly designed and executed balloon since the Hindenburg.
Oh, the humanity!
How hard can it be to draw a couple of lines connecting the two word balloons? That would also eliminate any confusion.
With the half-closed baggy eyes, the leaning on Funky for support, the inappropriate comment, and the smirk, Holly is the one who appears to be three sheets to the wind. She must be doing enough drinking for the two of them.
It’s sad how unrecognizable Summer is without her hoodie on. It seems like even Ayers can’t remember how she’s supposed to look.
It’s not even close. Summer’s slightly askew, devil-may-care tomboy hair was (other than the hoodie) her main distinguishing feature, and she wasn’t nearly as angular either. Now she looks like Marianne Winters and Becky were forced to mate. At first, I had NO IDEA that was supposed to be Summer until it was pointed out. I mean, don’t they keep a folder full of character reference drawings or anything?
Honestly, so many of the characters now look identical. Mort and Funky are indistinguishable. Darrin and Wally look awfully similar often. Donna and Holly (and basically every other female character that age other than Cindy or Cayla) look essentially the same.
It’s a visual medium. Your characters need to look distinctive and recognizable.
And it isn’t like he just spiffed up Summer a little here. She looks RADICALLY different than she did just a few months ago, during that ridiculous Lisa bird feeding arc.
It’s also an odd sartorial choice, considering this world runs on 1950s gender roles. It’s not a job interview, Summer, it’s a wedding. Why isn’t she wearing a dress? I smell heavy-handed foreshadowing.
How can it be so aggravating when it was so very predictable?! HOW?!
So when is Summer going to announce that she is transgender and transitioning to become a man? She is looking more and more like the son Les always wanted everytime she’s drawn now
Oh don’t give him ideas! I don’t even want to think about how tone-deaf he could go on that topic🤢
I predict she’d keep the name Summer, so he wouldn’t have to change anything going forward (and would probably forget and use female pronouns off and on), and the storyline would end with Summer making a superhero comparison to revealing her secret identity to the world.
Like the world-famous Elongated Man when he’s not looking for jewel thieves!
He’d never go there. But he MIGHT vaguely insinuate that maybe, someday, at some point in the future, Summer might make some informed, reasonable choices regarding her gender and sexual orientation, if she chose to, eventually. But then again, even that’s pretty far out stuff for FW to tackle.
Or Batiuk will hint that she’s become a fashion maven and is developing a range of styles that will appeal to, vaguely, somehow, everyone, no matter what.
Better question: When is Les going to announce that he’ll be transitioning to become a man?
HRT can do a lot of things…but it’s not magic.
This one is such a train wreck that we’re not even stumping for inducting “the perfect go-together” into the Batiuktionary. Which is completely understandable, because woof…
It’s like he was sitting there in his studio, agonizing over how to work this wedding premise, then said “ah, f*ck it, comic books and pizza”.
And then he probably screwed something up on his computer when he sat down to write it, and threw in multiple days of “technology is scary” jokes.
This is an arc that he highlighted as upcoming on his blog? This is storytelling that would be juvenile to a twelve year old.
I have binders of fourth grade fanfiction that are OFFENDED by your statement.
I stand corrected. Looking at all of the elements, including the messed up time sequence (reception before and after the ceremony), the storyline would be too juvenile for a four year old.
Seriously. It’s not that anything I wrote before I turned 13 was any good, it’s that everything I wrote before I turned 13 was chock full o’ action because that would be the only reason why I’d bother to write it in the first place.
If 9 year-old me wrote a Star Wars fanfiction, it’d be full of lightsaber battles, blaster shootouts, and space and ground battles in varying exotic locations. If Batiuk wrote a Star Wars fanfiction, it’d be about Luke and Han discussing comic books over pizza while Leia watched in the background.
What I love the most is Funkmeister is so cheap he couldn’t even be fucking bothered to bring out the good stuff for his own son’s wedding, or even a variety of offerings for that matter… Where are the Supremes with everything on it? The meat-lovers? Veggie-lovers? The stuffed crusts? The Hawaiian? The Buffalo chickens? The bacon-and-cheddars? The deep dishes? Or God forbid he create a new signature recipe to mark the occasion… Nope, Funkman had to roll out the same old tired-assed plain cheese and plain pepperoni as if he was catering a first-grader’s birthday party… I guess he didn’t bring along the salads, pasta, meatball subs and soft drinks because he thought it would be too tacky and low-rent?
You know what would have been really fun? One of those fake out cakes that LOOKED like a pizza until you cut into it. That could have been a cute gag.
I’ve had pizza days at work, for a team of 8 people, that had more variety than this catered wedding.
I had pizza parties in sixth grade that were better planned and more sophisticated than this catered wedding.
Oh, I’m sure he also provided all coffee you can drink.
1. “Muscle” isn’t a subset of “Muscatel” from which a pun can even be built. The “c” in Muscatel is a hard c, where in “muscle” it’s silent. This joke needs a pronunciation guide more than “Ultima Thule” did.
2. Muscle memory is “consolidating a specific motor task into memory through repetition.” This is an incredibly tasteless thing to say in connection with a reformed alcoholic. Funky having to resist his muscle memory is the battle he fights every day!
3. If your wedding invitations give guests a dinner choice of cheese or pepperoni, you might be a redneck.
4. I don’t think Tom Batiuk intentionally gives his snarkers things to work with. But that drawing of Crazy Harry makes me wonder.
5. The joke last week was “Funky gets to eat first.” And he didn’t even get to do that. And doesn’t care. Even this strip’s own jokes are just unimportant details just that can be ignored to write more jokes.
6. Yes, Les, pizza at a wedding is tacky. I notice your plate is still stacked two slices high, though.
7. Are we sure that’s supposed to be Summer? Why is she dressed like Ellen DeGeneres?
Why would Funkman be bitching and moaning about “eating first” when he eats his own pizza every day of the year?? Hell, he probably had leftover Montoni’s for breakfast!
I can’t help but notice that Les’s open contempt for the pizza didn’t stop him from grabbing a couple of slices. May he choke on pepperoni.
This is so bad that I’ve lost the will to snark. You win Batty.
Les acts like he’s auditioning for his own spin-off strip. He’s won his Oscar. He’s had his ego stroked at the highest level. He’s “protected Lisa.” He openly cried at leaving Hollywood. He needs to be in that world full-time, so he can treat it with contempt and inject his “real world artistic values” into it. Looking down his nose at the real world isn’t fun for him anymore. He’s grown beyond Westview.
Coming to the comics page in 2024:The World According To Les.
Also, TomBa’s use of “muscatel” is problematic. “Muscatel” used to denote a cheap, fortified wine is an Americanism dating to the end of Prohibition when inferior table-bound strains of muscat grapes were mixed with sugar and cheap brandy to make wine to satisfy pent-up demand. Muscat grapes are used to make dessert wines like Muscat Blanc and Moscato Bianco from France and Italy respectively.
Wine – another category that TomBa has little awareness of.
Also, muscatel is not champagne.
Batty sees a fancy word and rushes to use it as he thinks it makes him look smart and clever.
Harry’s workin’ his slice like it’s a pacifier.
2. I don’t care how tomboyish she is, I refuse to believe Roxy spent her entire childhood, teenage and adult years dreaming of a wedding day like this…
2a. Meanwhile in the real world, Roxy would be resenting the hell out of Cory for this low-rent fiasco for the rest of their short, miserable marriage. Because right now Roxy is a viral laughingstock on social media and if she had any female friends, they’re disowning her now.
2b. And look, I get it — Some folks out there either don’t want or can’t afford a lavish formal Godfather-style wedding and that’s cool… But that’s no excuse for the bottom-dollar half-assed food service, the fraud pastor randomly picked up of the street and sending up prayers to Saint William of Gates and the vows straight from the Book of Stan Lee which just make a mockery of the whole thing…
3. I don’t care — Unless Roxy+Cory specifically requested three dozen ONLY plain cheese and plain pepperoni pizzas, Funkmaster Flex is either an inconsiderate cheapskate motherfucker and/or he’s never catered a single event big or small in his whole pizzeria career, ever…
3a. To say nothing about presentation of this ‘spread’… Remember when Trump invited the Clemson football team to the White House and ordered out Arby’s or Burger King or whatever for 200+ people? EVEN THEN Trump at least had the basic sense to have the food laid out on silver platters and fine China so there wasn’t a giant pile of 200 empty burger boxes and paper plates in the corner… Funkman couldn’t even be bothered to do that much…
3b. Now I really want to see the guests start thumbing through that “shared” comics collection with those greasy-assed pizza fingers…
4. Just your daily reminder that this “wedding” inexplicably has it’s own dedicated website, custom hashtags on Instagram and TikTok or whatever, and its very own pre-ceremony PODCAST about the planning and preparations(!) Just for the hell of it, I’d love to hear what the podcast in the run-up for this wedding would sound like — It couldn’t be longer than 90 seconds, could it?
5. Am I the only one surprised that Lester has gone this long without saying the L-word??
And Port O John’s to take care of business.
Since nobody’s mentioned it yet…
How about that incredibly awkward set-up line? “But just sparkling water for you.” It’s as if Flunky, who’s starred in countless AA-meeting strips, still needs to be reminded that he’s a recovering alcoholic and can’t drink champagne. Or Holly just wants to twist the knife every chance she gets.
Of course, this being FW, neither of the above is the case; BatHack just needed a set-up for a lousy… something… (it doesn’t really even rise to the level of a pun).
Ya want a good “muscatel” pun, go to PDQ Bach. I once saw Schickele doing a piece that involved playing a plastic hose filled with wine (the “Tuba Mirum,” which he said was Latin for “a mere tube”) and talking about variants: the woodwind version, called the “Clarinet Sauvignon,” and the electrified version, the “Muscatelephone.”
That’s how you do a pun, Batty.
Well said. And there’s a very important subtext Tom Batiuk needs to take from Hannibal’s post. Ahem…
PDQ Bach is funnier than you.
With a dash of Spike Jones!
This strip demonstrates a lot of the major problems in Funky Winkerbean.
1. The story is written around the jokes, not vice versa. Tom Batiuk thought up “muscatel memory” and wanted it in the strip somehow. So he wrote this whole awkward scene, just so someone could say it. Same thing for Funky’s shower scene and yesterday’s “online minister” stupidness. These were jokes he wanted to tell, so he invented a context for them.
2. Because of Tom Batiuk’s needless “arcs must be a week” rule, he creates needless context for his needless context. He’s had to build three weeks of padding strips around an event that only needs to exist to support a couple stupid jokes. That whole “wedding planning week” existed solely so Rocky and her mother could sleep spend the night, to set up that shower scene. The rest is needless. The last two weeks also are just padding to give the joke setups some context. They don’t work.
3. Did you notice we skipped over the “I do”s? We cut from “by the power vested in me” to the pizza. I guess it isn’t important whether Rocky and Cory get married or not.
This does not contradict #2. This strip is loaded with filler, and yet still skips over what should be the important story points. This is how Funky Winkerbean manages to feel rushed and padded at the same time.
4. Today’s joke is tasteless, considering the strip wants us to take Funky’s alcoholism seriously. You wouldn’t say this to a reformed drinker!
5. OK, you wouldn’t say this to anyone ever, because all these jokes are poorly written and poorly researched. Batiuk is showing off his ignorance about his own subject matter. He doesn’t know muscatel isn’t champagne, and he doesn’t know online ministers don’t worship Bill Gates.
6. What is with all the dopplegangers in this arc? Summer, Darren and Maddie, all appear but don’t quite look right. And they’ve been consistenly not quite right the whole time. And the minister looks exactly like Malcolm. It needs to be clearer whether these are supposed to be the same people or not.
7. The obnoxious product placement. The word “Montoni’s” appears, at least in part, six times in the strip. During pizza box monster week, it’s more like a hundred. This isn’t even a real product! Does it really need to be harped on this much?
8. The complete lack of anything real about this story. We went from wedding planning week straight to the wedding, instead of the planning being well in advance. And the wedding itself skips around anachronistically. Getting back to #1, this is what you get when you don’t care about the story.
4. “Hey, drunkie! Remember when you were a big drunk? LOL! No booze for you, lush face! Har, har, har!”
No plate needed for Crazy. He just eats it right out of the box.
Are those China plates or Chinette? I guess this pizza came from the Catering Division of Montoni’s. You’d think they would at least rip the tops off the boxes before serving. Since, as has been observed, the entire staff of Montoni’s is (presumably) present at the wedding, maybe they made all the pizza the night before. Some people like day old pizza better anyway.
Strips like this make me believe Batty is just playing us. Even if we tried, I doubt many of us could come up with something as terrible as this. Is it possible Batty is doing it on purpose?
Batty: Hee hee hee! Wait until they get a load of this. It’s going to drive those beady-eyed nitpickers and hide-bound literalists nuts.
The horrible “jokes,” the lack of a cohesive story, aspects of the story that defy logic (i.e., the bride and groom have no friends of their own), and the utter childishness. I wouldn’t be surprised to discover Batty is pulling our collective legs here. It’s hard to believe anyone could be genuinely this bad.
If Batiuk had ever exhibited the least amount of self-awareness, it might be possible to accept he’s trolling us. But reading his blog and the intros to his FW collections? It’s clear that this is man who is completely self-absorbed, without being even the tiniest bit self-aware….
But for 15 years?
I have to agree with @hitorque. We’ve endured comic books and pizza. Can mentions of the Dead St. Lisa be far behind?
Les: (looking down at the ground, a single tear running down his cheek) I remember my wedding with Lisa. It was the greatest day of my life.
Cayla gives Les a reassuring smile and places a comforting hand on his shoulder.
Image of my shattered desktop computer out in the front yard.
So Wally wasn’t invited to the wedding because he has to keep Montonis open and cook all those pizzas
The story kind of leaves us to infer that, doesn’t it?