A Smother’s Love


So maybe you thought that whole Keisha/Maddie/Summer thing might be going somewhere…well, guess again, snarker. Rule Number One: if it seems too involved, complicated and/or interesting for FW, it definitely is.

Obviously he was going for “cute” here, but, as usual, he landed squarely on “icky”, again. We’ve seen nothing in the past that would indicate that Holly is a psychotically overbearing mother, but she is today, because it’s funny, at least to one person. Now, in fairness, someone who doesn’t read the strip every day might (I said “might”) softly chuckle at this hackneyed premise, but when a regular character acts completely insane like this without any warning, it’s mostly just confusing.

And lest we forget, Cory is around twenty-eight years old, he was engaged for like seven years, AND he was a bomb disposal technician in Iraqistan, so I’d be willing to bet he’ll have no problem with navigating his wedding night without his mom’s help. And there’s the icky part, right there. This is yet another one he should have chucked into the “no” pile.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

49 responses to “A Smother’s Love

  1. RudimentaryLathe?

    Holly’s cockblocky behavior here is creepy but Corocky’s smirking reaction to it is downright psychotic. This honeymoon is going to be an absolute Oedipal shitshow. Luckily I’m pretty sure we won’t see these two again for another 4 years, if ever.

    • Epicus Doomus

      It might have made sense if he’d spent the week doing a bunch of “overbearing anxious mom” gags, but he didn’t, and up to this point we’ve seen nothing that ever indicated that Holly is obsessively overprotective of her son to this kind of abnormal degree. So it just comes across as really stupid, a cheap, lazy, ancient gag he pulled from his ass and threw out there in lieu of giving a shit.

  2. billytheskink

    Text? Who in this strip uses cell phones when flying out to have a chat will do?

  3. The “no” pile? Oh, Batdick chucked it, and then he plucked it for this nonsense filler week. We’ve just witnessed five days of nonrecyclable garbage recycled illegally for no good reason whatsoever. We’ll never hear from Cory or Rockhead again. Which I guess is the real happy ending for us.

  4. Y. Knott

    If we’re seeing the ‘yes’ pile, what utter sub-moronic drivel could possibly be relegated to the ‘no’ pile?

    The answer, of course, is that for Tom Batiuk, there’s no such thing as a ‘no’ pile. Every Batiukian idea is, obviously and by definition, a magnificent gem … a gem worthy — nay, demanding — of illustration, a wide readership, and the consideration of awards committees.

    Tom Batiuk has embraced the improv philosophy of greeting each idea with “Yes, And…” — which in his mind equates to “Yes, And This Will Get Me A Pulitzer”.

    • Epicus Doomus

      The hypothetical “no” pile, let’s call it. And if a “no” pile exists, I guarantee there’s nothing in it that’s been there for more than a year or three, as he no doubt thumbs through it when he’s all out of ideas and thinks “hmmm, these aren’t really THAT bad after all”. Just imagine reading a collection of FW outtakes…(shudder).

  5. J.J. O'Malley

    Hahaha, it’s funny because Cory McSmugmug knows exactly what to say to aggravate the woman who bore and raised him while his biodad skipped town, who spent her own money to complete his “Starsux Jones” comic book collection as a gift, who defended him when certain other Westview residents were mad at him for his monetary malfeasance, and who in all likelihood makes sure his incompetent arse stays employed at Montoni’s.

    Also, “And what are you going to do when you get there?” Is Holly talking about the trip to the honeymoon destination, or is she offering to advise her son on how to find his new bride’s G spot (which I can only assume will be the subject of Saturday’s strip).

  6. Gerard Plourde

    Does this mean he’s been reading Brooke McEldowney again?

  7. spacemanspiff85

    Yeah, there’s really no reason why anyone would add “eventually” other than to set up the silly non-punchline. If he had just set “text you” like a normal person, there would’ve been no issue at all. When you consistently have your characters act like no real human ever would, you’re missing the point of comedy.

  8. ian'sdrunkenbeard

  9. ComicBookHarriet

    You know what. No. I am going to actually take a stand and defend this one strip. Because it is a call back to characterization that has been established in the past…

    Of course, that was four years ago. And we haven’t heard a peep about it since. So it’s not a whole hearted, unreserved defense. Maybe if Batiuk wasn’t juggling 100 characters who are 99% the same person.

    But people in my family: Mom, Dad, Sisters, Aunts, Friends, are constantly giving me grief over how I won’t reply to texts or voice mail. So I strongly identify with Cory in this one, as well as sympathize with Holly. Doesn’t matter how old someone gets, it can be annoying when you can’t reach them.

    • J.J. O'Malley

      So, apparently the hair horn is a recent mutation?

    • ComicTrek

      Maybe the Army thing led her to become an overprotective parent? It doesn’t fully explain her lack of reaction to Cory wreaking mild havoc all over town as opposed to his simply not responding to her texts, but that’s the only explanation I can think of…

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Thanks CBH, I was thinking the same. She has been established as a worry-wart so this strip makes sense.

      What bothered me the most was the wedding itself. The interesting stuff was not shown, the dull stuff was. So many loose ends, it was just terrible all the way around.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      This is exactly how callbacks work in the Funkyverse. Being a worrywart isn’t really a trait of Holly’s, but rather something she exhibited for one week a long time ago. So Batiuk acts like it’s key to established character, and expects everyone to instantly remember it. As if Holly were Charlie Brown or Opus.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Yeah, true. Then you go to Batty’s blog or read an intro in one of his books and he goes on about all the rich characters he has created.

    • Mela

      I’m going to take a guess that Holly probably texts him ALL THE TIME over mundane things so of course he ignores her. And he responds to Funky because Funky rarely texts him and when it does it is for something he considers important. But credit to Funky for being a voice of reason here.

    • sorialpromise

      I can verify CBH’s failure to return texts and email.
      Not once has she ever returned my texts or emails.
      Of course, it might help if I actually had HER number and email, but reality is beside the point! Not once has she ever returned them!

  10. none

    “What are we going to do? We’re going to fuck like rabbits until sunrise and then fuck some more after sleeping until noon. Why, do you want some pictures? A movie? What did you think we registered an entire web domain for?

    … What? What’s with that look? You fucking asked.”

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      You inspired me to create Tom Batiuk’s “Snappy Answers To Stupid Questions”:

      At least those head-cracking smirks fit the dialog now.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        This works with Crankshaft too as Pmmm is always pestering Ed with stupid questions.

      • billytheskink

        That final panel, in particular, is just fantastic.

      • none


      • newagepalimpsest

        Now that’s funny!

      • ComicBookHarriet

        Quality work!

      • be ware of eve hill

        Excellent use of the windshield in panel #2 to indicate a closed window in panel #3. Bravo!

        Did Cory cut the conversation short by closing the window in Holly’s face, or did the answer leave Holly speechless? Funny both ways.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          I was going for the former. I added the glass texture (borrowed from panel 2) to create the impression that Cory just rolled up the window and now can’t hear any of Holly’s drivel. I thought about adding an empty word balloon to further show this, but the art without it had a certain majesty. Her face and open mouth indicated this well enough.

          • be ware of eve hill

            I thought so. Cory and Rocky’s smirks. Holly’s anger. None of your business, ma. Classic.

            Even without dialog, you made me laugh. I don’t think Batty has made me laugh in years. Not in FW anyway.

  11. newagepalimpsest

    Holly has seen into the future and knows that if her son finally has S-E-X, it’ll only be a matter of time before she gets all of the “grandparent and baby” gags that aren’t deemed good enough for Crankshaft.

  12. Doghouse Reilly (Minneapolis)

    The first thing we’re going to do is form the beasts with two backs. We can live stream it for you.

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      To which I quote *Othello*:

      Brabantio: Thou art a villain.

      Iago: You are a senator.

      How soon before Cory and Rocky are suckling fools and chronicling small beer?

      (None for you, Funky!)

      • Anonymous Sparrow

        To which I quote *Othello*:

        Brabantio: Thou art a villain.

        Iago: You are a senator.

        How soon before Cory and Rocky are suckling fools and chronicling small beer?

        (None for you, Funky!)

  13. Banana Jr. 6000

    This strip is really creepy. Whenever I think we’re being too hard on Tom Batiuk, he comes up with something like this. These people were in a combat zone, Holly, I think they can drive a Ford Focus to their shitty bed and breakfast without having to check in with Mommy. Oh, who am I kidding? They’re probably going to a comic book convention.

    What’s the point of giving characters a backstory if you’re just going to ignore it?

  14. And what of the blonde anon-o-maid-of-honor who’s been following Rocky around all week/ I guess he had to show that Rocky had at least one friend to invite. Cory had to enlist Durwood to be his best man, since all the people in Westview that are his own age despise him.

    • newagepalimpsest

      Yeah, the only high school classmates who showed up were the children of people who are friends with Funky and Holly. Holly apparently hasn’t been the only parent who’s been nagging overtime.

      And it’s impossible to say who Anonymous Blonde is, because no one spoke to her or acknowledged her presence. She could be another Westviewian ghost (which means that she will join the cast as a regular, living character soon.)

      • batgirl

        Probably not, since she isn’t Dead Saint Lisa or connected with Silver Age Comic Books.
        I had been thinking she was one of the Crankshaft twins who happened to be wandering around the park, looking for something to do.

  15. Banana Jr. 6000

    If one of my parents had done this as I was leaving for my honeymoon, it would have permanently damaged our relationship. It is not cute. It is not funny. It is insulting. It is selfish. It is disrespectful. It is ridiculously overbearing. Your son’s wedding day isn’t about you, Holly. And that’s for anyone. Especially a husband and wife who’ve both been war veterans and can jolly well handle themselves.

    If Funky WInkerbean has a theme, it’s of grown men and women being unable to cope with change or let go of the past. This is a prime example of how this unhealthy attitude infects everything in this world.

  16. Dood

    Does this mean Holly was behind the Lisa’s Legacy heist?

  17. Mela

    Really? She expects him to call/text on his wedding night? Ick.
    However did this woman survive his being in the military?

    Just once I’d like to see a mom portrayed in this strip as someone who is proud of the person their child has become and not as an overbearing harpy with unrealistic expectations from their adult child. I get it-moms will always be moms and will worry about their kids to a certain extent, but good heavens Holly is just awful here.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      “However did this woman survive his being in the military?”

      The way any Funkyverse character survives any emotional, physical, or financial hardship…

      Comic Books.

  18. hitorque

    1. I only wish Holly warned the happy couple not to wear each other out because they’re still both expected to report for their shift at Montoni’s starting 3pm tomorrow…

    2. It’s funny because the “Honeymoon Suite” they’re headed to is probably just a sectioned-off part of Montoni’s basement with a privacy sheet, a mattress and a TV…

    2a. It’s funny because I remind myself this is the Funkyverse and nobody ever has sex so Roxy and Cory’s “honeymoon” is almost certainly going to be them sitting up in bed all night binging on “The Walking Dead” or “Wandavision” or “Stranger Things” or whatever the hell it is the kids watch these days…

    3. I don’t get it — Where is Holly’s overbearing bitchy mom?? Last time we saw her she was micro-managing and second-guessing everything her daughter was doing for some dumb five-minute halftime baton twirling routine… Are we really supposed to believe she had ZERO fucking involvement in her own grandson’s wedding??

    • newagepalimpsest

      3. Holly’s mom is the Band Moms Suck character, only to be seen when Band Moms need to know how bad they are for not letting their children read comic books.

      Never mind that the story started by introducing a potential antagonist for her. Band Mom vs. Army Cadets Mom should have been… Well, “wild” is an awfully strong word, but at least they might have thrown hands over that “Sin-in-law” snipe.

  19. be ware of eve hill

    We never saw Rocky’s father. Who walked her down the aisle during the wedding ceremony? Her grandfather? Her mom? The sergeant from the local army recruiting office? The DJ?

    Did they have to twist one of the guests’ arms into “volunteering”? That’s just sad, Batty.

  20. be ware of eve hill

    I have memories of my mom similar to Holly in today’s strip. Mom was a control freak, not because she was domineering, but because she was an incredible worrier. She was a person who liked things orderly, and clutter made her nervous. She would agonize about our travels until she heard we made it home safely. When we didn’t call her when expected, she’d call us.

    For most of our married life, we lived 800 miles and 12 hours away from my parents. Sometimes we’d make the trip in one day. Other times might take two days. Sometimes we had side excursions, like visiting a college classmate, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, or the Gateway Arch. Whatever we decided, we had to let Mom know before we left.

    Mom always had to know our complete itinerary. For example:
    *my phone rings*
    Me: Hi, Mom.
    Mom: You haven’t called. Where are you? Is everything all right?
    Me: We’re not home yet. Neither of us felt like cooking dinner when we got home, so we stopped at a restaurant off the expressway. Then we decided to stop by the grocery store.
    Mom: Oh, I’ve been so worried. Why didn’t you call to tell me?
    Me: (annoyed) You said to call when we got home.

    Classic Mom!

    • be ware of eve hill

      My brother told me about an incident with Mom several years ago. One Saturday morning, he went over to a friend’s house to help him install a large new TV. After mounting the TV on the wall and setting it up, they decided to watch a couple of college football games.

      In the evening, when my brother returned home, there was a police vehicle exiting his driveway. Was there a robbery? A fire? Did something happen to a neighbor?

      My brother drove past his driveway, turned around in the cul-de-sac, and parked across the street. The police car pulled out of the driveway and stopped by my brother. They both lowered their driver side windows. The police officer asked him, “Are you (first name)?” My brother said, “Yes, that’s me. What’s going on?” The police officer replied, “Your mother is looking for you.”

      My brother entered his home to discover a half dozen messages on his answering machine. There were five messages from Mom and one from a friend of my parents who lived in my brother’s neighborhood. The neighbor told my brother he also walked over to his home and rang the doorbell.

      It turned out that the ‘big’ issue was Mom wanted to ask my brother to add a few items to her grocery list. My brother lives alone in a condo with a loft. Mom was always afraid he might trip, fall down the stairs, and there’d be no one to help him.

      There are a few more details. My brother was in his early fifties and had his cell phone with him. He still had a landline because he preferred it when on late night call for work. Mom was in her early nineties and had almost no technical acumen whatsoever. She never owned a cell phone. She never used a computer or had an email address. She never even learned how to program a VCR. She had my brother’s cell phone number, but it never occurred to her to call it.

      After this incident, to no one’s surprise, my brother got rid of his landline. Also, to no one’s surprise, she started to call him at work regardless of the time.

      Sorry, Friday’s are status day at work, and I’m in verbose mode.

      • sorialpromise

        This is why we always look forwards to Friday.

        • be ware of eve hill

          Me too. I look forward to Fridays too. I usually have a large glass of wine before dinner.😊

          Growing up with Mom, my bedroom was never messy. As I said, Mom hated clutter.
          Mom: (holding up a blouse and jeans) Where do these go?
          Me: Hanging in the closet?
          Mom: Hang them up. So… where does this go?
          Me: I know. I know. Dirty glasses go in the dishwasher. Shouldn’t you be bothering one of your sons?
          Mom: Hmm, I don’t believe you’ve cleaned behind your bookcases in quite a while. Why don’t you empty your bookcases, so you can move them and vacuum behind them? You can also dust your books as you move them.
          Me: Grrr!

          I kept my room clean, so she couldn’t interrogate me.