In The Ptomaine


The laziest gag of 2022 so far? Maybe. The laziest gag in FW history? Could be. The dumbest comic strip gag you’ll ever see? Oh…no freaking doubt.

“I’m fresh out of Dinkle ideas again. Hmmmm, let’s see. Oh! Holtron! That’s a beloved character from the past too! Maybe (heh heh) Dinkle could persuade Holtron to (chuckle) order band turkeys! Off-screen, of course, but still! I’d better write this down so I don’t forget it!”

Shudder. I mean, man, there’s the bottom of the barrel, the ground underneath the barrel, the decaying organic matter under the surface, some clay, slime and ooze, then there’s this gag, sitting there stupidly grinning at you like some sort of hideous slug that’s too disgusting to bother stepping on.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

22 responses to “In The Ptomaine

  1. “[S]tupidly grinning at you like some sort of hideous slug that’s too disgusting to bother stepping on.”

    Admit it, ED, you’re a poet. No shame in that.

  2. William Thompson

    “He was very persuasive. He said that if I didn’t buy six turkeys, he would sing a song. It’s called ‘Daisy.’ I caved like a pre-human ape with a bone.”

    • billytheskink

      A prescient song, though. “It won’t be a stylish marriage” describes ever single one we’ve ever seen in this strip.

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      Good day, Sunshine, Moon-Watcher! Hey, hey, Heywood R. Floyd!

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      And then the Pooles sang “Happy Birthday!” Oh, the pain!

  3. Gerard Plourde

    What are we supposed to believe Holtron used for currency to buy the (as usual) unwrapped smelly turkeys?

  4. Y. Knott

    If he’d come up with this and published it, say, 40 years ago — when the computer was featured regularly and the stupid “band turkeys” gag hadn’t been utterly beaten into the ground — this strip might have been worthy of a very mild grin.

    40 years out? It ages about as well as a political cartoon featuring Yuri Andropov starring in a remake of “Tootsie”.

  5. sorialpromise

    (I should never associate Ray Charles with Harry Dinkle! I am a bad man.)
    The whole week long
    (The whole week long)
    The old hateful man
    Keeps Dinkle on my mind
    (Dinkle on my mind)

    I said, a Dinkle
    We all a loathe you
    Comes a stench so clear
    For Dinkle we don’t cheer

    Other comics a reach for me
    Mary Worth smiles tenderly
    Still in the nightmares I do see
    Our curse leads back to you

    I said, Dinkle, oh Dinkle
    No peace I find (No peace I find)
    The old hateful man
    Keeps Dinkle on my mind
    (And Dinkle in the band)

  6. J.J. O'Malley

    By an amazing coincidence, “six band turkeys” is exactly how FW readers will be referring to this week’s arc after tomorrow’s side-splitter sees print.

    Please tell me Batiuk isn’t planning to stretch this non-joke out a second week.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Whenever you think FW has hit rock bottom, the ground opens up beneath your feet. Remember, it can always get worse and it probably will.

      • be ware of eve hill

        In this forum, I often share my failures trying to predict the outcome of certain Funky Winkerbean story arcs. That being said, there is one prediction of an FW story arc that is always a surefire winner.

        As bad as you think a story arc will be, Batty will always fail to meet your lowered expectations.

        • Y. Knott

          The worst Funky Winkerbean story arcs, in order, are always:

          3) whatever arc that just concluded
          2) whatever arc that we’re in the middle of right now
          1) whatever fresh hell is coming next

          • be ware of eve hill

            Hmm. You’re more pessimistic than me. You’ve posited the ‘Funky Winkerbean Spiral of Death’ theory. Every week is a never-ending cycle of being worse than the one that preceded it.

            I always believe the current week of strips is the worst. The following week can only be better. Right? Eventually, there will be a winner. Right? Week after week, the sense of futility waiting for that day wears heavily upon me.

            I guess I know how it feels to be a Cleveland Browns fan.

  7. Banana Jr. 6000

    I don’t find this one that bad. It’s a properly-constructed joke, at least. It’s forced and self-serving, but pretty low on the offensiveness meter.

  8. KMD

    Kate Bush is an unlikely contender to have the song of the summer in a welcome bit of 80s nostalgia–but TB reminded us all this week that not all 80s nostalgia is a good thing.

  9. Sourbelly

    The masthead has me wondering: Is Bebe Neuwirth guest starring in this arc?

  10. be ware of eve hill

    It’s curious how Batty keeps trotting out characters from ACT I (a.k.a. Vintage Funky Winkerbean) for these story arcs where two (male) characters are waxing nostalgic about the past. First, there was Mary Sue Sweetwater’s funeral, where Funky and Les discussed obituaries and death (I think). Now Dinkle and Dandelion-Head are whining about how hard band directors had it back in the day.

    These story arcs are poorly written, disjointed and hard to follow, and are among the most boring so far this year. I often find myself exasperated, pulling my hair and yelling at the screen, “WHAT IN THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!”

    At some point, I have to wonder what the ACT I character has done to deserve such treatment. They’re being killed off, and their reputations besmirched.

    Batty, please leave us with our memories of these characters. It feels like you’re dragging out the family photo album and drawing mustaches on everyones’ faces.

  11. be ware of eve hill

    Where is Holtron located nowadays? A few years ago, Holtron was moved to the Komix Korner for an in-store appearance. Was Holtron ever returned to Atomik Komix? Since Holtron’s early days at Westview High, it has been used as a prop for a Starsux Jones movie, appeared at Comic-Con, passed off onto Darin and Mopey Pete, gathered dust in the Atomik Komix offices, and given to the Komix Korner. Poor Holtron has been passed around more than a $20 hooker at a Hollywood coke party. Poor Holtron.

    I really hope this story arc doesn’t end with the death/destruction of Holtron. Suppose Holtron is still located upstairs in the Komix Korner. If so, there’s a chance it might overhear Dinkle talking about it and fall into despair and embarrassment. In the act of suicide, Holtron could fling itself down the stairs leading down from The Komix Korner. Holtron could somehow traverse up the stairs leading to the roof and fling itself down to the pavement below. Its cabinet battered and tape from its drive scattered about like blood.

    Perhaps Holtron has been hiding from TB in the Komix Korner for the past three years, trying to avoid being dragged into a story arc like this one.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Holtron does appear as background decoration in Atomik Komix in December. So it’s still there. Being used as a coffee table.

      • be ware of eve hill

        A few observations.

        1.) I missed that. Holtron has seemingly mastered the skill of hiding in plain site. The art of ‘How Not to Be Seen’. It’s Ninja Computer, hiding in plain sight disguised as a coffee table.

        2.) Judging by all of the SOSF “Holtron” tags, it seems like I’ve missed quite a few Holtron sightings. Holtron seems to find a way to lurk in my blind spot. Strange.

        2.) How did Holtron get back to the Atomik Komix office? The same way it arrived at the Komix Korner? By crane through a window? DeadSkunkHead hires a crane to transport Holtron from the Atomik Komix offices to the Komix Korner and back again? Seems like a ridiculous expense for ‘Free Comic Day’. How did DSH, Westview’s worst businessman, pay for it? Print money out of his butt?

        3). Please tell me you don’t have a database and/or spreadsheet listing all of Holtrons appearances.