Funky “Dice” Winkerbean

August 1, 2022 at 5:07 am
[T]his week will have very little to nothing to do with estate planning as Batiuk spends an entire week with Funky just making an ass of himself…[a]nd each day this man leading the seminar will start anew not remembering how Funky was a complete gratuitous asshole just minutes earlier…

The “Muppet profile.” How can one have a mustache but no upper lip?

Having just been called untrustworthy to his face, Seminar Guy takes a deep breath, forces a smile, and launches into his presentation. Which, though there’s a projector in the room, seems to consist not of a slick PowerPoint, but of stick figures named “Jack and Jill.” Little wonder that the infantile Funky has trouble taking this seriously.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

34 responses to “Funky “Dice” Winkerbean

  1. William Thompson

    Funky has become so childish that he doesn’t seem old enough to know any nursery rhymes.

    Why is Batiuk working so hard to destroy Funky’s character? Is he going to kill him so he can end the strip, like he did with John Darling? Or is he clearing the scene for Les Moore?

    • Hannibal's Lectern

      Batty seems to be turning Funky into Les. Maybe he’ll eventually do this with all his characters, so the strip will be nothing but Fat Les, Skinny Les, Boy Les, Girl Les, etc., all making dickish remarks to each other and smirking.

      Plus komix, of course.

      • William Thompson

        Sometimes I think that FW is an ingenious sci-fi scenario. It could be a Matrix scenario, populated entirely by one personality type, with social scientists and psychologists studying how such a culture tears itself apart. Or it’s a base on an alien planet, where androids are being trained to infiltrate and demoralize human society. Or it’s a Buddhist time-travel/reincarnation scenario, with one soul living out a Westview “life,” then dying, and being sent into the past to become a second character. Then dying and going back in time to be reborn as a third character. Over and over, until Westview is a tangle of time-loops and it’s one soul making itself miserable in an infinite number of ways.

        Then I realize it’s just badly-written crap.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          FW really is like a Twilight Zone episode that’s hiding something about the whole scenario. Like “The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street” or “The Hitchhiker” or “Third From The Sun” or “Five Characters In Search Of An Exit.” I’d love to see the twist ending and hear the final summation that would make Act III make sense. And if anyone could pull that off, Rod Serling was the guy.

      • Anonymous Sparrow

        And pizza!

  2. RudimentaryLathe?

    Oh FFS…..
    Up until about a year ago I considered Funky one of this strip’s more tolerable characters. Now I want to see him stick his dick in a badger hole. I don’t know why Batty goes out of his way to make his characters so hateable, I can only watch the trainwreck unfold.

  3. Epicus Doomus

    So we agree: the gag this week is that Funky is a rude, stupid and really annoying jerk. It’s odd, as it’s never really been Funky’s style to just be an obnoxious dick for no reason at all, but then again I might be remembering it wrong. This strip, it plays these weird mind games with you sometimes. Like you’re certain you remember something vividly, only to discover it was actually way different (and way worse, too) than what you thought you remembered. Or like when a character’s last name is Freeman, then it suddenly becomes Fairfield with no warning, for no reason at all. I bet there’s at least one FW reader in the world who thinks Flash Fairfield and Flash Freeman are two different people.

    Imagine this exact scenario playing out in real life. You’re at this thing with your spouse and you’re trying to take it seriously and maybe learn something and this fat annoying asshole starts being a sarcastic dick and making awful jokes while the guy you came to hear is trying to speak. You’d come up from behind him with a folding chair, brain him, then urge everyone else to join in, right? Or at the least, you’d tell him to shut the f*ck up, then back it up with angry scowling or something. I know I would. Needless rudeness is just never acceptable in my book.

    • Jimmy

      I didn’t read Act II, but I think Funky had a fall from grace because he was a bombastic, obnoxious alcoholic and terrible businessman.

  4. billytheskink

    Maybe Jack and Jill live in California. Didya think of that, Funky? Huh?

    It doesn’t even have to be California… Funky’s house is on septic, he should know water ain’t cheap.

  5. This estate planner serves up a huge softball of a punstarter to Funky, who proceeds to hit a foul tip back to the catcher’s glove.

    Batdick, Stephan Pastis knows how to set up a long, belabored, deliberately predictable pun. You don’t.

    • Hannibal's Lectern

      Reading yesterday’s strip, I thought that in the real world, the presenter would actually be looking for a “snappy answer” like Flunky’s, because it would be his intro into explaining how financial trusts work and why you might want to have one as part of your estate plan. But, of course, this week is looking like nothing more than a collection of random (ran-DUMB?) jokes that Todd is taping together (badly, of course) by setting them in an estate planning presentation. Look for another completely disconnected lame joke tomorrow.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        The point of a softball question like “what does trust mean to you” is to steer the conversation where you want it. Whatever the person says, you can segue to what you were going to talk about anyway. And, completely independent of that, you need a plan to handle belligerent attendees. This guy failed on both counts.

  6. be ware of eve hill

    STFU a**hole. You are not funny. YOU ARE NOT FUNNY!

    I kind of hope Funky forces this poor guy to drink because I’d love to see the guy get his revenge by heckling Funky at his next AA meeting.

  7. Jeff M.

    Oh my God, I hate this with the fire of a thousand suns, because I know none of the interesting things initiated here will play out in an interesting way. Funky will just be an asshole for a week and that will be that. It’s been said here before, but Funky, as a 12-step person, should know that he is the epitome of the so-called “dry drunk” as in – yeah, you quit drinking, but you still exhibit all of the asshole behaviors that made people hate you as a drunk. Will Wig Funky call him out? Will anyone? No! That’s what enrages me – the assumption that readers will *identify* with Funky. Who thinks this kind of behavior is OK or “funny”? I shudder to think. Although we all know who does. He calls it “writing.”

    • Epicus Doomus

      The way I see it, a real writer would first establish that Funky and Holly have been looking into estate planning, but have yet to find anything that suits their needs to their satisfaction. Perhaps they’d make a remark or two to the effect of “it just seems like everyone just wants our money”. Then they would go to a particularly sleazy presentation, where they’d be suitably annoyed and or skeptical.

      But instead, he decided to just plunge right in to the annoyed and skeptical part, without establishing anything at all. In fact, the implication is that this is the first they’ve looked into it. And on top of that, Funky appears to be quite unhappy and resistant already, which is another angle he could have taken, but that would result in conflict, which BatYam rarely ever does. Having Funky and Holly arguing over the pros and cons could be the basis for a decent story (by FW standards), but instead BatHam appears to be attacking the concept of estate planning seminars themselves, which is honestly kind of a weird gripe to have.

      In short, he can’t do anything right. And sometimes all you can really do is stand back at a healthy distance and admire the consistency involved in badly botching every single story.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        A real writer would know this isn’t a story. “Estate planning” is a case of People Sit On Chairs. It’s a banal human task that isn’t worth talking about. It has no plot, no conflict (not even where it should), no jokes, has nothing to say about the subject, explores no relationship between any characters, isn’t a proxy for something relevant, and reveals no information about anything. It’s not even Narative Filigree which is details for the sake of details. Batiuk only does that for his comic book stuff. And then he ignores it anyway.

        • Hannibal's Lectern

          Do people even go to “estate planning” presentations anymore? Estate planning isn’t all that complex, there aren’t all that many decisions to make; it’s not like investment planning or anything. When we did it several years back, we went to a lawyer, filled out a long, standardized checklist, made one or two decisions, came back a few weeks later to sign papers, and a few weeks after that we picked up a big fat book of legal documents (copies of the ones now on file with the government). And that was that. I was watching TV the other night, and saw an ad for a company that allows you to do most of your trust, will, etc., stuff online (I think at some point you still have to see a lawyer or notary to sign papers). That’s how cut-and-dried and mechanical the process is.

          Now that I think of it, I’m at the age where my mailbox is routinely stuffed with offers of a mediocre banquet-hall dinner in return for my listening to presentations about retirement investments, reverse mortgages, medicare “advantage” plans, “active adult” residences, etc… but I can’t recall getting one that mentioned estate planning.

  8. Banana Jr. 6000


  9. Dood

    Funky Winkerbean, everybody.

  10. Maxine of Arc

    Everybody in this room, not just the poor bastard who has to try to facilitate this meeting, now HATES THIS GUY. And they should.

  11. Solo Car Date

    As much as I try to avoid retaining any Funky Winkerbean in my head for longer than necessary…this is reminding me of that obnoxious “I got that reference!” lady from Les’s book signing a while back. I’m not sure which I’m more annoyed by.

  12. Jimmy

    So, Funky can remodel a kitchen, but he thinks $350K is a lot of money for retirement? Someone’s going to be a ward of the state.

  13. I sincerely hope that this does NOT represent how Tom Batiuk wishes he could behave in real life. However, my fears remain.

  14. Hannibal's Lectern

    Not directly related to the current “story,” but… a couple weeks ago I managed to stop by the Lock 15 brewery in Akron. Tried a few tasters of their beers, had a burger, looked at the art on the walls. It was interesting. The beers were solid B+ to A- grade craft brews, the burger was tasty, the wife’s salad was reportedly good.

    Just how many of the beer labels were actually drawn by Chuck Ayers is unclear to me, as I saw only one that was signed (the rest had no artist signature at all). There’s a large chalk cartoon featuring characters from the Simpsons, Futurama, Bob’s Burgers, etc., on one wall, clearly NOT drawn by Ayers (I forget the name that appeared under it).

    What struck me as the most Funky-esque attribute of the brewery was the beer names and their backstories: more than half were in some way associated with a tragic event in Akron history. The “1913 Pilsner” is named for the flood of that year which destroyed the canal for good; the “Doodlebug Dubbel” is named after a passenger train that collided with a freight in 1940, killing 43; the “Over the Top Berliner Weisse” (the only beer whose art was signed by Chuck) is named for a roller coaster that derailed in 1918, killing four; the “Killer Fog” New England IPA is named for the cholera epidemic of 1826… I’m kinda surprised they haven’t done a “light” beer named after the airship USS Akron, which crashed in 1933 and killed 73 of its 76 crew members. Give them time…

    • batgirl

      Hm. Is that the brewery being “Nordic” per TB’s definition?

    • Rusty Shackleford

      The 1913 was my favorite beer. I’m not a big beer person, but I thought their menu offered more than the typical brewery menu.

  15. hitorque

    Funkenburger’s been drinking again…

  16. Banana Jr. 6000

    What do you even say to this? This story is a cipher in almost every direction. And where it is something, it’s completely wrong, and detestable. I mean… is this really Tom Batiuk’s best work? This isn’t some Phil Spector “Let’s Dance The Screw” situation where he’s deliberately submitting unusable crap to spitefully fill a contract obligation? Why is this man so angry at the world?

  17. What’s the odds that Funky asks the question “What did I die of?” before the end of the week?

  18. newagepalimpsest

    Meanwhile, the people at the Westview AA meeting are each getting their turn to speak without interruption, no one’s making shitty puns, and there are finally enough donuts for all.

  19. be ware of eve hill

    Next time, Holly should leave the child at home.

  20. Y. Knott

    A logic puzzle:

    A) Crankshaft is generally agreed to be at least a somewhat marginally better comic strip than Funky Winkerbean.

    B) The Crankshaftening of Funky Winkerbean is generally agreed to be a negative development.

    If both statements A) and B) are true, which of the following applies?

    1. We need to reevaluate Crankshaft.

    2, We need to reevaluate Funky Winkerbean.

    3, Funky Winkerbean has passed the narrative event horizon and has now become such vortex of storytelling suckiness, no developments within its world can ever possibly be positive.