Oh boy, more unwelcome guests in today’s strip… and also Bingo. Bingo can stay, he’s cool.
He’s also old and decrepit… because of course he is. What tremendous misfortune, to exist in the Batiukverse. Even the cats have to be old and sad and subject to awful wordplay about hips.
Hopefully Bingo will take his claws to the new choir robes in the back after these yutzes leave.
48 responses to “A Cat, a Pat, a B flat, and an old bat”
Hey, BatYam! Leave those pets alone! Seriously though, does EVERYONE in this strip have to be decrepit and old? I thought that’s what “Crankshaft” is for. This is just a needlessly depressing way to use a really dumb pun, and if he had an editor worth a damn it would have ended up in his overflowing wastebasket.
Only to have it fished out of the wastebasket by Hal Foster.
“This cat sleeps a lot.” “He must have an age-related hip injury.” Um… have these people ever MET a cat?
Of course not… when TB needs to do important research for a cat story arc he books a flight to the Catskills or Kathmandu or Catalina Island and takes photos of things he wants Ayers to draw in the background.
Or re-reads Thomas Wolfe’s fiction set in Old Catawba.
Look homeward, Funky Winkerbean!
I’ll tell you this: if he’s foreshadowing some kind of sick, depraved cat funeral arc, I’m not going to be pleased.
UNLESS that then morphs into some kind of Pet Semetary homage.
Ghost Bingo meets Ghost Lisa?
Of course you’re not going to be pleased. This is Funky Winkerbean.
Batiuk should shed his sense of wordplay.
Damn, I’ve never seen so many ugly old people. I was chatting with an old high school friend and he reached out to me as he was rereading some old Bloom County strips and it brought back memories.
I told him about this page and asked if he read FW anymore. He said Crankshaft is palatable but FW is unreadable. He thinks Batty is injecting too much of his senior problems into the strip. I couldn’t agree more.
Speaking of “Bloom County,” Bill the cat did this sort of thing funnier.
“But now he’s just a hip cat.” Indeed, all creatures great and small in the Batdickiverse are defined by their miseries and injuries. Nothing else matters. It’s all about the suffering. Happy Sunday, everybody!
That looks like Andy Warhol in the banner.
I hope it is Andy Warhol. Then maybe we’ll get something more interesting, like a long arc showing nothing but Bingo sleeping, followed by another long arc showing nothing but the steeple of St. Spires.
Lillian McKenzie and Richard Belzer. Separated at birth?
If it wasn’t for panel 3, I would not have known that wasn’t a man. I would have never guessed that was Lillian. I have to admit, I came to this party late. My first FW in years was in late 2019. The woman was being deported. Then I did not begin reading Crankshaft until last year. So most of my knowledge is quite limited regarding Lillian. Apparently she and Cranky are often at odds. Then TB set her up to be sexually assaulted by Mort. So she has been in FW. But this artwork is horrible. Ayer’s is surely losing his skills. It is like he is drawing the woman for the very first time and he did not know she was a female. Here is a hint Chuck: when you are told to draw a woman, at least make her look feminine!
I’ve been reading FW since the mid-late 1970s and my Lillian knowledge is just as limited as yours is. I know she’s from that other Batiuk strip I do not read, and that’s about it. She’s related to some other “Crankshaft” character somehow, but then again, who isn’t? You can read FW for literal decades and still be completely clueless re: what the hell is going on. Like when that weird version of Summer popped up at Cory’s wedding. I mean, what the hell was THAT all about?
I thought it looked like a man too, hence my reimagining the drawing as Andy Warhol. I didn’t even piece together that’s supposed to be Lillian. Lillian isn’t that mannish.
Lillian was created back when Batty was chasing awards and needed a way to inject more misery into the strip. So he created this stupid backstory of how Lillian prevented her sister from finding true love. Of course, he couldn’t stop there and so he turned her into a female Les.
It’s called writing. More accurately it’s called bad writing.
It’s been a while since I’ve written a rant. The Lillian-Lucy-Eugene love story arc totally bugs me.
Scene, the early 1940s:
Lillian met Eugene first and wanted to be more than just friends. They went out on a date to the beach park one night and took her younger sister Lucy along. The Wisteria Ballroom was having a dance contest. Lillian didn’t feel confident enough to partner with Eugene, so she declined. Eugene danced with Lucy instead, and they fell giddily in love. Lillian became jealous of her sister’s happiness and instantly became Lucy’s rival.
Eugene was about to enlist and asked Lucy in a letter to marry him. He wrote her a letter because he was too shy and nervous to propose in person. Eugene mentioned in the letter that if she didn’t respond, he’d understand her answer was “no” and that he’d never bother her again. (yeah, I know). 🙄
The jealous Lillian intercepted the letter and never gave it to Lucy. Eugene shipped out to fight either Nazis or Japanese (which he apparently didn’t have any problem being shy or nervous about). When Lucy found out Eugene had shipped out without a word, she had a nervous breakdown and was basically in Lillian’s care for the rest of her life.
The comic strip does nothing to explain why Eugene didn’t inquire about Lucy when he returned to Centerville after the war. The comic strip also does nothing to explain why, after Lucy died, Eugene’s ghost was waiting for her in the Wisteria Ballroom. In later Crankshaft comic strips, Eugene crashed a class reunion and was still very much alive. Eugene is the Phil Holt of Crankshaft.
TL;DR, Eugene and Lucy were/are the dumbest people on the face of the earth and deserved what they got.
There’s plenty of stupidity to go around.
Lillian: Getting Jealous of Lucy and hiding the letter.
Eugene: Leaving the marriage proposal up to possible miscommunication and giving up so easily.
Lucy: Totally falling apart after Eugene shipped out.
Batty: For writing it.
Preach, sister. I detest that arc too. You didn’t even mention the worst part: Lillian’s quest to take a dead letter between two dead people back to a dead ballroom, as if this redeemed her for shattering two people’s lives out of spite. And acting like she did all this work off-panel, which nobody ever saw and which didn’t affect Lillian in any way. And then of course Lillian gets to be Funkyverse Famous Author #76.
We’ll have to agree to disagree about the worst part of the Eugene-Lucy-Lillian story. I don’t know if you’re married, but imagine years of potential happiness lost due to one miscommunication. Two lives were ruined with one failed communiqué. What if Eugene’s letter was lost by the post office?
My relationship with my husband started with a phone call. He called to ask me out on a date. My roommate picked up the call because I wasn’t home. He told my roommate he’d call back, but she asked for his name and phone number anyway. I called him back, he asked me out, and we started dating. What if my roommate didn’t give me the message? What if I didn’t return his call? What if he got cold feet and never called again? Oh, well, what has turned out to be 36+ years of wedded bliss down the drain. Shucks, it wasn’t meant to be. I guess I’ll just be a spinster for the rest of my life.
Batty goes for romantic tragedy, but squarely hits painfully idiotic instead.
I think Eugene’s proposal is the second most lame marriage proposal in the history of FW. Second only to Mopey Pete’s “proposal” to Mindy. Mopey Pete loses his engagement ring fund trying to impress Mindy by playing a carnival game. Mopey Pete is given a stuffed tiger to go away after annoying a carny with his ineptitude. A dejected Mopey Pete whines that he spent all the money he had saved for Mindy’s engagement ring. Idiot Mindy gleefully grabs the stuffed animal and calls it her Engagement tiger. So they’re engaged? Did Mopey Pete ever actually pop the question?
To use Lillian as his author-avatar in Crankshaft, Batty probably felt he needed to make Lillian a more likable character. He tried to use the dead-letter-to-the-dead-ballroom story arc to show Lillian felt some remorse.
Batty: Look! Lillian is remorseful. She’s not so bad. She’s human. We all make mistakes.
Nope. Nope. Nope. EPIC FAIL!
Of course, Batty later blew that story arc out of the water. As I wrote above, Batty brought Eugene back from the dead.
Eugene crashed the Crankshaft class reunion to…
(Head desk #1) …say he was sorry to hear Lucy had died. A sputtering Lillian attempted to make an apology for purloining the letter, but Eugene cut her off, saying she had nothing to apologize for. Noooooo! We wanted to see Lillian suffer, but Batty let her off the hook! Idiot Eugene still doesn’t know!
(Head desk #2) …have Lillian sign his copy of her book, ‘Murder in the Bookstore’.
(Head desk #3) …suggest to Lillian that she write a book about Lucy’s life. That book turned out to be ‘Roses in December.’ (Tom Batiuk says, “Available in bookstores now, buy a copy.” Shameless whore).
Speaking of ‘Roses in December’, there’s more evidence of Lillian’s abuse of Lucy. We repeatedly saw Lillian making light of Lucy’s Alzheimer’s before she died from the disease.
Lillian McKenzie. What a (deplorable) character!
I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to disagree so much. You’re 100% right of course. I was just more offended by Lillian’s “atonement arc”, where she absolved herself of her monstrous deed, by doing this empty, meaningless task for two long-dead people. There’s certainly room for more than one crowning moment of awful in the Funkyverse.
Nah, Lillian’s been around forever. She’s just essentially the person created for Crankshaft to torment, which has been the MO of the Crankshaft comic since the very beginning.
What’s odd is how he’s recently been presenting her sympathetically. He absolutely *hated* her for years and loved doing terrible things to her.
Lillian today resembles Boris Karloff’s Imhotep, wearing a novelty wig and glasses. It’s a mystery why Ayers is having difficulty drawing Lillian in FW lately. Chuck illustrated Crankshaft for thirty years!
Lillian in the early days of Crankshaft played the role of the oft put-upon neighbor. Kind of the George Wilson to Ed’s Dennis Mitchell (American Dennis the Menace). Several years ago, Batty made the decision to feature Lillian more. He made Lillian his author-avatar in Crankshaft, much like Les Moore in FW. Some Lillian author arcs were a month long and left many readers wondering where the comics strip’s titular character had gone.
Much like the neglected pool featured in this week’s FW, Batiuk’s official Crankshaft webpage has been neglected for more than a decade.
Just check out the ‘Meet the Cast page.’ It’s more like a missing persons list.
FYI: Adeela has been deported. She’s been shipped off to Batiuk’s Isle of Forgotten characters.
On the plus side, Batiuk’s Isle of Forgotten Characters is the largest landmass in Batiuk’s Archipelago of Failed Award Whoring. Adeela’s already friends with Khan, Reena (or whatever the *third* Afghan character’s name was), Logan, Malcolm, Bull Bushka, Mary Sue Sweetwater, Becky’s disembodied arm, the faceless gay prom couple, and the second-newest arrival: Ruby Lith.
Say hi to Sadie Summers, Adeela.
Whereas what we want to happen? Rat-a-tat-tat, a coup d’etat, that’s that, and some other strip finally gets an at-bat.
What is Lisa’s presence in the nameplate here portending? Is she going to ghost Dinkle, the cat or both?
Crankshaft: This was based on Batty trying to get his books displayed at the KSU bookstore.
Mary Worth: They do dream sequences well..especially if it involves Wilbur.
You made me rush over to check out Mary Worth:
“The Wilburring of Dawn 1, 2, 3.
Those saps over at MW don’t realize how good they have got it. Most of them are criticizing Ms. Moy. Let them spend a week here at FW, and they will be showering gifts at the MW creative team. There is plot. Conflict. Unlikeable characters. Horrible decisions. And Sunday wisdom quotes. (Please excuse me as I wipe a few tears from my FW stained eyes.) l checked back, FW only has one of those.
Aww yeah, Moy is great. She definitely looks out for her readers and throws out some tasty little morsels for us to enjoy. Remember the “bronies” bikers she featured some time ago? Magnificent!
Unlike Batty, Moy and Brigman are having fun with their strip.
Of course, the cat’s dying.
It’s the perfect intro to more Lisa, isn’t it? “Oh, life is so cruel and short and fleeting. Even a kitty cat we just met is already old and infirm. Here’s Lisa for the 900th time SINCE SHE DIED.” A major Hollywood biopic and a hand-delivered Oscar for doing nothing clearly weren’t enough attention for these two egomaniacs. Five months later, Batiuk’s already propped her corpse up for another milking. Fuck Lisa.
Since a cat appeared to Les before Lisa died, maybe Lisa has to appear to someone before a cat dies.
Yeah, it’d be just like this strip to kill a cat just to have an excuse to drag Lisa out again. It’s already done it once.. And Batiuk’s already said on his blog “that (the Eliminator) helmet will be making an encore appearance in Funky this Fall.” Do we even need to guess where that’s going?
You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a Dead Saint Lisa story arc.
At least Bingo would be a swinging cat again. Sorry. (hanging head in shame).
That Darn Cat!
Not to be confused with the “Batman” two-parter, “That Darn Catwoman” and “Scat! Darn Catwoman.”
Bingo was a swinging cat until we had him neutered. Then he lost control of his bowels and became a scat cat. That’s our Bingo!
Be ware of Eve hill has the FW quote of week:
“You can’t swing
a dead cat without hitting
a Dead Saint Lisa story arc.”
I am a better man for reading this!
That doggone be ware of eve hill! I am resting comfortably after a late lunch, enjoying her takedown of Lillian. I’m thinking: That woman already has the best quote of the week. She is game, but how can lightning strike twice?
Boom! Crack! Zizzle!
Tell me this doesn’t beat out the first quote?
**(Tom Batiuk says, “Available in bookstores now, buy a copy.” Shameless whore.)**
I will use “Shameless Whore” as a euphemism forever!
[I said this yesterday, but the more I read the great and wonderful Eve, the more I respect her husband! Mr. BWOEH must be a heck of a man. A superior individual. A better man than I am!]
Thanks. I obtained my sense of humor via osmosis with my husband. His whole family is funny. My father-in-law is probably the funniest man I know. He’s always cracking me up.
I keep expecting Crazy Harry to show up and demand if the cat is really “hip.” I mean, the guy was asking Funky about hip hop earlier this year. I mean, Dinkle and Lillian are just as “hip” as Funky–and Bingo is far more “hip” than any of these pasty relics.
A callback from just yesterday:
IDB, did you know the Sunday “hip” cartoon was coming? Or did you use your dread YouTube powers to summon it into existence?
I have ESP – Extrasensory Psychosis.