ComicBookHarriet here, reporting for duty! Ready to tackle whatever twisted bit of nonsense the bloated Diane Keaton look alike in the header presages.
First of all, many kudos to Billy the Skink, for seeing us through some peak Funkyverse navel-gazing. He was able slice these two terrible weeks to their awful core, and do it with twice the jokes and one third the words of my average post.
Please accept this AI generated award in my appreciation for your hard work.
Everyone has gradually noticed a problem with this year; a bland malaise only broken by Les winning an Oscar, a long awaited wedding, and random racism. I couldn’t put my finger on it, since no one week was THAT off the mark from things we’ve seen before. But I think I finally figured it out.
When the 50th anniversary of Funky Winkerbean hit this March we were all stunned that Batiuk let it pass uncommented on in strip. He leads into the day with a week of flashback pandemic grocery shopping and then celebrated the day itself with a nondescript bit of sub-Lockhorns level marital hijinks.
But a few weeks ago I realized this entire year has been, off and on, one big, unspoken, 50th anniversary ‘celebration’. We’ve gotten two times that “Summer Hears About Dead St. Lisa”, the entire Eliminator time travel arc, Batiuk digging out his ancient ecology strips to show off how he’s always been preaching from his soapbox, Dinkle reminiscing about the school computer, Crazy remembering his pizza spinning days, Mary Sue Sweetwater’s funeral, staring at the dry, empty, wreck of the old pool as a huge metaphor for what this strip has become.
Act I reminiscing is as old as Act II. That’s why a single week of this didn’t really stand out.
But this year we are INUNDATED with it.
And, so far, none of it has had any deeper meaning or purpose other than member.
Batiuk broke his arms patting himself on the back over how he let his characters age, and broke the UNWRITTEN RULE OF COMICS that time is not allowed to pass.
The Second Cartooning Commandment: Thou shalt return to “Go” at the start of each new strip, and your characters shall never grow up.
I refer to this as the “Peter Pan Principal,” and it’s one of the reasons that the newspaper comics have been relegated to the stagnant backwaters of the entertainment industry. Okay, before I continue, I should acknowledge that I’m speaking in the broadest of generalities here and that there have been, and still are, obvious and wonderful exceptions to what I’m about to say. I get that, I accept that, and I don’t care about that. I’m trying to make a point here, and I don’t want the waters muddied with contradictory facts and stuff. Simply put, I had moved my characters into their adult lives and was on a roll with the work collected in this volume as I attempted to plot their futures. Meanwhile, their companions on the comics page were on a roller coaster that returned to the same starting point every day. Every. Day.From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 9
This has been posted before, maybe even by me, but every time it makes me roll my eyes. Because yeah, maybe Mary Worth, or Dicky Tracey, or Spiderman or Gil Thorpe are always some ambiguous age within an established decade of life that they’re not allowed to progress beyond, but comic book time passes for them. A character from a previous storyline shows up years and years later, and what happened in that previous story is relevant to the plot.
And with that….I have to close. We have cows out over at the Van Fleet Place and I gotta run dad some flashlights.
See yalll tomorrow!