No really. I’m sorry.
I guess August 2022 is the month that Funky Winkerbean decided to try to out dick Les ‘Dickface McSmuggy’ Moore in a dickishness contest.
Because there is NO WAY that high school was more daunting, stressful, confusing, scary, exciting or heart breaking than beating cancer, overcoming alcoholism, surviving a car accident, weathering a divorce, losing a friend to cancer, raising a troubled son, and having a son in the military.
(Notice how only ONE of those things was a positive? For Pete’s Sake, Tom. Lighten up!)
Do we enshrine our high school years? Some of us, yeah. Not all of us, because like Holly said, they’re just FOUR YEARS. For some people they were pretty low key.
I had a pretty good time in high school. I wouldn’t say I ‘enshrine’ it, but I look back on it fondly. I had a group of great friends. I liked 75% of my teachers. I packed my days with extracurriculars. That’s what I miss the most about it. The thing wistfully wish I could get back is being called on to perform and having all of those creative outlets and the buffet of interests to pursue: band, choir, art, drama, sports, FFA.
The people that ‘enshrine’ high school don’t do it because it was the superlative apex of emotional experience. If someone had high school as the most exciting or heart-breaking time in their life, then they died soon after graduation, either literally or figuratively. People recognize high school as a distinct, notable time because it is a liminal period. The border between childhood and adulthood.
For many it’s the last time they’ll put on uniforms, play instruments, have their names on score boards, sing in a choir, and be asked to draw a picture. At the same time, they’re getting a little taste of growing up, dating, driving, spit-balling possible futures at a half-interested guidance counselor.
But after that, they have the rest of their lives.
I’m not married. I don’t have kids. I live in the same town I grew up in. I willingly put hours into writing a Funky Winkerbean snark blog every few months. If anyone is going to pretend High School was the MOSTEST TIME EVAR GUIZE, it’s going to be someone like me. But no. Life since then has been just as much, and often more daunting, stressful, confusing, scary, heart breaking AND exciting. I’ve gone on adventures. I’ve made forever friends. I got a tattoo on my ass. I met Mark Hamill. I kissed my baby nephew’s tiny fingernails and felt him fall asleep on my chest.
Batiuk wrote all kinds of these experiences for Funky and Holly over the last 30 years. The quality of the stories is debatable. But was is objectively true is that MAJOR STUFF HAPPENED.
In one strip, Batiuk is tossing away everything he’s written since 1993, more than half of his entire comics run.
Why did he decide to let the Act I cast graduate?
By allowing my characters to have a time-driven existence, I get to explore everything that flows from that . . . goodness and evil, happiness and sadness, weakness and strength, failure and success, love and grief, youth and age, and the quest for meaning. And the vehicle for all of this is story.From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 9
But, I guess none of that matters. Since Funky is telling us today that everything explored since then is LESS meaningful, impactful, and exciting than the time these characters spent in high school.