He Also Owns Darling’s Drawers

Link To Today’s Strip

“He likes to collect things, so surely he’ll have John Darling memorabilia!” seems like a bit of a stretch to me, even by Westview logic. I would’ve liked a line about how Mitchell’s dad was a newscaster, or that Mitchell was comforted by watching the show after he quit Batom. Just something more than “he collects stuff, so he’ll have what you want”.

And that is quite the strange looking spaceship that Phil drew. If I didn’t know that’s what it was supposed to be, I really don’t think I’d ever be able to tell.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

52 responses to “He Also Owns Darling’s Drawers

  1. William Thompson

    Is that drawing a spaceship or a mutant Teletubby?

  2. William Thompson

    The only way this ends well if he’s a psycho-killer who decides that Messica, whose father John Darling was murdered, would make the ultimate bit of JD memorabilia. She could be stuffed and mounted on one of those weird chairs as her father’s permanent guest.

    (I didn’t say it would end well for her.)

    • The Duck of Death

      If you’re gonna use the “Stalker Shrine” trope, at least use it correctly. A fan this obsessed with a subject this obscure is gonna be quite mentally unhinged. And there’s no way they’d want to part with a single scrap of their precious memorabilia. Although, as William Thompson suggests, he might be induced to trade an ulna from the dug-up skeleton of John Darling (who was murdered) for the real-live Jessica Darling.

      In fact, are we sure that it wasn’t this unhinged kook, and not Pete Moss, who murdered John Darling (who was murdered)? I don’t trust Les’ detective work. Mitchell Knox is the very embodiment of the fan who kills the object of their monomania.


      • Mela

        Maybe he’s the long lost son of John Darling, product of an illicit affair, so the memorabilia is his only connection to the father he never knew. That’s the soap opera way to do it, anyway.

        • The Duck of Death

          True. However, soap operas at least try to create tension and drama. Batiuk dodges tension and drama any time they threaten to rear their heads. So I wouldn’t expect any such potentially interesting developments.

  3. Y. Knott

    J.J. O’Malley called it two days ago! “Looking forward to seeing them drive over to Knox’s apartment and being invited in, only to discover that he once raided Channel One’s dumpster and has rebuilt and installed the complete “John Darling” set in his living room, like Kramer did with the “Merv Griffin Show” set in a “Seinfeld” episode.

    J.J., while you’ve got the hot hand, run out and get yourself a lottery ticket!

    • J.J. O'Malley

      Thanks for the kind words, matey, but I’ve already spent me funds betting on Cleveland to win Super Bowl LVII.

      To be perfectly honest, though, I truly wish I had been wrong about this one. Aside from the idiocy of someone retrieving the JD set from the garbage heap 30 some years ago and living in it daily as part of their home decor, is Batiuk completely in the dark about that “Seinfeld” episode or the fact that the show is constantly rerun on various cable channels, so that readers will know he ripped off the premise?

      On related notes:

      Yes, of course Mitchell Knox is a fat guy in a Flash t-shirt eating an oversized sandwich on a TV tray. Why not rip off “The Simpsons” while we’re at it, TB?

      Why did The Late Phil Holt sketch a picture of a Toltec fertility mask as a gift to a small child? What’s that, you say? That’s supposed to be a spaceship? Okay, so that’s two modes of transportation he can’t draw!

      So, Little Skycap wanted a drawing of a spaceship, huh? Gee, if only there was someone in his immediate family who was already a professional artist and could do one for him!

      This time, I predict the coming week is going to feel like a graphic novel version of “Hoarders”…but without the laughs.

      • Y. Knott

        Seinfeld never achieved the pan-cultural relevance of Silver Age comics or a masterwork like The Phantom Empire, so Batiuk is only very dimly aware of it.

        Fortunately, it’s such an obscure show, if Batiuk did happen to catch an episode and rip off a plot element, he has every confidence that no-one but the beadiest-eyed of nitpickers would ever notice. Wheeee!

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Speaking of The Phantom Empire: what the hell is Mitchell Knox watching on TV? It looks like Abe Lincoln in a spacesuit and a baseball cap, saluting. And why is this superfan not watching the all-John Darling channel?

          • ian'sdrunkenbeard

            I recognized the character on the TV instantly! How could I forget Captain Penny? He hosted a kiddie show in Cleveland that I watched twice a day, and he had a two hour show on Saturdays. That’s where I first saw The Three Stooges.


          • sorialpromise

            What a short, tragic life for Ron Penfound, Captain Penny. Thank you, Ian, for including the link.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            Thank you, Ian, for that informative find. I guess I’m glad that it’s not The Phantom Empire, but why is this guy watching a long-gone children’s show?

          • The Duck of Death

            Because of Batiuk’s Law:

            All children’s media from 1960 or before are automatically artistically (and morally) superior to their degraded modern counterparts.

            This, of course, has nothing to do with the nostalgic haze of childhood. It is an objective and immutable fact.

        • Anonymous Sparrow

          I think Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer appeared in a panel of *Funky Winkerbean* saying something deathless like “shut up!” during the revelation that “Mrs. Moore” was Darrin’s mother, but my memory’s not what it used to be.

          It’s turning into vegetable lasagna, Magnus Man!

          • ComicBookHarriet

            You have a terrifyingly good memory for random Funky lore.

          • Anonymous Sparrow

            What can I say? It’s a gift. (Like Saltines and copy paper for a retirement party.)

            Or a curse. (Like most of what we see in this strip.)

            Thank you for taking the time to check this.

            My sister-in-law is a real estate agent in North Carolina. I should ask her if she ever handles transactions in Pennsylvania, Ohio or Connecticut.

      • Ray


        As a die-hard lifelong Cleveland Browns fan, and NEO resident, I appreciate your backing. 🙂

      • gleeb

        I never watched Seinfeld. I can only take one bit of media detritus where every character is an asshole, and I’ve chosen Funky Winkerbean.

        • Hannibal's Lectern

          Me too; the closest I’ve come is to notice it on the screens when I was flying, but I never plugged in the headphones.

          Despite that, I am aware of Seinfeld, aware of its “iconic” characters, and aware of many of its jokes and tropes. It was such a Big Deal than it’s impossible to fully escape. Something that will never be said for Funky Winkerbean.

      • Money in the bank, JJ! Jacoby Brissett is going to be so awesome this year, DeShaun will never see the field!

      • ian'sdrunkenbeard

        Betting on the Browns could cause your to lose your movie theater.

  4. be ware of eve hill

    Apparently Phil can’t draw spaceships either. They look like crap.

  5. Banana Jr. 6000

    “He’s got OCD… obsessive collectors disorder.” Because crippling behavioral problems are just wacky, harmless fun in Westview. Let’s talk about comic books some more!

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Meanwhile in Crankshaft, Masonee Jarree has decided on a whim that he wants to purchase an expensive failed business thousands of miles away from his normal place of employment and run it himself.

      And no one treats this as a clear sign that he’s entered a dangerous manic phase of his bipolar disorder.

      • The Duck of Death

        And, bizarrely, he acknowledges that Lois Flagston is a cartoon character.

        A quarter-inch from reality, folks.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          It’s like he’s randomly throwing every storytelling trope at the wall now. Leaning on the fourth wall? Sure, why not?

      • Mela

        Bipolar disorder? Oh yeah, I forgot about that or how that plot development even came about. But yes, why isn’t Cindy saying “How in the hell are you going to run a movie theater here when we live in California?”

      • Charles

        Deciding that Mason is bipolar is one of Batiuk’s most inexplicable decisions. I’m not sure he understands what it means to be bipolar, and of course, the reason for that is that seven years after the reveal, he literally has never mentioned it again.

  6. sgtsaunders

    Someone should really check on Battic to see if he’s OK. This shit’s going off the rails.

  7. The one thing I really dislike about this strip is that over the last 20 years TB has not missed an opportunity to indulge in stereotypes regardless of how tripe they may be. Chester is a collector, but he is rich, owns a comic company and is old. Therefore, we should admire Chester. Mitchell, on the other hand, is overweight, balding, lives alone (probably in his mom’s basement), watches an old CRT TV with rabbit ears and can’t even tie his shoes properly. He is a classic Simpson’s Comic Book Guy ripoff. Can’t wait to see how John Darling who was murdered’s daughter straightens out Mitchell’s life.

    • So yeaaaaaah…I had a whole lump of text ready to go about how old this guy was supposed to be compared to the Batom “untold history”, but then it dawned on me that the punchline includes the promise of taking a steaming dump on media “obsessives” over the next week, so I’m going to take a nap instead.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      It’s the most disingenuous self-deprecation imaginable. Batiuk think he’s poking fun at himself, but Batiuk’s pet characters are portrayed as good while his designated losers are bad, even when they have exactly the same traits.

      If anything, Batiuk’s “good” characters are worse. Chester stole comic books from his place of his employment as a kid, and has spent unhealthy amounts of money on the stupidest things related to comic books. He has no other interests that we’ve ever seen. Funky is more much of an asshole sober than he was drunk. Les’ obsessions are supposed to be admirable, but he’s a walking DSM-V.

  8. So this has been the year that Batiuk finally abandoned any sense of of logical time progression, aging his core cast members by at least five years and torpedoing the supposed 10-year time gap between the worlds of FW and Crankshaft. That’s not gonna stop me from pointing out that, according the Batom Comics “untold history,” Mitchell Knox was 15, not 12, when he went to work for Batom. Around 1955 or ’56. Which would make him somewhere around 80 years of age…

    • William Thompson

      Yet Mitchell Knox looks at most half that age. What if that’s Mitchy’s preserved corpse watching the tube, and he was murdered by his deranged mother? “He wasn’t good enough for me! So I eternally insult him by leaving him to watch reruns of the dumbest TV host who ever lived!”

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Leave it to Tom Batiuk to write a universe bible for his comic book company, and then ignore it.

  9. Mmm… nothing like a piping hot cup of joe to wash down a 12″ sub and a bowl of oatmeal.

    Or maybe the coffee is cold. I’m not seeing any pubic steam.

    • The Duck of Death

      Ah yes. The Crazy Harry special. A piping hot, bottomless cup o’ muddy joe to wash down a couple slices of Montoni’s x-tra greasy institutional-grade pizza.

      Probably just a coincidence that there’s a well-worn path from Crazy’s, er, stool to the men’s bathroom.

  10. Perfect Tommy

    Gosh Mr. Holt! Thanks a bunch for drawing me this (squints closely) um, horribly mutated angry elephant?

  11. Epicus Doomus

    And how, pray tell, will Jessica contact Mitchell Knox? Why, they’ll just show up at his door unannounced, of course. And he’ll steadfastly refuse to part with any of his precious John Darling (Jessica’s father) memorabilia, unless they were able to obtain, say, an original Phil Holt drawing of a spaceship. SIGH.

    • sorialpromise

      YaY!!!! You were minutes faster with your post. Yours sounds much more creative. It is my pleasure to be on the same mental wavelength as the amazing Epicus Doomus.

      • Epicus Doomus

        Thanks, but I’m merely a guy who’s read WAY too many FW strips over the (sigh) decades!! As mindless as Batiuk is, he’d never mention that drawing twice for no reason.

  12. sorialpromise

    My prediction for what it is worth:
    Mitchell will absolutely refuse to give away any memorabilia until he sees Skyler’s Phil Holt sketch, and suddenly his heart is melted. Then Mitch will give everything away to get that sketch. Following that, Masone will lease at a high price, the John Darling, who was murdered, set and set it up at the Valentine. People will get their picture taken as guests of John Darling, who was murdered, and enormous profits are had by all.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I like this prediction. It sounds like something Batiuk would actually do.

      • Epicus Doomus

        It’s very plausible. However, as always, whenever I see or make a FW prediction I always think “this seems too clever and complicated for BatHam”. And it always is. While I think the drawing will definitely factor in, I’ll think it’ll play out in a way that none of us are warped enough to accurately imagine. He’ll find a resolution that’s WAY dumber and duller, because it’s what he does.

        But I’ll give it a shot. After weeks and weeks of mindless banter, Mitchell will steadfastly refuse to part with any JD memorabilia. Then Skyler will hand him the drawing, Mitchell will start blubbering, he’ll hand Jessica that coffee mug with the star on it, she’ll be delighted, and that’ll be the end. It’ll be like two panels, too.

  13. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    Remember the words of that sage philosopher Captain Penny: “We laugh at The Three Stooges, we laugh with The Three Stooges, but we don’t do as The Three Stooges do.”