. . . Who Was Murdered

Link To Today’s Strip

Surprise! Jessica is John’s daughter. Really, the first two strips could’ve been condensed into one single panel, where Jessica and Darin introduce themselves and Mitchell recognizes that she’s John’s daughter.

Honestly, I am a little creeped out that Mitchell immediately knows who Jessica is. I know this guy is obsessed with her dad and all, but immediately realizing who she is is a little off-putting to me.

I do kind of love Darin’s expression in the second panel. He looks like he’s either about to fall asleep or trying real hard to look cool.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

52 responses to “. . . Who Was Murdered

  1. William Thompson

    Jessica has spoken for herself? Don’t worry, order will be restored to the Funkyverse when Dullard speaks for her: “If by that you mean her father John Darling who was murdered, yes, that’s her.”

    • Charles

      Note, however, that her first words to this guy were not to identify herself, but to identify her husband.

      It’s such a simple sentence to write and Batiuk fucks it up.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    More brain-numbing time-killing drudgery. Everything that’s happened this week could have happened in two panels, but Mister Ideas over here has to stretch it out like a famine victim adding sawdust and shoe leather to his rat meat stew. It’s just pitiful. I despise Mitchell already, he’s just a fatter, poorer, weirder version of Chester, with none of the charm. Which is a scathing indictment, by the way.

    Coming tomorrow: Mitchell confirms that Jessica is in fact John Darling’s daughter. Both Boy Lisa and Jessica confirm this fact, and it is firmly established that Jessica is John Darling’s daughter.

  3. Y. Knott


  4. I’m looking forward to learning how the Gold Key comic book adaptation of John Darling saved Mitchell Knox’s life.

  5. Since Batdick has been in full rip-off mode lately, I’m guessing this will play out like the “Stretch Boy and Clobber Girl” skit in one of The Simpsons’ Halloween episodes. Mitchell, as The Collector, will encase Messica in plastic and add her to his John Darling (Murdered) display case.

    Either that, or he’ll wear her skin. For a variety of reasons.

  6. sorialpromise

    This does not bode well.

  7. erdmann

    How old does Mitchell Knox look in today’s strip? How old is he supposed to look? Let’s consider the facts:
    According to Batty in his “Batom Comics – The Untold History Part 7,” Knox was 15 when he started working for Batom. It does not specifically state that he created the charactes Charlie and Chuck, but it certainly implies he did. At the least, Batty makes clear that Charlie and Chuck did not have a book of their own until after Knox arrived.
    Accompanying the article is a rough sketch of the cover of “Charlie and Chuck” #7. There is no date, but it carries a 10 cent price.
    As far as I can tell, Charlton was the last company to publish 10-cent books, making the switch to 12 cents with titles on sale in January 1962.
    So, assuming that the book launched in 1961, Knox must now be at least 76 years old.
    Compare his appearance to that of this strip’s title character. Funky, who just attended his 50th high school reunion, has to be 68 going on 69. Knox looks far young than him, but is actually several years older. Did he enter a Faustian agreement similar to Cindy’s? Considering his paunch and balding head, I’d say he got taken on the deal.
    No doubt Batty would say I’m being a beady-eyed nitpicker — and he would be right. Little details such as the prices of fictional comic books don’t mean squat to the average reader. But considering Batty seems to pride himself on his grasp of comic book history as well as his work being only a quarter-inch from reality, and considering he obviously writes for primarily himself, you would think such details would matter to him.

    • The Duck of Death

      First, you are not being a beady-eyed nitpicker. This is Batiuk’s own canon, the one no one asked for but he took the time and effort to obsessively write out and publish on his blog. And then he throws it away without a second thought.

      Second, writers must be their own beady-eyed nitpickers. It’s a crucial part of a writer’s job to maintain consistency and keep established facts straight, whether in nonfiction or fiction. If you don’t bother to do those things, you’re telling your audience you don’t think your own work is worth reading or examining. You’re also telling your audience you don’t give a damn about them.

      • Anonymous Sparrow

        Perhaps Tom/Todd/Scott thinks he’s the reincarnation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who didn’t pay much attention to his own continuity with Sherlock Holmes (read my historical novels, dammit!) and left us unsure where the Jezail bullet wounded Dr. Watson (shoulder? Leg?)…and set “The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge” in 1892, a year when everyone thought Holmes had died.

    • Green Luthor

      Well, according to the recent “Crazy Harry goes back in time” story, 1962 apparently happened in 1980 in the Funkyverse (as did 1981, I guess), so maybe he’s only 58 now?

      Yeah, that makes no logical sense whatsoever, but neither does anything else in this comic anymore.

  8. Andrew

    All this potential for creepy obsessed fan misadventures and yet I’m more interested in Crankshaft just plain-as-day crossing over with Hi and Lois via temporal-displaced Mason Jarr the movie star for some reason.

    • J.J. O'Malley

      The CS situation does present a few questions, such as:

      Why are all the movie theatre accoutrements still there? Somebody bought the Valentine and turned it into a bitty tar! Ed said last week that it was a bitty tar before it shut down again!

      Why is Crankshaft still there, following Masonne, Cin-dull, and Special Guest Star Lois Flagston around without saying a word?

      Why isn’t this nonsense over in FW where it belongs!?

      And, lastly…why you ackin’ so cray-cray, Batiuk?

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        The worst thing about it is, “the strip club kept the Valentine’s name” could have explained away this problem, and been a decent gag to boot. But you know Tom Batiuk: he doesn’t do gags anymore, except when he does. And he never does gags when he should.

      • be ware of eve hill

        Masone really seems to be enamored with that popcorn machine.
        Masonne: My precious. It came to me. My own. My love. My own. My preeeeecious.

        Do they serve buttered popcorn at bitty tars? I can’t imagine the performers would be too keen about having greasy bills stuffed into their “costumes”.


        I’m pretty sure Cranky is there only to remind readers the strip is still Crankshaft, not Funky Winkerbean.

        Ed appears to be totally lost. Can somebody please give him a ride home?

      • These questions have been nagging me too, with the additional observation that there hasn’t been a single real joke – not even a malapropism – since last Wednesday.

        Another thought that occurs to me – before this Valentine arc, we had the Channel One ransomware/John Darling videotape arc, which segued directly into the John Darling/Fart Knox arc currently happening in FW. Are we going to see the Mason buys the Valentine arc segue into an arc in FW in the same way?

        I’m at the point where I might prefer the final two months of A3G over this.

        • ComicBookHarriet

          For me, as fascinating as the demise of A3G was, watching Funky Winkerbean falling apart is always going to be better. A3G was tinged with so much tragedy, because Frank Bolle had taken over a strip with a lot of wonderful history with numerous creatives working on it over the years, and then was left at the wheel long after someone should have taken the keys, and it really wasn’t his fault. He’d been a skilled and talented hard working artist his whole life. The man was 90! And yet no one was set up to take his place.

          Funky Winkerbean is, despite the other artists involved, pretty much Batiuk’s baby. He’s written it his entire adult life. And even when it was good or tolerable, it always had the tinges of Batiuk’s diet Woody-Allen sensibilities filling all the corners with the insufferable ego of the proudly self-loathing. He’s injected so much of himself into his work that’s he’s a character in it. And that makes it so interesting when he starts letting it fall apart.

          • Yeah, the end of A3G was indeed tragic. It was like watching a beloved elder family member descend into dementia. And to make matters worse, after it finally ended, CK just left the final awful strip up on the web site for months after.

          • The Duck of Death

            “So smile, Margo, and move on.”

            Etched in my brain, and a very melancholy epitaph for a once-great strip.

      • Anonymous Sparrow

        “Bitty Tars” sound like sailors on the H.M.S. Pinafore. Sir Joseph Porter’s sisters, cousins and aunts may disagree, though.

    • Charles

      Batiuk includes details and he screws them all up.

      Lois has apparently never listed a commercial property before and it’s one of the first things she tells a potential buyer when she meets them.

      After she’s done confessing her incompetence, she insults Mason and Cindy by stereotyping them.

      Crankshaft somehow has been allowed to join this showing for no reason beyond that he was walking by when Mason and Cindy arrived. So he hung around waiting until Lois arrived and decided to just invite himself in. Does Lois even know he’s not with Mason and Cindy?

      And as JJ noted, Batiuk seems to have completely forgotten that the current owner of the property wasn’t operating it as a movie theater.

      Oh, and Mason in panel 3 yesterday is a cutout from the January 15th, 2020 Funky Winkerbean strip. I remember this because he looks high as fuck, which I noticed at the time.

      So what screwups will tomorrow bring? Will it build on these or will Batiuk find new ways to botch it?

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Batiuk can’t even tear down his precious all-Phantom Empire all the time movie theater when that’s the plot of the story. Seeing the building bare and empty in all these shots, and then gloriously restored when Mason buys and restores it (which we all know he will), could have been an effective reveal. This man is just allergic to any kind of actual drama, tension or emotional weight.

        • Maxine of Arc

          Cindy’s a vampire, right? I’m at a loss to understand how Mason, supposedly a Chris Evans-type movie star, ages another 5 years every time we see him while Cindy continues looking like a 25-year-old, otherwise.

          • Charles

            Well, he hasn’t aged at all in that picture. He looks exactly like he did two and a half years ago!

            You’d think at some point Batiuk’s artists would learn how to draw Mason, so they’re not either lost or deciding to cut and paste their earlier work.

  9. J.J. O'Malley

    Sunday’s Strip: We pan down Mitchell Knox’s basement, past the “John Darling” show set, to the sub-cellar, where Jessica and Darwin are now standing in a 16-foot-deep, dirt-walled pit with chains around their ankles. Mitchell sends a manuscript down in a bucket on a rope and tells them, “It reads the TV script or it gets the hose!”

    Also, when did Bull Bushka have a son?

  10. Charles

    So Chuck Ayers doesn’t know how to draw hair. Mitchell is supposed to be severely balding because Batiuk thinks that makes him a loser, but Ayers doesn’t know how to render it.

    Instead, it looks as if Mitchell’s completely bald, laid face down on the ground and had a cow shit on the back of his head. And left it there until it dried in place.

  11. The Duck of Death

    Given Batiuk’s loud-and-proud Flash obsession, it’s interesting that this demented nerd sports a Flash tee.

    • gleeb

      That’s how we know he’s All Right, Really.

      • The Duck of Death

        I fear that it portends (as others have suggested) a new staff member at Atomik Comix, or possibly Channel 1.

        If so, we can expect another “heel-face turn” like the one we saw when cantankerous, bitter, impossible-to-work-with hermit Phil Holt became a cuddly, all-smiles fixture at AK. An astonishing turn to be sure, but made all the more remarkable by his advanced age. (80?90?110?)

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          If this was all about putting Mitchell on the Atomik Komix crew, I feel like Batiuk would get to the point quicker. We’d be going through the long list of transactions that would get Mitchell hired, rather than the long list of transactions that would help Jessica get the John Darling memorabilia.

          Batiuk’s already managed to make this story about the comic books bullpen, so I don’t think he needs to again. And making a story about his third comic strip is enough of an ego-stroking exercise in itself. As much as it goes against my instincts to say that any amount of self-indulgence is ever “enough” for this man.

          • The Duck of Death

            Does he EVER get to the point quicker? Sometimes he speeds past it (months of moviemaking leading to … nothing, leading to someone giving him an Oscar which we never see delivered, etc). But I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a properly-paced arc in Act III, ever. I welcome contradictions if someone can point out a case where the pacing made sense. Or, for that matter, the justification for hiring someone and/or the justification for taking a job.

  12. Banana Jr. 6000

    I read this note on a cat video channel. Sadly, one cat has lymphoma, and the owner said this: “I don’t want this channel to be consumed by (this cat’s) cancer or sad moments. I feel like I made this channel in the first place to share (my cats) and spread some joy and goodness.”

    Sure is the opposite of the Funkyverse, isn’t it? Batiuk’s very goal is be consumed by cancer and sad moments, and spread the misery far and wide. Because He’s A Serious Artist. Even though it’s all artificial, object-oriented misery about people who died 25+ years ago.

  13. be ware of eve hill

    Tom Batiuk trying to tell a story…

    Tea Fougner, editorial director for comics at King Features:
    Aw, that is pretty cool, Tom. That is really cool.

    • be ware of eve hill

      Snark aside, this little boy is beyond cute. I love that little satisfied smile at the end. 😘

      • be ware of eve hill

        Ha. The only person who replied to me today… was me. 30 days in the boobie hatch for talking to myself.


  14. Maxine of Arc

    Who introduces their spouse before themselves?

    • batgirl

      Women in the Funkyverse.

      It’s been noted a time or two that Summer has not been paired up with anyone. I think it will never happen, because if she had a husband, there would be another man in her life besides Les. And there can never be another woman in her life beyond Dead Saint Lisa. Summer’s life work is to be the visible culmination of her parents’ tragic love.

      • Mela

        If Summer ever got married, I’d hope for her sake she’d elope. Can you imagine how Les would act at her wedding? He’d make Steve Martin in Father of the Bride look easy going.

  15. be ware of eve hill

    “Son of Stuck Funky” posted a reply in the Comics Kingdom Funky Winkerbean discussion the other day. Was that post really from of one of the hosts here, or do we have a case of stolen identity? 🤔❔

  16. ComicBookHarriet

    I am weirdly amused by Crankshaft at this point. Because Ed has just continued staring around, spectating this weird theatre thing. Like he has to be here to remind the reader that the strip is indeed, “Crankshaft’ even though he has no real stakes in this and doesn’t know any of these people.

    Crankshaft himself has a wonderful baffled expression on his face, “Why are they letting me watch all this? Why are they acting like this isn’t really weird that I’m still here hours and hours and hours after they stopped me on the street? Why is this weird cartoon woman talking at me, when I haven’t said a single word since she’s arrived?”

    Also great to me is Cindy looking on in embarrassment and concern as Masone, in the grip of a manic episode, enthusiastically molests a popcorn machine like he’s never seen on in his life.

    • In that last panel, Crankshaft kind of has a look of “The edibles have just kicked in.”

    • The Duck of Death

      In P1, it seems like there’s a “Picture of Dorian Grey” thing going on. Mason has taken on the wrinkles and aging that we should see on Cindy.

      The whole thing is so creepy. The sudden aging. The manic behavior of someone known to have bipolar disorder, being watched impassively by his wife, who should be looking out for these episodes and taking steps to help. The strange specter-like quality of the silent elderly man watching blankly. The weird misogyny of Lois Flagston. The unexplained presence of Lois Flagston in the first place.