He may not have been a punt return man, but in high school, Funky had the chutzpah to wear the same jersey number as legendary Cleveland Browns QB, Otto Graham, He does appear to know what he’s doing today as he takes charge of the offense. I have to give props to Batiuk and Ayers for the artwork in today’s strip. The scene boasts an actual, richly detailed background. The offensive squad huddles in the foreground, while the defense waits to line up. These teenagers look and dress like actual teenagers. The postures of Funky and Les create a nice visual symmetry: both men are angled forward, but Funky is focused and aggressive, while Les is meekly and weakly caving in. And do you want that “quarter-inch removed from reality”? Check out the sweat stains under Funky’s armpits!
Filed under Son of Stuck Funky
40 responses to “Deep Fake”
This is the fourth single panel strip in the last six days. I’m sure that was, uh, unintentional, but nonetheless. I mean come on, I’m paying for THREE panels a day, not one, and…
Oh, yeah. That’s right. Oh well. I’m hoping Funky was going to say “home”, but BatHam is nothing if not predictable. Predictably annoying. And there aren’t enough leaves blowing around. Must be the effects of all the climate damage. Usually by mid-October, you can’t even see in Westview.
I was going to remark about that last night, when it was four single panel strips in five weekdays (the three “climate damage cover” teasers, and Tuesday’s “flaming trees”); five of six if you count Sideways Sunday as a single panel despite the bubble sub-panel (we are waiting for a ruling from the officials on the field).
On the plus side, the single panel format does guarantee a maximum of one Les Smirk per day. And (at least yesterday) it didn’t seem to reduce Batty’s daily Redundundant Word Quota any.
Jesus, Batiuk, will you cut to the goddam chase already? We want to see Les writhing in pain, clutching his arm, not Funky flappin’ his gums.
What makes this set-up so painful is that we know it won’t pay off with Les receiving a suitable injury.
Somehow, Lisa will get injured.
Lisa would have liked that. Remember, she was the kind of girl who’d marry Les.
Wouldn’t it be something if Les discovered his own cancer this week after being tackled? I’ve always hoped that the strip would end with Les dying and Masky McDeath escorting him into the arms of a waiting Afterlife Lisa. It’s just that perfect combination of morbid and glurgy that Batiuk loves.
Do not tempt me with a good time!
Les will throw his arm out signaling a first down on an incomplete pass.
“You go”…suck an egg?
I don’t give a crap about Funky and Less trying to retcon their youths so I’m gonna take this comment space to say Rest In Peace Angela Lansbury. You were a charming personality who seemed to genuinely care about your craft; and that’s two more things than the “heroes” of this strip have going for them.
I agree, TFH. This pretty good depiction of a rag-tag gaggle of high school boys playing a pickup football game on an October Saturday. And they were cool enough to let a couple of seniors turn their 4-on-4 into a 5-on-5. The more players, the better.
No notes, as the kids say.
Oh, fuck you, Les. Funky just told you he was going to throw you the ball, and demanded to play quarterback. And somehow you’re the victim again, in a situation that’s been entirely constructed for your benefit. Well, you’re in character today, I’ll give you that.
Bill Cosby (before we knew of the predatory behavior which forever tarnishes his comedic talent) had a street football routine with a play designed for Les’s talent. “Go to 3rd Street. Catch the “J” Bus. Have the driver open the door at 19th Street. I’ll fake it to you.”
And that part of the bit ended with one kid asking “what about me? What about me?” to which the QB answered “you go LOOONG!”
It was an old joke when Cosby did it, and that was in the’60s.
Sigh. I’m nostalgic for the days when I could laugh at a Cosby routine or enjoy a painting by Gauguin (and the list goes on) without thinking about what scum they were as people…
“You”? C’mon, these kids have names, Funky. Names that TB will change in the near future… so I guess I understand why you didn’t bother to ask. Carry on.
Reynolds! Roberts! Malcolm Who Went Unnamed for Years!
(To be fair, Malcolm, it took Stan Lee over two years to give Agent 13 the name “Sharon Carter.”)
In a year or two, when you’re reading through the archives in order to find out when the John Darling gun arc took place, or when Marianne gave Les her Oscar statue, you’ll see “Funky and Les play football in the park with some teens”, and it’ll seem kind of normal, like standard comic strip fare. Just something to ponder.
It’s true. My wife did her occasional check in on the strip earlier tonight:
“What’s going on in that Funky Whatever Thing?”
“These two 68 year olds have invited themselves into some teenagers’ pickup football game.”
“Huh… so did that girl ever find that memorabilia she was looking for?”
“Oh, yeah. She got a cracked mug from her father’s TV show. She also got the gun used to murder her father and had it melted down and turned into a toy for her kid.”
“What?! I don’t understand what the *bleep* you talk about every night on that blog. That’s weird.”
So yes, this idiocy is indeed “kind of normal”.
Mrs. The Skink is not wrong!
I’ve been there too. You try to explain FW to someone out of the loop, and it just sounds totally insane.
“Harry swings by Westview High School and fails to warn Lisa to get regular mammograms, then to purchase a comic book worth a potential fortune (and unknowingly encountering his future spouse). He retrieves the helmet and puts it on, “blipping” back into the future but leaving the comic on the bench, whence it is recovered by little Johnny Howard. Crazy finds himself back in the present; apparently it was all a dream induced by fumes from the helmet’s “out-gassing” plastics.”
So yes, a football game in the park really does seem quite normal in comparison.
This is all reminding me of Anna Russell’s take on “Das Ring Des Niebelungen.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m69aPAo1rXE
“I’m not making this up, you know.”
DER Ring. I passed high school German, I swear.
When you see two guys pushing 70 crash some high-school kids’ pickup football game and you think, “that’s kinda normal”…
That’s when you know you’re in the Batiukverse.
Final proof will come when Les catches the ball, showing those young’uns they can’t compete with Generation Comic Book.
I just love how pissy and miserable Les is here, and that he’s somehow still intended to be sympathetic. Les is supposed to be what, late 60s now? And he’s still furious that nobody ever threw him a football when he was a kid, even though football and athletics were not really priorities for him?
And here we go again with Les doing Les. He’s a gangly mess in gym class and he’s angry that no one wants him to play football. He never met a social norm he could wrap his pea brain around and he’s frustrated by having to be Funky’s sidekick. He hates dealing with the public so of course, he chooses a career that shoves him in the public eye. He wants his wife’s story to be about how he and he alone was affected and he’s infuriated when people try to make her experience part of her story.
Ladies and gentlement…OUR HERO.
Tom Batiuk never met a social norm he could wrap his pea brain around. Nobody on earth would tolerate Les’ constant rudeness and self-victimhood, much less indulge it as the entire town of Westview does. He gets pissy and passive-aggressive over things that are unimportant, or just plain indiscernible. And the world hands him everything he wants anyway.
This strip should have been pulled. It completely contradicts the story. Funky joined the pick-up game solely to throw Les the ball, but Les wants to get his feelings hurt about not being thrown the ball 50 years ago. And Les gets what Les wants.
Note that this also requires Batiuk to interrupt Funky mid-sentence, and not give him a chance to finish calling the play. Batiuk has to dishonestly frame the whole scene so Les can be offended. Because Batiuk loves making strips where Les is offended, because it’s basically himself being offended. So here we are. Tomorrow, Funky throws Les the ball, and Les finds something else to pout about.
Thing about Les that’s so weird with the rest of his characterization is that he’s perpetually aggrieved by his own self-loathing. He feels contempt for himself but he resents that other people may share that feeling about him.
A genuinely self-loathing person accepts other people’s loathing of him, because his self-loathing convinces him that he deserves it.
Never mind that Les has moved far beyond that. People treat him with respect but he still reacts as if they all loathe him with no rational explanation at all. Hell, that’s pretty much his entire relationship with Mason.
He hasn’t moved on from high school, you see. He thinks that they’re being phonies that are one day going to yell PSYCH!!! SUCKER!!! when they’re so beaten down by life, only staying in Cancerview makes them care. Hell, Cindy tried to apologize to one of her victims and was baffled by her apathy so it’s like none of the principals understand what living in the now is.
Who is that older guy on the opposing team? New Bull?
I think he played one of the bullies in Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown. He was the short, fat one, but he got older and cut his hair.
I love the look that the short kid with the 47 shirt is giving Les. I agree with those saying this strip is tolerable.
TF, I am glad you posted about Otto Graham. He went to 10 straight NFL Championships and won 7. Amazing. He did this before the Jim Brown era. Watching his films, you could see he could compete in today’s game. Thank you.
As contrived as the premise is, so far this is probably the best (i.e. most tolerable) FW arc of the year so far. It’s still only Wednesday though, enough time is left for Phil Holt and Flash Freefield to join the game.
You have a wicked depraved mind, bobanero!
Prepare to be disappointed!
Be—wait for it!—disappointed!
Also, Batiuk has all of his things on one website now.
I really hope this story arc isn’t going where I think it is. Maybe it’s time for a good ol’ bwoeh jinx. My attempts at predicting Batiuk’s stories are always wrong.
Please let the record show that I hereby predict Funky will indeed throw a long pass to Les, who much to the surprise of everyone will actually catch the ball. There will be much jubilation. The kids who didn’t know Les at all before today will all gather around to congratulate him. Les will act pissy at all of the attention and will humblebrag that it wasn’t that big of a deal. The kids will insist on giving Les the football. Les will take the football home and put it on the shelf next to his Oscar.
Yet another Act I ghost exorcised by Batiuk’s favorite creation of all time (sorry Brian). Where is that confounded gym rope? Les smirks and declares, “Gym rope, you’re next!”
Now if you’ll please excuse me, I’m going to be sick.🤢🤮
Punt return man?
I didn’t think a Westview punt return man did much,as their opponents didn’t punt very often, they scored touchdowns on nearly every possession