Today’s strip inspired me to add “backpfeifengesicht” as a tag. The more obnoxious, unfunny, and useless Funky is being, the more proud of himself he is. Look at that gigantic wide-mouth smirk. You could open a Coke bottle on it.
“Westview history” has already turned into “Montoni’s history,” and is now turning into “Funky’s boring life story.” I realize that main characters will be disproportionately represented in a flashback arc like this. But could the strip pretend anyone else exists in this town?
If Montoni’s is a suitable venue for wedding events (and yes, that’s a big if) then it should have hosted dozens of marriages over 50+ years, not just the owner and his friends. Also, Montoni’s was a restaurant long before Funky ran it. Why are there no photos of weddings, receptions, or anything else from that era?
I guess catering doesn’t warrant mention in the history books, since Funky doesn’t mention Cory and Rocky’s recent ceremony. Or the time Montoni’s poisoned an entire wedding party. (hat tip: Comic Book Harriet.)
At least this is a little bit of a flashback. From left to right, I think that’s Jff and Pmm; Funky and his first wife Cindy; Becky and… who is that? That man is way too dashing and blond to be John Howard. Was Becky also previously married? I honestly don’t remember. And of course we have Les and Lisa and their forced, copyright-infringing Funderoos wedding.
The most interesting thing here is the facial hair on the man in the light blue shirt. Who in the Funkyverse had a Van Dyke beard and a Wade Boggs moustache?
For the second day in a row, Funky is telling Summer things about her own family history she should already know. And she’s apparently surprised to learn them.
84 responses to “Four Weddings And A Funeral”
That’s Wally getting hitched to Lefty, they had a double wedding with Funky and Holly some time in the mid-2000s. Nice of the wedding planner to make sure the crowd and the photographer got Lefty’s good side…
I’m sorry. There is no way this is new to Summer since she must have heard all of this repeatedly from Les. She had to have his book on her mother. While Less might have little use or regard for his daughter, he can’t shut up about his past and St. Lisa. Most of 2022 has seen cheap and unpleasant nostalgia from an absurd 50th reunion to time travel to the unwelcome John Darling celebration to a strange shoehorned suicide contemplation from a character who has not been seen in years to now this. TB has become one of his own characters, wallowing in the past at the cost of the present. And we have two months left.
Hey! Once again, Batiuk ignores poor Wally after torturing him for years. (Unless he’s counting the double Winkerbean Wedding as a single event)
Wally and Rachel were technically married at Montoni’s even though they tried to avoid it by being married in the gazebo. An angry god had other plans, and tried to kill them until they retreated to the pizza temple for their final ‘I do’
I’m fascinated by the redundancy in that strip: Montoni’s is “the wedding chapel of love”? Does this mean that somewhere in Worstview there’s a “wedding chapel of hate”?
Maybe they shouldn’t brag, considering how those 4 marriages turned out. 2 divorces, 1 unhappy couple, and 1 dead bride.
Maybe there’s a “wedding chapel of decent pizza”.
Once that Pulitzer nomination expired there was no need for Wally anymore.
Tbh to me the middle one looked like “Summer marrying a young blonde woman” at first glance. Oh, i see, no arm, i guess it’s the other one.
I like how Funky, who did not have grey hair originally and was certainly not that far receding back then, is looking at Becky as if he’s marrying her. And how stoned does Wally look with that dumb expression on his face?
For some reason, I thought Funky and Cindy got married in a double wedding. Was their wedding ever shown or even talked about, or did Batiuk just present it as a fait accompli after the transition between Act I and Act II?
Also, two wedding receptions and three wedding ceremonies over the course of over 50 years. How did any of the other wedding venues manage to stay in business trying to keep up with that blistering pace?
Of course, with Batiuk, since every wedding that ever mattered to him ended up at Montoni’s at some point, that justifies saying its reputation is “well earned”. Again, he can’t even pretend that anyone outside his small cadre of losers matters. And that’s why Summer’s book isn’t going to feature anything not involving these boring jerkoffs.
The latest Match To Flame entry on the Funkyblog is up.
Good lord, what a pretentious git this creep Batiuk is.
The “movies he was seeing in his head”? That is absolutely terrifying to ponder. THESE are the movies he sees in his head?
From that ahuman expression on Funky’s face, I’m guessing that one of those movies is “Mr. Sardonicus.”
Quick, where did I put my “Punishment Poll” card?
And he says he presided over his characters like a proud father.
Nonsense, he turned most of them into fat losers who complain about trivial things all the time—the rest he turned into pompous jerks.
“My characters moving deeper into their adulthood and encountering more adult themes. My cast of high school teenagers had grown up.” Uh yeah, ten years ago! This is the foreword to Volume 11 (2002-2004). They became adult characters in 1992. I know the man had a problem keeping his timelines straight, but sheesh.
But you have to admit that particular strip really is well colored.
Yes its true Les and Lisa got married at Montonis, with Les dressed as Batman and Lisa as Robin. So not only were Summer’s parents married at Montoni’s, lived Montoni’s, Summer was conceived at Montoni’s, Lisa went into labor at Montonis and Summer was born in the Montoni’s van on the way to the hospital. So Summer *must* save Montoni’s Its a shrine to her and St. Lisa
Ah, so that’s where this is going. Summer will get a billion-dollar book published within a few days, and she’ll easily foot the bill for saving Montoni’s! Then she’ll win a prestigious award and give it to Less because that’s just the Westview way! It’s elegant in its simplicity and stuff.
Don’t forget the strip where, lacking a blanket, they wrapped a newborn Summer in swaddling pizza. Happily, her burns were merely first degree, as Montoni’s uses really cheap boxes.
It’s kind of interesting to me that, as far as I know, Les’ parents have never appeared in the strip or even been mentioned a single time. Seeing the photo of Les and Lisa’s wedding made me wonder why they weren’t there when their son got married. We know why Lisa’s parents weren’t present; they disowned her when she got pregnant. But when you come to think of it, shouldn’t that whole drama have been part of the story? Is it really possible that after high school she never saw her parents again and it didn’t affect her in any way? And is it really possible that Summer has never given a damn who her grandparents are?
I like to think that Les’s parents fled the country to get away from him and are currently living in France somewhere enjoying life
One other stray thought, it’s kind of weird that the two least comic book obsessed characters in the strip (Les and Lisa) were the ones who got married in costume.
Did Les’s parents return to a small village named Remulak? It would explain so much about his efforts to emulate human behavior.
Also, two receptions and three weddings? That’s either pathetic (if Montoni’s is a kind of banquet hall sort of place that should be doing that kind of business every month, not every seventy years), or extremely pathetic (if Montoni’s is a walk-in/take-out type pizza joint with a few tables, the sort of place where only the very saddest of weddings would even be considered.)
That line made me wonder who had their wedding at Montoni’s, and their reception somewhere else.
“Reception’s at Harry Dinkle’s house! Everyone crowd right in!”
One thing I’m noting about all this Funky/Montonis reminiscing is that the memories relevant to the cast seem to only go back as far as Act 2 when Funky starts his long tenure there as a driver. Surely there’s something notable from the Act 1 years he could be talking about? Tom’s own website reminds us his earliest merch highlighted its presence in those times:
See, that’s actually funny.
This is why I liked the earlier acts better. No attitude, no preaching. Decent jokes.
But no award nominations. Therefor–
I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it: the Pulitzer nomination was the worst thing that ever happened to Funky Winkerbean. It set Tom Batiuk’s aspirations at a level far beyond his ability.
I’ve said the same many times, but the fact that the nomination was for “Lisa’s Story” showed that he was already headed in that direction. The nomination was the encouragement to his downfall. He thought his slight talent could be enlarged into something noticable.
Back then it became fashionable to bring misery onto the comics page. But I believe Lynn Johnston beat Batty to it.
I’m ok with serious stories, but it just got way out of hand with a lot of unnecessary suffering. Watterson and Schulz struck a much better balance.
As if Summer hasn’t heard that story a half a billion times already. Les and Lisa’s superhero-themed wedding was one of the queasiest things I’ve ever seen. Uh, yeah, the only venue in town hosting three weddings over the course of a million years isn’t really all that impressive. Perhaps Summer’s first book would make a better pamphlet. Aim low kid, as you’ll all be dead soon enough anyhow.
The 17 people who wind up actually reading Summer’s dreadful book about the history of
WestviewMontoni’s are going to get to the chapter on Montoni’s weddings, read that her parents were married at this terrible pizza restaurant on Halloween while dressed as a very famous comic book character and that very famous comic book character’s surrogate son, and think to themselves “Oh… yeah, that explains a lot.”
One of those seventeen readers will be a sociology major who will feel inspired to write her graduate thesis on “Westview: A Sociodynamic Catastrophe from the Start.”
That’s actually a good angle. Lisa’s Story is such a global phenomenon by now that there must be a market for a salacious “inside story” about it. And Summer is the perfect person to write it. She’d have a lot to say about Les and Lisa’s indifferent parenting, how self-absorbed they really are, and Les’ cultish behavior after she died.
America loves winners, but it especially loves seeing winners fall from grace. There have to people in this world who’d love to see the Spencer and Heidi of cancer taken down a peg. And boy howdy, do they need it.
Maybe Frankie could approach her about it. That’d be a good story! A face-heel turn would liven this comic strip up a bit.
As Margaret pointed out, Summer has a lot to be bitter about. Her parents disowned Lisa when she got pregnant after a (choose one) date rape/bit of carelessness? And never entered her life (barring a retcon in the coming weeks)? Her neglectful father served her a monotonous, limited diet that was bound to cause malnutrition and permanent health problems? Instead of fighting the cancer, Mommy spent her last weeks taping control-freak messages? I’m sure there are some nasty stories about all that, and some nastier memories. And I’m sure she overheard the egomaniacs around her air out some dirty laundry.
I’d like to think that we never see Cayla’s daughter (I don’t even remember her name) b/c she had a falling out with Summer and her mom over Les. Summer blew up at the hint of of a suggestion that her dad was anything less than the world’s greatest husband. Cayla just shut down and refused to answer her daughter’s accusation that she’d let herself be
Les’s doormat. Plus, she was just sick and tired of all
the damn pizza,
You remind me of Norman Mailer’s review of Mary McCarthy’s *Group,” in which he calls one of the book’s Vassar graduates “a real duncy broad who becomes a literary agent (one can’t even remember her name).”
It’s Libby, O Chronicler of Cannibals and Christians.
Batman and Robin tying the knot? Somewhere the ghost of Dr. Fredric Wertham is shouting, “AHA! You see! I was right all along!”
Frankly, I’m surprised that Bravo hasn’t had a “Pizza Parlor of Love” reality dating show yet.
So Lisa dressed up as a teenage boy. Wait. I thought she married Les. A girl disguised as a little boy is Crazy Harry’s thing!
2014: “The Wedding Chapel Of Love”
2022: “The Pizza Parlor Of Love”
“I will constantly defer to the past and alter any details at any time because fuck you. Buy my books.” – Tom Batiuk
“The Wedding Chapel of Love”? Aren’t all wedding chapels, even the tackiest Elvis-themed shack off the Vegas Strip, supposedly chapels of love? That’s their entire raison d’etre, after all! Sweet Fancy Moses, was Batiuk ever/i> able to write?
Who’s getting married in that comic? Is that Wally, or is it Darin? (The bride is a Generic Blonde Woman, which would suggest she’s Jessica Darling Whose Father Was John Darling Who Was Murdered, but it could be Rachel with her hair miscolored. Again.) Or someone else?
Also, Funky and Holly used to still look human in Act III, before they turned into Generic Potato People. (Yet Les looks exactly the same, including that smug, smirking backpfeifengesicht.) (A most excellent – and entirely fitting – word.)
The Generic Potato People have eaten the pizza place out of business. Seeing them, Crazy Harry should inflict on them a spin on his horrible question from earlier in the year. Do they have hips?
It is indeed Wally and Rachel.
Also, upon inspection of that comic, I think that’s John Howard without a skunk hat and without a Batman shirt back there. He also has Linda’s decapitated and shrunken head on his shoulders? Huh.
Definitely John and Becky, because if there’s one couple you want to invite to your wedding, it’s your ex-wife and her husband, who despises you.
None of Wally’s Army buddies that Batiuk drags out when he wants to make some heartwarming strip about disability showed up. Rana, who cared more about Wally than anyone else in Act III, didn’t get an appearance. None of Wally’s children did, in fact. And Rachel apparently has no friends, except, of course, her new husband’s ex-wife.
But oh, Les and Cayla absolutely must show up, despite the fact that if they’ve ever spoken a word to either person getting married, I sure don’t remember it.
I think that the couple in the first panel are the Fairgoods, who we haven’t seen in years.
I believe the photo in the upper right of the first panel is a portrait of Frank Zappa.
The worst of it is that we have three more days of this self-important little man talking about the boring details of this boring place. Tomorrow, he’ll probably slobber over that idiotic toy bandbox.
Well at least that does represent real life as people who visit Luigi’s love The Band Box.
It’s not really that impressive in real life, it’s cute and nostalgic, but that’s about it.
I’ve seen the bandbox in person a couple of times. It appears to be a Barbie doll with a few 1960s-era G.I. Joes. Do they actually move or something?
They sort of vibrate to the music. Cute, but not that exciting or interesting.
There’s a video here, with fourteen of the most exciting and action-packed seconds you’ll ever see in Funky Wikerbean:
Thanks guys. That’s more than I saw during my visits to Luigi’s. I guess you have to pay to see it play.
1. I’ll keep on saying it: A Batman and Robin themed wedding for a milquetoast hetero couple is all kinds of wrong (Yeah, I get that St. Lisa doesn’t have the bustline to pull of cosplay of most better-known DC heroines, but she easily could have found someone to dress up as…
2. You might argue St. Lisa is trying to be a passable Carrie Kelly, and to that I’d say Batiuk ain’t that clever, Batiuk doesn’t acknowledge the existence of any comics heroes created after 1964, and a billionaire playboy/vigilante marrying a sidekick who isn’t even old enough to drive is just disgusting… Whatever Carrie’s age is, it’s below the legal age of consent in Gotham.
3.What pisses me off the most is 70% of the people attending St. Lisa’s wedding are hardcore certified geekboi comics nerd lore experts and not one of them tried to correct this discrepancy!
Les’ wedding was dumb. I don’t recall either of them liking comic books, let alone Batman and Robin. Oh, maybe Lisa liked the Batman TV show, you know the one Batty hates.
In Batiuk’s defense, I should point out that he had Les recognize a Scarlet Spider costume…and the Clone Sage occurred after 1964.
There was also the somewhat peculiar reference to Speedball from Crazy Harry.
“Just around the corner is the Marvel Civil War…” (apologies to the Clash)
Lisa: (holding both of Les’s hands and staring lovingly into his eyes) Oh, Les, I’m the Robin to your Batman!! 👨❤️👨
There actually is a relationship in Batman that would have worked for the Cosplay wedding. The Selina Kyle (Catwoman) and Batman relationship actually dates to the Golden Age of Comics.
True, and all the truer because in another continuity, Bruce Wayne married Selina Kyle on Earth-Two, and they had a daughter named Helena (the original Huntress).
(In that same continuity, the Earth-Two Superman, who married Lois Lane, would frequently encourage his Earth-One counterpart to do the same with his world’s Lois. I don’t think there were ever any stories in which the Earth-Two Batman took the same line with his doppelganger…and Bruce probably needs a good woman more than Clark.)
The famous opening of “A Scandal in Bohemia” informs us that for Sherlock Holmes Irene Adler is “always the Woman.” For me, the woman for the Batman will always be Silver St. Cloud.
Typically at a wedding, it’s the groom who puts the ring on the bride. I see that wasn’t the case with Les and Lisa. I’m sure when he originally drew that, Batiuk did a run around the bases. “Look how I’m breaking down barriers and expanding people’s worldview! I’d better pick out a nice tie for the awards ceremony!”
Yeah, Batty really hit back at the patriarchy! What a maverick!
For the second day in a row, Funky is telling Summer things about her own family history she should already know. And she’s apparently surprised to learn them.
While Batuik would no doubt say his characters are rich and deep, he seems to treat them like chess pieces. They’re placed on the board and they are limited in how they can move and react. Each game is sui generis with no history, so yes, they are always surprised by things they learned years ago.
Encountered the comic strip below yesterday evening in my GoComics daily subscriptions. There’s no year on this comic, but the adjacent ones have the year 1986. I wonder what Herr Batiuk thought about this at the time.
MILO… MILO. THE WALLS ARE CRAWLING WITH GIANT, FANGED ‘FUNKY WINKERBEANS’!!
No clue what was going on in Funky Winkerbean 1986. This must be the closest Batiuk ever came to a crossover with a quality comic strip.
How good was Bloom County? Every time someone posts a Sunday strip I instantly remember reading it as a kid on the day it ran; even though the day it ran back in 1980-something would have been the only and last time I’d laid eyes on those panels…
And yes, I’m not even ashamed to admit that nine or ten year old Hitorque back in ’86 ABSOLUTELY DID SCRATCH THOSE CIRCLES, JUST TO SEE IF THEY WERE REAL… Because if anybody in my mind was wacky and avant-garde enough to put genuine scratch-and-sniff pads on the comics page, it was Berkeley Breathed.
Okay I see the run date was 28 September 1986, which means I would have been ten… And I had an absolutely kickass birthday party at Putt-Putt and sleepover at my house just a couple weeks earlier and it’s STILL(!) the best birthday I ever had…
Absolutely true. That was Bloom County’s heyday, and it was probably the best thing on the comics page right then.
1987 was the year Berke Breathed won the you-know-what prize, over Tom Batiuk. And Bloom County was at its best in 1986. That was the year of Deathtongue, and the underrated “scalp tonic” arc.
Bloom County is great! I still quote it almost every day.
I wonder what Opus would think if he encountered modern-day Funky. How many herring wallbangers would he be forced to drink?
I vaguely remember the scratch-and-sniff craze. There was a scratch and sniff card from the gas company that was supposed to let you know what a natural gas leak smelled like.
Nice! Hilarious as always!
This, and a Simpsons reference maybe ten years later, were the ONLY times I ever ran across “Funky Winkerbean” in any context whatsoever until about three or four years ago.
There were four competing newspapers in town as I was growing up. None of them carried it.
I enjoyed comic strip collections (owning several volumes of Bloom County, Calvin & Hobbes, Peanuts and others) and worked for a time at what was literally the world’s biggest bookstore. It didn’t carry any Funky Winkerbean books.
Which is why I find it completely gob-smacking that this obscure piece of crap has somehow been around for over 50 years.
Okay, so to be fair, CBH and others have posted early FW strips that were … not bad. Not brilliant, not at the level of C&H or Bloom County, et al. But at least … mildly amusing. Not an embarrassment. Thoroughly adequate.
But those days are decades behind Batiuk now.
And yet still, the comic persists!
Funky Winkerbean may be an argument for “newspaper comic inertia” being one of the most powerful forces in the known universe.
Y. Knott, are you a New Yorker too? And was the bookstore the Barnes & Noble flagship on 17th & 5th?
Because when I was growing up, for a time we, too, got 4 newspapers delivered: The NY Times (which had no comics), the NY Post, the NY Daily News, and New York Newsday. None of them carried Funky Winkerbean. When I first saw the joke on the Simpsons, I had no idea what it was referring to but I figured it must be some lame comic or cartoon because, come on, what a stupid name. I, too, never saw FW until maybe 4-5 years ago when I stumbled on SOSF and more or less simultaneously Comics Kingdom.
And to add — I also loved comics, comic books, and comic anthologies. I would reread issues of MAD till they fell apart, and the same with the MAD paperbacks. My father also loved comics of his generation so I would read his collections of Bringing Up Father, Toonerville Trolley, etc. And I loved newspaper comics. I even read the terrible ones. (Dondi — yeuch!)
Sorry for the slow response. Work cuts into my SOSF time.
I remember that Simpsons episode. Somebody posted that parade video here a little while ago.
Bart: Aw, Springfield has the lamest parade balloons!
Marge: Are you kidding? There’s Funky Winkerbean! Hi, Funky!
Funky Winkerbean inferred as lame on national television? Oh, no! Somebody get Mr. Batiuk some smelling salts!
I have quite a few comic strip collections too. Most from the 1980s. A few Bloom County books, one from The Far Side, and a Jeff MacNelly era Shoe. I have the first eight Garfield collections. I really liked Garfield from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s. Much like The Simpsons, commercialization dulled Garfield‘s edge.
😱 And I must have been a fan in the early 1980s because there is a Funky Winkerbean collection too. You Know You’ve Got Trouble When Your School Mascot is a Scapegoat.
There were some pretty good stories:
– Les spends the entire homecoming weekend stranded at the top of the gym rope.
– Westview miraculously wins a football game but has to forfeit because of an academically ineligible player (Bull Bushka).
– The high school Battle of the Brains, where an overconfident Les blurted out the wrong answer and lost it for his team in a close contest.
– Crazy Harry enters an air guitar contest at the Agora Ballroom in Cleveland.
– The marching band marches in the Rose Parade and visits Disneyland.
The best thing about that era was Les and Dinkle were not infallible.
Funky Winkerbean is a classic tale of a comic creator’s ego exceeding his talent.
In my opinion, if Batiuk had stayed the course and not changed the format of the strip, Funky Winkerbean could have been mentioned in the same breath as the following comic strips;
Hi & Lois
Hagar the Horrible
The Family Circus.
For longevity, if nothing else, Funky Winkerbean could have been held in the same esteem as those comic strips. Those comic strips may be lame and long in the tooth, but they’re not the snark magnet Funky Winkerbean has become.
If interested, there’s Vintage Funky Winkerbean at the Comics Kingdom. Both titles feature comic strips from the mid-1970s.
Yes, I read Act I FW on CK, and I’m always amazed at how coherent it is within its own universe, and how snappy the writing is compared with this distracted old-man rambling we have today.
Nobody rags on Hagar or the Lockhorns or BC or whatever, because it would be like ragging on Burger King fries. Come on — you know what you’re getting when you walk in. It’s fast food, that’s all it is, and that’s all it tries to be.
TB is like having someone invite you for a black-tie dinner party featuring their fantastic home cooking and cocktails, and being served partially microwaved Spaghetti-Os in a paper bowl and a cracked plastic tumbler half-full of flat, warm Old Milwaukee.
“Pretty damn delicious, eh? Eh? Something really special, right? Eat up! I know you’re intimidated, but don’t be! I’m pretty humble about my world-class talents!”
I believe I’ve seen those venerable comic strips mentioned as “zombie strips” because their original creators have retired or died, but the comic strip lives on.
What died with Batiuk? His passion? His enthusiasm? His talent? His humility?
Batiuk graduates from Kent State with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, but somehow believes he’s developed the talents of a world-class writer and storyteller. If Batiuk was anything of an artist, he’d be drawing this strip, not Ayers. What the hell happened? Too busy coming up with award-winning stories to illustrate it? 🤣
Jarvis, the Avengers’s butler, mentions planning to catch up with *Funky Winkerbean* in an *X-Men Annual* in the early 1980s.
Does that count?
Really? It might.
Unless it was a gibe from a Marvel bullpen member who witnessed Batiuk’s infamous interview fail.
It’s amazing how little cultural impact Funky Winkerbean has made in 50 years. It went from being So Okay It’s Average to being so self-serving and incoherent that it somehow avoided contempt.
I guess I really have no room to talk. My rehearsal dinner was in a pizzeria. Everyone enjoyed it, or so they said. Maybe it was the grease talking.
Funky, Holly, Becky, Wally, Tony, Harry, Ruby, Cindy, Mindy, Cory, Rocky… I never realized until today how important the letter “y” is in naming characters in this strip.
There’s a *JLA* story called “Attack of the O Squad,” as so many villains (Despero, Kanjar Ro, Deconstructo) had names ending with O.
(The villains began fighting among themselves over whether to admit T.O. Morrow, and never actually battle the JLA.)
Is the world ready to face the fury (note final letter) of the Y Legion?