Get The Funk Out

Today’s strip.

If comic strips can have clip shows. I guess they can have voice overs, too.

No characters are visible today, as (presumably) Funky rambles about how great Montoni’s history wall is. It’s the same irrelevant junk we saw Sunday, except that Mason Jarre is up there now. It’s not even drawn with much more detail.

And it feels out of order in the narrative. Summer has spent the last two days interviewing Tony about Montoni’s history, so she doesn’t need to be convinced Montoni’s has a lot of history she should investigate. Was this supposed to be Monday’s strip?

It even has another rewriting of its own history, calling John Darling a “TV celeb.” Oh, come on! The man’s dying words were a lament that he never got to become a celebrity:

On top of that, we saw John Darling being equated with these ancient fossils barely a month ago.

“Much of Westview’s history has passed through Montoni’s doors.” Yes, it’s amazing that prominent people in a small town have eaten in the town’s only restaurant. Sheesh. Get over yourself.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

58 responses to “Get The Funk Out

  1. billytheskink

    Funky looks pretty darn good for 38 years old in that photo with President Clinton… you know, because that’s pretty much the youngest someone who just had their 50th high school reunion could possibly have been to have appeared in a photo when Bill Clinton was president.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    “And you can revisit these wacky characters…and more…in “The Complete FW Volume Twenty-Four: Take-A ‘Nother Pizza My Heart Now, Baby”, available wherever books (actually collected volumes of previously-published comic strips) are sold!”. I mean, that IS what he’s struggling to say here, right?

    • Jimmy

      I feel like it should be available on twl 8-tracks or cassettes as well. No C.O.D.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I haven’t seen a place where books are sold in years. Both Borders and Barnes & Noble went away long ago. The entire 1980s mall Barnes & Noble was in has been torn down.

  3. William Thompson

    “The Eliminator” was a “gaming phenom”? Was there a gaming community that extended far beyond Montoni’s and marveled at the kid’s skills? And “Harley the high school janitor” (the biker blonde, I guess) was famous for, um, eating at Montoni’s every day and not suffering from food poisoning?

    • Green Luthor

      I’m 99% sure the biker blonde is “The Eliminator”. (Generic Blonde Woman there looks pretty much exactly like “Crazy Harry’s Wife” did when her “secret identity” was revealed.) Whoever Harley is, they didn’t seem to warrant having their picture shown to the audience. (I honestly have no idea if this is a character that ever actually appeared in the comic, or if this is their first mention. For Batiuk to randomly introduce them as someone we should know when they never appeared before is… completely on-brand, really.)

      • William Thompson

        So there are two framed pictures of “The Eliminator”? One as the disguised gamer and the other as, I guess, a biker (I assume that’s not the Eliminator helmet she’s holding, and that the corrugated-potato shape is a padded motorcycle seat). Okay, just as long as Batiuk doesn’t waste our time explaining the shocking secret of the Eliminator’s secret identity. I’m sure he can waste our time with other things that have nothing to do with Westview’s hysteria. I mean history.

    • billytheskink

      Why’s he talking about Harley like he’s retired, moved on, or dead? He was working as the high school janitor as recently as February of THIS YEAR.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Thanks, was getting ready to do a search to see if that was the same guy they were talking about.

        Montoni’s every day? Damn, no wonder he couldn’t retire and he is lucky to still be alive. Eating out is expensive and bad for your health.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        In the strip you linked, they talk about him the same way when he’s right in the room with them.

  4. The Dreamer

    Actually Cindy Summers is a much bigger tv celeb than John Darling Cindy was a national network news anchor/reporter Noone outside Westview’s tv market would know Darling Her photo should be up there And what about the actress who won the Oscar for playing St. Lisa? The only Oscar winner who ever ate there and she doesn’t get her picture on the wall?

    • billytheskink

      Cindy got Montoni’s accused of redlining on the local news, it’s a wonder she’s even been allowed in the door since, really.

      Also, her ex-husband owning the place might contribute to her absence from the photo wall…

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        The people of Westview have done some pretty rotten stuff over the years, like give everyone cancer with those stupid decoder rings. I get that you don’t want to remember your worst moments, but the lack of anything positive is a sharp contrast. “The history of Montoni’s is so deep. We had… a person who played video games and rode a motorcycle!”

  5. Green Luthor

    I think John Darling Who Was Murdered was supposed to be something of a local celebrity, but his lament was that he never achieved national fame. (So his murder became national news, “ironically” giving him the fame he wanted after his death.) Calling him a “TV celeb” probably isn’t out of line, all things considered.

    And, hey, it looks like his picture on the wall there is autographed, so that must be Mitchell Knox’s Holy Grail. Good thing they spent three weeks on that story to set this up, I guess. (Unless Batiuk has completely forgotten about him already. Which… yeah, there’s a good chance there.)

    I can’t even imagine how utterly devoid of notability a town has to be to consider a kid who played anachronistic video games 40+ years ago a local celebrity, but… Westview.

    What are the odds that Funky will feel it necessary to explain famed local author Les Moore to Summer? (And what are the odds Summer won’t bother to say anything about that?)

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Calling John Darling a “TV celeb” with no “local” qualifier oversells him pretty badly. And as Dreamer pointed out, Cindy is a much bigger celebrity than Darling ever was, and she gets no mention that we know of.

  6. Is this info “dump”(get it?) supposed to help Summer with her oral history probing the social dynamics of Westview on a micro scale? I sure hope so!

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Of course!

      The people pictured on the wall are the upper class, treated with deference and even reverence by the rest of the townfolk. Every good Westview citizen longed to make a place for themselves on the Montoni’s altar. But now that all of that is being taken down, there will no longer be such a clear demarcation between the honored and the average. What sort of social upheaval will take place when you DON’T KNOW WHO BELONGS ON THE WALL ANYMORE?!??!


      • Anonymous Sparrow

        This is starting to make me think of Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing,” which also concerns a pizzeria and a Wall of Fame.

        On the other hand, there’s no Radio Raheem, no Mookie (though there are lots of mooks!) and whatever power there is here hardly seems worth fighting.

        I’m not nearly as fond of “Do the Right Thing” as some are, but I may have to revisit it and see whether it’s deeper and richer than I initially realized.

  7. J.J. O'Malley

    “And, of course, the beloved Westview icon Harley, who wasn’t important enough to have a photo on the wall next to a video game player and an Ohio TV talk show host, but you get the idea!”

    One can only shudder to imagine what “Tom Batiuk’s ‘Our Town,'” with Mr. F. Winkerbean as the Stage Manager, would sound like.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      “Along here’s a row of mostly empty stores. Soviet era, Eastern European imports in front of them. Last American made, the PT cruiser, crashed about ten years ago. Belonged to Funky Winkerbean, our richest citizen … lives in the big white house up on the hill. Calls it his mozzarella palace.

      Here’s the Komix Korner and here’s Mr. Winkerbean’s pizzeria, Montoni’s . Most everybody in town manages to look into those two stores once a day.

      High School’s over yonder. Quarter of nine mornings, noontimes, and three o’clock afternoons, really every hour on the hour, the hull town can hear the yelling and screaming
      from those classrooms. That’d be Mr. Les Moore’s class. He’s talking bout his dead wife again.”

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      Let’s discuss it over a strawberry phosphate sometime, Mr. O’Malley. Simon Stimson will provide the music, and Mrs. Gibbs will handle the furniture.

  8. Y. Knott

    This never-ending re-hash of All That Has Gone Before feels like it’s trying to be a victory lap.

    But a victory lap should be something that comes after an actual victory, right? In-universe, this is coming after a small-town restaurant failed. (And in an environment where other take-out/delivery places thrived!)

    And on a more meta-level, this is an attempted victory lap for a cringe-inducing failure of a cartoon strip that has no unironic fans, no critical acclaim, and no media profile — and no reason to think it will be remembered for a single day after it ceases publication.

    Which means that even considering Batiuk’s usual standards of writing-as-masturbation, this Montoni’s victory lap is something truly abysmal. There’s been a fair bit of speculation over these last few days as to whether recent arcs have been some sort of prelude to Batiuk merging his two strips …. or even riding off into the sunset altogether. But c’mon … would a narcissist THIS much in love with himself ever voluntarily stop giving himself this ongoing level of self-pleasure?

  9. sorialpromise

    1. I was hoping the gun that killed John Darling who was murdered would morph into a football shaped spaceship. 🚀
    2. I agree that the biker chick is Donna, but with the name Harley, I am changing my vote to janitor.
    3. I will bet you 2 dinners at bwoeh’s kitchen, that Mitchell Knox never shows up, and TB has already forgot about him.
    4. Wednesdays are always busy for me, so I get to SOSF too late to post. Yet I really enjoyed the comic strip discussion. Especially about Bloom County. I love Berke Breathed. He does oil painting, and he posted some on an Art website. It had many other contributors. One of which is a Swiss artist by the name of Gisela Zimmermann. You can find her talent on Saatchi Art and also on LinkedIn. We have exchanged emails, and I have bought several prints. (Bwoeh, I am too poor to buy originals!) It has only come about because I enjoyed Bloom County. My favorite strip comes from December 2015:
    Steve Dallas asks Opus, “What’s the secret to happiness?”
    Opus answers, “Hot babes. Cold cash.”
    Leave them laughing.

    • be ware of eve hill

      3. I will bet you 2 dinners at bwoeh’s kitchen, that Mitchell Knox never shows up, and TB has already forgot about him.

      On the menu will be the finest Westviewian cuisine. The dinners will be Les Moore’s “recipe” for hot dogs and peas and representative of a Montoni’s pizza, the cheapest frozen pizza I can find.

      If Mitchell Knox shows up, I’ll eat my snarkers hat a Montoni’s pizza.

      • sorialpromise

        When you bet, you really raise the stakes. You go in whole hog. That’s what I admire about you. Well that and many other things.

      • I’d be inclined to take the bet. Mitchell specifically mentioned that John Darling photo at Montoni’s as a piece of memorabilia that he particularly coveted, and I can’t imagine him passing up the opportunity to own it.

    • be ware of eve hill

      I love Berke Breathed. He does oil painting, and he posted some on an Art website.

      From TB’s Wikipedia page:
      Batiuk attended Kent State University, from which he graduated in 1969 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, majoring in painting.

      TB majored in painting? Has anyone here ever seen a Batiuk original painting? I can’t say I have.

      Did he major in HOUSE painting?
      Critic: Check out that fine brush work on the eaves. *chef’s kiss*

    • Great Cheese of Kanagawa


    • ComicBookHarriet

      “Scoping Montoni’s, Colon, End of Sentence. The Disturbing Tale of Collusion Between A Proctologist And A Restaurateur.”

      Chapter 1.

      It is a widely accepted fact that a diet high in fat, sugar, alcohol, and processed meat greatly increases the likelihood of colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowl disease, hemorrhoids. It is also accepted that treatment for these conditions is potentially lucrative for the medical professional…

      So, what would happen if said medical professional wished to increase his caseload, perhaps by investing in local restaurants to offer addictive combinations of fat, salt, meat and sugar at bargain prices? A dual empire of death built on a mountain of diseased rectums?

      • Hannibal’s Lectern

        Now you’ve done it: I’m gonna spend the rest of the morning looking up that Dave Barry column from the ’80s about bars and restaurants whose names make you think they’re run by a smiling, round-faced Irishman when they’re actually owned by six absentee proctologists in search of tax shelter. And, apparently, new customers.

  10. Jimmy

    That is a well-drawn revolver. Credit where it’s due.

  11. Great Wave of Kanagawa

    Harley the janitor ate lunch there everyday? Have we ever seen him there? Did we ever see Les ever sit down with a fellow school employee and ask about his life? If nothing else, I figured Les would have given him a signed copy of his book. You know, as a generous gesture of his gratitude to the Help. Thanks for the link, billytheskink. Typical Batiuk illogic. It should be “from banging the chalk out of blackboard erasures to wiping the ink out of whiteboard ones,” but, of course, he needed to shoehorn a covid reference into a strip where it never actually happened.

    • Andrew

      It’s a barely-noticed running gag that the janitor never talks and is just an omnipresent figure through all the acts, despite being hyped up. With the fact he’s being written as a Montoni’s regular here, it’s like he’s trying to be made out as the discount store version of Morn from Star Trek: Deep Space 9.

      • Great Cheese of Kanagawa

        Thanks for that back story, Andrew. Like a lot of Act 3 gags, I can see why it would be barely noticed. Cool Trek reference! SoSF: Come for the snark, stay for the awesome cross-references.

      • ian'sdrunkenbeard

      • Anonymous Sparrow

        Do you think Harley is related to the janitor who cleans up the mess in the “Peabody’s Improbable History” cartoons? He never talks, either.

  12. Paul Jones

    Given Batiuk’s fixation with the shlockiest and silliest elements of the world of his youth, I’m betting the apex of this stroll through Forgettable Memory Lane has got to be that bandbox they hooked up to the jukebox

  13. Hitorque

    1. It’s funny because you can easily argue that Cindye Sommerse-Winkerbeane-Jarre is a much bigger local celebrity than Darling ever was, since all Darling was famous for was getting shot.

    2. Sorry, some random teen girl who was good at ONE video game 40+ years ago (and who never won any kind of competition or owned a certified Guinness World Record, mind you) does NOT belong on any wall of fame, unless you’re going to put up photos of the grand champions of EVERY arcade game or pinball machine that was ever in Montoni’s…

    3. No, Summer this isn’t a marketable book idea so please stop acting like you’re interested…

    4. Maybe if Dr. Funk spent as much time slingin’ pizza dough and trying to improve his product/service as he does doing… …Whatever the hell it is he does all shift, Montoni’s wouldn’t be going under?

    4a. I would have thought shutting down a business like this would be a long, arduous process involving a mountain of paperwork, tax forms, closing out payroll, endless calls to suppliers, vendors and the bank, arranging his upcoming auction with his broker or whoever, etc. But Funkenstoner seems to be even less busy than he normally is?

    4B. So what about the upstairs apartment tenants and Komixxx Korner? I’m sure they’d like to know at some point that the rug is about to be pulled from under them?

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Spot on in almost every point Hitorque. But I don’t know…regarding 2.)

      I mean, it seems Montoni’s wall of fame is a pretty even mix between local celebrities and pictures of the past of the restaurant itself. Yeah THE ELIMINATOR doesn’t belong on the wall as a famous figure. But the weird kid who wore a helmet to play video games for YEARS there, could warrant a pic, just as a kitschy peek back in time. Remember that Luigi’s has a picture of the Pizza Monster on it’s wall.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Summer is writing a history of Westview, not Montoni’s. There may be figures on the wall that aren’t relevant to the town’s past, but Summer should be steering this conversation onto more productive areas. This just has no focus at all.

  14. Great Cheese of Kanagawa

    Just noticed Ruby Lith in the masthead. Are we going to see her photo this week? Did she eat at Montoni’s everyday, too? Since she got shoved aside so the old men could re-create their beloved bullpen (but a new, sensitive one where the fellas don’t show stag films and they really truly do admire gals who can write), she would have had the time to do so. I like to imagine Cayla joined her regularly. Cayla enjoyed Ruby’s Les-bashing, though she would never actually leave him. And she keeps the caricatures of him that Lily drew in placemats in a shoebox.

    • Hannibal’s Lectern

      Ruby’s there to answer the question we’re all asking: how are we going to get from Flunky droning on about minor Worstview celebrities to a sideways comic book cover in the next three days?

    • Andrew

      I think we’re just due for another week of Atomik Komiks rambling about making topical stories. 90% odds we’re gonna move on like the “Montonis is closing” bombshell didn’t happen, just like Rolanda coming out of the closet.

  15. The Duck of Death

    This strip is getting so depressing that I sometimes debate with myself whether to even read it. It’s like a preview of the un-self-aware feebleness that awaits us all old age.

    But no, not always; a dear friend recently died at 97 and until she was about 95, she was sharper than most people at 30. A bad fall did her mental faculties in, but damn she had a good run. And until she fell ill, she continued to travel, and make younger friends, and involve herself in the community.

    I learned a lot from her. One tip: Don’t always bang on about how things were better in the old days. You’ll look like an outmoded old fart. Instead, show some interest in what’s going on today. Ask questions. Be curious.

    And also, don’t complain about your aches and pains and doctor’s visits. It brings people down and makes you a drag on everyone’s life, including your own.

    As you can imagine, at 95, she’d outlived most everyone she’d known in her youth. I never heard her mope about it, though. I know she missed them terribly; of course she did. But life is for the living.

    Neither Funky nor Les nor Tom Batiuk will ever learn those lessons. Result: a deeply depressing and moribund strip, a preview of the long, ever steeper skids that lead to the grave.

  16. Just get to the auction already, so Mitchell Knocks and Chester can have a bidding war over the John Darling photo, and Funky can earn enough money to save Montoni’s.

    In other news, Ruby Lith is back! What will be her role in this train wreck?

    • The Duck of Death

      And either she’s been on steroids, because of, one must assume, cancer, or she’s really been packin’ in the Montoni’s greasebombs. Her face sure has filled out.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        We haven’t seen Ruby Lith in months, and she shows up with so much smug condescension on her face. Why is everyone in this comic strip so punchable?