Link to today’s (real) strip.
Filed under Son of Stuck Funky
Tagged as bare trees, Christmas, Dinkle's house, holidays, sidewalk, snow, Summer, wreath
More foot-dragging. More actionless strips. Less than 3 weeks left and he’s stringing this along with nothing to offer, nowhere to take it. After 50 years with these characters, here we are, spending the precious few dwindling days on Summer taking a walk.
I know. I got excited seeing Dinkle face down. Ah well, I still have Mary Worth. That generic blonde girl over there has been off the charts crazy.
All the generic blond girls in Funky Winkerbean are off the charts generic.
It’s unbelievable. Even the unexpected cancellation of the strip does nothing to lurch Funky Winkerbean out of its glacial, rambling, self-indulgent, ego-stroking pointlessness.
All I can say about the ending of Funky Winkerbean is that it’s exactly the ending Act III deserves.
Normally, I’d be like, Oh, sure walk past Dinkle’s house, who cares.
But this is two days after Angelo Badalamenti died. The fact that Dinkle lives, and prospers, is constantly rewarded for being horrible, and has the worst of all hatchet faces, just adds insult to injury.
Angelo Badalamenti wrote some beautiful scores. Dinkle heaped excrement on the planet.
Screw you, Tom Batiuk.
A better minute and a half you’ll never have.
Very nice, beckoningchasm. Thank you for sharing.
You have to wonder what nudged Batiuk into posting this strip at this particular time.
Yes, a visit with Decibel Dinkle will clear your head. Of brains. Wouldn’t she have seen him already?
A shotgun would “clear her head” too, plus it’d be quicker and way, way funnier. Summer walking around Westview, where everyone is dead…now THAT’S an ending! The pizzaocalypse, where Summer is the only survivor in a comic book-strewn wasteland, where her life is reduced to scraping old pizza boxes for sustenance.
Every time I see or here a “Moonlight Mile” reference, I can’t help but think about Fat Dom’s head in Carlo’s beach house freezer. Great song, though.
So now she’s gonna passively sit and listen to Dinkle’s clip show blather? That probably would have made sense two weeks ago. WHY did we spend two weeks on that 11th hour Magical Janitor crap?
Wow, thrill to the sight of someone walking past a house! Can your heart stand the excitement? Pulse-pounding action as only Tom Batiuk can deliver!
What are the odds Young Harry Dinkle wanders out of the house and we get two weeks of Batty ripping off “You can’t go back” from the Twilight Zone, but missing the whole point.
Either that or something dumber.
An ice cream soda would cost $5.95, I think, going by Fosselman’s Ice Cream Company prices.
Jay Gatsby thought you could repeat the past. A corpse in a swimming pool says otherwise.
1. A fake strip
2. A real strip
3. No commentary
4. Thank you, you’ve been great, I’m out of here!
So while we are waiting, thanks to all of you for the Casablanca comments.
On to our next perfect strip. And it is so appropriate.
“A Christmas Story. It does the one thing that is so rare. Kids acting great. There is no clunker amid the kid actors. From the classroom to the Christmas line all the kids are perfect. Then consider the maroon kid actors: they go beyond perfection. They are magnificent. How did the director and producers pull that off?
And the Mom and Dad. They acted married. They did not miss a beat. Melinda and Darren were my parents.
I hope you comment on “the Christmas Story”. It is wish fulfillment done right. (Take a hint, TB!)
“Of fu-fu-fu-dge! But I didn’t day fudge.”
Not maroon…main kid actors. Damn Siri!
There really isn’t much to comment on here. First, Summer breaks out another trope so old it’s commonly found in cave paintings, then she walks by Dinkle’s eyesore of a house. And, of course, nothing happens. For the last two weeks, it was all time travel helmets and influencing the future, and now Summer is walking around aimlessly. It’s hard to believe it’s actually dropped off this week, but here we are.
Yeah, I have to admit that Batty won. He created a strip so terrible that it is almost snark proof.
I think he is making comics history, but not for the reasons he thinks.
Like that tweet said: it’s an incredible combination of unhinged and boring. Every daily strip looks like it’s part of a coherent larger story, but it never is.
Today we get a character going for a walk to clear her head, when there’s absolutely nothing going on she needs to clear her head about. Or even any story going on at this point. The strip spent three (of its final six) weeks building up this stupid Westview book into the most important tome in human history, and then said “psych!”
So we don’t even know where this non-story even is right now. Except that Funky Winkerbean is going to mope on and on and on, and nothing is going to continue to happen, while its last moments of existence slip away.
He’s not even making history in any way, let alone the way he thinks; that’s the most pathetic part of all this.
Apartment 3-G did the slow march to baffling incoherence first, and better, though towards the end it was truly very saddening.
“So smile, Margo, and move on.”
I still haven’t quite moved on from Ladies of 3G
“Fra-GEE-leh!” It must be Italian!
Aren’t they just perfect actors! Everything is just so real life. Whoever produced and directed put money into the script. As I said before, those kids could take direction. Ralph daydreaming in school about his term paper is priceless.
Even the final scene: “Melly Chlistmas. Melly Chlistmas.” Then cuts the head off the duck. Then Mom’s reaction. Perfect.
You will probably be the only one to read this. But TB is ending FW like it’s a failure. Good grief! He has had 50 years. He should be celebrating. It’s sad to end it the way he is doing it. I love the people on SOSF (yes, you too!) but I can barely read the posts. TB is so pitiful I feel like I am kicking a dead horse. So it is hard for me to post.
On to better news: Friday night we pick up the grandkids. Have them all day Saturday. Then have them till 4pm on Sunday. The reason: we are having a Christmas goody basket pass a round at LaDonna’s brother’s house. We all draw a number. Then in order you go through a basket with candies, snacks, toys, video games, etc.
Number 1 goes first. Then number 2 can pick their own choice or take number 1’s pick. An so forth. Much hilarity ensues. This is at least our 40th year.
What are you and Mal doing for the holidays? I hope your grandkids surprise you. Well, Merry Christmas ✝️ to all in Eve Hill’s home. You are loved and you have made 2022 special to me.
So Dinkle lives within walking distance of Les? That’s one terrifying neighborhood.
And why does she need to clear her head? Is there some baffling mystery behind this dismal burg? And wasn’t she supposed to recognize patterns, or was that just part of the dream?
I think it’s worth a note that when we started this “arc” on the 21st of November, we actually saw Les/Summer’s house and it was still green outside (albeit with bushes deprived of leaves). Then more recently with last week as Summer chatted with Harley Whachamacallit, it was already snowing, leading into what we’re seeing so far with this week.
Clearly all that time travel talk was seeing time pass in real-time for us readers, not the characters. Another affect of the time bubble, I’m sure.
(and for anyone thinking we’re past that now post-dream, I’d bet good money we’ll see Summer notice Harley in a crowd shot or something and he winks to her, implying you know what was real-all along, just like space helmet catboy)
It’s like in Jeff Smith’s Bone comic, where “winter strikes quick” in The Valley. (Sorry, I know I shouldn’t be referencing such an excellent comic that I could be reading instead of Funky Winkerbean.)
You can’t do anything to a cartoonist that he doesn’t want!
Pass the stale breadthingies.
I won’t bet against you, Andrew. Do you think Harley ushers in the connection to Centerville and the Crankshaft strip?
How much control does Batiuk have over the coloring? I’ve heard that some strips have colors that don’t match the season in real time b/c the work is done by people outside the US who don’t know what the natural colors should be and/or are not given guidelines.
Re: Sudden season changes: It’s hard to say when the art and coloring have been so sloppy for so long. You may be right that winter has suddenly descended.
But two bare shrubs and one green one makes total sense; there are a lot of evergreen shrubs. The bright green of the lawn I think we can put down to a coloring mistake; lawns are only chartreuse green for a couple weeks in early spring, and it’s clearly not early spring. There is still some green in the grass in December in a lot of places.
My point is, using the information shown, it’s perfectly possible that it started snowing in the few hours (?) between her leaving to see the janitor and her returning home.
Puff Batty is not a master of subtlety. I think if he were trying to drive home the idea that the seasons changed overnight, he’d have Summerteeth announcing, “Gee, it seems like winter came so suddenly! How very strange!”
I’d bet good money we’ll see Summer notice Harley in a crowd shot or something and he winks to her,
I really don’t think so. I think this remains stupidly unresolved. I believe that Batiuk took a look at what he had written the last three weeks and realized that this whole thing had gone completely off the rails, but he wasn’t interested in rewriting all those strips, so instead he decided to “suggest” that it was all a dream. He wants to keep all the “Summer’s special! She’s the chosen one! Her book will change the course of human history!” but separate it from “this whole Time Custodian thing is completely batshit”. So what does he do? He straddles the fence on this issue. Any criticism of the arc that it’s just fuckbonkers will be met with “it was just an outlandish dream”! And any criticism that he’s gone with the hackiest hackery possible will be met with “but was it REALLY a dream?” It’s so he can try to avoid the most obvious criticisms of his work.
Re today’s faux strip: If wishes were horses, beggars would use them to trample Dinkle into a bloody smear in the snow.
Sad to hear about Badalamenti. This has been a truly sucky year for losing people with REAL talent.
Yes, and Julee Cruise, the singer who worked with Badalamenti on Twin Peaks, also died earlier this year.
Clear her head? Summer’s entire life has been “the triumph of an uncluttered mind.” (Obscure quote from Blaine Nye, Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman and co-founder of their Zero Club.)
I had this tiny, irrational thought in my head that maybe we were done with Hairy Dinkhole for good. So much for that. Less and the Atomix Komixes crew can’t be far behind. Sigh.
How soon do we get the clue that Maybe It Wasn’t a Dream After All?
Best. FW Strip. EVER.
Great work, TFH!
Ding dong, Dinkle is dead. Touché, TFH. Well done, sir! I actually thought that was today’s strip (and was sorely disappointed when I realized it is not.)
If the last two weeks of this strip showed Summer coming upon the dead bodies of all the main characters over the course of her walk, I’d consider that a great ending to FW.
Maybe they were all victims of a glitch in Timemop’s time bubble. While Summer was in the closet with Harley, maybe everyone had one last, but poisoned, cup of Monton’s coffee, which they drank Jim Jones style after being persuaded by Funky that there was a better place waiting for them, a Silver Age heaven. Maybe they all died from outgassing after taking turns with the helmet.
Whatever. It’s too bad TFHackett isn’t finishing this strip. Finishing it off.
You mean Westview isn’t Heaven? Quick, alert the Third Expedition!
But what if they’re the ones who brought chicken pox to Westview?
Yet another perfect placement of tombatiuk.com/books. Panel 2 is juts made to move merch.
Except for not being a book anyone would ever want to buy.
The first printing allegedly sold out!
Anyone know how large Batiuk’s family is?
Wasn’t that during the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020? I’m glad those times are behind us!
According to this article I found, one run can be as few as 400 to 1000 copies. And university presses have to make sure every copy sells, so they’re not going to over-print.
The most recent FW collection, released a month ago, is currently ranked #387715 in Books. According to this calculator, that works out to 150 sales a month. And that’s just Amazon; Batiuk also pounds pavement to schlep his hard copy books, and I’m sure you can buy copies around greater Cleveland. So an initial print run of 1000 seems plausible.
It’s still not very impressive. The latest Sherman’s Lagoon book, which has been out a month longer, is #29,253 in Books. That works out to 300 copies in a month. Zits and Baby Blues are even higher in the rankings than that.
I truly want to know how many of those were bought ironically. Fess up, SoSF’ers — have you bought, or been given, one of these lovely tomes by someone who knows your history? Or did you
I picture it like the novelty “Billy Bass” singing fish on a plaque. How many of those were bought as gag gifts just to get a rise out of the recipient?
…sorry, a slight case of snarkus interruptus. I meant to say “did you buy a volume for yourself to brush up on FW history for snarkage purposes?”
I may, or may not, confess to buying the complete FW Volume 4. Used, so I wouldn’t have bolstered the sales numbers.
1978 was a surprisingly good year for FW. Actually got several chuckles out of the thing.
Shouldn’t Summer be at Kent State studying for finals? She was never said to have graduated?
At the start of this slog, she said she was going to take a year off to write her book. (The one that may or may not turn into Bible II.)
Most first-time writers would not know how much time they need to write a book but a Moore *knows* she only needs a year to write her first book. An oral history that, she said at the beginning, reveals a macro-socio something or other. So, a year to conduct interviews, do research and bang out a final draft.
But, being told in a dream-or-was-it that it’s going to be, as you note, Green Luthor, the sequel to the Bible, focuses the mind and gives you the mojo to pound that out.
Is Batiuk himself writing an oral history of Westview- faux interviews with his characters with some banalities about what their “lives” teach us about the human condition- that we can expect to see hawked at his website within a year?
Interesting theory, It fits his self-promotion and ego, but it doesn’t fit his laziness. Batiuk can barely be bothered to write three comic strip panels a day, with 11 months lead time. His blog is nothing but comic book covers and outdated John Darling strips. He’s not going to write an entire book.
If anything, Summer’s book is an in-universe a stand-in for the FW compilation books he’s long been publishing. He thinks those are insights into the human condition.
Sigh… For better or for worse…okay, for better, I think you’re right.
It’s certainly true that he thinks every panel he writes is a piece in a grand mosaic displaying the human condition. For example, who has never gone for a walk to clear their head? The guy gets it! I feel like he’s speaking directly to me!
It’s like Batiuk is mimicking human behavior. He knows people go for a walk to clear their heads, but he doesn’t know why.
And Lord knows the story isn’t going tell us. Summer is under no pressure whatsoever. She has no editor, no contract, no deadline, and has done no actual work. She’s barely a month into her “gap year,” so she’s not running out of time. Les isn’t making her show any progress, get a side job, do chores, or do anything at all.
Summer is a writer only because she declared herself one, and claimed her apparent right to discard all other responsibilities in life. But somehow she has all this stress she needs to “clear her head” about. At worst, she had a bad dream. She’s a 32-year-old NEET, and we’re supposed to be empathizing with her right now.
If anything, Summer’s book is an in-universe a stand-in for the FW compilation books he’s long been publishing.
This gives me a chilling thought. Maybe Summer will decide to produce her book as a “graphic novel”, enlisting Boy Lisa as the artist, and the finished product will look suspiciously similar to the next Funky Winkerbean compilation.
Maybe Summer will decide to produce her book as a “graphic novel”, enlisting Boy Lisa as the artist, and the finished product will look suspiciously similar to the next Funky Winkerbean compilation.
That’s the kind of ending I thought Funky Winkerbean would do. It hits all the notes you’d expect. It conflates Batiuk’s real-world books with the in-universe books, something he’s done before. It involves a collaboration between the two offspring of the beknighted Lisa, whom I don’t think have ever interacted before. And it perfectly sets up one last trip to Atomik Komix and one last Sunday cover. You’d think Batiuk would enjoy doing all of this, and that he’d find it a satisfying ending.
Instead we get a non-writer not writing a non-book about nothing. She spent three weeks interviewing some nobody about nothing, but it turned out to be nothing. She’s now doing nothing and walking nowhere with no one to talk to. It’s like the Gary Gnu Show, taken to an extreme.
BJr6K, is it wrong that I read the last paragraph of your posting in George Carlin’s voice?
I’m very flattered. I’m a huge G.C. fan.
Soooo…. How much of the past weeks/months was Summer’s dream? Is TB going to wave away Montoni’s closing? Summer’s decision to write a book / make a last effort to be noticed by her father? The wedding Summer (may have) attended?
Is Summer still at university, dreaming of visiting Westview?
Why ask questions that not even Batiuk asked himself?
I mean, she did talk about it being the interviews getting to her head. Which, credit where due, does give us a time frame.
Enough talk about this shit, here’s something on twitter I found that’s actually *good*:
I HEAR THE BLUES A-KILLIN' (or: Frasier Meets Columbo) part 1 of 4 pic.twitter.com/4C8zrB1CYB
— Joe Chouinard (@joechoui) October 18, 2022
I HEAR THE BLUES A-KILLIN' (or: Frasier Meets Columbo) part 1 of 4 pic.twitter.com/4C8zrB1CYB
— Joe Chouinard (@joechoui) October 18, 2022
Better than good, that’s great stuff, Hitorque. Thanks.
Strips like this one make Batiuk’s complaining about why nobody reads newspapers anymore extra hilarious. You got paid to take up newspaper space, and this is what you did with it, Batiuk?
Please tell me the front door is unlocked and Summer walks in to find the mummified corpses of Harry and Mrs. Dinkle sitting on their living room sofa as an endless DVD loop of his marching in last year’s Rose Parade plays on the TV.
Funky Winkerbean is Exhibit A why people don’t read newspapers anymore. It’s ancient, self-indulgent poor quality, long-useless legacy content. And with a snotty attitude towards anyone born after 1963.
Christmas time is here
No happiness or cheer
Summer’s gone to take a walk
So that her head can clear~
Dinkle’s house is there
Should we even care?
Will talk if she
Buys a frozen band turkey~
Nice one, ComicTrek. Definitely going to miss the poems and haiku that are are a regular feature of SoSF.
A haiku. Or two.
Clear your mind? Better to fill
Why would Summer visit Dinkle? Wasn’t she a sporto in high school?
Did Batiuk forget to count the arms and mixed her up with Becky?
One would expect her to go talk to Linda about Bull. But nope, she’s a writer now. “ She’s writing novels now!”
We’re going to get something stupid about how she forgot to interview him. Weird. He used to be almost appealing once….but Batiuk’s being a simp ruined that too. The man does an impression of the dog who caught the car and he wonders why people object.
I know many hate Dinkle, and will suffer thru the next 8 or 9 strips with him droning on, but Tom does know his commercially viable properties, and for better or worse, Dinkle is one. You can go to any H.S. in the midwest, walk in the Band Director’s office and find Dinkle strips attached to cabinets or boards. Hell, there are Dinkle marching shoes, and (I’m shuddering even thinking about it) an actual Dinkle march which many an unfortunate band has been subject to perform.
Heck, at my high school, Dinkle was painted on the band director’s office door.
But of course, back then, the strip had something to offer. Now it is just a vanity project for Batty.
Dinkle was commercially viable in Act I because he was a brilliant satire of a real profession, like the Pointy-Haired Boss is. But Act III Dinkle is so abusive that nobody should want to identify with him. He’s no longer a whimsical caricature of the band director profession; he’s an indictment of it.
But band directors still do identify with him. Nostalgia and lack of self-awareness die hard, apparently.
Here’s an Ohio director who seems to be inspired by Dinkle…
Act I Dinkle was brilliant. Now he’s just another insufferable blowhard who, like his creator, takes himself way too seriously.
(the band director) was displeased with the way that the referees were walking behind the band and decided to voice his displeasure. So ironically, the ejection and penalty didn’t even have anything to do with the football team.
Sounds like something Dinkle would do. Or Les, if he thought the referees were walking in a way that was disrespectful to Lisa.
Yep, here in Ohio, we take marching bands and football very seriously. And yes, the order was deliberate!
Operation “Save the Band Shoe Royalties” begins.
I think it’s been underway for awhile, since Dinkle took a job in Centerview last year.
And if only one Funky Winkerbean character is going to outlive the strip and continue as a Crankshaft character, then Dinkle is the smart choice. Somehow, his legacy hasn’t been tainted. Probably because the people who still like him haven’t actually read the strip in 30 years.
Dinkle, let’s face it, was loathesome from the start. It was played for laughs at the beginning. He’s equally loathesome today, but Puffy now thinks he’s heroic.
But the fact remains: Loathesome and unlovable then, loathesome and unlovable now. So Dinkle’s the most unchanged character in the canon.
True, but the tone was a lot more humorous and exaggerated. He fit right in with Holtron, Crazy Harry, and the other absurdities of Act I. He was an over-the-top exaggeration of band directors, keeping students until midnight and making them practice in hurricanes. The difference is that now he treats adults the same way, in a world we’re supposed to take seriously.
since Dinkle took a job in Centerview last year.–> Pretty inspiring, really, considering he’d lost his hearing…
Dinkle at face value was loathsome in Act I but we were supposed to laugh at him. His director’s cap was so low that we never saw his eyes.
Since then we’re supposed to laugh with him, and love the same things he does. He doesn’t wear a hat anymore, so we are subject to the same smirks and “These poor bastards, amirite?” look in his eyes.
We’re in a cheesy movie about an up-and-coming writer. Summer has decided to become a writer, chosen her subject and collected all the mere facts. Her prolonged nightmare about Hardly has revealed The Crisis: How does she begin her book? She goes for a walk to clear her mind, hoping for inspiration–and of course she stumbles across it. Here’s the Wise Magical Man who, guess what, is also a writer! He’ll speak the proper inspirational words and Summer’s face will light up. She’ll run home and start typing furiously, while intense piano music plays in the background. Time-jump and the book is on the best seller list! Summer is nominated for a Pulitzer, but she’s much too busy collecting her Nobel Prize to bother with that. When she makes her acceptance speech in Stockholm, she takes a dig at the publishers who refused it, saying she needed an editor, and thanks her father for getting it into print.
She’s having her crisis way too early. The “crisis of confidence” scene should happen near the end of the second act, when the protagonist has made some progress but has hit a wall and needs to find something to restart them. Summer has done nothing but interview people she already knows, and have a bad dream.
Keep in mind, Funky Winkerbean has multiple characters that are personifications of the pressure writers face (Lord of the Late, Le Chat Bleu). Summer is such a bad writer she’s not even having the RIGHT nightmares.
True. Aside from the fact that a mere girl isn’t worthy of too much attention, Batiuk must be in a rush to get to the reward scene. Would it be a surprise if the scene shifts to Summer’s granddaughter as she writes granny’s biography? With Hardly nudging her to put the focus on Les, of course.
A lot still bothers me about this dream/interview with the time janitor. If it was indeed a dream, Summer would have had to have some idea about the time helmet, and various other things that only Crazy/Donna/Harley could have known about. But then if it wasn’t a dream, and Harley told her all this stuff and then “nudged” her to make her think it was all a dream, then what was the point of telling her anything at all? Anyhow, I don’t think we’ve seen the end of it.
She sought Harley out herself after noticing everyone mentioning him and realizing he’d been around forever during important events. Maybe Harley figured telling her a truth more audacious than reality and then nudging her into thinking it was a dream was actually a better way to cover his tracks.
I mean, if I had a dream that I’d been stuck for three weeks in a closet with my school’s janitor who told me a creepy story about how he had influenced my entire life from behind the scenes, I wouldn’t really want to seek him out IRL any time soon.
None of this, of course, excuses spending three weeks of the last SIX this strip will run for on a inane time travel conversation in a janitor’s closet.
Cody and Owen
Dead Skunk Head
Les' yellow shirt
Old dying people
photo album corners
traveling green shirt
unnatural hand gestures
Westview High School
Westview HS Band