With a Head Full of Snow

Link to today’s (real) strip.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

86 responses to “With a Head Full of Snow

  1. The Duck of Death

    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.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      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.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      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.

  2. 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.

  3. William Thompson

    Yes, a visit with Decibel Dinkle will clear your head. Of brains. Wouldn’t she have seen him already?

  4. Epicus Doomus

    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.

  5. RudimentaryLathe?

    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?

  6. Green Luthor

    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!

  7. Cabbage Jack

    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.

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      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.

  8. Cabbage Jack

    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.

  9. sorialpromise

    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.”

    • sorialpromise

      Not maroon…main kid actors. Damn Siri!

    • Epicus Doomus

      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.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      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.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        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.

      • The Duck of Death

        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.”

    • be ware of eve hill

      “Fra-GEE-leh!” It must be Italian!

      • sorialpromise

        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.

  10. Charles

    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?

  11. Andrew

    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)

    • Green Luthor

      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.)

    • Cheesy-kun

      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.

    • The Duck of Death

      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!”

    • Charles

      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.

  12. erdmann

    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.

    • The Duck of Death

      Yes, and Julee Cruise, the singer who worked with Badalamenti on Twin Peaks, also died earlier this year.

  13. 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?

  14. Jimmy

    Best. FW Strip. EVER.

    Great work, TFH!

  15. Cheesy-kun

    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.

  16. billytheskink

    Yet another perfect placement of tombatiuk.com/books. Panel 2 is juts made to move merch.

  17. The Dreamer

    Shouldn’t Summer be at Kent State studying for finals? She was never said to have graduated?

    • Green Luthor

      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.)

      • Cheesy-kun

        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?

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          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.

          • Cheesy-kun

            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!

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            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.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            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.

          • The Duck of Death

            BJr6K, is it wrong that I read the last paragraph of your posting in George Carlin’s voice?

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            I’m very flattered. I’m a huge G.C. fan.

  18. batgirl

    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?

  19. Hitorque

    Enough talk about this shit, here’s something on twitter I found that’s actually *good*:

  20. spacemanspiff85

    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?

  21. J.J. O'Malley

    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.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      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.

  22. ComicTrek

    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?
    Maybe he
    Will talk if she
    Buys a frozen band turkey~

    • Cheesy-kun

      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
      With SoSF.

  23. Tom from Finland

    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?

    • Rusty Shackleford

      One would expect her to go talk to Linda about Bull. But nope, she’s a writer now. “ She’s writing novels now!”

  24. Paul Jones

    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.

  25. Angusmac

    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.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      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.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      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.

  26. Dood

    Operation “Save the Band Shoe Royalties” begins.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      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.

      • The Duck of Death

        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.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          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.

          • Cheesy-kun

            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.

  27. William Thompson

    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.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      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.

      • William Thompson

        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.

  28. 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.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      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.