Not Fair, Not Good


Great Moments In FW Arc Recap History

October 15-22
The wedding of Cayla and Les.

October 23-28
After the wedding, Fred and Ann inexplicably decide to take Darin and Jessica on a tour of the neighborhood where they lived when they first were married.

What’s this got to do with anything?


That’s the house. Now what this has to do with Summer, or anything else for that matter, is a mystery to me. And Fred and Ann needed to drive there, yet Summer strolls right by, like it’s right down the street from Moore Manor. So it’s even more baffling than previously assumed. BatYam is throwing these weird, extremely obscure details out there, presumably to amuse himself, as who the hell else is going to recognize it? (Turns and glances at SoSF staff, shakes head in bemusement and wonder. Man, you people are good. When we stop devoting all the brain power to this strip, we’ll no doubt conquer the world).

What is she doing there in panel one? Blowing on her hand? Vaping? Picking a piece of apple skin out of her teeth? It’s really odd. I guess we’ll never get that map of Westview I’ve been clamoring for, as obviously the entire town is some sort of geographically impossible optical illusion of some kind, like an M.C. Escher drawing or something, where nothing is as it seems and everything kind of folds back upon itself into infinity.

Coming soon: Summer walks by more things. Nothing happens. Everyone is agog that FW is ending this way. Then we all realize it couldn’t possibly have ended any other way.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

89 responses to “Not Fair, Not Good

  1. The Duck of Death

    Really, Tom?

  2. William Thompson

    With all these weird inhabitants and strange geometries, Westview is really R’lyeh, isn’t it? Go fhtagn yourself, Ba’at’ook!

  3. Green Luthor

    “Tom, you should end Funky Winkerbean on December 31.”
    “Oh, I don’t know that I could possibly plot this out to end on that date.”
    “You think you’d need a few extra weeks?”
    “Not exactly…”

    “Chuck, here’s the scripts for this week’s strips.”
    “…Tom, this just says ‘Summer walks around’. Repeatedly. Am I supposed to pick characters I want to show, or something?”
    “No. Summer walks around. That’s the plot. Draw it, you retiring bastard.”

    (Also, the Fairgoods look so happy reminiscing about their old apartment. Sure hope Batiuk doesn’t try to tell us they were secretly resentful of each other the entire time or something, that’d just be terrible.)

  4. J.J. O'Malley

    Scholars are skeptical that Mark Twain ever referred to golf as “a good walk, spoiled.” Nearly all of them, however, agree that this week’s addition to the FW curtain call is “a boring walk, dragged out long past any point of interest.”

  5. Epicus Doomus

    Look how happy the Fairgoods are in that 2012 arc. It was too good to last. Just a few short years later, the Fairgoods were exposed as a loveless sham, and Fred was pretty much a sputtering vegetable. And people wonder why we make fun of the strip.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      The strip where Ann confesses that they didn’t ‘fall in love’ is just so weird and incongruous. They’ve been nothing but affectionate before and since. And Fred certainly seems to think they were in love.

      So what the hell?

      If I held a gun to Batty’s head, I’m guessing he’s say that he was trying to imply that Ann didn’t have passionate romantic feelings toward Fred, just that he was someone that she was comfortable around and liked. So she married him. Big whoop, doesn’t make their marriage loveless. I mean, look at her little sad face here. This isn’t someone who doesn’t care about Fred.

      But he failed to convey that with words. I like show don’t tell as much as the next person. But words were needed here.

      Not to go off on a CBH family story tangent, but it reminded me of a time about 10 years ago when my mom was talking to my sisters and I. She was talking about my grandma’s health and my brothers’ mental health and suddenly got really choked up.

      “I realized, I realized I’m not going back to work.” She said.

      See, she had gotten a masters degree in social work, even had put off having her first kid to get it, and had continued to work and teach at a community college until her planned 4th kid turned into a two for one surprise.

      I never knew, but in the back of her mind she’d always toyed with the notion of going back, maybe when my brothers hit high school. Now over 50, faced with the prospect of managing the care of her mother and her sons, she realized that door was probably shut. Her job would be managing the lives of family members until the end.

      ‘I like my life and I love my family’ is not incompatible with ‘I have some regrets’

      What we needed, was a follow up to this conversation, when Ann was in a better place emotionally. Not Darin buying a cheap coffee and talking about Jello.

      And then THIS.

      • billytheskink

        Lest we forget, the genesis of Fred’s previous marriage and estranged daughter Kerry was this throwaway gag from Act I about how Bull was both stupid and valuable to the football team.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          And look at Ann’s face as ther driver their old ( Batty’s) apartment. She is just gushing. Batty just does whatever he wants whenever he wants to. A big reason why this strip sucks so bad.

      • Epicus Doomus

        A map! Sort of. Man, that might be the grimmest Sunday strip ever. It’s like an album cover for some Norwegian black metal band.

        • The Duck of Death

          Too grim. Even Mayhem would have rejected it as “excessively morbid.” I believe Varg Vikernes once told Tom, “lighten up a little, man!”

          • William Thompson

            Oh, come on! Imagine that the map is the view from an incoming nuclear warhead, set to detonate right above the Taj Moore-hall. That nuclear fireball will brighten your day!

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          I know a way a Sunday comic strip map of Westview could be fun:

      • William Thompson

        With the way Bathack keeps changing the narrative, I predict that tomorrow Summer will walk past the Valentine theater. Tonight’s feature? “Gaslight.”

      • sorialpromise

        The road less traveled
        Individual hopes and dreams
        Come crashing into family necessities
        Giving up on personal plans
        Should cause regrets.
        But cinching your belt
        And rolling up the sleeves
        Diving headfirst into responsibilities
        To do what has to be done.
        “I want to change the world.”
        Has to start with one or two people.
        Yes, there are honest regrets,
        But Mom took the hardest path.
        Looking back, there are no regrets,
        Just a life well chosen.

        ‘I like my life and I love my family’ is not incompatible with ‘I have some regrets’
        So true! A merry Christmas✝️ to CBH’s Mom. She is expressed in her daughter. ♥️💖❤️🫂

        • ComicBookHarriet

          Thanks SP! ❤ ❤ ❤

        • be ware of eve hill

          sp, I attempted to respond to your comment from yesterday afternoon, but the comments were closed before I could submit. A lengthy, heartfelt reply has gone to bit heaven, as my brother likes to say. 😭🤬

          WHERE’S MY LAWYER!!!

          Can you please send your email address to, and I’ll try again? thanx

      • Veiltender

        I was just having a very similar conversation as your mother’s with my wife. She was gearing up to go back to school so she could adjunct at the university where I teach, and we just discovered that we are pregnant with twins. We are very excited, but there are some plans that this made much more difficult. My wife loves her children and is delighted about having twins (not that pregnancy is ever fun)–but it doesn’t mean that there can’t still be some regrets that things have not always turned out the way we planned.

        Beautifully put, CBH, and more heartfelt than 98% of the award-bait that Batuik puts in this strip.

        • ComicBookHarriet

          Congrats on the twins, Veiltender! I’ll be praying for a safe and healthy twin pregnancy for your wife. Which, if it’s anything like my mom’s, will involve her finding ONE SPOT on the couch where she feels comfortable and spending the entire ninth month there. Also, she will develop an insatiable craving for potato chips.

  6. “Coming soon: Summer walks by more things. Nothing happens.” Sounds like the last few, sad weeks of Apartment 3-G, if all the buildings were yellow.

    This isn’t as sad as A3G. But it is just as stupid, and then some.

    • Epicus Doomus

      I now firmly believe that this is what will happen…nothing. Summer will meander around for a while, then come to the earth-shattering revelation that she’s glad her parents found one another. Then he will say “stay Funky” and pitch his books. He’s kicking FW to the curb like it’s a torn bag full of garbage.

    • William Thompson

      If she keeps walking aimlessly, she’ll wind up in Centerville. But she’s probably going to hit Montoni’s/Komix Korner/Daddy’s first apartment,

  7. Gerard Plourde

    It’s as if he’s exhausted his ideas but has all of these scenic panels that Ayers drew over the years and is padding the ending out by having Summer do a walking tour of Westview which requires no dialogue. Does he have enough to carry the strip through to the 31st?

  8. ComicBookHarriet


    • William Thompson

      Does Bathack mean that Summer is near the spot where Frankie seduced/date-raped/sprinkled pollen upon Lisa? Well, there’s a location that should fill Summer’s cleared mind with warm, charming thoughts about her hometown!

    • Epicus Doomus

      Oh, that was such an appalling arc. Everything about it was just so wildly objectionable. After Les married Cayla, he kind of eased back on the Lisa stuff, but then Frankie showed up and bam, we were buried under a tide of secret diaries, Pm and Jff, and weird retconned Lisa porn (Batom style porn, not the real kind). That was a long-ass arc, too.

    • Charles

      You know, when I saw you guys point out that that’s Fred and Fishstick’s old apartment, I immediately thought “She’s shown walking past it because it’s the spot where Frankie assaulted Lisa!” Then I remembered that it was Pm and Jfff who witnessed Frankie assaulting Lisa, so I thought I was wrong and that it must have been a different location. And now you’ve posted this! So I was right all along!

      Man, these two strips are so inbred it’s no wonder everyone’s countenance is a horrorshow.

      Also, What is she doing there in panel one?

      She is ever so thoughtfully stroking her chin, because looking at her old school has clearly dislodged something from her constipated mind. Or not. It’s not as though Summer has any intellect worth respecting.

  9. The Dreamer

    The problem with that flashback strip was that the Fairgoods couldn’t have been a young couple in an apartment in that house Fred Fairgood had been previously married TomBat evidently forgot that Ann wasn’t Fred’s first wife and that he met her as an adult at Westview High where he was already Principal and divorced

    So Fred and Ann are telling Darrin about memories of being young and in love in that house that they did not have

    • Epicus Doomus

      Then it turned out they were never actually in love at all. Literally none of it ended up meaning a thing. Also bear in mind that they met in high school, so at that point Boy Lisa and Jessica had already been together for around sixteen years in FW time and married for at least six, at a minimum. Hardly a young couple just starting out.

  10. Andrew

    I look at these last two days and it feels like they’re meant to be read while listening to “Christmastime is Here” as Girl Les wanders through town wondering about the meaning of Chris-I mean what the meaning of her dreaming about time traveling book insurance or whatever that was all about. Almost poetic with the “Charlie Brown snowflakes” one-liner that was the extent of Bautik participating in Schultz’s 100th Birthday tribute.

    Meanwhile I have absolutely no memory of Les/Cayla’s wedding with how much of a non-entity Cayla’s been in the grand scheme of things. The biggest thought I have about her is that I never really felt the haircut was that good, felt like it was a sign of her being simplified when she lost the dredlocks.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Batty got no recognition from Cayla’s race and so he got bored with her. He was expecting some pushback (and associated puff pieces where he could toot his horn) for showing an interracial marriage, but nobody cared and so he toned her racial features and let her fade into the background.

      I know some here disagree with my assessment and that’s ok. I still think Cayla was just a cheap gimmick.

      • Gerard Plourde

        I also have the feeling that the Les/Cayla relationship was intended to be a “statement”. With TomBa it’s always hard to tell whether it’s his inability to put together a complete storyline or his realization that the story isn’t generating buzz that leads to its abandonment.

        And I am beginning to wonder how long Crankshaft will continue to run with TomBa actually at the helm. His mention of a lack of a succession plan for FW might be a clue that a ghostwriter may be in the wings.

        • The Duck of Death

          I’ve mentioned this before, but I suspect he’s farming out some of the gags on ‘Crankshaft.” TB is the guy who recently wrote the plotline where a small-town Midwestern church choir of octogenarians learned to swing New Orleans Dixieland jazz, acquired a set of uniforms and instruments, and marched in a Second Line down the church aisle for an “authentic New Orleans funeral” with a few days’ notice.

          It’s very hard to believe this same guy can also still create the workmanlike gags we’ve been seeing lately (until Mork and Mindy showed up again).

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            Batiuk can do good work every now and then. I think the difference is that Crankshaft holds him to some kind of performance standard. Or, Crankshaft is the only strip that makes money, so he’s motivated to keep its quality up and avoid cancellations. The syndicate lets him wipe his ass with Funky Winkerbean.

          • The Duck of Death

            It’s true that he once created perfectly cromulent gags at least a few times a week. Act I was full of them. I assumed he’d lost the ability to write gags, instead of just the will. Maybe I’m assuming wrong.

          • Gerard Plourde

            I came across a “Match to Flame” entry recently in which he said that early in his career he’d try out the gag dialogue with his family as the test audience. That could account for the funnier content early on.

      • I agree completely–the Les/Cayla wedding was more award-seeking. I think it might have been the last time Batiuk actually put in content that he thought was award-worthy (Bull’s death was too slapdash).

        • gleeb

          And yet, there was no conflict, except with Susan Smith, and that wasn’t exactly “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?”

          • That seems to be Batiuk’s method–just present something, without conflict or specifics, assume that everyone will look at what you’ve done and have their breath taken away, then sit back and wait for the awards to roll in.

      • billytheskink

        TB did get some pushback in regards to Cayla’s race once, and only once. And that was when he shoved his foot in his mouth with this legendary strip.

        I think it is the only thing he has ever apologized for.

        • Green Luthor

          “Clearly the intent was for Les and Cayla’s comments to taken as playfully innocent bantering between a married couple and nothing more. To interpret it differently belies not only the context of that particular strip, but the body of my work over the years as well. The simple fact that I have a biracial marriage in Funky speaks to where my head and my heart are at on this subject.”

          But at least he managed to turn that apology into bragging, if not a desperate cry for recognition. That’s our Tom!

        • Y. Knott

          That’s one of the most passive-aggressive non-apologies I’ve ever witnessed.

          “Listen up, I put an interracial marriage in this strip specifically so I would look progressive! So if occasionally I have a white character playfully compare an African-American to a monkey? Lay off. I’m totally not racist. In fact, you’re racist for reading it wrong! Still, I’m sorry if I offended those of you not bright or enlightened enough to have read it correctly. Besides, I probably won’t do it again. Not after all of that whiny complaining.”

          • Rusty Shackleford

            Yep, that sums it up nicely.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            It also betrays his ignorance of racism. He should know it’s distasteful for a white person to be making jokes about referring to black people as primates.

            Howard Cosell got in hot water for such a remark 40 years ago, even though he’d long been an outspoken advocate for black athletes, many of whom vouched for him. (I think Monday Night Football just wanted rid of him at that point.)

  11. My theory at the time was that there was a scene where Cayla insist that Les dance with his true love–and we’d see several days of Les dancing with Ghost Lisa. But somehow he got wind of how poorly that would be received, so he pulled the “Darrin gets a tour of places he has already lived” out of his ass and, well, plastered them in the strip.

  12. robertodobbs

    Just as the spaces in The Shining were disjunctive and architecturally impossible, and the interior of the Brady Bunch house could not have been within the house shown in the opening shots, any FW map is a fun house mirror reflected back on itself.

  13. The Dreamer

    The only really dramatic ending plot twist they could do is that Lisa is still alive. Lisa was pronounced dead at the Moore house but miraculously found to have a pulse in the morgue and revived Lisa assumes she’s still going to die soon couldn’t bear the thought of Les and
    Summer having to see her die a second time So she swears the doctors to secrecy Lisa gets the doctors to allow a cadaver in the morgue to be cremated and the ashes given Les Lisa intends to die in secret in the hospital.

    But Lisa does not die Her cancer goes into remission Lisa decides it would be too traumatic for Les for her to show up back home and she was never really in love with him anyway So she leaves town and travels, gets a new name,
    makeover, husband and life Years later the former Lisa settles in Centerville, as close to Westview as she can get to secretly watch over Summer

    Summer runs into Lisa there and doesn’t recognize her Or does she? Maybe that’s the last panel on the day We are left guessing

    Anyway, being in Centerville, the former Lisa, still alive, joins the cast of Crankshaft Which we’ll have to read to find out if anyone ever finds out her true identity

  14. billytheskink

    Summer wandering around hatless in the driving snow… it’s like TB is teasing us that she’ll catch pneumonia or hypothermia or something. But he’s not and she won’t.

    It’s like the occasional episodes in the first few seasons of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television show where the writers would put Jar Jar Binks in mortal danger just to mess with an audience that still thoroughly despised the character and also knew he would survive whatever the threat of the week was because they had already seen his silent appearance in Revenge of the Sith. Except the writers trolling viewers with Jar Jar made me laugh because it was obviously intentional. This… well, this isn’t.

  15. Y. Knott

    The tension mounts! Gosh, you just know that with this kind of build up, whatever Batiuk is planning as the payoff is going to be TOTALLY WORTH IT!

    (Batiuk’s previously Pulitzer-nominated work solidly backs this up, right?)

  16. erdmann

    With so little to work with in these new strips, I’m finding myself focusing more on the old ones that are being posted. For example, the “hello” strip provided by CBH. I remember that arc (lord, how long have I been coming here?), but somehow I must have failed to notice this particular strip, which saw print almost two years after Neil Gaiman’s “The Doctor’s Wife” aired with a similar and far superior scene.

    Yipes… That was one crazy coincidence… Or was it…?

  17. Paul Jones

    Batiuk was too lazy and cowardly to show most of her childhood so it’s not as if these places really have any meaning for us. All we’re looking at is an androgynous figure walking past unknown buildings while looking as if s/he were a stranger in a strange land.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I’m glad he didn’t show her childhood, I’m just not interested. Of course the joke is on me as we got crappy comic book covers instead.

      • The Duck of Death

        Her childhood would have been an interesting story in the hands of an even moderately competent writer. A girl growing up without a mother, dealing with a mentally absent father whose focus is wallowing in his own grief until he builds it into an industry.

        Do you think he skipped over Summer’s childhood because on some level he knew he simply wasn’t competent to deal with it?

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Oh, absolutely. In fact, I have a pet theory about that. I think his editor wouldn’t let him do the second “time skip”… but that editor suddenly died in March 2007, and was never meaningfully replaced. 7 months later, Lisa was dead, and ten years were skipped.

          It would also explain why Lisa’s cancer dragged on so long. If she was really in Stage 4 and then declined treatment, she would have died pretty quickly. She moped on for years, because Batiuk couldn’t end her story. His editor wouldn’t let him do the time skip, and he didn’t know what else to do.

          You said it best the other day: Batiuk’s ego writes checks that his talent can’t cash.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          With you writing this strip I could see that working. With Batty at the helm, no way.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      As usual, Batiuk is using a storytelling trope without having a clue how it works.

      “People visiting their old home site in a moment of contemplating their life” is a useful tool that can be used effectively. But there’s nothing driving it. “I need to clear my head after I had a strange dream” isn’t enough of a justification for a long, wordless walk when your story is in the last 3 weeks of a 50-year run. And you just pulled the “all just a dream” card, rendering moot what little plot movement it had.

      This isn’t even right for what the story thinks it is. Summer is supposed to be writing a book about Westview, not herself. Going to home sites from the strip’s past, when they’re people Summer had no relationship with and also not people of any relevance to a book about Westview, is doubly pointless.

      Batiuk thinks that if he copies a storytelling technique he sees in one of his comic books, he achieves the same effect. He doesn’t. There is no real emotion, or even a plot I can discern, behind it.

    • William Thompson

      I got the reference! That is, if you referred to the part in “Dracula” where the Count explains to Jonathan Harker why he wants to speak perfect, unaccented (to Harker) English. “But a stranger in a strange land, he is no one, and men know him not,” he said as he describes his wish to blend in and attract no attention.

      Oh, you meant Moses? Considering the Moore family’s collective egomania, the Biblical reference works too.

    • William Thompson

      Maybe Batiuk didn’t want to show Les doing anything as mundane and limited as raising a child. Heroes don’t change diapers!

      Although it would have been laughable and/or horrifying to see him try. Imagine telling a pediatrician that you’re feeding the kid nothing but hot dogs and peas. (“Ah, that explains the pellagra, kwashiorkor, beri-beri and rickets!”)

      And how does Batiuk show a child who’s worthy of Les? I think the only time we’ve seen toddlers in FW, they’ve been energetic nuisances. It would make Les look bad if Summer wasn’t perfect. She’d have to be the most awesome kid ever. Strangled snakes while in her crib. Quelled a mutiny in the local Cub Scout troop. Lectured the scholars at Komix Korner. And that would make Les look bad because Summer would outshine him.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Batiuk knew he didn’t have the talent to depict anything more involved than Les breaking down at Lisa’s funeral, and moping. That’s why he had to skip the whole thing.

        He always does this. Becky’s lost arm is another great example. One shock image of her stump (which he’s repeated every single panel time she’s appeared in ever since), and then Becky just said “oh well.” She couldn’t even be bothered to be angry about it. Much less traumatized at having her musical career taken away at age 18, and having to adapt to using only one arm.

  18. Hitorque

    Oh FFS…

    Maybe Summer needs to find her ass a JOB and start working for a living…?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      It’s Westview’s version of Eat, Pray, Love. She has to “find herself.” A process that requires going on vacation for years at a time, and refusing to acknowledge that her problem is being a lazy, over-privileged, mediocre woman with no goals in life.

      Summer’s on a Deep Journey! (lots of NSFW language)

      • ComicBookHarriet

        Wasn’t expecting Undertale here fanimations here.

        A surprise to be sure, but a welcome one.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          The whole “If Undertale Was Realistic” series is pretty good. It even does normal, pacifist and genocide playthroughs. It gets bizarre in spots, because Dexter Manning’s sense of humor is bizarre. He also plays the main character in a “Minecraft Story Mode” parody series that’s hilariously vicious.

  19. Rusty Shackleford

    As boring as this is, I smile knowing Batty was booted out by the syndicate.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      This story feels like Batiuk giving a middle finger to the syndicate and the fans… but it’s no different from the kind of story he always tells.

    • The Dreamer

      we don’t know for sure that Batiuk was booted by the Syndicate Just that it appears likely. What we do know is that his artist, Chuck Ayers, quit Maybe Ayers saw that FW?was becoming so bad that he just couldn’t bear to work on it anymore
      Bit I do think King Features rejected using any new artist They want their comics to feature young ageless characters Batiuk had in recent years all but ignored the young characters to focus on Harry Dinkle, Morton Winkerbean and .etc Even his core characters were rapidly aged into their sixties King Features probably didn’t want a senior citizen comic strip

      • ComicBookHarriet

        I mean, it seems like they still wanted Crankshaft. Which is why Batiuk took his ball and went to a new Syndicate. Old people read the newspaper more than young people, thus a senior citizen comic strip is actually more viable than a young teen one at this point.

        But I think you’re right in that Kings Features was somehow in the way of Batiuk getting a new artist. The length of time closing the strip out has been subtly building in the background, with the time alignments and such, without an official announcement, makes me think Batiuk hoped to find a new artist that would be willing to work for the same amount Ayers had (or less?) up until maybe September.

        I believe Batiuk when he says Ayers retirement precipitated this. FW got enough foot traffic on the site, and enough ironic attention, I bet Kings would have let it go indefinitely as long as it kept costing them the same measly amount and they got Cranky to boot.

        Alternatively! He was taking Crankshaft to the new Syndicate, and didn’t announce anything until that deal was done and dusted because he didn’t want King’s Features to cotton on, using the fact that he could keep Cranky at Kings as leverage in his negotiations.

  20. gleeb

    I don’t think Summer walking and Fred driving to the same house are incompatible. Summer’s still young and was a college athlete; she may be able to walk much further distances than Fred at the age he went on the pointless visit to the old house. Also, Fred’s from an older generation and was brought up driving everywhere; does Summer even have a license?
    Wait, of course she does, or else how does she go on solo car dates?

  21. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    At least the strip brought this to mind:

  22. Maxine of Arc

    Samuel Pepys wept.

  23. Banana Jr. 6000

    In character migration news, a new Funky Winkerbean character is confirmed to be moving to Crankshaft… Phil The Weatherman.

    • Andrew

      Starting out strong with a FW character I have basically no memory of, I see.

      • Y. Knott

        Although given that the strip is populated with loads of characters who everyone recollects as cringe-inducing, repellent, or loathsome? Perhaps the best FW characters are the FW characters you can’t remember…

    • ComicBookHarriet

      I don’t know if I’d call it a migration. Phil worked at Channel 1 before, and Channel 1 has always played both strips. True, he was fired in FW, but really he’s a refugee John Darling character. A joke without a country.

    • Gerard Plourde

      Phil the Forecaster was also a John Darling character. How long before he unmurders Darling?

  24. The Duck of Death

    Re: the Fairgoods…

    Puff Batty is always bloviating on in his blog entries (reprints of his book forewords) about how his characters were “tugging at his sleeve” or “leading him into uncharted waters” or some such tripe. He pompously credits his characters with a life of their own, like a tiny civilization of homunculus muses, each telling a story and clamoring to have it told in the nation’s funny papers.

    And yet virtually none of his characters has developed in a remotely realistic way. The past is wiped away with an authorial smirk and the declaration, “IT’S CALLED WRITING.”

    Sure, people fall out of love. But the drama is in the fact that they were once in love. Anyone who cares about your work — if indeed anyone still does — will remember this. When you wipe away a character’s past, you nullify any development and kill any interest the audience had built up. And you show utter disrespect not only to your readers, but to your own work.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      It’s like what I was saying about the storytelling tropes. Batiuk thinks unhappy married couple = instant drama. But there isn’t any, because it was a random, out of nowhere development that contradicted what we knew about these characters.

  25. Merry Pookster

    At first, I thought we might get to the “Lighthouse” story….mentioned and dropped during the fairgoods nostolgic car ride

  26. Rusty Shackleford

    Funny thing about today’s Crankshaft. There used to be a show called pooch parade that aired on Cleveland TV back in the day.

    A friend of mine was told his dog ran away and his parents said they couldn’t find him. (In reality, his parents brought it to the pound as the dog wasn’t well behaved). My friend was watching pooch parade and screamed with joy when he saw his old dog on the show! Look they found him. His parents went and got the dog back. Years later they told him the truth.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      See. That would make a great three weeks of FW. Skyler wants and gets a dog. Your tale as told above. End the whole thing with Wally agreeing to train the fractious pooch.