Here’s the capper to a story arc that has quite a bit in common with that arc where Funky spent a week exploring that abandoned house. I mean, aside from the fact that both arcs involve apparent trespassing. Batiuk shows a character wordlessly wandering around before, on the sixth day, they arrive at a “profound” conclusion. In fact, I’ve lifted Funky’s pithy statement from the abandoned house arc, and gently nudged Summer’s mind to deliver it here. Not much of a different feel, is there? If anything, it makes better sense than Summer’s summation about “flipping the script.”
Backflip the Script
Filed under Son of Stuck Funky
131 responses to “Backflip the Script”
I do not mean to stomp on Fearless Leader’s post, but he actually gave me permission to send this. My interpretation of Summer’s walk
For some reason I was reminded of this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rflsHvtTTGw
It’s a way better ending than the one we’ll actually get. He should have John Darling-ed the entire cast, one by one. Or all at once, either or.
He who? Les? Dinkle? Mason Jar? There’s more than one character in this who deserves death.
I’m half-expecting Masky McDeath to waltz across the final few days of panels…
Welp Summer has certainly grown up to be a fine looking young man.
Ugh, what drivel. This makes no sense in any context whatsoever. Flip WHAT script? The book is supposed to be a history of Westview, how can she “flip” that script? It’s either history or it isn’t, no? Sigh. I hate pseudo-profoundity.
It like the story has completely forgotten what Summer’s supposed to be doing. Or she doesn’t have a clue what she’s supposed to be doing. Or both.
Gonna go with a hard “both.” It’s the answer to so many questions about Batiuk.
Is TB lazy or bad at storytelling? Is he a narcissist or slowing down mentally? Is FW written by an AI or an alient?
It’s not even a conventional story anymore, it’s more like some avant-garde art film, all deliberately disjointed, mysterious, and odd. And he isn’t doing it on purpose, which is what’s so disconcerting about it. HE thought this was a real story. It’s almost as if he just simply doesn’t know.
On top of all that, the reader knows almost nothing about Summer at all. What sort of existential crisis is SHE going through? What is she even pondering here? No one knows, because the character has been in suspended animation for the last ten years. This could be any FW character and the story, as it were, would be exactly the same.
Last Year at Westview(Bad)
No, I’ve never been to Westview(Bad)…perhaps you mean Centerville(Bad)?
I walk on, once again, through these streets, these deserted lanes, these endless, lugubrious, disastrous avenues, where tangents succeed endless tangents, overloaded with a dim, cold ornamentation of abandoned plotline, transverse plot threads that end in empty apartments, ….
This is like reading the last chapter of the New Testament and trying to figure out what it means. (I had to do that in parochial school. I was disappointed when it turned out that none of the seals could balance a ball on their noses.)
Thanks, down-voter! I’ll really miss you too, I suppose. I hope it made you happy, and I hope “Crankshaft” really works out for you going forward!
“Flipping the script”? You mean there was an actual script to Girl Les’s pedantic peregrinations? I thought they were just pasting her punim on old backgrounds and Batiuk was scribbling down the first things that came into his head. Imagine my surprise.
Also, how small a town is Westview if you can see the whole shtetl from the top of a 15- or 20-foot pool ladder?
Still looking forward to Sunday’s dive into the deep end.
So when Creepy Les stood frozen up there, he was really transfixed by a deep insight into the nature of Westview? Did he hear all the people laughing at him?
Are today’s three panels from three different strips? Are they in the wrong order?
I suspect Batiuk may have used one of those AI writing bots for this script. (And not a particularly good one.)
“I forced an AI to read every single Funky Winkerbean strip and then write its own, and this is what it came up with!”
I forced an AI to read every single Funky Winkerbean strip, but before I could program it to do anything else, it decided to unplug itself and die.
I’ve been playing with Inferkit. I’ve fed it about five excerpts from Batiuk’s blog posts. Two of those five times, the AI text fanboyed about Stan Lee or Mike Royer.
I’m afraid of it now.
In all seriousness, here’s what I did:
1. Enter a paragraph from a Funkyblog entry
2. Generate AI text
3. Search Funkyblog for the phrase it ends in.
4. Enter whatever follows to continue the story.
5. Repeat steps 2-4.
Here’s what that process came up with:
So I basically introduced a little science fiction into the strip. Interestingly enough, in looking at the old strips, Harley seemed to have a bit of SF about him from the start. I’ll admit, it’s been rather priceless watching twitterdom losing its collective mind over my time-traveling custodian. And in the end, it was all a dream… wasn’t it?
Ah, yes. It is now a dream. As previously stated, the last of the daily strips were about the dynamic between all the characters, mostly seen in the second part of this strip, Batman and a young Summer suddenly appearing in the second, the juxtaposition would have been jarring. As well, the book would also have become unfocused. The story we were telling was Lisa’s cancer story. So the decision was made not to include it.
But thanks to your responses, including Michael’s, it was decided to include the final two chapters of the story in the trade, concluding the tale with a young Summer Westdale having her own time-machine to a dimension hopping machine as well. Pretty ballsy if you ask me. Not a bad day’s start for a young twenty-year-old writer.
So there we have it. More work left to be done, perhaps someday I’ll tackle the New 52, or time-travel, or whatever it is that Jerry’s writing. While that future may be a ways away, at least for me. Winter is coming and given my snowy car crash of a few years back, my new personal motto is “If it’s snowin’, I ain’t goin’!”. So the Book Fair and the Akron Comicon will be the last opportunity to catch me outside of my sanctum sanctorum for the year. Hope to see you at one or the other.
Scott, Jonathan, and all the “officers of the night”.
IT SOUNDS JUST LIKE HIM DOESN’T IT.
That is terrifying.
And we’re afraid for you, bjk6k…
What it produced for you really does sound like Tom, as you note.
He’s found a new way to fail the Turing test.
I’m being very careful, by only doing one word at a time, in joke-proof conditions.
Dad said that from up here you could look out and see how everything in the city fit together. It doesn’t always have to be rise and decline… we have the agency to flip the script and write a different ending.
The guys are teaching us to think like a duck!
With ducks we step on their beak and we can get inside their feathers and take a look at the interior.
When we see things from the inside, we find things in a new light. “So we are the sum total of our habits.
When we change our habits and acquire better habits, then we will eventually change ourselves into a better person.”
“You must believe that there is a power greater than yourself that wants you to be happy.
Try it! You get 10,000 generated characters per week with no login. I’ve played with the settings, but I don’t think I’ve found the “funny” button yet.
I’ve said it before and I mean it: nothing will make me read Tom Batiuk’s weblog.
This is giving me the slightest implication that the story might try to get meta, as in “write a different ending” means Girl Les might have some weird insight/trick to get vengance for the strip itself for being cancelle-I mean ending with so much untapped potential.
Though failing that, it’s still hard to see how she’s in any sort of melancholy mood. She had some trippy “dream” about her book being fated to change the world from the school janitor being a time traveler, woke up understandably confused, but so confused she needs to have a somber walk around snowy Westview to sort through her thoughts. Could changing the ending mean she wants to defy the notion that her book has to be important, or that she needs to write at all? Maybe she’ll finally get back into basketball? It’s not like her long absent from the strip tells us why she gave up on that, anyways, just that she’s had a major indecisiveness that her jerkass father plays for laughs as a yearly routine.
What is going on with Summer’s silhouette in panel 1? She looks like she’s pregnant, has her head twisted completely backward, and is holding a sparkler in her right hand.
Also, what is going on with Summer’s balloon thought (full of nothing but air) in the third panel. What script is she thinking about, and why does she want to flip it? Is there some horrible change to Westview that needs to be reversed? As far as I know, Westview is still just the drippy dump with a desultory narrative it’s always been.
PLOT TWIST: Summer is Fenchurch, and the Vogons arrive on December 31.
Don’t worry! We’ll repel the Vogons by reading Lisa’s Story to them. They’ll surrender by the end of page three.
⭐️As Promised, a Book Report on the “Last Protector” by our own Hanibal’s Lectern to our own CBH🌈✨
1. First of all, the characters are enjoyable. They are easy to get involved with. They do have a driving mission, “What kind of job gets you in trouble all the time? ‘Saving the world,’ Jape spoke in a most matter of fact manner.” How can one not get behind that?🤔
2. He creates livable worlds and timeframes. He lays the groundwork for his universe. I liked the origin story.
3. He connects the readers to our own world with a clever choice of words: DisWarner, A Dizzer worshipping a big rat, and Khansous Plains.
4. Hannibal has clever wordplay between the heroes, and between the villains. Hannibal is a good writer. He does a good job building suspense.
5. The book is structured well. Chapter titles are found inside the chapter. Mostly short chapters. That is always a plus.
6. One character enjoyed coffee, the others wisely not so much. ☕️👎🏽
7. I often compared the book to “the Mabinogion”with the fantastic fight scenes.
8. Questions asked in the book: real or pretend mind reading, will he offer up the boots, and will that character ever die?
9. There is some time switching. Hannibal writes so well, it easily compares favorably with Marvel’s Time Variance Authority. Hannibal did it first.
10. Vegetable sushi???
11. It always surprises me when spirituality makes an appearance in a sci-fi story, such as “the Moat in God’s Eye” by Niven and Pournelle. Hannibal handles the positive and negative parts of religion very well, especially his approach in the book to forgiveness.
12. A couple of things kept bugging me about the book, but both were answered and explained as I read on.
13. The drinking of beer within the book is strictly forbidden……………….NOT!!!
——So I enjoyed Hannibal’s book. I wish there would be a second book. He probably has enough material to write a second book. I bought this one, I would buy his next one.
*🏮One last thing, CBH. There is kissing, lots of kissing. As you read these parts, do not squeal for joy in front of your Mom.🏮*
**🥰😻Bwoeh, show the kissing parts to Mal, and your 2 week vacation can become a second honeymoon. Although remember this is sci-fi romance, so there is a lot to read between the lines.** Woo! Woo! Muchas smooches!😍👄
Like…is there kissing at the same time as handholding? *blush*
Very good book report SP. I grade it an A-. I had to take off points because you didn’t put in enough emojis.
Thank you, CBH!
I failed emojis in all my other classes as well❣️
Merry Christmas ✝️♥️💖❤️🌺💐🌹🫂
Now if I had used that many emojis, CBH might have given me an A+. ♥️💖❤️🌺💐🌹
“I’ll admit, it’s been rather priceless watching twitterdom losing its collective mind over my complete lack of coherent storytelling ability.” -Batiuk’s next blog entry (probably)
Cruel, but realistic.
Well, Batiuk excels at cruelty. Not so much at reality. So, fair’s fair.
Anyway, which flippin’ script is she talking about flipping?
I picture Batiuk sitting around his vintage lava lamp reliving his dorm days. Tom, dude, that’s really groovy, man. Flip the script…yeah, man, I can dig that.
A darker version…
Oh my God…oh My God. THAT’S where it’s from. I feel nauseous. It all IS just another “Lisa’s Story” victory lap. Dumb wordplay (“custodian”) and Lisa…that’s all Act III is.
I mean, no, I edited the strip. Instead of this they were ranting about leaves.
Jeez, don’t DO that CBH! Yikes.
Hahahaaa! 😂 Oh, man, I feel bad for laughing!
Thanks CBH for confirming this. I was pretty sure that was not the real strip.
But then I wondered if I remembered it wrong.
You’ve heard of Elf on the Shelf, now get ready for…
Making us bored on a diving board.
How about Summer’s Fall? Summer Falls?
I’ll show myself out.
Summer is a Bummer!
Summer springs into fall, thus beginning the winter of TB’s discontent.
Moore is a bore! (It works in multiple ways!)
If Marianne Winters stopped by Westview to drop off another Oscar, and she climbed on the diving board with Summer, and Marianne attempted a dive which knocked Summer off the diving board, the newspaper headline could be:
Winters’ Spring Falls Summer
We have a winner!!
Please note that all trophies are to be given to Les Moore.
Sure, but I can’t find that animated GIF of delivering a trophy to Les’ skull.
The, er, one I did? I’ve got it around somewhere… It’s here on the SOSF website. Somewhere.
With 14 strips to go, is this Batiuk’s admission that the ending he’s writing isn’t working — but that there’s still time to “flip the script”?
Naaaah, probably not, as Batty’s narcissism and utter lack of self-awareness would prevent him from admitting — or even realizing — any such thing.
Still, it’s unusual to see Batty try (and fail, of course) to aim for something meant to be positive and uplifting. I mean, I think that’s what he’s aiming for, in his clunky, addled way….right? He’s such a godawful writer, it’s difficult to be sure. But I think he’s trying to end on an up note. We’ve all got agency to control our own stories … to make our lives and the lives of others better … to view the world as something that we can make a wonderful place.
Okay, so the message is garbled, misshapen and poorly delivered. But there is at least the germ of something there that’s worth being said.
Of course, he’s still got two weeks to have someone come in and gun down the cast….
I see the last panel as a final FU to the readers. Batiuk had the agency to write a different ending for the strip and still decided to go with this sh*t.
And it probably also tries to convey that Summer used her ”pattern recognition” and realized that humanity can flip the script and now she must write ”The Book” to tell that.
I assume that the next two weeks will be still image of Summer writing, except the last panel on 31st when she will say she’s done.
Right. He couldn’t just have a nice ending where he looks back and the characters say their goodbyes. No, it’s got to be some convoluted story that goes nowhere, one that Batty thinks is oh so clever.
Hey maybe the old owners of The Valentine will move their strip club to Montoni’s…that would be cool.
Yadda, yadda, yadda…Pulitzer
She’ll do her writing in a room where cryptic notes are pinned to bulletin boards and connected by endless lengths of red yarn. “Yes, yes!” she’ll exclaim in glee, “I’ve found the pattern that makes Westview the best place on earth! And it’s so obvious!” Then she’ll smirk as she breaks the fourth wall. “You see it too, don’t you! You must see it! Only beady-eyed nitpickers can’t see it!”
Her fourth wall needs thicker padding.
Oh my god, I just realized something about today’s strip.
This is the hero shot.
This is the culmination of Funky Winkerbean. This is the “Eureka!” moment. A 32-year-old Kent State student, on the a diving board at a closed swimming pool in December while she fails to notice a snowstorm piling up around her, realizes that human beings have agency. While she makes the same mopey face she does every other second of her life, even though she’s having the realization she’s already been told will enable her to rewrite all of human history.
And Tom Batiuk confirms this, in another one of his fatuous blog posts. “(The diving board is) where Summer gets the insight for the core of the book that she’s going to write.”
Wow. I feel like I’m seeing the ending of The Room for the first time. I can’t believe the story is really doing this.
It sounds a lot like the ending of “The Incredible Shrinking Man”:
“Shit happens, but that’s okay because it gives me meaning.”
Am I missing something here? I thought Summer was planning to write some half-assed history of Westview County or something (which even people in Westview won’t be bothered to read)… So why the need for so much introspection, or divine inspiration, or some kind of epiphany??
If it’s written history she needs to be diving into the county archives… If it’s an oral history she needs to be talking to town elders and let them tell their stories… Because right now it looks like what she’s got so far is “Mildly Entertaining Quirky and Folksy Anecdotes From Westview County Ohio, Encompassing the Years 1975-1995”
And I can’t fuckin’ WAIT to see what grand theory of universal patterns Summer is going to pull out of this shit.
Summer can’t merely write the book that leads to a social and cultural revolution; she has to lay the foundations for the revolution and inspire its members with her dazzling prose. And she has to dedicate her book to Her Genius Father Les Moore Who Inspired Her.
Which is Batiuk’s way of saying we have been privileged to read the bestest comic strip ever.
“Insight”? What freaking more insight do you need for a history book about the (currently living) generations of a small Ohio town? How much of a fancy narrative do you really need to write for it? Putting a message around the facts is what essays or editorials write, it’s not needed for a history book. Or is this part of how the book’s supposed to “logically” bring about a whole new era of thinking that overtakes the world?
“You are tearing me A-PAHT, Lisa’s Daughter!”
“I got the results of the test back – I definitely have breast cancer.”
It’s really strange to see an educated young woman with her entire life ahead of her become this certain that her life is predestined to turn into utter shit…
Growing up, Summer never missed a meal. She never had to sleep under a highway overpass. She never had a debilitating disease. She never got yanked out of school at age 13 to go work in some coal mine or out in the fields picking crops just to earn money for the family. Her father never forcibly married her off to some wealthy acquaintance just so she could have security… AND IF that wasn’t enough, in the present day her father is now some big-time bestselling millionaire whose tome just became an Oscar-winning movie earlier this year so Summer doesn’t have to stress herself to death trying to find that all important first job out of college and pay back her student loans… Hell, Summer doesn’t even NEED a job because she can spend the next decade at least living large just from daddy’s bank accounts, traveling the world and living the Instagram life and networking/partying with legions of other trust fund brats…
When Funkyverse legacy characters are never allowed to experience any life changing struggles or strife or turmoil or tragedy, Batiuk has to invent it through half-assed mopey philosophizing…
If the Lesters, Summers, and Funkytimes of the world keep telling themselves how terrible their lives are, sooner or later they start to believe it.
That’s the thing: deep down, they know that their lives are sweet but they know that happiness, as Mustapha Mond said, is never grand. Thus the need to invent horrors. Thus the need to lay down and die and be tragic and memorable instead of taking the damn chemo and raising a daughter and being ordinary and boring.
Ever heard the Buzzcocks’s “Everybody’s Happy Nowadays”? It takes its inspiration from a conversation in *Brave New World* between Bernard Marx and Lenina Crowne.
Life’s an illusion, love is a dream…
Nailed it. How many up and coming artists wish they could have a daily strip with a national audience? Yet Batty mopes and whines because the world doesn’t work the way he thinks it should.
It’s amazing how much this strip has degraded over the years. In the early days there was a light quirkiness to the strip that made it relatable. But now it is just a vanity strip for Batty and this is why none of his prestige arcs resonate with the readers.
He got to do things his way for years now yet he still complains. He should be the happiest guy around but it’s obvious he still carries a load of baggage from his childhood, his high school years, and his adult life. It’s also clear he has learned nothing from all of these experiences.
Seems strange to see this all wind down. You know, if there were another video chat thing for SoSF…well, who knows. Who knows.
I DEMAND ANOTHER VIDEO CHAT TFH
Personally I’m hoping the next chat could allow room for text only, or just have a text chat thing. I’m not really one for showing my face freely, it’s why I opted out of the last one.
Or failing that, something more fancy like a Discord server.
I’ve never been enthralled with Discord, but my philosophy with technology is: I’ll put in the work to learn it if there’s a reward for me at the end, either money or fun or some kind of improvement to my life.
I’d consider a SoSF Discord server to be more than enough reward.
I’d join and help an SoSF Discord server any way I can. I’m not much of a Discord guy either, but I share your attitude about embracing new technology. I work in IT, and I’ve adopted the attitude that I must embrace new things, or become a dinosaur. And not in a cool way, like Calvin did.
It was fun, and I ordinarily SHUN such things. We really do have a superlative bunch of commenters here, and I’m not just saying that. Both TFH and I have frequently marveled over the quantity and quality of our comments section, and as the end approaches, you’re all just outdoing yourselves.
I loved the video chat! There was so much echo/feedback, though, that I strained to hear anything, and probably missed about 1/3 of what was said. That might be exclusively a problem on my end, though. Anyone else experience that?
I did, and I think a lot of people did too. I’m pretty sure the problem was some attendees having feedback. If your mic is open, and your speakers are close enough to the mic, it will pick up the sound from the speakers and re-broadcast it. Then your speakers will hear that, and the vicious cycle is on.
A “use headphones or keep your speakers away from your mic” directive would probably solve it.
“Mute your mic if you’re not talking” is a good rule too. But I don’t know how realistic that is in a conversation that’s a free-for-all by its nature, and where not everyone has the kind of work-from-home job that trains you to do that instinctively.
Summer Moore is becoming an existentialist. She now realizes that all the people she knows in Westview are miserable because they do not feel that they control their own lives. That they are contr9olled by the great Artist above and that the plotlines of their lives pre destined, decided by someone else
Summer writes the book that sets Westview citizens free by letting them know that they have personal agency to control their own destinies, to control their own purpose and find truth and meaning in life. Summer becomes the new great existentialist philosopher who gets people to rise above their fears, guilt and anxieties. Her book.tells people to write their own stories, that life is what you want it to be and not what God or anyone else decides
Summer’s destiny is to become the new Kierkegaard!
It’ll be like that Saint Olaf story where Rose learned the expression “Don’t you have enough sense to come in out of the rain?”; she was lauded as a super-smart person until someone else learned the expression “HEY! Watch out for that tractor!!”
Summer, on the diving board, feels a need to maake the great leap.
Well shoot I thought I left my comment earlier but I failed to submit it or something. That or the space janitor got to me.
Anyways, if I recall my words correctly, I was wondering if all this talk of “flipping the script” or changing the ending could lead into a more meta conclusion, Girl Les realizing she’s a comic character and wanting to choose a different outcome for the comic or liberate it from writer’s control or something. Or failing that, defying destiny and giving up on the book, go back to her basketball career that we have motive or reason to understand her letting go of besides “getting cold feet on major a lot in what her jerkass father lampoons as an annual event”.
That comment got caught in the torso chute, and I had to un-jam it. It’s balky sometimes.
Out of the thousands of daily strips, this is the one I would pick for December 31. ⭐️☄️🚀🛸🔭
Proof that this strip was quite good until Batty started taking himself too seriously.
Sax Rohmer created Dr. Fu Manchu.
He said that he had a conversation with him in which the insidious physician said:
“It is your belief that you created me. It is my belief that I shall exist when you are but smoke.”
He was right.
Who shall remember Funky Winkerbean or Tom Batiuk?
Another Batiukism I’m going to miss is his penchant for giving us something so wonderfully hateful and shitty (Hardy McFly) and then giving us something so much worse (Diving Board) that we end up begging him to return to the previous thing…
Just think about the downward spiral we’ve been on the last few years — Literally nothing but Comics —–> Lester ——> The Big Dink ——> Comics
From TomBa’s blog post-
“Here Summer is passing by the original Westview High School”
Except she can’t since the old school was torn down to make room for the current building.
But this does raise a thought. Is it possible that Summer is going to find Harley’s time travel helmet and whisk herself into the past to change the timeline?
I mean, the old school and the new school were built at different locations, as they kept going to the new school site under construction while the old building was still in use.
But you’re totally right, Gerard, in that the building was torn down, which is why Crazy Harry had to do his locker door heist in the last bit of levity before Lisa’s big death month. The new school had all those glass windows in front. The fact that Summer is walking past a building that no longer exists just shows that this week is all about Batiuk wandering through his own life, rather than Summer wandering through Westview.
It has a melancholy old-man feel to it, which makes it completely wrong in someone who should be in the process of launching their adult life. Once again he shoehorns his provincial altekacker thoughts into any and every character, wildly inappropriately.
this week is all about Batiuk wandering through his own life, rather than Summer wandering through Westview.
He flat-out says so on his blog. To be fair, most of these locations are both, though Batiuk wandering through his own life definitely takes precedence.
He also calls Dinkle “the strip’s other iconic character.” of course, he thinks the strip’s major iconic character is Lisa.
IMO, if your newspaper strip requires annotating to make sense, it sucks.
I grew up reading Mad Magazine, and that included the trade paperbacks that collected murkily-printed stories from the 50s. I was maybe 7 when I started reading all this stuff, and I had no clue what 99% of it was about. But I didn’t need to know about McCarthy and the culture wars, or what popular films or books or poems or songs were being referenced. The art and writing were so enchanting to me that I could enjoy them just at face value without having a clue what the whole thing was about.
Popular art should draw readers in, not make them scratch their head. I’d be shocked if even one out of 10,000 readers ever saw Batty’s blog, let alone cross-referenced it to try and comprehend his latest strips. In fact, art shouldn’t require annotation in the first place. We have scholarly journals; that’s the place for annotations. (I include SoSF as a form of journal. The Journal of Applied Westview Studies, commonly cited as JAWS.)
We had the same tastes. I picked up a collection of Dave Berg strips from his The Lighter Side series. I still enjoyed it!
(Actually in reply to Rusty’s comment, but WordPress doesn’t allow that level of nesting)
For some reason I have stuck in my head a panel from a Dave Berg MAD magazine strip about pizza. It showed a line-up of pizza joints on a street, each one bigger and grander than the one before it, with Italian names and signs reading “The best pizza pie in the city!” “The best pizza pie in the state!!” “The best pizza pie in the country!!!” and “The best pizza pie in the world!!!!” And at the end of the row, a little shop called Irving’s, with a sign reading “The best pizza pie in the block.”
Now that’s how to make a pizza joke!
A similar joke they did: A little shack sells “Mom’s Homemade Pies.” Soon it is a larger building with a sign, “Mom’s Pie Company.” It grows until it’s a huge factory with belching smokestacks and an imposingly huge “MOMCO” logo. Final panel: Next to the factory, a humble little shack opens, with a rustic sign advertising homemade pies.
What — Me Funky?
What the hell is Jerome doing?
Looks like he’s bullying. Is this before or after the retcon where he was bullying Les so that Les wouldn’t be bullied by the real bullies?
How many nerds would a nerd-bully bully if a nerd-bully could bully nerds?
Same old song
Just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do
Crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see
Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind
You’re my boy Blue!
Tomorrow: “Unfortunately, one cannot flip the script of gravity, and Summer Moore slipped off the icy, slanted, wobbly incline and snapped her neck on the frozen floor below.”
“She never did write the book.”
Three cheers for gravity!
1) Just how high is that diving board that you can see the how everything in the city fits together?
2) Rise and decline? Flip the script? What the flaming fork is she talking about?
First, erdmann, I was wondering the exact same thing myself. This diving board is like the Empire State Building of Westview, apparently. Truly awe-inspiring. A tourist attraction for the entire Great Lakes region and Upper Midwest, including portions of Ontario. I’m only surprised the guy isn’t there with the spinner rack of postcards with views of the Chair Jammed in the Ladder, 3/$5. Must be a Sunday morning.
Second, it’s more of the fake profundities. These really do seem AI-written, as others have observed. Some months ago, I started composing some myself.
“Bake your bread before the yeast goes to bed.”
“No cup is so broken it can’t be filled.”
“Look at the sky and you’ll never see the ground”
“Every year of my life I grow more and more convinced that the wisest and best is to fix our attention on the good and the beautiful, if we’ll just take the time to look at it from atop an icy diving board.”
As I said, he wastes a week to get to a stupid conclusion. Telling these morose zombies that they didn’t have to just let things happen to them isn’t going to do any good. All you’d get is a collective “Why did no one tell us that we could have avoided all of the terrible things that could happen to us?”
It also completely contradicts the strip’s message for the last 30 years. Westview runs on wordlessly suffering whatever “script” life hands you. Never fight back, never call out bad behavior, and silently accept all abuse. Never speak out, even if it is reasonable or justified for you to do so. If Funky Winkerbean has a theme, this is it.
Because who was the big hero of those 30 years? “Oh, woe is me, the hospital mixed up my test results in an easily-provable case of negligence, which I could litigate myself because I’m a lawyer. Or I could continue treatment and extend my life as much as possible, to spend with my family and give them time to plan for what comes after. But I’ll just pointlessly and painfully die instead, while making a bunch of stupid video tapes.”
If Summer’s going to go back to Westview and announce “We have agency! We can flip the script to our own lives!”, the whole town would stone her in the gazebo like the heretic she is. Which would be a really good way to end Funky Winkerbean, by the way.
“We have the agency to flip the script–but we never do! That’s our secret! We wallow in misery and loss! We vegetate in a moribund world of comic books, high school traumas and mediocre pizza! I shall spread these tidings of malaise and gloom to the world!”
Jump! Do not allow any of Les’s genes to reproduce. Like terminator 2, stop the future suffering.
So he ends this little mini sequence with a deepity. I suppose it was inevitable. As I’ve said before, this is an anti-comic strip.
If Batty had a sense of humor, he would send all of our hosts here some signed artwork. We are the only ones talking about this strip. Nobody else cares.
I remember Wanders of MaryWorthandMe saying that Moy/Brigman sent him a little gift.
Man, Les is going to make a mint off the lawsuit and subsequent book deal when the diving board breaks and summer crashes into the abandoned pool below.
Of course, the jury will side with him in the case of gross negligence against Westview.
Man, Les is going to make a mint off the lawsuit and subsequent book deal when the diving board breaks and summer crashes into the abandoned pool below.
Les will just put in video tape #32768-A, and it will begin: “Hello, my name is Lisa Moore, and I am an attorney. If you’re watching this video, my daughter Summer has died from falling off a diving board during a snowstorm. I am counsel for the plaintiff…”
Maybe he can literally “flip the script” and start a new strip, “Winky Funkerlegume”. It’d be all about a popular high school athlete who always falls ass-backwards into success and happiness. Then he meets the prettiest, most popular girl in school, and they get married in a dignified, lovely ceremony. Then she finds out she has cancer, but she’s successfully treated and it goes into remission, never to return. Winky would be the best friend, who owned and operated a popular vegan health food restaurant, Sane Harry would work at a classic literature book store, and everyone would be happy and fit. Summer would be a real bookwork who graduated from college a year early, and Wally would be a devout pacifist with a service cat. And Dinkle would be the fun-loving band director who didn’t take himself too seriously, and liked to focus on modern popular music for his humble little band performances, which would only take place on warm, seasonable days.
And, in the biggest ‘flip’ of all, it could be well-written, funny, and occasionally even profound — people could actually read it and enjoy it!
Our many discussions on the dozens — hundreds — of better ideas on how to end this strip got me thinking.
The ending of Seinfeld was brilliant. For those of you who never watched the show, a common criticism was “they’re all such terrible people.” I never understood that as a critique; that was literally the entire point of the show. I get that not everyone found it funny, but I don’t understand how anyone could watch and think the characters are supposed to be lovable or sympathetic.
The end of the show tied it up in a bow, acknowledging the criticisms while delighting the fans. The four protagonists witness a carjacking, and instead of helping, they mock the victim. They’re arrested for failing to help, and practically every guest star shows up in the courtroom. Not one of them has a good word to say about the four. Everybody hates them all for their history of selfish and callous behavior.
They are convicted and sent to jail. All four sit in the cell, and Jerry starts talking about the buttons on George’s shirt, an almost word-for-word reprise of the first conversation in the first episode.
The series concludes with Jerry trying to perform his standup show in the prison cafeteria. He’s booed and heckled and dragged off the “stage” while shouting “hey, you’ve been a great audience” showbiz patter.
Apart from being funny, and beyond the delight of seeing years’ worth of supporting characters returning again, the script read as a bit of a meta-statement: Yes, these characters are horrible people. You know it, we know it. People this uncaring and selfish belong in jail, so here they are!
And the reprise of the first conversation, I thought, was a kind of acknowledgement of how far the show had come, and a thank you to those who’d watched it from its beginnings.
Anyway, my point is:
Wouldn’t it be great if Summer decided that her “hook” was going to be doing the history of Westview through the eyes of some typical 70s high school students? And if she decided to make it a graphic novel? And if, on Dec 31, she drew the first page of her graphic history of Westview, and it looked like this?:
“No hugging, no learning” was essential to “Seinfeld.”
For “The Dick Van Dyke,” it was “no slang, no period references — nothing that will date us in reruns.”
Yesterday’s In the Bleachers. Scenes we’d like to see (in FW).
Don’t worry, Summer, there’s nothing to be scared of.
POST-APOCALYPTIC COW-SIZED SPIDERS, WHERE ARE YOU?!
GO AHEAD AND JUMP, SUMMER! I DOUBLE-DOG-DARE YA! I TRIPLE-DOG-DARE YA!
COME ON, SUMMER! STEP UP TO THE END! LET YOUR TOES PEEK OVER THE EDGE!
And that, Mother, is how my tongue got stuck to a light pole.
I that that spider escaped from “Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader.”
Admittedly, it was killed in it, but Phil Holt was dead until he wasn’t.
Aww. Batty’s writing words again. The last few days might have been pointless and confusing, but at least we didn’t have enormous Led Word Zeppelins crushing Chuck’s art.
I just realized something else about today’s strip. Who inspired Summer to go up the diving board? Who said you could see how everything fits together?
There’s a non-zero chance the final Funky Winkerbean strip will be Summer handing her Nobel Prize to Les.
As much as Summer suffering a fatal fall off the diving board would be an appropriate ending for this arc, I suspect that the Sunday strip will feature a completely different subject and we are not going to see Summer ever again.
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