It’s Just The Wasted Years So Close Behind


And here it is, my last-ever Sunday FW strip. I’ve always had mixed feelings regarding the Sunday strips. Sometimes they’re annoyingly invasive and have nothing whatsoever to do with anything, other times they’re just weird and difficult to say much about, like with those horrible comic book covers with the always-wry reality bubbles. Honestly, they mostly just kind of suck, and I’d bet that every other SoSF host agrees, too. You see that second Sunday strip of your shift and it’s almost always so demoralizing. I’m trying to recall my favorite Act III Sunday strip of all-time, but I’m totally drawing a blank. That’s the kind of impact the Sunday strips make.

Ending on a down note…yup, that’s sounds about right. Maybe he’s setting up a big “Lost”-like ending here, where everyone gathers in a gauzily-lit non-denominational church to smile and dance around all stupidly. Or maybe everyone in FW was actually dead the whole time. Except for Lisa, who imagines the whole thing in the one moment before SHE dies, again!

Or maybe everyone will just walk around aimlessly for no reason, I dunno. I guess he had to cram Dinkle in there somehow, but none of this explains anything about Harley and the helmet, which were all the rage two weeks ago. When you get right down to it, this is what BatYarn is all about…boring hackery. It’s been over a decade since he last did an arc anyone might consider “good” or even merely “OK”. And obviously that isn’t changing now.

Great Moments In FW Arc Recap History

Jan. 10-23, 2011
Wally travels to Colorado to train with and take ownership of Buddy, his new companion dog.

All this Bingo talk reminded me of FW’s most beloved character, Buddy The Dog, who debuted in what was probably the “best” Act III arc of all time. By “best” I mean the most well-received, in general. At the time I was trying too hard, and I failed to recognize that by FW standards, it was a relatively upbeat, happy and hopeful little story, featuring an adorable dog AND a combat veteran. I should have known better. You can be “edgy” and all, but not all the time and definitely not when veterans and service dogs are involved, because there’s no way you won’t come across as anything more than a real dick. It was a lesson worth taking to heart, so thanks O.B. Dan, wherever you are.

Anyhow, Buddy was a good, good boy, and deserved WAY better than what BatHack had in store for him. Torturing him on Ferris wheels and at heavy metal concerts, a thousand “he’s my Buddy” gags, then seemingly written out of the strip entirely, Buddy merited a hell of a lot more than that. Meanwhile, the strip is crawling with cats. I guess that for BatYam, dogs are like women, and he has no idea how to write for them. Zing.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

81 responses to “It’s Just The Wasted Years So Close Behind

  1. Definite upvote for the Velvet Underground reference.

    I read a recent bio of Lou Reed, “Notes from the Velvet Underground.” Doesn’t spare the rod, but is definitely worth your time if you like his work.

    • Epicus Doomus

      I knew you’d get it right away, BC. I mean, you even got my 9353 reference a while back, and quite frankly I was amazed. I’ve always loved working song titles and lyrics into my post titles. My favorite one ever was when Dinkle was menacing Crankshaft with his conductor baton…”Killing Ed Softly With Baton”. I’ll never top that.

    • Cheesy-kun

      Oh, yeah, upvote to you both for the VU & Lou Reed references!

    • The Duck of Death

      I read it too. Harsh, but fair. And sad in so many ways.

      As for this strip: Oh! Sweet Nuthin’

  2. billytheskink

    As a cat owner, I feel comfortable saying that TB doesn’t know how to write for cats, either. Which is kind of weird considering how many cartoonists are actually quite good at it.

    Ayers handles drawing cats just fine, though, and Bingo’s expression in the title panel is appropriate for this, and many other, FW strip(s).

    • Epicus Doomus

      Or people, in general, I mean. That strip with Buddy on the Ferris wheel was one of Act III’s dumbest individual moments. The stowaway cat (Kili) on the Kilimanjaro climb was pretty dumb too.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        It’s really shitty how Funky Winkerbean treated that cat. Kili climbed Everest, got a certificate for it, bonded with Les, and was brought to the United States by Les… who apparently just dumped him in the street. Kili was forgotten, then destroyed by a time-traveling space helmet and/or off-gassing of the plastics.

        Kick The Dog is a well-known trope to make a character seem evil. This may be the first time the author did it.

        • billytheskink

          To be fair, by all appearances Kili belonged to fellow Kilimanjaro climber Dan (a Les/Funky-level griper, and I’m assuming, based off some “friend” of TB’s) and went home with him. Kili was, apparently, a part of a litter of kittens Dan’s cat had back home.

          And, it was Dan was made responsible for making sure Kili got up the mountain safely.

          We really didn’t any closure on her story after Dan carried her off the mountain like a football.

          No, I did not remember any of this until I looked it up. Dan was not an A-list FW guest star.

          • Rusty Shackleford

            Those Kilimanjaro strips were dreadful. I know this was on Batty’s Boomer Bucket List, and that is great that he got to do it, but this whole arc is just stupid.

          • William Thompson

            A kitten just happened to hide itself so well in a duffel bag that it passed through a customs inspection without being noticed? Right.

  3. The Duck of Death

    The saddest thing is… in latter years, I’ve come to look forward to the Dinkle arcs, because as excecrable as they are, they’re the closest thing to classic FW, and classic newspaper comic strips, that Puffy has to offer. A larger-than-life character, doing silly and unrealistic things… in this strip, it doesn’t get any better.

    And Dinkle strips/arcs are almost guaranteed not to be total frickin’ downers that leave you contemplating the inevitability of death, decay, and the ruination of your mortal flesh.

    • Green Luthor

      Though there’s also a non-zero probability a Dinkle story will have Mort trying to nail Lillian in the back of a church van, so… yeah.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      But Dinkle was his most popular character ever and so it makes sense that he would be featured now.

      The problem is, Batty painted himself into a corner with Dinkle losing his hearing. Nobody cared about his replacement Lefty, and so Batty had to bring Dinkle back…but this just made everything awkward. If he is retired, why is he always at the school? How did he get his hearing back?

      Batty chewed up Dinkle, all just to drum up more misery. It was all just more cheap prefabricated drama.

      • The Duck of Death

        As always, anyone with two brain cells to rub together could have figured how to get out of the jam Batiuk put himself into.

        1. Harriet insists he get evaluated for a specialized hearing aid. He resists, then gives in. (This very script is played out IRL in practically every couple that lives long enough for the husband to start going deaf.)

        2. Wow! He’s got most of his hearing back!

        3. The school, in honor of his service and to celebrate the good news, makes him “band leader emeritus” and an unofficial consultant. He’s shown actually helping Becky from time to time to justify this.

        Or, you know, just yell IT’S CALLED WRITING and wave the past away, making a fool of any unironic readers who actually cared about your stupid creations.

        • ComicBookHarriet

          I mean, it’s kind of what happened in reverse.

          First Harry is given a job as ‘programming director’ whatever that means.

          Then Harry reveals that he has hearing aids. (Which he MUST have had all Act III, since characters regularly talk to him from behind and he hears them. )

          Problem is, the nature of the relationship between his hearing loss, his retirement, and his hearing aids is never clarified. His use of hearing aids doesn’t seem to affect at all his ability to sub for Becky CONSTANTLY.

  4. Green Luthor

    Pros: this is the first strip without Summer since November 20 (the Wayback Wendy cover).

    Cons: it’s a Dinkle story

    He’s gonna go out on a Dinkle story, isn’t he? Motherf***er.

  5. William Thompson

    A picture of Bingo looking like he’s playing the organ? How far behind the times is Batty? Here’s a fifteen year old video of a cat playing an organ.

    Come into the twenty-first century, Batiuk!

  6. billytheskink

    Also, are Harley’s time-jumping janitor fingerprints all over this Claude Barlow character?

    Barlow was originally said to have lived from 1543 to 1627

    This, of course, predates both jazz and Handel’s Messiah. Barlow, of course, was also noted over the years as having visited the United States and playing the piano, both things he could not have done had he died in 1627. Maybe… Harley IS Claude Barlow?!

    Eh, maybe. I don’t much care now that I think about it.

    • Epicus Doomus

      IMO there was nothing worse than getting a Claude Barlow/Dinkle arc. For me, that was always the nadir. I’d take anything over those.

    • Majicou

      A strip from 1990, the same year Peter Schickele released an album with P.D.Q. Bach’s “Classical Rap.” Hm. No surprise, though, since every Claude Barlow gag is warmed-over P.D.Q. Bach.

  7. RudimentaryLathe?

    Is Channel 1 the domain of Phil the Phorcaster?

    • Cheesy-kun

      Yep. Crankshaft and family wrapped up the week talking about it.

      I’d wonder why he was brought back but in Batiukland we may never see Phil again. His return was to make some loud but illogical point about age discrimination, I think. Mission “accomplished”…

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        And to make the point that modern media simply cannot function without old, useless, arrogant content creators like Tom Batiuk.

        Channel One has now had to pull John Darling and Phil the Forecaster out of mothballs just to put anything on the air. They also had to rescue Max and Min from their failed all-Phantom Empire theater to perform basic tasks.

        All these people are easily replaceable. Universities produce thousands of trained, job-seeking journalism graduates every year. Video recording and editing software is affordable, and commercially available to ordinary people. YouTube gives anyone a chance to show what they can do; some people have leveraged it into traditional media careers.

        After Channel One had that “ransomware” fiasco, ownership should have fired half their staff. Starting with that idiot manager.

      • I believe the introduction of Phil the Forecaster was also used to steer Crankshaft into a Channel One arc which inevitably led to today’s Sunday FW crossover. For at least the next week (and probably two), I think we’ll see Crankshaft go all-in to participate in the Funky Winkerbean “Grand Finale”.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          “Claude Barlow’s Jazz Messiah”??!! I thought the whole joke of Claude Barlow was that his music was terrible and nobody could stand it. What a disconnect.

  8. Social media folks love cat stuff*. Yes, this is true. Not funny, but true.

    I’m hoping this Sunday strip marks a hard break from the Summer Contemplation of What It All Means arc. REALLY hoping for that.

    *Full disclosure: I can’t resist videos of cats and dogs playing with children or with each other. I say this with no pride whatsoever. It is what it is.

    • sorialpromise

      Well it is not a hard break from Summer.
      My Hotmail received Wednesday December 21 Funky Winkerbean for some unknown reason. I am willing to go out on a limb and say: No downvoter ever got an email from the future.

    • Cheesy-kun

      . It is what it is.—> It is human. Shows your heart is in the right place. I love it when kids’ faces light up at the sight of our dog, a purebred Shiba. Guilty pleasure: videos of Shibas acting even more stubborn than ours. (

  9. Andrew

    Assuming the strip ends exactly on New Year’s Eve before 2023 rolls over, this is the 14th-to-last Funky Winkerbean comic in the sequence, and the penultimate Sunday strip in the series. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s squeezed so that a Sunday strip is the “proper” finale, in which case this would be the 15th-to-last comic and the antepenultimate Sunday strip.

    In any case, despite the time pressure, somehow we’re seeing some filler looking at the Dink again. That or the next/”final” storyline (didn’t Batiuk say that Harley’s story would be the “final” story arc in one of his interviews?). At this rate I have no idea how he’s going to wrap this up with this weird hodgepodge of final sequences, and if we’re not returning to Summer I’m just bamboozled still at what (if anything) was going through Girl Les’s head at all or why that walk was necessary.

    Buddy was definitely a good boy, though I’ve noticed he’s not gotten used much either, much like Wally himself. He was a good idea for his story, though there’s nevertheless still a lot I can object about.

    • William Thompson

      How many pets have featured in Funky Winkerbean? I don’t count Buddy, who’s a working dog, or le Chat Bleu, who should be working as an assassin. How many of these characters have a pet dog, cat or parakeet? It’s an odd omission.

      • ComicBookHarriet

        Pets in FW? Nothing permanent except for Buddy. Though in Act I Les had a couple years where he had a fishtank. Notably he brought his pet fish to the movie theatre to see Jaws.

        Crankshaft has had some pets. A cat named Pickles, a dog named Homer. They were featured for a while, Homer was around for decades, then disappeared with no fanfare. Rose had a tiny Chihuahua named Tinkerbell too.

    • Epicus Doomus

      The annoying thing was that Wally did get quite a bit of strip face time over the last several years, but Buddy just wasn’t around for some reason. I keep picturing him all alone in that apartment above Montoni’s, forlornly staring out the window, wondering why he doesn’t get to help his master anymore. Like Fred Fairgood, but far more adorable and way more sad.

    • Hannibal's Lectern

      How many of us expect that the first strip of 2023 will be the exact same strip appearing both as the last “FW” strip and the first strip of the New Improved (with additional major characters!) “Crankshat”? I sort expect to see the Krankus and the Usual Suspects, Masoné Jarré, Harry Dangle, the Komix Book Guyz, and Les… pretty much all the major characters from “Funky” except for its title character.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        I think it’s very possible. Act II ended, with a jump cut that bridged ten years. This would be a jump cut that bridges the old strip to the new.

  10. Y. Knott

    Another thing about the Sunday strips — he cannot get the rhythm right. This is a (very mild) three panel gag, completely botched by stretching it to six.

    Also: “Facegram”.

    • Cheesy-kun

      “Facegram” should be punishable. Isn’t there a writers guild that could bust him
      for such crap?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I can’t imagine any version of today’s strip that would have worked. It has no premise and no punchline. “Demand for tickets has gone through the spire”? There’s no wordplay, dual meanings, or anything to work with. It’s just transactional dialog.

      • Y. Knott

        The three panel version: Panel one sets up the storm and that people might not come. Panel two is “Don’t worry, we put an ad on social media. Lots of people will come. Look!” Panel three has one of the choir members cheerfully admitting that they dressed up Bingo to look like he was playing the organ, and actually SHOWS the ad, with the cat playing the organ. If done right, especially if we get an incredulous reaction from Harry, it’s a mild grin. Not a comic for the ages, but a mild grin.

        (Yes, I know actually showing the ad goes completely against Batiuk’s “tell, don’t show” style. I didn’t say Batiuk could pull this off in three panels, just that it could be done.)

        • Cheesy-kun

          Once again, as in everyday, someone here understands better than Batiuk how to show a story.

          It’s like Batiuk’s guiding principles are:
          1. Tell, don’t show (buy if yiu absolutely must show something, show smirks.)
          2. Never say in 10 words what you say in 100.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          You made it work.

      • Mela

        I think the wordplay is using spire instead of roof. Because it’s a church. That’s the gag.

    • Andrew

      I know it’s a thing for some writers to make up Expys of brand names just to avoid sponsorship accusations or potential copyright infringement nonsense, but the Funkyverse has always had such weird approaches to it with it’s “Winkerbean” style of wordplay.

      Facegram, MyFaceSpace, Netbusters, whatever the McDonalds bootleg was called… and yet he’ll freely use Instagram here and there, and isn’t allergic to shouting out Marvel & DC in all its forms.

      • The Duck of Death

        Shouting out? Not so much. More like literally pasting characters, art, and classic covers wholesale into your own comic, signing it, and giving no copyright credit, or any credit at all, for the characters and art.

        How the syndicate let him get away with it, I’ll never know. Maybe this was one of the things that soured the relationship between TB and KF.

        • Y. Knott

          Batom owns the copyright to the strip. So Batom will sign an agreement with the syndicate that any material Batom provides to the syndicate to distribute is entirely Batom’s property.

          As part of that agreement, Batom attests that all material is wholly original and completely copyright cleared, and that Batom takes on all and any responsibility for any and all copyright issues directed toward the strip, in any court or legal action luanched in any jurisdiction in the world. Batom furthermore explicitly and irrevocably releases the syndicate, its parent and subsidiary corporations, and any and all individuals who work for the syndicate, from any form of copyright liability connected with published strip material — in perpetuity, in all forms of media whether now known or unknown, and throughout the universe.

          In other words, if Tom owns the strip, he also has to take on *all* the responsibilities of ownership.

      • The Duck of Death

        My take — shared by at least a few others here — is that if he can come up with what he thinks is a “””clever””” take on a name (sorry, but it needed three sets of scare quotes), then he’ll use it. As long as it doesn’t take him longer than 15 seconds to think of it. Otherwise, he’ll use the real name.

        For example, “Moneyfornothing” in place of GoFundMe. He put in a good 8-10 seconds on that one. He was about ready to give up the struggle when he came up with that stroke of brilliance.

  11. J.J. O'Malley

    So, what happens when all the concert attendees start booing and demanding their money back because Bingo the church cat isn’t the organ player?

    Meanwhile, poor Girl Les is still contracting hypothermia standing at the top of the snow-covered pool ladder.

    • Cheesy-kun

      What happens is we get five days of word Zeppelins as Dinkle (Batiuk) berates the congregation (modern world in general) for its lowbrow taste and their addiction to YouBoob for spreading it.

      Or we’ll go back to Lisa walking around Westview.

      • William Thompson

        Today’s alternate strip: Summer ruminates over the experience of standing on the diving board, seeing and feeling the same things her father experienced. She kneels and brushes away the snow to expose the anti-slip coating on the board . . . and her face lights up. “Why, these brown stains are exactly where he would have stood!”

  12. Cheesy-kun

    Since this strip takes place in Centerville, it might have been helpful to remind readers if that fact so they’ll anticipate seeing Dinkle and others in Crankshaft.

    Then again, outside of his family, we’re the only ones who care enough to think about so, fair enough, Tom. Your audience does not need the heads-up.

    Did Batiuk ever show how Dinkle’s hearing recovered, despite aging, and so much so that he can direct a choir? The original cast are going to turn 69 soon so how old is the Dink?

    Anyway, the school district keeps Les on the payroll so sucks to be newly minted English teacher who’d like to settle in Westview. If Summer is still on that diving board then I bet all she sees a lot of people shuffling around with walkers or riding the senior center bus. Westview is no place for the young. Neither is Cranksvilke. Can we look forward to the bowling league and choir socializing together? Maybe they’ll all join Les Moore’s Writing Workshop to learn things like, The Only Happy Story is a Sad Story

    • Green Luthor

      Did Batiuk ever show how Dinkle regained his hearing? Heck, Batiuk didn’t even show how Mort recovered from dementia! (Based on the available evidence, it appears Mort cured his dementia by taking up smoking, which I’m sure the AMA would like to know about.)

      Basically, the answer (for both characters) is: Batiuk just plain forgot. (There’s a certain sick irony in forgetting Mort’s dementia, really. Like… his dementia got so bad he forgot he had dementia, so he’s all better now!)

      • billytheskink

        Maybe Dinkle is actually the present alias of the immortal and infamous Claude Barlow, who goes through different aging cycles during his journey as an immortal annoyance. After all, here is Dinkle recounting something quite prescient about Barlow’s life in a FW strip from around the end of Jimmy Carter’s administration…

  13. Hitorque


    • Hitorque

      I’m sorry, I’m not even hardcore religious but among other things I have a serious fucking problem with them selling tickets for a church performance unless 100% of the gross is going to feeding the hungry and sheltering the homeless this Christmas.

      I have a well-to-do neighbor who pre-pandemic used to throw the biggest Christmas parties at his house every year and invite the entire neighborhood… I’m talking “Great Gatsby” shit with only the finest catered foods, open bar, champagne, you name it and all he ever asked of his guests was to bring along a baby care item — baby food, diapers, wipes, toilet paper, baby wipes, blankets, stuffed animals, etc. which he’d collect and ship back to his native Philippines…

      But I’m guessing all these ticket sales for “Jazz Messiah” are going right into the Big Dink’s bank account.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        It seems more like an ego trip for Dinkle. He’s bullied this church into letting him do another jazz show, after his “New Orleans-style jazz funeral” from not long ago. Which is another untoward thing people do with religion: use it as their own personal performance venue. “Jazz Messiah” seems like something he’d bully the church into letting him do, so he can show off his World’s Greatest Band Director skills.

        At least this is the kind of story the strip should be doing as it winds down. Another choir/Bedside Manor performance is a good way to see a bunch of characters one last time. I prefer it to 5 weeks of Summer doing nothing.

  14. ComicBookHarriet

    Last appearance of Buddy, (unless he pops up in the next week and a half, of course)

    October 2020.

    Previous to this, Buddy hadn’t been seen since January 2019, when Wally graduated college.

    Wally never seemed to need Buddy when in Montoni’s, and from graduation 2019 to his trip to the Valentine in 2020, I don’t think Wally was seen once outside of Montoni’s.

    Wally’s last two arcs were Adeela arcs. And they sucked. He hasn’t done anything in two years. He only showed up in eight strips and had 6 lines last year, and he hasn’t even shown up once this year.

    • The Duck of Death

      GAWD that is an awful punchline. The “cum” in “Summa cum laude” means “with.” Changing it to “canine” makes a hash out of it. But “cum” starts with a C and so does “canine,” so first thought, best thought, and done.

      But it is delightful that Wally didn’t even merit a “cum laude” and Buddy got all the honors.

    • Andrew

      Wally was KSU allumini?! Wow, that missed me when his strips portrayed college like a high school place (or at least community college)

      And of course that’s just further fuel for snark that we were able to get Wally’s college times in the strips, while Summer didn’t get a single one of her life on campus. That mural Batiuk & Ayers put up in Kent State (which was torn out five years later because they converted the lounge it was in into a administrative space, fun fact I’ve said before) showed her college life more than anything we ever saw in the papers, and apparently it isn’t even canon.

      • The Duck of Death

        They “converted the space” — LOL! If the mural had been any good, or had any value, either historical, monetary, or aesthetic, they would have worked around it. It was pretty ugly, IIRC, and old-fashioned in every way.

        Compare with Art Spiegelman’s decoration for his alma mater: A huge, beautiful, and incredibly impressive stained glass window. Here’s one panel:

        It’s a timeless theme, expressed with real emotion. The full story:

        Something tells me the school isn’t gonna “have to remove” Spiegelman’s work because they’re “converting the space.” It’s a showstopper and actually a selling point for parents and students shopping around for top public high schools.

        I cannot imagine any prospective KSU student looking at an oddly 70s-looking mural by the “Funky Winkerbean” guy and not feeling just really depressed and let down at the very prospect of attending the school.

        • Andrew

          I won’t disagree on the ugliness necessarily. In-person it looks like it was printed with low-res files of the art, you could see a level of pixelization and smudginess. Either they got a crap printer or didn’t give them good files to work with.

          It did have something of a Batiukian charm, at least, and it was a nice room to be in when it was a lounge (though part of it may have been it being one of the lounges that used bean bags, which KSU phased out over inability to sanitize them well I guess)

          • The Duck of Death

            That adds a whole new sad dimension — that it was low-res and smudgy. I saw Spiegelman give a talk on the creation of that stained-glass mural, and the technical aspects of it were complex and baffling to him (since he had never worked in this format), and very challenging for the fabricators. It required a tremendous amount of work and give and take from all parties, but he was determined to make it happen.

            Contrast with the “hey, close enough for jazz… and, SEND” technique so beloved of Batiuk.

            The thing about visual art is that the technical aspects of it are literally part of the art. Not making sure your art is printed correctly, or not ensuring that it’s the proper resolution, is incredibly slapdash.

          • Y. Knott

            Jeez, is this guy’s life just an endless cycle of hubris leading to low-grade failure or what?

            I thought the Rose Bowl Parade saga was sad. It started as “My beloved, iconic character’s gonna be leading the march on a Rose Bowl Parade float that honours my 50 years in the biz!”

            Over the course of a few weeks, it eventually devolved into. “Shut up. I’m not gonna talk about it. The float had nothing to do with me. The announcers never said as much as a single word about me, my character, or my comic strip. And I’m never gonna tell anyone how much I paid for some crappy illegible self-promoting banners that weren’t within 50 feet of a float. And which weren’t even shown on TV!”

            But as pathetic as that was … creating a mural meant to be your contribution to your alma mater — a work that’s designed to last generations — and having it dumped within 5 years? I mean, everyone on campus looked at this thing, and said “Hey, even by Kent State standards, this ain’t worth saving”? That’s some serious slap-in-the-face failure.

            Not winning a Pulitzer’s got to be a cakewalk in comparison to that.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          I’ve often wondered how many people re-thought their decision to attend Kent State once they saw how much Funky Winkerbean got shoved in their face. And the school acts like he’s some kind of leading light of civilization.

          I graduated from a large, regional state university that had only existed for 40 years at the time. It doesn’t have the world’s most impressive list of alumni (and Lord knows I haven’t helped). But Christ, they never beat me over the head with the ones they did have. They never rented out the bookstore so Drew from Office Space could do an autograph signing.

          • Anonymous Sparrow

            “Tin soldiers and Batiuk’s going/the lounge is finally free/this winter I hear them knowing/no more Funky in twenty-three…”

          • Andrew

            As KSU Alumni myself, Funky/Crankshaft references aren’t that commonplace. Besides the short-lived mural you could spot the collection volumes in the bookstore (at times having Batiuk’s autograph pre-written) but that’s about it.

            Easily overshadowed by other things, like the fact it was the site of the May 4, 1970 shootings (they don’t advertise that of course, but these days they make a good effort paying tribute, doing annual remembrance events every anniversary). It actually was the source of the only other Funkyverse sighting I remember there; one exhibit related to May 4 did showcase some Crankshaft stirps from a 2000 story where we learned in flashback that Pam & Jeff were at ground zero of the shootings and narrowly avoided getting shot as well. (For extra small world points, Ayers himself was an actual eyewitness of the shootings, and actually contributed illustrations to the papers at the time)

    • Epicus Doomus

      Yes, the Adeela arcs were just torture. BatHam introduced her in that unbearable eight week arc (the one with the tornado siren) and it just kept going on and on and on. An “architect” working as a pizza lackey…give me a freaking break already. Adeela should have been AT BEST a one-and-done character. But Batiuk simply doesn’t do things that way.

    • Hitorque

      Just your daily reminder that Wally took that poor dog to the “Monsters of Metal” concert (and he had tickets for the center fifth row) which still makes me want to stab him…

  15. Paul Jones

    And here we go with the last gasp of the strip: an incoherent tangle of poor pacing, non-existent foreshadowing and idiotic chatter about the Evil Interwebs.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      And jumping all over the place. Three weeks rewriting the strip’s history, followed by “oh no it was all a dream”, then a week of Summer wandering around pointlessly before having her world-shaking epiphany, and then it’s a Dinkle story. There’s no time left for Funky Winkerbean to cut between stories like this. It needs to pick something and finish it.

  16. Banana Jr. 6000

    Apparently “Jazz Messiah” is a real thing:

    Local groups can put on the show, but it’s pretty demanding. The instructions call for an 80-person chorus, 14 horn players, 3 solo vocalists, an orchestra, and a rhythm section. Ol’ Dink wouldn’t seem to have the personnel needed, but ya know, World’s Greatest Band Director.

    • The Duck of Death

      I love the Messiah, I love vocal jazz, and this is fantastic. Thanks for the link! I’ll be looking for local performances of this.

      As I mentioned, Dinkle pulled instruments, rehearsals, uniforms, and all from his posterior in about 3 days for an “Authentic New Orleans Funeral.” So a Jazz Messiah should be no problem.

      Bonus if, while they’re belting out, “The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised,” Lisa makes a dramatic entrance, bursting through the church doors.

  17. robertodobbs

    I’ve been around church people my whole life. They don’t talk like that. They don’t drag church lingo into popular sayings to be funny. Nuns don’t turn their eyes upwards while saying something like “well, if He makes it possible.” Pastors don’t make puns or funnies about parts of the church or Bible stories in their everyday speech. No church person in the universe would ever say “through the spire” instead of “through the roof.” AAAAGH!

    • Green Luthor

      “No human being would ever say that sentence” is pretty much Batiuk’s default for writing dialogue.