There Goes The Neighborhood


I hate having “Crankshaft” rammed down my throat anytime, but on Christmas Eve it’s just absolutely galling. I see two interesting things about this one. First, it appears that Boy Lisa and Jessica had another kid, because that ain’t Skyler. And two, although I realize it’s probably just another “Crankshaft” character I don’t know, it sure looks like Bull is there, right next to Jessica. But that can’t be, as Bull is dead, just as Skyler is definitely more than a foot tall by now.

I liked Ed Crankshaft better when he was in a vegetative state. And I liked “Crankshaft” WAY better back before I knew it existed. Boy, those were the days. He could do a three week “Crankshaft” arc where Zanzibar, Cliff Anger and Marianne Winters have a knife fight to the death, and I wouldn’t know, as I’m not reading that piece of crap. After tomorrow, I never want to hear “St. Spires” again, in any context. And f*ck Ed Crankshaft and his whole “cranky” act, too. I live in New Jersey, so if I want to see some crabby asshole operating a large motor vehicle poorly, I can just go outside, which I’d prefer over reading “Crankshaft”.

Great Moments In FW Arc Recap History

Dec 27, 2010 – Jan. 2, 2011
Les hosts a New Year’s Eve party. Susan announces that her divorce is final. At the stroke of midnight, Les is smooching Lisa’s Ghost.

I had to include this one. His female coworkers were literally throwing themselves at him, meanwhile Les was in the corner, making out with himself. It’s a metaphor for something, although I’m not sure what. Les not being able to get over Lisa became downright comedic after a while. It was such a shameless, endless victory lap, where the strip became an ad for his cancer book, which was never a book at all, but merely a bound collection of previously-published comic strips. And that’s a fact.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

90 responses to “There Goes The Neighborhood

  1. spacemanspiff85

    I could be wrong, but I don’t think that’s supposed to be Jessica and Darrin, I think it’s Crankshaft’s grandson and his girlfriend, whose names I never remember. They’ve moved back in with Crankshaft, Pam, and Jeff, which makes me wonder why they didn’t all go to the church together.
    The guy who looks like Bull is named “Keesterman”, which says an awful lot about what Batiuk finds funny.
    Today’s strip is really just a Crankshaft installment, with some Funky Winkerbean characters making cameos in the background. Heck of a way to end your strip after five decades, but I guess it’s called writing.
    And is it just me, or does it seem odd that the choir director and the musicians are arriving at the same time as members of the audience?

    • William Thompson

      It’s also odd that nobody from the church is there to help the geezers carry their instruments or help them avoid falling on the icy ground.

      • Cheesy-kun

        Spacemanspiff, William – If you want reality please move a quarter mile, er, inch, in any direction. That’s where you’ll find acts of basic human kindness, depictions of actual people in their 90s, and practicalities like setting up for a concert.

        If you want writing! and drama! then… well, yes, then go somewhere else, too.

        This finale is as lazy, illogical, and boring as anything in Act III. Our bar was set low, TomBat came under it with plenty of space to spare.

    • billytheskink

      Max, Hannah, and Mitch are the names of the not-Durwood, Jessica, and Skyler trio visiting from Crankshaft.

      My favorite dumb detail in today’s strip is that the Centerville school bus regurgitating a bunch of Crankshaft characters that it has been picking up all week over in that strip… a plot point that makes no sense in any universe.

      • Epicus Doomus

        Thanks for the clarification. This is what happens when you don’t read “Crankshaft”. I gave up on Act II FW on two different occasions, and it took me years to get up to speed on who everyone was. And I’ll be damned if I do that again.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Darrin looks like he’s turning into an Archie character.

    • Green Luthor

      Pretty sure you’re right about… Generic Blonde Guy and Generic Blonde Woman. (Max, I think? And… maybe Hannah? I’m tempted to say Mindy, but I think that’s Max’s sister and Mopey’s girlfriend. We’ll just go with Max and Hannah for now, because my desire to look this up is even less than Batiuk’s.) This guy appears to possibly have a little chin beard and freckles, whereas Boy Lisa was wearing glasses, so it’s probably Max and Hannah.

      And, yeah, this is just a blatant Crankshaft “hey, all the Funky characters are moving in with us” advertisement. I’m guessing we’ll see the rest of the Funky cast (the Montoni’s crew and Atomik Komix) arriving over in Crankshaft?

      • J.J. O'Malley

        “I’m guessing we’ll see the rest of the Funky cast (the Montoni’s crew and Atomik Komix) arriving over in Crankshaft?” Well, give yourself half a credit, GL, ‘cuz that’s just what happens in C’Shaft as the AK limo pulls up (according to this strip) the Channel 1 News van should be parked. Now we can at last compare Boy Lisa, his blonde wife, and their “smiley face” kid with Max, his blonde wife, and their “smiley face” kid. We still don’t see the mysterious limo driver, though. Could it be…Harley?

        Also, did the Grandy Twins age a couple of years during their trip on the Clown Bus, or is that just attributable to the difference in artists?

        Also Also, does anyone else think it kind of odd that, of all the Centerville and Westview schlemiels and schlimazels who have been lured to St. Spires and “Jazz Messiah,” the person with the most logical connection to music and Dinkelberg–Lefty, err, Becky–has yet to appear in either strip? Couldn’t she tear her skunk-headed hubby away from the Last Minute Christmas Eve Sale at the comic book store and didn’t want to handle steering on her own in the middle of a blizzard?

        • J.J. O'Malley

          Sorry, Mr. Luthor. I see now that you mentioned Becky’s absence earlier down the page. That’s why you lead the Legion of Doom.

        • ComicBookHarriet

          It’s weird how things are melding. Mindy apparently got a haircut sometime in December.

        • Green Luthor

          Hm, no Montoni’s crew, though? Guess we’ll just have to assume they went off the road at some point and are all lying in the mangled wreckage, dead or dying. In retrospect, they probably shouldn’t have taken the word of the guy with PTSD that the store that liquidated its assets within hours of announcing its closing could afford new snow tires for the cars they also should have sold off. If only Buddy had been there to talk Wally off the ledge, but, alas, ’twas not to be.

          *Yawn* Huh? What time is it? Must have dozed off. I was having the most wonderful dream…

          • Annie Bee

            I wonder, though. Perhaps TB closed down Montonis in such haste a few weeks ago because he had his fingers crossed behind his back. By popular acclaim, Montonis is opening again after Christmas in Crankshafttown!

  2. William Thompson

    Where to begin? The heartfelt reunion of Les and Summer? That woman emerging from the school bus in a short skirt despite the blizzard? So many people without gloves or mittens or headgear? The way nobody bothered to remove the snow from the walkway or steps? Or the creep de le creep, Ed Crankshat? Maybe that’s where to end.

  3. Banana Jr. 6000

    “Hope they’re not moving into our neighborhood!” Thank you, Governor Wallace.

    • Cheesy-kun

      THAT made me laugh out loud. (Scared off my depression cat muse.)

    • Epicus Doomus

      Now there’s a premise. The comic book paper mill catches fire, and takes all of Westview with it. A flood of Westviewian refugees overwhelms Centerville, and the town is torn between welcoming their homeless neighbors and discriminating against them based on their pizza and comic book-based beliefs.

      “What YOU lookin’ at, dough-slinger?”

      “Would ya look at that, Ed! That saucehead is readin’ a comic book, right out here in the open. Hey, mozzarella boy, know what we do to YOUR kind here in Centerville?”

      “I hate the way they wear those sensible slacks and always have that marching band music blaring from their cars.”

      Then you do a huge prestige arc where Crazy Harry helps Ed change a flat tire on the bus, leading Ed to realize that maybe deep down we really all are the same, and maybe his “Scapegoat Basher” secret society is a bad idea.

      • William Thompson

        And why would all those Westviewians stay? Because when Centerville declared itself to be a sundowner town, they all thought it meant perpetual darkness. The gloom and doom upon which they thrive!

      • ComicBookHarriet

        Those are some amazing slurs. From now until the end of next week, I want to refer to all Westview residents as sauceheads.

    • Green Luthor

      “This was quite controversial, because at that time schools had already been racially integrated… for a while, and I did not realize that.”

      • Epicus Doomus

        “And right now in Crankshaft, I’m doing a very topical story about immigration and discrimination, which I feel is very topical and relevant to what’s going on.”

        In the actual strip: Ed grills Crazy about eating pizza while drinking coffee.

    • Crankshaft delivers that line while looking right at two black women, too. Ouch!

  4. billytheskink

    The time bubble has been as kind to Pm and Jff as it has Crankshaft himself…

    • Cheesy-kun

      This rock with a chunk missing from it looks like a cave. Wow!! That’s artistic, Tom.

      Thank goodness those found each other or there’d be four unhappy people in the world.

      • ComicBookHarriet

        Would you believe, it’s based on a REAL ROCK?!?!??

        The Funkyverse…where even ROCKS are ‘drawn from the personal’

        • Cheesy-kun

          This guy really is the master of banality.
          A glorified pebble. I got nothing but a white flag of surrender. Any snark or attempt at even feeble wit escapes me.

          Thanks for sharing that, Harriet. You’re a true archivist and with a mind powerful enough to know all these things w/out it getting crushed beneath the lead weight of their banality.

        • gleeb

          Tom Batiuk has never had an original thought in his life, has he?

  5. The Dreamer

    where are Crazy Harry and family, John and Becky? You would think that Crazy, an original FW character, would be there for the ending?

    • William Thompson

      His nickname is “Crazy,” not “Stupid.”

    • Cheesy-kun

      Good point, Dreamer. Maybe they found a way to wear the time helmet simultaneously and are enjoying a “trip” (i.e. ‘shrooms) with Timemop. At least two of the original characters would be enjoying a bit of joy that does not involved burying their noses in a comic book.

    • Green Luthor

      Becky not being there would seem especially odd, as she’s probably the only character in either comic who gives a crap about Dinkle, and thus would be the one person most likely to actually want to attend this thing. (On the other hand, maybe she’s got a sensible reluctance to drive when there’s a high probability of having an accident.)

      Let’s see, also not shown so far… Cindy and Mason, although they’ve already been established in Crankshaft; on the other hand, why wouldn’t a major Hollywood star go out to Podunk OH to attend a retirement home concert? (Marianne is probably too minor a character to bother having here?)

      Fred and Ann Lockhorn, Nate, Mark Twain-looking science teacher, Linda, Cory and Rocky… anyone else? Oh, and Buddy. (I’m not counting characters that haven’t shown up in forever, like Rolanda, or Junebug, or Owen and Cody and Chien, or Thatsnawt. Batiuk probably doesn’t remember they exist, either.)

      And we don’t have Timemop, Zanzibar The Talking Murder Chimp, Pizza Monster, Becky’s mom, and Frankie, who might threaten to bring some entertainment to this story.

      • Andrew

        It would’ve been fantastic if there was an excuse for Holtron to arrive on his own.

      • neveralwaysdisappointed

        “Becky … (On the other hand” – ouch, Green Luthor

      • Cheesy-kun

        Becky’s absence is strange but shows that he wishes he’d never pushed out Dinkle in the first place. He wanted to be Important & Serious by portraying a one-armed, female director but no one was ever going to be as popular in that role as Dinkle, especially since Batiuk decided not to develop the next generation. But, whole tone and tenor (get it? I’m as clever as Batiuk! Oh, wait…) of Act III make it impossible for Dinkle to be what he originally was.

        Becky’s staying in Westview and Dinkle will spar with Crankshaft to see who can be the louder jackass.
        Batiuk’s blog will be their biggest fan.

  6. Cheesy-kun

    You beat me to it, William Thompson. A raging blizzard (one so bad that the local meteorologists warns people they’d better hurry to a concert. In a different city.) …and these people are out there without gloves etc.

    In a just comic universe, the roof of St Spires would collapse under the snow and the money from the ticket sales would be given to the estates of the characters from Bloom County and Calvin & Hobbes.

    Who can blame Crankshaft for being surprised? When have these people ever bothered to do anything in or for St Spires? A group of their own 90-somethings are performing and suddenly they appear en masse. Or maybe it was the cat meme. Or maybe someone promised free signed copies of The Elementals for the first 100 through the door. Or whatever.

    Yesterday I tried to gently criticize the twitter snarker who through a bareknuckled punch at Batiuk and FW. I take it back. If you’re reading this I hope you will accept my apology.

    FW has been a hot mess made worse by Batiuk’s insistence that it’s “called writing” and full of “eloquent solutions.” I am not going to miss it one bit.

    BUT. I sure will miss SoSF and would be eternally grateful if I’m allowed to know about any new projects by our hosts/creators. Thank you.

  7. Cheesy-kun

    *threw not through

    IT’S CALLED SPELLING!!! No eloquent solutions for Cheesy-kun. Just cheesy typing.

  8. Guess what, Crankhole – all of these beloved FW characters are planning to invade your neighborhood, where they can drop by occasionally to pay you a visit and poke light-hearted fun at your latest predicament! It’s called Comics Synergy! This whole arc is an enticement for the dozens of FW fans to start following your strip! It’s all wins across the board!!!

    • Epicus Doomus

      He’s using the last days of FW to pitch “Crankshaft” to his readers, yet again. It demonstrates where his priorities lie, for sure. I mean, can’t “Crankshaft” just stand on its own, without the association with FW? And if this is how he’s wrapping up FW’s fifty year run, why would anyone want to invest any time into reading CS? You already know it won’t be going anywhere anyhow.

      • ComicBookHarriet

        Yes, Crankshaft can stand on it’s own because….(and I know you don’t believe me ED), Crankshaft is BETTER. Crankshaft has always been better. That is not to say Crankshaft is GOOD. But it is perfectly on par with ‘Pickles’ ‘Lockhorns’ ‘Garfield’ or ‘Family Circus’.

        But part of what makes it better is the focus. Crankshaft is about Crankshaft, sometimes Lillian, sometimes Pmm n Jff or their kids. But it all rotates around that the centerpoint of that curmudgeonly red trucker cap. There’s maybe 20 characters to keep track of, in about five different groups of Cranky’s social circles and family.

        Contrast that with the disjointed community of like 60 FW characters, You have little clumps of misused characters and their stories and lives barely interact.

        If there truly is a FW exodus, with Les or Funky or Dinkle showing up every other week, it will be the millstone that drags Crankshaft from B- material to the depths of Act III hell.

        • gleeb

          Yeah, Ed Crankshaft, a violent firebug whose hobby is gardening, which is fine as a hobby but intensely boring to look at, since all we see of it is buying gadgets.

          • The Duck of Death

            As an avid gardener myself, I can say that Batty gets EVERYTHING wrong about gardening, every time. I understand that Ed is not meant to be a good gardener, and that’s supposed to be the source of the “humor.” But humor isn’t funny if it contains no truth. For example, Ed is constantly shown lopping crowns off healthy, mature trees, or just plain cutting them down, while testing some new doohickey. Actual gardeners love and cherish their trees, and cut them down only if it absolutely cannot be avoided. He’s shown getting spring catalogs in May-June. (Try Jan-Feb.) He’s shown planting things in the wrong season. He’s shown trying to give away thousands of zucchini (which for some reason he doesn’t ever give to a church soup kitchen or pantry for the needy), and then somehow has thousands more the following year. I could go on.

            There’s so much to make fun of in the gardening hobby. I’m 100% sure there are dedicated suburban gardeners right on TB’s block. Why doesn’t he ask them about silly stuff? They’d all have funny stories. One of mine: I bought ladybugs because they eat aphids. Somehow they got out in the house, got all over the place, and we were finding dead ladybugs on the windowsills for weeks. You can have that one for free, Tom.

        • The Dreamer

          good point! FW in Act 3 has too many characters You can’t attract new readers when there are so many characters that you have to be obsessively reading for years like us to follow it The Syndicate probably realized FW wasn’t getting new readers because newbies can’t make sense out of it

          FW Act I was simpler The main character, in spite of the title, was Les Moore The strips centered around him There would be weeks where Les was the only person, either not climbing the rope in the gym or being hall monitor with a machine gun

        • Epicus Doomus

          Not only does FW have way too many characters, but the bulk of them were introduced during a period where he insisted on fleshing ever new character out with their own back story, which led to lots of worthless, needless arcs about characters no one cared about. Like Cliff, or Adeela, just to name two relatively recent ones. Meanwhile, a character like Crazy was lucky to get one arc a year.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        WoW, you hate Crankshaft as much as Batty hates that Batman show. That’s a lot of hate.

        For me, I’m happy Crankshaft is more popular than FW because it proves Batty’s little vanity project was a total failure. I have friends that started reading this strip as a youngster in the 70s (as did I), but they gave up years ago as the strip began its quest for awards. FW exists only for snarkers, there’s nobody else left.

        In the end I agree with you, Crankshaft is boring and not snark worthy in any way, but I have a feeling that’s about to change.

        • Cheesy-kun

          Batiuk has injected bathos into Crankshaft that distinguishes it from the legacy strips. He’s written stories about Crankshaft’s career in minor league baseball in the days of segregation, for example. We see Ed defending a Black player from racist teammates. Later the player and Ed meet as old men (I forget the details of why or how.) Of course, if Ed had been playing ball before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947 he’d be in his mid-90s at the very least. The important thing, of course, is that Tom Batiuk is teaching us not to be racist. The power of art!

          Like FW, he cannot resist going veering from comedic slice-of-slice, to cartoonish humor (Ed blows things up when he bbqs and even launches the grill into orbit) and to a Very Special Edition of After School Special. Like FW the delusion that he can skillfully move across genres, while playing fast-and-loose with time, is a detriment of the entire strip.

          Well, that and the bad story telling and unlikable characters.

  9. RudimentaryLathe?

    I like how Les & Cayla oh so casually acknowledge Summer’s arrival in the blizzard, after no contact with her all day; A+ parenting there.
    Y’know, since it’s almost Christmas and since Batty loves his DC comics characters so much, I’ll just leave this here, we could all use a little wholesomeness.

    • That episode is wonderful. One of my favorites in the DCAU.
      Please don’t sully it by associating it with Funky Winkerbean.

      • RudimentaryLathe?

        DCAU’s Wally West is my all-time favorite iteration of the Flash; in fact he’s pretty much my favorite superhero ever. I suspect Batiuk would hate him (on the off chance he ever watched an episode of Justice League)

        • ComicBookHarriet

          We know that he loved Batman the Animated Series…so I’d put some money on him having seen Justice League.

          Justice League, despite allowing jokes, did mostly take the material seriously. It’s probably Batman the Brave and the Bold that would have Batiuk sniffing and scoffing.

    • Cheesy-kun

      Thank you, Rudimentary Lathe. Great stuff!

  10. The Dreamer

    well maybe Becky didn’t come becayse it’s a snowstorm and she only has one arm. In these storms you rt need two hands to control
    the wheel. Besides some one need’s to be home when everyone is snowed in at St Spires and Wally
    needs someone to go rescue Buddt

  11. Green Luthor

    On the blog, Batiuk describes this as being one of the most “busy” years for FW. Yeah, Tom, we could tell by the way you devoted MOST OF A WEEK to Summer walking around looking at houses that held ABSOLUTELY no meaning to her, only to you. Right after three weeks that may or may not have been a dream. And then followed it up with various characters leaving to go to a concert for inexplicable reasons. Really, you crammed so much in there, I don’t know how you’ll possibly finish up all these plots in a week.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Heads over to the BattyBlog…..

      Well that wasn’t too bad of a post and he kept it to just a few paragraphs instead of his usual rambling that goes on forever.

  12. Andrew

    Ah yes, teasing the fact that Westview could be (t)here to stay for all they want in extended cameos in the sister strip. Years of modest effort to note how everyone would appear a decade older, from the twins to Ed’s catatonic future self, setting up weekly parallels explicably called flashbacks and flashforwards, all gradually torn away because it got too hard, Crankshaft was always considered the more “funny” comic where story wasn’t as important, and also he had to salvage something from the end of the strip. And all showcased by having the gang go to a fucking Saturday night church performance. Perfectly Funky.

    Also that Great Moment recap is so nice, that’s the second time we’ve come back to it. The 11/21/22 “Snarkpacolype Soon” entry from the day Girl Les stepped into Harlem Timetrotter’s closet recalled the same week, because it’s just that infamous (and depressing, to recall that one Comics Alliance column over a decade ago)

    • Epicus Doomus

      I think it was the single worst moment of Act III, and deserves to be recognized as such. Just total revulsion, on an almost primal level.

  13. William Thompson

    A horrifying thought: we’re in for a week of chatter about how and why all these people will appear in “Crankshaft.” Les Moore has been hired as the principal of the brand-new Centerville Hi, giving him a chance to insult and ignore a whole new student body. Funky is opening a Montoni’s franchise in town, but his expansion plans will take him to Dayton. AK will open an art school in Centerville, with the newly-moved and enlarged Komix Korner as its adjunct . . . ugh. I can’t do it. I want to talk about the horrifying ways all these people will die. Anything else takes all the fun out of my Christmas.

  14. Green Luthor

    Wait… the guy stepping off the bus… wasn’t he the one driving the snowplow? Did they stop so he could switch places with someone on the bus? (And, if so, why didn’t Les lose control and smash into the back of the bus when it stopped? Not that it was guaranteed to happen or anything, but it would have been awesome to see.)

  15. The Dreamer

    Actually I think the single worst moment of Act III was either:

    1. Funky turns out to be a recovering alcoholic, gets drunk.and drives off the road almost killing himself

    2. Bull has CTE and drives off the road and DOES kill himself

    Both were cases of Batiuk taking on serious topics in an attempt to get more Pulitzers Both were pathetic Nobody wants to see a drunk.driving accident or a main character who has lost his mind committing suicide by car in the Sundsy comics page!

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Funky actually didn’t get drunk before his accident. He went to a bar, ordered a drink, and then walked out without drinking it. He was run off the road by a distracted driver.

      I completely agree with you about the Bull arc though. That was the worst of Act III.

      I also despise how he handled Wally’s return. The guy was a presumed dead POW TWICE. He should have had Les writing books about him and have had movies made about his experiences. He should be a nationally known hero. But naw. The only person who cared about his reintegration into society was Funky and then Rachel.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Yeah, Bull was the only character that showed growth after high school. He seemed to love his job, loved helping young athletes like Summer and it appears he was happily married and had lots of friends.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          He also came to terms with his abusive past. Not that Les would ever let it go. Bull’s whole death arc seemed to make the point that your actions in high school are unredeemable, and when you die all the friends you seemed to have won’t mourn your death or even miss you. Never mind that Cindy was a much worse bully than Bull was.

    • Wait a minute now! I LOVED the Aldo Kelrast drunk driving accident!

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Aldo Kelrast has a lot of ironic fans, but that arc was ten times better than anything Funky Winkerbean has tried since then.

  16. Y. Knott

    This is Batiuk, so I suspect that the utter stupidity of this is numbing us into forgetting his m.o.

    The Batiuk Method: Produce strip after tedious strip of zero-dimensional characters engaged in suspenseless and static meaningless activity. Oh, and maybe throw in the odd low-grade pun, if you happen to think of one.

    Then, suddenly! Hammer ’em with a completely insane set-up for a nonsensical plot ‘twist’ — one that in the hands of virtually any other writer might at least prove to be goofy or campy fun! But then Batiukize it, so that it’s simultaneously shocking AND boring. Remember, it’s not fully Batiukized until it’s both anaesthetizing AND painful!

    My guess is that Batiuk’s putting every ounce of his Batiuktivity into this finale. So for this final week I’m expecting bold new levels of stupid — and of deadly tedium. For this strip, no more fitting end could be had!

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Don’t forget to mix in a heavy dose of your interests with utter disregard for reality and the telling of an interesting story.

      For Batty, this strip is all about him.

  17. Paul Jones

    And let’s not forget the other part of the Batiuk Path To Epic Failure: whining about persecution when his defects and blind spots are pointed out to him. I always expected this site to be deluged by his sock puppets whimpering about being called out for his lack of stamina and non-existent pacing.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Yeah, for a “hater” site it’s amazing this place has never had a presence from defenders of the strip. At least not in the last 2-3 years. My guess is that any remaining non-ironic fans of FW all hate the internet as much as Batiuk does.

      • Y. Knott

        The thing is — what possible non-ironic enjoyment could be derived from this strip? I can’t imagine that anyone could actually read this day after day and maintain any kind of interest in it. I mean, other than the awful fascination of witnessing its withering banality and occasional moments of truly surprising stupidity, and perhaps trying to guess how it will inevitably top itself in these areas.

        If there IS a genuinely non-ironic FW fan out there? I’d have to assume they were locked in an underground vault at Kent State since birth, with no access to any other form of scripted entertainment.

  18. Angusmac

    I’m so confused with these two timelines colliding. Would Dead St. Lisa be Not-Yet-Dead St. Lisa in the Crankyverse?

    • Green Luthor

      Although Crankshaft didn’t really do the time skip between Acts I and II, the shift to Act II was done retroactively; the skip happened in 1992, but established right away that pre-skip it was 1988, so now it was still present-day. So Funky and Crankshaft were at the same point in time for Act II. It was the Act III skip that separated the two strips time-wise (and the separation was made explicit on several occasions, with older versions of the Crankshaft characters appearing in Funky, and younger versions of Funky characters appearing in Crankshaft). And since the Act III skip happened right after Saint Lisa became Dead Saint Lisa, she would have been Dead Saint Lisa even with the time difference.

      • ComicBookHarriet

        You are correct. In fact Lisa was so distraught to learn her cancer had come back and was terminal in 2006, that she walked right into Crankshaft (both the person and the strip)

        Of course, Batiuk would make an unexpected and totally uncharacteristic continuity error ten years later when he decided to have a young and chipper Les Moore show up for the Grand Opening for The Village Booksmith hawking ‘Fallen Star’, which was written, sold, and then pulped long before Summer’s birth.

        Though in Crankshaft time passes excruciatingly slow in a more traditional ‘comic book time’ (except when great-grandchildren are inexplicably aged up by five years in a month) it usually doesn’t move BACKWARD.

        • Andrew

          Hah, ok wow, that crossover strip is one of the funniest things I’ve seen in either strip! Love the idea that Crankshaft & Friend just twisted the knife in on the unhappy couple, soup for the snarker’s soul. Thanks for that only-just-early Christmas gift CBH!

  19. Hitorque

    1. For fuck’s sake the only thing missing is some idiot passing out commemorative edition comic books…

    1a. So all these folks are the same denomination?

    1b. Is there only going to be ONE performance of this stupidity? Because you’d think that if there was going to be this much demand for tickets, they might have chosen a larger venue?

    1c. Am I the only one who remembers The Big Dink and his Heathen Choir becoming a national viral sensation because they were live streaming their performances? So there’s really no reason to move heaven and earth trying to get there in a blizzard…

    2. Why would Krankenschaaften be driving the school bus?? It’s not his personal transportation…

    3. And I fully expect Masone+Cindye Sommerse-Winkerbeane-Jarre to land their chartered helicopter any minute now.

    3a. I really really hope we get an appearance from Mitchell Knoxville in full John Darling cosplay…

  20. bigd1992

    If Jessica had another kid, Boy Lisa might not be the father.

  21. The Duck of Death

    It’s good to see that Channel 1 isn’t covering Snowpocalypse like most stations would. “Stay home and stay safe” — HA! That’s what all the other stations are saying! Instead, they’re taking a different tack — they’ve sent a van to cover a church concert, thereby encouraging their viewers to get out on the road like the intrepid attendees. Something tells me they’re gonna wait as long for their Peabody as Batiuk will for his Pulitzer.

    • William Thompson

      Or that they’ll hire some of Les’s old A/V students to replace the reporters who froze to death. At lower salaries, of course.

  22. The Duck of Death

    Ed’s comment is just a gem of Act III unnaturalness. It’s impossible to imagine any human circumstance in which someone would say that to attendees of a performance as they filed in.

    Is Centerview experiencing an immigrant crisis, with the immigrants all being from nearby whitebread Ohio towns? Are their schools overtaxed to bursting trying to service the children with the funny Westview accents? Are their roads crumbling with the additional strain of another town’s worth of robin’s-egg blue Yugos? Are their hospitals buckling, understaffed and underequipped to deal with the wave of 68-year-old women with broken footanklelegs? Did they have to hire another postal worker to deliver the overwhelming influx of additional Bean’s End and Vermont Country Store catalogues?

    Is that why Ed-benezer Scrooge chooses Christmas Eve of all days to deliver his “Stay out of our neighborhood” rant?

    • William Thompson

      Ed knows that none of the local parents want any of those big Westview boys sitting next to the little Centerville girls on his bus.

  23. The Duck of Death

    Welp, not only is Tommy not sticking the landing, but it looks like he’s blowing his load 6 days early. A big Sunday panel with the whole town at the Messiah, then….?

    Okay, I’ll hazard a guess. I was right for the first and only time about where the Jazz Messiah plot was going, so maybe my luck will hold. (I know it was obvious where the plot was going, but never once have I been right when I guessed the obvious thing. Puffy’s kind of amazing in his ability to subvert expectations.)

    I’ll guess… people are hanging around after the concert and the Westviewians make friends with the Centervillians and the Westviewians say they’ll have to spend much more time in this lovely town, Centerville.

    Any other guesses from the Peanut Gallery?

    • William Thompson

      “Now that they opened the new Shortcut Bridge over Nobottom Canyon, it’s just a two minute drive from Westview to Centerville! We can commute directly to our new jobs in your town!”

    • Tom from Finland

      I’m thinking the same.
      I expect the next week to be some kind of tightly coupled crossover crap that tries to force everybody to read both FW and Crankshaft and the strips will have a shared Sunday strip that starts the new Crankshaft.

      • Y. Knott

        This would be a logical approach. The approach a competent storyteller, when faced with a situation where he had two strips that were being forced to merge, might employ.

        So I’m betting that’s NOT what Batiuk will do.

    • Green Luthor

      I’m thinking the week will consist of either Funky characters chatting with Crankshaft characters (to establish reasons for the Funky characters to visit Centerville), or the entire week will just show random characters with music floating at the top of the panel; just an entire week of characters watching a concert with no plot whatsoever. Probably the biggest middle finger Batiuk could give to the readers to close out the comic.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      If he’s going to end the strip with a Sunday group shot, tomorrow’s when he has to do it. Next Sunday is January 1, 2023.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      I can’t wait for the Westviewans and Centerviewans to make friends… since most of them already should know each other.

      Hi I’m Les Moore, I’m a teacher over at Westview High.

      Hi! I’m Ralph Meckler. Do you know Principal Nate Green?

      Yes! Of course! He counseled my best friend’s cousin/nephew Wally when he was suffering from PTSD the first time!

      Yes! My only son Timmy literally died in his arms.


      Hi! Are you Mindy’s father, Jeff? I’m Jess Fairgood. I’m married to her coworker and fiancee Pete’s best friend, Darin Fairgood.

      Yes. I know. I’m your Uncle.

  24. Perfect Tommy

    Not the two-state solution I was expecting.

  25. Over at Shankcraft, Chester looks absolutely crushed that Santa is already there. He looks like someone told him comic books can’t be printed any more.

  26. robertodobbs

    So Phil came back from the dead, Crankshaft got out of the wheelchair and oxygen hose, Mort’s dementia went away, Dinkle got his hearing back, and Montoni was a ghost for a while but then wasn’t. Lisa and Bull will have to show up at the Funky farewell New Year’s Eve party on Dec 31.