The Duck of Death
December 19, 2022 at 8:22 am
Guys. Guys, is he gonna have the whole freakin’ cast from both comics in this church and pan over the crowd while the ensemble sings the Hallelujah Chorus?
Is this how it’s all gonna end?
December 22, 2022 at 1:52 am
I… think Batiuk thinks he’s going for a heartwarming all-the-lovable-goofballs-come-together-in-a-church-on-a-snowy-Christmas-night sort of thing for his ending…
December 22, 2022 at 10:56 pm
Batdick has spent days establishing the fact that every Westview citizen who matters is driving to the Jazz Messiah Nonsense in dangerous weather. He has spent zero seconds explaining why.
As confounding and confusing as this strip has been over these final months…you can’t say that a lot of effort wasn’t put into today’s strip, the last-ever Sunday panel of Funky Winkerbean. Nearly seventy people (and one cat) are packed into St. Spires. I was even able to recognize most of them…but there are a couple head-scratchers.
Whoever this person is, she certainly looks happy to be here. The longshot guess would be Fred Fairgood’s estranged love child Kerry, though she would be wearing glasses. . Perhaps it’s Jinx, adopted daughter of Bull and Linda? She wears glasses too, and anyway, I assume she’d be sitting closer to Linda…
…but sitting by Linda (and, holy cow, ol’ Buck Bedlow) is a young woman whom I would have surmised to be Linda’s daughter from Act I, Mickey. That is, until our own ComicBookHarriet pointed out, she appears to be “a flipped Keisha from Bull’s funeral.” Compare:
CBH offers this theory: “Um, if I had to guess, the funeral was the last time they could think of Mickey Lopez being around, and they went back to pull a reference….and got confused? Maybe?” In any event, the actual Keisha is sitting in the front row with her mom. It’s a puzzlement!
I’m guessing that the realistically rendered strangers in the back row are Batiuk’s wife Cathy and son Brian.
Batiuk himself, or his alter ego Batton Thomas, is on the right hand side, and seated behind him appears to be Chuck Ayers.
Tune in tomorrow when this crowd, snowed in by the huge blizzard, is forced to survive by tearing apart and devouring the Pizza Monster, who’s sitting in the back row.
From all of us who bring you Son of Stuck Funky, thank you for reading, commenting, and contributing. A very merry Christmas, and all the very best in the new year!
- Keisha Williams
- Summer Moore
- Les Moore
- Cayla Williams Moore
- Wally Winkerbean
- Funky Winkerbean
- Holly Budd Winkerbean
- Tony Montoni
- [second row] Rana
- Max Murdoch*
- Hannah Murdoch*
- Ed Crankshaft*
- Chester Hagglemore
- Darin Fairgood
- Jessica Fairgood
- Skyler Fairgood
- Flash Freeman/Fairfield
- Phil Holt
- Ruby Lith
- Pete Roberts
- Batton Thomas
- [third row:] Dead Skunk Head John Howard
- Wally, Jr.
- Becky Howard
- Maddie Klinghorn
- Donna Klinghorn
- Crazy Harry Klinghorn
- Ralph Meckler*
- Cathy Batiuk?
- Brian Batiuk?
- Pizza Monster
- Mickey Lopez?
- Buck Bedlow
- Linda Lopez Bushka
- Cindy Summers
- Mason Jarre
- Amelia or Amanda
- Amanda or Amelia
- Chuck Ayers?
- [choir loft] Lillian*
- Harry Dinkle
- Mary Jane
- Morton Winkerbean
89 responses to “But You Don’t Really Care for Music, Do Ya?”
Merry Christmas, everyone. And yes, this could be quite a heart warming scene…if any of these characters were even slightly likeable. Alas, they’re not, so in the spirit of the holiday season, I will wish that they NOT be consumed in fire.
This is actually a fairly competent send-off strip. The lead up to all of these people meeting at St. Spires (a church introduced just a couple years ago? not the school or Montoni’s or even the dang comic book store or company?) was, of course, incompetently assembled.
And utterly unnecessary too. Who cares how all these recognizable (and unrecognizable) faces wound up in the same place? It’s a finale, they can just be there with no explanation. Heck, half of these people are there with no explanation.
St Spires has been around for a while in Crankshaft. It’s established at the church Pam and Jeff got married in.
It’s based on the real life church St Martin of Tours in Valley City.
I don’t know why Batiuk picked this particular….
Never change, Tom.
Fantastic last-ever Sunday/Christmas strip post there, Chief. I’m actually relived that it wasn’t a freaking comic book cover. “The Writer”…she “gets to the bottom of things”…or something along those lines. Shudder. Great taggage, too.
I can’t believe Buck is there. Shouldn’t he be completely oobatz by now? Maybe he took up smoking or something. What a totally ridiculous cast of characters. Imagine if, say, “The Family Circus” had a gigantic massive cast full of cousins and friends who all had their own little adventures and said adorable shit all the time. Well, that’s what Tom Batiuk did with FW. New character after new character, all with their own little back stories (“he was a blacklisted commie!”…”he played high school football too!”…”he was dead, but he faked it!”). The real characters often didn’t appear for months on end, meanwhile Adeela was getting seven weeks of face time. He’s been doing it for a long, long time, too. Just check out the Act II cast of characters, half of those haven’t been seen in ages.
I guarantee you’ll never see most of these characters again. Dinkle will almost certainly get some “Crankshaft” time, as will Pete (the Mindy connection), and probably major stalwarts like Les and Funky, but we’ll never see the likes of Becky or Wally or Cory or Keisha ever again. So there is an upside, I suppose.
Yeah, this is some amazing work figuring out who all these smirking faces are. Great job and great detective work figuring it all out.
Cory will never, ever get married. I wouldn’t be surprised if we do get Ed reading a few “Jacque Stropp”-esque obituary headlines, though. “Hey, some girl from Westview named Rocky Rhodes died. That’s strange, I’m pretty sure one of my fellow bus drivers is also named Rocky Rhodes . . .”
You can clearly see the adult twin girls?in the back row but last weekon Crankshaft they arrived at St Slides as ten years younger kids with their parents!
er………St Spires auto correct
The other day someone suggested that Crankshaft and Chester would inevitably come into conflict over which of them is the bigger asshole. Today they’re side by side and glaring at one another. Have at it, guys! That’s the spirit! I can wait to find out that Chester’s new Centerville mansion has a curbside mailbox.
I wish I could be the first to stand in line… but as it is, I stand in line. Great work, TFH.
I am puzzled about the Hallelujah chorus they are singing up there. It’s Handel’s Messiah. Nothing jazzy about it. (Yes, I am proudly wearing my official Beady Eyed Nitpicker Badge. With a tear in my eye.)
I also question the song choice, feels like something really easy to add lyrics/musical notes for. Doesn’t really live up to the “hype” this choir built up for most of the cast to brave bad weather for, plus it just emphasizes this being a Christian-specific holiday event, which I just doubt that most of these characters would really be that excited for.
Especially not the two Muslims.
Or Creepy Les. You just know that in his mind he’s twisting each “Hallelujah!” into “Hail, Les Moore!”
The final-ever Sunday strip of Funky Winkerbean (assuming no shenanigans), and like someone else anticipated it’s hard not to think of the finale of Lost. I haven’t been to that many churches putting on a show with more elaborate music performances than an organ and choir, but if it’s specifically a concert event, are they really just going to hide away in the upper balcony out of easy view, which is usually for a Sunday sermon when you’re meant to pay attention to what the priest or whoever is giving a sermon over? The audience is just looking at a presumably-empty pedestal and a stained glass window, staring into face with dumb smiles of I guess Christmas memories and nostalgia. Sounds like a really droll evening to me.
I’m pleasantly surprised that the Pizza Monster got in one last cameo. No Holtron, but I guess computers have no need of religion or music when they’re already uplinked to the internet. Pretty funny that we got one last blunder with that Keisha/Mickey mixup (I say this is evidence of my pet theory that Ayers mixed up his references for Summer as well, hence the newer Boy Les look). Crazy and Becky popped out of nowhere, as did Mason Jarr the Movie Star (Jarr, Jarr, Jarr, Jarr!), though curiously no sign of Harley. It’s an overall nice strip, inoffensive for both a Christmas and “final Sunday” comic, but as we’ve said all week this is a very tenuous story to justify the scene, I still can’t stomach half these people would want to go to a church concert that’s usually just a novelty for their town specifically, let alone brave blizzard-level conditions for it.
And for season’s greetings, to close off this comment, I’ll quote William Hartnell in the famous Dr. Who Episode The Feast of Steven: “Incidentally, a happy Christmas to all of you at home!”
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, Son of Stuck Funksters! And amazing effort, TFH and all OPs!
Of the 70 or so characters shown today, I count, conservatively, 24 smirks. Actually pretty restrained for a Funky strip. The other 45 or so seem totally confused. Can’t wait to see how Batdick stretches this out for another six days.
No spoilers, but he’s gonna stretch it out all right. Hoo boy, is he ever.
I’m betting folks will be really pissed off.
Hm, yesterday I made a guess that he might waste the week just showing characters with music floating at the top of the panel (actually, kind of like today’s strip). I’m just gonna repeat that here on the off chance that turns out to be right. (No need to confirm or deny, we’ll all know soon enough.)
The train wreck is coming.
LOL no one’s guesses are even close, and how could they be?
I’m sure Batiuk will . . . what’s the absolute opposite of “exceed expectations?” Anyone who can figure that out will have found Act III’s epitaph.
All I’m gonna say is, a) no one could have possibly seen it coming and b) it’s as zapped-out as anything he’s ever done before. No one is going to believe it.
“Zanzibar, armed to the teeth and with bandoliers, bursts through the church doors, locks them behind him, and commences a killing spree” it is then.
(to ED) At this point the only thing I wouldn’t believe is Batiuk making a sincere and contrite apology for Act III.
If I may paraphrase Mel Brooks: “rise beneath expectations.”
Okay, look, it’s Christmas (well, will be soon here in Jersey), Im’ma be nice and find the good things in this strip.
Is… is Chester hitting on Ed? (Phil and Flash are definitely eyeing each other, that’s for sure.)
Les is either feeling Lisa’s spirit, has heartburn, or is having a heart attack. I think we all know which we’re voting for.
Honestly, for being the last Sunday strip, it is kind of nice to see all the characters gathered together. But, like… with all the effort put into establishing most of the cast getting there, it seems odd that characters were included who weren’t shown last week. (Becky, Skunky, Cindy, Mason, Crazy Harry, Donna, Cory, Rocky, etc.) Especially since it wouldn’t have been all that difficult to find ways to include some of them. Crazy, Donna, Cory, and Rocky could easily have been with the Montoni’s crew, for example.
We will not, however, be questioning the presence of the Pizza Monster. Pizza Monster goes where he pleases.
If that is Kerry back there, that one would be especially odd, since the Lockhorns (Fred and Ann) aren’t there.
Merry Christmas, SoSF! And Merry Christmas, Pizza Monster! (Woulda been nice to bring Zanzibar The Talking Murder Chimp along, but we can’t have everything.) (Unless… Zanzibar The Talking Murder Chimp IS the Pizza Monster…?)
Another NJ SoSFer, eh? I did not know that. I’m right in the middle, while TFH is up a ways. Back in the day, we used to link to the strip via the NJ.com/Star Ledger comics page, and the following day’s strip always went live at 10:30PM, and we just stuck with it.
Yep, lifelong Jerseyan. I’m all the way up north (in Sussex County).
Kinda nifty that New Jersey had such prominence in the site schedule. 🙂
I was thinking about that the other day, and remembering how we used to post the actual image of the strip starting at 10:30/9:30 central and then rushing to delete the strip image around midnight so we didn’t get another letter from TB’s lawyer (who I like to imagine was the inspiration for Amicus Breef).
Darn you Tom Batiuk for making me nostalgic for such a thing!
LOL I remember this too. And we had a handful of panicky moments where we couldn’t access the strips at all until midnight, which really would have put a serious damper on things. But TFH figured it out, every single time.
And… no ghost Lisa? Whatever.
Merry last Funky Christmas, my friends. It’s been an honor to snark with you all.
There’s still six more strips for Ghost Dead Saint Lisa to appear, though. (Probably with copies of the Lisa’s Story collection of strips, available for purchase at tombatiuk.com/books! Order now!)
And the adult Mindy is there but no sign of the ten.years younger Mindy, who was a Crankshaft character, even though her parents and grandpa Ed are there
I think this is maybe supposed to be Roberta Blackburn, who appeared for the first time in almost a decade around this time last year looking a good bit like the person in question (and pretty much like her Act II self). Her appearance back in 2012 was rather, uh, different…
Could be. Interesting that she’s there without her husband Walter to film everything. Or any of her other four or five adult kids.
Nope. That is “Mrs. Lee” according to the Man himself on tombatiuk.com. He has a key up on his blog, so no one has to speculate
Also today’s Crankshaft just became available. It “continues” the FW strip by just showing a quaint exterior shot of the church with Halleluiahs echoing outside “forever”. The weird thing is that literally every car we saw coming the week prior are the only ones parked outside. All those extra guests we didn’t see driving and no sign of how they got there, wonderful.
Plus literally just the people we know and “care” about are the only ones who wanted to see this concert. Again, still not sold on that, but too late at this point to ask questions.
Apparently St. Spires has no regular congregation and, perhaps, not even a minister. In fact, I just checked my Book of the Saints, and there was no St. Spires. The whole thing is obviously a money-laundering scam set up by Dinkelberg!
Does it seem a bit odd to anyone that there is this “moving” holiday recital going on over the crowd’s heads and only one or two people are actually bothering to turn around and look at what they paid good money to witness? Also, please tell me that Chester and Ed are going to hook up after the concert.
Finally, thumbs up to TFH for the titular Leonard Cohen reference. How fitting for the final Sunday go-around of a comic strip whose ever-present ambience of tragedy and hopelessness made Mr. Cohen’s oeuvre seem like the songs of Mickey Katz by comparison.
Also, Chester’s limo is outside, but we don’t see anyone who would appear to have been the driver inside. (Unless they were driven by the Pizza Monster?) So I guess Chester made the poor wretch wait out in the limo while all this was going on? He bought tickets for the retired Ruby, Batton Thomas Creator Of The Comic Strip Three O’Clock High who doesn’t even work for him, plus Jessica Darling Whose Father John Darling Was Murdered and Skyler Who Will Be Traumatized By His Favorite Toy, but not for some anonymous schmoe limo driver?
Maybe the Pizza Monster is Chester’s driver.
Happy holidays to all! Thanks for keeping me amused with your wit and wisdom!
Maybe I’m a jerk, but my first thought upon seeing this was that the Hallelujah Chorus would sound very, very bad being sung by six old ladies, one old man (apparently Dinkle is singing and conducting), and one each of six different instruments. I kind of wonder how well you’d even be able to hear the singing over the sound of the drum, organ, and trombone.
Yeah, the visual depiction is extremely underwhelming for what it claims to be. I mentioned the recommendations for “Too Hot To Handel” were an 80-person choir, 3 soloists, 5 saxophones, 3 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani, 2 percussion, rhythm section (electric guitar, jazz piano, Hammond B3 organ, acoustic jazz bass, electric bass, drumset). A lot to fit in the choir loft.
Look at this. This is a show you’d pay money to see:
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, SoSFers!
Thank you for your work today, TFH. That’s a lot of names to put to faces in a short amount of time.
A big thank you to Cheesy-kun. I am opening presents. One is heavy. I unwrap it, and what do I find:
“SHOWA, a History of Japan 1944-1953”
by Shigeru Muzuki.
I have already started reading (right to left) and plan on getting the previous 2 volumes. Thank you for the suggestion!
Merry Christmas ✝️🌺💐🌹
Thank you for letting me know, sorialpromise. I hope you enjoy it. Blessings of the season to you and your family!
Credit where credit is due: The Pizza Monster, just hangin’ out there in the back row in full costume, gave me a genuine laugh.
How did he get there in the storm? How could he possibly drive in that get-up? Why would he even attend this concert in costume?
We’ll never know, and it doesn’t matter. It was funny, and it was intended to be funny. That virtually never happens in this strip … so thanks for the Christmas present, Tom!
And a very merry Christmas to all who frequent this site!
When I originally saw the Pizza Monster, I honestly thought it was just a stack of pizzas and everyone was going to have a pizza party after the show.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
Merry Christmas all! Even you Tom.
So now that we’ve had the pointless assembly of people whom we don’t actually care about, we’re in for an incoherent coda that puts a button on things. At least with FBorFW, we got an incoherent benediction that suggested that the cycle of suburban ennui, passive-aggressive bitchery, mom martyrdom and male oafishness would continue on. Here, we get crap that would disgrace the people who wrote twelve-cent era Flash.
Merry Christmas to everyone here! May your nits be plentiful and your eyes be beady!
Well, it’s a Christmas miracle. I guessed the obvious, and Puffy actually did the obvious! There’s a first, and last, time for everything, I suppose.
All credit to Tom for putting the Pizza Monster in there, presumably ruling out any of the other characters seen here as suspects for the PM. If he’d shown this level of fanservice and self-referential humor all along, there’d never have been a SoSF, so I guess I’m glad it’s so rare in his work.
And I wish all snarkers, and Tommy and Chuck, a very merry Christmas. God bless us, every one!
The pizza monster could be Harley Timemop, right? Have we ever seen them together? His brain nudging and time fudging would help him keep his identity a secret all these years.
Harley Timemop is a little rotund to be the Pizza Box Monster. But who knows what kind of space age girdles he has at his disposal.
Hey-Zeus Key-riste in a creche! (I first exclaimed this when we saw how much Skylar hated Christmas, but I digress).
DSH John HAS another shirt!
Today I have got to give Todd credit for including Pizza Box Monster, who if I recall from my sporadic reading this year didn’t make a Halloween appearance.
Yeah, we were robbed of Our Lord and Savior Pizza Monster this year, in favor of (ugh) Les and Summer. (Which is what kicked off the whole “Summer is going to write Bible II” thing.)
Merry Christmas to all who have SOSF in their hearts.
My favorite part of the Messiah is the next song after the Hallelujah Chorus. I fell in love with it watching the great character, Charles Coburn in “the Green Years”. The lead actress, Beverly Tyler, sings a solo of that song. It is so powerful. “I know that my Redeemer lives, and will stand at the latter days upon the Earth, He is just the first fruits of those who sleep/die.”
All of you are loved.
Here you go.
Oh! Thank you, Ian. You are so special.
SP. Always giving the love. So loved. ❤
ComicBookHarriet, oh how I love writing that name!
(Seriously. My wife asked me, “Why is the name, ComicBookHarriet, written thousands of times on the living room wall?”)
I know you meant that in a sweet way, and it is appreciated. But I’m also thinking of the opening of the crappy horror movie The Bye Bye Man, and chuckling.
Sure. Yeah. That’s the ticket!
Ah, Charles Coburn, who as Colonel Harrington told his confederate Jean (soon to be the titular Lady Eve) “let us be crooked…but never common.”
He won a deserved Best Supporting Actor Oscar for “The More the Merrier,” but he’s worth checking out in “The Devil and Miss Jones” (not to be confused with “The Devil in Miss Jones”), “In This Our Life” (as a dirty old man who becomes aware of his mortality), “Kings Row” (his Doctor Gordon makes Ronald Reagan ask “where’s the rest of me?”) and “The Paradine Case,” in part because it’s a double-Charles treat, with Charles Coburn as an attorney and Charles Laughton as a judge.
Ridiculous completist note: Coburn was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for “The Green Years.” So was Claude Rains (whose Captain Renault in “Casablanca” SOSFers were quoting not too long ago) for “Notorious.” Both lost to Harold Russell for “The Best Years of Our Lives.”
Homer Parrish, meet Rebecca Blackburn Winkerbean Howard,,.
Great post, Anonymous Sparrow!
Huge competition for Best Supporting Actor that year.
Indeed there was, including the sole nomination for William Demarest, a mainstay of the Preston Sturges Stock Company (“positively the same dame!”), for “The Jolson Story,” playing a character named Steve Martin.
I imagine the Ale & Quail Club was furious over Harold Russell’s win. (Bang bang!)
Merry Christmas, everyone.
While predictable, this isn’t a bad last Sunday script, especially as most of these characters will not show up in “Crankshaft.” Honestly, TB left many of them behind a long time ago. Alas, Les and the comic book team will continue to be inflicted upon us.
Kerry or Jinx makes sense for our first mystery contestant. Or it could be TB doing his usual routine of having characters fall in love with some facet of pop culture some three or four decades before their time.
Which is why sometime in January, we’ll have a Crankshaft comic featuring a kid turning to another high schooler and saying, “You’re not going to believe who was at the jazz Messiah during the blizzard! Corrine Drewery!”
Yes, TB has now entered his Swing Out Sister phase.
And to all a good night!
I hear “The Messiah” nearly every year, but I also make sure to catch Missile Toe, the world’s greatest Christmas band, at a few of their gigs in local bars.
This is from my YouTube channel, where I’ve posted over 350 videos of bands at local venues.
I’ve seen tomorrow’s strip. The last week takes place in a Jetsons style future, with Summers granddaughter
Man, I hope you are wrong!
Do not get into a fight with John Plugger Mellencamp. He brings a gun to a knife fight!
That’s why Butch Cassidy wants to talk about the rules first, Kid Curry (or Harvey, if you prefer).
And it turns out that Harley is the son of that granddaughter, growing up amid tales of Summer’s perilous adventures and glorious achievements (“Did you know she was the inspiration for Wayback Wendy?”)
I suppose hoping for a Christmas Miracle, and Brad Pitt and Eli Roth popping up from behind Dinkle and the Dregs with machine guns blazing, to take out this entire miserable assemblage ala ‘Inglorious Basterds’ is too much to pray for?
Wishing everyone here a Merry Christmas! I’ll be spending a good bit of the day shoveling out the ungodly amount of snow we received. Unlike the Funky Bunch, we did not get concierge limo service.
Top notch post title today, by the way, TFH. Funny, wistful, and 100% on-topic with the strip. Perfection!
If you overlook the past 3 weeks (and likely the next 6 days), today’s strip does provide a nice excuse to gather all the characters in one place. It wouldn’t be practical to try to fit all of these people in Montoni’s.
Anyway, Merry Christmas to everyone. I’ve been a devoted reader of this site since before the great Cease and Desist event. Much appreciation to TFH and all the blogkeepers who have kept things going and made this strip readable. I have learned so much from all of you. It’s going to be strange not getting the new post notifications in my email every night.
Thanks, bobanero. You’ve been here since before I was, and I’ve always really enjoyed seeing “the originals” still frequenting the site!
If Skyler is a baby again, how is Bull still dead…and how is Buck still alive?
Oh, well. Merry Christmas, Stuck Funkies! It’s been a real pleasure. 🎄❤️
The Christmas gift is that Claude Barlow was canonically an absolutely awful composer and his compositions made people wish they were deaf. So whether this is his arrangement (disarrangement?) of Handel’s Messiah, or an original composition of the same name, the conclusion is that the audience and performers are in considerable pain and discomfort for the duration of the performance.
That would explain all the smiles: it’s group masochism.
If Dinkle could see down into the audience he would be INCENSED. As all good band directors know, you STAND for the Hallelujah Chorus.
Still. I’m in agreement with everyone here. A big group shot was in order. Though I have to laugh at who was put in versus who was left out.
WALLY JR WINKERBEAN HOWARD, returning from 12 years down the Memory Hole, looking like he’d rather be anywhere else.
BUCK BEDLOW, who was given more of a concrete sendoff than many arc specific Funkyverse characters, when Linda shot down his creepy advances and said they shouldn’t meet anymore two years ago.
ROLANDA MATHEWS, who probably doesn’t even live in Westview, since no one was aware of her transition prior to the reunion.
ADEELA, an absolute nothingburger of a character, related to noone important, who has been in a total of like five strips in the last two years.
Meanwhile… the Westview heathens not attending church.
Ann and Fred Fairgood.
Nate and Evelyn Green
Not the worst holiday strip. Even with Dinkleberry.
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Seeing that drawing of Chuck Ayers in the audience I realized I know nothing about him. I was surprised to find that he was a May 4 Kent State witness, taking photos, and just missing the horror, holed up in a building. His testimony about that day is pretty moving; video is here: