Reality Bites Back


And I’m, once again, asking for you to remember that VOTING FOR THE 2022 FUNKY AWARDS ENDS THIS WEEK. January 21.

That’s right my beautiful beady-eyed picker-pals! CBH has returned from her baby-dunking trip to the south, and is all puffed up on her new godmotherly authority! It was a very nice playing with the sister-spawn and various in-laws, and getting fed plenty of deliciously greasy southern hospitality. The only tiny rain cloud tacked to the silver lining is that I missed some great discussions. Beckoning went on an epic alcohol fueled Frankie beat down. Sorial got everyone dissecting time skips. Then Eldon of Galt popped out of lurker mode to talk about Re-Boot. And I MISSED IT. I can’t believe I missed talking about Re-Boot.

Sad Face

I had some great discussions in the car with my mom and little sister though. We we talking about how 2022 was a year of transitions. New additions to the family. I moved from my first apartment into my grandma’s old house. I had to finally give up on my trusty Samsung Freeform S390 when they shutdown the 3G Network.

Goodnight sweet prince, and flights of emojis sing thee to thy rest.

And I mentioned that Funky Winkerbean ended. So we talked about that for a bit. When I said that Crankshaft would be continuing, my mom talked about how much she was enjoying that lately, and described…in detail…the recent strip where Cranky hides Bean’s End under his mattress, and the strip where he uses a snow shovel to remove the holiday glitter from his bus. She’s reading it. She’s enjoying it. She’s the target audience. Remember that, folks.

I proceeded to give a brief rundown of how Funky Winkerbean had ended. I started with the grown up daughter of the woman who died of breast cancer coming home, saying she was going to write a book. I explained how she ended up talking with a time travelling janitor about how her book would lead to utopia, before she woke up wondering if it was all a dream. Then I told her that the last week jumped forward 60 some years to the girl’s granddaughter and daughter going to a bookstore, and ending on a closeup of the cancer book that the great-grandfather had written.

Mom looked at me with a wry smile, halfway between affection and annoyance, and said, “You were just going to tell us all that no matter what, weren’t you? And we couldn’t even jump out of the car or anything.”

“Yup.” I said. “I had you trapped.”

Trapped in a conversation she couldn’t get out of.

Kinda like poor Darin’s second meeting with his Bio-Dad.

Only a complete scumbag would get the name of his offspring wrong!
Wait, the Montoni’s pitcher was RED in 2013? *Mind Asplod*
Only a complete jerk would get the name of a woman wrong!

DID YOU KNOW? Anything and everything combining Nazis, vampires, zombies and werewolves must be artistically bankrupt trash.

Hack Garbage
I mean, the monkey didn’t even ask, “Where’s father?”


Lenny was race-swapped during this storyline. He was initially released as an indeterminate brown, but the week following this introduction, he appeared white, and his first week was recolored.

Final Recolor

Weird that they decided to lessen the diversity in this Cracker Barrel of a strip. I’m going to guess that Batiuk and Ayers original conception of the character was white, and so they wrote angry letters to the colorist demanding a correction. Why they never go back and bother to correct all the times Rachel or Maddie are blonde on Sundays, I don’t know.

Did you know that men can get breast cancer?
I sense some fun photoshop opportunities with panel two here…
Especially Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe!

The giant side-view taking up one third of a panel is something Batiuk and Ayers have done plenty of times, with Dinkle being a favorite subject. But they spammed it big-time in this week.

This a turning point of the arc. For the first month the suspense was hinged on the question, ‘What does Frankie want?’ And the conflict was between Jess and Darin over their differing expectations of reuniting with an estranged father. The conflict between Jess and Darin has been resolved.

You know, except for the omnipresent baseline of passive aggressive bickering.

And now that it’s been revealed what Frankie wants, the question is, ‘How will Frankie be stopped?’ The conflict is between the duo of Frankie and Lenny versus Darin plus whatever allies from Westview Darin wants to call on.

The war is a battle for who is allowed to profit off of Lisa’s memory.

So tune in tomorrow as the Fellowship joins together for The Council of Les Moore.

And don’t forget to GET OUT THE VOTE!



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

52 responses to “Reality Bites Back

  1. William Thompson

    Frankie and Lenny could strike again, once they realize how much Lenny looks like Chester the Pester. Twin heroes, separated at birth!

  2. Epicus Doomus

    I do remember the whole Black/White Lenny kerfuffle. I really enjoyed the Lenny character. The guy was FRANKIE’S sidekick, mind you, which meant he was totally loathsome, and only in it for the money. And I can get behind that. The race-changing thing really was pretty weird, and more than a little uncomfortable, let’s call it. He was way cooler as a black dude, that’s for sure. He looked kind of like Paul Schaffer after the lightening. Not that Paul’s not cool or anything, but you know.

    I also remember how Jessica pushed Boy Lisa into it, and how he seemingly exulted in his wife being wrong, which appeared to turn her on. Batiuk, man. And it’s kind of interesting how the last two Frankie arcs began with Boy Lisa front and center, until he was pushed aside by Lisa, then Marianne, who later played Lisa in a movie. It’s a pattern, although it no doubt means nothing other than further establishing how BatYam is the worst storyteller who’s ever lived.

  3. Y. Knott

    Particularly in that “I’ve already walked it off” panel, it totally makes sense that there’s a Funky Winkerbean/Dick Tracy crossover. Frankie is clearly Dick’s cranky cousin.

  4. mrvy

    Wait, Frankie’s last name is Pierce? Is his full first name Franklin? As in the 14th President of the United States? Probably means nothing, but… huh.

    • The Duck of Death

      M*A*S*H fans like Epicus will remember that Hawkeye’s real name was Benjamin Franklin Pierce. Wonder if Batty’s a fan too? I imagine him hating the early, irreverent episodes and loving the very late, preachy, Alda-directed episodes.

      • Epicus Doomus

        I’ve actually been watching some MASH reruns lately, and it really is a time capsule. Hawkeye’s incessant sexual harassment and Klinger dressing in women’s clothes to score a psycho discharge might not, uh, play as well these days.

        • The Duck of Death

          Probably not, but it’s certainly accurate that there was sexism in the armed forces during the Korean War, and that crossdressers/transgender people were not considered army material, at least not officially.

          I deplore the modern trend of nice-ifying historical settings because they might be offensive to modern sensibilities.

          • Epicus Doomus

            Agree. If you’re gonna be reflective of the times, then do it, don’t whitewash it. Those later, prechy seasons are kimnd of tough to get through now, but a lot of the earlier season episodes still hold up OK IMO.

          • batgirl

            The TV show was already considerably blandified from the movie and the books.
            The chapter where Trapper John is taken for Jesus was pretty funny, but I don’t think anything like that would have made it into the show.

  5. billytheskink

    Original Lenny may well have been a victim of the rogue colorist (might also explain the red pitcher), but I would not be surprised if the real story was along the lines of what Kumail Nanjiani was talking about last week.

  6. Gina Lollobrigida died, and Tom Batiuk lived. Try and tell me that’s fair.

  7. Looks like we’ll soon have our first Funky character crossover this week.

    • erdmann

      I did try to warn everyone.
      Alas, it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to do so again. My window into the future of Crankshaft has closed and while I might be able to pry it open again, I’m really not sure it’s worth the effort.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      And as people pointed out yesterday, the Crankshaft twins appear to be 10-14 again. So I guess the time bubble hit them differently.

      • ComicBookHarriet

        What I’m REALLY curious to see is the Mindy situation. The CrankyTwins had such a minor role in FW, and a larger role in Cranky. Making them Cranky age makes sense.

        Mindy in Cranky has been a pretty amorphous age for a while now. The only real difference was a haircut and not mentioning Mopey Pete or a Komix career.

        • Charles

          One of the few dangling threads Batiuk left open that surprised me is that he never got Mopey and Mindy married. I would have thought that the opportunity to exult his super humble nice guy marrying the hot blonde would be too much for him to resist.

          He made sure to get Cory and Rocky married, two characters who were complete nonentities, but couldn’t manage to plan the wedding of two characters he actually cared about.

          Or maybe after Phil came back from the dead, Mopey became as much of a vestigial appendage as Cory.

          • ComicBookHarriet

            Maybe he got Cory and Rocky married, because of the two couples hanging out there, he only had time for one wedding. It’ll be easier to hold a Mindy and Pete marriage in Crankshaft, seeing as most of her family mained in the Cranky crew.

    • J.J. O'Malley

      Look no further than today’s (1/17) strip, TFH, and say “Hello, again!” to our old pal Crazy Harry. Looks like this week’s C’Shaft will forego Ed’s ongoing struggle with grade-school glitter for a nostalgic return to the Komix Korner and its zany crew, so everybody can obsess over Silver Age comics, just like we did way back in the day (mid-November, if I remember correctly).

      Batiuk isn’t even a one-trick pony at this point. He’s more like those mechanical pony rides they used to have in front of supermarkets and drug stores that would give you a three-minute ride for a quarter.

      • Y. Knott

        Even down to the fact that if you actually somehow stumble across one, you wonder how on earth it’s possibly still a thing that exists.

    • Sourbelly

      “…Comic Book…Comic Books…Comic Shop.” Yep, Crankshaft is now fully infected.

  8. Rusty Shackleford

    Ha, Batty is so out of touch with the way the world works. For Batty, you can only be a legitimate producer of anything artistic if you use legacy media like film and newspapers. The joke is on him, Frankie has over 2 million subscribers on his YouTube channel and that led to him being discovered by Hollywood producers.

  9. The Duck of Death

    Looks like Robby 1.0 in today’s Crankshaft, scaring Lillian. Retro-foreshadowing, you guise! Ain’t Puffy clever?

    I put the date of the final FW strips around the year 2090 or thereabouts. I can’t help but wonder how the Village Booksmith sign survived that long. It looked to be a wooden sign, fully exposed to the elements. BOR-ING, you say? Yes, but the fact that it lasted is far, far more interesting than whatever is about to transpire here with DSH John and — let’s face it — most likely, Batton Thomas.

    • Pretty sure the robot is the one from “Rogue One.”

    • ComicBookHarriet

      I think the Robbie is supposed to be K2S0 from Rogue One. It’s been seen in KK for years. The art was taken from this strip.

      • billytheskink

        The great disadvantage of TB working about a year ahead is that Davis wasn’t able to swipe art from Andor.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        That strip is pathetic. Batiuk rails against multiple universes, a concept that’s absolutely central to comic books nowadays. But he doesn’t like it, so out comes the lecture that You Are Not Comic Booking Correctly!

        And the punchline is that Stinky Pete – a guy who’s supposed to be the writer of the in-universe equivalent of Star Wars and comic books on top of that – is so bankrupt of ideas that he thinks this brain fart is some kind of genius.

        • Green Luthor

          Multiple universes became official in DC when they published the famous “Flash of Two Worlds” in Flash #123 in 1961. Which is one of those issues that Batiuk can’t praise enough. (Just sayin’…)

      • The Duck of Death

        “And they’re written in rhyming quatrains! Yep, they really put the ‘verse’ in ‘universe.’ Oh, and they quote from the New International Version of the Bible quite a lot. They put the ‘NIV’ in “universe,’ all right. These doin’ anything for ya? I got lots more — hey, where you goin’?”

        • “Atomik Komix – they draw the vomit right through your throat!”

        • “And they’re written in old Irish! They put the Erse in Universe! And they take place in South East Ohio–they put the SE in Universe!”

          • Anonymous Sparrow

            Guh sayera jeera ayera, Captain Boyle would say to that.

            Which means “God save Ireland.”

            Others would doubtless say “pogue mahone.”

            Which means “kiss my ass.”

            Ah, they’re a grand folk, the Irish.

        • The Duck of Death

          “And these comix sure do attempt to resolve border and land use disputes via peaceful means, which is why there’s a UN in our Atomik Komix UNiverse!”

          • Y. Knott

            “And reading one of our comix is a draining and dehydrating experience — which is why we put the “IV” in universe!”

      • Green Luthor

        “There are no multiple universes in Atomik Komix books. In fact, there’s not a universe at all! They publish nothing but covers, no stories, so you’ll have no trouble following the continuity! Because there isn’t any! Atomik Komix puts the ‘absolute garbage vanity project that appeals to no one ever’ in comics!”

  10. The Duck of Death

    And CBH, congrats! Mazel tov! And I’m glad I’m among Reboot fans too.

  11. Paul Jones

    She’d probably end up asking Crazy Harry why he aged twenty years overnight.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      “Why’d you age 20 years over night?”
      “Why’d you age one night in 20 years?”

      • billthesplut

        CHICO MARX: “Ay, Abie the Fishmonger! When did you become a millionaire?!”
        ABIE: “When did you become Italian?”

  12. The Duck of Death

    When I see timelines collide in the Batiukverse — which is surprisingly often — I can’t help but think of “Here,” by Richard McGuire, which BLEW. MY. MIND when I saw it in Raw decades ago. It seemed to capture the way that, especially as one gets older, several timestreams seem to exist at once, because memory is always creating an image that’s emotionally superimposed on the actual image in the present. For example, parents might find the toddler version of their child as real as the now-adult version, even though that toddler is gone. And yet they’re the same person somehow.

    Anyway, “Here” is a way of trying to get to that feeling of living in the past and present at the same time, while knowing that your life is still but a blip on the space you now occupy. Here’s one page:

    There’s a small part of me that thinks Puffy is trying to get at that strange and spooky phenomenon… but a larger part of me that thinks he’s incapable of understanding or communicating concepts that complicated, and all he is really trying to say is: COMIX GOOD.

  13. The Duck of Death

    LEROY! I’m starting to feel that the HAL 9000 Auto-Mod, after being fired from CK, has taken up residence at WordPress and still has that same grudge on me.

    HAL, I’m sorry! I never meant to criticize your rendition of “A Bicycle Built for Two.” You’re a lovely singer! Now please let my posts in!

    • ComicBookHarriet

      I gave the torso chute a good kick.

      • Epicus Doomus

        Thanks, it’s been weird and fussy lately. It seems to single out one user at a time, for some unfathomable reason. Still though, you ever read some of the spam comments we get? Without the filter, we’d be swamped.

        • The Duck of Death

          Is it because I am trying to alert you to the death of Mr Abodge Agwuegbo AWEBO who was a government minister and left all his money to you, or because I offer 𝑪hêᵃ⒫ 𝑉ï⒜ǥ℞ᵃ?

          I’m only trying to help.

  14. be ware of eve hill

    Last Tuesday, ComicBookHarriet mentioned in her blog post
    how a colorist had erroneously made Andy the bus driver Caucasian.

    ComicBookHarriet hilareously joked:

    I would like to take this moment to commend Universal Press Syndicate for providing important job opportunities to the disabled by hiring a color-blind artist to put the finishing touches on their newly acquired strip, it compliments greatly Dan Davis’ impeccable stolen artwork.

    The wayward colorist has either received better instruction or been sacked. Unlike Frankie’s pal Lenny, Andy’s ethnicity has been restored in the Crankshaft archive. Also, Mary’s hair is now her proper white (only her hairdresser knows for sure). Ed is wearing his trademark red windbreaker and cap. All is well colorwise in the Crankshaftverse.

    Speaking of the Crankshaft archive. I have exciting news. A whopping total of one comic has been added to the archive since I last reported. It’s the 01/01/2023 Sunday comic.

    I’d like to know why GoComics is so slow building the archives of newly acquired titles. For all their faults, the Comics Kingdom appears to be faster filling the archive of new titles. The archive for Candorville, acquired in late November, already goes back years.

  15. TimP

    I just learned that my kid’s middle school is going to have their “First Annual Fine Arts Mattress Fundraiser”

    I don’t know where else I would go to share this kind of news.

    • The Duck of Death

      I have a really nice natural latex mattress that, until today, I was perfectly satisfied with.

      But now that I know there are fine arts mattresses, I feel poorer for not having one.

      Does the mattress purveyor have a HYE-larious name, like “Sam ‘n’ Ella’s* Turkey Farm”?

      Anne Saumnia’s Mattress Manufactory?
      Tawson Turne Mattress Co.?
      B. Edbug’s Emporium O’ Mattresses?

      *Salmonella causes 1.35 million illnesses, 26,500 hospitalizations, and 420 deaths every year in the US. Comedy gold!

    • ComicBookHarriet

      I know this is late….but this comment is just beautiful.

  16. Banana Jr. 6000

    I just want to say that Dirty Jobs With Mike Rowe was an excellent TV show.

    • The Duck of Death

      I’ve been known to relax with half an hour of Ice Road Truckers or Undercover Boss myself.

    • be ware of eve hill

      My older brother came up with an outstanding zinger. After viewing an ad on TV where Mike Rowe was shilling Fords, my brother quipped, “Man, Mike Rowe as a pitchman for Ford. Talk about a dirty job.”

      Extra bonus points for saying in front of my husband, a Ford employee for more than 35 years.