Say You Will

Whelp. That’s it. The 2022 Funky Awards have all been given out. The final year of Funky Winkerbean has been analyzed, measured, judged, rated, and completely broken apart to be reassembled.

The post mortem is over.

Surprise! It was cancer.

I hope you all enjoyed this year’s awards as much as I did. Two things broke my heart when I heard of Funky Winkerbean ending. One is that Banana Jr. 6000 got so few turns in the captain’s chair. The other, is that we didn’t start doing these earlier. So I did my best to help make this year’s awards memorable.

But it wouldn’t have been half so memorable without you guys, keeping the comments popping.

One comment this year that was a magnum opus, a piece de resistance, a ne plus ultra, was Duck of Death’s Westviewcrumb Tinies from back in December. It was the most dark yet funny thing I’d seen since the last MeatCanyon animation.

As a year end, awards closing, gift to everyone here, I asked my artist friend, Kytic, to use Duck of Death’s poem to bring some of the best letters and our ‘favorite’ characters to life…err…death. When I saw what Ky had done, I wept tears of ultimate joy.

I would talk about how amazing my friend is. What a talented artist she is. But you all have eyes. You can see. And I trust all of you to recognize talent and hard work! In return for these I promised her I would use all the comic criticism skills I’ve honed over years of complaining about Funky Winkerbean to do a beta read on her webcomic, The Sunder Hunt.

It’s about Skyrim! Here’s a sample of a REAL PAGE.

This page has DEFINITELY not been cut and pasted and re-edited after the fact by someone who is known to do that kind of thing.

Speaking of fan projects, and editing commitments, and work, and friends…this has been A MONTH. An absolutely great month, but an exhausting one, and the month before that I was deep in prep mode for all this, (and more?) I was aided by the beautiful convergence of catching Covid and weather just bad enough to cancel optional farmwork, but not bad enough to do emergency farmwork. (Except for yesterday when the waterer in the lot FROZE and I had to haul buckets for two HOURS with my brother and…anyway.)

Point is, ComicBookHarriet needs to find an appropriate Funky/life balance, going forward.

Because there is a forward. TFH and Epicus haven’t flicked the lights off yet. I’ve got some things left I could say, things I want to say. (THINGS I NEED TO FINISH SAYING ABOUT FRANKIE.) And maybe TFH, or ED or others do too. As long as there is an audience, I’m going to want to keep an encore rolling for now. But I’m working out what a posting schedule might be for CBH posts. Twice a week? I’m honestly interested in what you all think. Do you guys want to stick around? What do you want to see?

All this month, when messing around in MS Paint, or scrolling my archives, or reading comments, this song kept popping up in my head.

I was raised on 90’s country, so I didn’t hear the song until one slow night at the gas station. I had on classic FM, and was sweeping the filthy concrete floor. There wasn’t a single soul in the store. Then this tune started playing on the piano, slow, thoughtful, almost a sad song. The singer comes in clear tenor, sweet ballad. Then it ramps up a little, starts rolling. The energy starts flowing. Like a dial gradually turning, higher and higher, instruments keep returning, until suddenly it’s like the concert comes back to life. Joyful and funny. A love song from the band to the audience, and from the audience to the band. Both begging the other to stay…just a little bit longer. For at least one more song.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

125 responses to “Say You Will

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Let’s hear it for the incomparable Comic Book Harriet, for her (I told you so) spectacular FW awards presentation, and for giving SoSF a fantastic epilogue it wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. We honestly didn’t really know what to do when BatSpaz announced the strip was ending, we didn’t really know what to do when it did, and we really didn’t know what to do after. And it all ended up working out really well. Nothing we could have planned would have been as good, or as fitting. And none of it happens without Harriet.

    The awards were fantastic, and one only wonders how Act III would have played out if it kept going on its 2022 course. Within a few years, time traveling, bookstore-owning, kitschy robots would have been key characters, and Phil Holt would have been drawing Ghost Lisa seeding the clouds from her retro rocket ship, as Batton Thomas and Boy Lisa looked on stupidly.

    One has to wonder what became of a post-Montoni’s Westview. Did another pizza dealer swoop in to fill the void? Was Westview flooded with cheap Chinese-made synthetic pizza analogs? Was the death toll in the dozens, or the hundreds? Did Komix Korner lose their lease too? That’s 99.99% of the Westviewian economy right there. The mind reels over the ramifications.

    But alas, it didn’t play out at all, and FW is gone forever. It’s all a post-Funk-ocalyptic wasteland now, just boring bearded tumbleweeds and forgotten prom rocks, as far as the eye can see. I mean, sure, I’ll most likely post something FW-related at some point, and surely TFH will too, but it won’t be daily, or weekly, or even monthly, unless something warrants it. If any of our esteemed hosts have any ideas, we’re all ears, but if you’re gonna get all carried away with it, it has to go through Harriet first, as that’s her thing, and I’ll be damned if I’m letting anyone mimic, ape or copycat CBH’s SoSF shtick without her expressed written consent. As if anyone could.

    But yeah, anyhow, keep checking in, I guess. Thus far, the post-FW Funkyverse has consisted of an old lady visiting John’s shitty comic book store, so I don’t really have high hopes regarding new FW-related content going forward. Then again, with this nut, you never really know.

    • Y. Knott

      I would suggest anytime there’s a Funky-to-Crankshaft crossover, it’s probably gonna be snarkworthy. So maybe post something on days where there’s a crossover strip?

      Oh, and days where Tom Batiuk’s blog features photos of empty tables at book signings — those need to be posted here at SoSF ASAP! Those are comedy gold!

      • J.J. O'Malley

        Given this week’s C’Shaft OMEA bleedover and the oh-so-prominent Dinkle profiles in Friday’s entry, it’s shaping up to look as though it would be far less work to post on the days when there isn’t a crossover strip.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          Batty is the absolute worst. I’ve said it before: “GET OFF THE STAGE ALREADY!”

          Seeing the OMEA and Dinkle in FW was bad enough, seeing them in Crankshaft is utter nonsense. It’s all just so dumb.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          Pretty soon one of those twins will get breast cancer, mark my word!

        • Jasper Ralph

          It’s pretty clear that Batuik didn’t so much “retire” FW but give it CS’s skinsuit to wear

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Thanks so much CBH! I suggested we do an awards survey after participating in the Worthies over at MaryWorthAndMe. But you hit it out of the park with your commentary. Thanks so much!

    • Sourbelly

      I’d almost forgotten that Montoni’s closed. It was treated like such a non-event. More like a garage sale than the ending of the town’s heart, soul, and main employer. And it served no narrative purpose whatsoever. If Montoni’s had stayed open, nothing in the “story” would have changed.

      • Green Luthor

        Honestly, I think Batiuk forgot Montoni’s closed, too. (It’s really the only way to explain why they would have equipped their delivery cars with brand-new snow tires, or why they still had a big-screen TV in the restaurant after the auction).

        • The Duck of Death

          What are the odds that Funky will open up a Centerville branch of Montoni’s? In the Funkshaftiverse, all things tend to return to their default positions.

          • Hannibal’s Lectern

            I think the probability is pretty low. It’s been fairly obvious that Batiuk despises his title character, so I think he’ll be one of the ones we never hear from again.

            Also, Centerville already has a place where characters hang out, drink coffee, and exchange lame puns. It’s called “Dale Evans.”

          • The Duck of Death

            Yes, it’s clear that Batiuk loathes Funky, though he’s been a very useful whipping boy to exorcise some of Puffy’s sadism towards his creations.

            The reason I have a hard time believing Montoni’s is gone for good is simply that I’m sure Puffy is a VIP at Luigi’s and wants to maintain that exalted status. Backrubs and ego massages have to flow both ways or they stop, and I’m sure he realizes that.

            But hey, maybe his doc (in Texas?) has told him to cut back on salad for his health — at least if the salad is Luigi’s:

            Actual unretouched photos of Luigi’s salads from Yelp reviews

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Thank YOU, Epicus. You guys were well within your rights to kick us all out of your club and shut the door, but you’ve decided to let the lunatics pretend to run the asylum.

      And BTW, please take this as express written consent for anyone who wants to mimic, ape, copycat, or homage my shtick, and get carried away. I stole this shtick from my favorite comedians, youtubers, and bloggers, so I don’t own it. I am not Major League Baseball.

  2. CBH, I stand in line with Epicus. Thank you for keeping the Flaming Funky Fire Baton spinning, even as FW‘s ashes have grown cold. And please do thank your artist friend, Kytic, for the Gorey-inspired artwork that is the some of the finest original art that’s ever appeared on this blog.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      She’ll be reading all the comments here! She was also on my panel of friends who helped me shortlist the awards the last couple years, so she is familiar enough with the Funkyverse basics.

      She hates Les as much as the rest of us. 😀

  3. Y. Knott

    Kytic’s work is mindblowing, CBH! The perfect capper to an exceptional awards ceremony.

    Now, go take all the accolades you’ve received for your hard work and wonderful talents, and drop them off at Les Moore’s place!

  4. none

    Those poem panels are excellent, as was all the support in the past month. Thanks, everyone.

  5. billytheskink

    I stand in line as well, for both CBH and Kytic. Wonderful work, absolutely wonderful!

  6. Gerard Plourde

    The talent and the community that resides here is too precious to lose. I’d love to be able to know that I can find a CBH post at least once a week (more if your schedule will allow it, but don’t get burned out). And of course hearing from TFH and ED, Banana Jr. 6000, and the rest of the contributors (if they’re willing to check in).

    And judging from appearances by Crazy Harry, DSH John, and Dinkle less than a month after the finale, it appears that the cast of FW will be infiltrating Crankshaft (probably minus Funky), so there may even be occasional new ground on that front to dissect.

      • Epicus Doomus

        What Batiuk needs to do here is have the Funkyverse invade the Crankyverse, for real, like with weapons and stuff. It could be like a “Sgt. Rock”-type thing, or “Sgt. Funky And His Wry Commandos”. The opposing forces would wage warfare over key strategic locations, like Montoni’s or that stinky old movie house. And characters would be killed and maimed, which is right in BatYam’s wheelhouse anyhow. And it would lead to all sorts of cool sub-arcs, like everyone using Atomik Komix HQ as a bomb shelter, or Ed driving his bus full of commandos deep into Westviewian territory and seizing the gazebo after a fierce fire fight. I’ve really thought this one through.

        • Gerard Plourde

          Be careful what you wish for. If TomBa gets wind of your scenario, he may arrange to have Mitch Knox come out of his basement, join Atomik Komix, and start “writing” Tank Thompson again (in the imaginary bullpen style that infects that enterprise).

          • Epicus Doomus

            If only Batiuk had reached out to us back in the day. We had story ideas for years, he’d have had a whole pile of award trophies by now.

    • be ware of eve hill

      Crankshaft has developed Funky Winkerbean cancer. I hope it doesn’t metastasize.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I’m delighted to keep writing for SoSF, whenever there’s something say. I don’t want to write posts for the sake of writing posts, though. I don’t think a daily SoSF post is called for now that “Funky Winkerbean” is “over.” But the already-underway intrusion onto Crankshaft will give us some new things to talk about.

      • Epicus Doomus

        It surely will, but how often is the question. If he ever does a real Crankshaft arc featuring old FW characters in more than a dumb cameo role, I’m sure we’ll shred it and shred it good. I honestly hope he does, but given what we know about his “work habits”, who knows?

  7. sorialpromise


    TF Hackett and Epicus Doomus
    There’s no joke here, so please excuse us.
    Banana Jr. 6000
    Did not get to post a thousand
    Batiuk got himself kicked off
    So Comic Kingdom enjoyed their quaff.
    ComicBookHarriet has her mystic
    She says she goes by the name of Kytic.
    The love of art in all its glory
    Really makes a beautiful story.
    Duck of Death with her
    WestviewCrumb Tinies
    Really kicked me in the Jinies
    (Whose capital I believe is Shanghai.)
    It has to be said, it’s no fun
    Where the heck is our Cheesy Kun?
    Be Ware of Eve Hill is a star
    Just don’t take that comment too far.
    Every poem needs a finale
    It should not lead down its own back alley.
    I have been waiting for a SorialPromise
    I hear it said that he is a real comice sutra
    But if you ask me, his poetry is most certainly putra.

  8. RudimentaryLathe?

    It’s been quite a year. I hope the blog/community can continue in some form; Batiuk seems quite intent on bleeding FW into Crankshaft so we might have ample content to discuss. I hope so.

  9. An “Act IV” link has been added to the site nav. We’ll see how long I feel like maintaining that. You’re welcome.

  10. The Duck of Death

    Well, I’m verklemt. Absolutely speechless, and so honored by Kytic’s brilliant and Gorey-grim art. She actually improved on what I was envisioning! I love the pipe organs sneaking up on Harry — a visual and conceptual treat much better than my idea, and suitably nightmarish.

    Funky dead over his dashboard is a thing of beauty. I suspect it expresses a long-held subconscious wish of Batiuk’s, too.

    And Les being nudged into his grave by Cayla — is that at the foot of the Thomas Moore statue in Central Park, right by the Lisa Bench where her ashes were scattered? That one panel is the finale, the closure that FW really needed, forget Hallelujah choruses and post-Burning bookstores.

    Zanzibar — it’s — it’s — I’m not crying! it’s allergies — *choke* — just beautiful. Just perfect. *sniff!* And of course Buddy would be there, and I should have thought of that in the first place. He’s a good dog, and he deserves better than whatever end Batiuk had in mind for him. Running away and living with a pack of strays? Getting put down when he was no longer of use? No, he’s right where he belongs now. Little Buddy, happy at last.

    And what an astounding likeness of the legendary Z, with the trademark Funkyverse smirk gracing his simian mug! For once, a smirk that’s well-earned, that makes sense in context.

    I stan, and stand, in line.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Maybe we should change it to “I stan in line.” A combination of the Batiukism, and the title of the Eminem song that became a common noun/verb referring to fandom.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Thanks so much DOD! The funny thing with the pipe organs is that we actually looked at the church of St. Martin of Tours that Spires is based on and it doesn’t have a massive cross in the front like a lot of churches do. So we went with the organs instead.

      And I am SO GLAD someone recognized the Thomas Moore in Central Park!

  11. The Duck of Death

    As for what the future holds…. 🎼 🎶 Well, TFH don’t mind. And Epicus don’t mind… if we take a little time and we leave it all behind, posting… one more snark! Oh, won’t you stay just a little bit longer? Please, please, please say you will — say you will! 🎵

    I don’t know what I’ll do with my bleary-eyed morning self without this place as my first AM visit. There’s always the option of open threads. Some blogs I follow have them regularly, others whenever the host can’t post. And bear in mind that there’s nowhere now for Batiuk snarkers to go except here. GoComics is a nonstarter for snark.

    I’ll set up WordPress to notify me whenever there’s a new post. I intend to stick around as long as the SS SoSF stays afloat. And browsing old threads really lifts me up when I’m down, so I hope the archives stay up forever.

    But I believe this valediction is premature. Never underestimate Batiuk’s need to ride his hobbyhorses, comix & Lisa & Les, right into the ground. It’s barely been a month with the new syndicate and already probably a third of the strips have focused on Westview-centric characters and hijinx. There’s no way that percentage is going down. I expect a slow, smothering creep of FW into Crankshaft, unless the syndicate slaps his hand, which I think is extremely unlikely. So we may well end up with Funky Crankshaftbean. Certainly enough Funky to let the snark flow!


    • sorialpromise

      Two epic mottos for SOSF:


    • Bill the Splut

      If CS is the popular one, and FW the one nobody wanted to keep going, why is he bringing it there? Besides the only author avatar being Lillian, and EW girl parts!! I mean? Does he want to lose this strip as well? I just don’t get this guy.

  12. The Duck of Death

    Today, in Crankshaft, Dinkle and Lillian walk through the halls at OMEA. Dinkle says that [P1]whenever he comes to OMEA… [P2]he still feels like a band director.

    Oddly, the first panel shows him in his old uniform, and the second in his civvies. Shouldn’t it be the other way around to match the dialogue? Yes, it should. But there’s no hand on the tiller here. No proofreading, no checking, no thought on the part of the artist, the writer, the colorist.

    The entire exercise was a transparent excuse to put Dinkle in his old uniform, in profile, to remind the OMEA folks that this is the same Dinkle they knew and loved in the 70s-80s.

    Only it’s not the same Dinkle. And most of the people who grew up loving that Dinkle have moved on. If they were students, their band days are long behind them. If they band leaders or staff, they’re probably retired by now.

    There’s one guy who has not moved on, who treads in ever decreasing circles, never looking up. That guy is Tom Batiuk.

    • The Duck of Death

      BTW, I have a question for my esteemed hosts. How often can I post current Crankshaft strips here in their entirety? I know that posting the daily strip is what brought SoSF their “cease and desist” letters, and I don’t want to cause any problems.

      Alternatively, can you direct me to the correct link embed code so I can put in links myself? I noticed one of you kind folks did it for my post yesterday.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      That is so true. He is still gotta butt kiss the OMEA every year.

  13. Banana Jr. 6000

    If we’re going to have regular commentary on the Funkyverse’s invasion of Crankshaft, the first thing I think we need to do is define what that would entail. We know that Dead Lisa and Atomik Komix would be a major intrusion, because we know Batiuk is obsessed with these topics, and will make everything about them if left to his own devices.

    One thing I think is important to keep in mind: Crankshaft has genuine fans. FW characters have always made cameos in CS, and they don’t look that out-of-place. It has its Batiuk tropes and Batiuk writing, but it’s viable, or at least inoffensive. TB kept Crankshaft relatively focused on actually being entertaining, possibly because he had people to answer to. That seems to be fading fast though, and it started before 2022 ended, like with Mason Jarre’s forced appearance.

    In other words, we’d be doing a genuine service for the comics-reading world, and could find a whole new cadre of snarkers.

    • Green Luthor

      I would say the simplest criteria for a “Funky invasion” would be: does it prominently feature characters that were only known for being in Funky, and were significant characters there? Crazy Harry and Dead Skunk Head? Funky invasion. Dinkle? Funky invasion. (Which means that of 5 weeks worth of Crankshaft strips, two have featured a Funky invasion. 40% so far.)

      When Mason and Cindy show up again at the Valentine, if Les shows up in any capacity whatsoever, anyone from Atomik Komix. Now if it’s a minor character, it would probably depend on who it is. Should Mitchell Knox and his collection of autopsy photos show up (please, please, please), it probably wouldn’t be. If Zanzibar The Talking Murder Chimp (pleasepleaseplease), also probably not. Despite being primarily associated with Montoni’s, the Pizza Monster (PLEASE) might not be either. (And if it’s all three, I’ll be too busy being entertained to care.) Frankie might be, but I probably wouldn’t mind in that case, either.

      Actually, a good rule would be: the more you dreaded seeing a character get a story in Funky, the more it’s a Funky invasion. If you actually wanted to see the character show up in Funky again, we can give it a pass. (Though… those could be covered under the theory that Batiuk is doing some we might actually like?)

  14. be ware of eve hill

    ComicBookHarriet, sorry if I made you uncomfortable by gushing about your knowledge of western culture and art the other day. I spent the good part of an hour trying to find a classical painting to match the lecturing pose of the ‘Most Insufferable Batton Thomas,’ but I couldn’t find anything suitable. I was so impressed you found something so quickly.

    In addition, your blogs during the ‘2022 Funky Winkerbean Awards’ featured the following:
    The Michelangelo sculpture.
    The Velasquez painting.
    You photoshopped an altar of the Dead St. Lisa.
    Then you photoshopped a nude Funky into a classical painting.

    I thought you were some kind of art historian. Sorry for the faux pas.

    Having apologized, I’m here to gush all over again. 😁

    ComicBookHarriet, thank you so much for all you do.

    At the end of December, you said not to fret because the SoSF show wasn’t over yet. We now know why because you gave us dozens of encores. I was expecting a day here or there, but you filled out January, day after day, and into February.


    • be ware of eve hill

      CBH, I haven’t been able to start reading your friend’s webcomic ‘Cheap Thrills’ yet, but the browser tab is still open, and the page has been bookmarked just in case.

      As a matter of fact, I’m three days behind in the reading of my GoComics subscription page. It’s like my workplace thinks my job takes some kind of precedence. 😩/s

    • ComicBookHarriet

      bwoeh, thank you so much! And I have to laugh at your concern you made me uncomfortable or comitted a faux pas. Naw, I’m just so midwestern that every time I get a compliment I am duty bound by my blood to minimize it with qualifications. You try to put an Iowan on a pedestal and they’ll prop up a ladder to the plinth so they can climb down safely before they fall.

      Doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate being offered that lofty spot we don’t deserve. 😉

    • sorialpromise

      Friends, Snarkers, Sons of the Funk:
      Lend me your ears.
      I come to praise Be Ware of Eve Hill,
      Not to bury her.
      The evil that Batiuk do,
      Lives after him.
      The good, if any, will be buried with Les’s bones.
      So let us praise, noble Eve.
      She was adventurous
      She aimed for the heavens
      Not unlike dear Icarus,
      But unlike him, she touched the sky,
      And descended gently back to the Earth.
      Her goal: To research as ably as CBH.
      She succeeded beyond her wildest hopes, and dreams.
      Eve is our friend, faithful and just to us all.
      We all love her once, twice, until there is no more.
      My heart and yours fits nicely besides Eve’s soul.
      It is returned with more love added to it.

      • be ware of eve hill

        🤭 Thank you, sp.

        If you drop prose like this on Mrs. sp, she’s a lucky woman indeed.

        I was about to reply to someone where I was wallowing in self-pity, but I read your poem, and it really picked me up. Thanks.

        Let’s be realistic, though.
        A ham-fisted haiku
        be ware of eve hill
        she’s twice as old, half as good
        she’s no CBH

  15. be ware of eve hill

    Courtesy of THE DAILY CARTOONIST yesterday.

    Terrance Dollard on the Comics Culture channel interviews Tom Batiuk about “his decision to end Funky Winkerbean after 50 years, shifting tone, and his legacy.”

    ***WARNING*** It’s almost a half hour long.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I’ll try to put together a transcript. There are ways to scrape it from the YouTube page code.

    • billytheskink

      The 1 comment on that video begins: “I’ve never been a Funky Winkerbean fan but I’m a BIG Crankshaft fan!”


    • The Duck of Death

      I listened to it (on 1.25 speed, to reduce the suffering by that much). Nothing particularly new or interesting.

      It continues to amaze me that no one will mention SoSF, which as far as I know is the biggest, oldest, most robust website critiquing a single comic. I don’t think anything comes close. No one even says, “Like any artist, you have your critics. There’s even a web site dedicated to daily critiques of Funky Winkerbean. Have you ever read it? Are you annoyed by the critics, or flattered that you’re well known enough to be a target for this kind of criticism?”

      You could ask that kind of question respectfully, but no one ever has and I have a feeling no one ever will. I seriously wonder whether he makes every interviewer promise they won’t mention SoSF as a condition of the interview. Anyway, the result is generally that every interview sounds like every other interview.

      This guy did ask what he thought about being Marge Simpson’s “favorite comic strip” (which can’t really be inferred from the Simpsons appearance, but whatever). TB’s reply is essentially, “pretty neat.”

  16. William Epps

    Thank you all for a wonderful product. SoSF is the first thing I turn to in the morning. I don’t look at news, sports, anything, before this site. I am afraid without it, I will wander lost in the ethereal plain, hoping for something to satisfy my soul like this did.
    I know I will return here, probably daily, in the fervent hope, there will be new content.
    Thank you again for a wonderful trip. Keep up the good work

  17. Today’s recycled Funky Winkerbean art in Crankshaft:

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Here’s more. All the background people in the new strip are also recycled from this panel.

      • The Duck of Death

        Part of me says “YIKES,” and part of me says, “Hey, if the exact same situations and jokes are gonna be rerun, then why shouldn’t the art be rerun? Does that even count as a shortcut any more? Doesn’t it make more sense to illustrate what’s essentially the same strip with essentially the identical illustrations?”

      • Mela

        Thanks for confirming that Lillian even has the same expression as Becky. I suspected as much when I first saw it.

  18. Smirks 'R Us

    CBH the Funky awards were amazing, and Kytic’s art is indeed otherworldly. Really well done. I am happy to read that we are not at the end of this site, at least not yet. Although I don’t post much I visit daily and get great entertainment from the community. I feel like it is our own little civil piece of the internet, where civility is incredibly rare.

    An idea struck me during CBH’s Frankie-centric deep dive. Sadly, I am a Funky lifer. I have been reading this dreck from the beginning, found the original Stuck Funky in the very early stages out of a shared disbelief that a once mildly amusing comic strip could just be so god-awful seemingly all of a sudden.

    Anyway, I was shocked at how many of those older Act II strips were totally foreign to me. It was as if I was seeing them for the first time even though I am certain that I had seen them before when originally published.

    So my thought is this, maybe a way to sustain this site for a while longer is to have a snarker du-jour grab a random week of Act II strips for a fresh week of tearing them apart. My sense is that it would feel very new to most of us. Plus there are many new SOSF regulars now that were definitely not around then. I am not necessarily talking about prestige arcs either. I think it would be more fun if it was just more of the meaningless drivel produced by BatHack.

    Anyway, just my two cents. Totally understand if there is no interest but I thought I would throw it out there to see. As usual my enduring thanks to TFH and ED for all they have done.

    • Green Luthor

      The biggest problem with covering old story arcs is that the archives aren’t readily available on the web anywhere. You could pick a random week from Act II, but most people wouldn’t be able to actually view those strips. (The Crankshaft archives may or may not eventually be up on GoComics, but there’s been nothing to indicate that the Funky archives will ever go up anywhere.)

    • The Duck of Death

      Apart from the obvious genius of the whole thing, I tip the ol’ Funky Felt Tip and stan in line for

      1234 Whatrwefietinfor Rd

      • ComicBookHarriet

        I stan in line for the whole thing! Dang. The artistic might of Beckoning Chasm never ceases to horrify and delight.

  19. TimP

    Joining the chorus to celebrate a wonderful close to the awards and hoping/wishing it won’t come to an end but also recognizing that if this is how it were to end, it truly couldn’t have been fitted with a better conclusion.

    Zanzibar lives!

  20. The Duck of Death

    Guys and gals, we’ve all enjoyed CBH’s deep dives into Funky history, especially Act II. But she’s been burdened by the need to unearth the strips from the Toledo Blade archives. And it would be grossly unfair to ask her to spend money as well as incalculable amounts of time on this madness we call SoSF.

    Is there any interest in setting up a MoneyForNothing GoFundMe to help CBH acquire whatever Funky archives she needs to assist her research, up to and including all 12 volumes?

    Several of the volumes are available on Amazon for under 25 bucks each. The most she would need to pay for any of them is the $45 list price at the KSU online store.

    I’m good for 50 bucks if we set something up. If I can get a few amens, I’ll have the GoFundMe live by tomorrow morning.

    It’s a new kind of fundraising! Never touch a turkey! Never warehouse a mattress! And no organ-playing cats required!

    • sorialpromise

      If you get an OK from CBH,
      then our dear Duck, I am a go for the GoFundMe.

      • The Duck of Death

        Well, CBH? Would you accept an offering from your grateful fans?

        • ComicBookHarriet

          I’m really touched that you guys would offer. Actually, thanks to some persistent hunting I was able to score TCFW Volumes 4, 8, and 9. 8 and 9 take me through most of what I didn’t have of Act II. So I think I’m set for some fun Act II deep dives if that’s what strikes our fancy.

          • sorialpromise

            It is my understanding that
            Volume 9.8 of TCFW is worth its weight in gold!

          • The Duck of Death

            Well, if you ever need more volumes, I for one would be glad to contribute to the CBH Funky Hardback Fund. And I have a suspicion that others would too.

    • be ware of eve hill

      It would be nice if TB made the Funky Winkerbean archives available on his website, even if it was behind a paywall.

      I wonder if TB has even heard of something like Patreon.

      Considering the ineptitude of whoever set up the website, it’s probably not a realistic expectation that a workable archive could be implemented.

      TB would probably realize he’d be arming his critics with ammunition.

      I’ll stop here. I’ve convinced myself it will never happen. 😂

      • Y. Knott

        be ware of eve hill wrote: I wonder if TB has even heard of something like Patreon…..

        Oooh, I sense another SoSF writing contest coming on! Think what this group could do with “Write the intro text for Tom Batiuk’s Patreon site….”

        • be ware of eve hill

          The Funky Winkerbean archive has more than fifty years of comics. TB is 75 years old and set for life. Bitterness is the only reason why Batiuk wouldn’t make the archives free. He wanted to be mentioned with the best, but was found to be lacking.

          Banana Jr. 6000 said it best in his comic cover.
          Batiuk: (sobbing) I want an award!

  21. William Thompson

    Today’s Crankshaft has left me in a state of confused bewilderment. Hairy Dingle feels like a high school bandleader? There should be a third panel to explain that. “But only with fava beans and Chianti!” “It’s a very special type of kink!” “Grope me and see what I mean, Lillian, dear!”

  22. Gabby

    First, THANK you CBH. What great work! I stand in (a very, very long) line.

    Some Act II stuff would be great. I lived near Toledo in the early 80’s and subscribed to The Blade, but I admit I didn’t remember any of the strips/arcs you showed earlier.

    Finally, why is Harry squiring Lillian around? Is he horning in on Mort’s stuff?

  23. William Thompson

    Hey, there’s an actual Ed Crankshaft reference in today’s Crankshaft! Hairy Dingle and Beau Tye are sitting in Room 13, which probably has to do with Crankshaft’s bus number. They’re talking about how Dingle always seems to be raising money for band uniforms or choir robes or something, and I’m on tenterhooks as I wait to discover why the OMEA would have any good advice on how to raise money for a choir–maybe “Pass the plate at your church” is an undiscovered technique in Centerville?

    • The Duck of Death

      Here it is. I still don’t know whether it’d be okay to post the daily strips in my comments, so I’ll just describe it.

      Crankshaft talks to some unnamed person at OMEA. “Beau Tye” is a pretty good name for him.

      P1: “Back when I was a high school band director… it seemed like we were always raising money for new uniforms.”

      P2: “Now that I’m a choir director at St Spires… we’re always raising money for new choir robes.”

      P3: Beau Tye: “The more things change…” Dinkle: “Amen.”

      Could this possibly get any more nonsensical? Does Batty know what choir robes look like, what they’re used for, how much they cost? Why in the name of whatever malign deity they worship at St Spires don’t the robes last longer than a year or so, and why isn’t there a line item in the church budget for them?

      And come on, I’m sure Dinkle the High School Band Leader must have fund raised for something other than uniforms.

      Why is this so insultingly, offensively nonsensical? I believe I know why. I think this is aimed squarely at the OMEA folks, aimed to reassure them that Batty should still be their token media superstar/mascot.

      “Sure Dinkle may look different, but he’s the same old Dinkle you used to love 30 or 40 years ago, yes sir! Same fundraising ha-has, same dictatorial rehearsal yuks and guffaws! You’ll definitely still want me to come and sign books every year, what with the still-totally-relevant Harry Dinkle still up to his totally relevant hijinx!”

      What he doesn’t realize is that not only do band-age kids not read newspaper comics — I’m sure many of them don’t even know they exist — but at this point it’s likely that many of the band leaders themselves have grown up never reading newspaper comics.

      So smile, Batty, and move on.

      • Mela

        He’s just substituting all things “church choir” for “high school band” so that he can continue to do the same bits as before, which makes it nonsensical because they’re not the same thing.

        Lillian stands in for Becky and roams OMEA with Dinkle even though there’s no logical reason for her to do so. And the mostly elderly lady choir stands in for high school students when there’s no logical reason for them to be invited to perform. And then they’re apparently ditched by Dinkle so he can walk around OMEA just like Becky left her own students unattended to hang out with him.

        And the fundraising, give me a break. For many high school bands, it IS non-stop fundraising because that money covers a lot of yearly expenses before you even get to a special uniform fund drive. But non-stop fund raising for a church choir? Please. Our church choir has one bake sale at Christmas just to have funds for new music pieces. That’s it. Our choir robes, which were replaced a few years back only because a sister congregation graciously donated them, are only used on festival days when the choir processes in and walks in front of the congregation because otherwise, we sit in the back and are heard not seen. Why wear robes every week unless the choir is seated in the front? And even then, THEY JUST GOT NEW ROBES LAST YEAR!!

        Dinkle, if your focus for a church choir is non-stop fundraising instead of choosing appropriate liturgical music and leading the musicians in singing praises to the glory of God, then your priorities are totally out of whack.

    • The Duck of Death

      Just looked at Comics Curmudgeon. Josh’s take on Crankshaft today:

      “Back when I was a high school band director … it seemed like we were always in a strip called Funky Winkerbean. And now that I’m a choir director for St. Spires … we’re always in a strip called Crankshaft, which presumably had its own characters and plotlines that its readers enjoyed at some point.” “The more things change…” “Amen!”

      Touché, Josh.

      Did I mention that the art today was probably not copied from Ayers? It’s static, bland, off-model, and terrible. I know Davis can do much better, but I guess he doesn’t consider it worth the trouble. Hard to blame him if he feels that way.

      • Gerard Plourde

        It does seem that we have our answer. The strips, like Harley Davidson’s Westview/Centerville timelines have merged. How soon will it be before we see Batton Thomas exercising at Atomik Komix and discussing “climate damage” with Flash and Phil?

      • ComicBookHarriet

        A Dink was pulled from this panel two years ago, you can see the weird goblin ear was copied from one to the other. I think Dink in panel two today is just the same Dink with the head slightly skewed.

        I knew at least one Dink had to be copied from from flipped art, because in today’s Cranky Dink’s combover is on the wrong side.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          Ahhhhhh, as someone who has actually been to an OMEA conference as a performer, this is just so nonsensical. Why does Batty have to constantly shill for them? Do they even want him there?

        • Gerard Plourde


          Once again your unparalleled Holmesian powers of observation are brought to bear on TomBa’s work. Like Watson, I can only stand in awe and say “You astound me.”

  24. William Thompson

    On an unrelated note, CK says that I have exceeded my monthly limit on free access to their strips. I wonder how long it will be before they and their spammers realize that non-paying viewers are no longer seeing their endless ads.

    • The Duck of Death

      Not really unrelated. And I realized that pretty much the only strips I care about any more on CK are the vintage ones, primarily Big Ben Bolt, Apartment 3-G, and Juliet Jones. I enjoy Mary Worth, but I’d be fine if I caught up with it a few times a month.

      I hate CK so much. I paid for a subscription for three reasons:

      1. Funky, Vintage Funky, the Funky archives, and Crankshaft. Now gone.

      2. The convenience of opening a bookmarked page of all my favorites with one click. Now gone. I almost always have to sign in de novo every morning and click a whole bunch of times before I get to my favorites.

      3. The wonderful snarkers on Funky, Cranky, MW, and a few other strips. Gone, along with all the Disqus archives of the conversations.

      When my subscription lapses, I’m outta there. Without CK and FW, I don’t know what I’ll read in the morning. Not the news, that’s for damn sure.

      • William Thompson

        Yeah. The main reason I kept snarking over there was the fun of trading comments with the regulars. But many of them have dropped away, and I’m not going to pay CK so I can jump through hoops and wade through their ads.

        • be ware of eve hill

          I noticed CK is getting desperate by offering 100 days free. I bet they bill your credit card on day 90.

          The CK: 90 days have passed, and we noticed you haven’t cancelled your Comics Kingdom account yet. We assume you have every intention of continuing with us, so we have conveniently billed your credit card. Don’t worry though. Your service period will start in 10 days, and you will not be billed for the days leading up to your service period. Thank you for being a Comics Kingdom customer!

          I’m sure you can try and cancel your account, but you will have to file a ticket with customer support, where it will sit in “Pending” status for months on end.

      • be ware of eve hill

        The issues I reported to customer support at the end of November remain unresolved. My ticket has not been updated since they cut and pasted Tea Berry Blue’s whining about receiving complaints directly from the readers. That’s what happens when you set yourself up as the face of the Comics Kingdom, sweetums.

        How hard can it be to put the COMMENTS button back on the favorites page? It was there for Disqus, why is it an issue for OpenWeb? Can’t the Comment button logic be taken from the individual comic’s page and implemented on the favorites page? Wouldn’t it navigate to the same place?

        And for crying out loud, how hard is it to sort the comments by “Best”? The comment with the most upvotes is the “Best”, right? Still waiting.

        When the move to OpenWeb was announced, they said:

        By moving to OpenWeb, here are just a few of the things Comics Kingdom will provide:

        Personalized Notifications
        Polls & Reactions
        Easier comment sorting
        Upgraded User Profiles
        …and much more!

        Personalized Notifications – Disqus had them!
        Polls & Reactions – Disqus had them and had more options!
        Easier comment sorting – You could sort comments with Disqus, and it actually worked.
        Upgraded User Profiles – Disqus had profiles, and they were much more user-friendly. Where’s the upgrade?



        Funniest of all is they replaced Disqus with OpenWeb to create a “less toxic” commenting environment. Really? I’m seeing a hell of a lot of downvotes and “This comment violated our policy” in the comment sections. The Comics Kingdom Benevolence and Marching Society appears to be flagging any comments that resemble snark. Much like GoComics, user accounts are disappearing. The golden age of comic strip commenting is over.

        Check out all the downvotes and whiny comments on
        this page.

        “He’s complaining about the comic! Let’s all band together to downvote and flag this person, so the moderator will remove their account. It’s policy! We must protect the tender feelings of the comic creator who never visits this discussion.”

        • The Duck of Death

          That’s just crazy. There’s nearly as many deleted comments as non-deleted.

          BTW, I love vintage Thimble Theater/Popeye. A couple years ago, there was a character Popeye kept referring to as a “shemale.” I think that might be the first use of the term in print; Segar loved to coin words. But you’d be banned if you used the term in a comment that referred to the strip. Just like my comments about Dinkle playing the organ, or Funky having a stroke, or Lisa’s breast cancer, used to go into the black hole of “moderation” from whence none return.

          The whole platform already sucked, and now sucks 100x worse.

          I don’t mind paying for things if I get what I pay for. I’m just not getting that, or anything close to it.

          I think my days of reading more than a couple comics on the web are numbered. And they wonder why it’s a dying medium. Even middle-aged folks like me, with credit cards in hand, can’t have a decent experience reading them, so the hell with it. It’s like they’re trying to drive us to corporate social media by making everything else crappy and dysfunctional.

          • be ware of eve hill

            I never comment in the CK, anymore. I’m reading fewer and fewer comments… because there are fewer and fewer comments. Many of the comics don’t even have any comments.

            I follow about 30 CK titles. On Thursday, my “YOUR DAILY COMICS” email consisted of three whole vintage comics. Um, hello? I seem to be a little short.

            Several days, the email never came at all. Talk about a breach of promise.

        • The Duck of Death

          Oh, and also: My experience with anything software related is that “YAY FOR US! WE MADE UPGRADES!” generally means: Anything that was working, we broke, and we took away the most enjoyable/useful features, and also, we added none of the features that were missing and you begged us for. Also, FU.

    • Will

      I use a bookmark folder on Firefox (I’m old-school) to open a whole block of comics at once every morning. For a few days, CK started randomly blocking one or another of the strips, saying I had reached my monthly limit, but the last couple of days everything loads just fine. But like the Duck of Death, I only open a couple of CK strips anymore, and they can be found elsewhere. So if they block me, I’ll survive. There’s no way I’d be willing to pay even a buck a year for their site, it’s so janky.

    • Bill the Splut

      Oh, it ends. When you pay for the site.

      I wonder what “changes” GoComics has promised for Autumn? (It’ll be paying)

  25. Put a trucker cap on Dinkle and a few dots on his nose and VOILA

    • The Duck of Death

      First: Stan in line. That’s what I’m doing. I love the character of Dinkshaft. The disgusting blackheads on the nose are the *chef’s kiss* finishing touch that puts it over the top.

      Second, I’m certain there’s a lot of, er, cutting loose at these conventions, away from the family and footloose in the wild, wicked metropolis that is Cleveland. So this could also work with Dinkle and Beau Tye if the conversation was:

      “Going to these conventions makes me feel like Santa Claus.”

      “Santa Claus?”

      “Yeah, ho, ho, ho!”

      • Green Luthor

        I legitimately can’t tell if you’re just calling that guy “Beau Tye”, or if that’s the character’s actual name. (Though I doubt he’s ever been shown before?) That’s totally a name Batiuk would use. (Really, after “Amicus Breef”, obviously no terrible names are off-limits to Batiuk…)

        • The Duck of Death

          I’m just going with what William Thompson called him, which I assume is a Batiukesque handle WT made up because I don’t remember seeing this character before.

          • William Thompson

            It took me about a tenth of a second to make up that name, which is probably more thought than Batiuk gave him. (“Davis, draw a character who looks like he’s willing to sit next to Dingle.”)

          • Green Luthor

            Whoops, sorry Mr. Thompson! Must have missed the previous post, but of course now I can see it plain as day. Sorry about that.

      • William Thompson

        So he’s really the Jolly Green Giant in disguise? The “homages” in this strip gets lazier all the time. Or, just as likely, he’s announcing why he’s come to this convention without his wife.

  26. The Duck of Death

    Y’know… I can see it now.

    ~~The Adventures of Crankle and Dinkshaft, coming this fall from Pulitzer-nominated cartoonist Tom Batiuk!~~

    The grift is simple. Look up the Hawaii Convention Center’s events calendar. What are some of the expos and conventions that are held there? Let’s see…

    Landscape Industry Green Conference…

    American Youth Soccer Organization Expo…

    That’s it! Dinkshaft is a landscape gardener with a particular focus on tropical greenhouses that grow pineapples! Oh, the hijinx he gets into as he attempts to turn his Ohio clients’ back yards into Hawaiian paradises!

    And Crankle? Crankle retired from his job as a maniacal band director to become a maniacal youth soccer coach! His dream is to take his team to the Pacific Playoffs in Honolulu! Laughs ensue! Oh, that Crankle! What won’t he do to raise funds for the long-anticipated Hawaii away game!

    That’s it. Badabing. All-expense-paid trips to Hawaii twice a year for Batty to attend the Hawaiian conventions of the groups who’ve fallen in love with his wacky, curmudgeonly characters!

    Look, Tommy, if you’ve got a grift, think big! Work it, hunny, WORK IT!

  27. The Duck of Death

    Rusty Shackleford and anyone else who’s familiar with actual high school bands, can you clear something up for me?

    Do HS bands get all-new uniforms each year, and do the band members take their uniforms with them, like bridesmaids who shell out for hideous frocks as the bride assures them, “It’s gorgeous! You can wear it to parties for years to come!”

    Don’t they keep the band uniforms for future bands? And maybe order new ones if some kid is freakishly tall or hefty, and then they become part of the school’s band-member wardrobe?

    And wouldn’t most kids’ expenses be paid for largely by band parents, to the extent that they can afford them? I get that maybe not every band parent can afford to subsidize their kid’s whole band experience, but surely most can subsidize at least part of it.

    And do people in these suburban small towns actually go door-to-door asking for donations from random citizens? Do random citizens actually donate?

    In NYC and probably other cities, any kid going door to door is selling candy for their “basketball team.” But there is no basketball team, only a Fagin who exploits them, sending them out to grift, and taking almost every cent they manage to squeeze out of the suckers. It’s a con that’s centuries old. I guess Ohio suburbs are a more “high-trust” environment, as they say.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      The uniforms are kept for several years. The students typically buy their own slacks but the jackets, hats and other accessories stay with the band.

      Kids don’t go door to door anymore. Typically, the band boosters sponsor events like a casino night, etc. our local band has several restaurants prepare various dishes and people buy tickets and get a “taste of the town” as they call it.

      OMEA is for professional development of music educators, not cheesy fund raising seminars.

      If the band is traveling to an event the boosters would help fund it so that all students can attend, even those that cannot afford the minimum price for the trip.

      I know two current band directors, they have never discussed fund raising.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Oh and summer car washes are big in NE Ohio. Pretty much every gas station has one going on Saturday morning.

        See the band raises money in the summer so they have it for their fall activities.

      • The Duck of Death

        That makes so much sense. Directing a band is enough work without adding full responsibility for paying for it — which also requires a totally different skill set.

        And I guess I was right that it’s nonsensical to send kids out to the suburbs to ring random doorbells instead of asking for help from the families with kids in the school/in the band.

        And also that fundraising for uniforms all year every year was … not a thing that happens.

        The Dinkle strips, vintage and current, were my first exposure to any kind of marching band culture, and I figured maybe I just wasn’t understanding how things work. But as the years went by, some things really started to seem bizarre, like the above-mentioned tropes.

        It’s good to know that I’m not nuts, and marching bands are nothing like the way they’re portrayed in the OMEA strips.

        It does raise the question of why OMEA is so feverishly in love with Batty when he gets the whole conference so wrong, and reduces the profession’s goals to nothing but incessant, compulsive fundraising. The only times he’s been shown actually teaching music were the piano lessons he gave, in which both student and teacher were clearly bored and irritated. Not much of an ad for music education.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          I suspect they are not in love with him and today’s band directors probably don’t even know who Dinkle is/was.

          I felt I had a great music education and so OMEA is doing the right things.

          I enjoyed my music education. We played “ A Piece for Percussion “ by Mitchell Peters for the OMEA crowd. They loved it and I got offered a music scholarship.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      When I was in high school band, we had sturdy wool uniforms with endlessly hemmable pants. They’d been in use for almost 20 years at that point and continued to be used for the next 10.

  28. Mela

    I’ve enjoyed all the creative snark exhibited on this site. CBH-your friend’s artwork is amazing! So many fun creative types here!

    I wouldn’t mind seeing more a few Act II dives, but I certainly don’t want CBH to wear herself out over it. I enjoyed the Frankie deep dive-it reconfirmed my extreme distaste for the Lisa date rape retcon. I missed a lot of Act II so thanks to CBH, I got to see where the retcon actually occurred.

    And the SOSF awards were a great way to close out the official ending of the strip. Tough choices for some, but fun to consider nonetheless!

  29. bunnydoe

    This has been a lot of fun. Thanks for the Funky Awards! I loved reading them even though my favored candidates mostly didn’t win. Also, while all of the art is great, that panel of Zanzibar is just amazing in every way.

  30. Y. Knott

    In just this thread, we’ve had two episodes of Dinkshaft, several instances of ‘spot the reused art’, a ton of discussion on the latest Crankshaft, poetry, Classics Illustrated covers…

    And it’s all been great! I think there’s more than enough juice here to keep Son Of Stuck Funky going.

    Maybe instead of two-week-long shifts, perhaps move to a model where (say) TFHackett posts something on Mondays, Epicus takes Tuesdays, BillyTheSkink takes Wednesdays, BJr6K takes Thursdays, and CBH takes Fridays? Weekends off, unless there’s something to snark about?

    I mean, it would allow the site to continue, and it wouldn’t be as taxing as a two-week stretch in the hot seat.

    Or perhaps there’s another part-time model that works better. I’m just throwing it out there for discussion.

    But I think with C-Shaft still going and ripe for commentary; some deep dives into FW history to keep the conversations flowing; and maybe some comics commentary in general on certain days, this community can still hang out, and have some snarky fun. I’d be here for it!

    • The Duck of Death

      Y. Knott, in total agreement. That’d be a dream. Especially with the apparent impending Westview-Centerville merger, I suspect we haven’t seen the end of the FW-related content.

    • Bill the Splut

      I’m a new guy, and newbies gotta noob, so just throwing this out there…
      Maybe every night put up a Semi-Open Thread for comments? We just keep them related to the subject, which in this group, recently included a discussion or Renaissance art! We could talk about stuff like how funny the current FW strip isn’t!
      (Oh, there is one. It’s called Crankshaft)

      “Amen.” THATS FUNNY

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I agree. I know Epicus hates crankshaft but it has already become FW 2.0. I mean even I didn’t think he would bring his OMEA shill bit to Crankshaft.