It Ain’t Easy Being Green.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day all you beautiful Beady-Eyed Nitpickers!

I hope you celebrated in the traditional way, by escaping from Irish pirates and snake genocide.

The festive mood jiggled my memory, and I recalled that we’d skipped an important date in our SOSF liturgical calendar. I hope late is better than never.

Happy Birthday, Tom Batiuk!

Yup, Tom turned 76 on the 14th. And I hope his day was filled with moments that made him smile. I know I don’t speak for all of us, but personally I’ve got nothing but affection in my heart for Mr. Batiuk. Whatever personal faults or foibles we nit-pick out of him while crushing him under our microscope, I believe he is fundamentally decent. Not anywhere close to perfect. But who is? His greatest crime against humanity was writing a baffling comic strip. And can we even call creating bad art a crime, when it brings this much happiness?

So Tom, Happy Birthday! I wish you good health and security, the love of your family and the joy of your friends. I hope that you find satisfaction and fulfillment in your greatest accomplishments, your long marriage and your son. And I hope you never read this blog. Like Don Quixote and The Knight of the Mirrors, it would be cruel and pointless for you to face yourself as critically as we see you. I want to watch you tilting gleefully at the windmills until night falls.

Just a short HAH John dive today, to carry us to his next big arc. From 2001 to 2003, there isn’t much to see. HAH John is firmly a tertiary character. Because despite being the avatar for comics fandom in Act II, Tom made John too different from himself to become a major protagonist. Remember, most main characters are either Tom, Cathy, Brian, or Dinkshaft cash cows.

And 2001 to 2003 were big years, crowded with divorces, and babies, and terrorism. John is slid all the way from the back burner to some Tupperware on the counter beside the stove.

Also in the Tupperware: some old Chinese takeout.

He, along with the Chinese leftovers, are some of the guests at Funky’s 30th birthday party.

Bull also was in the background, literally and figuratively.
You thought they were two-dimensional then? Just wait 20 years!

Early in 2002, Donna the Eliminator comes back on the scene to take Harry on a whirlwind romance, from reintroduction to engagement to wedding in less than nine months. A few strips indicate some mild jealousy and loneliness from John at this time.

Men only talk to each other about comics. That’s what makes us men!
That isn’t love, that’s insanity. I wouldn’t EVER let a man do this to my MISB E-Hobby Transformers Road Rage.
This coming from a woman willingly impregnated by Les Moore.

When it comes to Crazy’s wedding, Les throws the bachelor party so we can get jokes about Les Moore being a dweeby wet blanket.

But if I don’t have a scrapbook, how am I supposed to reminisce about high school?

But, of course, the party is saved by the Westview Manchild Curse.

John is just so pissed off he won’t be seeing a midwestern stripper in a cheap Wonder Woman costume.

Even though Les threw the bachelor party, he’s not one of the groomsmen. In fact, there only appears to be one groomsman, HAH John in the role of Best Man. It’s weird. Over the years on this dive, Crazy does a lot of things with Les and Funky that exclude John, like the big camping trip to celebrate weddings, babies, and divorces. Despite my earlier postings about the Crazy/John bromance, I would say Harry is still a notch closer to his old high school buddies at this point.

I love Bull’s smug little smoking face. My sweet stupid prince.

I think John might be Best Man just to facilitate this strip.

Hey look! St Spires!

In universe I guess you could fanwank that Crazy was uncomfortable asking the soon-to-be-divorced Funky. Or maybe he wanted to throw HAH John a bone. Or maybe Tom just thought HAH John was necessary for this joke to work.

Does Crazy still live with his mom too?

The whole wedding is pretty normal, save some air guitar crossover. No insane crowds with helicopter news coverage, no Batman and Robin costumes, no food poisoning, lightning, or stupid jokey vows. No backyard, frontyard, lawn chair, secularism.

Ladies and gentlemen, Crazy and Donna had the most formal and religious wedding of ANY FW character. Think about that.

Seeing one nerd finding wedded bliss with the video game playing, motorcycle riding, hottie of dreams must have been hard for poor HAH John. So I give him credit for looking genuinely happy for his friend at this wedding. Even though Crazy sold all the X-Men comics on E-Bay rather than on consignment through Komix Korner.

Johnny’s nice guy nature was about to reap some nice guy rewards, as Tom takes John’s story and starts heating it up again.

Unfortunately, some faces would be melted in the process.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

31 responses to “It Ain’t Easy Being Green.

  1. Epicus Doomus

    To sort of paraphrase noted linguist Phil Leotardo, seventy-six…he’s just a kid. Happy birthday, you big, overly-sincere lug.

    It’s so weird reading the old strips, from back when the characters had, you know, personalities and stuff. When he killed Lisa and did the time skip, he had two choices. One, he could use lots of clever expository dialog to fill readers in on how the characters had grown and changed through the years, or two, he could just have them be, you know, older. He went with choice two.

    Man, that Act II was just a whole different beast, you know? All kinds of boring, stupid things were constantly happening, as opposed to Act III, where boring, stupid things were occasionally happening, if you defined “happening” very, very loosely. And note how there were sometimes jokes, and not just annoying wry ones, either. It’s a fascinating time capsule.

    • Paul Jones

      Batiuk doesn’t seem to have the chops to realize that twelve years changes a person. Whatever turned Funky into the corner-cutting idiot who damned near tanked the restaurant expanding too fast is as well explained as The Burnings.

      • Epicus Doomus

        It (the time skip) was a very ambitious idea that, in hindsight, he simply didn’t have the writing chops or imagination to pull off. He just made everyone older, fatter and balder, then gave them a few ailments to deal with. And adding MORE new Act III characters was the last thing FW needed.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Batiuk doesn’t seem to have the chops to realize that ANYTHING changes a person. Even characters who did change over the years had no real reason for it.

  2. That TM cover is awesome. You don’t need me…your bird has found its wings and taken flight…

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Without you, I wouldn’t have half those elements to use. If I can fly on my own now, it’s because the wings I found were ones you handed out!

  3. J.J. O'Malley

    St. Patrick’s…Cushlamachree, I knew I forgot something Friday! It was raining, so I spent the whole afternoon in the attic reading my run of “Mystery in Space” comics featuring Ultra the Multi-Alien! Now I have to wait until next February to get a Shamrock Shake!

  4. Gerard Plourde

    Two quick observations:

    Re DSH: “And a shower once on a while wouldn’t hurt him either.” This is a guy Becky found attractive? Maybe it’s his pheromones.

    From the wedding get-away – I’m looking at the crowd outside of the church and am wondering whether the person behind Tony’s arm could be the first appearance of author avatar Batton Thomas. The rendering doesn’t quite look like the other possibility – Fred Fairgood.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      I’m almost positive that is supposed to be Fred. Not sure why Ann is not in attendance. As weird as it seems for Fred to be attending Crazy and Donna’s wedding, it’s probably a reference to Fred and Ann’s Act I wedding, when The Eliminator hacked city hall to get the last minute Marriage Certificate Fred had forgotten to apply for.

  5. Smirks 'R Us

    “In universe I guess you could fanwank”

    Now that’s writing. Take note birthday boy.

    I stand in line Harriet.

  6. Rusty Shackleford

    March 17 is also the day Italy became a unified state, and surprisingly it has held together for 162 years!

    Anyways. I liked the strip about guys not telling things to each other. Funny because it is true.

    As for midwestern strippers, they aren’t all bad.

  7. Banana Jr. 6000

    I think John Howard is supposed to be The Friend Nobody Likes. But as usual, Batiuk can’t commit to the idea. Everyone else picks on him, but too good-naturedly, and they accept him too readily. And, he eventually gets the girl who’s picking on him now, without him changing, learning, improving or having to do anything at all. Such is life in Westview.

  8. be ware of eve hill

    When you called these “deep dives” I never realized how deep you meant. These are great. It’s almost like reading them over again.

    I, too, stand in line.

    • be ware of eve hill

      I’m sure SorialPromise has forgotten most of this stuff. 🧓🤔

      • sorialpromise

        Actually, no. I never knew this stuff. My history of FW goes back to Act 1. I quit reading as Act 1 was still in progress. I did read the earliest Act 2 when Les came back as a teacher. Then dropped it again until I read magazine stories about TB’s bravery to have Lisa die. But I only read her story in her book, not in the strip. Yes. I bought a copy. Read it. Gave it to my daughter as a gift as an example of a writer writing outside his comfort zone and trying new ideas. But never picked it up again until I neared retirement with Adeelah being deported. But that was only because Comic’s Curmudgeon either recommending SOSF or SOSF being used as an example of comic criticism. I checked out SOSF and liked it. Then the (big crescendo🎵🎶🎶🎵!) I discovered the wit, wisdom, humor of Be Ware of Eve Hill!!!
        In the beginning, you posted so often, I thought you were one of the bloggers.
        So that is how I got on SOSF, and why I stayed. Plus all of you.

        • be ware of eve hill

          LOL. Tease me one day, flatter me the next. I’m playing the Mister Wilson role for your Dennis. 😂

          There was about a three-year gap where I didn’t read Funky Winkerbean at all. The gap was between 2015 and 2018, but caught up last year when I subscribed to the Comics Kingdom. Sometime in 2015, I lost interest in Funky Winkerbean because it had become too cringe. In 2018, I discovered the wonderful world of snark and started enjoying FW again.

          I would venture over to SoSF whenever I had a question nobody in the Comics Kingdom discussion would or could answer. My questions were usually answered by reading the SoSF blog or discussion. Sometime in 2021 many of the best Comics Kingdom FW snarkers migrated over to SoSF and I followed them shortly afterward. Not really sure why I didn’t do so earlier. Perhaps, to me, SoSF felt like the expert’s table. The Comics Kingdom nanny-bot was another reason why I started reading SoSF daily. Writing comments on the Comics Kingdom became tiresome. What innocuous term would set it off next? How long would it take to discover which word it was? Ugh.

          I’m so pleased Son of Stuck Funky is still going. I thought another forum I enjoyed was ending. The forums on IMDB and were enjoyable, but were discontinued due to the bad behavior of many. Not a problem on Son of Stuck Funky. YaY!

          • sorialpromise

            “Perhaps, to me, SoSF felt like the expert’s table.” That is the truth isn’t it? My understanding, CBH never has to crack a book for research, and re-draws the Act 1&2 strips from memory. How can one compete with that? (Just kidding, CBH.) I do not know if you have much experience with TF Hackett? He is always kind, and tries to find solutions to the posts that the website rejects. It is a joy whenever I have to work with him or Epicus Doomus.
            Now as for Comics Kingdom, it is not a joy to work with. The commenters often do not try to rise above crude posts. There are some that do. But those usually also post on SOSF. “Hi, Banana Junior 6000 and JJ O’Malley.” CK does have some original posters. Bob Tice is almost always a pleasure to read. But the main problem is not with the comments. I never comment on it. I do look for your posts. I have never found one. During the week, I read “Rex Morgan M. D., Judge Parker, Mary Worth, Liniers Macanudo, and Sally Forth.” Once a day, CK stops me, and tells me I have exceeded my limit and must subscribe. So I have to change from Explorer or Chrome, or use my iPhone and check the comic there. I don’t blame CK so much, except I never have to put up with that petty behavior on GoComics. It’s not like CK doesn’t advertise.
            Eve, here is the kicker: On the weekends, I also read “Prince Valiant and Flash Gordon.” CK never stops me from reading all of those and the other 5 together. I also try to read “Mara Llave- Keeper of Time,” but it publishes whenever it chooses. I mean this. There might be a week or 2 weeks or even 3 weeks in between episodes.
            So the people in charge of SOSF, are light years ahead of most others in the comics world. And for some odd reason choose Tom Batiuk as their reason to congregate. It is an enigma.

          • be ware of eve hill

            Señor SP,

            TF Hackett and Epicus Doomus do an excellent job moderating this site. As I stated in my previous post, two of my favorite forums went to forum heaven because the moderators lost control. It’s been quite a while since one of my SoSF posts got “stuck in the torso chute.”

            You’ve been looking for my posts in the Comics Kingdom? Aw, sorry about that. I’ve posted only 33 comments since CK converted their commenting platform to OpenWeb in November. To say that I dislike OpenWeb is an understatement. You can’t even use the browser’s word search to find a term in a discussion (finds nothing). I read a few Comics Kingdom comments and upvote when appropriate. Just not too many. Sad how many CK comics have zero comments. It’s hard to believe Mallard Fillmore went from 200+ comments daily to less than twenty. The moderators must have had a field day banning accounts.

            Comics Kingdom resolved the sorting issue in my daily favorites email fairly quickly, but the problem ticket opened 11/30/2022 concerning certain losses of functionality on my “Favorites” page remains in “Pending” status. At this point, I believe the Comics Kingdom hired OpenWeb to install their commenting platform. Comics Kingdom IT does not know how or is not allowed to fix any issues related to OpenWeb. The fixes for the issues in my problem ticket shouldn’t take 3+ months to fix.

            If you can believe it, I have 58 Comics Kingdom “Favorites” selected, although quite a few are just once or twice a week. A “Favorite” means a list of comic strips will appear in my daily email, as well as on a webpage on the Comics Kingdom website. Methinks, many titles have failed to pass the audition and are headed for a culling.

            I’d suggest Arcamax for you, which is free, but among the titles you listed, only Macanudo appears there. No soap opera strips at all. I prefer to read Crankshaft on Arcamax because snark appears to be allowed there. My very first comment posted for Crankshaft on GoComics, during the Lillian/Komix Korner crossover, “mysteriously” disappeared. It apparently offended someone’s overly sensitive faculties.

            GoComics Reader: Dearest, please take my hand. I’m getting the vapors. The uncivilized readers of Crankshaft from the Comics Kingdom are invading our peaceful website.

          • sorialpromise

            “If you can believe it, I have 58 Comics Kingdom “Favorites” selected, although quite a few are just once or twice a week. A “Favorite” means a list of comic strips will appear in my daily email, as well as on a webpage on the Comics Kingdom website. Methinks, many titles have failed to pass the audition and are headed for a culling.”
            58!!!!! 58!!!!! 58!!!!! WOW! 🤩🙄😱
            Besides the 7 I read CK, I read another 18 on GC’s. I used to read “Nancy.” Too one note. Then I used to read Phoebe’s Unicorn, but every few months she square-pegged her personal politics into the strip, and I dropped it. Then on ArcaMax I read Dilbert, and on GC I read Dilbert Classics. I have no respect for Scott Adams social views, but I do not think the country is any safer because I can’t read Dilbert.
            You have a good night! You and Mal are loved!

  9. Hannibal's Lectern

    Ah, yes… in the words of the immortal Click and Clack, “our Japanese personal hygiene consultant, O. Takashowah”!

    I was actually put in that position back in my days as a programmer. We had a guy in our group who was a dedicated environmentalist (or just too cheap to pay for gas), and rode his bicycle to work on hot, humid Chicago summer days. To put it politely, he was pretty ripe by mid-morning. One of the women in the office was apparently delegated by the others to approach him about this, and she promptly further delegated the job to me on the grounds that I am a guy. I don’t know why she picked me, but I do find it disturbing that I have this in common with Les Moore. On the positive side, unlike Les Moore I actually did talk to the guy and got him to at least change into a clean set of clothes when he got his sweaty self off the bicycle.

    In the meantime… St. Patrick’s Day. Oh yeah… it’s why I haven’t been commenting much. Last weekend was two parades and about thirteen bars with the bagpipe band; yesterday afternoon was another ten pubs and something like six hours of blowing the Scottish penta-pus. One more show tonight, and then I can forget I ever knew “Danny Boy,” at least until next year.

  10. I found another vintage Timemop cover. Trying to clean up the damage (from over-reading). This one cost me over 75 cents!

  11. Paul Jones

    What I really find interesting is that he was still something of a cliché instead of the other half of Westview’s economy.

  12. Rusty Shackleford

    Crankshaft for March 19: Wow, Pam looks like Mr Kotter’s wife with those 1970s frames.

    I can relate to yesterday’s Mary Worth as my sister is a vet and she has a lot of problem pet owners .

  13. Andrew

    Hold the phone here, we got a continuity snarl! So by John’s story, Crazy actually had acquired a mint copy of Amazing Fantasy #15, which he then sacrificed the quality of to let his fiancé have the joy of reading as she desired. But then 20 years later when Crazy travels back to the 80s, he’s over the moon at presumably the financial reaps of finding the exact same AF #15 comic on his childhood shop’s spinner rack, and there he’s over the moon with the financial potential of taking it back to the future in spite of the fact it’s probably more beat up than the slightly-folded copy he already had!

    Of course it’s Batiuk (happy birthday to him, btw), he probably forgot that little throwaway joke from 20 years ago, but it certainly begs the question of what exactly happened to that ruined-mint comic. Did he sell it off during his “lose his postman job” arc or some other occasion? Was simply folding it or giving it to his wife devaluing enough that he felt he needed another copy? Is it involved in a timey-wimey situation where somehow that plastic-cased comic was sold to him by John, and is in fact the exact same comic young John found left behind by Crazy when he went back to the future? Did Batiuk think the comic would be relatively common for a rare issue to not only be sacrificed as a mint-condition but be found sitting on a spinner rack for 20 years? The mind boggles with thoughts.

    (Also I do wonder what logic people have when they choose to read comics/magazines with the folded-cover technique, I’ve always felt it more natural to just hold it open like a normal book)

    • Epicus Doomus

      Re: Crazy losing his mailman job. The many cruelties Batiuk needlessly inflicted upon his characters might make a nice “deep dive” topic someday, and IMO taking Crazy’s job away was way up there on the list. Sure, it’s not like he lost an arm or died or anything, but it was a lot like when he took Dinkle’s hearing away for the sake of cheap pathos. He couldn’t allow Crazy to just retire with some dignity, some light, and some happiness. No, he had to cruelly snatch away the character’s whole identity, and for what? He couldn’t be a mailman who hung out at a comic book store? What’d Crazy ever do that merited BatYam’s weird karmic knife twist? And what long-term point did it serve?

    • csroberto2854

      Crazy might have sold the slightly folded “Amazing Fantasies 15” comic book when he lost his job

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