All Gory, Lard, and Horror, to you Repulsive King,

Look, it’s been a weird week, okay? So you’re getting weird art. Tornados to the north and south of us. Windstorm here. Ripped off my parent’s chimney and broke four power lines. (But everyone, everycat, and everymoo in CBHville is safe.) Weird.

Back to Dead Cat Head John. On May the Fourth, (Star Wars Day,) 2003, Byrne gives us a jog around Westview that is off model in almost every single detail. The only recognizable feature is the Westview Central Park’s Veteran’s Memorial in panel 3. And I think the colorist got confused on that one, because the bronze veteran statue is all colored so it looks like a homeless man trying to hide he’s spying on children. The whole strip is the weird American remake of a British show. Everything is trying to be sleeker, younger, sexier, and more cosmopolitan.

And what do we see there in panel five? Is that DCH John on a sweaty pink journey of self improvement?

Today the part of Darin Fairgood will be played by Kieran Culkin.

John is acting odd! After all, what kind of crazy goal or scheme would take a nerd from their natural environment to the horrors of physical exercise?

Could it be?

I absolutely love how teensy weensy the diamond is. So some kudos on that artistic choice.

DCH John is buying a ring! And like many a Westview male before him and after he subsidizes his future wedding plans with selling off his pop-culture manchild toys to friends and coworkers.

Ha ha! Remember when Donna was a cool geek girl who loved video games? Now she gushes about how much her husband will love baked goods like she’s June Cleaver.

Even good old Tony Isabella gets in on the action scampering out, Looney Toons Style with DCH John’s entire run of Wonder Waifu.

Just needed to point out that DCH John is wearing a blue Green Lantern shirt a good four years before the Blue Lantern Corps were officially introduced.

And then…the greatest sacrifice of them all….

dON’t yYoU mEan FLeEa bAy?!?

Even after all these SACRIFICES FOR LOVE, DCH John still has enough nerdy tat lying around that the Star Trek Enterprise can watch him get all dressed up for his big moment.

His head looks like a porcupine made love to a feather duster.

So John is going to propose to Becky. Kinda a speedy trip from their second date of reconnection to buying a ring, but I can’t tell if it’s supposed to seem that way to us. Batiuk often goes from love confession quickly to proposal once he’s figured out he intends two characters to wed. I think he had Les propose to Cayla just a few weeks after picking her over Susan.

What will Becky say? Is she likely to say yes?

What has her life been like in the indeterminant number of years since her accident?

A fascinating bit of reversal takes place from 1998 to 2003. Wally disappears to the military, showing up only three or four times in those interim years. And Becky takes a job at Montoni’s. For the first time since her introduction she is mostly removed from the context of either her mother or Wally. And she shows up a lot. She may not have many arcs dedicated specifically to her. But she’s constantly filling out the crowd.

She’s Waitress Becky now. What does Waitress Becky do?

Well, she serves as a younger, uninformed character to allow for an entire week of Crazy reminiscing about his own time doing his Mandatory Montoni’s Conscription Service.

For example, my time living in a group home for boys that was secretly dark and evil.

She and Darin give Dinkle a pep talk when he’s about to give up on the music program due to lack of funding.

Seen here, Dinkle’s best student, a waitress who is attending community college and studying ??? with a goal of becoming ??? EXPECT QUALITY.

Becky even threatens to get her mother in on the action.

This strip is odd, however, as Becky should have a younger sibling still in band, so I don’t know why Roberta Blackburn wouldn’t be all over this already.

I guess some children were cut from the program…Poor Debbie.

Becky shows Darin the ropes when he’s hired. And Batiuk just wants to rub it in our faces how much Becky doesn’t care that she lost her arm.

Or this is really passive aggressive. Either way.

Becky gets her community college classmate, Rachel, a job as a waitress once DCH John has to let her go.

But then is uncharacteristically jealous of her for this stupid Sunday strip. In fact this is uncharacteristic of both Lisa (in her breast cancer wig,) and Becky. Showing that Batiuk is willing to sacrifice any character trait in service of a joke.

Bahahahhhaaa! This is only months after Lisa’s Mastectomy! HAHAHAHAH SHE WOULD NEED RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY LATER! HILAROUS!

But Becky does seem to, slowly, gradually, be developing her own flavor. She’s learning to speak her mind even in front of one of her bosses.

She’s got a lot of dry and deadpan punchlines.

Though she also often plays the sweet, innocent, and dedicated to Rachel’s more worldly, lazy, and sassy.

But the innocence is tinged with intelligence and perceptiveness. She obviously supposed to have that girl-next-door charm.

So, though she’s still bland, by the time we get to 2003 we have had a significant amount of time to share with Becky apart from Wally. Is this a woman who would fall for CAH John? I have my own ideas I hope to share next time. But before I do, I want to know what all of you think.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

79 responses to “All Gory, Lard, and Horror, to you Repulsive King,

  1. The Duck of Death

    Yes… yes, the dark one, how appropriate….

    In her house in Westview, dead Lisa waits dreaming

    Another deep dive far beyond what the material deserves. More gold spun from dross.

    As for me, it’s hard to focus on analyzing Becky because I’m so baffled — no, squicked out would be the better term — by the unexpected profusion of amputees. Even little-kid amputees.

    Seriously, without trying to delve into trite armchair psychoanalysis, does TB have a thing for amputees? Because the number of them that have appeared in the strip seems gratuitous. Especially the fact that two fairly major characters, Becky and Skip, have identical at-the-shoulder left arm amputations.

    It’s weird, is all I’m saying. I’m assuming — hoping — that there’s some reasonable context for a bunch of child amputees appearing in the strip, but no matter how you slice it, it’s weird.

    • Green Luthor

      I’m going to assume it’s Becky volunteering at a children’s hospital, one that either specializes in or has a ward for amputees. (Though that might make sense, so is more likely to be wrong.)

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      It’s a monument to the emotional shallowness of the Funkyverse. Batiuk can’t imagine that people with different afflictions can have the same struggles. Cancer Lisa can only inspire other people who have cancer, not anyone with leukemia (even though that technically is a cancer). One-armed Becky can only inspire other people who are missing limbs, not people who lose their sight or hearing. And Bull’s story is only of use to other football players, so Batiuk had to create the useless Buck Bedlow to commisserate with him.

      Note also how Linda never asked Les for any advice in caring for a dying spouse. She had to learn it all from her “support group,” even though Les could have taught her a lot about how to handle the emotional strain of caring for a dying spouse. Hell, she could have just read Lisa’s Story, considering what we’re supposed to believe about it.

      • Green Luthor

        “Les, how do you handle caring for a dying spouse?”

        “Well, the first thing you should do is encourage Bull to just give up. There’s no point in fighting it, so don’t bother. He could maybe make some videotapes for… do you guys still have a daughter? Anyway, he could videotape some messages for your daughter. Remember to mention that it was MY idea. Also, start shopping around for a book deal…”

        “Okay, I’m just gonna ask literally anyone else I can find for advice…”

        • The Duck of Death

          “…. and Linda, don’t worry if you see a blue cat. It’s just a depression cat. You can talk to it, but it’s not a very nice cat. It’s actually pretty mean. You can expect to see a lot of it.

          Now, after Bull gives up on life in a noble, heartwarming way, like Lisa did, Hollywood will come calling. They’ll be praising you and waving fistfuls of money. You just purse your lips, fold your arms, stomp your little foot, and tell them to buzz off.”

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          What makes you think Linda would reject that advice? I can hear her responses:

          “Well, the first thing you should do is encourage Bull to just give up. There’s no point in fighting it, so don’t bother.”

          “I was supposed to get a check from the NFL. Should I give up on that?”

          “Yes, the problem will magically solve itself somehow. The more important thing is to assume that anything anyone says is a hateful assault on your dignity, and passive-aggressively bully them.”

          “Don’t you mean Bull’s dignity?” (Les angrily glares at her.) “Ohhhh, I get it!”

          “Just don’t do it at his funeral, because that would conflict with my dignity. I have to make sure everyone knows how much he hurt my feelings when I was 16. He could maybe make some videotapes for… do you guys still have a daughter?”

          “I’m not sure, actually. Bull has some videotapes of his old football games, will that work?”

          “Yes, absolutely. The important thing is that he leaves poignant souvenirs for the people he couldn’t be bothered to spend time with when he was alive. So they can constantly remind themselves how sad it is that he died, just by watching TV.”

          “I’ve got a house full of football memorabilia! Should I give them that, too?”

          “No, just give it to some non-existent ‘Westview Sports Hall of Fame.’ Not everyone can be Lisa.”

          • billytheskink

            Spot on.

            During Bull’s decline Linda was pretty much exactly like Les. We’d probably hate her just as much as Les if TB bothered to spend more than a couple weeks with her after Bull passed. But, you know, she’s a woman and all that… plus the strip ended.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            I have no idea how we were supposed to interpret Linda. Bull’s CTE had zero stakes for her, except her trying to get money out of the NFL for no clear reason. She was planning to retire from teaching so she could care for Bull, something they could only do if they were in pretty good financial shape. But she also wasn’t portrayed as indifferent, disloyal, money-grubbing, or bitter (well, no more bitter than usual).

            She just… followed the script of things you’re supposed to do when your spouse gets sick. It all felt so obligatory. But also it lacked any resentment someone might have from being forced to do such a thing, or for someone they don’t love anymore.

            It was basically the same thing Les did for Lisa, except Les made a big show out of his wangst. Neither of them knew anything about caring for a dying spouse, or bothered to learn. And in both cases, their own failures contributed to their spouse’s death. Linda failed to hide the car keys from Bull the night he crashed, and Les never once encouraged Lisa to do anything. This should have been devastating to them both (and I still think Les is suppressing some things, but that’s a whole other post).

            Linda never batted a eye, never shed a tear, but never did anything to suggest she welcomed or didn’t care about Bull’s death. Then she rejected Buck Bedlow’s romantic overture, for reasons that had nothing to do with Bull. She didn’t even MENTION him. She doesn’t want Buck, but she doesn’t really reject him either, just gives him a lame “it’s not you, it’s me” rebuff. And has nothing further to say about it in her in own thoughts!

            Now, how about how many emotions Batton Thomas had about Flash #123.

          • The Duck of Death

            Very astute analysis, BJr6K.

            Yet another instance in which Puffy thought that just writing about a topic was enough to create meaning and depth. No need to create realistic plots or appropriate human emotions. Hey, I wrote about CTE! Where’s my Pulitzer?

            Anyhow, my interpretation of Linda Bushka, abetted by Ayers’ art, is that she is almost literally paralyzed by severe depression. Her affect seems very flat throughout the entire Bull saga.

            If anyone here watches “Family Guy,” I think of Linda as similar to Bonnie Swanson. Forced to take care of a jock-ish wheelchair-bound husband she clearly doesn’t love, Bonnie is pretty much dead inside and speaks in flat, weary tones with a slight edge of irritation. FG wrings humor out of that, and it can be funny to acknowledge and then exaggerate true things about human emotions.

            I’m not sure whether TB intended Linda to be numb and depressed to the point of near-indifference. The sad thing is, I’m not sure whether he “wrote” Linda’s reaction at all. After all, Bull is a man so the arc is obviously about him (and Les’ memories of having been bullied 50 years earlier). So I may have just pieced the “paralyzing depression” idea together based on how underwritten the character was, and on Ayers’ interpretation of Linda’s behavior.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            Bonnie Swanson is a good comparison. Except Bonnie’s unhappiness is obvious, from her sarcasm about everything. I know newsprint can’t convey tone of voice, but there’s absolutely no window into what Linda is really feeling or thinking. Because she’s not feeling or thinking anything.

            It was the same thing with Les. We never got a single thought from him, except “oh well, the movie will never be made anyway” when Mason Jarre talked him into the shopping agreement. Which casts the whole story in a much less flattering light, since Les’ later actions can only be interpreted as Les trying to sabotage the movie. Especially since he had already done it once!

  2. none

    Thanks for this post. Why did it seem to show up after April 1? I don’t recall seeing it until now.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I think the April 1 post is “pinned”, meaning it is the top post even when not in chronological order.

      • Green Luthor

        “Pinned”, just like Becky’s sleeve.

        I’ll… I’ll show myself out, sorry.

        • ComicBookHarriet

          Actually, WordPress has recently been updated for me, and I’m still figuring out all the new bells and whistles.

          As much as I would love to just leave Epicus’ cranky Cranky April Fools rant in first place for the rest of the month, so every time I logged in it would be there taunting me!

  3. J.J. O'Malley

    Wait…Becky has three sisters? Were they ever depicted in the strip outside of that family photo?

  4. Green Luthor

    “I can’t kick”? Another “Batiuk phrase uttered by no real person ever”? (Is it supposed to be a joke coming from the kid with only one leg? I honestly can’t tell.)

    “What are boys going to think of a girl with only one arm?” “Well, you could attract a rude, slovenly, cheap, socially-inept comic book geek. Wait, I’m supposed to be encouraging you, aren’t I?”

    • Jeff M.

      “I can’t kick” actually is old-timey slang for “Can’t complain.” The kind of thing wise guys in 1930s Warner Brothers movies would say. But utterly ridiculous in a late 20th century child.

      • Green Luthor

        Ah, okay, wasn’t familiar with the phrase. I’m just going to assume Batiuk knew the phrase and thought it would be, like, amusing or ironic or whatever for a kid with a missing leg to say it, because that seems like something Batiuk would do.

  5. Banana Jr. 6000

    Dinkle didn’t teach dedication or responsibility or quality, because he didn’t have those traits himself. There’s a big difference between inspiring students to be their best, and bullying them into compliance. Those 20-hour band practices aren’t a sign of good teaching; they’re a sign of overcompensating for bad teaching. He would be reviled by his former students, not encouraged and thanked as he is here.

  6. Gerard Plourde

    Seeing Byrne’s work next to the Batiuk/Ayers product is really jarring. Everyone looks weird. And weird also describes the Sunday Batiuk/Ayers strip presented in this post that features a Christmas-theme and children amputees. Did the preceding or following strips provide any context?

    • Gabby

      I had never seen the Byrne FW work until the last week’s strips. The strips shown here are really weird–not “comic” style at all. In the first panel I couldn’t tell if that was Funky or Lisa running with Les. I’m trying to imagine if he drew Luann, or Cul de Sac

      • Green Luthor

        Hmm, what might it look like if John Byrne drew other comic strip characters? I wonder…

        (From Fantastic Four #276, March 1985. At the door are Hi and Lois Flagston from “Hi and Lois” (under the name “Fieldstone” since it’s just a joke cameo), next to Sue Richards in a wig. (Reed and Sue were trying to have a “normal” suburban life at the time. It was a thing at the time.) On the sofa are Joe and Ann Palooka (“Joe Palooka”) and Dick Tracy (“Dick Tracy”). To the left are Leroy and Loretta Lockhorn (“The Lockhorns”), in front of them is Blondie Bumstead, with Dagwood in the bottom left and Herb Woodley next to him (all from “Blondie”), and Henry Mitchell (“Dennis the Menace”) on the bottom right. In the middle are Skeezix Wallet (“Gasoline Alley”) and Jiggs (“Bringing Up Father”).)

        (He also put Ed Crankshaft into an issue of Next Men, which was shown here fairly recently, I believe. And, of course, there was the Crazy Harry cameo in an issue of Spider-Man that led to the whole Batiuk/Byrne friendship in the first place…)

  7. The Duck of Death

    Naturally, the girl missing most of her left arm has questions about her future.

    “How will I take care of myself? Will I be able to cook, eat, dress myself, shower?”

    “Will I be able to get a good job?”

    “Can I still do sports? Will I be able to drive?”

    NAAAAH! Just joshin’ ya. She’s a girl, so obviously her biggest concern is how boys will feel about her amputation.

    • Paul Jones

      Because Batiuk doesn’t understand women. If you want to find out why, don’t read Seduction Of The Innocent, read The Poison Maiden And The Great Bitch by Susan Wood.

      • The Duck of Death

        I’d love to, but a search reveals it’s a pamphlet self-published in 1974 and I don’t see it available anywhere (though one site provided a short excerpt).

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Nobody fails the Bechdel Test as thoroughly as Tom Batiuk does. Everything women ever do is about pleasing or attracting a man in some way or another.

      • Paul Jones

        Because the dumb son of a gun thinks that he was promised female companionship because he registers a pulse. The idea that women have something to do that isn’t servicing him is anathema. Just look at Dick Facey…..does he look like a man who sees women as people in their own right?

  8. Paul Jones

    The irritating thing isn’t just that John thinks he has a shot. It’s that John becomes the least worst option after Wally falls into the “Wait, what do you mean ISIL isn’t the Viet Cong?” trap and doesn’t have the brains to realize it. He thinks that it’s the triumph of love but it’s really someone looking for a babysitter for Wally Jr.

  9. Rusty Shackleford

    Wow, Ed is back today and they are reminiscing about Covid days. How topical, but it beats comic books, or does it?

    • The Duck of Death

      Yes, the natives (in the comments section) were getting restless at Ed’s long absence.

      Another day, another odd phrasing from Batiuk. “I missed being able to get together like this back during the lockdown.”

      “Back during the lockdown”? Why does he need “back,” or for that matter, “like this”?

      Why not “I missed our breakfasts here during the lockdown”?

      Oh, I know why. Because Batiuk.

    • J.J. O'Malley

      Well, it is an appearance by Crankshaft in his eponymous strip.

      For anyone who cares, I recently undertook a count of ‘Shaft settings in 2023. Among the census highlights as of 4/3:

      Number of strips w/ Ed and his fellow codgers at Dale Evans: 6

      Strips w/ Ed and his fellow drivers at the Garage: 7

      Strips w/o Ed featuring Dinkleberg and/or the St. Spires biddies: 7

      Strips w/o Ed at Komix Korner: 11

      Strips w/o Ed at the Village Booksmith: 14

  10. Thank you for reminding me that there was a time when Becky was almost a likeable person who thought more about others than her handicap.

    • billytheskink

      Becky is a bit of strange character in this strip. TB goes out of his way to show her handicap (comments, jokes, the ever-pinned up sleeve) as one would expect, but often wrote her as tremendously pleasant and completely unbothered by it (instead piling on the anxiety via Roberta, then Wally, and eventually the students that every WHS teacher was required to openly despise). Of course, the latter was largely because TB opted to take the simplest way out of writing for after the affliction that he gave her… so it tracks.

      That said, I generally looked forward to Act II’s Greek chorus of Montoni’s waitresses (Beck, Rachel, Lisa, Sadie) as they were a refreshing change of pace for the strip even as they were pretty flatly-written.

  11. Andrew

    I’m sure Batiuk thought he was setting a positive example by showing Becky with such a high-held head dealing with becoming a amputee, but the trope “Angst, What Angst” exists for a reason, there’s such a thing as going too far the other end. Heck, he could’ve backtracked and had a story where Becky broke down in private from the brave face she was putting up, but nope, that wasn’t what he wanted to do with his character.

    And it does arguably connect back to St. Lisa and how her “other shoe” was written in with in-universe bullcrap luck by having her report papers mixed up. Lisa at the time knew there was serious malpractice and could’ve yelled up a storm, maybe even flex her law degree, get compensation for her treatment and family’s future, but no, she sat sad and took it all with righteous suffering. Characters being treated simply as going through an ideal, something to look up to or admire for how they handle great turmoil, as opposed to more complex reactions and coping, and which leaves room for other characters who get more focus to go through the tough emotions on their own.

    Also, spinner rack nostalgia must’ve been REAL strong in the 2000s to be part of wedding ring/ceremony funding.

    • The Duck of Death

      Yes, (virtual) spinner racks are a major part of TB’s personal web site now, and I believe they are the reason he redesigned it in the first place. His Batom Comics pretend parallel-Marvel universe had everything… except a spinner rack. And they’ve got that now.

      Lisa should have sued, because whoever lazily lost track of her diagnostic films and swapped them for someone else’s probably also seriously screwed up another woman’s life. After all, someone with no cancer progression got Lisa’s dire diagnostic images, right? And theoretically, on that basis, got more chemo, more radiation, and/or more surgery, none of which was necessary?

      Anyway, people that inept should not be in the profession. And the hospital should change their procedures radically to ensure that this kind of thing never happens again. A lawsuit, followed by a large punitive award, would probably cause a nationwide reappraisal of hospital procedures, as other hospitals would be terrified of the same thing happening to them.

      Not to mention that the large award could have gone partially to Summer’s college fund, and partially to whatever charity Lisa wanted. Perhaps a breast cancer charity?

      Nah. Better for this dedicated, social-justice focused, feminist, activist lawyer to just roll over and die.

      What a tragic story! BTW, did I mention Because

  12. The Duck of Death

    Yes, (virtual) spinner racks are a major part of TB’s personal web site now, and I believe they are the reason he redesigned it in the first place. His Batom Comics pretend parallel-Marvel universe had everything… except a spinner rack. And they’ve got that now.

    Lisa should have sued, because whoever lazily lost track of her diagnostic films and swapped them for someone else’s probably also seriously screwed up another woman’s life. After all, someone with no cancer progression got Lisa’s dire diagnostic images, right? And theoretically, on that basis, got more chemo, more radiation, and/or more surgery, none of which was necessary?

    Anyway, people that inept should not be in the profession. And the hospital should change their procedures radically to ensure that this kind of thing never happens again. A lawsuit, followed by a large punitive award, would probably cause a nationwide reappraisal of hospital procedures, as other hospitals would be terrified of the same thing happening to them.

    Not to mention that the large award could have gone partially to Summer’s college fund, and partially to whatever charity Lisa wanted. Perhaps a breast cancer charity?

    Nah. Better for this dedicated, social-justice focused, feminist, activist lawyer to just roll over and die.

    What a tragic story! BTW, did I mention tombatiuk . com/books? Because tombatiuk . com/books.

  13. Poor Debbie, wished into the cornfield just like Mopey Pete’s real last name.

  14. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    When Harriet takes on a project, she really throws herself into it.



    This thing would get crushed where Harriet’s taking us.

    We’re getting close…

    This will do nicely.

  15. Rusty Shackleford

    It’s 4/4 and again no comic books in today’s Crankshaft. But instead we see a Christmas musical? Must be dumping time for a lot of unused strips.

    • It looks like Hansel and Gretel, not necessarily Christmas-themed.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I thought the same thing. BC is probably right that it’s Hansel and Gretel, but coming out of nowhere it’s confusing. If Batiuk makes a funny, it’s going into the strip, no matter how badly it fits.

      This gag would have worked been much better if it used in Dinkle’s Jazz Messiah. Having Ed make a joke in the last week of FW would have fit perfectly into the merger of worlds that was going on. Not that you’d have a harp for Jazz Messiah, but it’s no less forced into Hansel and Gretel.

      • J.J. O'Malley

        Humanitarian that I am, I put a comment in GoComics explaining to neophyte CS readers that Batiuk appears to have plopped them in the middle of a “Ed goes to NYC to visit other daughter Chris, who always takes him to Lincoln Center for a night at the opera” storyline. No strip where he mentions to P*m and J*ff that he’s going to New York, no airplane or train jokes, no Chris saying “Hi, Dad!” so we’d know who the heck she is…TB just assumes that everyone will follow along…and with “Hansel and Gretel,” of all works.

        And yet I still prefer this over another visit to the Komix Korner or Village Booksmith.

        • The Duck of Death

          See, I pondered that too. Are they in NYC at the opera? Perhaps watching a production of Humperdinck’s Hansel und Gretel? The stage looks far too small for the Met — and yet, large orchestra pits are nearly extinct in venues, so that would seem to fit.

          The main argument against their being at the Met or watching an opera is that it’s canon that Pmm drags Ed to the opera and he grumbles about it, then falls asleep. He certainly never enjoys it.

          I’d actually welcome a change — it would be an interesting character development if Ed learned to appreciate opera and regretted that he hadn’t given it a chance before. Somehow I don’t think character development is what’s happening here.

          Either way, you’d think that if they went to NYC, it’d be accompanied by the usual semi-incoherent NYC stuff Bats loves to write into his strips.

          • I think Rusty is right, though, that Batiuk figures it’s a use-it-or-lose it dump-it-in gag and it doesn’t matter that it makes no sense for Ed to be at the opera. Kind of like how Les flew back from Kilimanjaro so he could comment on Funky’s car. The joke is just that awesome!

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            I fear this gag was extracted from a future week-long Crankshaft story, that was cut to make room for more comic book stories.

            You all know Atomik Komix is going to hire Mitch, right?

  16. The Duck of Death


    I know TFH made his very best effort to stop my posts from getting *PLONK*’d into the spam filter, and I appreciate it very much, but he’s working against WordPress’ own gosh-darned, rassum-frassum, farking, piece-of-shale, goldanged judgemental, schoolmarmish, and utterly capricious spam filter.

    I submitted a post about 24 hours ago wherein I committed the sin of linking to TB’s own books link. You know, the one he spent FW’s final week shilling.

    And then I resubmitted, breaking up the link so it wouldn’t register as a site.

    The spam filter is implacable.

  17. be ware of eve hill

    So, ladies and gentlemen, if I say I’m a weirdo, you will agree. Does anyone else miss Holly and Funky?

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Yes and no. I have to say I was surprised to see so much comic book content right off the bat in Crankshaft. I expected Batty to step back and let the new guy do the brunt of the work. But nope, comic books and more comic books.

  18. sorialpromise

    Listening to “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” cover by Willie Nelson. It has an instrumental middle. I typed “Crankshaft on GC, during that instrumental. It matched the melody perfectly.
    Has @“Be Ware of Eve Hill” ever done anything this musically significant? I know where the smart money is going.

    • be ware of eve hill

      I played clarinet in the fifth-grade band. In the fourth grade, I played the recorder (as did every other fourth grader). We’ve addressed my singing skills (or lack thereof) in a prior conversation with you.

      Strange but true: I still have the recorder. The clarinet was a rental.

      Stranger but true: I don’t remember what Kellogg cereal it was, but I collected enough box tops and sent away for an official H.R. Pufenstuf Freddie the Flute. Essentially, it was a recorder with a movable mouth.

      Still stranger, but true: I still have Freddie.

      Mom wanted my siblings and me to be musical. Her older sister was in the church choir and played the organ. I don’t remember Mom singing anywhere other than a church pew.

      My older brother chose the flute but quit because all the other flutists were icky girls. 🤦‍♀️ Dude! I guess he never heard of Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull.

      My younger brother chose the cornet but switched to the trumpet in middle school. Our most musical sibling, he played through high school. He’s been in rock bands since high school. He has played guitar, bass, and drums. His favorite is the bass.

      Strangest of all, but true: When my little brother made his last residential move, he gave his drum set to us. We set up the drums in the corner of our den. I play now and then. Mal more often than me. Playing the drums was one of my favorite exercises during the Covid lockdown.

      Time out. You commented on GoComics yesterday? I didn’t see you. Under what profile name?

      • sorialpromise

        1. Odd, but true: my generation was the very last one never introduced to the recorder. My youngest brother (13 years younger) [good Catholic family-I was 4th out of 6] played recorder and brought his home.
        2. Odder, but true: I am sorry that I made your heart go aflutter. This and LinkedIn are my only social media. I did look you up on LinkedIn, and asked for a connection. YOU STIFFED ME! Ahem!Back to the tale. I was on GC looking up my daily comics, listening to Willie, and typing the name Crankshaft. This story sounds so dull as I type it the second time. Thanks, Eve.
        3. Oddest, but true? YOU HAVE AN OLDER SISTER??? {here I stopped and reread your post. You were referencing your aunt. Gosh, now I feel like a maroon!}
        4. You can’t just mention your acquired skill of drums, and not post a video? SOSF leans toward Rock music, so “We’re Not Gonna Take It” would be an acceptable song. But if you are going to express your respect and admiration for me, your own SorialPromise, then I request Gene Krupa’s solo from “Sing! Sing! Sing!” No time frame but tomorrow fits into my schedule nicely.
        5. H. R. Puffnstuf was mandatory watching in our house from 1969-1972. The excuse was my little brother watched it. Yet all of us sat together every Saturday morning, even Mom and Dad. I can still sing the song. Yet I can only do it using your voice. I would post a video, but I am shy.
        I just loved Witchiepoo, played by Billie Hayes. She also played Mammy Yokum in Li’l Abner. The voice actor for Puffnstuf, used a west Ohioan voice. I am not making that up. It is found on Wikipedia. It might still be made up, but not by me. (Hey, CBH! Doesn’t Puffnstuf appear in FW?)
        Well, I woke up, and saw your post, now I gotta go and have breakfast or brunch. It is 0955.
        Love and Light. ♥️💖❤️🫂🌺💐🌹

        • be ware of eve hill

          Hey guy.

          2. Never received a LinkedIn invite from you. You do realize “Eve Hill” is just a play on words and not my real name? 🤫🤐

          Typing the name “Crankshaft” while listening to a Willie Nelson instrumental is a real talent. I’m proud of ya. 🤩🥰

          3. This is no fun. How am I supposed to mock you if you fix your own comments before posting?

          4. Ya’ Suurrr! How about a Neil Peart drum solo?

          Gene Krupa’s solo from “Sing! Sing! Sing!”? I found a YouTube video from an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1960. I just wanted to point out that appearance was before I was born.

          Ours is a minimal drum set. A beginners drum set for an adult from back in the early 1980s. I’m delighted if I can maintain a consistent beat without hitting the rims. Mal sometimes gets into it and has broken a drum head or two. It’s a 40-year-old drum set, so we expected some decay. He’s done a nice job cleaning it up.

          Yup. That’s my dream. To become the first grandmother ever to play drums in a power trio. So! When does th’ tour start?

          5. My brothers and I all watched H.R. Pufnstuf. We were all born within three years of each other. We watched a lot of stuff from Sid and Marty Krofft; H.R. Pufnstuf, The Banana Splits, Lidsville, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, and Land of the Lost.

          I had a Witchiepoo spoon topper, but it was kind of a pain in the ass because it wouldn’t stay on the spoon and often fell into the cereal bowl, splashing milk all over the place. Don’t remember what cereal it came in.

          Do sugar cereals still come with a prize inside? Wasn’t it fun getting all hopped up on sugar, then your mom kicked you outside to go play. Then you didn’t return home until suppertime? Good times. Good times.

          I don’t remember the H.R. Pufnstuf theme song, and I’m not going to look it up. I don’t need an earworm, and it might be embarrassing to be discovered humming it at work.

          Oh, no! I’m humming the theme song from The Banana Splits!!!

          Cheers. 🤟

          • sorialpromise

            You do know that I DO know your real name.
            AND yes, you stiffed me. So let’s play a little game of “Guilt ‘em.” You have pictures of my wife and me, so you will recognize our photo on LinkedIn. Send me a connect. I thought so! I won’t be holding my breath, waiting.
            “H.R. Pufnstuff,
            Who’s your friend when things get rough?
            H.R. Pufnstuff
            Can’t do a little cause he can’t do enough.”
            Gene Krupa: I am sure the 1960 version is okay, but watch “Hollywood Hotel 1937. Krupa and Benny Goodman at their peak. That film is also famous for “Hooray for Hollywood.” And it has the absolute WORST blackface scene in film history. Plus it also has Ted Healy the actor who created and almost ruined the 3 Stooges, who are not in the film. But if you do watch it, wait for Dick Powell’s interaction with an elevator boy. That kid looks just like my Dad.
            ♥️I loved Neil Peart!💖

      • The Duck of Death

        Ian Anderson, and also one of my musical heroes, Florian Schneider of Kraftwerk. Flute is prominent in their earlier work.

        Fun fact: The solo in The Troggs’ “Wild Thing” is played on recorder.

        • be ware of eve hill

          We watch a lot of YouTube videos on the TV. Jethro Tull is a long time favorite, and I love watching Ian Anderson.

          My husband is a big progressive rock fan. Quite a history of flute players in that genre back in the 1970s.

      • sorialpromise

        I have answered you, but it is stuck in post comments hell. Perhaps @TFHackett or @Epicus Doomus can rescue my scintillating remarks. Here’s hoping🫰🏼

  19. J.J. O'Malley

    Well, my face is certainly red. According to the 4/5 C’Shaft, that was occasional girlfriend Mary, not NYC-based daughter Chris, with Ed at the opera in the previous day’s strip! And here I am pontificating about Batiuk dropping us in mid-storyline. Sorry, gang.

    Seriously, though…did that look like Mary to anyone else?

    • My recollection is that Mary has white hair, and is a typical doughy Batiuk female post-50 years old.

    • be ware of eve hill

      It never crossed my mind that it was Mary.

      She’s had quite a makeover. She colored her hair and has lost some weight. No more double-chin. You go girl.

      Here’s Mary a few years ago during the birth of Mitch.

      • be ware of eve hill

        The only similarity is the stupid cowlick.

      • The Duck of Death

        Are those plewds of sweat on Hannah’s face? Is this what Batiuk thinks childbirth — in a movie theater — is like? Your first childbirth, with no anesthesia or medical help? A few dainty drops of dew on the mother’s smirking face?

        Why is there not a ghastly mess of at least 4 bodily fluids everywhere? How did they clean Mitch up? Where did they get the swaddling cloth? And what kind of hairspray does Blondie use that kept a single hair from getting mussed during this whole process?

        You know what? Never mind. Something tells me Batty was home watching the game when his wife gave birth to their child. As far as he knows, his wife maybe said “ouch” once or twice during labor, and the kid came out clean with a swaddling cloth on.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          To be fair, a lot of visual media bowdlerize the visceral horrors of childbirth, to tell their lame “accidental midwife” stories. But I’ll agree with you about Hannah being way too calm. Especially considering she’s not even drugged up.

          This was such a blown opportunity for comedy. Woman giving birth, plus wacky man whose inventions always set something ablaze.

  20. The Duck of Death

    The FunkyBlog is down.

    Shades of the old website for donating to Lisa’s Larceny, which was deemed “suspicious” and blacklisted by browsers for years before he noticed and stopped shilling it in his strips.

    • vince

      you can drop the s from https to still get to the site

      where you can find out that he actually stole a kid’s artwork for the sunday comic, stripped off the kid’s signature and replaced it with “mitch”, and thinks somehow giving the kid a newspaper clipping of the comic somehow makes up for his copyright infringement

    • Gerard Plourde

      As Vince noted, the latest blog post explains that the Negative Man illustration was by a child who doesn’t get an attribution in the Sunday strip.