Author Archives: beckoningchasm

Plan B

Link to today’s strip.

Huh.  Usually when someone graduates from school, that person is the one asked “What are your plans?”  Not here, though–for some reason, Holly’s curious about what Rachel is going to be doing, now that…nothing has really changed for her?

Although from Rachel’s answer, it sure sounds like she’s planning on quitting Montoni’s, now that Wally is a dishwasher with (presumably) a degree in architecture*.  And she’s going for a certification to teach art…oh God, she’s going to start working at Atomik Komix, isn’t she?

*Since both Wally and Adeela were attending the same class just prior to graduation, I’m going to assume that this was some senior-level architecture course.  It’s possible that the class was a required class that neither of them bothered with before senior year, but most students tend to knock those out early so that senior year is spent concentrating on one’s major.  It also might have been a course that both took for “fun” but “fun” seems to be a foreign concept in Westview.  I suppose it could be any random class, but really, a degree in architecture for a dishwasher is the kind of fate that just screams “Wally.”

 

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Yellow Alert: Someone’s Happy

Link to today’s strip.

So, either Wally is just now being hired at Montoni’s, despite all the history to the contrary, or Tom Batiuk thinks “Welcome” means “You’re still working here, in the same position, but now you have a degree.”  And well Tony might add, “A degree you’ll do nothing with, of course, except increase the amount of depression in your life, in that you’re now a dishwasher with a degree.”

I think I’ve figured out a possible reason for Batiuk’s utter lack of continuity:  he hates this strip as much as the rest of the world does, and it’s painful to go back and re-read it.  All he’s doing is pounding them out until that 50th.

I have to say, Funky’s exercise routine has finally paid off.  I don’t think he’s looked this trim in years.  Or maybe Ayers gets paid by the number of fat-asses he has to draw, and Batiuk has a budget in place for 2019.

After thinking about it for awhile (a phrase I hate wasting on Funky Winkerbean) it bothers me the way Tony is drawn.  Based on Wally and Adeela’s elbows, I can sort of see where the tabletop should be, but somehow Tony looks too tall.  So either they’re sitting in kiddie chairs, which would be par for the course for Wally, or Tony is standing on a box.

Why is it that no one involved in the creation of this strip gives a good hot damn about its presentation?

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I Have a Dream

Link to today’s strip.

Hello, fellow sufferers, BChasm back in the Agony Booth again after an extended hiatus.  Thanks to all, especially Epicus, who covered for me while Life Happened. (Honestly, you don’t want to know.)

And a Happy Martin Luther King Day to you all.    A reminder that there are things worth fighting for, and people willing to fight for them.

As opposed to other people who can’t be arsed to keep track of their own continuity.   Today’s strip is a good example…

…actually, today’s strip was unavailable for preview, but I’m betting the above remark holds true anyway.

Thanks to BillyTheSkink for an excellent hosting stint.  And, apropos of this, isn’t it the saddest aspect of this strip–the most Funky Winkerbeanesque aspect, if you will–that the most creative, hilarious and insightful things associated with this strip for the last ten years, come from the hosts and commentators on this site, and not from the comic itself?

If Tom Batiuk honestly had any sense of shame, this sort of thing would sting.

If.

IF.

“If” may be the harshest word in the English language.

 

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It’s Just the Wasted Years So Close Behind

Link to today’s strip.

So:  this makes a walloping four times a strip has been unavailable for preview during my latest hosting period.  That’s gotta be a record of some kind.

Of course, two of those times were Sundays, and Sunday’s strips are always unavailable for preview.  Because why should he give us time to point out the shortcomings practically leaping all over his work?

Over at Shankcraft, for example, Apple Annie is about to sign her first author:  Lillian.  But–

–didn’t Ann have Les as a client?  It seemed only a short eternity ago that Lillian was hosting Les’ launch party for his book about John Darling, who was murdered.  I thought the story was, Les, seeing as he and his book were both garbage, tossed his manuscript into the trash (where it belonged, and where it was happy*).  Ann, then a bag lady, fished it out (making it unhappy) and got it published (terrifying it), thus leading to the greatest display of egomania ever shown on the comics page.  Way to go, Ann.  Thanks (said all sarcastic-like).  But no, apparently continuity is for losers if you can score cheap points about schizophrenia.  It’s supposed to be touching, but it shoots right past maudlin and treacly and lands right in the middle of gorge-rising.

Why is it that Tom Batiuk is completely incapable of creating sympathetic characters?  Does he think, “Well, she’s got a terrible mental condition, readers will love her, because they won’t dare not!”?  Someday I’d like to ask him about his methods, and I don’t mean that as something nasty.  I’m honestly curious about how his mind works.

Anyway, based on what’s coming next week (trust me, it’s not a superpower anyone wants), I’m thinking Sunday will be a stand-alone strip.  I’m going to take stab and guess Funky’ll be in it.  But who knows?  All we can really say is that it will be uninteresting in every aspect.

And speaking of next week, my time in the chamber of horrors has come to an end, for now, so please give a warm welcome to your next host, snarker extraordinare Epicus Doomus!

*I have an idea about a children’s book, about a manuscript that knows it’s bad, and wants to be thrown away, but it keeps getting passed from hand to hand until it’s published.  It has a happy ending, in that no one buys it and the author never tries again.  Does anyone have Ann Apple’s phone number?

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Perish the Prat

Link to today’s strip.

Okay, that envelope looks as thick as one holding five (or so) pieces of paper.  Definitely less than ten.  Since Dullard was going to send “some” of Atomik Komix (gah) latest issues to Jessica, what exactly are they producing in that office?  I’m thinking, something not really worth the effort to print and mail.

Which leads me to this.  I’ve got the persistent feeling the whole Atomik Komix (gahk!) scenario is nothing more than a fever dream concocted by Dullard, who is currently in a coma in some hospital room.  Jess pushed him out the window when she discovered he was going to waste needed money on the Flash Museum (or selling comic book art to benefit Lisa), and he fell three stories.  Unfortunately for all of us, he landed on his least vulnerable spot–his head–and instead of dying instantly, he has been on life-support since.  Jess and Skyler have long since abandoned him, and are living life to the fullest in LA, while he lies in bed dreaming of comic books.

Oh, and this is bad news for Pete, since that means Mindy’s affection for him is also imaginary (which it would be in the real world).

As for the art, I put it to you that Dullard in panel 2 is just as stranglable as Les was last Sunday.  In fact, I’m having a hard time resisting my throttling hand….  MUST CRUSH MONITO

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Seven Years (In One Night)

Link to today’s strip.

See, this is what happens when you half-ass it.

Tom Batiuk had this hilarious joke about how only old people use the post office, but he lost that joke somewhere on his desk, so we got this one instead:

Because it might have been “okay” if the length of time was a week, or a month, but if it was a year?  Man, the laughs just don’t stop.  Mainly because they never start.

The problem seeps in when we look at what he wrote on the 31st of July.

So, the “always like” seems to imply that he’s done this more than once.  But the “this year” above seems to imply that he only does it once a year or so.

Which means that Jessica is still in Los Angeles, while Dullard has been in Cleveland for a year.

Or, what I think is more likely, Jessica has jettisoned his sorry ass and is living a successful life elsewhere, and Dullard just likes to “pretend” he has a relationship.

Either way, it makes Dullard look bad, so thumbs up from me!

PS:  Speaking of artwork, it almost looks like Commissioner Gordon from the Tim Burton Batman movies checking his watch, and is that Chuck Ayers himself in the beard?

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Waiting in Line at the River Styx

Link to today’s strip.

Well, Dullard’s li’l quip would have been quite the knee-slapper…in 1998, say.   Nowadays, it reads a lot like Pluggers.   Actually, it reads like a school-assigned book one has to write a report on for homework; yes, that dull.   Yes, everyone uses email, but there are still long lines at the post office?  For something people rarely use?  Is this the joke?

It reminds me of Mel Brook’s old joke about two old ladies in a restaurant.  “The food here is so terrible!”  “Yes…and such small portions!”  Except that, you know, that’s actually humorous.  (Edit:  Apparently that was Woody Allen.  Whoops!)

Art-wise, well, we sure have a nice line of decrepit folks depicted here (and yes, I’m including Dullard).  Nice to see Walt from the nursing home out and about.  And if you’re wondering why the old guy in the brown striped shirt looks seriously pissed off, well, it’s obvious: he’s been standing next to Dullard for a while now, having to listen to some truly moronic “observations.”   I’m normally a pretty easy-going person out in public, but even I’d probably turn around and say, “Hey, pal, can you pipe down a little?  I’m trying to listen to the Muzak.”

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