Author Archives: beckoningchasm

The Drill Bores

Link to today’s strip.

Here’s a song you’ve heard me sing too many times lately–well, here it is again.  Today’s strip was not available for preview.

I’m sure it’s more celebration of Dinkle, more childish wish-fulfillment, but maybe we’ll get Funky jogging or a comic book tribute.

No matter what, I can guarantee this:  it will be boring.

Batiuk seems unable to take any kind of criticism.  When I first started doing this, my idea was to be helpful; to point out why things didn’t work, how to make them work, which things did work, and so on.  But I’m guessing Batiuk doesn’t want to listen to anything but undiluted praise–the kind he got, I guess, for killing off Lisa.

So now he’s in a situation where the only people who read his strip…is us.  He’s bored everyone else away.  And since he hates criticism and refuses to change, he’s going to defeat us in the only route left to him:  to refuse to have anything of substance.  If there’s no meat, no one can complain about the cooking.  Look at November–aside from treating a character (from a different strip!) cruelly, it was all about raising money.  Watching people offer to sell things without actually showing an exchange.  The upcoming trip to Memphis promises to be at least as dull, if not quite so predatory.  It’s the way the drill always works out–you think, “Say, this might be promising” and it never is.

It seems like a heck of a way to run a hamburger stand, but then he’s the one pumping this garbage out.

And with that, I am outta here.  Stay tuned tomorrow when the fantastical David O returns to entertain you.  In this strip, he’ll be the only one who does.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore

Link to today’s strip.

I hope none of you are fans of the blues or rockabilly, because you’re about to watch the things you enjoy become tainted with Harry Dinkle, and you’ll never get any pleasure from them again.  I’m guessing Batiuk took a vacation to Memphis recently, and we’re all going to pay.

I don’t know what kind of a monster that is in panel one, but it appears to be wearing Mort Winkerbean’s skin.  What godawful drawing–Burchett should be ashamed.  Contrast that with Dinkle’s face in panel two–he gets the full “handsome” treatment, as well as a little action whip-around.

By slicing out a quarter of Mort’s face–

–he actually looks like a person.  I’d like to think that Burchett drew him more like this, and Batiuk said “Damn it, Burchett, how dare you draw any character other than Les, Dinkle and Lisa as a normal human being!!   I want all those sons-o-bitches looking like a non-human monster!  Just like all the women should be fat and frowsy with Muppet faces!!! Do you like getting paid?!  Cut it up and do it over!!”

What a loathsome thing Dinkle is–as I’ve said way too many times, of all the cast in this miserable comic, Dinkle is the one I hate the most.  He always triumphs, he’s always praised, and always beloved.  He’s one of the reasons this strip will never be noteworthy.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

Making It Funnier

Link to today’s strip.

I bet you thought I made a major mistake yesterday, in making a “Friday” joke about Thursday’s strip.  Well, after experiencing a series of unfortunate events yesterday (I’ll just hint with a number: $609.00) I’ll admit I was a bit rattled and might have been convinced it was already Thursday, since my brain function was off-line.   And I made a joke about an unavailable strip.

(Today’s strip is also unavailable, by the way.)

But then I got to thinking – what would Tom Batiuk say if someone asked about his lapses in continuity?  You know, the fate of Becky’s mother, Marianne Winters-hot star or naive waif, etc etc etc.  There are a lot of them.  Or how about his lack of jokes?  You know, the funny part of a comic strip.

And I’ve come up with a Batiukian Excuse.  See, the reason that continuity is non-existent and the jokes have moved to a better neighborhood is that it makes the strip more interactive with the reader.  When the reader can supply continuity, it stimulates his imagination and makes him a part of the creative process, thus making him more involved with the strip.  Similarly with the jokes–when the reader can make up his own, he’s invested in the success of the strip.   It all makes perfect sense.

So, for me posting a Friday joke on a Thursday, it “jolts” the humor, it makes it more interactive and creative.  Making it funnier.

Or, I could have just been a dumb-head.  It won’t have been the first time.

PS: Has anyone noted that the last two weeks were all about band funding?  And the week before that was the Lisa auction?  Then we had Phil getting fired.  But the week before that was the Les Book Tour.  This strip is nothing but hucksterism non-stop.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

The Strip is Funky Winkerbean. My Name’s Friday. I’m Not Available.


Link to today’s strip.

The story you are about to read is dull.  The jokes have been redone to protect the humorless.

It was Friday, November 30, 2017 in Westview.  The weather was gloomy and morose, and the forecasts were “You may only have weeks left.”  The outlook was grim that day, but it had been grim for over ten years, ever since Lisa, so folks were out doing their usual thing.  I was there to make sure no one got too excited…or did anything exciting.

The boss’s name is King Features.  My partner’s name is Rick Burchett.

My name’s Batiuk.  I carry a felt-tip.

Daa, da-da-duh-DAAAAAA…!



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

Independence Day – Resurgence

Link to today’s strip.

So, as some commentors have noted, isn’t a Batiukian aberrance like “Fakebook” or “Fleabay” but an actual crowdfunding site, so I’m not sure what they’ve done–good or bad–to fall under Tom Batiuk’s scrutiny.   A quick visit to their website and to their Wikipedia page shows that they’re mostly involved with technology, and have had a certain degree of success in that area.

They don’t seem to do much on artistic stuff, though.  Didn’t see any musicians or bands in their catalogue of successes, though to be honest I, in a Batiukian mood*, didn’t really dig very far.   Given the focus of this strip, with its childhood wish-fulfillment arcs and real-life shout-outs to obscure pals, it would not surprise me to learn that Indiegogo helped out some personage from Tom Batiuk’s past and he felt the need to give them a bit of grudging credit.

Either that, or, what appears most obvious, they paid him to run an ad.   (Eyes heavenward) It pains me sore to think that Tom Batiuk might have stooped to commercial considerations, rather than stumble evermore upon the “awards” path.

*That should definitely be the title for the second Bedside Manorisms’ CD – “In a Batiukian Mood.”  Can you just see the frowning tiki sculptures on the cover, along with a thoughtful Les Moore portrait and titles like “Sleeping Cancerous Village,” “Carcinomica,” “Seaside Melancholy,” “Running Along the Shore But Hating It,” “Don’t Mind the Tumors,” and of course, the focus of the whole LP, “Pulitzer Award Ceremony Anticipation.”



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

Candy Crush

Link to today’s strip.

So, the evil internet, with its Twitter Tots, Internuts and beady eyed nitpickers has come to the rescue of the Bedside Manor oldsters?  I wonder what changed in Tom Batiuk’s worldview, to admit that the internet actually has some use…  No, not really–actually, I wonder how we’re going to be shown what didn’t change, as we watch the oldsters fall victim to web hucksterism, and see their accrued cash disappear into some bitcoin Hell, along with their crushed dreams of release from Dinkle.  Dinkle, of course, will be there, smirking to beat the band (yes, that’s intentional) and telling them how he knew this was going to happen.  But while he is a god of wrath, he can be merciful.  All they have to do is put themselves back into his hands.  There’s still time to sell band candy, he’ll purr.

…you know, I may have been doing this Funky Winkerbean commentary thing way too long.  The idea of something genuinely positive happening to someone other than Les Moore–that idea seems to automatically reject itself.  The fact that it was the oldsters themselves who came up with this scheme, and NOT Harry Dinkle, seems to doubly condemn the oldsters to the sourest of outcomes.

I honestly had no idea that cynicism, by which I mean my cynicism, could be this deep, and this broad.  It’s no wonder I paint nothing but skulls, lately.

Speaking of which, does anyone know who “Connie” is?  I assume she’s the drummer, but I get lost when the characters here are only named when medical emergencies prevent them from doing their due Dinkle diligence.  I do know one of them is named Carl, but only because he was a wuss and nearly died.

Oh, well…at least Tom Batiuk ended this one in two frames, because it looks like Mort/Violin player are starting to get a bit randy in panel two, and that’s rather more than I need to see.  It doesn’t help with the cynicism thing at all.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

We’re Not Gonna Take It

Link to today’s strip.

Oh joy, it’s Dinkle again.  While Mort’s open rebellion against Dinkle’s iron rule is certainly welcome, it doesn’t mitigate the fact that we’re dealing with Dinkle.*

I guess back in 1972, recording an album was probably prohibitively expensive for a small ensemble.   Nowadays, even the cheapest laptop can do so (provided it comes with a CD/DVD drive–which is actually becoming scarce on a lot of computers).   Most laptops come with a microphone, and software is included on both Windows and Mac systems to record audio and burn it to CD.  That’s all you need if you want to get a “live” sounding recording, which is what I suspect Dinkle is after.  Oh, and you’ll need a blank CD.  Which are pretty much available everywhere–I’ve seen them for sale in grocery stores.

Now, if you want to record separate instruments and add effects, that’s going to cost money, right?  Eh, depends.  Nice mixers with built-in effects can be pretty inexpensive, and as for software, well, there’s Audacity which comes with a hefty price tag of “free.”   Oh, Audacity has a definite learning curve, but what are these old people going to do with their time anyway?  If it gets too tough, have them smoke some cigarettes until their brains engage again.   I’ve used Audacity extensively for my own animations and after a while, it’s pretty easy.

I’ve gone on at length about recording because I’m trying to ignore the “storyline” on display here.  This was a stupid idea when it was first introduced and it hasn’t improved since.   I don’t have a problem with the Bedside Manor band itself; I actually think it’s a great idea to get old people engaged in an activity like this.  But now that the strip is all wish-fulfillment all the time, I’m going to guess that this arc will conclude with the CD being a runaway best-seller and Dinkle being offered the presidency of Columbia Records or some damned thing.

Or, more likely, it’ll be dropped and next Sunday will be Funky and Les jogging.  Get to the 50th anniversary, but don’t unmoor too many of those boats on the way.

* That should be the album title, “Dealing with Dinkle.”  Tragedy and unflinching fate in three words.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky