Author Archives: billytheskink

Return Of The Jerk Guy

Finally! Dinkle and the alumni band show up in today’s strip… though Jerome T. Bushka A&L Automotive Stadium looks suspiciously like St. Sprires church and the alumni band doesn’t have any instruments (though they all look to be about the age I would expect). Weird.

After the throwaway panels, you almost could have convinced me that a computer wrote this. Former marching band director plays music from famous composer. You could generate this gag, such as it is, with a UNIVAC… though I think the UNIVAC would spit out dialogue with a little more flair.

And with that, I’m out. Tackling tomorrow’s tantalizing strip and taking to task the next two weeks will be the incomparable Spaceman Spiff.

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Dej-UGH Vu

We can only hope that today’s strip marks the end of this story arc and the depiction of this unhealthy and unsettling Melinda-Holly relationship for some time (infinity is a time, right?).

With that, I will focus my commentary on Holly’s use of term “EMS Vehicle”. So, did TB just not like the way “ambulance” fit in the word balloon or does he have a thing for using awkwardly bland language? I mean, its not an incorrect term of course, but if Holly calls an ambulance an “EMS Vehicle” then Melinda ought to have said “medical facility” or something like that yesterday instead of “hospital“… y’know, to maintain this strip’s reputation for exceeding consistency.

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Grosstalgia

As someone who has ridden in an ambulance with a parent after breaking a bone while competing in a sport, I found there to be nothing at all redeeming about today’s strip. At least yesterday we had some America’s Funniest Home Videos visuals, solid work from Chuck Ayers for once, but today… today… just get out of here with this tripe!

No one wants to see Holly apologize to her mother for, um, for breaking her ankle?! What?! No one wants to see this whole cruel and miserable experience turned into a nostalgia trip. No one wants to know what kind of hairspray Holly uses that has kept her terrifying hair claw intact despite spending extended periods in a driving rainstorm.

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Slipping through the craaacks

As someone who has broken a bone after slipping on wet grass, I must admit that I briefly chuckled at today’s strip… briefly.

And that brief chuckle is the sole redeeming payoff of a story arc that began (checks phases of the moon) three weeks ago?! That’s… better than a lot of TB’s story arcs to be honest.

But what of Dinkle and the alumni band? OK, I don’t care one iota what Dinkle is doing, but the alumni band has been waiting three YEARS to perform! Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot until today that TB did this whole alumni band thing, complete with majorette performance, pretty much three years ago on the dot. I forgot about how it all started with Holly and her mom reminiscing (though then it was on a car trip from Florida). I also forgot that Holly and Melinda were told “no” on the flaming baton trick back then too. I forgot that it all ended (after taking up a whole MONTH), not with a performance, but with this. And worst/best of all, I forgot all about all of this despite being the blogger on duty when it all happened.

I was going to say “you’re welcome”, but I had to go and remember all of this today.

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Don’t sleep in the subway, Holly

The day of the big alumni band Holly and Melinda Budd vanity performance has arrived in today’s strip, and the nastiness continues. No, I’m not talking about the weather, though most of us are aware that monsoon rains during band performances are quite possibly the longest still-running gag in this strip (predating even Garfield and lasagna/Mondays, though far far less accessible).

Good crowd on hand, considering the weather, probably the biggest since Bull retired. Whoever replaced him must be doing a good job, crowds were pretty thin when Bull’s teams were struggling.

Sorry, scratch that last paragraph. This is Funky Winkerbean, so I’m sure the crowd is really here to see Holly…

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Budd-Kicking

Today’s strip is just unpleasant. I mean, that could be said for a lot of Funky Winkerbean strips, including yesterday’s, but rarely is this strip so overtly nasty… and over such a trivial thing too.

Melinda looks to be going hard after Rose Murdoch for Batiukverse mother of the year, though. I know, I know, “Rose is dead,” you’re thinking, “so Melinda should have the title locked up easily.” Yeah, well, Phil Holt and Lisa were allegedly dead too… and there’s still time for them to make a run at mother of the year.

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Thoughts and Ayers

Hope you all enjoyed yesterday’s respite from the boringly toxic (or rather, toxically boring) Melinda-Holly relationship, because we’re back for (checks calendar) WEEK 3?! of it in today’s strip. Things between these two are so bad that Holly will ignore good advice that is widely known by nearly every adult who has ever engaged in athletic behavior just to spite her nagging mother.

This strip has everything! Needless exposition! Falling leaves! Absolutely nothing likable! References that would have been topical 3 decades ago! References to death! And more word and thought bubbles than you can shake a baton at!

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Boredstrom

The department store nostalgia in today’s strip is pretty innocuous as Funky Winkerbean goes. I am enough of a retail enthusiast to know that department store nostalgia is totally a thing, by the way… but I’m not sure it manifests itself in wistful disappointment when receiving an Amazon package.

But since Amazon’s logo is clearly visible on present day Holly’s package, let’s talk about THIS:

There are several, actual historic and defunct department stores in the greater Cleveland-Akron area that TB could have pulled up: O’Neil’s, Polskys, May Co., the one that Dinkle named his daughter after, the particularly famous one that had the previously-referenced-in-this-very-comic-strip Silver Grill [sic] in it.

Nope, we get Holly’s memory of shopping at DS, which by all indications stands for… Department Store. DS. Department. Store. This is Herb & Jamaal-level non-specificity. Look TB, if you can reference Amazon specifically, you can reference an actual department store specifically. The strip loses nothing if you get Ayers to write “Higbee’s” on a couple of shopping bags instead of DS.

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Flaming Batom Schtick

Apologies for today’s short post, but this story arc has gone about as well as my week at work has… And today’s strip doesn’t do much to improve matters. It doesn’t do much period.

The insurance companies Dinkle may have put a stop to the flaming baton trick, but don’t you dare think he is losing his touch. He has happily proposed maiming senior citizens with fire in recent years.

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Pickle Lane

Hey SOSFers, thanks for doing my job for me on today’s strip! Very much appreciated.

Now I’ll give Dinkle this, he’s historically been quite honest in his assessment of himself in regards to retirement being hard for him. Harriet, on the other hand, is really the one who should “pick a lane“. She was the one who arranged for him to unretire in the first place.

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