Author Archives: comicbookharriet

Bleat for Security

Link to today’s strip

“Americans used to roar like lions for liberty; now we bleat like sheep for security.”

― Norman Vincent Peale

It’s interesting how the force of this protest has waned over the last three days. On Tuesday we were ‘urging action to stop’, yesterday we were ‘urging action to prevent’ and now we’re not ‘urging action’ at all anymore, just ‘voicing concerns about’ tomorrow we’ll just be ‘drawing attention to guns,’ and the slow march of passivity will continue on.

I wondered if there was ‘much to show for’ school shooting legislation from last year to this year. Because I don’t trust Tom Batiuk one bit to do any real research on what he’s claiming. There has been quite a bit.. At least on the gun control side. Maybe Bernie is one of those who argues a gun control is more a mental health issue. Oh, wait, no, there’s been significant movement on that front too. This article even mentions the students March for Our Lives having an effect.

Of course, you could make the argument that a lot of these proposed laws haven’t been finalized yet, or that all of this isn’t enough. But that isn’t what Bernie here is saying. What he’s really saying is, school shootings are bad enough to protest but not serious enough to research.

I look forward to the senior trip to DC, where the students will protest the lack of a WWII memorial while standing in it’s fountain.

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No Conflict of Interest.

Link to today’s strip

What is going on with Les’ face in panel two today? I can only guess that Ayers saw the word vomit in the speech bubble and decided to give Les an expression to match. It’s a pretty apt depiction since Les is just regurgitating yesterday’s substance.

And good old principal Nate today, distilling into one word the thing most perniciously wrong with Funky Winkerbean. Les presents him with something potentially contentious, and Nate agrees.

No argument about the students’ obligation to be in school, the potential debasing of non-violent rule breaking as a tool of last resort, or the use of the school’s own vehicle of propaganda to take a position on a divisive issue where the student body is likely not unified in viewpoint. Nate agrees. All ‘good’ people agree. Everyone seen is in agreement. The potential opponents are an unseen undefined ‘badness’ that must not be personified.

This is worse storytelling than the Big Gay Prom arc, because at least in that we had a strawwoman in opposition. She was about as nuanced as a shrieking harpy ruining everyone’s lunch, but she was there. Opposition leads to drama. It resists the goal of the protagonists, making them work for what they want. And, most importantly to Batiuk’s goals, it gives what they’re fighting for weight. Debate lets the characters themselves tell the audience why: Why is a walkout the best way for these students to protest school shootings? Does anyone think there is a better way? Is there any specific legislation or legislators these kids are targeting? We’ll probably never know, because so far no one asked.

If Les and Bernie had to convince the Principal to allow the editorial, if they had to explain themselves to parents or disagreeing students, or if they had to potentially sacrifice something to stage this protest, then the ‘protest’ might seem like something more than what it is: hollow, passionless, consequence free virtue-signaling.

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Marshal Arts

Link to today’s strip

Wow. That is one unwieldy sentence in panel one. Look, I get it, writing is really hard. I always find some real nasty clunkers anytime I go back and reread something I’ve written. But panel one’s sentence is atrocious.

“So you want to marshal our students to walk out of school on the anniversary of last year’s national walkout urging action to stop gun violence?”

The worst part of the sentence is the ‘urging action’ ending, because it adds a new verb into the sentence. It functions as a new ‘clause’ and my brain did a little hiccup trying to tie that verb to any of the previous nouns. Also ‘verb-noun verbing verbtion to verb noun noun-with-implied-action’ has no less than five ‘active’ words in it: (walk, urge, action, stop violence,)yet comes across limp and passive. I am years and years away from the single high school grammar class I took, so I can’t completely diagram this sentence and it’s awfulness. But it does not scan.

I get that the anemic attempt at a ‘joke’ is dependent on Les restating the plan in order to build up the expectation that he will not go along with it, but that doesn’t make the sentence any better. And the ‘joke’ is a trope so tired that Dawn of the Dead 2004 used it.

CJ: Not to s**t on anyone’s riff here, but lemme just see if I grasp this concept, OK? You’re suggesting that we take some f**king parking shuttles, and reinforce them with some aluminum siding, and then just head on over to the gun store and watch our good friend Andy play some cowboy movie jump-on-the-covered-wagon bulls**t. Then, we’re gonna drive across a ruined city, through a welcome committee of a few hundred thousand dead cannibals, all so that we can sail off into the sunset on this f**king a**hole’s boat? And head for some island that for all we know doesn’t even exist?

Kenneth: Yeah.

Tucker: Pretty much, yeah.

CJ: OK. …I’m in.

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Willful Denial

Link to Monday’s strip

Comic Book Harriet back again! And really wishing I had something more to look forward to than a stupid mopey prestige arc where everyone will act ‘super serious’ which to Tom Batiuk is completely indistinguishable from ‘super bored’

Like today’s strip. Lets imagine, for a moment, that we haven’t been warned about the nature of this week’s strips. Lets imagine that Bernie has passed Les a detailed editorial on comic book death matches. Lets imagine that every line is dripping with so much dry sarcasm they might as well be airing this strip on the BBC. Lets imagine anything at all, except for what we will be getting, it’s the only way we’ll enjoy today for what it is.

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Svenjolly.

Link to Today’s Comic.

Did you all the favor of waiting for the strip to drop today. And while I’m very happy it isn’t more Mort and Funky hilarious sexual hijinks, this installment could have been generated by a computer program that has been fed Funky Winkerbean trope data. In just one strip we have:

– Stupid, slacking, adolescents.
– Magically cured old people.
– The visual stumpy residue of former ‘prestige’ arc trauma.
– Mansplaining.
– Dinkle shouting.
– Self-Satisfied Smirking.
– Deadpan Sardonicism.
– G2 Funkyverse characters being too passive and flat to live up to the wacky excess G1 Funkyverse characters.
– Lovingly rendered bricks.

Well, it’s been a real blast dealing with all this hot and heavy material for the last couple weeks, but Epicus takes over on Monday to see us through the Holiday Season. I sincerely hope that all you fellow StuckFunkyians have Merry Christmases, and safe fun New Year’s. And I sarcastically hope that next year is a better year for Funkyverse.

Thanks for everything TF Hackett and Epicus Doomus do to keep this fun little blog chugging along. Merry Christmas to all! And to all a good night!

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#NotAllMen.

Link to Today’s Comic.

See everyone! Funky fixed himself a cup of cocoa. You can now all stop complaining about Funkyverse females being subservient beverage providers. Because the fact that the women brought cocoa was the real issue here, and not the fact that lacking a Y-chromosome relegates you to a background fixture serving as a bland chorus of reacting to men.

I’m really really really tired of writing about Mort Winkerbean. Especially about Mort Winkerbean the ‘Alzheimer’s’ patient who now can magically talk, walk, reason, and remember past events. I had a grandma who had Alzheimer’s, and believe it or not, Mort stories 10 years ago captured a hint of the pathos involved with having relatives with dementia.

Which makes seeing Mort magically resurrected a huge f**k you to the audience he was earlier pandering to. If I could tell Tom Batiuk one thing, it is that it is infinitely more offensive to magically cure a ‘disabled’ person that you created to abuse for a ‘topical’ storyline designed to milk other people’s pain for your profit and praise, than it would be to just have them hit by a bus.

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Monotony: The Slow-Dreary Postponing Trysts Game.

Link to Today’s Comic.

We finally get to the Holly that’s been gracing the header this week; and she accurately depicts how I’m feeling about having to wring some humor from an entire week of passive paternal cockblocking. I mean, I’ve used Hasbro products to cockblock before, sure; but it take seconds to show men a room with hundreds of tiny action figures all staring right at the twin mattress. The ‘sleepless’ mood is gone much quicker than four days of tired people whining about Monopoly.

Can we get Batiuk some plotting Viagra? He has severe protractile dysfunction. He saws away at the same joke for an eternity, never progressing, until all excitement is lost and the story limply stops. The next Monday Batiuk changes plots, like changing the subject after an embarrassing silence.

Regarding the art today, Mort is grabbing his inner thigh while leering aggressively. Funky’s horror is justified. Even if his flesh-colored eyeline suggests he is more shocked by how shittily drawn the dice on the board are.

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