Author Archives: spacemanspiff85

Winkerbean-in-law

Oh yay, we finally get to meet Rocky’s mom, Carla! I’m sure she’ll quickly become a beloved recurring character, and surely doesn’t exist entirely for this “sin-in-law” joke. Holly’s face is looking especially rough in the second panel. I don’t know if it’s because she’s weary at the prospect of at least another week of bad sitcom level wedding tropes, like I am.

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Cory Smirkerbean

Where exactly do Cory and Rocky live? I assume they still live in Westview; if not I’m surprised we didn’t get a “Cory moves away” arc. If they do still live in Westview, I’m confused at why they’re spending the night at the Winkerbeans. It’s allowing the same “you can call me Mom” material I’ve seen any time someone meets their future in-laws on a sitcom, which is something.
At first I thought Rocky calling Holly “ma’am” had to do with her army background, but if that’s the case I feel like the strip should make that a little more obvious.
These kind of storylines always make me a little sad, because it sure seems set up to be the kind of thing where the fans are happy to see their favorite couple finally tying the knot, but I have the feeling 90% of the people reading this don’t remember who Cory is, and 99%+ don’t know who Rocky is.

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What Weekend Is It?

As always, it’s impossible to follow up the amazing posts of CBH, but here I go.

I’m guessing Rocky is carrying on Crankshaft’s illiteracy? Because I don’t know why Cory is reading that sign out loud if she can read it for herself. It’s also weird because it’s easily legible for anyone reading the strip, so there’s nothing at all added by him reading it. Of course the joke is “Cory’s mom is excited for him to get married” which I don’t think is a joke or really worth spending a day of a strip on, but that’s Batiuk for you.

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Creepy Harry

Of course, you can’t have a time travel story without Lisa. It’s inevitable.

It’s already creepy enough for sixty-ish Harry to be walking up to a high school girl who doesn’t know him and address her by name, but telling her he’s been to the school before doesn’t help. Lisa really should know better than to stop and engage some random old guy who’s approaching her, but this is Lisa after all, she clearly has bad judgment when it comes to men.

I’m positive someone Harry’s age is bound to have friends or family who aren’t alive in 2022 anymore, but apparently he doesn’t care at all about seeing them. All he cared about was himself (literally), and visiting high school again, which is so typical of characters in this strip. Honestly, I wouldn’t be shocked at all if he somehow enrolled in high school again (it turns out he’s missing a credit!) or becomes a teacher, and that lets Batiuk reboot everything.

It’s been great being able to comment on one of the weirder recent arcs. TFHackett gets to take over tomorrow, when Harry probably tries to make Les and Lisa get married as teenagers or something.

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Ancient Her-history

It’s been said before, but wow, Old Harry is abysmally bad at the whole not screwing up the timeline thing.

SOON, IN THE NEAR FUTURE/DISTANT PAST:
Crazy Harry: Hey, you’re the Eliminator! My future self told me to be nice to you, right after he told me about comic book stores and that I would some day marry a woman and have physical relations with her! Hey, where are you going? (Donna begs her parents to move out of Westview and is never seen again, and never comes near video games, comics, or anything remotely nerdy again).
I like that Old Harry has to tell Young Harry to be nice to someone. Was he just a raging jerk to everyone he met?

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Grandpa Me Says Invest In Grandpa Google

Give me some stock tips” is kind of an abrupt shift from “tell me about my wife and our love life”. And honestly, given that the concept of a store that sells comics practically shut down his brain, I find it really hard to believe that Young Harry would know what stocks are, let alone think to ask about them.
I also think that selection of companies is an odd one to tell someone in 1980 to invest in, given that Google was founded in 1998, Yahoo in 1994, and Twitter in 2006. But the joke is supposed to be “those don’t sound like company names” (although some of the Fortune 500 companies in 1980 were Textron, Bendix, National Intergroup, Unisys, Teledyne, and GenCorp, which I don’t think sound any less weird to someone not familiar with them).
“Let me tell you about your fabulous future where you marry a girl and get to work in a comic store when you’re old! Also, change your life and don’t do what I did.” seems extremely contradictory to me. Honestly, if he skipped school more, then he’d possibly never work for the postal service and could’ve lived the dream of working part-time at a comic store much much earlier.
I wonder if Old Harry paid for this meal with his credit card, or cash from the 2020s.

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Murky Whaters

After reading today’s strip, in five seconds of Googling, I found this: “By the late 1970s, the “spoiler” term began to catch on in the subculture of science-fiction fandom.” Yes, it’s possible Young Harry himself never heard it for some reason (but not very funny), but the gag here is supposed to be Old Harry using a future term and confusing his listener, so this really doesn’t work at all.  It took so little research to confirm that’s really not a new term, I really don’t get why Batiuk couldn’t do that himself.  Honestly, I would be kind of shocked if he hadn’t used the term in one of his own strips from the seventies.
On the subject of things that don’t seem to work, I’m really wondering who else is in Montoni’s, and what Young Harry’s explanation was for the old stranger he’s eating alone with when he should be at school. I’m also confused as to why Old Harry’s okay with spoiling everything related to his career, but draws the line at discussion about his wife.  Other than comic book talk being more important than relationships, obviously.

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Actually, No, You Don’t Have It, Maddie’s Adopted

(If you saw a different post earlier, it’s because you’re getting caught in a time vortex and totally not that I got my days mixed up.)

So Young Harry, who was completely baffled by the concept of “comic book store”, can think of nothing more important to ask his future self than “does my mom throw away all my comic books?”.  And Old Harry’s response is basically “no, but your wife does, because wives are just like moms, basically, making you get rid of what really brings you joy”.

I could really do without that last panel, honestly.  I know they’re technically the same person, but a teenager talking about sex with a strange old man he just met is a bit uncomfortable, and Young Harry’s face really does not help it.

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Funky Pops

So we’re now in day two of Young Harry being baffled that a thing such as “comic book store” exists. And we also have Old Harry naming John Howard to someone in the past, which is extra funny because he still hasn’t mentioned having a wife or daughter.
And it’s also just a terrible thing to do if you’ve travelled back in time to the past. I expect tomorrow that he’ll tell his young self about the collapse of the USSR, 9/11 and COVID-19. Who am I kidding, I doubt Harry cares about those or even noticed they happened. This week will probably just end with the two of them hugging and consoling each other about the Death of Superman.

I feel like Batiuk missed a major setup for a Funko Pop related joke, given that one of Harry’s closest friends is named Funky.

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But Basically Everybody Gets Cancer

“The best news is when you retire you get to keep working!  I mean yeah, you’re still close to all your high school friends, and get married and have a kid, but the best part is you get to work for minimum wage and touch comic books all day!”

So after yesterday, when Young Crazy Harry had no problem believing this random old guy he met was himself from the future, today he has no idea at all what a “comic book store” is. It’s one of the most self-explanatory names possible. If you know what a “comic book” and what a “store” is, you should be able to figure out what a “comic book store” is.
I really don’t think this is the first time Batiuk’s had someone be totally baffled by the idea of a comic book store before. I feel like it wasn’t too long ago when Batton Thomas was rambling on about how he still couldn’t believe such things existed. I did some quick Googling, and the first official comic book store was founded in 1968, and their heyday was in the late 70s and 80s, so I find it extremely hard to believe that a teenager would react that way.
It’s also funny how quickly he goes from having no idea what “comic book store” means to wanting to know if you can get rich going it. Maybe it’s just me but it seems a bit weird that the kid who skips school regularly to play arcade games in a pizzeria would be so concerned about getting rich.
Another thing I tried searching for was the phrase Harry is saying in the third panel. I thought maybe it’s a regional thing, but I couldn’t find it. Apparently it’s just rephrasing “you can’t get everything” or “you can’t have it all” for some reason, but it just sounds awkward.

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