Author Archives: spacemanspiff85

S.S. Skyler

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An artist can’t really draw horses that don’t look like donkeys. That’s today’s joke, and that’s just about all there is to today’s strip, apart from the fact that Skyler is already going bald. That seems to happen super early to just about everyone in this strip, but even by that standard Skyler seems pretty young.

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Memento of a Murder

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Is it just me, or does it seem a little weird that Jessica is apparently only now thinking that she wants a souvenir of the John Darling show? I feel like she would’ve maybe thought of this sometime before, just because she lost her dad at such a young age. Or that it maybe would have occurred to her in the dozens or hundreds of hours she spent creating the documentary about him. I mean, she had to have watched some footage of him when she made that, I would think. But it took stumbling across random reruns of the show to make her think about wanting a piece of the set or his chair or something.

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Tears of a Darling

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I guess Jessica and her mom just both simultaneously discovered John Darling was being aired again, without either one of them mentioning it to the other (except for Jessica, right now). As much as I hate Batiuk’s writing when he’s putting his characters through melodrama and misery, I think he’s even worse when he’s going for “touching”/”poignant”. It’s been years since Jessica’s mom was shown in this strip, so just cutting to her silently tearing up is cheap and not really earned, in my opinion. And honestly I feel like the average newspaper reader has no clue about the background here.
I feel like we’re going to be seeing the phrase “‘John Darling’ show” a ton during this arc. After reading “Jessica’s father, John Darling, who was murdered” so many times, I really wonder why the John Darling strips have to have such repetitive dialogue.

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Darling All Day

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Wow, it is always intimidating to follow up the amazing CBH! If Kent State University wants to start offering courses on “The History of Funky Winkerbean” I know who should teach it. Not for long, sadly, since that would probably mean the school was about to go out of business, but it would still be the right choice.

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The Gospel According To Stan

The moment we’ve all waited for for years is finally here! No, not the wedding, I mean Funky Winkerbean characters talking about comics.
So according to Marvel, Stan’s Soapbox ended in 1980. I really have no idea how old anyone in this strip is supposed to be, but I’m guessing Rocky and Cory are around their mid-twenties to early thirties. So that means in their wedding vows they’re quoting something that ran in comics either two or three decades before they were born. Even if Batiuk has to indulge his compulsion to make every single one of his character’s life revolve around comics, would it have been that hard to find something that would make sense for these two people? Were they only allowed to read twenty and thirty year old comics as children? I am grateful they’re not cosplaying, at least.
I tried searching for this full quote, and I couldn’t find it. The passage I did find ends with the line in the first panel, and I couldn’t find anything at all related to Stan Lee when I searched the other lines. So I’m really not sure if only the first line (which is from a discussion of not having your characters be pure good or pure evil) is from Lee, or the other lines are as well and just somehow aren’t anywhere online.
I do kind of like Crazy Harry’s totally unwarranted smug expression here. Like it’s the coolest thing in the world that someone is quoting Stan Lee in their wedding vows. And does Donna honestly expect him to be able to recognize random uncited quotes from scriptures? Because there is nothing at all in Harry’s background that would make me thing he could do that at all.
I really don’t think this is a great selection to read for your vows. Basically the only time I hear the phrase “rainbow bridge” is referring to a pet dying. And nirvana is commonly interpreted as the end of rebirth and existence itself. Never mind, it’s actually perfect for this strip. All that’s missing is a Lisa quote and a falling leaf.
And on the subject of not doing things alone, Epicus Doomus will be taking over tomorrow!

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Funky Likes Food

Who cares about my son getting married, I’m hungry!“. Get it, everyone? Funky is fat, and apparently doesn’t give a crap about his family. Did Batiuk just skip right over the actual ceremony, or is everyone just posing for the photos beforehand? If that’s the case, then Funky isn’t eating any time soon.
I really hope Funky is blurting this all out really, really loudly, just stealing all the focus onto himself. I also like that Holly ask to ask for clarification about Funky’s comment, rather than just assuming the wedding is his dream come true, like any rational person would.

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Missing the Bullseye

So, did Donna just now notice that they didn’t bring a gift? Did she just tell Crazy Harry that Rocky and Cory had a registry at “Bullseye” (it’s so strange the brand names that Batiuk is okay mentioning) and then never follow up again? When they were getting ready to leave, nobody thought to mention “Hey, do you have the gift?”. I’m not really sure what about Crazy Harry makes him seem like the guy you’d rely on to shop for a wedding gift.
This does make it day four of the two weeks (so far) in this wedding arc where the gag is all about modern technology. At least it’s not comic books again. I’m a little shocked the gag isn’t just “Hey, I brought them something better- a copy of the Superman and Lois Lane wedding special!”.
It’s amusing how on Monday Harry totally forgot smartphones were a thing, and now he’s casually placing same day wedding gift orders.  I also find it really, really hard to believe that same-day delivery is available in a town like Westview. I do hope that the delivery person arrives right in the middle of the exchanging of vows, loudly asking where Crazy Harry is.

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Cory is Ex-Interesting

Oh, hey, Maybe-Summer speaks again. I kind of hope that isn’t actually Summer, just because it would be hilarious to me that someone who sort of looks like Summer has had more lines in two days than actual Summer has had in probably five years.
And look, it’s Maddie! Or possibly a random redhead, who knows. What’s funny is that she’s at this wedding but apparently doesn’t know the couple was in the military, which is one of the two character traits they have anymore.
I’m also not sure what the two figures in the first panel are for, since they sure don’t seem to be favors. The little green army men are at each setting and seem to be the favors. It looks more like a centerpiece or cake topper, which makes it extra funny, to me at least, that both of the figures are apparently male. There are female G.I. Joes, after all. It maybe would’ve been nice to have one of them be used, since the bride served in the army and all. Heck, he could’ve had Rocky talk about how she was inspired as a child by one of the female G.I. Joes. But that would’ve taken a little more effort than apparently Rocky’s character is worth.

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Unification Disgrace

Oh yay, comic books, it’s been so long since they’ve been mentioned in this strip that I really missed it. And of course Rocky is a massive comic nerd, since that’s the other personality trait she has other than “was in the army”.  If someone told Batiuk he had to write a character, story or even just a strip or just a single wedding that didn’t have anything to do with comics, I’m pretty sure you’d hear the sound of several fuses in his head blow and smoke would start pouring out his ears, because I do not think he’s capable of even considering that anymore.
I just Googled “‘unification display’+wedding” because I’d never heard of them before and wondered if this was something common that I just hadn’t heard of, but I really don’t think so. It only returned three results and none are remotely like what’s being portrayed here. Even less restrictive searches returned nothing close, so I really don’t think this is a thing. What I think happened is Batiuk thought it was hilarious/touching to have two people merge their comic collections and made up the concept of a “unification display” because I guess he couldn’t just have someone point and say “hey look, they combined their comic books!”. (And have them sitting out in the open in the sun where anyone can swipe one).
Is that supposed to be Summer on the right? I can’t really imagine who else it would be, even though it doesn’t look at all like Summer, and she’s not wearing a hoodie.
This is also yet another example of Batiuk’s need to have an extra line after the “punchline” of the strip. Nothing is added by having maybe-Summer tell us it’s cool and sweet. It’s like Batiuk doesn’t think the readers will be able to tell how they’re supposed to react to or feel about a joke without literally being told.

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Forgetful Harry

I’m always a little amused whenever Crazy Harry is supposed to be a tech person, mostly because I don’t think someone who goes on a rant about iTunes suggesting music you might like can really call themselves “techy” at all. This also makes a full third of the wedding arc strips so far just being about “technology has changed since I was a kid”. I know writing isn’t as easy as it looks, but I would a wedding story would almost write itself and you wouldn’t need to pad it out with filler like “I forgot cell phones exist” or “why couldn’t we have stopped at e-mail?”. (If all of Batiuk’s “technology confuses and frightens me” strip were collected and published, how big of a book do you think it would be? Lilian from Crankshaft would need multiple chapters).
I know Crazy Harry is crazy and all, but would anyone go to a wedding as a guest and then wander over to the guy being paid to do the music and sound and offer to help? It’s his job, Crazy, what do you really think you’re going to be able to contribute? Other than playing the theme to the Adam West Batman series and Superman: The Movie on repeat.

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