Author Archives: TFHackett

The Name Game

At the end of my two week turn at writing these posts, I feel as exhausted as Funky looks in today’s panel three. But before I make way for billytheskink, I get once more bite at the mottled, mealy apple that is FW. But what to make of this joke-free strip? Funky’s strategy to avoid negative attention is hollering loudly every time he makes a bad shot? Aside from the other four players on the tennis court, there appears to be nobody around to notice or care about his poor play. Do they know that the fat man’s name is not Dave, Hal, or Glenn?

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So You Can Take that Cookie

William Thompson
August 4, 2022 at 11:12 pm
I’m morbidly curious as to how Funky can get even more childish…

Even more embarrassing than childish: Funky’s coming off as an thrifty old pensioner. One could  expect Ed Crankshaft or Funky’s dad Mort to make such a chintzy request. But we know Funky to be a man of sufficient means to buy all the stale cookies he wants. I suspect that Batiuk is channeling a line from his hero Woody Allen: “Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.” “Yeah, I know; and such small portions.”

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Trust Issues

Jeff M.
August 4, 2022 at 3:06 pm
The speaker is *terrible*. If I went to an estate planning seminar and he started out with a sustained “Jack and Jill” metaphor, I’d be steamed, too. He sucks.

Doesn’t excuse Funky’s aggressive passive-aggressivity, though. Yesterday I thought Holly was doing an awkward facepalm, but in today’s panel 2 we see that she was tearing out her eyes in a fit of Funky-induced fremdschämen (hat tip Maxine of Arc). Seminar Guy in panel three is ready to give up the ghost, and assumes a crucifixion pose.

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Jackass and Jill

Maxine of Arc
August 3, 2022 at 9:35 am
Everybody in this room, not just the poor bastard who has to try to facilitate this meeting, now HATES THIS GUY. And they should.

Everybody in the room needs to come to the poor bastard’s defense. Seminar Guy is desperately tries to engage with anyone here whose name is not Funky Winkerbean, but he’s the only one with his hand raised. As cringe-y as this week has been to date, at least today’s gag logically follows yesterday’s “fetching pails of water” riff and, at least for me, almost elicits a chuckle. But Funky’s expression is earnest as he delivers his jerky response. Is he being serious now? Funky’s wizened mug takes on the same stricken expression he wore when the Winkerbeans last discussed estate planning five years ago.

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Funky “Dice” Winkerbean

Charles
August 1, 2022 at 5:07 am
[T]his week will have very little to nothing to do with estate planning as Batiuk spends an entire week with Funky just making an ass of himself…[a]nd each day this man leading the seminar will start anew not remembering how Funky was a complete gratuitous asshole just minutes earlier…

The “Muppet profile.” How can one have a mustache but no upper lip?

Having just been called untrustworthy to his face, Seminar Guy takes a deep breath, forces a smile, and launches into his presentation. Which, though there’s a projector in the room, seems to consist not of a slick PowerPoint, but of stick figures named “Jack and Jill.” Little wonder that the infantile Funky has trouble taking this seriously.

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Trust Fall

Way to set the tone, jackass. As if the crossed arms and manspreading weren’t off-putting enough: Funky has to respond sarcastically to Seminar Guy’s innocuous icebreaker inquiry. It’s not like this guy showed up at their front door at dinnertime to pitch financial services. Loretta and Leroy–I mean, Holly and Funky–showed up at his seminar, sat in the front row, and are drinking his coffee. Is it asking too much to have them just sit and listen?

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Mates of Estate

It’s true that many people neglect the important task of estate planning, leaving “a big mess behind” for their survivors. One would think, however, that a small business owner, the head of the chamber of commerce no less, would already have seen to his affairs by the time he’s reached Funky’s age. Rather than having to be dragged along by his wife to a financial seminar.

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Shirt Tale

If you’re serious about decluttering then it makes sense to part with clothes that no longer fit. Holly’s suggestion to Funky is neither brutal nor mean. What’s brutal and mean is reducing the titular character of your fifty-year-old franchise comic strip to a peripheral character who mainly shows up to provide comic relief.

 

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Head and Hearts

Banana Jr. 6000
July 29, 2022 at 5:02 am
Who the hell would go to this exhibition? Both these men now live in this town, and have spent a lifetime putting out the comic book equivalent of shovelware.

Maybe people are coming out just to gawk at Flash “Fairfield’s” towering head. It’s the most interesting detail in today’s strip. Not a hell of a lot else to comment about here.

What is “show-offy” of even writerly about Pete’s comment? That paragraph that Darin has to lean in closely and squint to read is a little flowery (“its special magic”) but otherwise inoffensive and succinct. How is “From the hearts of Phil and Flash” an improvement?

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Fair Flashfield

The day of the big gallery opening has come at last. On the walls of the Dibbs Gallery are famous Phil’s Batom covers: Charlie & Chuck, the Cockroach, Starbuck Jones, and, of course, the Amazing Mr. Sponge. If they look familiar, it’s because these are the artworks which Phil Holt inexplicably bequeathed to Boy Lisa, who decided they should be auctioned off  to benefit Lisa’s Legacy, and which were bought, every last one, by Hagglemore, who happens to be Phil and Flash’s employer. There! I’ve explained how Phil’s sold-off covers are still available for this gallery show.

Now: can anyone explain how, after Batiuk has spent 8 years establishing his canon, Flash Freeman’s is now Flash Fairfield?

Comic Book Harriet commented the other day about Batiuk “[giving] Flash and Phil the same backstory as Darin and Pete.” Maybe by bestowing on him an alternate last name, Batiuk’s just giving Flash one more thing in common with Pete Roberts Reynolds.

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