Author Archives: TFHackett

Netbusters and Chill

For all of us who tell Tom Batiuk “write what you know!” Who doesn’t know what a pain in the ass it is, having to enter your login credentials using an onscreen “keyboard”? For once, we feel the Funkman’s frustration at being randomly required to sign in, even if his overreaction spoils their relaxing evening.

Signing in tomorrow (if he can remember his %#*@$$ password) will be the Silvio Dante to my Tony Soprano, Epicus Doomus. Epicus makes the trains run on time here at SoSF, and devotes much thankless effort to managing the guest author rotation and flagging the occasional errant spam comment. He’s done more than anyone, myself included, to keep this blog going for 12 years. We stand in line.

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Le Chat Blacque

Hannibal’s Lectern
April 29, 2022 at 6:40 am
Prediction: tomorrow will feature no dialogue (Tom’s writing at its finest), just three panels of the trash can. In the first two, the helmet just sits there. In the third, it’s gone, replaced by a “BLIP” sound effect…

So close! But none of us were expecting Kili, the stowaway kitten from Les’ Kilimanjaro climb, to show up in Crazy’s neighborhood! The panel I’ve Photoshopped for you here depicts where I’d have liked to see this go: Crazy Maddie fishing the helmet out of the trash to give it a try. If it doesn’t send her back to the dangerous old days, at least the fumes will get her high!

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Process of Elimination

In a rare, lucid moment, Crazy Harry realizes that it’s unwise to leave laying around a helmet that makes you instantly pass out when you wear it. Donna’s already decided to discard it, which she proceeds to do, most carelessly. With only one day between today’s strip and what will likely be a random Sunday standalone gag, it’s a safe bet we’ll see someone happen along and pick that helmet out of the trash…unless they’re too grossed out when they spot the used condom laying next to it.

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The Eliminatrix

sorialpromise
April 26, 2022 at 11:10 pm
As great as our bloggers and posters are on SOSF, we still need material. That is Mr. Batiuk’s job. Boy has he failed his best audience…there are no nits to pick…Someday soon, Mr. Batiuk will raise his level of mediocrity back up to our standards.

Here’s a reminder why your friends here at SoSF limit ourselves and one another to to two-week shifts. Because you get strips like today’s strip that do nothing to advance the plot, such as it is. And Harry didn’t exactly say Donna was the better gamer; only that she “usually” posted a high score.

“You have no idea” must be the wacky catchphrase around the Klinghorn household.

While these three panels only serve to pad out this limping story arc through Saturday, they’re not visually unsatisfying, and yes, that is the strongest praise I can muster.

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YMMV

Unlike other initialisms, which were invented and grown on the internet, “your mileage may vary” goes back to the 1970s and ’80s in the U.S. During that time, automobile manufacturers frequently promoted their estimated mileages to compete…However, due to the variations in driving conditions, they had no way of guaranteeing the exact mileage customers would actually get. Therefore, these ads would feature the disclaimer, “Your mileage may vary.”

What Does “YMMV” Mean, and How Do You Use It?, Vann Vicente, howtogeek.com

What a weird taunt. “Beat that!” is sufficient…adding “your mileage may vary” suggests that you can score as well or even higher than me, but maybe that phrase was just coming into vogue. Batiuk’s been getting considerable mileage out of sending his Act I characters back in time. It’s been nearly 12 years since Funky’s car accident sent him back to the town square of late ’70’s Westview, where he would encounter his teenaged self as well as his future mate, before checking out the comics spinner rack. Five years later, the entire gang got to meet their middle aged selves (except Lisa LOL)  during another month-consuming story arc that was the Time Pool Reunion.

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Wild Eyed, Crazy Maddie

It’s true: we boomers love to brag about having survived a childhood in which auto seat belts were not standard equipment, and among our childhood playthings were polonium rings, hot miniature ovens, and Lawn Darts. I’m just not sure why Maddie would take the existence of a kid’s helmet made of “off-gassing” plastics and extrapolate that to everything being dangerous in the old days.  But I do like Maddie’s gleeful grin at the thought of living in the dangerous old days, and for once you can believe she’s her Act I father’s child (whatever happened to the other two?).

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Blippin’ and Trippin’

Sourbelly
April 23, 2022 at 10:53 pm
Passing out from wearing a cheap stupid helmet 18 sizes too small may have had more of an impact on Kwazy Harry’s boring, stupid, pointless psychotic embolism. Whatever. It’s over, right? On to the next thing!

If only. If only! Ya know, snarkers, I was secretly kinda hoping that Tom Batiuk would drag Funky across the fifty year goal line, accept his Gold T-Square (to put with his Inkpot Award), call it a career, and live off the (surely massive) proceeds of the Complete FW volumes he so incessantly flogs. If only! Instead, the comic strip creator who crowed about allowing his characters to age and even to die, has given himeself carte blanche to run around tying up his strip’s countless loose plot threads. And in the cheapest way possible: “it was all just a dream/coma/toxic fume induced fainting spell.”

July 1982

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Rhymes with Attic

“There, there, lie quiet now. You just had a bad dream.” Yep, it had to be the “off-gassing of the plastics” in a helmet that’s sat in the attic since 1980. In addition to her prowess at video games, Donna’s also some kind of an expert in plastics chemistry.

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Heeeeere’s Johnny!

I can’t recall whether “Johnny” Howard was even part of the Act I cast. But as Funky Winkerbean retcons go, having young Johnny appear in today’s strip is pretty inoffensive. Though I wonder why coming into possession of what would become the most valuable comic book in history didn’t result in DSH John being “set for life,” to quote Crazy Harry. Being from the future, of course Crazy would understand the potential value of this comic. Would “Johnny’s” find inspire him to go on to open the Komix Korner? It certainly didn’t make him rich. In fact, it required the sale of a comic book from another time travel arc to keep his business from going under.

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Is This Blip Really Necessary?

I think that most of us, given a chance to travel back in time to relive the days of our youth, might opt to spend more than just an afternoon in the past. But Crazy’s ready to return to his present day life. Not sure why he assumes that the Magic Helmet will automatically transport him back to 2022. Also not sure why he’d so carelessly leave his precious Spider Man comic on the park bench.

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