Dear snarkers, as we wait for today’s strip to drop, I’d like to point out that Monday marks eight years since we picked up the torch from the original Stuck Funky. After eight years and nearly 3,000 posts, I don’t have a whole lot to say that hasn’t been said before. No giveaway or contest this year (sorry!), just my sincerest thanks to Epicus Doomus and the whole roster of guest authors, and of course to you, the reader, for being part of one of the smartest, funniest, and longest-suffering communities on “the net.”
I thought of quitting, baby, but my heart just ain’t gonna buy it
Prolonged daily reading and commenting on a once beloved, now infuriating, legacy comic strip can take a toll on one’s patience, sanity, and sense of humor. That’s why it became necessary to recruit guest authors to share the pain, taking turns being tied to the mast for a week or two as we sail through a sea of incomprehensible narrative and haphazard draftsmanship towards Funky Winkerbean’s 50th Anniversary.
Until then, thanks again for being along for the ride, and for reading and commenting at SoSF!
Glad Easter tidings, everyone! For the most part, Sunday-only newspaper subscribers who read Funky Winkerbean have been missing out on the Atomic Comics saga. In the month just ended, instead of advancing the Pete and Darin arc, Sunday strips have alternated between out-of-season football gags and one-offs involving the aging titular character. Whom we visit again today in what will either turn out to be one of TB’s red herrings (it really is “just heartburn”) or the beginning of the Very Specialest Very Special Funky Winkerbean Arc Ever. Don’t forget, Batiuk’s killed off a title character once before, though John Darling wasn’t the cash cow that Funky has turned out to be over forty plus years.
From the FW blog:
Rick [Burchett]…lays-out and pencils the Sunday sequence. When that’s finished, it’s my turn to jump back in and ink it into a Funky Sunday. The lettering is then done on the computer after which it goes off to colorist Rob Ro who proceeds, as he always does, to turn it into a totally beautiful Funky Sunday.
Colorist Rob can even turn a clump of gridiron turf into a flaming mini-volcano! Well done, Rob! So today we get the big payoff in the Buck Bedlow saga. We wondered why Buck showed up out of nowhere and went to such lengths to overturn Bull’s non-touchdown in the Big Game. What Buck was really doing was getting a preview of his own impending decline. But if he got his “CTE diagnosis” (grrrrrrrrrr!) “last month,” why did he show up back in September?
Well it’s been a pleasure stoking the snark fires these first two weeks of the new year. Tomorrow, guest author Charles takes over the reins. Wear a helmet, folks! –TFH
January 12, 2018 at 2:14 am
I have a strong feeling they’re either:
A. Digging away the snow so Bull can recreate his “winning” play.
or B. Digging up the dirt where Bull “made” his “winning” play so Bull can take it home and preserve it.
And the correct answer is “B”, if by “preserve it” you mean plop it on a shelf where it will wither faster than Bull’s mind. I guess we can remove the quotation marks around “winning” now, as Buck ‘n’ Bull have, by sheer force of will, turned that long-ago loss into a win. And again with the “crazy” talk, though at least Linda means it figuratively. While thematically this week’s arc was nothing to write home about, what interests me (barely) about today’s strip is Bull’s profile in panel 2. Not because his hair, which three months ago was brown, is now pure white. It’s that as he gazes at the relic of what is now seen as his life’s greatest achievement, he morphs into a bald version of his Act I self.
Y’know, these days, many high school sports fields, even Batiuk’s alma mater, feature modern, expensive, artificial turf fields. So in today’s strip we’re witnessing two clowns causing costly damage to school property. Even a natural turf field would likely have an irrigation system below the surface. And besides that, the ground is frozen. But Batiuk’s not about to let any of these details get in the way of us “earning” whatever “ending” this is all leading up to. Why all this phony closure-seeking on behalf of a man who sadly will soon be unable to remember anything? And if the mission here is to somehow scrape up Coach Stropp’s ashes, they need to move over a little more to the left.
If you are reading this and your name is not Thomas Martin Batiuk, you read Funky Winkerbean not for its depiction of “contemporary issues affecting young adults in a thought-provoking and sensitive manner” (because all that ended with Act II). You don’t seek real-life situations, believable dialogue, likable characters, or coherent plotting. You likely were a true fan of this comic back in the days when it did have these characteristics, in abundance. Perhaps you’ve continued reading faithfully ever since, or, perhaps you picked up the funny pages after a lengthy absence, decided to check in on ol’ Funky and his pals, and wondered what the hell happened.
But if you’re reading this blog, you share a very special perspective on the Funkiverse. You keep coming back either to see how incoherent, tone deaf, and awful it can get…or…you cast aside whatever passes for narrative around here, and inject your own. In which case, today’s installment could be right out of a Coen brothers film: repressed midwestern matron Linda gleefully looking on as strapping Buck marches docile Bull out to dig his own cold, lonely grave.
And you thought Batiuk’s handling of PTSD was bad. This is appalling. Not only is the “punchline” offensive, Batiuk has to reverse-engineer the setup, which typically would be “If anyone told me blah blah blah, I’d tell him he was crazy!” You’d think that having to go to such lengths for a gag would make TB pause to think it over. Instead, he doubles down. Buck: “You’re crazy!” Bull: “And forgetful, too! Ha! Ha! Ha!“