Category Archives: Son of Stuck Funky

It’s just a restless feeling by my side

Link to today’s strip.

Good news, everyone!  Starting tomorrow, SoSF’s chairman of the board, Mr. TFH himself, will be taking over hosting duties.

I appreciated and enjoyed the Funky-Holly week, something that rarely happens…”enjoyment,” I mean.  While it was way too long, it still involved humor that was grounded in the characters.  I wouldn’t like to see that every week–a thin joke stretched to just below the pain threshold–it was a nice break from the tedium.

The Becky week on the other hand reached a new level of dullness.  I think it’s pretty easy to tell the author avatar characters, as they are treated with a solemnity that casts a pall over any possible entertainment.  Not that there was entertainment to be had….

It’s almost as if Tom Batiuk tells himself, “Becky is such a rich character that people will laugh with her and learn about themselves, no matter what the dialogue is.”   If I may quote Luke Skywalker, “Impressive.  Every word in that sentence was wrong.”

As for today’s strip, as usual The Precious was not available for preview, so follow in your book and repeat after me, as we learn three new words in Turkish: towel.  Bath.  Border….

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The Song That Never Ends

Link to today’s strip.

I get the intended joke: band never ends.  Students unfortunate enough to play an instrument never get their lives back from the one-armed bandit.  The thing is, it’s not funny, it’s depressing, which lines right up with everything about this strip.  Is this really how Tom Batiuk wants to shape his legacy?  That he made the world a worse place by placing his work in it?  Cos that’s what’s happening right now, on film and in the studio.

I want to add this quote from Batiuk’s blog:

“As long as I’m at it, the whole Pop Art movement was wrong as well. The artists of the Pop Art movement treated the comics as something disposable and shallow even as they tried to emulate them. “

I hate to break this to him, but most of the creators of comic books thought they were disposable and shallow.   Stan Lee, for example, wanted to write the Great American Novel and saw comic books as a way to earn a living in the meantime.

I also want to quote this, from a Flash Friday episode, before he corrects it:

“Stories don’t come in a much scope than that.”

Yes folks, that’s [sic] and I find it hilarious…more so than anything this strip has offered up.

One notable aspect of today’s strip is that Becky’s sleeve is nowhere in evidence.   Someone slipped up in quality control!  Also, Dinkle is nowhere to be found, so that’s a bonus point.  I do like the way Becky rotates through the panels, it helps to alleviate the boring nature of the strip by at least adding some visual interest.

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Tuna Melt

Link to today’s strip.

I was gonna title this one “I Melt With You” but someone (TFH himself it turns out) already thought of that, so I had to fall back and punt.  The reason for using “melt” should be obvious from the artwork: these people are dissolving before our eyes into some kind of primordial slime.   And worse, it’s because they’re laughing so hard at Becky’s…wit.

Ever notice that when one of Batiuk’s favored characters says something intended as a joke, the crowd dissolves into paroxysms of uncontrolled laughter?  Yet when one of his hated characters says something that’s actually funnier, those characters are met with a stony silence iced with contempt.

Of course you’ve noticed.  It’s one of the hallmarks of this strip, now that it has morphed fully into the “revenge on those who failed to appreciate me” Legion of Doom.

In melting news, look at Mr. and Mrs. Pinkenpurple in panel two.*   This, ladies and gentlemen, is some damn bad art.  But it’s in the cause of making Becky look great!

Which makes it even worse, in my opinion.

As for the “tuna” part of my title, well, they’re talking about food and tuna is a food so there you go.  I’ll admit the level of work I put into this one approaches Batiukian levels. But…I’m writing about Batiukan stuff!  So it turns out to be all “meta” and like that, and my check better clear at the local Sprawl Mart, or there’ll be trouble in guest-hosting land!

Speaking of bad art, when folks ask me about my college career, I tell them “I got a degree in fine arts…gateway to the restaurant business!”  Meaning I got a lot of jobs as a busboy and stuff.  I think my joke is better than Becky’s on the same theme, though I’ll admit mine’s only a tiny bit better.

*Fun fact:  I was going to call them Mr. and Mrs. Goodnplenty because I thought Good N Plenty candy was pink and purple.  In fact, I would have sworn that was the case.  But they’re not, they’re pink and white…unless I’m a victim of the Mandela Effect.

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That Dismal Season

Link to today’s strip.

You know who else is having a dismal season?  A comic strip called Funky Winkerbean.  Of course, this is the normal state of this strip, so this isn’t news to anyone.

Today’s strip illustrates–or rather, doesn’t illustrate–one of the many problems this strip parades like virtues: people talking about something that sounds funny long after the fact, while never showing any of it.  I think showing the basketball team attempting to maneuver around stacks of mattresses could have been an absurd and memorable highlight for this strip.   Instead, it’s just tossed out on its own so that we can have three panels of a bloviating author avatar.

Of course, actually showing that scene would emphasize the main problem:  if the gym was stuffed with mattresses, both teams would be equally handicapped.

Still, it would be fun to watch it unfold.  I also think it could be, um, what’s that word I can never think of when I’m thinking of Funky Winkerbean?

Oh yeah.  Funny.

Speaking of art, I like the perspective in panel one, but what in the heck is that behind Becky that looks like a pile of burnt sticks?  Is that supposed to be her shadow?  If so, how come Dinkle gets an ordinary Ben-Day shadow and she gets a scribble?

Maybe it is a pile of burnt sticks and they’re supposed to be awards?  That sounds amusing, so there’s no way that can be it.

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And when the door was opened, there was nothing standing there

Link to today’s strip.

Let me just say  that my mention of “hospital” yesterday was just errant speculation due to the recent shuffling of artists.  I, and I’m sure I speak for everyone else in the SoSF community, sincerely hope nothing bad has befallen Tom Batiuk; I have never, ever wished anything  but good fortune to him personally.  As I’ve mentioned from time to time, from all reports he’s a genuinely nice guy who enjoys meeting his fans; I hope he continues to be so, and do so, for many years to come.

That said…today’s episode is…well, I was going to say “beyond awful,” but I’ll go with “inexplicable” instead.  There’s no joke, there’s no good drawing, no wit, just…nothing at all.  It’s impossible to imagine a new reader coming across this strip and saying, “Hey, this is a comic strip I’m going to read from now on, with relish!”  It’s very possible to imagine a long-time reader saying, “Okay, this is it, I’m out of here.  From now on, it’s BC Classic for me.”

The only positive bit at all is the fact that Dinkle is there, and he’s completely silent.  I bet he hates that.  He’s not even drawn fully, he’s just a menace in a left corner.

It’s also another avenue for speculation.  Ordinarily, it would be Dinkle saying all this stuff, while Becky gazed at him in full worship mode.  (Heck, I think the last time we even saw Becky, she was a silent potato at Wally’s wedding.)

Why this obvious scenario was flipped, we’ll probably never know.

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One-Armed Bandit

Link to today’s strip.

Ugh.  Batiuk’s characters are never worse than when they’re being smug and self-satisfied.  Here Becky crows about the utterly stupid mattress sale, only to get to a pun that would be rejected by a chewing gum wrapper.  And look at that writing:  “our band” in panel two could have been replaced by “the” for a much smoother read.  It’s like he really does think his readers will forget the band’s involvement between panel one and two.

As for Becky, I can’t think of a single positive aspect of her except one:  she’s rarely around much.

Once again Chuck Ayers helms the pencils, leaving me to wonder if Batiuk’s in the hospital or something and the syndicate is having to rustle up some leftovers he had salted away.  Or maybe Rick Burchett, having gotten his “Inedible Pulp” cover, decided he was better than this and decamped to brighter pastures.

 

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It’s Monday

Link to today’s strip.

Monday’s strip, like Sunday’s before it, was not available for preview.

Why not enjoy some Pringles while we wait?

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