Disabled Airbags

Link to today’s strip.

Yeah, I see a couple of airbags here that would benefit from being disabled.

Another example of how Batiuk’s method of drawing a year ahead of time (including the word blimps), but waiting until the last minute to write the dialogue results in a clunky product.  Why bother mentioning that the cop was a former player?  What does that have to do with anything–unless Linda is implying that this officer’s loyalty to Bull made him fudge the police report, so that A) Linda could be spared the “embarrassment” of her husband being a suicide or B) to help her with some insurance fraud.  Neither one sounds terribly noble.  In fact, they sound kind of criminal.  It also means there’s a possibility this could become interesting–RED ALERT, TAMP DOWN ALL EXPECTATIONS.

If it’s just there to take up blimp space, well, that’s okay then.  Another example, as if another was needed, that the author just doesn’t give a damn about any of this, puff pieces in the New York Times notwithstanding.

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The Bland Leading the Blind

Link to today’s strip.

Yeah, yeah, cue the dramatic chord for panel three.  Whatever.

What I’d like to point out is panel one.  Les says he could “see what was coming.”  He’s implying that Linda couldn’t.

But Linda should have.  Like Lisa, Bull had an incurable condition that could not be paused or reversed.  He was going to die, after deteriorating mentally {“a pretty short trip”–Les Moore).  There was no other possible ending.  That he might decide to end it all before wasting away was a definite possibility.

So why couldn’t she see what was going on?  Why did she think working on the car was “therapeutic” and to be encouraged?   Why did she have no idea where he was on the night he died?

I think there’s only one good answer:  because she couldn’t be bothered.  Many here have a visceral hatred of Linda, and it’s easy to see why–she’s basically the distaff Les Moore.  Check out how I’m smirking through my woes.  Oh, I am so beset by the fates, each day a stay in torment.  Oh, and also my spouse has this terrible condition, which has caused me to suffer so.   The entire CTE arc has been nothing but her complaining, first to Les, then to Buck, about all the problems she was going through.  There may have been one or two occasions when she actually sympathized with Bull, but they were so few and far-between that I’m not sure I can say they existed.

Everyone in this strip is a terrible, terrible person.

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“Why, yes! Yes you can!”

Link to today’s strip.

“It just so happens, Linda, that I have some copies of my Lisa’s Story trilogy out in the car!  Since you’re a grieving widow, I can give you a discount of twen…uh, twelve percent, and I’ll be more than pleased to autograph them!”

You know, hot coffee tends to heat up a coffee mug.  That’s why they have handles, so you don’t have to grab a hot coffee mug and burn your hand.  So what is Linda doing in panel three?  Is she trying to burn Les’ hand?  If so, she’s my new favorite character.

It’s also cool if she’s saying, “I’m going to drink both of these coffees.  I hope you got something from the drive-through.”  Even cooler would be if she’s going to throw both cups in Les’ face.  I’m going to stop now because reality will be too disappointing.

ADDENDUM:  I just now noticed…Batiuk has finally corrected the spelling on his webzone!  It no longer says “Bantom.”

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She Describes the Strip Perfectly

Link to today’s strip.

And of course, it’s always a “worse” day when Les shows up.  Doesn’t stop Linda’s smirking, though!

Last week was annoying, like a mosquito you can hear humming but can’t find; this week promises to be a whole horde of roaches appearing when the kitchen light goes on.  But instead of scattering, they stand right there and stare at you.

But why is Les here?  Linda has always been shown commiserating with Buck, Bull’s “friend,” whereas Les isn’t any kind of a friend, airquotes or not.  Why would she text Les, instead of Buck?  Buck knows what’s going on, Les has no idea.

I suspect the author’s reasoning is something like, I’m not going to waste my New York Times audience on a clod like Buck.  If they read the New York Times, they obviously can appreciate the sheer wonders of Les Moore.

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It’s all the Streets you crossed not so long ago

Link to today’s strip (eventually).

As usual, Sunday’s exertion was not available for preview.  Perhaps it’ll be another semi-pleasant interlude with Funky and Holly, though since they got their own…”story” last week, Batiuk might feel we’re sick of them.  And he’d be right!  Of course, we’re sick of all of his characters, but no matter.

Maybe it will be a bunch of pictures of houses or trees or something, with no characters.  That would be the best Sunday strip ever!

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Don’t Box Me In

Link to today’s strip.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Funky so determined on a goal as in panel one.  Run, fat-boy, run!  And panel two is also pretty remarkable, as the “monster” managed to shed his costume…and the boxes comprising said costume don’t have any holes cut into them!  You know, what you’d need to do to make a costume out of pizza boxes.   Either that, or the “monster” is still fully boxed and we see that Montoni’s just tosses the trash into the alley, like everyone else in Westview.  Because what is there, apart from trash and garbage?  Certainly nothing valuable.

The third denouement–that this was a magical pizza monster made of intact boxes–is probably what Batiuk hoped people will take from it, but the dash around the corner kills that stone dead.

And thus ends another remarkably stupid storyline.  If I had to say something positive, well. at least Les wasn’t in it.

That positive won’t last, by the way.  Just thought I’d throw a late Halloween scare at ya.

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Hollow E’en

Link to today’s strip (eventually).

Today’s strip was not available for preview, but thanks to Fearless Leader’s diligence, we got a tiny glimpse of it.  Looks like the pizza monster has obtained his yearly token of appreciation and left in a hurry.   And there’s some speculation as to the identity of the fiend, with guesses of Crazy Harry and John, and a request for the monster operator’s initials.

Again, presented sideways–because Art has to Hurt or it isn’t REAL Art.

Looks (from the “preview”) like tomorrow’s episode will show Funky exerting himself, and…that’s all my eyestrain can take.  Seriously, I already have ailments, I don’t need vision-related ones based on a gag.  A gag, I note, that started out with a bit of promise, but as always with this strip, soon succumbed to the author’s inexplicable need to lower all standards.  Can’t he tell a single stupid joke?  Apparently, at one time, he was able to, but that ability was traded away for some magic beans labelled “Respectability.”   And we all know what beans are best at producing.

Happy Halloween, everyone!  Here’s hoping you enjoyed the holiday.  It’s sometimes fun to be scared, but never fun to fear what comes next in Funky Winkerbean.  Because the abyss is always looking back.

(I bet trick-r-treaters have learned to avoid the Batiuk house, since all he gives out are copies of Lisa’s Story.  With the flourish of a felt-tip and an offer of an autograph.)

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