Charity Case for Second Base

Link to today’s strip

Hello Funkysnark Fans! Comic Book Harriet here. And I am soooo honored to be with you this week! This is my first time driving the bus! But as long as I don’t go careening off any cliffs like a drunk on prom night, I think we should be okay.

And for my first strip we have an almost ‘Mark Trail’ set up, with a building cheerfully spouting expository dialogue. I do have to applaud the scene setting in the first panel. We know we’re in Beverly Hills because a vapid looking, overly skinny, socialite, in a back-exposing top has wandered into traffic and is about to get mowed down by a blue Porsche. It could use some topical Hollywood harassment, but these strips are written months in advance.

Boy Lisa, and the person who exists so Boy Lisa has someone to talk to when Droopy Eyes McSadWriter isn’t around, are gearing up for the only thing that really matters in Funkyverse: Comic Book Cancer (Charity Action).

I am totally baffled by Mrs. Flowers in The Attic saying the title of the auction as ‘Covers for the Cure.’ It seems to be followed by BoyLisa suddenly realizing they forgot to promote this event. Or maybe that ‘Covers for the Cure’ would be a better promotion than whatever they chose. Which is probably something like’ Starbuck Saves Second Base!’ But why would the young Miss Darling say it in the first place if it wasn’t the title of the event?

Are you excited for a week of fictional strips that serve as cheap advertising for a real life auction for a real life charity that honors the tragic death of a fictional character? Because I sure as heck am!

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The Hair-ried Author

Oh no, Les is back in today’s strip. And along with ol’ smirk n’ shirk we get three would-be nominees for This Week In Milford’s pantheon of hair. Let’s see… we’ve got a phone camera operator sporting a Dave Coulier mullet, a proud Lisa book-buyer wearing the Luke Skywalker, and someone so enthralled with the many justifications for John Darling’s murder in Fallen Star that they are morphing into Albert Einstein. Fantastic.

Well, that took my mind off of yet another strip where Les shows contempt for the people who want to give him money for his work, for a few minutes at least.

Thanks, SOSFers, for putting up with me and TB (mostly TB… I hope) for another two weeks. The unenviable task of covering a crazed bald man palming two imaginary grapefruits (and whatever else next week brings) falls to someone significantly more well-known to the average comic strip reader than Phil the Forecaster, our own Comic Book Harriet. Good luck.

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Snow Job

Phil is implored to give the viewers one more forecast in today’s strip, a forecast so far out that even a good meteorologist would just be guessing.

And that’s… it? We spent a week watching the fifth or sixth most-prominent character from a decades dead comic strip get ceremoniously fired from a job we didn’t know he still held.

A lot of Funky Winkerbean story arcs make we scratch my head, but this one may have me wearing in a bald spot. I mean, I like a good deep cut reference as much as the next person but that doesn’t mean I would subject anyone to a week of posts consisting of nothing but Tonio K lyrics and Cattanooga Cats references. Well, at least Les wasn’t involved in this one.

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Comic A-trophy

Apologies for the late post, but after reading today’s strip you may want me to apologize for posting at all.

Phil gets a final farewell for 45 years of (poor) service at the station. OK, I get that.

He is given a gag award (swiped from a cameraman’s daughter’s bedroom no doubt) for said service. I’d get it if it was played as an inside joke, but it is clearly intended to be an insult, so… what?

Then an anchor airs some of his dirty laundry on the air. Uh…

This strip took 100 steps and went nowhere. Phil’s award, at least, was better than the gift Coach Stropp got at his (forced) retirement party.

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A Special Denouncement

It’s about time! I was wondering if we’d ever get there, but today’s strip finally gives us the call back to John Darling we’ve been expecting. Yes, Phil is terrible at his (former) job, just like he was back in 1979. Back then, making fun of the local weather forecaster was a comedy trend surpassed only by making fun of Billy Carter…

JD7-30-79
This strip appeared opposite an ad imploring you to come test drive the all-new Chevrolet Citation…

Oh, for Pete’s sake!

I remain baffled by the pie case at Montoni’s. Who eats pie there?
That’s a rhetorical question of course, nobody eats anything at Montoni’s. Not even Crazy, who is only ever seen there sipping a bottomless coffee or soda and avoiding his job. But still, what’s with the pie case?

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Poor Poor Piti-Phil Me

Today’s strip finds Phil having skipped the bargaining phase of grief over his firing… moving right on to depression, acceptance, and Jim Boeheim impersonation.

Producer Jan Murdoch Darling’s sympathy for Phil is an awfully kind gesture on her part, considering that he once pulled a gun on her late husband. Frankly, I find it somewhat difficult to sympathize with Phil when he’s sharing a panel with Jan. Yes, his 40+ year career is coming to an end and not by his choice. Too bad. Meanwhile, Jan:

– grew up with an awful, abusive mother, one of the comics page’s most vile characters
– sees her only child visit on rare occasions, and never to actually see her
– has fallen from producing The “Today” Show to once again slumming it at the dying Channel One
– oh yeah… and famously saw her husband murdered right in front of her

But sure, we’ll shed some crocodile tears for you too Phil.

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The position has been Phil-ed

Poor Phil the Forecaster is still getting fired in today’s strip and Alex (the bearded news director who is probably supposed to remind us of smarmy John Darling regular Reed Roberts) seems awfully chipper about replacing him with an unpaid intern. Firing Phil as a cost-saving move (rather than for a variety of good reasons covered below) tells me that Channel One will soon be one of those stations that airs Family Feud reruns in primetime. Alex might want to start worrying about his own position.

That Phil remained Channel One’s weatherman into 2017 is remarkable, in both positive and negative ways. He debuted in Funky Winkerbean in the mid-70s, giving him a 40+ year tenure at Channel One that would be a legitimately impressive career in real life.

He also kept the job for decades despite the running gag that he was terrible at it. And if Brenda Harpy is to be believed, he also kept the job despite being a certifiable nutcase who engaged in terrifying workplace violence on at least one occasion.

FW4-9-97

He wasn’t wrong about John Darling and the ozone layer, though.

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