Tag Archives: Act I call-backs

Stropp me if you’ve heard this one before

Today’s strip recalls one of the very last things that ever appeared in Act I… and uses it to mourn the death of print media? Look, I dunno what’s going on in the last panel, but I can tell you what happened in flashback panels.

After bumming everyone out with his awful valedictorian speech, Les just… hung out in the auditorium until everyone left, sulking in the unfulfillment of getting a high school diploma.

This would have been a perfect time for “Mooch” Myers to burn the school down.

Then he headed out to the “Student Council Graduation Party” in the middle school gym, as seen in today’s flashback, finding the place deserted aside from Coach Stropp.

Be glad Les doesn’t narrate his life any more.

Why was the Student Council Graduation Party a dumb idea? Why was the party deserted?

You couldn’t draw Coach Stropp’s resplendent jacket in today’s flashback, Ayers? For shame…

Yep, Cindy held a huge graduation party at the mall that everybody attended… including MTV VJ Karen “Duff” Duffy and some poor souls who entered an MTV contest to win a free trip to Westview.

…and they call the show that dominates MTV’s schedule now Ridiculousness.

Les, however, sat in the middle school gym with his free copy of the yearbook, reminiscing about the good times he had with his friends in high school rather than going and actually spending time with him. After a week’s worth of strips of this, Act II began…

I do not know if next week will time warp us into Act IV or not, but I do know I will be leaving this site in the skilled hands (and mind) of ComicBookHarriet. Godspeed.

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Licorice Pizza

OK, I’ll start positive today. Here’s something I like about today’s strip, Ayers uses bubble panel borders correctly, to denote a memory of dream sequence. Yeah, that doesn’t sound like much, but coming from TB’s pencil for decades it meant “present day in-strip setting change”, a maddening misinterpretation of longstanding comic art language.

And now, for everything else…

A pizza spinning on your turntable used to be a sort of shorthand for “cool”, in that it signified you were someone cool enough to have just a had a party wild and “crazy” enough that some nut tried to play a pizza and everyone was having too much “fun” to notice (see this well-known scene from Sixteen Candles, for example). However, a pizza spinning on your turntable when you are alone in your own room with your headphones on is not “cool”. Silly, whimsical, weird, crazy? Sure… but not cool. One could even describe Crazy’s memory as rather sad, given the contrast between him listening to his pizza alone in his room compared to the sight of a pizza on a turntable signifying a really good time shared by friends.

Furthermore, was the music produced by the pits of a pizza ever “cool”? Since every Youtube video of someone “playing” a pizza on a turntable is just a gag to dub in “That’s Amore”, I am forced to assume that it actually sounds like an EP for a British New Wave band. In that case, yes, it actually was cool.

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Return Of The Jerk Guy

Finally! Dinkle and the alumni band show up in today’s strip… though Jerome T. Bushka A&L Automotive Stadium looks suspiciously like St. Sprires church and the alumni band doesn’t have any instruments (though they all look to be about the age I would expect). Weird.

After the throwaway panels, you almost could have convinced me that a computer wrote this. Former marching band director plays music from famous composer. You could generate this gag, such as it is, with a UNIVAC… though I think the UNIVAC would spit out dialogue with a little more flair.

And with that, I’m out. Tackling tomorrow’s tantalizing strip and taking to task the next two weeks will be the incomparable Spaceman Spiff.

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Grosstalgia

As someone who has ridden in an ambulance with a parent after breaking a bone while competing in a sport, I found there to be nothing at all redeeming about today’s strip. At least yesterday we had some America’s Funniest Home Videos visuals, solid work from Chuck Ayers for once, but today… today… just get out of here with this tripe!

No one wants to see Holly apologize to her mother for, um, for breaking her ankle?! What?! No one wants to see this whole cruel and miserable experience turned into a nostalgia trip. No one wants to know what kind of hairspray Holly uses that has kept her terrifying hair claw intact despite spending extended periods in a driving rainstorm.

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Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This

Oh, so we have another week of this… How, exactly, can Melinda Budd tell when the photo in today’s strip was taken? It looks like every other old photo/Act I flashback/actual Act I appearance of Holly.

I guess Holly figures her pageant days are over now that she’s looking more like Gloria Daze… but we all know that’s not going stop Melinda or TB from stretching this story concept so thin you could toss an Oldsmobile Bravada through it.

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À la Recherche du Temps Pizza

Link To Today’s Strip

Comic Book Harriet here again! Can’t believe I’m up again already. It seems like yesterday I was struggling to find a band turkey joke that wasn’t as overdone as the ones in the strip. But Tom rolls on like an ever flowing stream of consciousness, bringing me back again, panning through his muck for fool’s gold.

I want to give special commendation to SpaceManSpiff 85. He was given a relentlessly dim and myopic arc, and managed to fill the week with a overwhelming flow of cataract puns. Sir, you have my admiration. And my sympathy. Because it seems I’m going to be just as burdened this week with shortsighted visual humor.

I asked earlier this arc if Funky has always been a hapless character that only exists to be neurotic and spout lame puns. My interactions with Act I Funky come through flashback photo-cornered panels, car accident coma dreams, and the offerings of our resident Batiukian researchers. Longtime Stuckfunkians Rusty Shackleford and Banana Jr 6000 were kind enough to reply, and both used the term ‘burnout’ to describe Act I Funky, which kind of surprised me. I can’t see the preachy Batiuk, with more cheap soapboxes than a Palmolive warehouse, insinuating his main character was dating Mary Jane Wackytabaccy on the weekends, and playing it for harmless laughs. Crazy Harry? Sure. But the eponymous protagonist?

I can see it now. Panel two has Act I Funky, in all his mellow glory, blissed out on his tiny bed, with every comfort a baked adolescent needs within arm’s reach: lamp, pizza, soda, music, The Amazing Mister Sponge. Curled up in a tiny cluttered nest of his own hedonism. He even has his SHOES on the bed, that’s how much he DNGAF.

Stark contrast to Act III Funky in panels 1 and 3, sitting on a huge, empty bed, in a mostly empty room. Only a featureless smartphone and a rapidly expanding mattress his plebian pleasures. His specific interests have been pulled out, leaving us with a boring box containing a boring man with a face slowly drooping like a blobfish.

I wish Funky could have gotten glaucoma instead. We could have had burnout Funky back.

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Deafinitely Dumb

Hey, remember when this story arc was about Bull?
Today’s strip sure doesn’t.

Look, I’m just going to gloss over the fact that Dinkle was actually introduced well over a year into this strip’s existence and just give TB credit for remembering that Funky Winkerbean itself is 47 (and a half) years old… And with that out of the way I’ll go right into wondering what the heck this has to do with Bull, his condition, his life, or anything. I guess if you twist your neck 117 degrees and squint until you experience sharp pain in your temples it appears the notoriously egotistical Dinkle (or is that Buck?) is paying Bull a compliment by saying they were equals despite his long and incessant history of considering all things inferior to himself and his marching band. But really this is just TB repackaging his biggest hit.

Dinkle is the only thing about this strip that has ever moved merchandise. His “football fields are for band practice!” bit covers books and t-shirts, and even serves as his character’s introductory line in the stage play Funky Winkerbean’s Homecoming. Dinkle’s shtick has sold band posters (“Dinkle wants your horn to twinkle”) and shoes, and no less than 9 Dinkle-specific collections of FW strips have been published! No, seriously, there have been 4 Lisa books and 9 Dinkle books.

Football Fields are for Band Practice!
Sunday Concert
Harry L. Dinkle Live at Carnegie Hall
I Never Promised You a Rose Parade
Gone with The Woodwinds
Would the Ushers Please Lock the Doors!
Attack of the Band Moms
The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side of the Football Field
Music is Worth it… Music is Worth it… Music is…

This is nothing more than TB pushing his most-recognized character/cash cow into a story the New York Times inexplicably gave him ink for. Ugh!

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Lespicable

I don’t have words right now for today’s strip, so here is a list of synonyms for “Les Moore” that I found in the thesaurus:

cheap, contemptible, cruddy, deplorable, dirty, grubby, lame, lousy, mean, nasty, paltry, pitiable, pitiful, ratty, scabby, scummy, scurvy, sneaking, sorry, wretched, abhorrent, abominable, condemnable, detestable, execrable, hateful, loathsome, odious, disgusting, reptilian, repugnant, repulsive, revolting, revulsive, discreditable, disgraceful, dishonorable, disreputable, ignominious, shameful, base, ignoble, low, shabby, sordid, squalid, vile, blamable, censurable, reprehensible, reproachable, cowardly, craven, dastardly, unethical, unprincipled, unscrupulous, base, currish, detestable, execrable, low-down, low-minded, snide, sordid, , evil, foul, immoral, iniquitous, wicked, cruel, vicious, debased, degenerate, depraved, atrocious, villainous, monstrous, horrible, appalling, pathetic, egomaniacal, jerky, are-you-still-in-high-school-?-good-grief-get-over-it-man-!-don’t-you-have-a-life-now-?

Please feel free to add any that I and Merriam-Webster may have missed. Thanks.

Also, just to remind anyone who wasn’t reading back in 2011, or those who have had the good fortune to forget, Bull’s bullying of Les in high school was an act to protect Les from real bullies. It’s like Les doesn’t even read this strip…

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Diplame-a

Well, with today’s strip, Wally has officially beaten Summer across the Kent State graduation stage. And so has Buddy. And Kay Kyser too. Sheesh…

Wait, Kent State? I thought Wally was taking classes at a community college. Granted, I have an uncle who calls Kent a community college. He went to Miami (the Ohio one) though, so his opinion is a little biased.

Also, be sure to check the throw-away panels today for a rare glimpse at Becky’s left arm back when it was still attached.

Thanks for reading my two weeks covering TB’s flotsam. SOSF hall-of-famer and hall-of-namer beckoningchasm will take the helm tomorrow.

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Momenade

Today’s strip is the kind of maudlin slop that TB believes makes his comic strip stand out from the strips that people actually enjoy. Why is Holly telling Funky this now? Was this supposed to run before Funky and Holly left on their ridiculous road trip? Why wasn’t this a week long set of flashback strips instead of one of TB’s unloved trademark walls o’ text? Did Holly’s mom really go to prom with her daughter? Do I really care about any of this?

No.

Edit post script:
I had to write this on a telephone in a car and neglected to thank you all for putting with me for two weeks. Our fearless leader TFH takes the helm tomorrow. Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend SOSFers.

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