Tag Archives: Amelia

Meeting the Four Hundred

Les just continues to mock Batton in today’s strip. Sheesh, whadda jerk! Apparently newspaper cartoonists were the original social distancing champions, which you probably would be seeing memes about if you were Facebook friends with one. Unfortunately, gags this terrible are not a rare sight in Funky Winkerbean

Emily or, uh Amelia… whichever one wears pink and doesn’t act like what TB imagines a Hot Topic shopper to be, asks a perfectly reasonable question for a “kids these days” kid. Seriously, it is a good question and it demonstrates a knowledge of what a comic strip is, how it is distributed, and its primary measure of success. Batton, of course spins this perfectly fine question into a self-pitying humblebrag so deftly that even Les seems impressed. Newspapers may be dying, but his comic strip is in EVERY SINGLE ONE of the ones that remain! What’re you gonna accomplish in your life, Blondie?


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TB does it, why not you, Batton?

Kidz these daze and their cellular doohickeys! Always on ’em. Amirite? Amirite? Eh? Today’s strip knows what I’m talking’ about! Leave ’em alone in a classroom with no direction and they just start tap-tap-tapping away on their smartyphones. It’s nothing like it wuz back in my day when we’d get in fistfights and beat lunch money out of the weird kids.

By the way, Les’ opinion on the value of comics sure has changed over the years…



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Early Dawning, Sunday Morning

Link to today’s strip (eventually).

Sunday’s strip was not available for preview…and boy, writing that makes me feel like a Tom Batiuk character, saying the same thing over and over and expecting it to be funny…eventually!  As Fearless Leader noted yesterday, I think I’ve had the most “strip not available” entries of all time (a situation which forces me to pull things from my spinnerets to post, and thank you all for indulging me thus).  Still…the most something–it’s an award!  I am Number One!

But the situation makes me scared that I ticked off some Elder God, and as punishment I’m going to show up as a character in the strip.   Can you imagine a more horrible fate?  I bet if you proposed this to Dante, he’d have turned pale and said, “Whoah, dude, I only imagined nine levels of Hell.  You’re like, ill or something.”

But fate is what it is.  Still, I promise if that happens, I’m going to go right up to Les and ask him, “Do you read Sutter Cane?

As for the Sunday strip, I imagine we’re going to see the Bleat crew wrap up their “podcast” and “newsprint” coverage of the fair, using more video footage of various fair goings-on.  After all, the Dark Twin promised “the dark side” of the fair, which–oh, who am I kidding?  That part of the story was forgotten as soon as Tom Batiuk pulled it out of his spinnerets.  Thinking things through takes time away from reading Flash comics.

Speaking of comics, tonight ends my session in the agony booth; tomorrow, the lovely, talented and very well informed Comic Book Harriet takes the center seat.   Please join me in wishing her luck as the long-threatened “Funky-Crankshaft” crossover feature commences.   As for me, I…well, I await the Yellow Sign.


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The Les You Know-Part 6

Link to today’s strip (eventually).

Saturday’s strip was unavailable for preview, but we all know we’re going to get another Kids Today Are Terrible lesson.

It’s funny (in a peculiar way) how Les has spent an entire week telling the kids what a newspaper is, and this hasn’t dissuaded him at all from his plan of having them write for one.  Of course, has he really gone into any details of what the kids should be writing about–their experience at the fair, the stories of the folks running it, an overview of events…no, apparently “You’ll write for the paper” is all the instruction he intends to give.

Now, I haven’t seen the strip, so it’s possible that Batiuk’s baiting us, and that Saturday’s egg will be jam packed with informative and insightful content.  But, you know, trolling people for five days sounds stupid, not to mention “informative and insightful content” takes actual work–something Batiuk seems loathe to do.

I guess we’ll all find out together!


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The Les You Know-Part 5

Link to today’s strip.

I suppose it’s natural for Tom Batiuk to resent the decline of newspapers–they are, after all, his bread and butter.  And I can’t really argue with Les’ dismissal of Logan’s question–this crew has proven itself remarkably cretinous.  (How much of this can be laid at Les’ feet is a question studiously avoided.)  It still seems rather nasty-minded, though.

Plus, if they spend all their time on their smartphones and their Nintendos, being internuts and twitter tots, how are they going to know what a “gas station” is?

A high point is Bernie’s expression in panel two:  Whoah–you’re actually wanting to do extra work?  What’s wrong with you?


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The Les You Know-Part 4

Link to today’s strip.

I’m not sure about the obscurity level of “above the fold.”  I’ve heard the phrase for decades, but I’ve heard a lot of things for decades so I can’t judge about whether it’s commonly known.  Thus, I am uncertain if the twins are supposed to be stupid or not.

Oh, who am I kidding, they’re Kids Today so of course they’re stupid…in myriad ways, too.

Les’ dialogue in the last panel is really odd, with all those ellipses, and the fact that it just peters out.  More evidence that Tom Batiuk just can’t be bothered with thinking how something should be constructed to convey meaning in the best way.  “Okay, back in the old days, a story appearing above the fold would signify importance.  Just like your stories will!”  I mean, that took maybe ten seconds of thought.

Think what it could have been if I’d had a whole year to refine it.

If you’ve ever watched a kitten playing with a toy, it’s a mad rush of whirling and pouncing, followed by batting to start the whole thing over again.  Tom Batiuk and his writing remind me of that same toy and cat, now at least a decade from kittenhood.  The cat takes a couple of desultory slaps at that once beloved toy before adjudging the playing process “complete” and returning to its nap.


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The Les You Know-Part 3

Link to today’s strip.

Okay, perhaps Les’ students do know what a newspaper is, they’ve just never heard of the Westview Gazette.  Some communities will have a main newspaper, with local and national news, weather, ads, and so forth; they might also have a smaller, more-locally focused paper that’s a sort of “goings-on around town” thing.  They’ll have articles like “8 Signs You Should Replace Your Lawn Sprinkler” and “New Fish-Themed Restaurant Hopes to ‘Hook’ Diners.”  That could be what we’re talking about here, but leave it to Batiuk to absolutely refuse to be clear.

As for the joke…well, I can’t find one.

Update:  Well, I was wrong–the Westview Gazette is the town’s main paper.  And it has been for some time.  So, my attempt to excuse those darn kids’ ignorance was equally ignorant!


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The Les You Know-Part 2

Link to today’s strip.

Okay, so the “joke” today is that kids are stupid and don’t know what a newspaper is.   Pretty typical of the “jokes” he makes when the setting is high school.  What I don’t get is that the Bleat crew, who make in-school videos, are also going to be writing copy for the local paper?  Can they do this?  Do they have any training?  It should be obvious that writing for a newspaper is not the same as writing for broadcast; I guess Batiuk feels that some of the crew wear headphones, so that’s like a hat with a “PRESS” card in it, so they can do both.  Right?

A podcast is probably more the Bleat crew’s speed, though I question the value of putting it on the county fair’s website.  County fairs do their best to be colorful and eye-catching, so a video would probably be much better.  (I’m assuming the Bleat crew could make a competent one.)  My understanding is that a podcast is an audio file of people chatting.   Would visitor’s to a fair’s website, upon seeing “Westview High Podcast,” click so they could hear “Look at the lights on that Ferris wheel!”  “And these hot dogs are great, I’ve already had forty!”?


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The Les You Know-Part 1

Link to today’s strip.

Naturally, when “officials” are worried that the county fair isn’t going to get enough publicity, they’re going to call the most important man in town–and he’s going to work tirelessly to make sure other people do the work.

So, Les being Les, he’s volunteering his students without asking them first.   And he’s also volunteering their parents to drive them to school that day, unless Westview has a number of bus runs.  (None of these students look old enough to do solo car school.)

I am puzzled as to exactly what the students are supposed to be covering–people putting up stands, spreading hay, making sure power receptacles are turned on and that the porta-potties are visible?  Most of the fun activity at a county fair would happen after school hours, and on weekends…unless the fair is being held when school is out, which is clearly not the case here.  Let’s not even mention that the school channel is not a broadcast channel, so the only coverage the fair will get from Les’ class will never leave the high school.  I’d think a bunch of posters would do just as well, but then, I’m not an award-nominated cartoonist.

By the way, Batiuk teased a “Funky-Crankshaft” crossover story, taking place at the fair.  Prepare to dread!


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The Right to Hug Arms

Link to today’s strip

The internet has been a wonderful breeding ground for all kinds of new dialectical terminology. Whereas before we had things like Ockham’s Razor or Pascal’s Wager. Now we’ve got Godwin’s Law, “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” The Bechdel Test, “Whether a work features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man.” And Poe’s Law, “Without a clear indicator of the author’s intent, it is impossible to create a parody of extreme views so obviously exaggerated that it cannot be mistaken by some readers for a sincere expression of the parodied views.”

Here we have an inverse Poe’s Law. A sincere expression of a view so obviously exaggerated it is indistinguishable from parody.

Also. Is this all of the students who walked out? That must have been some editorial.


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