Tag Archives: Ann Fairgood

Another Saturday Night and I Ain’t Got No Preview

Link to today’s strip.

Well, so far Pete’s learned absolutely nothing of value from John, which isn’t even a little bit surprising.  I’m guessing that in today’s episode we learn even less, but as it wasn’t available for preview, we can all be disappointed together.

By the way, did any of you notice that Chester has a mutant super-power?  I’m a bit red-faced that I only recently saw this.  Observe:

He has the power to hitchhike whenever he wants!

Actually, let’s improve this.

Much, much better.

A couple of days ago, commentor Charles asked this:

“And why does it always have to be someone like Crankshaft and his daughter? I swear to God when I first made the observation that “There are 200 people in the Funkyverse and they’re all within two degrees of separation” I was joking.”

Many others have asked the same.  (And it’s almost always Crankshaft characters appearing in Funky Winkerbean, rarely the reverse–though I do remember Les showing up the used bookstore.  Les Moore?  Double-yuck!)

My own theory is that Tom Batiuk is trying to create some kind of Funky Winkerbean Extended Universe; the idea being that someone reading this would learn of Crankshaft and think, “Wait, there’s MORE like this?  Wow, I have to find that!”

Which is exactly the reaction he gets nowadays.  Oh, except the word “find” is replaced by “avoid.”

 

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Everything’s So-So

Link to today’s strip.

Ah, the perils of drawing your comic strip, word balloons and all, a year before you write the dialogue.  I feel certain Tom Batiuk wanted to have some reference to “medication” in Dullard’s word balloon, but alas he couldn’t make the word fit.  Too bad, as it would clarify the mysterious “they” in Ann’s balloon (supposed to be “medications” I guess) and make her reference to a “booster shot” tie it all up neatly.  It still wouldn’t be funny or good, but one could point to it as (at least) well constructed.

Oh well, can’t stop now!  Onward, ever onward, toward that 50th!

I try to point out things I like whenever I can, and I like the shadow pattern of the window on the far wall.   Somebody took his time applying craftsmanship to make that, and it is appreciated.  And unless I’m mistaken, the picture on the wall looks a little like “Christina’s World” by Andrew Wyeth.  It may not be, but I like to think someone tried to slip something of quality into this dreary waste.

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Nuke It From Orbit

…It’s the only way to be sure.

Link to today’s strip.

I’m having a hard time grasping the fact that Tom Batiuk, the most depressing comic strip author of all time, thinks that there are some things that are depressing that shouldn’t be*.  Seems to me he’d be okay with children’s books getting darker and darker, as that’s his own game plan searching for respectability (i.e., award nominations).  Shouldn’t children’s books be reality-based and reflect contemporary problems of young people?

Perhaps he’s ticked off that children’s books would follow along his chosen path.  Perhaps he thinks I’ve earned this…stupid children’s books haven’t.  Stop poaching my territory.  Seems like a case of wanting it both ways, but perhaps there’s an alternate explanation in that last panel.

In his offscreen presentation, Tom Batiuk loves him some comic books.  But what he loves most is old comic books, the ones he grew up with.  Whenever he mentions anything positive about contemporary comic books, I don’t think he ever goes past what a “striking” cover this or that issue has.  But he can go on for hours about silver age Flash comics.

So what more natural than, when he wants entertainment, he wants the entertainment he enjoyed as a kid.  Absolutely nothing wrong with that.  But he should be self-aware enough–at least I hope he is–that while he can say Things are terrible and dreary now, they were so much better years ago, that others can say the same about his own work.

*Though what seems to be distressing Ann here is actually just a description of the Sun.

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The March of Mediocrity

Link to today’s strip (presumably).

Thursday’s strip was not available for preview, but I’m betting March will begin with a titanic explosion, followed by millions of multi-tentacled aliens descending on the town, their hearts twisted with evil and their minds bent on enslaving the world.

But first, we have to guess whether yesterday’s episode exhausted Tom Batiuk’s observations about grandparents and toddlers, and he’ll thus quickly pivot to his real interest (hint: it has to do with comic books), or if he figures he ought to squeeze out a few more pearls before getting to the good stuff (which has to do with comic books).

I guess we’ll all have to wait!

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The Postman Always Rings Twice

Link to today’s strip.

Isn’t it amazing how every time these characters hear a joke that they did not concoct, the reaction is always anger, weariness, or in the case of Dullard here, utter befuddlement?  And yet when they tell a joke, the entire earth should fall off its axis from everyone laughing.

Look at Dullard’s utterly doltish face in panel 3.  There’s a clod who knows he’s just been insulted, he just can’t figure out in what way.   Is…is someone else Skyler’s dad? 

That’s the face of someone without the slightest hint of a sense of humor (or intelligence), who does not know a joke when he comes across one.

It’s kind of the opposite of Tom Batiuk, who finds jokes all the time, when they actually aren’t anywhere in the area.  Or at least that’s what I see happen.

One thing here that begs a look at the continuity is the fact that the Fairgoods live in Westview.  Skyler was (presumably) conceived and born in Westview.  And yet…the US Postal Service closed the Westview PO some years back.   Remember how Harry had to scramble to find a job?

Westview has no mailman.  Think about that for a moment.

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Who are you again?

Finally!  Today, we finally get back to the actual subject of this arc, with Bull making a self-depreciating joke about the anticipated trajectory of his condition. I have to admit that, having watched family members struggle and fade with memory loss and dementia, I found Bull’s comment bittersweet (especially since I kind of liked him – probably the only time you’ll hear me say that about an FW character who isn’t Buddy.)

annAnd then…in Panel Two…is that…Ann Fairgood? Why, we haven’t seen her in awhile. Say, she’s got a pretty talented hair stylist, huh? Four years ago her hair was mousy brown, and then for a while it turned white (probably from having to change Fred’s diapers four times a day) and today it’s Cindy Blonde. Good thing T-Bats knows how to indicate “old age” by adding a few crows feet around the eyes and putting in that line on the neck. Guess those art lessons really paid off. Wonder where Fred is? Probably handcuffed into bed with duct tape over his mouth since Ann’s been retconned into being a spousal abuser.

Jinx is still a no-show. Wonder if T-Bats even remembers that Bull and Linda had an adopted daughter?

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Basket Case

Happy Easter, gang, and a tip of the ol’ SoSF Easter bonnet to Epicus and SoSFDavidO for their guest stints over the last several weeks! Your pal TFH is stepping in to ramp up the “festivities” marking the fifth anniversary of Son of Stuck Funky this week!

Before laying eyes on today’s tableau, I’d have wagered that today’s holiday would have passed unremarked (as it is in today’s Crankshaft, but then Easter 10 years ago might have fallen on a different Sunday). Despite the abundance of baskets, bunnies, and eggs, this scene suggests Christmas (specifically the Epiphany) more than Easter, as Westview’s Holy Family is surrounded by the Magi bearing gifts. I recognized dowdy, nondescript Kerry, Fred’s daughter from his first marriage, though she’s not been seen since Thanksgiving 2013. It took me a lot longer to surmise that the big smirking blonde to the right is Jessica’s mom Jan Murdoch Darling (you’re welcome).

Anyway, it’s a good thing for Skyler that this mob showed up bearing baskets, else he’d have had to content himself with that pitiful tiny basket before him, which I don’t think even contains any chocolate—that green rabbit’s probably made of carob or some crap. It’s certain that the basket’s chintzy size has less to do with “keeping Skyler away from candy”—on one of the two big candy holidays all year, for goodness’ sake—and everything to do with Boy Lisa’s meager Montoni’s salary.

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