So today we get the strip that probably should have run Monday. The good news is that in today’s strip, Batty’s setting up an actual joke. The kitchen reno drags on with no end in sight (and remember: this all started out with a quote on a bathroom renovation and turned into a package deal; we don’t know if they’ve even started the bathroom). Funky dimly recalls that Rachel’s “studying to be a lawyer” and, in classic Funkman form, sees an opportunity to cadge some free legal advice. Funky doesn’t understand how adoption works? Isn’t his son Cory (like most other Westview millennials) an adoptee?
All good things must come to an end; so too must all excruciatingly dull things like this week’s reno convo. As Funky Winkerbean has pivoted from “depicting contemporary issues affecting young adults” etc. etc., we see more situations that are likely drawn from what’s been happening in Batiuk’s life the last couple years. Having one’s home renovated actually does hold some comic potential, and this arc got off to a promising start Sunday, where we saw Funky and Holly interacting with the contractor at their house. It might have been kinda fun to see the job actually being done, and maybe have Holly finding ways to continually and inadvertently drive up the price tag, adding to her husband’s consterenation. Instead, the rest of the week’s been taken up with these two commiserating.
Let’s just leave aside today’s weak gag. I want to talk about what’s going on with Crazy Harry’s head.
As a teenager in Act I, Crazy was never seen without his trademark hat: an olive drab, military style fatigue cap, similar to those worn by Fidel Castro or Beetle Bailey. As an Act II young adult, Harry ditched the cap, but kept his Crazy cred by sporting a beard and ponytail. His forelock was noticeable but not distracting. In Act III, he complimented his postal uniform with a jaunty snap-brim cap over longish, but not ponytail length hair. After getting dumped by the P.O., Harry went mostly hatless, and his hair and beard began to gray. After Chuck Ayers reunited with Batiuk, Harry’s hair at last went totally gray, and that forelock has taken on the appearance of a casque, the bony, keratin-covered protuberance on the head of a cassowary:
Holly Winkerbean’s not the only Westview wife who’s been watching HGTV. According to Crazy Harry, Donna “seems plugged in and aware” of kitchen design trends. Too bad she’s married to a man who squanders his postal service pension checks on rare Tarzan comics.
I’m pretty sure that Crazy doesn’t get the nesting urge; if he did, it would mean he was pregnant. Crazy’s just saying he “gets” it. I didn’t: I had to look up “nesting urge”. Anyway, what’s not to get about the desire to “reno the nest” (and hoo boy, there’s another turn of phrase that you will hear nowhere in real life)?
February 21, 2021 at 11:00 pm
Every time a strip features Funky being nervously anxious about the cost of something I will be motivated to write here to say, yet again, as I did yesterday and before, that FUNKY LIVES IN A GOD DAMNED MANSION OF A HOUSE THAT WOULD HAVE A VALUE OF AT LEAST ONE FUCKING MILLION DOLLARS IF IT EXISTED IN THE REAL WORLD…
Exactly. The Winkerbeans live in a spacious home (that I suspect closely resembles Batiuk’s “Cartoon Castle). Funky clearly should have the wherewithal to spruce it up just a bit. He’s just bent out of shape because Holly’s taken charge of things. But she spends at least as much time running the family business as does Funky. Doesn’t Holly deserve the kitchen (and bathroom) of her dreams?
Such a weird joke today. I’m thinking that this “momentary lapse” Funky mentions was in November ’19, when he mused aloud about installing a shower in the guest bathroom for Holly’s mom. But that conversation took place face to face, and not over the phone. Does Holly surreptitiously record all their conversations, for use as leverage to get her way? Apparently there are third-party apps that allow you to record phone calls, but it’s not a feature of iOS. At any rate, Funky knows he’s been hornswoggled, and is none too happy about it. Even though profanity standards have become pretty lax, “damn” is still kinda salty language for any newspaper comic strip not named Doonesbury. And does Funky/Batty realize that Steve Jobs has been dead nearly ten years?
Maddest of mad props to ComicBookHarriet for carrying us through the last couple weeks!
“Kitchen Reno“? I had to read today’s strip a couple times before I grasped that “reno” in this case is short for renovations. The weird alignment of type didn’t help. What’s with Funky’s stricken expression in panel 2? Home improvement is typically something guys like to talk about. Of course, all that Funky cares about is what all this is going to cost, especially with Holly out there sourcing materials. As the owner of a business that seems to have more employees than regular customers, he’s right to be concerned as to what this is going to cost.
So now we’re back to “Funky’s Body is Failing, Chapter 43”. Is that supposed to be Corey in the first panel? I hope so, because it’s legitimately hilarious that he’d have no clue that his dad is about to have surgery. Years ago, somebody must have told Batiuk that the way to get readers up to speed on what’s happening in your story is to have one character ask another what’s happening, because he sure does it a lot, and it’s super awkward every time.
Oh, and Funky is still nervous, in case you didn’t know. I really don’t know why Batiuk thinks “someone is nervous about surgery” is comedy gold, but he does.
So ends the epic OMEA 2021 Signfest (I hope). This is an awkward strip. I guess the first two panels are designed to be redundant in case the newspaper cuts them off, but having Harry ask if Funky is nervous about the surgery (and naming the type of surgery again) right after he’s told Funky isn’t looking forward to it is just awkward. Fear of death as a punchline is also awkward but totally normal for this strip. It’s funny how whenever something bad happens to Les or Lisa it’s portrayed as high tragedy, but with Funky it’s always for a lame joke or making fun of him.
Funky giving away all of his clothes is funny to me, only because I assume his wardrobe is 99% Montoni’s t-shirts and aprons.