Tag Archives: backs of ears

Hip to be square

I’m sure Epicus Doomus is happy to not be blogging about old men having boring conversations for the first time in months weeks (tip of the Funky felt-tip to you for your endurance), but neither I (billytheskink, hello there) nor the readers are going to be so lucky. Nope, today’s strip offers a change of venue but not of subject, old men just won’t stop blandly contemplating the decline of themselves and their worlds… and our venue may well shift back to last week’s graveyard by the end of the week if Crazy can’t name that tune in 12 notes.

Yep, Crazy’s a goner. Dang, and I had Frd Fairgood in the death pool.

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Who was that masked shmuck?

Today’s strip is so dense, every single panel has so many things going on…

My last day of the shift and I wind up with Batton Thomas, again (it could be Jff, actually, but nah)?! I know I am no longer the only one who runs into him, as he’s inexplicably turned into a semi-regular, but I still draw his appearances all too often. What a terrible coincidence.

Worse, though, is that it is like these characters know that they just followed a week of Les and are trying to match his insufferableness. They can’t, of course, but what an effort! Hope next week finds us somewhere else, though I can never be too optimistic that a change of scenery will improve things in this strip. The good news is that we’ll have the legendary Comic Book Harriett taking us through it… and through the 50th birthday (!!!) of this comic strip.

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Clap on! Clap off!

Marianne does NOT look like someone who is willing to give away her Oscar in the first today’s strip. No, she’s looking at that Oscar the way most characters in this strip look at comic books.

The rest of this is as rote and pat as an Oscar acceptance speech can be, so let’s have some fun with another crowd shot of “famous” faces. Help me fill in the blanks and fix the mistakes where my corrective lenses deceived me.

  1. A replicant
  2. NO NECK JOE!
  3. Alana Haim deserves better seats than this
  4. Stanley Tucci on a ski trip
  5. David Duchovny’s face
  6. HAL 9000 putting on its best gold
  7. Debra Jo Rupp
  8. General U.S. Grant again
  9. A cumulonimbus cloud
  10. I don’t know, but her body language is appropriate
  11. David Duchovny’s hair
  12. Cousin It
  13. Beldar Conehead
  14. Hogarth Hughes
  15. Maria, from Sesame Street
  16. Cassidy’s sister, Alexus Kerr (see, I can do it too, TB)
  17. Yoko Ono
  18. Harold Lloyd (I mean, if Phil Holt is alive…)
  19. The Chinless Contessa
  20. Given her glare I’m guessing this is either Gretchen Gold or Cordelia Rama
  21. Burt Reynolds (again… Phil Holt)
  22. Jennifer Anniston’s hair
  23. Sid, from accounting
  24. We have General Grant, so why not Robert E. Lee too?

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Harley Holey

“There are gaggles of geese, pods of whales and murders of crows. What term would do justice to the special nature of black holes?…The question was crowdsourced on Twitter recently as part of what NASA has begun calling black hole week…Among the many candidates so far: A crush. A mosh pit. A silence. A speckle. A hive. An enigma. Or a favorite of mine for of its connection to my youth: an Albert Hall of black holes.” –Dennis Overbye, “What Do You Call a Bunch of Black Holes: A Crush? A Scream?”, New York Times, April 22, 2021

Thankfully we’ve survived the week-long shipwreck that is Tom Batiuk’s imaginary Hollywood, to find ourselves in the more familiar confines of Westview High School. Jim shares his dismay over his students not picking up on his referencing a fifty-five year old Beatles lyric. Which would be akin to 1970’s high school kids recognizing an Al Jolson reference. Which, come to think of it, we 1970’s high school kids might’ve picked up on, so maybe Jim’s pupils are deserving of his disdain after all.

Today we learn the name of Westview High’s janitor. Is Harley his first name or last? It Harley matters…

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Mesh-uggeneh!

The waiter has fetched the…uh, red champagne, and the discussion turns to the rest of the Best Actress field. Which for some reason consists of only two other actresses, when IRL there are five Best Actress nominees. We should be grateful that Batiuk’s given the pair names which are actually plausible sounding, and not jokey or punny (before I wrote that, I had to say “Cordelia Rama” out loud, ten times fast, to be sure).

Is Mason being coy when he claims to “forget” who the other nominees are? Also, someone please come up with a tag we can use where, in the last panel, one character delivers the punchline, and another character chimes in with a gratuitous rejoinder (never mind, I just came up with a tag!) that adds nothing to the joke. In this case it’s Mason’s “Nope!” Unless he’s grown tired of Marianne’s mesh mask meanderings, and instead is excited about the upcoming horror flick from Jordan Peele.

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The Phantom Menace

Link to today’s strip.

So, Day Two of “Lisa Loved to Feed The Birds.” It’s a nice enough thing to do, sure, but it’s very low cost in terms of time and effort. You put out bird seed. Later, the birds eat it. It’s not like rescuing stray dogs, where you have to open up your home and take actual care of another creature.

Which is the obvious answer to Summer’s question in panel one. “Me? Give a damn about someone other than myself? Not likely! You screwed up, Summer–yes, you did.”

And of course his dialog in the third panel is stupid extraordinaire. “Oh my goodness, there’s a human-shaped form out there feeding the birds! It must be Lisa’s g-g-g-g-ghost!”

At least Summer looks like Summer this time. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not. I mean, she’s still Summer and will have to live with that.

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I Sold Snacks So I Can Buy Snacks

You know you’re reading quality comedy/ground-breaking genre convention busting high Art and Literature when you’re getting an “airplane food is expensive” joke. I do think it’s a little weird that Dinkle went around raising funds from people so he could fly out to California and be honored. I also don’t really get how it’s band candy if someone not in the band is selling it, but whatever.
I do find the entire premise of today’s strip, “I told people I needed X amount of money to fly out here but kept begging people for money long after I reached X” to be pretty revealing. That seems bad, and not something that one of the heroes of your strip should be doing? And I don’t really know what he means by “let on”. Is he just saying that he lied to his wife about how much he sold, and how much money he has? Which seems pretty awful, actually. Or did he lie to the fundraising company and not report some of his sales, by like claiming a box went missing or arrived damaged or something? Setting up the extremely, extremely tired “airline food is expensive” gag that got old decades ago shouldn’t be this confusing.

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Color Me Badd

The proofreading sucks, too! It should be spelled “ATOMIK Komix”

Still gotta question Mindy’s wisdom in engaging with this lunatic, particularly with someone else’s small child in tow. And what kind of shopkeeper would not immediately intervene in a shouting match between customers involving his comics professional friends for cryin’ out loud?

“The coloring” seems such a weirdly specific thing to like about a comic book, but there’s a creative achievement Eisner award for “Best Coloring.” A number of which awards have been earned by women, likely none of whom lucked into her career the way Min-duh did.

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Nothing Is Really Work Unless You Would Rather Be Doing Something Else

You really work for Atomik Komix?” “Well, I generally come in at least fifteen minutes late…ah, I use the side door…that way Chester can’t see me, heh heh – and, uh, after that I just sorta space out for about an hour. Yeah, I just stare at my desk; but it looks like I’m working. I do that for probably another hour after lunch, too. I’d say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work.” Yeah, I stole that from Office Space, which is light years funnier, truer to life, and more timely than Funky Winkerbean.

For a comics geek, this guy is more than a little intimidating. His menacing demeanor, drab coat, and especially his Mohawk remind me of DeNiro in Taxi Driver…let’s call him Travis Brickel. Not only does he swear in front of a small child, by panel three he’s advanced on our group. And he’s totally just ignoring Pete, which is hilarious. I don’t think Pete’s panel 3 expression is fear; he’s just really hurt by what the guy said.

This strip actually might have been compelling had Batiuk kept it to only two panels. Check out my hastily composed edit:

Instead, he just has to give Mindy a comeback. Instead of shooting back with some #@!*🌩 of her own, the best sick burn she’s able to muster is a passive aggressive “Nice to meet you too!” Batty doesn’t even bother to put her words in one of those speech bubbles with icicles hanging off it.

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It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s Busman!

Banana Jr. 6000
December 4, 2021 at 2:02 pm
[Pete and Mindy] getting married or having children makes no sense to me. Their relationship is built around their mutual desire to avoid adulthood. Which is Batiuk is probably going to make it happen.

And which also would qualify them as ideal babysitters for Skyler! Look, I know there’s no point in bitching about the way time passes in the Battyverse, but this kid would just have turned eight years old. He hasn’t changed a lot since we saw him last two Christmases ago. He still hasn’t been introduced to comic books and pizza?

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