As someone who has broken a bone after slipping on wet grass, I must admit that I briefly chuckled at today’s strip… briefly.
And that brief chuckle is the sole redeeming payoff of a story arc that began (checks phases of the moon) three weeks ago?! That’s… better than a lot of TB’s story arcs to be honest.
But what of Dinkle and the alumni band? OK, I don’t care one iota what Dinkle is doing, but the alumni band has been waiting three YEARS to perform! Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot until today that TB did this whole alumni band thing, complete with majorette performance, pretty much three years ago on the dot. I forgot about how it all started with Holly and her mom reminiscing (though then it was on a car trip from Florida). I also forgot that Holly and Melinda were told “no” on the flaming baton trick back then too. I forgot that it all ended (after taking up a whole MONTH), not with a performance, but with this. And worst/best of all, I forgot all about all of this despite being the blogger on duty when it all happened.
I was going to say “you’re welcome”, but I had to go and remember all of this today.
The day of the big
alumni band Holly and Melinda Budd vanity performance has arrived in today’s strip, and the nastiness continues. No, I’m not talking about the weather, though most of us are aware that monsoon rains during band performances are quite possibly the longest still-running gag in this strip (predating even Garfield and lasagna/Mondays, though far far less accessible).
Good crowd on hand, considering the weather, probably the biggest since Bull retired. Whoever replaced him must be doing a good job, crowds were pretty thin when Bull’s teams were struggling.
Sorry, scratch that last paragraph. This is Funky Winkerbean, so I’m sure the crowd is really here to see Holly…
Batiuk has long relied on the “photo album corners” visual cue when depicting flashbacks to past events. He uses that device once again in today’s strip to confusing effect. Are we seeing the photo that Holly is holding in her hands? Why is that photo talking? If Holly’s photos aren’t collected in a photo album, why does this one have photo album corners? There are other head-scratching details to unpack as well. There are apparently enough majorette pics to staple together and make a movie, yet there’s only one single photo of Holly as a baby…and she’s not even in it? I get the feeling too that Batty had an extra baton twirling joke, and decided to use it up in the middle panel. It really doesn’t have much to do with what’s being said in the panels surrounding it.
Link To Today’s Strip
Few people remember how this legendary Act II arc ended up playing out. Dinkle did indeed stab Crankshaft, causing the bus to plunge into one of Ohio’s many ravines. A guilt stricken Dinkle rendered first aid to Crankshaft who managed to survive, but the entire band died of exposure while awaiting rescue. In one of the strip’s most harrowing twenty-two week sequences, Harry and Crankshaft resorted to cannibalism to survive long enough for Les and Lisa to rescue them. Some of TB’s most chilling (pun intended) work.
The fact that Dinkle is the one reciting this retconned story makes it pretty creepy if you ask me. He’s flat-out admitting that he once threatened to kill a school bus driver for refusing to drive children through unsafe conditions. While that sort of thing was considered hilarious back in 1976, now it’d probably result in that weirdo Dinkle being banned from the school for life, at least. And he’s telling this story to a woman who lost her arm in a car crash, no less. Surprisingly tone-deaf stuff from a guy so in tune with the issues facing young people today and (zzzzzzzz).