Tag Archives: Becky

Tortursday, August 30

Today’s strip was not available for preview. One can reasonably assume it will involve Lefty continuing to torture the poor folks who agreed to play in this alumni band.


So, without the current strip, let’s take a quick look back at Lefty in late Act II, who had just been named Westview High’s band director. Dinkle tries to get her killed for the sake of a bad pun. He is a monster.



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O2 be anywhere else…

Pavel Chekov Lefty yells as some unseen old people in today’s strip… and thus continues August, as FW’s semi-official ollllllllllllllllllllld folks month.

August was once a time when this strip would fix its gaze on the high school and its students and teachers preparing for the new school year. Well, its gaze remains fixed upon the high school this August, but TB has imported infirm, elderly seniors in lieu of high school seniors. It would be bizarre if it wasn’t so uninteresting.


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Piqued in High School

I do not even want to know what Lefty and Dinkle were doing in the band office prior to today’s strip that alumni band practice so rudely interrupted. Whatever it was, it was surely negative amounts of interesting, and we are better off having missed it. If only that could have continued for three more panels…

I’m amazed that TB hasn’t hatched this alumni band thing before. It is full of his favorite FW comfort foods: Dinkle, Lefty’s pinned-up sleeve, old old old people, wistful reminiscence about high school band, petty high school grudges, more Dinkle… Just throw in cancer, comic books, and Les smirking a couple times and you’ve got the complete FW meal.

I suppose it is too much to hope for an appearance by Jon Glaser’s “Score Settler”.

Alas, there is no gold to be found here… there’s not even a creek.


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Take My Arm, Please

Link To Today’s Strip

This one is unbelievable. First, we have pinned-up sleeves all over the place today. Then it turns out that Dinkle, aka General Nostalgia himself, doesn’t even KNOW about the Band Big Reunion Alumni at all yet! How could this have not been his idea? I mean, what the hell is he even DOING there if he’s not re-living the good old days, you know? And why are Funky and Holly leaving to pick up Holly’s mom now for an event that’s a full month away? Is he seriously going to do an arc about the elderly AND marching bands at the same time? Good God.

And finally there’s the bizarre spectacle of a retired march band conductor cracking wise about old people with missing body parts to a current marching band conductor with one arm. I mean, just wow. Utterly spectacular.


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The Song That Never Ends

Link to today’s strip.

I get the intended joke: band never ends.  Students unfortunate enough to play an instrument never get their lives back from the one-armed bandit.  The thing is, it’s not funny, it’s depressing, which lines right up with everything about this strip.  Is this really how Tom Batiuk wants to shape his legacy?  That he made the world a worse place by placing his work in it?  Cos that’s what’s happening right now, on film and in the studio.

I want to add this quote from Batiuk’s blog:

“As long as I’m at it, the whole Pop Art movement was wrong as well. The artists of the Pop Art movement treated the comics as something disposable and shallow even as they tried to emulate them. “

I hate to break this to him, but most of the creators of comic books thought they were disposable and shallow.   Stan Lee, for example, wanted to write the Great American Novel and saw comic books as a way to earn a living in the meantime.

I also want to quote this, from a Flash Friday episode, before he corrects it:

“Stories don’t come in a much scope than that.”

Yes folks, that’s [sic] and I find it hilarious…more so than anything this strip has offered up.

One notable aspect of today’s strip is that Becky’s sleeve is nowhere in evidence.   Someone slipped up in quality control!  Also, Dinkle is nowhere to be found, so that’s a bonus point.  I do like the way Becky rotates through the panels, it helps to alleviate the boring nature of the strip by at least adding some visual interest.


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Tuna Melt

Link to today’s strip.

I was gonna title this one “I Melt With You” but someone (TFH himself it turns out) already thought of that, so I had to fall back and punt.  The reason for using “melt” should be obvious from the artwork: these people are dissolving before our eyes into some kind of primordial slime.   And worse, it’s because they’re laughing so hard at Becky’s…wit.

Ever notice that when one of Batiuk’s favored characters says something intended as a joke, the crowd dissolves into paroxysms of uncontrolled laughter?  Yet when one of his hated characters says something that’s actually funnier, those characters are met with a stony silence iced with contempt.

Of course you’ve noticed.  It’s one of the hallmarks of this strip, now that it has morphed fully into the “revenge on those who failed to appreciate me” Legion of Doom.

In melting news, look at Mr. and Mrs. Pinkenpurple in panel two.*   This, ladies and gentlemen, is some damn bad art.  But it’s in the cause of making Becky look great!

Which makes it even worse, in my opinion.

As for the “tuna” part of my title, well, they’re talking about food and tuna is a food so there you go.  I’ll admit the level of work I put into this one approaches Batiukian levels. But…I’m writing about Batiukan stuff!  So it turns out to be all “meta” and like that, and my check better clear at the local Sprawl Mart, or there’ll be trouble in guest-hosting land!

Speaking of bad art, when folks ask me about my college career, I tell them “I got a degree in fine arts…gateway to the restaurant business!”  Meaning I got a lot of jobs as a busboy and stuff.  I think my joke is better than Becky’s on the same theme, though I’ll admit mine’s only a tiny bit better.

*Fun fact:  I was going to call them Mr. and Mrs. Goodnplenty because I thought Good N Plenty candy was pink and purple.  In fact, I would have sworn that was the case.  But they’re not, they’re pink and white…unless I’m a victim of the Mandela Effect.


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That Dismal Season

Link to today’s strip.

You know who else is having a dismal season?  A comic strip called Funky Winkerbean.  Of course, this is the normal state of this strip, so this isn’t news to anyone.

Today’s strip illustrates–or rather, doesn’t illustrate–one of the many problems this strip parades like virtues: people talking about something that sounds funny long after the fact, while never showing any of it.  I think showing the basketball team attempting to maneuver around stacks of mattresses could have been an absurd and memorable highlight for this strip.   Instead, it’s just tossed out on its own so that we can have three panels of a bloviating author avatar.

Of course, actually showing that scene would emphasize the main problem:  if the gym was stuffed with mattresses, both teams would be equally handicapped.

Still, it would be fun to watch it unfold.  I also think it could be, um, what’s that word I can never think of when I’m thinking of Funky Winkerbean?

Oh yeah.  Funny.

Speaking of art, I like the perspective in panel one, but what in the heck is that behind Becky that looks like a pile of burnt sticks?  Is that supposed to be her shadow?  If so, how come Dinkle gets an ordinary Ben-Day shadow and she gets a scribble?

Maybe it is a pile of burnt sticks and they’re supposed to be awards?  That sounds amusing, so there’s no way that can be it.


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