Tag Archives: bricks

Bowling for Soup

Link to multiple weird continuity errors.

Aaaaaand just like that, the teeter tooter pivots and suddenly I’m annoyed again. All the Holly relatability of the last three days evaporates in a puff of smoke because REALLY?

This drivel should be coming out of Les’ mouth. Not only is he a self-important sad-sack always eagerly searching for a way to inject pathos into the most mundane situations, but he also was actually bullied and teased in high school. And the fact that he took a job at the same school district so that he could constantly re-traumatize himself is perfectly in character for Les Moore. He’s just the kind of insufferable pseudo-intellectual that thinks pain is somehow more real than joy, and so seeks it out.

But Holly? Holly, you were a popular and well liked HOMECOMING QUEEN who seemed to take being regularly set on fire with carefree joy. You were so self-confident (and dumb) you didn’t even realize when you were being teased.

She is just gleeful at the prospect of self-immolation.

Maybe I’m missing a subtle turn in her characterization somewhere between where Vintage FW has gotten to on CK and the end of Act I. But while I’ll buy that a plump middle-aged Holly might be a little daunted tonight, wondering who she hasn’t seen in 40 years might have jetted to Westview to judge her weight gain and dough slinging husband, I don’t buy for A SECOND that she was nervous every day she showed up at High School in full majorette attire.

And, news alert Holly. THAT ISN’T THE SAME BUILDING.

December 15, 2005
September 3, 2007

Crazy Harry seemed to remember and reference it earlier this year, when he made sure to take a walk down to ‘the old high school’ during his off-gassing time travel adventure.

I think it’s symbolic of this strip as a whole that Batiuk tried to move on by tearing down the old building 15 years ago, and obviously regrets it now. He wishes he still had the thematic through line. My parents attended the same High School building I did. I remember at a brother’s wrestling meet my mom walking me down to her old locker and her combination still worked. Batiuk would fume in jealousy that such an opportunity is gone. He tried to ‘kill the past’ but somehow Palpatine returned.

He started Act III with big dreams of merging all three acts thematically together. You’ve got the old Act I crew being middle-aged adults, you’ve got the grown up Act II kids in Darin, Pete, and Jessica being the new young adults just starting out, and you’ve got the Muppet Babies kids to keep the High School hijinks flowing.

But now its a gerontocracy of the impossibly old taking over everything. Even poor Pete, Darin, and Mindy have been supplanted by octogenarians.

You’ve all said it below. This shouldn’t be the 50th class reunion. Their 30th class reunion was in 2008. This pretty much confirmed that the time skip from Act II to Act III moved their graduation date from 1988 back to 1978. Summer Moore was established as turning 16 a few months prior. So is she 36 now? Seriously?

I would be perfectly fine with Batiuk having his strip officially enter Comic Book Time. It didn’t bother me at all that it took Bernie Silver six years to graduate. In a medium where a single five minute conversation can take two weeks if a comic year equals a calendar year then you’re leaving a lot of these characters’ lives out. It’s a comic strip, we understand that Christmas comes in December, school starts in September, and it takes eight years for a toddler to turn four. It’s FINE.

But the sudden, inexplicable, fast-forwarding of random characters we’ve gotten recently is just baffling. Why is Crankshaft’s great-grandson suddenly eight, when he was born less than three years ago, but Emily and Amelia haven’t aged? Why is Funky suddenly over 65 and Skyler, born in 2013, is still sitting on Santa’s lap and baby talking?

The time pool reunion arc of 2015 DIDN’T have a date or year attached. And that was a much smarter take in my humble but correct opinion. Because it wasn’t clear an entire seven years had passed since the last one. (And a 37 year reunion seems really weird)

But Batiuk couldn’t resist slapping a big fat 50 on this one. Despite only MONTHS before presenting them as all in high school in 1980!

And you know what. I’m here for it. I’m here for all of it. I’m cracking open a cold one, kicking back, and watching this train wreck. Because I have such a great bunch of people to do it with. Because it genuinely brings me joy.

Don’t let Batty get you down guys. Just enjoy the screeching, burning, twisted mess. Are you ready for a 50th reunion of “Senior Discoveries” ? Are you ready for “exploring the honesty beneath such a gathering’s initial artifice”?

Are you ready?

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Stropp me if you’ve heard this one before

Today’s strip recalls one of the very last things that ever appeared in Act I… and uses it to mourn the death of print media? Look, I dunno what’s going on in the last panel, but I can tell you what happened in flashback panels.

After bumming everyone out with his awful valedictorian speech, Les just… hung out in the auditorium until everyone left, sulking in the unfulfillment of getting a high school diploma.

This would have been a perfect time for “Mooch” Myers to burn the school down.

Then he headed out to the “Student Council Graduation Party” in the middle school gym, as seen in today’s flashback, finding the place deserted aside from Coach Stropp.

Be glad Les doesn’t narrate his life any more.

Why was the Student Council Graduation Party a dumb idea? Why was the party deserted?

You couldn’t draw Coach Stropp’s resplendent jacket in today’s flashback, Ayers? For shame…

Yep, Cindy held a huge graduation party at the mall that everybody attended… including MTV VJ Karen “Duff” Duffy and some poor souls who entered an MTV contest to win a free trip to Westview.

…and they call the show that dominates MTV’s schedule now Ridiculousness.

Les, however, sat in the middle school gym with his free copy of the yearbook, reminiscing about the good times he had with his friends in high school rather than going and actually spending time with him. After a week’s worth of strips of this, Act II began…

I do not know if next week will time warp us into Act IV or not, but I do know I will be leaving this site in the skilled hands (and mind) of ComicBookHarriet. Godspeed.

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It’s not even a proper hip. It’s polystyrene.

Today’s strip FINALLY gets to the point, if indirectly and dishonestly. Despite his protesting, Crazy doesn’t really want to be hip… He’s not sad that he doesn’t have the time or energy to keep up with what’s popular on the radio Spotify these days, he’s sad that listening to new music would require a modicum of effort from him. He’s sad because he has decided he wouldn’t enjoy listening to anything new even though he hasn’t even tried.

In short, he’s sad that what’s “hip” doesn’t conform to what he already likes.

Well if that isn’t this comic strip in a nutshell…

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No Country For Old Comic Book Men

Link To Today’s Strip

That’s right, BatYam, it’s the readers who are wrong. This attitude sure explains an awful lot. “Crappy serialized stories that plod along for weeks on end and never go anywhere are what comic strip authors choose to publish!”…yep, they sure do. It’s one of American popular culture’s most enduring and vexing conundrums.

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It Don’t Come EZ

Looks like Harry’s already gotten over having blown an opportunity to potentially spare his friend a miserable death…

Any time a person or a place in the Funkiverse gets lovingly, weirdly specifically rendered, it sends me down the rabbit hole to investigate. Captain E-Z’s Confectionery, according to an April 15, 2018 story in the Chronicle, stood on Middle Avenue in the Cleveland suburb of Elyria, and was “popular with Elyria High School students for the close proximity it offered to candy, pop and comic books.” On Instagram, I came across an undated image of what appears to be the real place in Ohio. The (poorly taped!) sign in the window advertises milk at $1.55 a gallon, suggesting that this pic dates to circa 1975.

Crazy Harry is excited to get his hands on Amazing Fantasy #15. Last September, a near-mint copy of this comic, which introduced the Amazing Spider Man, sold at auction for a record-setting $3.6 million dollars. Of course, that comic was graded CGC 9.6, and one of only four known copies in such near-mint condition. It’s doubtful that the comic Crazy is drooling over is anywhere near that kind of condition, if it’s been sitting in the spinner rack since it was published in 1962.

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Yes Mam…No Mam…

Perfect Tommy
April 17, 2022 at 11:23 am
At least Crazy didn’t run up to Lisa and loudly insist that she get a certain part of her anatomy examined. That might trigger some alarms.

Guess we’ll start calling you Prescient Tommy! Yep, Crazy, almost as an afterthought to brokering the eventual marriage of Lisa and Les, remembers something important that he probably ought to relate to young Lisa Crawford. Our security guard Cliff seems to have administered some kind of Vulcan Nerve Pinch, which renders Crazy Harry mute before he can blurt out “…a mammogram! Ask your doctor or your Mom but you must listen to me! Please!”

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Please Re-Lisa Me, Les Me Go

It’s been great being able to comment on one of the weirder recent arcs.

spacemanspiff85, yesterday

And kudos to you, Spiff, for the past fortnight of great posts!

Listen: Harry Klinghorn has come unstuck in time. Harry has gone to sleep a befuddled boomer and…well, he’s still a befuddled boomer but he’s revisiting his high school years. He has walked through a door in 2022 and come out another one in…‘78? ‘88? Who the fuck knows?

Oh yeah, nothing sketchy at all about a graybearded stranger accosting a teenage girl outside the high school to talk about boys. But hey, that’s Crazy Harry! Mousy Lisa, for her part, is not the least bit fazed to find herself chatting with this weirdo.

Les’ teenaged penchant for hanging out alone in the bleachers (during lunch…after lunch, he would probably be expected in class) actually is a recurring Act I theme. And, speaking of Act I, who else remembers Westview High School’s Cliff the Security Guard? Me neither! But I’ll bet he and classic Crazy Harry were well acquainted, and they’re about to meet again…across…the Time Zone!


Hey Snarkers! Amidst all the “excitement” of Tom Batiuk’s 75th birthday, and Funky Winkerbean‘s 50th anniversary, I sort of let the 12th anniversary of Son of Stuck Funky go by unremarked. Yep, on April 9th, 2010, we picked up the sputtering torch of the original Stuck Funky, and kindled it into a blazing…well, into a very niche comics snark blog. A long-running comics snark blog, and this never would have happened without the contribution of Epicus Doomus, billytheskink, ComicBookHarriet, spacemanspiff85, beckoningchasm, and everyone who over the years has guest-authored, commented, or just read and enjoyed. Batty is showing no inclination to putting down the Funky Felt Tip, so stick with Team SoSF, the web’s premiere source for Funky Winkerbean snark. Thanks all!

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Wow, It’s Montoni’s Again

Harry used to skip school to “play videos” at Montoni’s? It’s possible I’m forgetting something, and Harry watching VHS tapes was a regular thing, but it seems like this is referring to “video games”. I’m not sure if this is a typo or it’s deliberately meant to be shortened like this, but it’s confusing regardless.
I think it speaks to the quality of the storytelling here that the expression “play videos” is what most caught my attention in a time travel story. I do think it says a lot about Harry that his first instinct isn’t to see or talk to his parents or grandparents or other loved ones that aren’t around any more, but just to talk to himself and see Montoni’s.
I really don’t like the third panel. The art is weird to me. I assume it’s going for a dramatic close up, but it’s just kind of strange to me. And the whole “if I meet my past self, will I create a temporal paradox” is a really really tired time travel trope. (And speaking of temporal paradoxes, maybe don’t ramble things out loud to yourself that make it super obvious you’re from the future?  Why does Batiuk hate thought balloons so much?)  Maybe I’m the only one who feels this way, but it seems like every time Batiuk does a story that could actually be interesting, it does it in the least interesting way possible.

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Console-ation Prize

I like how Harry’s reaction upon seeing someone who was famously brutally murdered on live TV alive again is just “hey, an old console TV” and not “HOLY CRAP JOHN DARLING, THE FATHER OF JESSICA DARLING, WHOSE FATHER JOHN DARLING WAS MURDERED IS STILL ALIVE!!!!”. If you wanted a good example of what makes this strip “special”, a guy travelling back in time and his main reaction is “wow, the TVs are old in the past” is hard to beat. I also can’t think of much worse to play on TVs you’re trying to sale than a news show talking about taxes.

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Repeatedly Relapsing Reminiscence Reliance

Link To Today’s Strip.

ComicBookHarriet reporting in for duty. Normally I would thank Billy the Skink for the lyrical and well tagged two weeks he put in, but I’m sort of seething in jealousy here. He got two glorious weeks of the most amazing trashfire to talk about in his Les-Wins-Best-Actress arc. A beautiful blazing dumpster glowing with Lesplotation goodness. And I’m stuck back in AA with Funky and the ageless former addicts he tempts with donuts to listen to his nonsensical ramblings.

It’s been pointed out before, but it deserves to be pointed out every time it takes place: This is not what AA meetings are for, Funky! He hasn’t talked about temptation to drink since the very first week Batiuk used this gimmick. Since then it’s been weeks and weeks of focus-less blathering about a pandemic that happened ‘in the past’ like it’s open mic night at the TED talk tryouts. Unless this has been turned into a Post-Pandemic-Support-Group, talk about booze or put a lid on it.

Of course Batiuk wants to do material on the pandemic, even if he’s laughably late. All of the inconveniences of the last two years are a motherlode for his favorite brand of observational almost-humor, something to pad out the spaces between his precious prestige arcs. But why the AA meeting? Why couldn’t this just be a conversation between the guys at the disgusting Montoni’s coffee corner? Because Crazy and Les and DSH and Wally would already know this stuff? That’s never stopped Batiuk before.

But no. Funky has to go to AA to tell a group of dead eyed donut junkies his barely amusing, and definitely embarrassing, stories about his wife. If my dad ever pulled something like this in regards to my mom, she would have shit a brick and beat him to death with it.

I have a feeling that this week is aggressively unfunny all across the board. Often I would take this as an exciting challenge in making something out of nothing. But it feels so anticlimactic as we count down the final days to Funky Winkerbean’s big 5-0.

I decided that I wanted more to mark the occasion, and in preparation for the big day, I paid my toll to Comics Kingdom, and read the roughly four years worth of vintage Funky Winkerbean they’ve posted there. A little at a time, off and on, for the last month. I wanted to see what this thing was at the beginning, and I wanted to see enough of it to judge those beginnings as whole ideas. Give the characters time to fall into recognizable patterns. It was fascinating, finding so many fossilized and forgotten creations (Hi Roland!), as well as barely germinated seeds of the future.

So, I hope you don’t mind, but while Funky is reminiscing about a pandemic past that never was, I’ll be pulling up some old strips from a time when Nixon was president, Vietnam was raging, and my grandma was chasing my terrified dad away from the door because my mom wasn’t allowed to go out with boys yet.

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