I hate having “Crankshaft” rammed down my throat anytime, but on Christmas Eve it’s just absolutely galling. I see two interesting things about this one. First, it appears that Boy Lisa and Jessica had another kid, because that ain’t Skyler. And two, although I realize it’s probably just another “Crankshaft” character I don’t know, it sure looks like Bull is there, right next to Jessica. But that can’t be, as Bull is dead, just as Skyler is definitely more than a foot tall by now. Continue reading
Tag Archives: bricks
Too Much to Handel
“Hey, Phil. Chester said he’d be making an announcement today about a ‘Christmas surprise’ he has for us. Whaddaya think it could be?”
“‘Christmas surprise,’ huh? Tell ya what, Flash: it had best be a bonus or a raise…I’m so broke I’m thinking about going back to working kids’ birthday parties! I can’t even sell off any of my old Batom covers because I “bequeathed” them all to that ingrate sonofabitch Darin!” Continue reading
Filed under Son of Stuck Funky
There is a Light That Never Goes Out
As she wanders ’round Westview, hopefully Summer’s head is beginning to clear. The rest of us, meanwhile, are getting dizzy trying to figure out what, if any, significance these locations hold for her. On Monday we saw her pass by Dinkle’s house, but Summer was too involved with sports to be in the band. The high school was certainly an important part of her life, but from there, she continues on past the first home of the Fairgoods, Fred and Ann.
I’m embarrassed to admit I immediately recognized the house in today’s panel 1 as “the Lighthouse.” It was another site that Fred and Ann pointed out ten years ago as they took Darin and Jess on their impromptu nostalgia tour. It was formerly “a home for troubled youth” where Ann had worked early in her career. Maybe the locale stuck in my head because of Ann’s ominous answer when asked by Darin why it had closed: “Long story short…the guy who ran it turned out to be more troubled than the kids who stayed there.”
I searched the Act I strips in vain for some background. One of the “troubled youths” who spent time at the Lighthouse was young “Crazy” Harry Klinghorn:
But I gave up before finding any dirt on “Neal,” who appears to have been a pretty nice guy.
In the second panel, Summer gazes fondly at yet another Fairgood landmark, the second apartment where once lived Fred and Ann. Really, what gives? Yes, this is the couple that raised her half brother, and “Eight Track” Ann did (assistant-) coach Summer’s team to the state championship. It just seems so random, but who are we to question Summer’s legendary “ability to detect patterns“? At least we’re out of that goddam janitor’s closet.
Filed under Son of Stuck Funky
Before I mock Summer and her new, sleek, angular, pointy appearance, a few words on the looming heat death of the Funkyverse. Obviously, without a daily strip, we will not be doing daily posts anymore after December 31. The site will remain alive for the foreseeable future, and we do hope we get new FW material to complain about. It’s not going to shutter right then and right there. But this is Batiuk we’re talking about here, so there’s just no way of knowing how it’ll actually go. He might drop 365 new FW strips on his blog on January 2, or he might do a feeble, one-off comic book cover eight months from now, or anything in-between. There will not be a re-read from the beginning, nor will we switch to “Crankshaft”. The daily strips are the engine that runs the whole thing and without those, it’ll never be the same. I’m not sure how or if sporadic posts will work, but that’s a bridge to cross at some later date.
From here on out, TFH and I will be sharing SoSF hosting duties. We are bandying around some ideas, and we very much want to give our beloved guest authors, both present and past, AT LEAST one more shot before the end, and see what happens after that. We likewise hope our faithful readers will remain entertained and engaged to the end, and we’ll do what we can to make that happen. For TFH and I, it marks the end of a long, long road. While Lord knows it wasn’t “hard work” by any means, it did require a daily commitment, and by “daily” I mean DAILY. FW runs literally every day, without fail, and we have always ensured that our loyal readers had a working link to the stupid strip, as well as a place to clown on it. We never missed a post, ever. We feel we owe it to ourselves and SoSF itself to ride it out to the very end, and savor it while we can. For me, SoSF is part writing exercise, part deranged personal vendetta, but mainly it’s been a labor of love. And I’ll be touching on that a lot more in the coming weeks.
So anyway, yeah, how about this new, aerodynamic, de-shaggified Summer, huh? I’m assuming that he brought her back upon learning that FW would be ending, as he didn’t seem to care too much for the last ten years. And, interestingly enough, I don’t care now! It’s just like Batiuk to be wasting time on Harley the janitor when he has barely six more weeks to go. The strip is jammed full of long-running characters, it’s winding down to the end, and he’s focused on Ruby and Harley.
And now, from the SoSF arc recap archives, a Great Moment In SoSF History:
Dec 27, 2010 – Jan. 2, 2011
Les hosts a New Year’s Eve party. Susan announces that her divorce is final. At the stroke of midnight, Les is smooching Lisa’s Ghost.
Man, that was a real humdinger. Easily one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever seen. Les was furiously making out with himself, while a horrified Cayla and Susan looked on in revulsion. That was Cayla’s second hairdo, her “dreads” look she was sporting for a while. See, back then, Les was still only “seeing” Cayla, and Susan was still lurking around, shamelessly throwing herself at Les at every opportunity. Meanwhile, Les was still madly in love with Ghost Lisa, who was a constant presence back then, despite being dead, which happened in a story arc you may have heard about once or twice. When you look back on that period now, it’s amazing how action-packed it was compared to, say, 2020 or something.
Filed under Son of Stuck Funky
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.
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.
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?
Filed under Son of Stuck Funky