Mighty white of Linda to allow Bull out of the basement in order to witness his rushing record being surpassed. “Buck never knew” Bull held the record, and yet showed up at Bull’s house when it was on the verge of being broken. I guess whoever succeeded Bull as Westview High’s football coach and athletic director “never knew” or “didn’t care” enough to consider inviting the Bushkas to be present for this occasion. We know Buck’s been (inexplicably) diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, but has he also suffered a stroke? In addition to his absent-mindedness regarding Bull’s record, he’s talking out of the right side of his mouth.
Tag Archives: Buck Bedlow
Happy Labor Day, kids, and a hearty thank you to billytheskink for helming these last couple weeks!
God damn you, Tom Batiuk.
Three weeks of buildup to the Coming Alumni Band Reunion, two of those spent in the car with Funky, Holly, and her awful mom. Then a week of “practice” which takes place entirely off-camera. Followed by yesterday’s mawkish, verbose, and seemingly out of sequence Sunday strip, and then…do we at long last get to chuckle at the spectacle of an elderly, oxygen-huffing marching band? We do not. We get nothing, we lose, good day, sir!
And of all the dangling plot threads to pick up, TB decides to trot out Buck Bedlow, showing up as he always does, unannounced, at the Bushka residence. Buck, you’ll recall, showed up a year ago, to facilitate Bull’s rehabilitation from bullying, belligerent gridiron failure to enfeebled, doddering legend. The two erstwhile rivals reenacted their gridiron glories on Bull’s lawn. After they viewed Dinkle’s video demonstrating that Bull did indeed get the ball over the goal line on the last play of his last game, Buck presented Bull with a framed, fake sports page touting Westview’s “win.” This was followed by a trip to snow-covered Scapegoat Field to dig up a piece of turf from the end zone.
Bull’s wife Linda seemed to appreciate the visits, but probably thought she’d seen the last of Buck that night he revealed that he was in the same state of mental decline as her husband. But Buck was back a couple weeks later. And now that football season’s underway and the leaves are falling (hurtling, actually, judging by panel 1), here he is again. Linda doesn’t even attempt to hide her disdain.
As is customary, Sunday’s strip was not available for preview. They’re always a surprise, but rarely a good surprise, something you’d actually enjoy reading. Here are some possibilities I’ve come up with; feel free to add your own guesses in the comments.
First, we might continue with Skyler and his g’rents, though that seems to be pretty played out. Now, never underestimate this cartoonist for stretching something past its sell-by date, but I can’t really see where he could go with this to “make a greater point,” so we’ve probably seen the last of Dullard & Co for the nonce.
Second possibility is we might re-visit the premise from a week or so ago, and pick up how Chester, the wealthy comics collector wants to get in touch with the comic book writer Peeved Radish.
Third, Funky and Les jogging. I mean, we haven’t seen that in pretty much forever! Not that I miss it or anything, but the cosmos feels misaligned.
Fourth, we might find out what happened to Becky’s mom. –ha ha, just kidding. That boat’s been scuttled for, what, five years now? No, the real fourth would be some sideways kids’ book that Ann found in her Dullard shrine, something that would inspire some wry remark about how things were better Back Then.
The fifth and final guess I’m going to add is that we’ll get something completely untied to anything from the last six months.
Anyway, we’ll all find out in a little less than a couple of hours. Wow!–it’s just like Christmas Eve, right? Only this is an eve where one measures not the delights that may come once morning breaks, but the various disappointments one is certain to encounter when one reaches the bottom of the stairs, beholds the menacing tree, and hopes that the bigger boxes are not addressed to oneself.
But, well, despite the paragraph above (sorry, folks, I’ve been a guest host for quite a long time, and it does leave a mark), there is one thing certain: no matter the subject, the characters, the dialogue or the story–it will be dull beyond bearing.
Today’s strip was, again, not available for preview.
So, let’s look back at the 1983 introduction of the goat that so disturbed Buck back in the day, Billy the Scapegoat. Or was his name actually Billy? The answer may surprise you… but probably won’t interest you.
First, the whole thing was Dinkle’s idea, including the name “Billy”. Unfortunately for the Westview football team, the goat did not possess divine power.
“Billy” was under the impression that Westview had the only terrible high school football team in existence. Though this might explain why he ran onto the field hitting players.
He also didn’t care for the uninspired name Dinkle gave him, preferring his own uninspired name. No ever called him Paul, of course, because he couldn’t talk.
While called a “scapegoat”, Billy-Paul was more like an oracle, his heavy-lidded ennui a prophesy of things to come for this strip.
Today’s strip is what passes for levity in Funky Winkerbean these days, I guess. Buck was apparently disturbed by a commonly-milked farm animal when he really should have been disturbed by the complete lack of almost everything at this football game. There appears to be no crowd, no officials, almost no players (look at that empty bench behind Stropp), and apparently no one else but Bull around to wrangle a loose mascot. Was Westview’s football stadium nicknamed “Uncanny Valley”?
Oh, and did you know that the Scapegoat mascot had a name back in Act I? It’s Billy, much to my chagrin… He once appeared on a book cover with Erma Bombeck’s name.
Today’s strip was not available for preview, but it is easy to speculate on what it will involve based on yesterday’s “hat”-focused anti-humor. Bull will be there, Buck will be there, and a retcon may well show up too…
Bull’s football career has been one of the most heavily-retconned aspects of this strip in recent years, with much of this re-written continuity in the service of the super-serious CTE story arc. Bull went from simply being contacted by a St. Louis Football Cardinals scout before he hurt his knee to actually trying out for the team (presumably during the 1982 strike) after suffering a major knee injury in college. The recently and incessantly-discussed goal line officiating screw up game was originally said to have been Coach Stropp’s final game against Big Walnut Tech, not Bull’s. This goal line play situation’s only actual roots in Act I are a 1980 “Casey At The Bat” parody arc called “Westview At The Goal” (much thanks to SOSFer Don for pointing this out a few weeks back) which was nobody’s final game against Big Walnut Tech. Heck, even the backward-facing emu seen on Bull’s college helmet in yesterday’s strip was originally forward-facing.
Frankly, I wouldn’t comment that much on these retcons if they weren’t being used to try to punch up the maudlin nature of a story that doesn’t need any re-written history to be maudlin. Are we supposed to take everything in this strip seriously except its continuity? Please.
Happy Monday SOSFers (well, happy until you read today’s strip…), billytheskink here to take us all into February. February is typically Funky Winkerbean‘s best month, by the way, as no month sees fewer FW strips published… Much thanks to Charles, who endured the last two weeks stalking the halls of Westview High School to set our daily snark tone. Your efforts are much appreciated.
Speaking of two weeks… Two weeks back, when TFH handed the reigns over to Charles, he implored us all to wear a helmet. Alas, that wouldn’t have done us any good. Not in this universe.