Today’s strip serves no purpose whatsoever aside from moving us one day closer to the end of this “story” arc, and to Funky’s 50th anniversary, and to Tom Batiuk’s retirement. Buck’s inane question receives an inane answer from Bull, and everyone smirks. I just can’t get over the fact that had Buck not invited the Bushkas, Bull would be sitting unawares in his basement instead of in the nosebleed seats as his decades-old rushing record is challenged.
Tag Archives: Buck
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.
I like the “I” on the front of Bull’s jacket, like the artist just couldn’t be bothered to draw a proper half a “W”. Nicely done there, new guy. What a totally pointless waste of time this piece of garbage was, it was pretty much the same thing as the first Buck arc except even less eventful. At least that one involved thinking and walking. I don’t get what he’s trying to “do” with Bull at all. He gave him a debilitating brain condition in order to force him into an early retirement (Bull is the same age as the rest of the Act I gang, remember) but all he’s done since then is sit around remembering things, which is kind of at odds with the whole point of it.
Earlier in Act III he did an arc about Funky having to put his Alzheimer’s-afflicted father in a nursing home, which led to all sorts of hilarious ramifications, but now Morty is a goofy peppy old coot, improbably enough. Lisa took a hundred years to finally agonizingly die from cancer, then she was hanging around in Les’ car like a month later. Now he’s doing an arc about Bull suffering from brain damage, yet his memory appears to be sharper than ever. There’s a definite pattern of sorts here, one I’d prefer not to analyze very deeply at the moment.
Ugh. Of course they can’t reminisce about anything remotely interesting or anything, it has to be idiotic football jokes and banal football-related muttering instead. Look at Bull, absolutely astonished to learn that he’s been putting on his pants all wrong for all these years. You know, while CTE is certainly no laughing matter, I don’t think it’s going to necessarily be a bad thing in Bull’s case.
The artwork is downright freaky today. Bull is suddenly a retired longshoreman and Buck’s head is as perfectly square as any head I’ve ever seen. Take away his lil’ button-nose and the guy’s profile is literally a straight line. Whatever the hell is going on there I don’t know, but it’s not exactly a strong endorsement for playing football, that much is certain. And as pathetic and stupid as Bull is, this Buck guy is the one who had nothing better to do with his time than to look up some guy he didn’t even really know, which doesn’t exactly say a lot about the dreary path HIS life has taken since graduation.
Typical Linda, always such a meddlesome harpy. Annoyed by seeing Bull enjoying himself and remembering things, she throws Bull and his block-headed pal out into the chilly autumn night for no other reason aside from sheer bitter spite. I’ve never cared much for Linda and her humorless smirking know-it-all-ism.
Totally lost without television, Bull and Buck meander on down to the ol’ WHS gridiron to silently bask in the echoes of pigskin glory days gone by, when football was a game played by large unintelligent men who bullied their classmates because they had a tough home life, unlike today’s watered-down brand of football, where any stupid feeb with a stupid goatee in a mascot costume can become an overnight sensation. I suppose they could have wandered down to Montoni’s or a bar or something, but that would take the characters into the realm of two-dimensionality and we cannot have that. High school football memories…that’s the premise here and by God he’s sticking to it.
(Zzzzzzzzz)….oh, what? Sorry, accidentally dozed off there for a minute. Bull and his new best pal Buck are still lounging around in Bull’s rec room, apparently watching some old high school football games instead of “Law And Order” or “Diagnosis: Murder” reruns like normal dementia patients do. This Buck asshole…who still wears his old high school football letterman’s jacket…is apparently a little behind the times regarding his ol’ alma mater’s recent football history, which makes no sense outside of the usual FW context. Within it, though, it makes total sense.
Anyhow, upon realizing that Bull’s old squad defeated their long-time gridiron rivals, BanTom has this Buck asshole engage in that holiest of masculine meathead jock rituals, that being the “fist bump”. They’re just two manly men reminiscing over that which they’ll soon forget, in other words a regular weekday evening in Westview.
Poor, poor Bull. After a cuppa cawfee with the old Saint Louis Cardinals football team he sheepishly shuffled back to Westview in shame, condemned to the lowest fate of them all…becoming a small town high school gym teacher. Perhaps it was the multiple concussions, perhaps it was his inherent laziness, maybe it was his natural stupidity, but after the Cards let him go he just gave up, returned to his old high school, married the wryest woman in town and resigned himself to the fact that he was just a big fat failure, also known as “career path A” among Westviewian guidance counselors. He should get in touch with every other guy from his graduating class except Les and start a club.