Tag Archives: buildings

Ruby the Grate

In case you missed it, we are in the final weeks of Funky Winkerbean. Tom Batiuk appears to be reluctantly retiring the strip much in the same way he’s written Ruby as reluctantly retiring from Atomik Komix this week and in today’s strip. The timing of this thin gruel of a story arc and TB’s fairly muted announcement is certainly no coincidence. Most all of us here at SOSF, despite speculating for over a decade on when and how this thing would end, are probably still processing the suddenness of the announcement, how soon it will become reality, and what that means for this wonderful community going forward.

But enough wallowing about, let’s leave that to the strip and try to get back to business as usual. I guess today’s strip is aiming for bittersweet, but it largely is coming across as just bitter. You can’t mask your true feelings in a wall of smirks, TB… And even if the strip wasn’t ending at the close of this year, I’m guessing we were never going to see Chester meet with the building manager by looking in a mirror anyways. I’d say “a pity”, but, you know, it’s not. It’s really not.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

And I’m Free… Freeloadin’

I am only going to focus on the positives in today’s strip.

Yessiree, just the positives today. Things like… uh… hmmm… well… Darin using “mom” to refer to the woman that raised him instead of Lisa. Yeah, that’s one! There is also… ummm… these two shmucks getting themselves soaked to the bone walking back to the Eaton Building because they naturally forgot to bring their umbrellas in perpetually sunny Cleveland.  I can dig that.

So yeah, I’m only talking about the positive things today. You won’t see me mention any negative aspects. Nope, not a single one. I won’t mention at all how Durwood appears to have brought “Sky” back with him to Ohio solely so he could take advantage of his aging mother for free child care. I also won’t mention how he has put both his young son and disabled father in danger by working the only caregiver in their house to exhaustion. Nor will I mention how disingenuous it is for Durwood to talk about how important it is for “Sky” to be cared for while he is working after he just shot the breeze with Pete for who knows how long at an offsite coffeeshop on company time. No, I will not mention any of those things, only the positive stuff… the sunshine, lollipops, rainbows, safety, laughter, and skip to-and-fro.

Funny, I thought focusing on the positives would improve this strip. But alas, no such luck…


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky


Link to today’s strip.

Well, Darin sure looks dumbfounded by today’s revelation, but I suspect that’s his default state anyway.   And across town, at Mega Comics headquarters, that one editor (who looks like Sesame Street’s Grover has shaved his face) looks equally astonished.   He may be thinking, “Haven’t we gone over this road several dozen times in comics?  Spider-Man was a clone for a while…comic books these days seem packed to the gills with clones…”

(That’s my hazy recollection.  Unlike some I could name, I haven’t followed comics for several decades so all my info is second-hand.)

GroverShave may also be thinking something along the lines of, “Say, isn’t this a really stupid idea?  Why would a hero’s arch-enemy clone that hero, rather than kill him?  Is the clone programmed to let Doctor Centipede free just as he’s about to capture him?  Isn’t that kind of annoying, having his schemes stopped all the time by his own creation?  Should Pete go back to his old job of bringing us coffee, while simultaneously shutting up?”

And here we have the number one problem with “tell, don’t show.”  Since we’ve never had a glimpse of The Amazing Mister Sponge (or TAMS for short), much less any hint of his adventures, none of this means anything to anyone.  So what if TAMS is a clone?  It changes nothing.  Our lives, hitherto untouched by TAMS, have not had their courses altered in the slightest by this latest development.   Even the characters here are just chatting–there’s certainly no hint at all of Pete bemoaning that he is being asked to change the nature of his signature character into something else.  There’s no sense of loss, or dreams slipping away, or anything…it’s just another day for Pete, and like most days, it ends with your creations ground down under commercial pressures.

Or so we assume, again.  Pete looks excited in the last panel, but is that because the idea appeals to him, or is he simply desperate to keep his job?  Without a hint, we’re just looking at bad drawings spouting bad dialogue, with nothing to tie either to any human experience.

I hate to say it, but the scenario below has more of a connection with an audience–any audience.

Yes…above, everything revolves around Les, as Tom Batiuk clearly wants.  But at least in this scenario, there’s someone we can hate.  The Amazing Mister Sponge?  I have no opinion about him one way or the other.  I’ve been given no opportunity to form an opinion of any kind…which, given the reception Mr. Batiuk’s work usually gathers, may be by design.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky