Twenty Twenty One may be just getting blessedly underway, but Our Winter Band Banquet is drawing to a close. I’m praying for Covid to finally reach Westview, Ohio soon, so that all those dopey, knowing smirks will be obscured by masks. Continue reading
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Banana Jr. 6000
December 4, 2020 at 12:36 pm
…The joke is so mild and so botched, and the reaction is so ridiculously oversold, that the strip should be funny for how misguided it is.
Tom Batiuk has frequently expressed, in his work and in interviews, that even though we call them “comics,” they don’t necessarily have to be “funny.” “I don’t see why a comic strip can’t carry the weight of substantial ideas,” he once said. But even a storyteller like Batiuk must cleanse the palate with the occasional standalone gag, or even a week’s worth of them. Everything about Pete’s “holiday joke” is lame, and the smugness with which he delivers it is just off the charts. Of course, the response is a hearty HA! HA! HA! from all but one of the Atomik staff. At first, it looked to me as if Chester was the one admonishing Pete to “stick to writing drama,” which would make sense as he’s Pete’s boss. Naturally, as his fiancé, Mindy must come to Pete’s defense. But nobody knows better that his real soulmate, Darin, that flighty, distractible Pete needs help with focus. And anyway, his jokes suck.
Something that does not suck is the way Beckoning Chasm goes to work on Funky Winkerbean with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch, and his authoring stint begins with Monday’s comic. Stay safe and well and happy, people. –TFH
Today’s strip also wasn’t available for preview. Based on Batiuk’s track record with Crankshaft, I’m assuming we’re in for a solid week of airplane urination “humor”.
*(Pronounced “Too Lame”)
What’s with the “pronounced Tor” gag there in panel four? Another sly dig at Hollywood? In order for something to be an “inside joke” someone else needs to get it, so I don’t know.
So poor, poor Klabichnik is annoyed and frustrated by his sub-cretinous students…there’s a theme FW rarely touches upon. It might make more of an impact if it wasn’t the punchline of every single FW teacher/student gag, but then again probably not.
We are well and truly frozen in time this week. The janitor hasn’t moved, Becky and Dinkle are still in the band room. The joke is still nonsensical. (Squirrels aren’t nuts. Nuts are nuts. Squirrels eat nuts. I guess if you are what you eat..FORGET IT. THERE IS LITERALLY NO POINT.)
See what you did there Batiuk? You made me type in ALL CAPS. Like Terry Pratchett’s DEATH. Or like an elderly woman texting who can’t read her own phone screen.
Not even the coffee cup has moved. Dinkle’s coffee cup. Which he keeps in the band room as a way of marking his territory. Like leaving a coat on a chair, or purse on a pew, or a dog pissing on a couch. It hasn’t moved in years. The top of that piano must look like someone’s old Spirograph art.
Today’s gonna be a short post, since I’m fighting the evil forces of My Grain valley.
Plenty of humor to wring from this weird weird situation.
Even a blind squirrel can find a nut once in a while.
Double Sided Scooby Snack
February 8, 2020 at 12:12 pm
Uh oh! Well, so much for “Take your favorite guy to lunch day.”
Well, what do you know? Jessica is not about to let Darin off the hook for blowing his check on other comix artists’ work, and Darin reveals himself to be not completely clueless by picking up on her anger.
Last week’s running gag had Dinkle and Becky walking around reading signs. This week is shaping up to be a series of people letting themselves into the Atomik Komix office and being greeted with “Hey!” Superb draftsmanship today in panel 1: Kitch Swoon appears to be standing in the doorway of an airplane in flight, and Pete is so excited he’s morphed into Shemp Howard. Our colorist gives even less of a damn, leaving Ms. Swoon with white hair rather than the blonde hair she had when we met her last summer. At least Batiuk hasn’t altered or forgotten her name.
Silly monikers have been Funky Winkerbean‘s stock in trade for nearly a half century, from the title character and his friend “Less More,” to the late Coach “Jack Stropp” and forgotten teacher “Rita Wrighton.” These names were semi-witty, facile wordplay. But I’m at a loss to tease sense out of “Kitch [sic] Swoon.” She’s an artsy type for sure (she’s wearing a beret). Does she specialize in “tacky,” lowbrow, populist art? Does the sight of kitsch make her feel like she’s going to faint?
Being late/running late is a very common theme in dreams…Being late in a dream as an image of finding it difficult living up to your own demands or the demands of others…When we dream that we are late or that we are about to be late, it is often because we are fighting a battle to achieve more than we can actually handle.
It’s a pretty common dream, all right, so give Batiuk points for being relatable for once. I know I’ve had dreams of this type. The naked-in-public kind of dreams, too. Batiuk and Ayers do a pretty good job at giving this scenario a dreamlike feeling. The hallway appears infinite, and eerily empty. And while this is almost a universal dream premise, I bet Tom Batiuk hasn’t had this dream in ages. At this stage of his career, the only demands he probably has to meet are to submit one comic strip per day. It doesn’t have to be especially well drawn, or funny, or make sense, or follow a narrative. Just a piece of content, to fill space on a newspaper comics page or on a website.
Well, my two week long nightmare of having to deconstruct FW every day is ended, and on deck is guest emcee Epicus Doomus! Take it away!
Casual readers won’t recognize the skinny old geezer looming over Darin, but we all know that it’s Flash Freeman. He’s kind of the Harry Dinkle of the comics industry: though he’s long since retired, he still likes to randomly “drop by” and interfere with people who are trying to do actual work. Of course, Darin and Pete need no excuse to goof off, and they literally worship the comics legend. Pete especially, whose grin stretches all the way to the bags under his eyes in panel 1.