So maybe you thought that whole Keisha/Maddie/Summer thing might be going somewhere…well, guess again, snarker. Rule Number One: if it seems too involved, complicated and/or interesting for FW, it definitely is.
Obviously he was going for “cute” here, but, as usual, he landed squarely on “icky”, again. We’ve seen nothing in the past that would indicate that Holly is a psychotically overbearing mother, but she is today, because it’s funny, at least to one person. Now, in fairness, someone who doesn’t read the strip every day might (I said “might”) softly chuckle at this hackneyed premise, but when a regular character acts completely insane like this without any warning, it’s mostly just confusing.
And lest we forget, Cory is around twenty-eight years old, he was engaged for like seven years, AND he was a bomb disposal technician in Iraqistan, so I’d be willing to bet he’ll have no problem with navigating his wedding night without his mom’s help. And there’s the icky part, right there. This is yet another one he should have chucked into the “no” pile.
Ah, the classic tug-of-war between privacy-invading exuberance and false modesty… who wins that race to the bottom in today’s strip?
Les’ false modesty does, of course. For one thing, it’s coming from Les, which makes it an additionally off-putting version of an already off-putting behavior. The biggest reason, though, is that Cayla’s desire to “let people know” is essentially moot, everyone already knows. Anyone who cares saw Marianne tell the television cameras that she was coming to give her Oscar away to Les this week. Yeah, if she’s trying to organize a mob to meet Marianne then that might not work if by “on the way” Marianne means that she’ll be there within the hour… but with Marianne’s very public announcement of her planned visit and the relatively specific time frame she gave, the Taj Moore-hal should have been descended upon by pushy celebrity obsessives and Starbuck Jones fans days ago. Where are they? Where’s Lenny and Frankie and (ugh) DMZ? Why am I asking you?
Uh-oh. Looks like BatHam isn’t ready to shut the coffin lid and shovel dirt on “Lisa’s Story-The Movie” just quite yet. Back around Halloween when Les was sneering derisively and shrugging disinterestedly about how the cancer movie bombed, it looked like that whole sordid episode was over, but if I’ve learned one thing over the course of Act III, it’s that Lisa and her story will never, ever, completely “go away”.
I have to believe that given the time of year and the subject matter here, most of our readers probably have a pretty fair idea re: where this could be going. Sigh. Hopefully it’s not entirely Les-centric, but it would seem that he’ll be involved somehow, and any Les is too much.
Boy, those leaves are sure zipping around! They look like they’re having the time of their lives. Of course, that has to be a pretty strong wind, so I bet some trees will come down and people will be without power.
But who cares! We have old people to celebrate. They, in fact, are all going to celebrate another old person who recently stopped aging, if you know what I mean and I think you do!
Bonus–here are my original notes for today’s strip: Dinkle Cell Phone Bedside Manorisms Terrible melting faces.
Welp, anyone who guessed Cory Winkerbean over the last few days, I’m sorry but we have to cross him off our list. He’s appeared in the same panel as the Pizza Monster, so now has a better alibi than dead characters, like Bull. We’ve had inexplicable resurrections numerous times, but only one instance of quantum superposition.
Not that I thought Cory was a likely candidate. Though he might have strong means and motive, we can rule him out for the simple reason that Cory Winkerbean is the smallest adult in this strip (ever since that actual dwarf stopped hanging around with John circa 2011.) Cory may be a former military man in his mid twenties, but he has the appearance and build of an old-timey malnourished newspaper boy.
And while yesterday we confirmed that the Pizza Monster could not be someone fat, he also cannot be someone short. Even given the artistic license of comic body proportions, the dramatic angles used in the framing, and the fact that the pizza box head could be taller than the wearer, if we use the shoulders as a measuring stick the Pizza Monster Person has to be as tall, if not taller than Funky.
We can also tell from their ankles and footwear, that the Pizza Monster never wears shoes that would significantly increase their height.
In the often sloppy art of this sloppy strip, it is hard to gague how tall people are by measuring them against objects, but in my exhaustive research I’ve discovered that there does tend to be consistency on which characters are drawn taller than others when multiple characters are standing in a panel.
The comparison seems to be: Tony < All Other Women < Summer < Les </= Wally </= Funky < Mason < Darin.
Funky is portrayed as a tall guy. Wally is usually drawn about equal if not a hair shorter, with Les another notch lower. Mason and Darin are taller. I would feel safe crossing off our list of suspects any character shorter than Les Moore. So, Pizza Monster’s gender mindscrew last year notwithstanding, I am confidently crossing off the list all women. Though the idea of Cindy borrowing Traffic Helicopter 1 to prank her X-man has it’s allure, let’s be real, she wouldn’t be caught dead in pure white sneakers, even if her face was obscured.
So, we’ve narrowed Pizza Monster down to a tall, slim, limber, lighter skinned man. We’ve got several suspects left, and as commenter Suicide Squirrel pointed out yesterday believable motives for this prank are varied enough to make it hard to narrow down based on the crime itself.
1). Funky’s increasing agitation. It’s fun messing with the fat man’s head.
3.) Montoni’s staff getting revenge on Funky for unfair working conditions and/or low pay.
4). Revenge on Montoni’s for their rancid cardboard pizza.
5.) Revenge for the Great Westview Salmonella Outbreak of 2018.
6.) It’s Halloween.
But I’m sure we’ve got more clues to find if we just look closely enough. The dossiers and profiles in the comments yesterday were creative, thoughtful, fun, and wacky….everything Funky Winkerbean isn’t. If you’re not reading the comments of Son of Stuck Funky you’re doing this wrong.
A few commenters yesterday quipped that this dumb, lazy, illogical storyline doesn’t deserve this level of analysis. And they’re completely right. This material probably doesn’t deserve the consideration we’re giving to it. But there are only so many times you can write a blog post saying: “This just isn’t funny. Boy, Tom sure is lazy and self-absorbed.”
So, I try to limit criticism like that to the strips where it is most effective; not more than a couple times a shift. I would get tired of writing it, you would get tired of reading it, and this wonderful little place would die. It’s why the rotation of writers is so gosh darn important.
Every couple weeks, one of us poor saps gets locked in a room with a big stack of whatever wisps of brittle, old barnyard bedding Batiuk saw fit to rake together and shovel out. And we’re told, ‘make something of it.’ And while no one would really blame us if we just flopped down a took a nap, we all set to spinning anyway. We spin poems and jokes, analysis and observations, vitriol and sarcasm. And I usually end up selling out to the twisted little man named Grandpa Google, hoping he’ll give me some gold.
The straw does not deserve to be spun into anything. It’s straw. It’s a filthy mass of tangled and broken stems, something that hasn’t been alive in years, all puffed up with air. But this blog is all about digging through that to find the kernel of something maybe interesting hiding underneath, and growing that seed into the madness you’re now witnessing. It’s exhausting. Sometimes you fail. It’s why we all take the burden in shifts. But it’s worth it. Because when it works, it is a wonder to behold: straw into gold.
I saw so much gold in the comments yesterday. Beautiful, glorious, shining nuggets of hilarity. And it makes all the spinning worthwhile. Spin on, you crazy diamonds….spin on.
For the third year in a row, we are getting a Pizza Monster special for Halloween. I can only hope that this year is just as exciting as last year, when Funky hired a gynophobic cosplayer to threaten the Pizza Monster with a handgun.
Working late tonight myself, so I’ll see all you fine folks in the comments tomorrow!
Look, the man himself
Deigns to appear on panel
Here in today's strip
Why is he worried
No one is coming to see
Him in uniform
No one is coming
To see Holly twirl either
But whatever y'all
This Harry Dinkle,
He sounds like a real jerk
This guy here, real jerk
With his history
Of abusing band members
Why would alums play
But of course these two
Still have their band uniforms
No one leaves high school
Oh sweet Sousa, it’s HIM! I guess we all knew his appearance was inevitable after Holly brought up band alumni yesterday, but I think we were all hoping he wouldn’t show up as soon as today’s strip. But now he is involved AND he is tossing around comic book/video game terminology like he‘s DSH or the other guy in this strip named Harry, making this story arc go from insufferably bland to straight up insufferable in three panels flat. And now we know Holly wasn’t the only majorette he routinely maimed…
Holly really shouldn’t be surprised he remembers her, though. After all, he named his shoe brand’s majorette marching boots after her. I guess that means he is being sincere then telling her she was the best majorette he ever had, though I’ll also bet he‘s been keeping her royalty checks from the sale of those boots for the past 29 years too.
I spent an entire week working really hard to transmit my enthusiasm for how wonderfully dumb the Phil Holt resurrection arc was; and THIS is how I’ve been rewarded.
Well, jokes on HIM.
For the rest of my shift, I’m going to be lazy. And for the rest of my shift, I will not mention a thing about HIM. It’s what he wants. Attention. And I refuse to give it. The rest of you feel free to savage at will in the comments, as is deserved. For once, I can’t stomach the rightfully earned dismemberment.
So what I’ll say about today is that I really like the porch swing in this strip. I like how it shows up off and on as a gathering place. It gives the strip visual continuity that rewards long time readers, but as far as I remember it doesn’t have the same verbal attention drawn to it by the characters as other locations like Montoni’s. It’s 100% better than that stupid bench that gets talked about all the time by…
That was close.
Cutting it short today so I don’t mess up again. Until tomorrow folks.
Today’s strip is filler. Total filler. In fact, it is possibly the filleriest filler that ever filled four panel borders. Filler filler filler filler…
The idiocy of Winkerbeans here is wearing the same clothes they were back before Wally and Amicus visited Adeela in jail, so it is presumably the same night/day that Adeela was arrested and President Clinton was called. Why are they all so resigned? Just how quickly do these people think Federal agencies work? And they expect a call back from Mr. Clinton himself, assuming failure when that doesn’t happen within an hour? Between yesterday’s strip and this one, there is probably a long list of right-leaning organizations that have more trust in the Clintons than these five.