Was not expecting today’s strip to be a standalone gag, but I guess we should be grateful for some respite from Bull’s swan song. And it’s been a while since my high school band days, but we didn’t start practicing Christmas music until football season was almost over. Speaking of football, we’ll get back to Bull’s plight on Monday; the good news is that your guide will be Epicus Doomus!
Tag Archives: Christmas
Mother-in-laws….amirite? I mean come on. What’s a fella to do? One dame at home is plenty and I already have a dog to fetch my pipe, slippers and tumbler of scotch, thank you very much. What an old bag and so forth. And now the Copa is proud to introduce…Mr. Henny Youngman!
So another three hundred and sixty-five FW strips are in the bag. It sure looks like a lot when you spell it out like that. I mean you can say the same thing about any Act III year but man, 2018 was a real shit pile, even by FW standards. Exactly four things happened in FW in 2018.
Pete and Boy Lisa left Hollywood and began working for a whimsical Ohio-based komix book company. Mindy later joined them. They presumably still work there.
Wally, who may or may not be over the worst of his PTSD, invited his apparently estranged daughter Rana to Thanksgiving dinner. She accepted.
Bull’s rushing record was broken.
Funky’s mother-in-law visited Westview for a band competition and may remain there until she dies.
Pete and Boy Lisa’s unholy alliance with Chester was by far the dominant story arc of 2018 but even so, after all that time and all that toil he’s still only at the “they work there now” part of the story, which is exactly where it’ll resume and exactly where it’ll end next time as well. And what did we learn about our old pal Wally during his nearly two month long forced march of an arc? Well, apparently he’s “almost” about to graduate and he “seems” to be “doing better”, which is hardly news. He did invite his apparently estranged and seldom-seen daughter to dinner, though, which is where the story left off. Yup, that’s some real compelling character development right there.
Pervert Mort made a late run there at the end but the RRRRRRRR thing in the Wally arc was probably the single dumbest FW moment of the year in my opinion. 2018’s SoSF Most Reviled Player award (the “Les Moore Award”) goes to Les Moore, obviously, although the overall lack of Les was 2018’s sole bright spot. Pete and Boy Lisa are co-runners-up, though. It’s easy to forget now but that AK idiocy went on for freaking months.
Impending climactic doom, neglected old gravesites hiding the bones of dead friends…Happy Holidays from your friends at Funky Winkerbean and King Features! Man, this Melinda sure is a barrel of laughs. You already know how I feel (and vice versa) regarding Author Guy’s reliance on adorable old coot humor so I won’t go into that again, but they’ve been popping up like mushrooms in the strip for the last few years. Cliff, Vera, Phil Holt, New And Improved Morty, his pals at the home and now Melinda. The average age of the characters in FW must be up around seventy or eighty by now. Even if it were funny (and it isn’t) it’d still be weird, especially when you realize he already has another comic strip that’s jam-packed with zany and depressing old coots. Which is already one too many.
Holly’s look in panel three really says it all. I’m assuming that The Corporal is approximately twenty-three or twenty-four years old. He defused live bombs in Afghanistan and he is currently engaged to a mute woman. Yet for some reason he’s almost infantile today, blubbering about “visiting Disney” which, to my knowledge, has never “happened” in the strip. And Cory, bless his pointy little head, never came across as being a Disney World kind of guy either.
IMO the way everyone just completely ignored Cory’s miraculous transformation has been one of Act III’s more annoying (recent) developments. For a few years there Cory was the strip’s “bad guy”, an incorrigible scowling hoodlum who (gasp!) stole from Lisa’s Legacy, always had his hair in his eyes and had no use for anyone, generally speaking. Then he comes home and he’s suddenly Opie Cunningham but no one seems surprised in the least. It’d be like if Summer suddenly re-appeared with long curly hair and a jaunty sundress.
Finally, at long last, I can stop typing “Holly’s mom” over and over and over again. It’s one of the unforeseen pitfalls of following this strip, the way Batom forces me to train my muscle memory to repeatedly type otherwise bizarre and useless phrases hundreds of times, like “band mattresses”, “Atomik Komix” and “smug bearded piece of shit”. Anyhow, her name is Melinda. OK then.
When in doubt, drag some mother-in-law gags out. The very last thing FW needs is ANOTHER adorable old coot character but it would appear that this “Melinda” is THIS CLOSE to becoming another FW regular. I will tactfully refrain from pointing out that long-range climate change would probably not have all that much of an impact on a ninety year old woman but hey, FW has NEVER shied away from Topical Issues That Affect Us All, especially somewhat vague references to said Topical Issues. Personally speaking, I’d LOVE to see a four month long arc about Melinda’s house sinking into the Atlantic Ocean but that’s just me.
Well, it may be the 26th and all but yuletide festivities are still in full swing over at Winkerbean Manor aka The House That Tony Built. Apparently Holly’s mother has been staying there this whole time, as that whole “band reunion” thing appears to have been nothing more than an excuse for Holly’s mom (does she even have a name?) to make Funky’s depressing life even more of a living hell. Despite it being a pretty tired old trope (mother-in-law gags are as trope-y as it gets) I was not altogether un-amused by Funky’s reaction there in panel two, nor by his sidewards comma eyes in panel one for that matter. Maybe it’s my misguided Christmas cheer, but IMO this is at least a baby step up from seven week PTSD arc or watching a befuddled amputee bumble around haplessly for a week, so there is that. I mean sure, it isn’t “good” by any measure but given how abysmal 2018 was overall, I’ll temporarily take it.
Twas the night before Christmas
With Holly’s mom and Mort
Not a creature was stirring,
And no wry retorts!
I suppose a wordless strip on Christmas Day is sort of like BatNard’s gift to his faithful readers. I hope they both really enjoy it. Yep, it all comes around full circle all right. Holiday greetings and much thanks to the SoSF staff and of course our loyal and hilarious army of snarkers, have a Merry Christmas and may your whiskey stones come with a receipt so you can exchange them for something better, like actual whiskey.