Tag Archives: Cindy

“What Did Come Up Was Lunch”

Link to today’s strip.

I have a slight bit of sympathy for Tom Batiuk regarding panel two–he does, after all, have to remind people who don’t read the strip what’s going on. It sure seems like an awkward word salad that no human being would ever say out loud, though.

Mainly, the idea I guess is to give Les a moment where he can be falsely humble. It doesn’t work; there is no way that Les Moore can even pretend he never thought he was awesome. Don’t even try to make him likeable, Batiuk; you’ve created the most loathsome character in all of fiction. Own it.

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Together Again for the First Time

Link to today’s strip.

I thought Les had already met Cliff and Vera, but then I thought that Les had nothing to do with Starbuck Jones, so maybe he didn’t meet them before.

So, they’re meeting now. Fine. Make another movie from it, “Les Moore Meets The Killer Klowns From Outer Space.”

Oh, and thanks Batiuk (via Cayla) for telling us how we’re supposed to regard this joke. Just for the record, it’s not cute. It’s not even clever. It barely recognizes as an attempt at humor.

And that’s why these two fossils are here, right? Who wants to bet they never make another appearance during this week? Batiuk just came up with a pun and had to shove it in here.

I could think of a better place he could have shoved it.

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Props for the Props

Link to today’s strip.

I’ve seen a few YouTube clips of conventions where the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation appear, and one of the things they would mention is asking the costume department if they could have their uniforms–especially during the last season, when the show was winding down.

And the costuming department always said “No.” So the brave men and women of the United Federation of Planets would…steal them. Yeah, it goes against the Prime Directive, but I always gave it a pass, since these roles were what gave these folks their careers, so why not grab a souvenir?

The great thing about today’s episode is that, aside from reminding me of the generally entertaining ST:TNG, it also shows that Mason knows how to operate.

It’s day two of “Yeah, we were just going to throw these in the trash, but then we thought, ‘Hey, we could give these to that shmuck Les,’ and we knew you’d be all OMG and squee and like that. And you wouldn’t even notice that as soon as we gave you this crap, everyone at the party would leave to go to the real party. Wait a minute…did I just say all that out loud?” How many times is Les going to be given gifts and praise? Wait–don’t answer that.

It also seems to illustrate Charles‘ observation from Tuesday, Mason’s “speech is just three random statements that have little if anything to do with one another.” “Thanks for the souvenir,” “When we get drunk enough, we steal things.”

And more fetishizing the death props in panel three. This strip is really unhealthy.

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Trolling for Towels

Link to today’s strip.

More praise for the awesomeness of Lisa’s Story and its author, the worst human being on the planet. I could pull the “Badges” quote from yesterday, but honestly it just isn’t worth it.

That should be the Funky Winkerbean motto: It just isn’t worth it.

Maybe on Monday, Mason was talking about Les’ cameo. They’re certainly treating it as if it was the single most important aspect of the production.

Of course, it’s not exactly ringing praise…”Well, we finished the movie about how you agonized and suffered over your feelings while, uh, it says here your wife died. Because of this powerful and emotional experience, we’re giving you this towel.”

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Wheelhouse of Pain

Link to today’s strip.

Author: What is the law?

Mason Jarr: Les Moore is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life, that is the law. Are we not men?

FW Cast (in unison): Are we not men?

Author: What is the law?

Mason Jarr: No Tom Batiuk has ever made a mistake or distorted information. He is, by any practical definition of the words, foolproof and incapable of error, that is the law. Are we not men?

FW Cast (in unison): Are we not men?

Author: What is the law?

Mason Jarr: Research? We ain’t got no research. We don’t need no research. I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ research, that is the law. Are we not men?

FW Cast (in unison): Are we not men? We sure aren’t Devo.

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Sentencing The Construct

Link to today’s strip.

I think the original intent here was that Mason would say the production survived various disasters, and Les’ remark was meant to categorize his cameo among said disasters. It’s typical of this strip’s style of “humor,” which is either self-depreciation or a dreadful pun. It’s also typical in that it turns real life suffering into a moment for a horrible person (Les, in this case) to smirk about how he sure suffered too.

But the way Mason’s sentence is built, it sure looks like Les is claiming his cameo is “stellar work.” In which case, ego much, douchebag? Your cameo took take after take, frustrated and angered everyone involved, and actually drove up the budget.

If that’s not the case, then once again Tom Batiuk is taking overweening pride in that which does not exist: his writing ability. He could have taken an extra five minutes and constructed Mason’s dialogue to fix the “joke.” Conversely, I suppose his editors could have fixed it for him, but they’re too busy having a picnic with Bigfoot and Mothman.

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Rotary Sojac

This year’s Lisa’s Legacy event is taking place rather early. When the Act III curtain rose twelve years ago, Bull Bushka presided over the Lisa’s Legacy Walk while Les and Summer took part in the Making Strides walk in Central Park. Let’s recap events of the years since.

2008: Cory steals the cigar box containing over a grand in registration fees; Funky writes a check to keep his delinquent son out of trouble.

2009: Cayla and Keisha get roped in to volunteering; Cayla’s reward is to get schooled by Les on exactly how Lisa made a peanut  butter and jelly sandwich.

2010: Even ten years ago, Funky was complaining of his physical ailments.

2011: It rains.

2012: Instead of a week-long arc, the Run occupies a Sunday strip in fiery autumn hues.

2013: This time Funky needs to be attended to by an EMT.

2014: The 15th annual LLR is noteworthy for the black, not primarily pink, tee shirts worn by the participants, and the black comic border and muted palette; not TB’s usual fall riot o’ color.

The Run wasn’t featured in 2015, and again was a Sunday-only in 2016. The Mentor (Ohio) Rotary took over the event in 2017, in order to allow Les more time for his book tour.

In 2018 and 2019, The Run was apparently pre-empted by prestige arcs: Wally and Adeela and the Death of Bull, respectively. This year’s real-life event doesn’t appear to be happening, no doubt on account of Covid.

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Before They Make Me Run

Hope everyone’s enjoying a nice Labor Day Weekend!

So Les is back in Westview for the Lisa’s Legacy Run. And Mason, Cindy, and Marianne surprise him by showing up. And “Cindy is shooting footage of us running the race today…” For use in the movie? Will Marianne and Mason be running in character as Lisa and Les? Cindy’s a cinematographer now? Wouldn’t they need permission to shoot? And two movie stars and a former network news anchor are just hanging out, not attracting attention from anyone beside Les. Such disorienting plot “developments” have been Funky Winkerbean‘s stock in trade since mid-Act II. Let’s talk instead about the deteriorating draftsmanship in this comic strip.

The only modification I’ve made to this panel was to remove the dialogue balloons, or “word zeppelins,” in order to allow us to better appreciate this Mount Rushmore of melting faces. Les suffers the least, as his goatee in profile always looks like shit. Mason sports an even goofier than usual expression. Cindy is droopy-eyed, and Marianne’s head is on a stalk.

Tom Batiuk writes and “inks” FW, but for the last two years the strips have been penciled by Batiuk’s ol’ Kent State pal Chuck Ayers. Ayers has partnered with TB in this way since the mid 1990’s, in addition to drawing Crankshaft for 30 years. In March 2017 Ayers gave up both jobs to pursue other interests, but returned following the tenure of Rick Burchett, who turned out some of the most horrendous, slapdash, off-model draughtsmanship since another noted comics artist, John Byrne, was at the drawing board.

Ayer’s Crankshaft strips always seemed to me to be much better and more naturally drawn than Funky Winkerbean. And the aforementioned Messrs. Burchett and Byrne were renowned, more-than-capable comic book artists. I’m bringing all this up because I wonder if a requirement of working as Tom Batiuk’s penciller is having to “dumb down” one’s ability closer to Batiuk’s level. In this way, the guy who got laughed out of New York by Marvel and DC gets to hire real artists, and then pin clip their wings.

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Lestember: Earth, Wind, and Fire

When he came up with today’s strip one year ago, not even Tom Batiuk’s febrile, I mean fertile, imagination could have conceived what we’d be calling “the new normal” today. Unless BatAyers diverge from their famous, self-imposed 12-month lead time, expect Covid to rear its ugly head in Westview sometime in early spring.

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Lestember Mourn

It’s late summer in the Hollywood Hills. They are standing in the still-smoldering aftermath of a massive wildfire. And  Cindy’s got her arms wrapped around herself like she’s freezing. I guess it’s an attitude of shock and/or grief. Les, to his credit, tries to comfort her. Or, he’s using the opportunity to paw Cindy’s bare shoulders while Mason stares distractedly at a charred bit of paper.

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