Take a gander at today’s strip. Truly fowl, it swan of the worst yet. Remarkably, it manages to come across more dated than the similarly-themed 43 year-old strip seen below:
Dinkle can’t write despite making an honest(ly awful) effort, Les couldn’t-can’t-won’t write unless it is about someone who died a decade prior, the late Livinia wouldn’t write… I’m starting to see a pattern here.
Claude Barlow’s “tectonic scale” could probably be applied to today’s strip, and this week in general, which feels like it has been going on for eons.
What really throws me in these Dinkle-Barlow strips is that they come across simply as vehicles to deliver TB’s puns. That concept struggles when Dinkle is a character who otherwise isn’t at all disposed to being a mirthful pun-maker. It struggles further when Barlow, as an unseen character, seems to slide from being an unwitting pun set up to an unwitting pun-maker to a “humorously” terrible composer just to suit Dinkle’s TB’s mood. I get that the Barlow shtick was supposed to add to Dinkle’s over-the-top nature, and that kid of worked back in Acts I and II when he was an over-the-top character. Now, though, he’s a character that used to be over-the-top, like a guy who still wants his nickname to be “Animal” even though the only time he really got crazy was at a couple of parties in college. Now, this is just listless and out of whatever character Dinkle has remaining.
Today’s strip features a pun so tremendously corny that Dinkle had to pause for a second while typing it up to… uh, take notes on it? Maybe he had to write it down because it was so bad it crashed his WordPerfect AND broke the “oy” tag on Comics I Don’t Understand.
Oh, and here’s a remarkably prescient strip of Dinkle doing his Clade Barlow shtick way back in 1981, shortly before Ronald Reagan’s inauguration.
An old running gag
Pops back up in today’s strip
Oh goody, oh joy
The life and times of
Claude Barlow: Volume 7
Just volume 7?
Dinkle’s been working
On this Claude Barlow tome since
“Up your nose with a
rubber hose”, but with Dinkle
you’d need oil pipe
Really? Duck Pond huh?
Barlow’s talent limited
Kinda like Dinkle’s
This is more writing than seen
From Les and Pete both
If death itself was not enough to keep Lisa from continuing as a cast member in the Funkiverse, did you think mere retirement would deter Batiuk’s second favorite and probably best known character, Harry L. Dinkle? The World’s Greatest Erstwhile Band Director has cranked out three volumes of his autobiography to date, yet his Life and Times of Claude Barlow continues to be a work in progress, dating back to the days when Dinkle was never seen not wearing his peaked cap.