Tag Archives: Coach Stropp

A Coach Stropp Saved Is A Coach Stropp Urned

Link To Today’s Strip

And suddenly, many months after the fact, that moronic arc where Bull dug up a hunk of grass and plopped it on his special “football memories” shelf comes full circle. Apparently vandalizing WHS property is OK if it’s for nostalgic purposes, which doesn’t surprise me at all. I like how the grass on his shelf is still sort of green, seeing how it’s all uprooted and dead and all. Quite a hardy turfgrass blend on that field, although it would have been funnier if Bull had ruined a costly Astroturf field instead.

So is the little tuft supposed to be where Bull stupidly dropped Coach Stropp? And if so, is he suggesting that Coach Stropp’s remains acted as a fertilizer that cause the grass to rapidly grow on that spot? Because if so, ewwww. Not to mention totally inaccurate, as you’d really want to use a higher nitrogen fertilizer at this time of year, one with a nice pre-emergent to keep those unsightly crabgrass clumps at bay. If Coach Stropp was a lifelong Westviewian I would suspect his ashes would mostly contain some carbon, traces of comic book printing ink and lots and lots of mozzarella cheese, none of which is especially good for your lawn.

Anyhow, the moral here is apparently that Bull is an inconsiderate moron who makes everyone’s jobs just a little more difficult via his special brand of dementia and idiocy. What a zany character, eh?

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Yadnus Pirts

Link to today’s strip.

As is customary, Sunday’s strip was not available for preview.  They’re always a surprise, but rarely a good surprise, something you’d actually enjoy reading.  Here are some possibilities I’ve come up with; feel free to add your own guesses in the comments.

First, we might continue with Skyler and his g’rents, though that seems to be pretty played out.  Now, never underestimate this cartoonist for stretching something past its sell-by date, but I can’t really see where he could go with this to “make a greater point,” so we’ve probably seen the last of Dullard & Co for the nonce.

Second possibility is we might re-visit the premise from a week or so ago, and pick up how Chester, the wealthy comics collector wants to get in touch with the comic book writer Peeved Radish.

Third, Funky and Les jogging.  I mean, we haven’t seen that in pretty much forever!  Not that I miss it or anything, but the cosmos feels misaligned.

Fourth, we might find out what happened to Becky’s mom.  –ha ha, just kidding.  That boat’s been scuttled for, what, five years now?  No, the real fourth would be some sideways kids’ book that Ann found in her Dullard shrine, something that would inspire some wry remark about how things were better Back Then.

The fifth and final guess I’m going to add is that we’ll get something completely untied to anything from the last six months.

Anyway, we’ll all find out in a little less than a couple of hours.  Wow!–it’s just like Christmas Eve, right?  Only this is an eve where one measures not the delights that may come once morning breaks, but the various disappointments one is certain to encounter when one reaches the bottom of the stairs, beholds the menacing tree, and hopes that the bigger boxes are not addressed to oneself.

But, well, despite the paragraph above (sorry, folks, I’ve been a guest host for quite a long time, and it does leave a mark), there is one thing certain:  no matter the subject, the characters, the dialogue or the story–it will be dull beyond bearing.

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The Men Who Swear At Goats

Today’s strip is what passes for levity in Funky Winkerbean these days, I guess. Buck was apparently disturbed by a commonly-milked farm animal when he really should have been disturbed by the complete lack of almost everything at this football game. There appears to be no crowd, no officials, almost no players (look at that empty bench behind Stropp), and apparently no one else but Bull around to wrangle a loose mascot. Was Westview’s football stadium nicknamed “Uncanny Valley”?

Oh, and did you know that the Scapegoat mascot had a name back in Act I? It’s Billy, much to my chagrin… He once appeared on a book cover with Erma Bombeck’s name.

You know you've got trouble when you have an animal sacrifice at every pep rally

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Doomsday, January 30

Today’s strip was not available for preview, but it is easy to speculate on what it will involve based on yesterday’s “hat”-focused anti-humor. Bull will be there, Buck will be there, and a retcon may well show up too…

Bull’s football career has been one of the most heavily-retconned aspects of this strip in recent years, with much of this re-written continuity in the service of the super-serious CTE story arc. Bull went from simply being contacted by a St. Louis Football Cardinals scout before he hurt his knee to actually trying out for the team (presumably during the 1982 strike) after suffering a major knee injury in college. The recently and incessantly-discussed goal line officiating screw up game was originally said to have been Coach Stropp’s final game against Big Walnut Tech, not Bull’s. This goal line play situation’s only actual roots in Act I are a 1980 “Casey At The Bat” parody arc called “Westview At The Goal” (much thanks to SOSFer Don for pointing this out a few weeks back) which was nobody’s final game against Big Walnut Tech. Heck, even the backward-facing emu seen on Bull’s college helmet in yesterday’s strip was originally forward-facing.

Frankly, I wouldn’t comment that much on these retcons if they weren’t being used to try to punch up the maudlin nature of a story that doesn’t need any re-written history to be maudlin. Are we supposed to take everything in this strip seriously except its continuity? Please.

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Riddell Me This

Happy Monday SOSFers (well, happy until you read today’s strip…), billytheskink here to take us all into February. February is typically Funky Winkerbean‘s best month, by the way, as no month sees fewer FW strips published… Much thanks to Charles, who endured the last two weeks stalking the halls of Westview High School to set our daily snark tone. Your efforts are much appreciated.

Speaking of two weeks… Two weeks back, when TFH handed the reigns over to Charles, he implored us all to wear a helmet. Alas, that wouldn’t have done us any good. Not in this universe.

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Weekend Buzzkill

There’s no preview available for Sunday’s Strip so who knows what it’ll be about. I’m putting my money on a “Les and Funky jogging” strip.

Update: Nope! The story line, which is moving at a glacier pace, has Mysterious Stranger getting up off his rump to make his way to the parking lot to find his car, which will probably eat up most of next week’s storyline.

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Remind Me of My Failures, Bull, For Eternity

Link to today’s strip.

It’s hard to tell because of Tom Batiuk’s typically tin-earred dialogue, but it sounds to me as if Coach Stropp told Bull, “Look, if you can’t get into the end zone while I’m coaching you, can you at least carry my ashes across the goal line, so I can have some sense of what if feels like?  By the way, ‘ashes’ implies that I am dead and cremated, so it’s nothing you have to do today.”

I think the real focus of Mr. Batiuk’s energy is in panel two.  Bull pushes the switch, there’s a satisfying “THUNK” sound, and Linda looks pleased that Bull was able to accomplish something on his own.  The reader can see exactly what happened without it being spelled out.  The transition between panel one’s silhouette and panel two’s illumination is handled well, with the characters in the same position from the same angle.  This tells me that when he cares, Tom Batiuk can draw something that works.  Too bad he doesn’t care more often.

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