Link to today’s strip.
And I’m pretty sure this is another witticism that occurred to Tom Batiuk, and he thought, Yep, there’s one for the strip. I think I’ll make it a Sunday one.
I suppose it’s kind of funny, though if someone said that to me I’d probably smile in a kind of “It’s not worth arguing over” way. It also seems like it would be spoken by someone who would insist on knowing that you found it hilarious, by repeating it and going “Huh? Huh? Pretty good, eh?”
The art is okay, and the consistency with Harry’s hands is nice, but why did we have to have Lillian and her “friend” shoved into this? Yuck. Please leave the Crankshafters in the Crankshaft Universe.
Oh, yay, Backwards Cap Young Alcoholic gets another line today. Today’s strip is really funny, because apparently Holly had no idea that Funky still had a Discman, despite the fact that they’re husband and wife. Had he never used it before, despite the fact that he somehow still has two? Or did she just not pay any attention to him, ever. Which is understandable.
The worst thing about these strips, to me, at least, is the smugness. In the third panel, Funky is acting like having a Discman still in the package is the greatest accomplishment of his life. Which, it might be.
Oh yay, more obsolete technology for Batiuk to fetishize through one of his characters. Was Funky’s record player or eight track player broken? Crazy Harry will be so sad. And this seems like one of the silliest possible times to be using a Discman. The whole point of the things is that they’re portable. Listening to one when you’re by yourself in a room in your own house seems to defeat the whole purpose. Does Funky somehow own a Discman but not a stereo that can play CDs? This strip is mind-boggling sometimes.
Oh, and apparently there are still several companies that make portable CD players you can buy, at least on Amazon. They’re not Sony Discmans, but still. I also have a strong feeling that when Discmans debuted, Batiuk probably loudly proclaimed that his portable tape player was way better. And knowing him he probably did comic strips about it.
Man, I hope Funky is about to go on all week about the dangers of your personal trainer being hot. Because that’s an uncomfortable and unnecessary story arc Batiuk hasn’t gone to in a while. It’s also kind of hilarious, because every single time Funky is depicted as exercising in this strip he’s miserable, so how exactly is that helping him with stress?
Am I the only one who thinks if you want to keep people from alcohol, forcing them to listen to Funky ramble on and on about his many many woes is the worst thing to do?
Oh, yeah, and there’s bricks in this strip.
“When I had to close my business, business really picked up!”. The dialogue in this strip is so often very very awkward. It’s funny, just three days ago he was talking about the financial stresses he was under, and now he’s talking about how much business they had. It’s almost like whoever writes this doesn’t care much about continuity.
It’s funny, the last line is surely meant to be very dramatic, but given the context and history of this strip it’s way more likely that Batiuk is just talking about how Funky likes to cosplay.
So today Batiuk takes a shot at PBS for being obsessed with the pandemic, for some reason. I’m guessing it’s solely because it was low hanging fruit for what qualifies as wordplay to Baituk. it I would have gone with “Coronavirus News Network” myself.
This is very odd too, because it seems to be implying that the news was covering the pandemic too much? I mean, maybe some were, to a certain extent, but the vibe of “Stop talking so much about the pandemic that’s brought the entire world essentially to a screeching halt for over a year” is very strange to me. I really think Batiuk wrote this in early March last year and assumed the virus would blow over in a month.
The first panel is kind of hilarious to me. “I tried to avoid the news as much as I possibly could…but it just kept chasing me down and forcing me to watch it!”. If you don’t want to watch the news, don’t watch the news.
This arc really makes me feel that “recovering addict” is the perfect character type for Batiuk’s style of melodrama. You can milk a ton of cheap drama and pain out of it without anything really having to happen. Funky will never drink again, because that would be drama, and that doesn’t happen in this strip. But he will moan and complain, you’d better believe it.
That guy in the first panel sure looks happy. I hope he hasn’t discovered a new addiction to donuts.
Is it just me, or is that sentence in the second sentence super unwieldy? I can’t really think of a better way to phrase it, and it doesn’t really lead into the third panel at all.
Haha, “news that’s unfit to print”, that’s never been done before. I guess “Troller” is supposed to be a play on “Twitter”? Except it doesn’t sound at all the same, and I’m positive Batiuk has already made up a spoof of Twitter.
But yeah, reading the news is stressful and can lead to a relapse into alcoholism. True, but not really great material for a comic strip.
Haha, Funky couldn’t possibly be a real name, this definitely isn’t a well that Batiuk has gone to way, way too many times. Yes, Tom, we know you hate the name Funky Winkerbean. You’ve made that point clear. The first “person can’t believe Funky is a real name” strip wasn’t particularly funny, and none of the subsequent ones have been any funnier. I wonder if he thinks that the sole thing holding him back from Pulitzers and Academy Awards is just the name of the strip. I mean, if he really wanted to, he could do a storyline where Funky decides to change his name, but that would take too much effort.
Two more observations:
1. Nothing says “old out of touch man writing young person dialogue” like “character with backwards cap saying ‘gamer handle”.
2. Is Alcoholics Anonymous really the kind of place where people criticize the names other people give? Because it is supposed to be anonymous, after all.
Today’s strip is a bit weird for multiple reasons. It’s odd that Batiuk is highlighting that there’s a pandemic going on, and yet neither character is wearing a mask. And the whole punchline of the pandemic making meetings more crowded seems to be the exact opposite of what the pandemic actually did. Unfunny, uninteresting, and baffling-it’s the Batiuk Way!
So ends the epic OMEA 2021 Signfest (I hope). This is an awkward strip. I guess the first two panels are designed to be redundant in case the newspaper cuts them off, but having Harry ask if Funky is nervous about the surgery (and naming the type of surgery again) right after he’s told Funky isn’t looking forward to it is just awkward. Fear of death as a punchline is also awkward but totally normal for this strip. It’s funny how whenever something bad happens to Les or Lisa it’s portrayed as high tragedy, but with Funky it’s always for a lame joke or making fun of him.
Funky giving away all of his clothes is funny to me, only because I assume his wardrobe is 99% Montoni’s t-shirts and aprons.