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Spagettaboutit!

Link to today’s strip

Apologies for the late post. I decided to wait for the Sunday strip to drop, rather than blather on about something from earlier this week.

The last thing Funky needs is nutritional value. Given the weight he’s able to hold onto despite working out with a personal trainer, he must have the metabolism of a hibernating turtle.

Funky also seems to be suffering from a serious case of IMS. Irritable Male Syndrome. Spilling food on yourself often, as well as other issues with fine motor control, are probably a sign of some kind of tragic illness. Money on Parkinson’s.

Funky doesn’t take vitamins? They were paranoid enough about his health to take a trip to see a specialist together a couple years ago, but he doesn’t take a basic multivitamin? Way to go out on a limb for a non-joke.

Some really crisp linework in the strip today. No weird lobster hands, lots of detail, and weirdly dramatic shading. I mean, look at the detail out the window. And just an almost loving rendering of pasta noodles…mmmm….

Too bad the marinara looks like blood. Funky, you got red on you.

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F.U. Frankly Unbearable.

Link to today’s strip

No Cayla. Just no. She’s not going to graduate totally unemployable. Totally unemployable is the 45 year old grandmother who comes into the gas station sometimes, dentures out, in the same shirt as yesterday, still tweaking, and complaining about getting fired from her part time waitress gig at the local greasy spoon because of her nasal fistula.

Summer is going to graduate having wasted either a ton of money, or a scholarship, on a price-inflated liberal arts degree, in a field already supersaturated with competent degree holders. In her most likely job prospects, some kind of office drone, her degree will entitle her to marginally better starting pay and position that in no way recoups the time and money spent teaching her how to read Finnegan’s Wake.

Basically her new degree choice marks her forever as a dreamer, taking what seems like the most obvious, immediate path to satisfying self-actualization. But in reality making her pay through the nose for the kind of deductive reasoning and knowledge she could just as easily pick up from You-Tube videos and $5 Amazon used books. All so she can write navel-gazing, passionless, modern novels filled with listless protagonists with SJW-edgelord identity labels going through a pointless bildungsroman only to reach some kind of epiphany of vaguely positive, yet nihilistic, existentialism. No one but other literary intelligentsia will ever read her books. She’ll be forever outsold by hacks like Stephanie Meyers, and hacks of hacks like E.L. James; people who make up for terrible writing and characters with things like escapism, wish-fulfillment, simple conflicts and emotional arcs, and palpable passion for their creation. You know. The things the masses want and like to read.

I told my best friend Creative Writing English Major about what was happening in Funky Winkerbean yesterday. The second I mentioned Creative Writing English Major she shouted through the phone, “No, it’s a trap!”

But Les sits there smirking, because his daughter is about to fall into the trap he’s in. Finally company. A little LisaLes Jr., both himself and his favorite emotional prop combined. They’ll be able to commiserate and complain about frustrated artistic ambition for the rest of his life.

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The Very Model of A Modern Major Millennial.

Link to today’s strip

At least we now have some kind of in universe excuse for why Summer has been at Kent State for so long. Apparently she calls her father every year at the same time to change her major. And he seems smug as a snake about the whole thing. Is he paying for her college, or has she taken on student loan debt?

I decided to do an archive deep dive and found that Summer and Keisha last showed up on October 7 for a one-off Sunday strip.

If I could ask Tom Batiuk one question, honestly, it would be why he doesn’t write people interacting with their kids. The children of main characters are an afterthought if they are remembered at all, and parenting and concern for offspring are rare topics. It sometimes shows up. Rarely. Holly was worried about Corey being in the military, and had a snit fit when he wouldn’t text her back about things.

But if we were to compare the number of strips involving couples and their relationships to the number of strips about parents and kids, there would be no contest. Despite the bond between a parent and a child being the more inalienable, demanding relationship. You can’t amicably divorce your kids, and see them socially on occasion.

It makes me want to sit down with Tom and a shrink and ask him about his relationship with his parents, and then his own kids, to see if those relationships were as bland and benignly distant as the ones he portrays. I would like to see if he resents the idea that his kids should affect his life and dreams, or have a claim on him for time or emotional support.

I don’t have kids, but I have parents, aunts, uncles, coworkers…and it doesn’t matter how old you or your children become, your bond with your children is primal. It will take up a chunk of your emotional and relationship capital. You can’t have casual children. But Tom has never wanted to present children as obstacles in that way. People just show up together, without their kids, and no mention of babysitters.

Darrin apparently has dumped Skyler off at his parents’ and forgot about him and Jess is content to live in California forever. Wally didn’t know Rana had gone back to college, and we haven’t seen him interact with Wally Jr in years. Jinx didn’t show up to her father’s retirement. We never get to see how Bull’s CTE affected his kids. Jinx could still be in college, but that didn’t come up when Linda was talking about finances. Crazy Harry’s Maddie has slipped into the memory hole, along with her other two siblings.

Maybe Batiuk would fob this off by saying there are already so many comic strips about parents and kids, so he chooses not to show the moments of parenting. They take place off panel. But in a strip that’s become about less than nothing, maybe some parent-child dynamic could bring a bit of heart. Shoving hordes of kids into the attic like an army of Chuck Cunninghams only makes your characters seem shallow and self-centered. Every couple a codependent, un-nurturing, dead end.

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Pointless precognition.

Link to today’s strip

You didn’t sit down before answering! You sat down after answering! At most you sat down WHILE answering. And do you always narrate everything you plan to do? And then do you immediately fail to do the thing you plan?

Cayla is confirmed as baked out of her mind, only able to repeat what she heard last. No judgement here, whatever gets her through the day.

Epicus pointed out yesterday that Summer has been in college for seven years of real time. Even if we accept a ‘comic book time’ that allows for a year of Funkyverse to take more time than a calendar year in the real world…It’s baffling that Tom Batiuk would drop her character like that.

What do you figure Summer’s big bombshell is? I still have a longstanding bet that she the secret student from behind the Big Gay Castle. But maybe I’m unfairly stereotyping female basketball players with pixie cuts. It was probably Chullo head.

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When a Stranger Calls.

Link to today’s strip

Comic Book Harriet back for another turn at the Train Wreck Report. Thanks to Epicus for seeing us through last week! Your hard work on this wonderful little blog deserves praise.

Caucayla sure looks haggard in panel one. Also she seems to be drying the dishes, even though she is standing nowhere near a sink. Also, if Les is rolling in the published author, tenured teacher, kill fee dough, why don’t they have an electric dishwasher? Does Les need a flesh and blood woman to dry his dishes? Is this like…a fetish for him? Is that why Cayla looks so depressed?

Cayla in panel two echoed my thoughts when reading this for the first time. Summer calls? Like the season? I guess it is nearing the middle of May…maybe Les, as a teacher, is especially attuned his students’ bipolar spring emotions of crushing ennui and building excitement. The call of summer.

Then I was all like, oh yeah, Les has a daughter named Summer…right. Wonder when the last time we heard from her is? Doesn’t Cayla have a daughter too? Weird.

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Good advice that you just didn’t take

Montoni’s is busy in today’s strip! What? And Holly is flustered to the max and jealous of unhealthily self-conscious Cindy all the sudden*? Crazy!

Speaking of Crazy, his advice… isn’t ironic? I don’t know, actually, but I do know it’s been relevant to TB for decades. If only TB would take it one day.

Wait, Montoni’s is busy with regular FW cast members. Sheesh, this strip doesn’t even truly earn its “the rare Montoni’s customer” tag. This, THIS level of business has Holly frazzled and exhausted? She is as cut out for food service as Funky is for giving out marriage advice.

* Holly being self-conscious about her body hasn’t happened in a while, but to be fair, it actually isn’t new. It even goes back to when she was the other shoe.

Thanks for putting up with me and my blue tongue for the past two weeks. Thoughts and prayers for our next blogger…

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Wow, Summer and Maddie Got Married

Today’s strip

“When I told Bull I was going to introduce him, it really showed what a crappy friend I am, just making major decisions for Bull and not even giving him any input.  I mean, I am his friend, right?  That’s the word for a guy who just starts showing up at your house after you get CTE and spends a lot of one-on-one time with your wife?  Where’s that dweeby English teacher whose annoying wife died, maybe he can tell his what the right word for that is.  Oh, right, he didn’t show up, because apparently I’m the only one in Bull’s life who gives a crap about him.  Like when I lied to him to make him think he won a game he actually lost.  Gosh, good thing that never came up in any awkward situation later on.”

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