Link to today’s strip.
Normally, a Funky Winkerbean reader would see today’s episode as one of those typical Sunday “filler” strips that has nothing to do with anything, but is just supposed to be lighthearted and fun.
But Tom Batiuk can’t resist tipping his heavy hand when he’s about to get serious. I guess it’s his way of saying “Polish off those awards, boys, the Batiuk shelf is ready for ’em!”
So we see Adeela all happy and carefree, just before the mean ol’ USA comes crashing down on her, for no reason at all (I’m guessing; there could be a reason that will turn out to be incredibly stupid). Maybe she has a brother who’s bombed here and there, and she’s guilty by association. Or it might be something we’ve never guessed (because it has never been shown.) As I mentioned yesterday, whatever it is will be so inaccurate and poorly thought-out that it should win awards–just not the good kind. The point is that Batiuk will make her life living hell, for no other reason than that’s the only kind of life available in this strip…and, for that, he should win an award. A good award, too. He thinks.
Seems odd that we had to go through nine years two weeks of talking about driver’s licenses to get here, but there you go in Batiukland.
And that’s all from me for now. Thank you for your indulgence; I appreciate your comments and your insights, and I also appreciate those who read but do not comment. And now, please welcome back reigning champion Epicus Doomus, who returns tomorrow.
Let’s have Peter Gabriel sing us out of here…
Link to today’s strip whenever it drops.
Today’s strip wasn’t available for preview. So instead enjoy my favorite comment from yesterday.
Link to today’s strip
Les, I am going to explain this using short unequivocal statements, that way there is no way for your spotty memory and outsized ego to twist my words.
You. Did. Not. Save. Lisa.
All you did was let her out the door first. That’s not a rescue, that is chivalry so lazy it’s a 50-50 shot if it was intentional.
Wally. Saved. Lisa. And. You.
Wally Winkerbean, that poor sad, pizza baking man has had his wife, his dignity, the childhood of his son, his sanity, and his agency as a character taken from him by Batiuk. Don’t you take one more damn thing from this strip’s number one whipping boy, who took all of that abuse, and survived, without a single legacy foundation to his name.
Les, I don’t know if you could ever lay claim to ‘saving Lisa’. Unlike some, I don’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of all the Act II drama. But you can’t even really take much credit for saving Marianne. You drove shotgun through a fire, and then carried a woman out the door who really should have been able to walk.
Why did I have to be given a Les arc? I would rather have a week of Dinkle.
So what have we got here? A couple of Batiuk’s trademark touches, starting with the sign that says HAIR MAKEUP on the inside of the door. The sign isn’t scotch taped; the tape is reserved for those reference photos of Lisa (how did Mason convince Les to part with those?), which would be more helpful maybe taped next to the mirror where the stylist could see them as she works.
And you’ve got spoken dialogue stretched out over panels that wouldn’t make sense in real time. “Doing makeup takes time…” (places wig cap on head, tucks Marianne’s hair completely out of sight under cap) “But if you take the time to do it right…” (takes wig from stand, places it over the cap on Marianne’s head, straightens and styles it until the desired Lisa effect is achieved) “…the results can be amazing!”
It gets more amazing tomorrow, folks, when billytheskink takes over the reins for the next couple weeks! Thank you as always for hanging with us. Stay Funky, y’all.
If their mutual friend is now “selling band candy full time” then he’s not really retired, is he? But to Dinkle, this sounds like “living the dream.” Maybe John Thompson will be flown out to Belgium, or get a candy bar named after him, too. Someone who’s not living the dream is Adeela. When H-1B issues prevented her from leveraging her architecture degree, her fellow grad Wally installed her as Montoni’s day manager. This, of course, was merely a ploy to get the services of an architect at slightly above minimum wage. Only a matter of time before Adeels, like Khan before her, decides that life in war-torn Iraquistan beats being a Westview lifer.
Just three days into my turn to “make the donuts” around here and I’m ready to throw up my hands…or just throw up. What the hell is today’s strip about, aside from padding this pointless arc out to six, maybe seven days? “Read a book in the morning”? Please tell me he’s not talking about taking a dump. I suppose a retired person has opportunity to read just about whenever they feel like it. What about “in the morning” makes Harry cock his head like that and raise his eyebrows? Where is joke?
Nice to see Adeela again, wearing Montoni’s Red Apron of Shame and carrying what’s either a server book or that architect diploma she got from Westview Community College. Dinkle’s unnamed friend continues his musing about retirement. “Long days, short years” does work pretty well as a wry comeback, and we’ll start taking bets now whether Tom Batiuk uses that very same aphorism when and if he ever chooses to retire.
The part of the tablecloth is being played today by Pete’s shirt.
Big ups to Epicus Doomus for the last two weeks of posts. In addition to crafting great posts and post titles, Epicus manages the guest author rotation and is my right hand man around here. Without him, there would be no SoSF.
In a rare bit of Funky fortuitousness, today’s strip involves alfresco dining, an activity that’s more popular right now than it’s ever been. What at first appears to be an old married couple in panel 1’s aerial perspective turns out to be Harry Dinkle and a friend. Judging from how non-generically the other gent is rendered here, he must also be a real-life friend of Batiuk and/or Ayers.
I donned my PPE and took a deep dive into the Act II archives for a refresher about the circumstances surrounding Dinkle’s “retirement.” Near the end of Act II, Becky Winkerbean, as she was known then, took over as band director when Dinkle was promoted to WHS’ music supervisor. His actual retirement happened “offscreen,” during the second 10 year time jump. Shortly thereafter, his beleaguered wife Harriet pleaded with, and possibly bribed, the school board president to install Harry as director of the performing arts center that bore his name, just to get him out of the house. It’s doubtful whether that director role entails hanging around the high school and basically serving as Becky’s co-band director. Look at him smirk in panel 3 at his friend’s quip. Harry Dinkle doesn’t know the meaning of retirement. No, seriously…he doesn’t know the meaning of retirement.
Link to today’s strip.
Well, I guess the dream is over, as Les pivots from a dream that kept him tossing to now note how he’s “thinking” about Frankie. Maybe Batiuk doesn’t know the difference between dreaming and idle musing, but I’m pretty sure the latter is how he gets all his “ideas.” But look at Cayla in panel one! That’s the face of someone who is soaked in regret. I’ve never seen weariness, God-am-I-sorry-I-asked, Please-Stop-Talking so well portrayed, so kudos to Ayers again.
And of course that’s Frankie in panel three. What exactly is he going to do? Demand that he be in the movie, or get money from the movie, because…reasons? He has no relation to anyone still alive other than Dullard. He certainly won’t have anything he can use as leverage over Les. If the movie was “Dullard’s Story” he could, perhaps, claim to be an integral part but it isn’t so he can’t. I am genuinely curious as to what kind of scheme he’s going to launch, despite the fact that Batiuk always disappoints.
I guess since the movie version seems to be moving along nicely, Batiuk needed a villain and, well, why not Frankie. More Hollywood types whining that “Lisa’s Story” won’t play in China might have been too much repetition, even for Batiuk (hard as that is to believe).