“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.”
― Saul Bellow
Nope, but you do have to be able to read what you wrote the morning after. You’ll remember Les as the guy who a week (and ten years) ago showed up in Crankshaft to pooh-pooh the creative techniques of his fellow writers at a book festival. Please tell me how jotting down ideas that come to you in your sleep differs at all from “I go to sleep and allow my dreams to write my book for me.”
Here’s a quick entry for you night owls!
The year’s still young, but apart from Crazy Harry’s Casablanca outing, Cliff Anger’s marriage proposal to Vera, and Dinkle and Becky’s convention trip, Funky Winkerbean‘s been all about…Funky Winkerbean. The Funkman and/or wife Holly (whose hair color recently changed from blonde to the same gray/beige “greige” as Bull Bushka’s temples) have figured in 60% of the strips since January 1st. By comparison, Les has only been seen four times and been given exactly one line of dialogue! Be thankful for small favors. In any event, the titular character, love him or hate him, is getting lots of screentime.
We regularly take Batty to task for depicting milieux (mainly the comics and motion picture industries) that reflect his interests but in which he has only vague understanding. Query which is better or worse: TB’s hamfisted Hollywood fantasies, or relateable, mundane, QIRFRL* arcs like “Funky Renews His Driver’s License“?
*Quarter-inch removed from real life
December 10, 2016 at 6:04 am
Well, I thought it before, but this makes it abundantly clear. Marianne, the beautiful, successful and deeply desired actress was intentionally drawn to look like Summer Moore. Put a hoodie on her and no one would be able to tell the difference.
Your wish has been granted! Anyone lucky enough to have not read FW since late January, when we last saw Summer, would look at yesterday’s and today’s strip and suppose that dark haired gal to be Summer Moore (and “Mom” to be Cayla, having at last turned completely Caucasian).
Batiuk attempts another punny headline, either unaware of or ignoring the more common usage of the slang term “mooning.” Unless we’re to believe that it’s Summer, I mean, Ms. Winters, who misunderstands the context and thinks she’s been accused of flashing her ass at Mason.
September’s a good time for Batiuk to revisit the place where the Funkiverse began: the high school classroom. We’ve seen the original Westview students grow into middle age, and some of them become teachers to the students who succeeded them. Now that Cody and Owen have finally graduated (and seemingly vanished), TB must come up with “fresh” teen characters to serve as foils for the insufferable Mr. Moore. So far all he’s come up with is the blonde mannequin Logan Church, seen in the last panel giving side-eye to Bernie Silver, who seems to be an amalgam of Owen’s clueless slacker and Cody’s dark hair and glasses.
It’s been a privilege bringing you the snark for the last couple weeks, folks. Billytheskink steps in for the next fortnight. Stay Funky, y’all!
Link to today’s strip.
Just when you think hatred of Les Moore can’t possibly get any deeper, he steps up to the plate and knocks another one out of the park.
“It’s funny,” Les says, “but you’ve given me the opportunity to tell you how awesome I am, in that I beat Bull at tennis recently.”
Funky’s face in panel two: Here it comes.
“Like you,” Les continues, “he’s just a loser through and through–unlike myself, naturally, who is awesome at everything and should be admired and given prizes.”
What a wonderful friend. Say, Funky, what do you suppose Les says about you behind your back? You can be sure it isn’t complimentary! Because you don’t deserve compliments. Not like Les Moore.
Isn’t it just terrific that Les Moore condescends to share his time with the shuffling, gelid animals that inhabit Westview. How nice it is of him to pat them on the head and offer stories of his life to offset their weak-kneed misery. Without his presence, they might
be happy never know the marvelous entity that is Les Moore. Has any man done so much for those who deserve so little? Allowing them to share his light, so that the shadows don’t fall so heavily on them…gosh! What a guy!
Les Moore is the one thing in this strip that puts it straight into fantasy, because in real life, no one would have anything to do with this loathsome man.
Good Thing Watch: Les’ head in panel one. It looks like it’s been thoroughly wrung out by the Hulk. A Scene We’d Like To See (tip of the felt tip to Mad magazine).
Link to today’s strip.
Lack of Les Moore crotch shots is a definite improvement, and the pun is kind of clever. I like the implication in panel one that Les is sticking his lips out as far as he can, trying to do a good duck imitation. It’s rather poor but at least it’s an attempt.
However, the strip is still just two guys talking. It’s a boring conversation about things happening to other people who are elsewhere.
It’s a strip designed to take up space. There is no other purpose. No plot is being advanced, no wisdom dispensed, and the pun isn’t that good. And when the action consists of someone pouring a pot of coffee into a mug, maybe it’s time to rename this strip to something more accurate, like “How sedimentary rocks form” or perhaps “I don’t care.”
Why not try to show, instead of constantly telling? I suppose the answer is, because showing is difficult. It requires work. Planning. And the reward isn’t worth it.
I think we’re past any changes in the way the strip unfolds.. Like Funky, it’s ossified and congealed into a barely moveable mass. Maybe we should look at Funky’s disgusted expression in panel three and figure, yeah, that’s about right. That’s how this strip rolls. Or stays put, actually.
In all honesty, I would love to find things to praise in this strip. Reading each painfully bad episode is a chore; there’s rarely any relief from the omnipresent gloom that hangs over this thing. It gets old, really fast. My recollection of Act I was that it was also not action-packed; like Act III it was just people taking, but were talking to each other, about each other, and at the end of the talking there was a joke, and sometimes the joke was pretty funny. I know that’s an awful lot to ask these days.
An awful, awful lot.