Tag Archives: coffee

The Longest Short Story

Link to today’s strip.

First off, those are the blackest “Santa hats” I’ve ever seen. I guess the band is going to play at Santa’s wake.

But really, in what way is this a “long story”? Funky appears to be able to tell the entire thing in a single sentence. But they had to make coffee and settle in a booth so he could do this?

This makes me think Funky’s “That’s a long story” is his way of saying “Stop bothering me.” So Adeela went off and made coffee and came back and said “I made coffee” and Funky responded “Oh okay.”

And then he got bored and told the story in the dullest way possible, rather than trying to make it interesting. Hey, if his creator can’t do it, what chance does Funky have?

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Mr. Whole Note Takes a Week.

Link To Today’s Strip

Thanks to our glorious leader TF Hackett, who brought up yesterday that “Mr. Whole Note.” is, in fact, a song/training exercise for learning piano students. The excerpt he posted of ‘The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 2.’ is simultaneously infuriating and fascinating. So, I’ll let you all expertly dissect Dinkle’s non-joke in the comments, and look forward to your hilarious analysis. I’m going off on a tangent again.

Like a lot of mouth breathing nerds, I am a huge Tolkien fan. Like, I’ve read The Silmarillion more than ONCE kind of Tolkien fan. If you really start digging into his work, you find out that the man was a persnickety and easily distracted procrastinator who created reams and reams of unfinished material that his son, Christopher, carefully collated and annotated into multiple volumes. The famous Silmarillion is just the tip of the iceberg.

Reading through something like “The History of Middle Earth” series, and seeing his son deconstruct the evolution of his father’s work in parallel to his father’s life is to get a window into the creative process of a man. The single world that Tolkien invented is so complex, with thousands of years of history and dozens, if not hundreds, of complete stories and sagas he never thought finished enough to release. And his son spent his whole life studying and writing about his father’s work, carefully breaking down the evolution of concepts and characters. I feel like all the weird asides, and life commentary, written in the margins of The Complete Funky Winkerbean attempt to achieve the same thing for Batiuk’s massive world.

But, unlike Tolkien, who hid his unfinished material away, and really didn’t like the idea of psychoanalyzing authors to find parallels in their own work, Batiuk is compelled to write the deconstruction himself. He has to be the one to break apart and explain this weird, paper-paste, universe he’s spent his life creating, and tie it together with his own experiences. Writing paragraphs on his musical education and family life with serious self-importance, probably because there is no one out there obsessed enough to do it for him.

It’s really kind of sad. Tolkien was a deeply religious man, assured of his own immortality and humble in his act of subcreation. Even if you don’t share his belief, you can tell how his faith comforted him. His only self psychoanalysis of his work is a wonderful short story, ‘Leaf by Niggle.’ In it he writes a parable of painter that ends with the realization that even if the massive work of art he was trying to create was never finished, and never appreciated, and ultimately never remembered by anyone on this Earth, that somehow it would exist forever and finally be perfected in the world to come.

Tom Batiuk, meanwhile, has the Kent State University Press printing out an entire Midrash of Funky Winkerbean, trying to scrape together enough interest and importance for a hint of earthly immortality. And, it seems, the only ones who care enough to spend any time at all engaging with his world are a tiny cabal of beady-eyed nitpickers who he disdains.

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Always Enjoyable?

Link To Today’s Strip

Oh goodie! I get a Dinkle arc. Having to scrape together some kind of humor or commentary for Dinkel arcs is ‘always enjoyable.’ But it gets tedious trying to remember everything that has happened to Dinkle in Act III that has slowly morphed him from a unique and bombastic caricature of a passionate band director into just another bland, smug, Westview Pod Person.

Please note, while Dinkle claims that teaching piano is ‘always enjoyable’ he doesn’t look like he’s enjoying it today, and…spoilers…he doesn’t seem to enjoy it all week long. Maybe in Westview the words ‘always’ or ‘enjoyable’ mean something very different than what’s listed in the dictonary?

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Patience Zero

Today’s strip is filler. Total filler. In fact, it is possibly the filleriest filler that ever filled four panel borders. Filler filler filler filler…

The idiocy of Winkerbeans here is wearing the same clothes they were back before Wally and Amicus visited Adeela in jail, so it is presumably the same night/day that Adeela was arrested and President Clinton was called. Why are they all so resigned? Just how quickly do these people think Federal agencies work? And they expect a call back from Mr. Clinton himself, assuming failure when that doesn’t happen within an hour? Between yesterday’s strip and this one, there is probably a long list of right-leaning organizations that have more trust in the Clintons than these five.

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Here Comes The Flood

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…

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It’s the Month of Lestember!


This way to today’s real strip.

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No Preview Review

Link to today’s strip whenever it drops.

Today’s strip wasn’t available for preview. So instead enjoy my favorite comment from yesterday.

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For a given value of save.

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.

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Wig Wam Bam

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.

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