Tag Archives: Crankshaft

Meh-Moore-ial Day

Big hat tip to billytheskink for a great fortnight of Funky analysis and haiku. And my eternal gratitude to the generations who’ve fought and died so that we might enjoy our liberty. We honor them today and every day.

From the FW blog:
As I discussed in a previous post, Batman animated artist Rick Burchett is coming on board at the end of this month to work with me on Funky.

So the Batiuk & Burchett era is underway, and if not for the tandem signatures on today’s strip, you’d be hard pressed to notice the transition. But let us, with our beady eyes, nitpick this panel by panel:

Les and Cayla celebrate the holiday at their wedding venue (outside the Taj Moore-hal). Les’ smug expression refuses to so much as wilt, even over a hot grill. Speaking of which, don’t those, um…burgers? look tasty?

Looks like Burchett got the memo about drawing bricks, although it’s a 2-D view and not a perspective rendering…but look how many he gets into that little space! ++++

Burchett’s depiction of outside corners on wooden siding, however, displays none of the verisimilitude of his bricks. Les retains his Paulie Walnuts hair color scheme, and is smirking hard enough to give himself dimples to rival those of TV’s Pioneer Woman.

I actually like this panel 3 tableau of the Moores looking into the distance; though if the perspective is true, Les’ giant wheelbarrow is leaning against his two-story garage. Apparently Westview and Centerville are separated by a lush, wooded shire (and of course, “ten or so years”). Notice Cayla, though: while she’s her usual, bland gingerbread cookie self in panel one, here Burchett has given her a perceptible backside and the appearance of hips. This gives me such hope.

While we can expect the draughtsmanship to marginally improve, Batiuk will still be the one “writing” the strip. So don’t get your hopes up over plotline hygiene, more humor, and less gloom: this is still Funky Winkerbean in the 21st Century. But even a little visual polish couldn’t hurt. Welcome aboard, Rick.

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Hand Of Plod

Link to today’s strip

Yep, the only thing this whirlwind of an arc was missing was a good old fashioned time-killing silent strip. This is almost as suspenseful as wondering when the highway department is going to pick up that deer carcass you pass every day on your morning commute. It’s all in the details today…Jeff’s steam line-free coffee mug (indicating he’s been at this for some time), his tongue sticking out as he works diligently on a puzzle based on a child’s toy (indicating his complete idiocy), the legal pad helpfully labeled “legal pad” (to avoid any confusion) and, last but not least, Jeff’s pencil-holding hand, which indicates he is writing. At least someone involved with FW is.

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Codex Idiotica

Link to today’s strip

Well, MY hunch was right on the money…this arc is like a vacuum cleaner. It both sucks AND blows. This annoying old Crankshaft nimrod has (sigh) found his (sigh) Starbuck Jones (sigh) decoder ring, which as fate would have it just happened to be in his attic with the rest of his (sigh) SJ junk. Who’d a thunk it, eh? I thought that perhaps it was safely tucked away in a vault somewhere, or maybe a landfill, resting comfortably among some half-eaten fifty year old hot dogs or something.

IMO it’s time for Batiuk to start killing off a lot of these useless, unpopular and un-cared-about characters of his. Not like with Lisa either, I mean REALLY kill them off. And the beauty of it is they could be SJ-related deaths too. Like Pam and Jeff. Jeff can’t find the ring and suddenly has a childhood flashback where he remembers his demonic hellbeast of a mother forcing him to swallow the stupid ring whole. Then he develops excruciating stomach pains, is rushed to the hospital and dies during an emergency ring-ectomy. After the obligatory funeral strip we cut to Pam, who falls down the attic stairs while disposing of Jeff’s old SJ garbage and also dies. Then we cut to Crankshaft, who becomes so despondent when Pam doesn’t visit that he dies too. The big punchline would be that the secret message was from Chester The Chiseler, who was offering one million dollars for the exact issues Jeff had. The last panel would have Pam lying dead at the bottom of the stairs with SJ #165 draped over her face. See, it sticks with the SJ theme AND kills off three hated characters in one fell swoop. You’d have SJ covers, funerals, childhood traumas, medical emergencies, old people and death, all in one tidy package. And if he’s (ha) reading this, he can use that idea, no charge.

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Floor Bored

Link to today’s strip

As BeckoningChasm so succinctly put it yesterday….” Mr. Batiuk, no one likes Crankshaft. No one. You cannot make people like Crankshaft by putting its terrible characters into Funky Winkerbean. No one will ever like Crankshaft. Just like people no longer like Funky Winkerbean.”

So apparently Batty will be spending A WEEK on a CRANKSHAFT character looking for a decoder ring in his attic. Twelve thousand dangling plot threads and THIS is what he’s wasting his time with. There comes a point when old 1950s comic book nostalgia stops being “cutesy” and becomes genuinely disconcerting. BanTom reached that point YEARS ago. And now, in his inimitable style, he’s absolutely piledriving it into the solid bedrock beneath the ground. Sigh.

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Swolb Tfahsknarc

Link to today’s strip

Some of you loyal SoSF readers might think it’s all fun and games here at SoSF World HQ in lovely downtown Camden (located in the heart of Camden’s Snark District, right next to the Mark Trail Building), but in reality there’s WAY MORE TO IT than that. Like today, for example, when we were forced to summon our Special Code Breaking Team away from their families, friends and parole officers on a national holiday just to decode BanTom’s mystery puzzle JUST FOR YOU! After many frantic seconds of toil, they succeeded in breaking TomBat’s secret code and, at the risk of receiving annoying letters from a hack law firm, we’re going to reveal those results RIGHT F*CKING NOW, whether Comics Kingdom likes it or not. Ready? It says…..

“IF I CAN MERGE MY TWO STRIPS INTO ONE I’LL ONLY HAVE TO DO HALF THE WORK”

Wow, a stunning revelation about the future of FW and that other comic strip he writes! You know the one I mean, the really shitty one about the obnoxious bus driver. No, really, it’s real, I’ve actually seen it a few times. Obviously that idiotic SJ decoder ring gobbledygook will come into play here, even though a) no one under seventy even knows what a “decoder ring” is and b) even fewer care. Then again, I might be biased as I lost all interest upon seeing these characters from that other comic strip, as I’m sure most of America did as well.

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No, Not! Really? Huh.

Link to today’s strip

“The Paper”…that’s real cute, BanTom. I had to double check and make sure this is actually a FW strip and, sadly, it is indeed. Although I am aware of Pam and Jeff, I know almost nothing about the Crankyverse and honestly I’d prefer to keep it that way. I checked it out a few weeks ago and saw a funeral and a woman stabbing a comic book and that was enough for me. Where is this going? What is the point? Beats the hell out of me. I’ll be moderately surprised if it doesn’t have something to do with a certain fictional comic book title. Then again I’ll be moderately surprised if it has anything to do with anything.

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We turned left at Montoni’s

The joke in today’s strip appeared in Sumerian cuneiform. It likely dates back even further in oral tradition, as seen in the following paleontologist reconstruction:

Tilmily and Amtrilia

Of course back then, the trilobite’s twin didn’t step all over the punchline like Emily is doing today. And this “teachers are great” business? Hoy, Centerville schools must be in shambles.

Is Nate worried as all get out about what these two think of the school or what? Students moving TO Westview really is the rarest of rare cases, I guess, and he really is terrified of losing them. I don’t think Emily and Amelia’s mother cares half as much about their first day of school as Nate seems to.

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