Tag Archives: crossovers

Your Funeral…My Trial

Link to today’s strip.

Well, Dinkle has agreed to do the funeral music the way the family has requested. How magnanimous of him. And the choir has no idea how to do this, because of course they don’t.

Fortunately, Dinkle carries around the CD he and the Bedside Manor people made, because of course he does, just like he’s always wearing the chocolate medal. Neither of which, by the way, indicate a healthy state of mind.

Can you imagine having to ask Tom Batiuk for directions? By the time he finishes telling you how to get to a place, that place has gone out of business and probably burned down.

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Obfuscation

Link to today’s strip.

Speaking of “obfuscation,” isn’t it interesting that some nobody we’ve never seen before gets several weeks of funeral planning, so that his service can be just the way he wanted it?

Contrast this with Bull Bushka, who I’m surprised didn’t just get dumped in the town landfill. And whose death led immediately, and I mean immediately, to a long discussion of Lisa’s Legacy and how awesome Les is.

Batiuk really has no shame, has he?

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Nothing is ever “fast”

Link to today’s strip.

Day three of this crap. Batiuk is one of the worst writers I’ve ever encountered…though at least today he didn’t start with “So.” He was probably tempted though.

Imagine him writing “Who’s On First.”

Monday – Costello: Hello, Abbott. I thought I’d find you here, in the middle of the stage. Abbott: Hello, Costello. I’ve been in the middle of this stage for a while now.

Tuesday – Abbott: Say, Lou, did you know that I used to manage a baseball team. Costello: What?

Wednesday – Costello: You used to manage a baseball team? I did not know that at all–that you managed a baseball team, I mean. Abbott: Yes, me.

Thursday – Abbott: I sure did–manage a baseball team, that is. Costello: Managing a baseball team–that sounds like a lot of hard work!

Friday – Abbot: Oh, it sure was hard work. Managing all the players on a baseball team, the way a manager would, was really hard work and it had to be done, if the baseball team was going to be a real baseball team and play baseball games. But I was the best at it, and I was nominated for awards. Costello: Of course, you were the best at it! And all those innovations!

Saturday – Abbott: Say, I had three players on the baseball team that I managed who had weird names! They were named Who, What, and Idunno! Aren’t those weird names? Costello: They sure are! I couldn’t have managed a baseball team the way you did with players named like that!

Sunday – comic book tribute.

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We Have a Funeral Coming Up – It’s Yours

Link to today’s strip.

I realize that every episode is a waste of a day, but this one really lives up to the strip’s reputation. We’re apparently going to get an entire week of this Reverend asking Dinkle if he can provide music at a funeral. And just the asking part, I’ll wager.

There’s an old rule about doing presentations for the public – Tell them what you’re going to say; say it; and then tell them what you’ve said. Batiuk has really taken that one to heart, to the point where he’s added several more copies of the same steps. The last step, of course, is to tell everyone how brave and innovative and deserving of praise you are.

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I Thought I Heard Cats Howling

Link to today’s strip.

Oh good, Dinkle again. Like Les, a character where “a little” is “way too much.”

I assume that we’re going to get full on Dinkle until the Rose Bowl parade, where he’s going to be given a middle-finger salute. Oh…I can just feel the joy oozing out of me.

Another assumption is that the Hanna-Barbera character appearing here is the Minister or Reverend or Priest of this parish. If so, Dinkle will not be asked for “a favor.” He’ll be asked to do his damned job the way the M/R/P wants it done, or he’ll be hurled into the sun.

This is one of the reasons that I loathe Dinkle more than Les. He’s always assumed to be completely in charge of whatever situation he finds himself, with full control of every resource. And he then turns those situations into a celebration of his ego. No doubt, the Rose Bowl parade will suffer the same fate, as he’s called on to direct it in its entirety, rather than appear as a guest.

Hurling into the sun is too good for him. What’d the sun ever do to us?

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This is the farmer sowing his corn

Link to today’s strip.

Good grief, look at that word zeppelin in panel one.

This the dolt who made the call
To schedule the audition
To fill the position
To be the organist
Down at the church that Tom built.

Presumably Harriet was right there the whole time and knows what was going on; of course, given the writing in this strip I’m surprised she didn’t repeat his words verbatim in her panel five frog-face. After all, she outlined all his other accomplishments and (of course) concluded that he was the best thing evar. In probably the fastest 180 I’ve ever seen.

The reason being, this entire episode is Tom Batiuk publicly patting himself on the back. “Look at this terrific character I created! Is this award-winning or what?”

As mentioned yesterday, unless this church has a single Sunday service, Dinkle will be spending a lot of time there. Most churches I’m familiar with have several Sunday services, a couple on Saturday and at least one every weekday. Let’s not even bring up holidays. That’s going to cut into a lot of Dinkle’s other activities. (Come to think, how does Lillian manage to run her bookstore? Answer: it’s magic. Dark magic.)

All of which promises what could be could be an interesting twist: what if Dinkle failed the audition? I think it would be the first time in the strip when he didn’t get everything he wanted. It might humble him and make for a rounder character.

And of course it will never happen. The strip is now total wish-fulfillment and trivial observations. Where every “hero” character is Superman.

And with that, I am out of here. Please welcome the always erudite and entertaining Epicus Doomus who will be your host for the next couple of weeks. Exit, stage left!

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The Old Die Rich

Link to today’s strip.

I’m not sure God appreciates being mentioned in Funky Winkerbean, especially in connection with Harry Dinkle, but his “at our age” remark raises a question.

When the organist died in Crankshaft, the immediate substitute was ancient crone Lillian. Here, Batiuk is going to reward the equally ancient (and equally loathsome) Dinkle with the position. Why wouldn’t the church try to find a younger person, one who could be expected to helm the organ for many years to come (before dropping dead)? I don’t think it’s especially rigorous physical work (I’m not an organist), but unless the church only has a single Sunday service, the organist is going to be spending a lot of time there.

Perhaps the job is a voluntary one, and there’s little (or no) pay, and a younger person would need a salary. A retired person wouldn’t have this worry.

But…I’m starting to think Tom Batiuk just hates young people. Whenever they appear, they are invariably shown as worthless idiots completely out of clues. Think of the youngest characters he’s shown us (Skyler, Bernie, the other high schoolers) and tell me I’m wrong.

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Inkle Dinkle Do

Link to today’s strip.

And as many predicted, here comes Dinkle to be rewarded. To be honest, my impression of the character is that he’s something of a tyrant, so I don’t know how suited he would be to work in a church. But Batiuk’s gonna Batiuk, and it’s time to praise Dinkle to the skies.

I forgot to mention the joke yesterday, but that’s okay as it reappears here as…I think…”Newspapers, am I right?”

I don’t know if Batiuk is making fun of newspapers or making fun of people who’ve abandoned them. It might be that even he doesn’t know. He seems to be wary of online things and prefers the old fashioned stuff. But who really knows?

All I can tell you is that this week has been a slog. Uninteresting characters discussing dull trivia. Admittedly, that’s every week, but this one seems especially devoid of even the tiniest bit of substance to grab on to.

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The Audience is Wide

Link to today’s strip.

For a man who has such great pride in his writing ability, Tom Batiuk shows remarkably little evidence of having any.

The fact that we’re on our fourth day of this non-story gives a very good picture of Batiuk’s “writing” process.

First, set up a situation. A church needs a new organist. It’s a fine premise, it would be possible to tell an interesting story with that situation. Except for the next step.

Second, find something in the premise that’s incredibly trivial and inconsequential, and stretch the Hell out of it. You should be able to get an entire week out of this; if you put in the effort, you can get two or even three weeks.

Third, go for an ending where you get to reward your hero characters with little or no effort.

As mentioned, finding an new organist could make an interesting story. You could have several characters try out for the position–one person who has always wanted the job, another who is qualified but hasn’t been a member of the church for years, perhaps a relative who thinks the position should be his, etc. Drama is certainly a possibility, as well as some interesting character work.

But not in Funky Winkerbean.

Heck, if you hired Tom Batiuk to write a “Fast and Furious” movie, the characters would spend two hours looking for their car keys. Then at the end, they’d be handed their car keys by an unintroduced character, and they’d spend the rest of the movie admiring themselves, their abilities, and their struggles to get those car keys.

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Let’s All Gather in the Gathering Room

Link to today’s strip.

Here it is Wednesday and we’re still all glabbering about replacing the organist. I realize that this is all supposed to be happening on the same day, strip-wise, but it makes it excruciatingly slow for the reader.

I know Batiuk doesn’t give a cusser’s tink for his readers, but he needn’t be so blatant about it.

This week’s strips together make the most desolate wasteland I’ve seen in this strip for a long while. If he really needs to stretch this sort of stuff out, he should give serious thought to retiring. Yeah, I know there’s some Golden Something award if he makes it to 50 years, but give the world a break.

This reminds me of people who talk constantly, who never shut up, and who also never say anything. It’s like they have to fill the world with noise, but it’s never interesting noise.

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