Tag Archives: Darin

The Shape of Things to Come

Link to today’s strip.

Can’t think of much to say about this one, except I’m sure the “book tour” will be excruciating.  I don’t know what Les means about a physical trainer helping him to look less old than he is–he needs a beautician (or, even better, a mortician) for that.   I wonder if the original word was not “older” but “fatter”?  That makes more sense, though it also implies Les might be flawed, and we just can’t have that.  Les will grow older, as everything does, but he is not in bad physical shape.   Certainly not like some people we could mention.

The stupid non-punchline is made worse by Dullard’s reaction–

Back when I watched a lot of anime, that face meant over-the-top enjoyment, as if a person got a surprise birthday party, or a piece of cake, or saw a really dreamy boy, or something along those lines.  If Dullard is so wrought by Les’ idiot statements, then he is even more worthless than I thought possible.

Of course, it could be that I’m looking at this the wrong way, and that Dullard has been affected by Les in the same way that the takers of dimethyltryptamine-19 from Banshee Chapter were affected:

If so, that would be the most interesting development this strip has had in decades…which of course, takes it right off the table.  Darn it!



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The Words Get In The Way

Link to today’s strip.

(Sorry I’m late!  Things…happened…)

Panels one and two are the funniest things I’ve seen in this strip for a long time.  “This is the cover for ‘Prelude'” says Dullard, handing Les an image that’s got PRELUDE written on it in huge letters.  Does Dullard have the same contempt for Les that the rest of us have?  Maybe he’s not such a bad guy after all!

Just kidding.  Dullard is thoroughly hateable, and if he likes to insult Les to his face, that’s not mitigating enough.

Normally, the titles and such wouldn’t be done by the artist, but by a typographer–so, if this was normal, Dullard might have to explain which cover went with which book.  But as you can see, Tom Batiuk didn’t even bother to change the author name to “Les Moore,” so this is exactly what it looks like–an advertisement.  Remember that $80 behemoth that Fearless Leader found?  Gotta get the word out!

I still find it hard to believe that anyone could read 862 pages of Les Moore.  That sounds like an elaborate suicide attempt, albeit much more painful than the traditional ones.


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Door-To-Door Dullard

Link to today’s strip.

The problems of working a year in advance are many, but this instance sets up a lovely contrast with reality.  I’m sure you can all see the headline on “Variety” there, trumpeting the Starbuck Jones movie’s success.   Well, IMDB has a headline that’s probably nearer the mark:

I still find it odd that there’s no room in Funky Winkerbean for anyone’s success but Les Moore…that we’re told of the movie’s success by an off-hand headline that you kind of figure Tom Batiuk didn’t want to put in at all.   I wonder if the new artist said, “Damn it, I spent a couple of hours drawing all that Starbuck Jones crap, so it better be a hit film!”

Oh, and speaking of a pile of festering garbage, there he is, smirking away!  He doesn’t get a line today, but we all know that won’t last.

I have to admit, I like the level of detail on the doorframe.  It’s meaningless and adds clutter to the image, but damn if someone didn’t decide that you just can’t have a doorframe without all the holes for the locks and such.  Pity none of those locks actually work, as it didn’t keep Dullard from wandering right in, but look at it this way:  they also wouldn’t keep an insane murderer out, either.

Hint, hint.


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Shooting Gallery

Today’s strip

Greetings, folks, BChasm temporarily in the captain’s chair for the next little while.  What’s this?!  The viewscreen shows a sea of hostiles–ready photon torpedoes!   We must annihilate this threat before it spreads across the galaxy!

I’m going to skip over Mason’s “movie we filmed here,” comment, because while I don’t think any of the film was shot in Centerville, I honestly don’t remember the “school bus drives into shot” bit well enough, and–Tales to Astonish–I have no desire to look and see.  So I’ll give him that.

What else?  Well, we’ve got a crowd shot of almost everyone, including Les–which sets our Les Watch back to zero, damn it.  At least he’s not saying anything, and is both poorly drawn and partly covered by a word balloon.  Funny, though, I’d have expected both Comic Book John and Imbecilic Harry to be there, but I guess they got their exposure in at Comic Con, so no need to feature them any longer.  But who is that between Jim KibblesNBits and Marianne?  It looks like they flew Marianne’s mother out there after all!  I guess?

The fact that so many of the cast and crew are in the audience–and sitting right up front, too–makes me wonder if Tom Batiuk believes that the first time anyone involved with a movie actually gets to see the finished film is at the premier.  In the real world, the director would have seen the film dozens of times by now, and there’s almost always a screening for the cast and crew.  So all these people would be backstage, or at the back of the hall, gauging audience reaction–pacing, room for laughs, people getting bored at certain parts, and so on–and looking for “oohs” and “aahs” for the cast members.

But not in the fantasy land that is the Funkyverse.  Here, everything happens the way a five year old imagines that it happens–it’s all just magic, and friendship, and comic books and pizza, and it works every time!  In a way, that sounds like an attractive world…for a few minutes.  But after those few minutes, I’d want something of substance, something that would stir the imagination rather than just “be” everything forever.

Poorly thought-out as the Lisa stuff is, it’s at least an attempt to address adult concerns–something that a comic strip aimed at “contemporary problems of young people” should attempt more often.  Because I’m pretty sure the contemporary problems of young people aren’t that they wish there were more comic-book movies.


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I Saw Her Smirking There

Does everybody around here lean back in their chairs doing nothing?” wonders Director Guy as he fetches the producer his coffee. Of course, with Starbuck Jones opening soon, and its sequel having been filmed concurrently, what work would there be for the storyboard artist? Maybe Boy Lisa’s run out of his favorite pens again and is unable to work.

Back in C’ville, Pete has indeed found “something”: he spies a Batiukian/Burchettian blonde who stops him in his tracks so hard that his arms and shirttails fly away from his body. He’s pretty whopperjawed, all right! Casual readers might wonder why Pete’s blatantly ogling Cindy, but we know (since Batiuk teased it two months ago) that this is Crankshaft’s Hot Granddaughter Mindy. She’s successfully parlayed her Kent State diploma into a job helping her brother manage the dive theater.



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I’ve Had My Phil

You know what gang? It’s a lovely summer’s evening as I write this. The missus and I are sitting by the pond watching the koi swim over the lights. I am enjoying the peace, quiet, and sanity of my backyard and came into the house just long enough to put up a placeholder for you, dear readers, to snark away at today’s strip.


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Lack of Coverage

Professor Fate
August 10, 2017 at 11:52 am
this is very depressing even by the standards of this strip – I’m half way convinced that Boy Lisa is going to take Mr. Holt home once he sees the conditions that he’s living under.

They arrive at Phil’s humble abode, a small studio apartment which is mostly taken up with an enormous old drawing board. There has got to be a crooked lampshade somewhere in this room. Darin’s attention is drawn to the picture frames that cover the walls and which are all…empty. Something isn’t right here. He decides to stay calm and just play along, humoring the crazy old man until he and his son can get back to the car.


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