Twenty Twenty One may be just getting blessedly underway, but Our Winter Band Banquet is drawing to a close. I’m praying for Covid to finally reach Westview, Ohio soon, so that all those dopey, knowing smirks will be obscured by masks. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Dinkle
Becky prefers CONCERT band over MARCHING band??? Burn her at the stake! Crucify her! Wait…scratch that second suggestion. I mean you’d need to hire someone to build a special cross and surely the Americans With Disabilities Act would come into play and with the WHS budget being what it is and all…
But anyway, yeah, winter in Ohio is cold. The thing that really stands out here is Dinkle’s out of character reaction. He’s just standing there with that moronic grin on his face as his prized one-armed protege essentially spits in the face of everything he’s ever stood for. If he’s going to react like that what’s the point of this “gag” at all? And what the f*ck does this have to do with Christmas?
Apparently Dinkle has suffered from these band turkey
dreams nightmares leading up to Thanksgiving every year, even unto a decade or more into his retirement. Harriet knows that, now that Thanksgiving’s behind them, Harry’s PTSD (Post Turkey Sale Dementia) will start to lessen. Unfortunately, her “sugarplums” reference has triggered in Harry’s dream consciousness a truly nightmarish scenario, in which the box he carries door to door is crawling with large spiders!
I’m pretty sure a sales fundraiser in which you wind up with a garage full of unsold merch is kind of a bust, no? What exactly is Classic Dinkle’s plan here in panel 1? Even if a polar vortex were to descend on Westview tonight, and linger through Christmas and New Year’s, no poultry (especially organic) would still remain edible. Those “Sam ‘n’ Ella’s” turkeys would soon be living up to their name. If “next year” means “next Thanksgiving,” then the premise becomes even more absurd.
Now I know meatloaf is typically not gluten free, especially the way I make it, and the way I make it is different every time (my pièce de résistance is my heart shaped, bacon wrapped Valentine’s Day meatloaf). Pizza may be the most ubiquitous foodstuff in the Funkiverse, but I was just thinking back to a little over a year ago, to the last time we saw a wife preparing a meatloaf.
Back at the Dinkle home (which has been repainted at some point in the last three weeks) we find Harry and Harriet joined by daughter Halle, and some fella whom we’ve not met. From the way his right arm seems to disappear behind Halle, he’s either her amputee fiancé or a heretofore off-panel conjoined twin. The last place Halle Dinkle was spotted was at her parents’ 50th anniversary pizza party, but the character was created by Batiuk for the National Association for Music Education (she’s a music educator like her dad). This most niche of comics heroine has her own shrine here at SoSF.
On behalf of all of us who bring you Son of Stuck Funky, here’s to a peaceful and joyous Thanksgiving to you and yours!
Having failed using the direct approach, then humor, Dinkle must resort to his ethical pitch, extolling the green and humane practices of Sam and Ella’s Poultry Co. None of that concerns Roseanne here; someone in the household needs to avoid gluten. As someone who’s blessedly free from such dietary restrictions, I thought Purple Lady’s question was a little weird, but in fact, basting solutions injected during processing sometimes contain gluten. Dinkle manages another, less-witty-than-yesterday‘s riposte, and that confident smile, but beneath the shiny patent visor of that military, his eyes narrow with resentment, and for a fleeting moment he allows himself to imagine himself clobbering this glutenist slattern senseless with the thawing gobbler he’s been schlepping from door to door all week.
Contrary to popular legend, there is no evidence that Benjamin Franklin ever publicly supported the wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), rather than the bald eagle, as a symbol of the United States.
You know who else suggested that the wild turkey, not the bald eagle, should be the national bird of the United States? Not Ben Franklin, according to Auntie Wikipedia. Perhaps Dinkle knows this, and he’s delivering the “national bird” remark satirically. This is supported by the fact that he’s smirking so hard when he says it that his mouth threatens to escape his face. But wait, here comes the punchline and…it’s…Butterbald? Hell no, I’ve never heard of a Butterbald Eagle. Or a “Butterbald” anything! Did Batty feel that the good people at Butterball® LLC wouldn’t be OK with a free mention in 400 newspapers right before Thanksgiving? Batiuk’s propensity for coming up with jokey, soundalike “brand names” once again tramples what would have been a borderline decent gag.
I, your genial host, on behalf of myself and the rest of Team SoSF, stand in line for comicbookharriet and her always unique and entertaining take on Funky!
I don’t know about you, but Thanksgiving reminds us to be grateful to have made it nearly to the end of this calamitous year. Whatever else can be said about the distortion of time in the Funkiverse, the holidays usually coincide with our own, and Thanksgiving brings the Scapegoats’ annual fall fundraiser. I didn’t call it the “band turkey sale” because, in addition to turkeys and “rand curdy“, Becky and Dinkle have gone door-to-door peddling non-comestibles, like mattresses, and indigestibles (volume 3 of Dinkle’s autobiography).
COVID-19 has yet to arrive in Westview, and depending on how you reckon strip time, it might yet take place ten years before or hence (yours truly is betting that the characters in FW will finally begin sporting masks sometime in March 2021). But you have to give Becky credit for having the foresight to take the whole thing “totally online” via Bandigogo™ a year ago. She showed this accomplishment off to Dinkel, who either didn’t comprehend or care; that is, until Becky got to the part about never having “to actually touch a turkey.” Looking at today’s strip, we can understand why this resonated with so strongly with Harry. “Why, when I was band director,” Dinkel himself would show up at your door, proffering an unfrozen, unwrapped, whole uncooked turkey. In his bare hands. This is about as far as you can get from today’s “contactless delivery.”
When Batiuk inserts flashback scenes showing the casts in their Act I & II iterations, those scenes usually employ the sepia tones and photo album corners. I’m wondering if that visual shorthand only applies when it’s a conscious flashback and not a dream? At any rate, contrast young Harry the Hat’s nearly featureless mug with his exquisite, old man grimace in panel 3.
Only now, at the end of the week, do we get a name for our little future Motzart. Robbie even has a brother. A brother in Mopey Pete cosplay.
I wonder if Alex and Robbie are intended to become recurring characters? I mean, regardless of intent, we probably will never see them again. Because even when Batiuk seems like he’s carefully introducing another actor into this slice of life drama, he invariably forgets about them. But it would be interesting if Batiuk figures piano lessons are a good way to milk the remaining Dinkle market?
As for the art, Dinkle’s huge flesh-toned couch is hideous. The little specks on it give the appearance that the furniture has been molded from sand.
But Dinkle’s face in panel 3 makes this whole week worthwhile. The man is scrumptiously morose; hunched over, tired , his lips pursed into a thin line as he tastes the bitter defeat coating his tongue. Never has disdain looked so exhausting. When Ayers delivers, he delivers, and he always puts that effort into envisaging misery.
Potted plant is back!
I wonder if we’ve been a little harsh in our criticism of the bland offering of jokes this week. I showed the strips to a friend and they got a mild chuckle from her.
Our palates have really been ruined by consuming and analyzing EVERYTHING Batiuk provides in his greasy spoon buffet. When you’ve gagged over creamed corn that’s been congealing under a heat lamp for eight hours, it becomes so much easier to find problems with the innocent loaf of off-the-shelf white bread splayed out in slices at the end of the table.
I think it’s easy for us, deep in the lore, and with years and layers to our disdain for some of these characters, to forget that a week of strips like this is probably the only enjoyment casual readers get out of these comics, smiling half heartedly as they accidently let their eyes drift over Funky Winkerbean while searching for the obituaries.
Can you imagine being an average Joe, not a weirdo commenting obsessively over a comic strip online, and opening your local fishwrap to randomly read a strip from the L.A. Fire arc? Or Bull’s suicide? Or Zanzibar the talking murder chimp blessed be his name? Your brain would spit that wad of nonsense right back out to protect itself, like slamming the door on a Jehovah’s Witness.
But today’s strip? This is the kind of strip destined to be cut out of the paper and put on the fridge by kindly little old music teachers who paid for their grandkids’ Christmas presents with piano lessons. It’s a stolen joke, told with a microgram of charm, that will get a few smiles.
I talked earlier this week about Batiuk’s immortality. And, as much as he’d like it to be cancer or PTSD or teen pregnancy, it’s really one-off Dinkle type gags. I remember Dinkle strips posted in my own music teacher’s office. Tom’s real legacy isn’t massive volumes of collected comics, it’s yellowed strips of newsprint taped haphazardly to a filing cabinet beside a pile of music stands.
I can imagine, fifty years from now, a kid opening a cupboard in the attic of my old band room, where the retired uniforms and broken instruments are left to rot, and inside are a pile of dusty worn out band shoes, a few tarnished majorette hats, and, pasted to the door, a browned and crumbling clipping of Harry Dinkle, screaming at children in the pouring rain.