Take a gander at today’s strip. Truly fowl, it swan of the worst yet. Remarkably, it manages to come across more dated than the similarly-themed 43 year-old strip seen below:
Dinkle can’t write despite making an honest(ly awful) effort, Les couldn’t-can’t-won’t write unless it is about someone who died a decade prior, the late Livinia wouldn’t write… I’m starting to see a pattern here.
Claude Barlow’s “tectonic scale” could probably be applied to today’s strip, and this week in general, which feels like it has been going on for eons.
What really throws me in these Dinkle-Barlow strips is that they come across simply as vehicles to deliver TB’s puns. That concept struggles when Dinkle is a character who otherwise isn’t at all disposed to being a mirthful pun-maker. It struggles further when Barlow, as an unseen character, seems to slide from being an unwitting pun set up to an unwitting pun-maker to a “humorously” terrible composer just to suit Dinkle’s TB’s mood. I get that the Barlow shtick was supposed to add to Dinkle’s over-the-top nature, and that kid of worked back in Acts I and II when he was an over-the-top character. Now, though, he’s a character that used to be over-the-top, like a guy who still wants his nickname to be “Animal” even though the only time he really got crazy was at a couple of parties in college. Now, this is just listless and out of whatever character Dinkle has remaining.
Today’s strip features a pun so tremendously corny that Dinkle had to pause for a second while typing it up to… uh, take notes on it? Maybe he had to write it down because it was so bad it crashed his WordPerfect AND broke the “oy” tag on Comics I Don’t Understand.
Oh, and here’s a remarkably prescient strip of Dinkle doing his Clade Barlow shtick way back in 1981, shortly before Ronald Reagan’s inauguration.
An old running gag
Pops back up in today’s strip
Oh goody, oh joy
The life and times of
Claude Barlow: Volume 7
Just volume 7?
Dinkle’s been working
On this Claude Barlow tome since
“Up your nose with a
rubber hose”, but with Dinkle
you’d need oil pipe
Really? Duck Pond huh?
Barlow’s talent limited
Kinda like Dinkle’s
This is more writing than seen
From Les and Pete both
The “new year” is about 10% over, but today’s strip doesn’t care.
So Dinkle has a basement full of unsold band candy… but just last year he was flown to Belgium and received an award for being the Van Houten chocolate company’s all-time biggest purchaser. That might seem odd, but I’ve actually seen something similar before. I believe the prosecutor called it “money laundering”.
Link To Today’s Strip
All week he’s “Harry L. Dinkle”, now today he’s “that band director”. My God he’s made a mess of the dialog this week. I doubt there’s much of a risk of wild baton stunts with the Manorisms, seeing how they aren’t a marching band and all, but Batiuk never let logic get in the way of referencing a really old gag he left behind decades ago.
This has been mentioned all week but wow, the new guy has aged Holly by twenty five years at least, she looks like Morton’s mother today. Wouldn’t you think there’d be some sort of reference guide handy, one that lists all the characters ages and such? Why so matronly?
Well thankfully THAT’S over for now, time for me to step aside and turn the microphone over to…TF Hackett himself! Happy new year and see you in 2018!
Link To Today’s Strip
“I can’t BELIEVE that no one at The Syndicate realizes that I’m just repeating the same sequences of words and re-telling the same old stories day after day after day! I know! I’ll make this one a one-paneler, tee-hee!”
I can’t believe someone pays for this content. Lifelong Westviewian fixture Funky suddenly doesn’t remember his legendary band teacher (and infamous local legend) Harry L. Dinkle, Holly is talking to Funky like he’s new in town and the Alzheimer’s patient is as sharp and quick-witted as ever. He retconned the entire strip just for the sake of re-telling that dumb Rose Bowl parade story, apparently just because he associates the new year holiday with the Tournament Of Roses parade, I guess. Then, after turning his characters into total imbeciles in order to shoehorn his dumb reference into the strip, he can’t figure out how to end it without resorting to pathetic filler, brainless repetition and a “hilarious old coot” gag on top. What a sorry display.