Tag Archives: Dinkle's house

Closing Ceremony

Why would a deaf man need a mute button?

And so we conclude The 2021 Funky Winkerbean Awards. The first ever year-end awards event in Son of Stuck Funky history! But will it be the last?

Years ago, many of us hypothesized that Batiuk may end his strip at the 50th Anniversary; go out with a major milestone achieved and draw a line under half a century of storytelling. The counter still sits at the very bottom of the right of the blog, expressing this hope.

64 days from the 50th, I think it’s safe to say he has no plans to retire this year, or even relatively soon.

And to that I say, good. Judging by the comments, the 2021 Funky Awards were a smashing success. If he wants to continue, then maybe we’ll be here again next year, with a new set of punchable Les Moore faces to choose from.

btw, this strip was Principal Nate’s only appearance for 2021.

But before we close this first one out, I have some people to thank, ANOTHER SPREADSHEET (yay!) and a final arc I’d like to recognize.

First of all, I want to thank those of you who comment almost daily! Some of you are relative newcomers, some of you have been at this for longer than I’ve been lurking around. You are ALL awesome.

A few years ago this blog was averaging 15 to 25 comments a day, often less. This year, as boring and inane as the stories seemed to be, we regularly hit 40, 50, sometimes more. There are a lot of great places to go on the internet to post snark on Funky Winkerbean, but people here were also discussing, debating, analyzing. They were posting photoshop edits, strip rewrites, and song parodies. This isn’t just a place to get some great sarcastic quips whipped up by clever minds, it’s also a place to vivisect the very concept of humor itself. So thank you!

Secondly, to the lurkers or occasional posters, thank you. Even if you’re just upvoting or downvoting comments, or chuckling at the banter as you scroll through, we’re glad you stopped by. You are always welcome to comment (provided it’s blog kosher), and should never feel pressured to.

A big thanks, and a tip of the CBH keyboard, to my fellow guest writers:

Thanks to Beckoning Chasm, for the hilarious post titles, the cheeky pop-culture references, and your dark artistic flair. Thanks for creating the hilarious gif of Les getting pummeled by an Eisner. Hope you don’t mind I wanted it front and center for these awards.

Thanks to SpacemanSpiff85 for being able to methodically shred the logical and humor failings of strip after strip after strip with Socratic insight. Every post from you asks how? why? when? and nails Tom to the wall for his lack of answers.

Thanks for Billy the Skink, our resident Batiukstorian, and poet laureate. We can always count on you to educate us on 50 years of Westview history; or spin a pointless strip into a golden bundle of haiku, and to tag the ever living HECK out of it. If we were the Starship Enterprise, (TNG, of course,) you would be Data. (I would be Wesley.)

A huge thank you to Epicus Doomus, the power behind the throne. He not only writes his two week shift, he moderates, he schedules everyone else, he subs if someone can’t complete a shift. I may go off on a tear and spend two weeks playing ‘try-hard’, but then I get to hibernate for a couple months. For Epicus, the work doesn’t stop. He carries the burden of a lot of the behind the scenes minutiae. Thank you.

Another huge thank you to TFHackett, Blogmeister-In-Chief, not only for creating this blog and keeping it trucking along, but for your posts, your humor, and your hilarious panel edits. Without you, this blog wouldn’t exist, and none of us would have this great place to voice our opinions on a single syndicated comic strip read by almost no one else.

And a final thank you to the mysterious ‘Stuck Funky’ writer, the progenitor of the original blog from which we are descended. Wherever our primordial ancestor is, I wish him or her happiness, humor, and health.

Speaking of voices….

SPREADSHEET TIME!

Since you enjoyed the appearance spreadsheet, I thought I’d also share the OTHER spreadsheet I generated this week. See, appearances are nothing, especially when women be tiny and disappearing into the background. So I decided to see how often various named characters actually SPOKE this year, so we could figure out which characters were actually characters, and which were just props.

Below is a list of the number of PANELS named characters SPOKE in for 2021.

(I excluded Marianne and Masone’s lines from the Lisa’s Story Trailer.)

It’s less an award, and more an arc this year that was lambasted in the comments, but that resonated with me. For very personal reasons.

So, The 2021 ComicBookHarriet Special Recognition Certificate goes to.

HOLLY AND MELINDA

Many in the comments criticized the early part of this arc; where Holly and Melinda reminisce, decide to arrange an alumni event, and then Holly breaks her ankle trying to impress her mom. They felt the relationship was regressive and borderline abusive. And, given the exaggerated characters on display, and everyone bringing their own personal histories to the table, that is a perfectly valid interpretation.

Nothing in Funky Winkerbean this year hit me harder or touched me more.

At the very end of September, I lost my 98-year-old grandma. She’d been declining physically for years, though maintained most of her cognitive function to the very end. Still, her death was a surprise.

My grandma was very much a softer Melinda Budd type. She was Olenna Tyrell from Game of Thrones. She was Violet Crawley from Downton Abbey. Propriety focused, status conscious, but practical. Very particular in the way she wanted things done, but generous to a fault. Occasionally prickly, but devoted to her family.

I adored her.

My mother, on the other hand, is gregarious, and laid-back almost to the point of laziness. Anti-conflict, comfort seeking and giving, a people pleaser. In high-school she’d been a cheerleader and homecoming queen and class president, but as an adult she morphed into a Holly Winkerbean type: warm, soft, and maternal.

For the last fifteen years of my life, I watched my mom and my grandma navigate the difficult transition where child becomes caretaker. They handled it better than many, mostly because my mother left my grandmother as much agency as possible, and my grandmother had the grace and intelligence to admit when she needed to cede some control. But what struck me was that, until the very end, my mom worried what her mom would think, and my grandma worried what my mom was doing.

How many times when I was visiting Grandma in the nursing home in this last year, when she was unable to walk, unable to care for herself, would Grandma ask me how my mom was doing? If she was alright? Because she, of course, didn’t trust my mom to tell her.

How many times would Mom say, ‘don’t tell Grandma this,’ or ‘why did you tell Grandma that?’ Always about something inconsequential, like Mom having a routine doctor’s appointment, or the state of the house, or a story I thought was funny but Mom found embarrassing.

This time last year I hugged her while she choked up; this woman in her 60’s, months away from being a grandma herself. And my mom told me, “I don’t want to lose my mom.” And she said it in a voice like a little girl, and I, her daughter, comforted her like a friend.

The beginning of this arc tapped into that for me. The dynamic between mother and daughter that sometimes you can’t get away from, and sometimes you don’t want to. Such a weird moment to find a connection in, for a strip that usually portrays women with all the nuance and depth of cheap paper dolls.

Maybe it really is as bad as the comments thought, and I was just looking at it through a rosy tear-blurred lens. But before we shut the door on 2021, even if I’m the only one who enjoyed it, I wanted to thank Tom Batiuk for this arc, for showing me a middle-aged woman and her elderly mother bickering and bonding, and reminding me that mother birds are mother birds forever.

Until next time, CBH out.

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Making History

Spaceman Spiff jinxed me yesterday! But joke’s on him, I’m not even going to talk about today’s dumb Dinkle strip.

Why?

Well, I and others on this blog have long admired the blog Mary Worth and Me. It has been going strong for 15 years, all helmed by the esteemed blogmeister, Wanders. The undoubted highlight of each year on the blog is the Worthy Awards, which just wrapped up voting. Many have expressed a desire to see a similar event for Funky Winkerbean.

This year, Son of Stuck Funky is proud to announce the first ever Funky Awards!

Votes will be accepted through midnight January 16th. Winners will be announced throughout the following week.

Vote Early! Vote Often! Vote HERE!

Before we present our nominees, I would like to take a moment to thank Wanders. I reached out to him for pointers on how to set these up, and he responded with the kind of humor and advice that would have made Mary herself proud.

I know that I speak for all of us here at Son of Stuck Funky when I extend my heartfelt condolences to the Mary Worth community as they mourn today’s tragic cruise ship death of strip regular Wilbur Weston.

And now onto the nominees!

The Thatsnot Hewmore Award for Standout Unnamed Character

1.) Referential Heckler

2.) Suffering Saint Nursing Assistant

3.) Average Comics Fan

4.) Mature Comic Con Attendee

5.) Zombie Orderly

6.) Oblivious Parade Spectator

***

The Livinia Memorial Award for Achievements in Feminism

1.) Women Be Shopping

2.) Women Be Changing Their Minds

3.) Women Be Jealous

4.) Women Be Catty

5.) Women Be Another Species Entirely

6.) Women Be Tiny and Disappearing in the Background

***

The Backpfeifengesicht Award for Most Punchable Les Moore

1.) Remembering Old Friends (For the First Time in Years)

2.) A Single “Manly” Tear

3.) No True Sports-Fan Fallacy

4.) Self-Centered Stage

5.) Deadly Pundemic

6.) The Smile on My Face

7.) Interacting With Fans

***

Most Puzzling Continuity Questions of 2021

1.) Who Directs the Community Band?

2.) What is Rachel’s Major?

3.) Who Did the Dinkles Have for Thanksgiving?

4.) Are the Reindeer Broken or is Tony Dead?

5.) Was Phil Holt Really a Ghost?

6.) Where Are the Kids? Who Are the Kids?

7.) What Even Is Continuity?

***

Story Arc of the Year

1.) Dinkle Joins the Choir

2.) ‘Lisa’s Story: The Movie’ Wraps and Flops

3.) Phil Holt: Resurrections

4.) The Winkerbeans Rehab, Reno, and Recover

5.) Tom Worships Idols of Silver

***

The Panel of the Year

1.) The Final Note

2.) Rare Flying Discman

3.) Take THAT History!

4.) Smoking Vader

5.) Les Waterboards Himself

6.) Eros Panoptes

7.) Stag Film

8.) Pizza Box Signal

***

The Best Funky Winkerbean Strip 0f 2021

1.) Expensive Equipment

2.) Accessorizing

3.) The Joys of Reading Over 50

4.) Interdisciplinary Thinking

5.) Funkyverse in a Cookieshell

6.) I’ve Seen Things You People Wouldn’t Believe

***

The Worst Funky Winkerbean Strip of 2021

1.) War of the Word Zeppelins

2.) Post Pandemic Doom Posting

3.) ‘Disappointed a Lot of Fans’

4.) Feeling Blue

5.) Randy Old Man

6.) Gross Randy Old Man

7.) Just Gross

Once again, vote HERE! Voting ends January 16th.

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Don’t Worry, One of You Will Surely Die Soon

Dinkle’s garage door is like bricks, falling leaves, and Becky’s pinned-up sleeve-they all have to be featured as prominently and as often as possible. “This guy has a treble clef painted on his door, isn’t that wacky?”.
I find it really, really hard to believe anyone from Westview could ever receive that many awards.
This strip is just another example of how Batiuk can’t seem to decide if Dinkle is supposed to be an egotistical maniac or actually great. And I wonder if Dinkle’s name legally includes “World’s Greatest Band Director”, or if that’s the award he won (which you think someone would have mentioned it at some point). I guess all those other band directors were wrong when they referred to themselves that way. If Dinkle calling himself WGBD is supposed to be humorous, you shouldn’t have him literally receiving awards referring to himself that way.

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Thanks for Making Us All March in the Rain

Thanks to BillytheSkink for guiding us through “Wild Mort’s Love Life, Chapter XVIII”. I’m sure I’ve said it before, but seeing Dinkle in a strip on a Monday is the worst thing to me, since you know you’re getting (at least) another week of him. At least with Les there’s more to make fun of, and something might actually happen. With Dinkle all you get now is “isn’t Dinkle awesome?”, basically. And know you have the horror of Mort and Lillian popping up at any moment.
One of the weirdest things with how Dinkle is written is how he’s simultaneously portrayed as a maniac and borderline-fascist band director that everyone hated but also a beloved figured who improved the lives of everyone he touched. It seems like the majority of the actual band directing we see him do involves making people walk in hurricanes and risk their lives, so I’m not really sure why there’s a box of envelopes that’s stacked so high there’s no way anyone could have carried it. (Speaking of carrying, I’m very confused about how exactly Becky was handling that box, based on the arrangement in the first panel).
Oh, and Becky was one of Dinkle’s students and then became a band director. That’s the punchline for today’s strip.

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Il Dunce

Finally having a clear schedule after directing both the choir and the band at St. Spires’ Christmas Eve service, Dinkle has no time to rest as he prepares in today’s strip to march in the Tournament of Roses Parade with his fellow fans of fascist regalia band directors. Seems like this thing was announced years ago (about 6 months, actually), but I guess The World’s Greatest Band DirectorTM doesn’t need more than a week to prepare. He does, however, need a little help from the tailor… something Harriet realized 11 years ago (a time so long ago that Dinkle was watching recordings of his concerts on his flip phone).

What assuredly entertaining and engrossing things will Dinkle get up to in Pasadena? I don’t know, but it will be Spaceman Spiff who will guide us through them. Good luck and happy holidays!

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Stairway To Band Turkey Heaven

Link To Monday’s One

Oh, dear God, he’s still on a Dinkle kick. Sigh. And here come the band turkey gags. I guess that this is probably one of FW’s longest-running gags, especially considering how he’s retconned and/or ignored pretty much everything else from that long-ago gag-a-day era. Too bad he never followed suit with this one.

Coming tomorrow: Dinkle explains to his wife, who he’s been married to for well over fifty years, that his frozen band turkey, from the freezer, was left over from one of his long-ago band turkey fundraising efforts. Harriet nods and grins in agreement, knowing as she does that the downstairs freezer is full of frozen band turkeys. I begin using BT as an abbreviation for “band turkeys”, as I just can’t take it anymore.

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Pickle Lane

Hey SOSFers, thanks for doing my job for me on today’s strip! Very much appreciated.

Now I’ll give Dinkle this, he’s historically been quite honest in his assessment of himself in regards to retirement being hard for him. Harriet, on the other hand, is really the one who should “pick a lane“. She was the one who arranged for him to unretire in the first place.

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Alumnaiku

Look, the man himself
Deigns to appear on panel
Here in today's strip

Why is he worried
No one is coming to see
Him in uniform

No one is coming
To see Holly twirl either
But whatever y'all

This Harry Dinkle,
He sounds like a real jerk
This guy here, real jerk

With his history
Of abusing band members
Why would alums play

But of course these two
Still have their band uniforms
No one leaves high school

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So, a Needle Pulling Thread

Link to today’s strip.

I think Batiuk uses “So…” as a way of saying “It has been established in the previous strip, and agreed upon that…” He’s trying to bring his readers up to speed on what’s going on. The fact that nothing is usually going on (other than endless talk) doesn’t seem to be a factor. I know it bothers a lot of folks; it doesn’t really affect me either way.

It reminds me of the old intro narration on Lost In Space to set the scene for the episode: “Last week, as you recall, Will, Dr. Smith and The Robot…” etc. (You just have to add “unaware,” “incredible,” and “alien” and there you go.)

As for the content of today’s strip, I ask, “What content?” One could cut out every strip this week except Wednesday and Thursday, and you’d have the complete story.

You could cut out all of them and improve the comics page greatly. Especially since this seems to be little more than an ad for a real-world event that just happens to highlight one of his characters. Which begs the question…I wonder who reached out to who?

Another question: now that Batiuk has tied himself to this “salute to band directors,” and, in his eyes, gained a whole new slew of new readers…how long do you think it will be before he pivots to “Lisa’s Story”?

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Nixon Looks Worried

Link to today’s strip.

You know, it was a huge revelation to both Dinkle and Harriet that you could just set up a web fund and people would give you money for no reason (and no effort on your part). Even better if you had a cat, and Dinkle certainly has access to Bingo (the cat from the church, in case any of you have memories like Tom Batiuk).

But no, those old candy-selling gags are money in the bank so they’ve got to be trotted out again.

I’m sitting here wishing for a different set of characters, and realizing that no matter who’s in the cast, it’s all going to be terrible. They’re all like whatever it is in the bowl in front of Harriet–something you don’t want to look at too closely.

By the way, the Firesign Theatre had an album some years ago called Boom Dot Bust. One of the characters was mayor William Cudlip P’nisnose. I think we’re seeing his wife in today’s strip. Or, Nixon in a wig.

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