Mason walks around with that same stupid smirk all the time, but why must Les look askance at Funky in today’s strip? Could it be that, having been so immersed in Hollywood–even rescuing a starlet from a wildfire!–Les is starting to see his hometown Ohio friends as pathetic, smalltime losers? He can’t wait to get back to whatever’s left of Hollywood, where he’ll get to hang out on the set of Lisa’s Story and ogle Marianne in her Lisa drag.
Today’s strip takes us back in time to Sunday, I think. Yep, TB is repeating himself all of two days later… eh, he’s done worse.
Well, not much worse, because Buck hitting on Linda (and insulting the entire canine species) is some of squickiest squick we’ve seen TB hatch in a good long while. How else are we supposed to read “a little attention and a job to do”? This is not cute or endearing, it’s gross. Buck looking kinda like Dennis Hastert does the strip no favors either. Just awful all the way around.
My local public radio station has a service where they read the local newspaper aloud for the visually impaired. Since the comics come in the Sunday early edition and are not as easily read as straight text, the volunteers who perform this great service will write a transcript in advance so they can read and describe them succinctly and not waste their limited time.
Here is the transcript for today’s strip:
– Funky Winkerbean –
A black and brown dog barks.
It continues to bark.
An old man says to an old woman standing next to him “You know… as therapy dogs go…” while a nervous younger woman kneels next to the dog with a bone.
Perhaps this is part of TB’s new series of “write your own punchline” strips…
The first impulse is to ring the “Batiuk’s making light of mental illness again” bell. But I think TB’s merely guilty here of employing the old cartoonists’ “psychiatrist cliché” (Google “psychiatrist couch cartoon” to see just how cliché). It was reliable enough schtick when Batiuk’s idol Charles Schulz used it (nearly 60 years ago). Anyway, whatever therapy ol’ Mort derives from this dog, it’s doing wonders! When Funky dumped him in “the home” five years ago, he was practically catatonic. Since then, he’s taken up smoking, has picked up the trombone, and is now nearly indistinguishable from his son.
What a difference a day makes. Yesterday, Rocky’s mom looked elfin and cute, kind of like Darrin’s long-lost step-sister. You remember…whats-her-name.
Today, she looks like a withered meth-addict.
Her face has lengthened, her hair has grown, and her mouth is about three times as large. Well, at least she has some cool dogs.
Why does Tom Batiuk do this–take someone and cruelly re-draw them? He’s done it with every single character, with the notable exceptions of the lovingly-rendered Moores. Does he really not like any of his other characters? We’ve hardly gotten to know Carla, and the act of stepping into her own house has aged her about forty years. She’s not that bad a character!