Tag Archives: Emily

Quiz Bowel

It is comics like today’s strip that remind me how good I have it. I’m not taking high school English from Les Moore. I never had to take high school English from Les Moore. It is as if he is intentionally trying to be the opposite of the teacher that successful people so often cite as the inspiration that got them to make something of their life. What a miserable experience in every single way this strip is.

Les’ senior students did poorly on their quiz last Monday and now his freshman students have done poorly on theirs… I see a common denominator here. I bet these students would too if Westview High had a math teacher.

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Orchestra’s Witnesses

Another school levy must have failed, because Lefty is now soliciting Westview residents during the summer in today’s strip. I guess that sweet band turkey revenue was just not enough to cover the cost of new feathery hats, Dinkles brand shoes, and those things that marching band members wear over their shoes.

The financial situation must be really dire in the Westview school district, because the band has weathered at least a dozen failed levies. It has typically been the high school’s sacred cow. Nate probably shouldn’t have allowed Les to meet with parents back in May, which undoubtedly cost the school district whatever bit of support it might have had.

It almost makes me wonder: How many guitar and flute tunes are there anyways? How many do Emily and Amelia know? Is Lefty going to pull out and in of every driveway in Westview? Is every single person who answers their door in Westview over the age of 75? Did Lefty come up with the punny name for this scheme before coming up with the scheme itself?

OK, I know the answer to that last one…

And with that, I yield the keyboard to a towering figure in the annals of SoSF, the one and only DavidO. As always, I appreciate you all putting up with me for a couple weeks.

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Take Another Little Piece of My Pulitzer, Baby

Link to today’s strip.

At first I thought Les was admonishing Naughty in his office, in a private conference so as to steer her away from Chullo’s former crime (I seem to remember “It says Wikipedia right at the top.”  “So that’s what gave it away.”).

But then I note Nice sitting there, and I realize he’s actually berating her in front of the entire class.   Apparently being a dick is nothing compared to being Les Moore.  That’s quite a level of ass-hattery to deploy against a student who’s barely been in his class for a week.  I guess when Les has to smug his superiority (“I am familiar with all the Pulitzer-award winners…as well as several deserving nominees…”) woe betide those who happen to be in his view-finder.

Which is what makes the third panel so…delicious.  Naughty is full-on denying Les his ability to give a half-lidded-eye smirk!  She is being a dick right back, almost effortlessly!  And look how Les, denied his pun-portunity, takes it!  Look how he is practically boiling with rage, barely able to contain his fury at being de-punned.  If this strip was set 100 years in the future, his next line would be “Jetson!  YooooOOOOOOOOOOOuu’rre FIRED!!”  You might think the impact of panel three is lessened by not seeing his full squeeming visage, but I would offer instead that it allows us to imagine it.  And what I imagine is glorious.

I think I have a new favorite character in the Funkyverse.

 

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Say The Secret Word

Link to today’s strip.

For once, the wordplay isn’t terrible, though I imagine it’s awkward as hell to say out loud.   But it doesn’t seem like a real problem here–if you can’t think of a rhyme for a word, choose a different word that says the same thing for which you can think of a rhyme.  Unless…unless Les has given them a list of words that they have to use in their work?   I can think of several he would choose–Lisa, cancer, smirk, no one can understand me, roses, December, endings, earned, and of course the word “pun” itself.  Lists the students are fantasizing about–dickhead, douchebag, punchable, smug….

What makes this an exceptional episode is panel two.  Aside from Nice, everyone looks stymied and miserable, even on the verge of panic as they craft poems destined to be punned over by Les.  Les himself–now there is a man just beginning to climb the hill of self-loathing, and that look on his face is awesome.  The dawn of self-awareness never looked so deserved.

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Dedicated Shenanigans

Link to today’s strip.

So, it’s another Nice-Naughty contrast thing.  It’s also boring beyond description but let that pass.

Nice’s idea does sound like the sort of thing that a high school-level journalism class would go ahead and produce.  It’s positive, it boosts the school, it encourages participation, and shows the value of hard work.  Yeah, she’ll probably blow all that by choosing Chullo as her subject but until that moment it’s golden.

Naughty, on the other hand…she’s been at the school for a week, maybe, and they’re already letting her into the administration offices to check the finances?  Wow, she is a) either a really fast worker in the charm department, or b) more likely is just making it all up because it’s sensationalistic and will be the talk of the school.  Likelihood of getting the green light?  Yeah, sure, a project that attacks the staff.  She’ll be lucky if she’s not deported back to Crankshaftberg.   Say…maybe she should do a sensationalist piece on how some cartoonists are still getting paid the big bucks while barely phoning it in!

I assume that both of these projects are for the journalism class, and would likely be viewed only by members of that class.  What little we’ve seen of “The Bleat” doesn’t really seem to cater to this sort of format–it’s school announcements, sports scores, cafeteria and probably lost and found.  I know I’ve said that several times, but I really think it bears repeating.   It’s not a news channel.   So Naughty might get a good grade on technical aspects, but if she thinks she’s gonna bust this school wide open, she…will fit right in here at Westview High.

Another note on the artwork.  Naughty and Nice are both dashed off haphazardly, while Les is delicately detailed.  It is nice to see the word-balloons not stuffed with empty space, though.

Say, isn’t that Cindy’s old news desk in the back?

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The Thinning Edge

Link to today’s strip.

Yeah, the Doublemint Twins are fitting right in, with Nice considering holding hands with Halfback Dimwit, and Naughty being pinioned by ex-football hotshot Jared.   Jared’s really throwing himself into this, you can almost hear him asking if Naughty would like to see his forward pass.

Nice to see Jared back, but one really has to ask…what’s with the hairlines on these high school students?  Jared has a wicked widow’s peak kind of hiding his balding nature, while Dimwit’s hair is clearly retreating back over his scalp.

Are there that many high school kids going bald these days?  Is there some kind of drug I never heard about that makes your head swell, and your hair die?  I only ask because when I was in high school, all the students had hair.

Of course, when I was in high school, Funky Winkerbean was funny.

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A View with A Room

Link to today’s strip.

As Old Dexter once said, “Ah, thank you Billy!” and I thank BillyTheSkink for as always leaving the chair of Funky Winkerbean snark…just a little bit out of my reach!  Yes, it’s BChasm, your least favorite uncle, back in the chair of the unhallowed study group!

Like pretty much all of Funky Winkerbean, I don’t get this one.  The Doublemint Twins are looking for a particular room.  Given that numbered rooms follow a pattern in every universe, it would seem as if Room 107 would be somewhere in the 100’s, and thus, not that difficult to find.  Westview High can’t be that massive, can it?  It’s not a colony ship destined for Alpha Centauri, is it?  Is Cordwainer Bird around?

I should think that it’s odd, too, that the Twins just spent a week with Principal Nate, and he apparently told them nothing of value, such as where their classrooms would be located.  “Here’s Becky, and here’s Les.  Good luck!”

Knowing this (–one supposes), Redshirt McMeltface decided he’d have a spot of fun with the Twins, and thus directed them to a featureless door which he assured them used to be yclept “107.”  Why?  I can see no reason for McMeltface to be this mean, except…well, it’s an excuse to detail some kind of maintenance room.

And to be fair, the detail in this room is really impressive.  And I mean that sincerely; one can almost identify the make and model of the equipment presented herein.  Kudos to Mr. Batiuk for some nice artwork here.  This is the sort of stuff that makes me pause my snark, in that it shows Tom Batiuk can really draw when he wants to.  Really, I’m not hot-dogging you, this is good artwork–it’s nicely detailed and has all the bits and touches that make the scene work.  I’ve always wanted to praise this strip when the opportunity arose, and here’s an opportunity.

Tom Batiuk’s obsession over certain details–the lovingly rendered bricks, for example–have long a source of amusement, but to me, it does show a certain dedication to craft.  The details have to be there.

I just wish his craft had been put to better purpose.  Does “Room 107” have any kind of significance?  Because I can think of better numbers just off the top of my head–

Room 100, Hotel Chelsea.  Nancy’s dead, Sid’s out of his head.  Punk rock fell over dead.  Now it’s Miley Cyrus instead!  Wake me–going back to bed.

Room 101, from George Orwell’s 1984.  The room of the ultimate fear, where Winston Smith is forced to read The Complete Funky Winkerbean.

Room 217, from Stephen King’s The Shining.  Danny knew he shouldn’t go into this room, but he did anyway.  And there, standing in the middle of the room, was Les Moore.

Room 237, from Stanley Kubrick’s film of Stephen King’s book.  As Jack Torrance embraced the beautiful woman, he glanced in the mirror and saw that, instead, he was holding a naked Les Moore.  (This scene was changed by studio executives to allow an R rating.  In the film as released, Jack was holding a withered old hag.)

Speaking of changed by studio executives, Doublemint Naughty certainly has…developed…in that last panel.  In fact you might say, “Oh, she’s got a balcony you could do Shakespeare from!”

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