Tag Archives: Falling leaves

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I’m a little ashamed to say it, but I chuckled unironically at the strip today. Well, it wasn’t really a chuckle, more of soft snort complete with an eye-roll. But props to Batiuk, this came within sighting distance of comedy.

Ayers deserves more of the credit though, the dead-eyed, wide-mouthed Dinkle in panel three hits my funny bone when partnered with the blunt punchline.

I wonder about the premiums paid out. It seems like even more fundraiser money sucked away from the band. I remember getting promised dumb prizes for selling enough during school fundraisers, but no one could sell enough to earn them.

Cabbage Jack yesterday in the comments pointed reader to Tom Batiuk’s blog. I’d never given it much of a look, but I browsed back a few months and it was quite a trip; an inane mishmash of narcissism and comics related shitposting. Most egregious are the little excerpts from his Funky Winkerbean volumes, where he deconstructs the history of his own creation like an art restorer painstakingly scraping the macaroni off a kindergardener’s project.

“The scenes with Fred and Ann and their son Darin were reflective of a different part of my life with Cathy and Brian that I was beginning to draw upon. Change was becoming a palpable part of Funky, and the biggest changes of all were just about to unfold. I didn’t have a master plan exactly, but I could see daylight ahead, and I was beginning to run toward it.”

“As was my habit, new characters continued to appear. Cindy Summers, the most popular girl in school, and Bodean, Westview High’s resident hood, joined the cast as the polar opposites of the high school continuum. Big hair was starting to come in for girls, and Cindy’s hair soon became the biggest of the biggest. Her tenure in the strip was destined to be remarkably long.”

And taking the cake, yesterday’s offering, where Batiuk goes borderline biblical talking about trying to renegotiate a contract.

“And lo, there came a day when the prophecy of the attorney in the beginning times came to pass.
It’s been said that the past is a knife (as an acolyte of Sigmund Freud, I’m all in on that one), and at the beginning of 1990 I was definitely feeling its point in my back.”

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Pigging Out.

Today’s strip, when it drops.

As usual Sunday wasn’t available for preview. And I’m too worn out to wait for it to drop.

Ironically, I spent the afternoon and evening at my very first college football game. Iowa vs. Minnesota. It was an absolutely awesome time. Iowa fans were so excited when they won they rushed the field, as the ecstatic team held aloft Floyd of Rosedale, still safe in Iowa’s care.

Floyd of Rosedale is an 80 year old bronze pig the winning team gets to keep for the year. It references the time when the governors of Iowa and Minnesota bet an actual live hog on the outcome of the 1935 game.

What I’m saying is football is a, weird, exciting sport, with rich history and traditions. If enjoying the game today was also spiting Tom Batiuk’s horrible CTE arc, then I enjoyed it twice as much.

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Blunt Farce Trauma.

Link to today’s strip

Linda, the cause of your husband’s death was still blunt force trauma in a car wreck. And implying that the hits he took in football were the inevitable cause of Bull’s death takes away the agency of the decision he made to end his life.

In my belief, one of the most dangerous post-suicide rationalizations friends and family make is trying to convince themselves that the suicide was inevitable or unavoidable. I have compassion for people who try to cope this way, but depression or despair should never be approached as terminal conditions.

The silver lining of this entire nightmare of an arc was people here getting a chance to share stories of their own struggles with despair. This tiny community of snarkers hate-reading Funky Winkerbean may have been the only people on the entire earth to actually engage with this horrible story on a deeper level and come away with any positive results.

So don’t despair my fellow Funkysnarkers! Next week Tom promises to serve us a week of Harry Dinkle, scraped together from his bag of recycled gags. I look forward to finding something both funny and insulting to say about Batiuk beating a dead band turkey.

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The Bland Leading the Blind

Link to today’s strip.

Yeah, yeah, cue the dramatic chord for panel three.  Whatever.

What I’d like to point out is panel one.  Les says he could “see what was coming.”  He’s implying that Linda couldn’t.

But Linda should have.  Like Lisa, Bull had an incurable condition that could not be paused or reversed.  He was going to die, after deteriorating mentally {“a pretty short trip”–Les Moore).  There was no other possible ending.  That he might decide to end it all before wasting away was a definite possibility.

So why couldn’t she see what was going on?  Why did she think working on the car was “therapeutic” and to be encouraged?   Why did she have no idea where he was on the night he died?

I think there’s only one good answer:  because she couldn’t be bothered.  Many here have a visceral hatred of Linda, and it’s easy to see why–she’s basically the distaff Les Moore.  Check out how I’m smirking through my woes.  Oh, I am so beset by the fates, each day a stay in torment.  Oh, and also my spouse has this terrible condition, which has caused me to suffer so.   The entire CTE arc has been nothing but her complaining, first to Les, then to Buck, about all the problems she was going through.  There may have been one or two occasions when she actually sympathized with Bull, but they were so few and far-between that I’m not sure I can say they existed.

Everyone in this strip is a terrible, terrible person.

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She Describes the Strip Perfectly

Link to today’s strip.

And of course, it’s always a “worse” day when Les shows up.  Doesn’t stop Linda’s smirking, though!

Last week was annoying, like a mosquito you can hear humming but can’t find; this week promises to be a whole horde of roaches appearing when the kitchen light goes on.  But instead of scattering, they stand right there and stare at you.

But why is Les here?  Linda has always been shown commiserating with Buck, Bull’s “friend,” whereas Les isn’t any kind of a friend, airquotes or not.  Why would she text Les, instead of Buck?  Buck knows what’s going on, Les has no idea.

I suspect the author’s reasoning is something like, I’m not going to waste my New York Times audience on a clod like Buck.  If they read the New York Times, they obviously can appreciate the sheer wonders of Les Moore.

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Bench+Leaves=Double Symbolism

There are so many times I’d love to have an honest talk with Batiuk about this strip. Like this week’s story. Are we honestly supposed to feel bad for Les here? “Aw, poor Les, he got peer pressured into doing something he doesn’t want to do.”, or something? I mean, he’s an adult, if he’s already regretting it, he can say “Actually Mason, I don’t want to do this.”. Or he could, once again, act like an adult and accept it and make the best of it. Batiuk so often goes for “deep and conflicted” but hits “in need of intensive therapy” instead. I wonder how soon Les is going to hallucinate a talking blue cat?

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Wally’s Not All That Blows

So . . . Lisa still lives, and her and Les have an adopted Hispanic son? The title will still be Lust for Lisa? That all was great? Literally the only thing wrong with it was that Les wrote the script? I know it’s an incredibly pointless question, but I really wonder if Batiuk even thinks about this stuff while he’s writing it, let alone going back and reviewing it once it’s done.

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As An Actor, I Suck

Panel 1 Mason appears to have caught whatever caused Cindy to have Stupid Hair in Act I. I would much rather focus on that than Mason apparently saying Les is a true hero, and he wants to portray him. “You made the big time after your wife died, you’re a real hero, Les!”.  What the hell has Les ever done that’s close to heroic?  Not curling up in a ball and dying after Lisa died?  People do that every damn day and they do it in a far less pretentious way than Les.

My money is even more on Cindy portraying Lisa now, since I can totally see Mason saying that’ll add to the “realism” of the movie.

The stupid Bull storyline and interview are really starting to seem like massive baiting. “I’ll lure them all in with a moving storyline about a trendy topic, and as soon as they’re hooked, I’ll move on to Les Moore, the Greatest American Hero!”. Seriously though, has someone related to this blog done something to Batiuk, or hacked his computer, and taken over the writing of this strip? Because about the only explanation for any of this is someone really wants to make the writer look like an obnoxious ass.

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This Strip Could Use More Lisa

Today’s strip wasn’t yet available for preview. I have a feeling it’ll be the greatest Funky Winkerbean ever though, when Mason tells Les he’s totally kidding about doing a Lisa’s Story movie, Lisa was boring and Lisa’s Story is terrible, and he’s actually doing a Bull movie and is just giving Les a heads-up that there’s a full thirty minutes of him getting beat up and wetting himself.
Who am I kidding, we won’t get anything near that good. We’ll probably get Les dancing gleefully on the table in Montoni’s while Mason throws $100 bills at him and Cindy tells Les she should’ve married him instead of Mason.

Oh hey, look at that, the title character of this strip and his wife died, totally off panel.  I wonder if it was a murder-suicide pact after their grief over losing Bull.  Or maybe their grief over hearing there was going to be more “Lisa’s Story”.  Or maybe just a bizarre artistic choice or coloring error that would make an already poor follow-up to last Sunday even stranger.

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Cindy Wants Mason and Les to Do It

What on earth is the right way to do Lisa’s Story? True to life, where it just focuses on Les’s reaction to everything, and skips right over the really difficult and interesting part of how he adjusts to life without her? Or focusing on the ridiculous medical paperwork mishap that anyone who saw it in a movie (or a comic) would say is just laughably bad writing?
Actually I think it’s pretty clear what “the right way” means. Lisa Must Die. Because serious art requires beloved characters to die in a very serious, very profound way. Except Bull. Bull you just knock off as quick as possible so you can get to Lisa. Again.
That “Cindy…?” is hilarious to me.  “Formerly hot girl I used to stare at in high school and have no real meaningful relationship with, do you think I should make this beg life decision?  Because yours is the only opinion that matters to me, way way more than my secondary wife’s.”

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