Is today’s strip the first time Funky has gotten a positive reaction from Fitness Girl? Heck, is this the first time Funky has gotten a positive reaction from anyone in years? I think yes to the former but obviously no to the latter (see Thursday’s strip). Still, this strip usually holds Funky in such contempt that today feels like the first time someone has returned a smile to him in ages.
Giving her video of him working out is kinda creepy though. Where’s Rachel when you need her?
Fitness Girl could have used Rachel in 2014 too…
“Sitting on my mind” is a rather odd turn of phrase, and it’s a rather odd perspective in panel 1 that makes it appear that Cory’s face is smooshed into Funky’s backside. Today’s strip gives the answer to those of us puzzled by how a middle aged man who jogs regularly and goes to the gym manages to maintain the physique of a couch potato. He’s beaten booze, only to replace that addiction with one to food: he eyeballs that leftover turkey the same way he contemplated that leftover bottle of bubbly a few New Year’s Eves ago:
I’d been of the opinion that these “Funky and Fitness Girl” arcs are all about how Funky is made to suffer at the hands of his personal trainer. But the torture is reciprocal…how does she put up with his idiocy? She’s been working with him for nine months and he still doesn’t know how to use the pulldown machine? I wish Fitness Girl would “grab the bar” and beat Funky “overhead” with it!
Can someone explain to me how the gag in today’s strip differs from this gag from four months ago?
Ok, it’s from a different visual angle. Really though, it’s bad enough that TB goes to the “Funky Goes to the Gym in Vain” well over and over again; must he also recycle the jokes themselves?
Perhaps feeling at last remorseful for having worked him so hard, Fitness Girl feigns concern for Funky’s well-being, even patting his flabby, sweating back as she sets up today’s punchline.
After summertime stops in such locales as Hollywood, San Diego, and Centerville, the Funky Train has returned to familiar Westview. Today’s stop: the Fitness Center, where once again Funky endures the scorn of his still-nameless trainer, whom we call Fitness Girl.
These Fitness Girl arcs get me to wondering where Mr. “Write What You Know” works out. Maybe at the Medina Tone Fitness Center (motto: “Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever”)? I mainly wonder because of the way he draws fitness equipment: Funky is ensconced in what looks like a giant infant swing. His submissive attitude in panel 3, under Fitness Girl’s disdainful gaze, infantilizes him further still. Here is a guy who at least tries to get fit: we see him run–well, jog; play tennis, and put up with this sneering witch of a “personal trainer.” He should be looking and feeling a little better, but Batiuk persists in portraying him as an elderly, hapless schlub.
Link to today’s strip.
It’s hard to think of a Funky Winkerbean character more boring than Funky himself. It’s also hard to think of one for which Tom Batiuk has such obvious loathing.
I’ve mentioned a theory before that the fortunes of the Funky cast rise and fall with how their real-life counterparts interact with Batiuk himself. Bull, for example, once the hated bully jock, now enjoys a fairly elevated status in Westview. Oh sure, he’s overworked and the teams he coaches lose every game, but recall how this is presented. The overwork makes him heroic, and the losses are always, always the fault of the players–those damn kids again.
Funky seems to be an especially sad example. Once the star of the strip as a bright-eyed and observant teen, since his real-life counterpart obviously had a massive falling out with
Les Moore TomBatiuk, he’s now a sad sack of failure and ennui. And we’re going to watch a week of him talking about how impossible it will be for him to improve his lot.
Imagine if this arc would be about Les instead. Why, on Saturday, Les would be extolling his newfound healthy regimen, preaching to all who could control their impulse to punch his face in. Remember, it was Les Moore who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, and Funky Winkerbean who collapsed a few feet into the last Lisa’s Legacy run.
How have the mighty fallen.