Tag Archives: Flaming batons

Jumping’ Jack Flashback

Today’s strip was shot in Kodachrome… despite being set even further back in time than this past week’s sepia-toned historical revision. Really sets the mood for imagined fiery death, doesn’t it?

You would (not) be surprised at how often TB goes to the well for Holly’s Act I flaming baton trick. It wouldn’t shock me if it has appeared as a gag in Act III more often than it ever actually did in Act I. But hey, after this past week, I’ll take some Sunday Funky-Holly filler, even if it involves flaming batons.

And with that, I cede the podium to Comic Book Harriet, a master of both Batiukverse history and the entertaining anecdote. I expect we will enjoy a good bit of both from her in the coming weeks.

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Forward, into the Past

Link to today’s strip.

Funny how we never saw Holly working on her book, but here it is, all published and printed and–for some reason–for sale at OMEA. I wouldn’t think cheerleading would have much of an audience there, as cheerleading is typically an athletic activity.

Anyway, here she is. And does this mean we can look forward to strips where Funky complains about Holly going on another book tour? “Oh, for heaven’s sake, Funky, there are plenty of peas and hot dogs in the fridge.” Yikes. And now that she’s a published author, will she be given the same respect as Lillian?

Oh, and what are our characters talking about today? Things that happened long ago…which seems to be the main topic of conversation in Funky Winkerbean. Things that readers actually enjoyed, back when Batiuk’s objective was to entertain, and back when the strip had readers.

For a strip known for its ham-handed dialogue, today really stands out. Two people yelling things that they both already know at each other. And which has no relevance to what we’re seeing. “At least I never bought bread from the auto parts store!” “That’s because their bread was made from oil filters!”

It’s like an Abbott and Costello movie where they’re talking about how funny their early movies were. Not doing the routines, mind you, just chatting about them. This strip would be baffling if you were someone who knew nothing about Funky Winkerbean. On the plus side, I envy you.

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Dej-UGH Vu

We can only hope that today’s strip marks the end of this story arc and the depiction of this unhealthy and unsettling Melinda-Holly relationship for some time (infinity is a time, right?).

With that, I will focus my commentary on Holly’s use of term “EMS Vehicle”. So, did TB just not like the way “ambulance” fit in the word balloon or does he have a thing for using awkwardly bland language? I mean, its not an incorrect term of course, but if Holly calls an ambulance an “EMS Vehicle” then Melinda ought to have said “medical facility” or something like that yesterday instead of “hospital“… y’know, to maintain this strip’s reputation for exceeding consistency.

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Flaming Batom Schtick

Apologies for today’s short post, but this story arc has gone about as well as my week at work has… And today’s strip doesn’t do much to improve matters. It doesn’t do much period.

The insurance companies Dinkle may have put a stop to the flaming baton trick, but don’t you dare think he is losing his touch. He has happily proposed maiming senior citizens with fire in recent years.

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Wigged Out

It’s a hell of a mishap when a flying pole with burning rags wrapped around both ends gets away from the majorette. It might cause the football field to catch fire, as Buck Bedlow can tell-not-show you. Which is a funnier circumstance than that of a girl forced to spend her teenage years hiding hideous, painful deformity to please her twirler mom. Oh, and the spelling you want in panel 2 would be “trouper.”

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Asbestos You Can Get

At least in this case we know that the red blur in the picture isn’t a ball of fire.  It’s Holly, in her classic Scapegoat majorette uni. I don’t know what’s worse: a “fireproof” garment that leaves your extremities exposed, or one that’s made out of material that can potentially cause cancer. Why not both?

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Girl on Fire

beckoningchasm
September 12, 2021 at 10:36 pm
Interesting that the only color we see on the photos is blotchy red. Are these photos of shooting victims?

J.J. O’Malley
September 13, 2021 at 10:37 pm
…[A]ll the photos appear to black and white with occasional splotches of red. Was Fun…er, Holly taking pictures at a screening of “Schindler’s List”?

billytheskink
September 13, 2021 at 10:24 am
Given all of the red smears on the photos…I’m guessing most of these “old” photos date back to Holly’s days as a red-and-white clad high school majorette…

December 3, 2013

Kudos to the above-quoted snarkers  whose beady, nitpicking eyes were drawn to the red splotches in nearly all of Holly’s photos. Those are all great (and funny) guesses, but apparently the pictures depict teenage Holly engulfed in flames.

The flaming baton gag dates back to the Act I days, and it is amusing to imagine it going horribly awry. It’s a little less amusing to imagine it causing disfiguring burns. And it becomes horrifying when we learn that her mother’s response was to schedule Holly’s yearbook photos accordingly. Also, disfiguring burns aside, Holly needn’t be so modest about her “skill” with a flaming baton. After all, she was still good enough, years later, to show a Xenon warrior just how it’s done.

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Maybe We Could Do the Twirl

Try saying “Twirling Tots” five times fast, I dare ya! Holly has settled into her ponderous pandemic picture project and is actually enjoying a little quality mother-daughter time. I don’t think I noticed until just this week that Melinda is drawn with the same weird, wide cartoony eyes that Holly had in her majorette days, and even when she was still a “Tot.”

Holly has been pictured in this outfit before. She’s wearing this uniform and boonie hat in her picture that hangs on  Montoni’s Wall of Fame. I started searching the archives to find the strip that shows this, but quickly became flustered, and I soon found myself sitting cross legged on the living room floor, being comforted by my mother. I’m going to need another pandemic to find it, har! har! har!

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Batteredday, September 1

Today’s strip was not available for preview. I would apologize, but I’m not sure I’m sorry I did not have to see it in advance.

Is it simply more of Dinkle’s megalomania? Yeah, probably. Dinkle, of course, has always been a megalomaniac, but his megalomania has gone from cartoonish and over-the-top to appalling and monstrous. Some of that is due to the fact that this strip’s tone has become so self-serious that attempts at humor seem either discordant or simply illustratitive of terrible behavior.

As much as that, though, Dinkle has changed too. In Acts I and II, his constant appearance in full dress uniform with his eyes always hidden under the bill of his cap gave him a cartoonish appearance to match his portrayal as obsessive perfectionist for whom marching bands are the pinnacle of human existence. Since his “retirement”, however, he has taken on the appearance of post-2010 Chevy Chase, and has come to behave much like Chase is said to off-camera.

To visualize, he went from this:

To this:

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Holly Smoke

SosfdavidO, coming up short on fire related puns for today’s today’s mope-a-thon. Once again, Tombat leaves the viewer with a confused sense of wondering what the heck they’re supposed to be feeling. It sure ain’t comedy. It’s more akin to Garrison Keillor’s brand of humor but we the reader don’t get the enjoyment (or misery) of hearing Garrison ramble on out-loud.

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