Tag Archives: football

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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We have Always been Allies with Eastasia.

Link to today’s strip

I hope no one expected much out of me this shift, because I literally cannot see the screen through my seething rage. There’s nothing more I can possibly say that others haven’t said better. In case anyone out there doesn’t read the amazing comments provided everyday by our Funkysnark crew, here are couple that show we know Batiuk better than any New York Times reporter. I promise tomorrow, when I’ve had time to process my anger, I’ll attempt to mold it into something of my own creation, rather than plagiarize the hilarity of others.

beckoningchasm
Oh
My
GOD

Batiuk is going to make Bull’s death All About Les, isn’t he? Good GOD, is there no depth to which this man will not sink to promote The Worst Character In The Entire World?

Banana Jr. 6000
Let’s cut to the chase here… this is going to be about Les getting over being bullied, isn’t it? Even though they had a friendship for many years in adulthood, that extended to Bull helping Les’ daughter rehab her knee, and Bull managing Les’ precious Lisa’s Legacy run. But no, as we saw at the funeral, Les just isn’t over it yet.

It’s creepy how much the town of Westview indulges Les’ bizarre psychological needs. Like with the new Lisa’s Story movie, he didn’t even start it – Mason Jar did! And then a random person came up to say yes, Lisa’s Story is a universal tale that must be seen by all. Now Linda invites him over to show him this picture when he should be the one consoling her.

Les’ life is like the part in Being John Malkovich where John Malkovich takes the passageway into his own head, and all the dialog in the world is just “Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich.” Which should be horrifying, but Les’ ego is so huge it seems perfectly normal to him.

Epicus Doomus
Sometimes I seriously believe that BatYap is writing this shit just for us and amusing himself by our consistently outraged, bored and disgusted reactions. “Heh heh, watch them freak out when I have Bull and Les sharing a water bottle on the football practice field, they’ll lose their minds!”.

See above. Now it’s not only not about CTE or suicide anymore, it’s not even about Bull OR Linda, but LES! Apparently this old and totally implausible photograph that Linda lovingly shared with Les triggers Les’ memories about what a disgusting slobbering animal Bull was, all sweaty and gross and germ-laden. That’s some truly touching and timely stuff right there. I’m wagering that he didn’t share this part of his big prestige arc with the NYT people.

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The first cut is the derpest.

Link to today’s strip

Yesterday our amazing Batiukstorian, Billy the Skink, was able to dig back in his prodigious archives and find us some context.
The horror...the horror...

So Batiuk is, once again, referencing actual past strips and not wildly making up new scenarios set during Act I as many of us had assumed. Which is the niggling pebble in the metaphorical shoe that is Batiuk’s relationship to his ‘canon’.

On the one hand, he’s always ready to wildly re-contextualize the past, or out and out retcon it. Major arcs and characters get Memory Holed and never show up again, even when it would be appropriate. Such as, say, the wedding of a parent.

On the other hand, we have this. Batiuk calling back to an obscure strip that was printed before my parents had graduated high school.

If Les was only on the team for a week, who took this picture? Why was it taken? Who developed it? And who thought to give it to Bull? And why, of all the piles and piles of memorabilia packed in that basement Bull-pen, did Linda think this one picture was significant?

I’m guessing most of us have shoved in a box somewhere an odd collection of random pictures from highschool. Including several standing next to that one kid in choir. That awkward smelling kid, whose name we now couldn’t recall if someone had a taser to our armpits.

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Running on Empty, Running Blind.

Today’s strip, when it drops.

Comic Book Harriet, back in the saddle again. I want to thank BeckoningChasm for a great stint through this horrorshow. He really puts me in a tough spot. Because what is there to say about this nightmare abortion of a plot arc that hasn’t been said already by our crack team of beady-eyed nitpickers?

I’d never expected to see the loss of a father, spouse, and friend, approached with every character acting so sedate that depression is indistinguishable from boredom.

I remember those times when our esteemed historian Billy the Skink has put up strips from Act II full of intense soap opera pathos. Les running down the street shouting “USA! USA!” Wally trembling and crying while standing on a landmine begging whatsisface to tell his wifey something something he loves her.

Bull’s been dead for over a month, and we’ve yet to see a single tear.

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Watch Out, The World’s Behind You

Link to today’s strip (eventually).

As usual, Sunday’s strip was not available for preview.   It’s impossible to know what we’ll “get,” except that pneumonia would be better.  But me, I’ll go on and on for paragraph after paragraph!

I’m thinking we’re going to get more Les-Linda commiseration.

It’s an interesting compare-and-contrast with the characters Batiuk likes and those he’s, at best, indifferent to.

Les, Dinkle, Dullard and Pete have fortune rain from the skies on them. They’re handed good luck, wealth, perfect jobs (in the case of P&D), and (in the case of Dinkle) awards with no effort at all.  Heck, Dinkle’s deafness and Mort’s dementia have been completely reversed (though the latter was only to bedevil Funky).

Linda, on the other hand, just can’t catch a break. Of course, Batiuk is using her to Prove A Point, so she’s doomed.

If only she’d thought to start writing comic books.

I’m also thinking that the commentators here are correct, that Linda is going to ask Les to write a book about Bull.  “After all,” she’ll lie, “you were his friend.  You knew him best.”  Of course, the resultant book  won’t be about Bull, it’ll be all about Les.    He could call it “Bully Pulped–How a man discovered he was a monster, and got what he deserved.”

It also might be, as others have guessed, that Les will encourage Linda to write her own book.   That seems to be Batiuk’s gateway to redemption; if a horrible character like Lillian can write a book, why now she’s a lovable old coot like Crankshaft.

The only thing certain is that it will be done completely ineptly.  As the whole arc has been.  If this story had focused on Bull’s perspective, on his anxieties over his condition and his fears about what he might do, and his worries about Linda’s future, well, then the story could have been an interesting one.  But Batiuk being Batiuk, Bull is barely in his own story and it’s all about how Linda Feels Bad.  Say, that’s a great title for her book!

Well, that’s it for my turn in the chamber of torpor.  Tune in tomorrow, as Comic Book Harriet takes the reins and educates us, as the Batiuk Zone rotates trivially around us.

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It’s all the Streets you crossed not so long ago

Link to today’s strip (eventually).

As usual, Sunday’s exertion was not available for preview.  Perhaps it’ll be another semi-pleasant interlude with Funky and Holly, though since they got their own…”story” last week, Batiuk might feel we’re sick of them.  And he’d be right!  Of course, we’re sick of all of his characters, but no matter.

Maybe it will be a bunch of pictures of houses or trees or something, with no characters.  That would be the best Sunday strip ever!

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Deafinitely Dumb

Hey, remember when this story arc was about Bull?
Today’s strip sure doesn’t.

Look, I’m just going to gloss over the fact that Dinkle was actually introduced well over a year into this strip’s existence and just give TB credit for remembering that Funky Winkerbean itself is 47 (and a half) years old… And with that out of the way I’ll go right into wondering what the heck this has to do with Bull, his condition, his life, or anything. I guess if you twist your neck 117 degrees and squint until you experience sharp pain in your temples it appears the notoriously egotistical Dinkle (or is that Buck?) is paying Bull a compliment by saying they were equals despite his long and incessant history of considering all things inferior to himself and his marching band. But really this is just TB repackaging his biggest hit.

Dinkle is the only thing about this strip that has ever moved merchandise. His “football fields are for band practice!” bit covers books and t-shirts, and even serves as his character’s introductory line in the stage play Funky Winkerbean’s Homecoming. Dinkle’s shtick has sold band posters (“Dinkle wants your horn to twinkle”) and shoes, and no less than 9 Dinkle-specific collections of FW strips have been published! No, seriously, there have been 4 Lisa books and 9 Dinkle books.

Football Fields are for Band Practice!
Sunday Concert
Harry L. Dinkle Live at Carnegie Hall
I Never Promised You a Rose Parade
Gone with The Woodwinds
Would the Ushers Please Lock the Doors!
Attack of the Band Moms
The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side of the Football Field
Music is Worth it… Music is Worth it… Music is…

This is nothing more than TB pushing his most-recognized character/cash cow into a story the New York Times inexplicably gave him ink for. Ugh!

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