Link To Today’s Strip
Back in 1994 BatYak was considered something of a modern-day Nostradamus, courageously addressing timely social issues of the day long before they became fashionable. Guns in schools, teen pregnancy, drunk prom driving, alcoholism, divorce, talk radio, medical chart snafus…BatHack saw these broad social trends coming and tried to communicate these truths to us via his unique brand of obtuse wry banter, which unfortunately was just a bit too far ahead of its time for the “average” comic strip reader to properly appreciate. In an era marked by noisy dissonant pop-culture phenomenons like Nirvana and “For Better And For Worse” Batiuk’s subtle, more writer-ly take was lost in the shuffle. It was truly America’s loss.
Anyhow, it’s a real delight to see the still-dying Fred manage to weakly mutter his approval for the #hashtag movement as his loveless wife and reluctant caretaker Ann looks on with barely interested disgust at the frail wretch of a man her philandering ambition-crushing husband has become. So it turns out that the whole #anti-guns in schools arc was just a prop to take a victory lap acknowledging that FW addressed the issue way before it became trendy and fashionable. Nicely done. If any “young people” get teen pregnant or let talk radio inspire them to blow up post offices he’ll have that covered too. Sigh.
Link to today’s strip.
Ah, the perils of drawing your comic strip, word balloons and all, a year before you write the dialogue. I feel certain Tom Batiuk wanted to have some reference to “medication” in Dullard’s word balloon, but alas he couldn’t make the word fit. Too bad, as it would clarify the mysterious “they” in Ann’s balloon (supposed to be “medications” I guess) and make her reference to a “booster shot” tie it all up neatly. It still wouldn’t be funny or good, but one could point to it as (at least) well constructed.
Oh well, can’t stop now! Onward, ever onward, toward that 50th!
I try to point out things I like whenever I can, and I like the shadow pattern of the window on the far wall. Somebody took his time applying craftsmanship to make that, and it is appreciated. And unless I’m mistaken, the picture on the wall looks a little like “Christina’s World” by Andrew Wyeth. It may not be, but I like to think someone tried to slip something of quality into this dreary waste.
Happy Easter, gang, and a tip of the ol’ SoSF Easter bonnet to Epicus and SoSFDavidO for their guest stints over the last several weeks! Your pal TFH is stepping in to ramp up the “festivities” marking the fifth anniversary of Son of Stuck Funky this week!
Before laying eyes on today’s tableau, I’d have wagered that today’s holiday would have passed unremarked (as it is in today’s Crankshaft, but then Easter 10 years ago might have fallen on a different Sunday). Despite the abundance of baskets, bunnies, and eggs, this scene suggests Christmas (specifically the Epiphany) more than Easter, as Westview’s Holy Family is surrounded by the Magi bearing gifts. I recognized dowdy, nondescript Kerry, Fred’s daughter from his first marriage, though she’s not been seen since Thanksgiving 2013. It took me a lot longer to surmise that the big smirking blonde to the right is Jessica’s mom Jan Murdoch Darling (you’re welcome).
Anyway, it’s a good thing for Skyler that this mob showed up bearing baskets, else he’d have had to content himself with that pitiful tiny basket before him, which I don’t think even contains any chocolate—that green rabbit’s probably made of carob or some crap. It’s certain that the basket’s chintzy size has less to do with “keeping Skyler away from candy”—on one of the two big candy holidays all year, for goodness’ sake—and everything to do with Boy Lisa’s meager Montoni’s salary.
Here’s a rather unusual Christmas Eve tradition that comes out of nowhere: serving Westview’s homeless a sumptuous Christmas dinner…of pizza. Yellow pizza, pepperoni not optional. Would it kill Funky to put out a tray of eggplant parm, and maybe a nice salad?
May I ask my veterans and service people in the audience: does Cory have to wear his uniform while he’s home on leave? Did he leave any civilian clothes in his bedroom, or just his comic book collection?
DavidO here snarking from a somewhat dusty room in here…*wipes an eye*
In today’s strip, we’re celebrating a major holiday with nary a Les in sight. Neither is there a mention of book tours, ghostly wives, pizza or marching bands. We even get to see Skyler in a somewhat closer view today and the kid doesn’t look bad.
Let’s be thankful for everything we have today, including a FW strip that doesn’t make every bone in my snark body ache.
DavidO here, with a strip title swiped straight from a Seinfeld episode!
My ponderings about how little Skyler would look close up weren’t answered in today’s strip and that’s a good thing. Someone needs some SERIOUS practice with baby faces and heads. And arms legs and torsos. Thankfully blankets can be an uncertain artist’s best friend but the strip is starting to remind me of the opening Austin Powers routine, except with Skyler’s face instead of Austin’s willie. I mean, seriously, what is that supposed to be in P2? It looks like they’re fawning over a potato. Tombat better get to some real world life-drawing classes in soon or start stepping up his exposition even more to accommodate for his art.
Welcome to the world, kid! The whole damn thing smells like garlic and stale bread. Poor Skyler. It’s almost unavoidable from the looks of today’s strip that he’s going to be a 20 year old dishwasher at Montoni’s, destined to have his wife deliver her baby there, too, shortly after they have their wedding there.
Does anyplace exist in Westview at all any more?! Why is this strip not called “Montoni’s and Moore” ?!
So, one of the reasons Bull wanted to enter the world of higher education was so he could continue the great tradition of being a huge dick to the students. That seems rather humble, doesn’t it? I mean, all the teachers are huge dicks to the students; it must be the first instruction in the first paragraph of the Westview High School’s So You Want to be a Teacher pamphlet. Being a huge dick just means you’re earning your paycheck. I guess I can’t really blame anyone in the Funkyverse for setting his sights low; ambition is typically rewarded with a cosmic swatting. Still, it’s interesting to see such a naked lack of ambition.
By the way, I went to high school and I don’t recall any teachers taking advantage like this. Everyone, teacher, student and administrator, got in line and stayed in line. Of course, there’s nothing funny about playing by the rules…just like there’s nothing funny about Funky Winkerbean. Hey wait a minute–how can Bull “get cuts” in line, when lunch itself has been cut? Is Bull fantasizing? This…this is what he daydreams about? Yeah…that’s some ambition all right.
I see that the “smart-pad” has already been dropped (by Les, into the swimming pool). Someone from Apple must have hrmm-hrmm’d at Tom Batiuk’s lawyers, and the change from “iPad” to “Smart-Pad” probably didn’t mollify anyone. Well…perhaps Mr. Batiuk has learned a bit of humility from the experience, and the next time someone uses a bit of the old Funky Winkerbean magic, he’ll…oh, okay I can’t really keep up the pretense. My sense is that Mr. Batiuk will continue taking the advice from the So You Want to be a Nationally Syndicated Cartoonist pamphlet very seriously indeed.
Now you know how many ‘holes it takes to fill Montoni’s Pizzeria.
July 10, 2013 at 11:50 pm
Okay, folks, place your bets:
Halle is drawn in the background of a Sunday spread in a listless nod to continuity: 6/1
Does Halle Dinkle’s presence here qualify as a “crossover” if nobody knows about her comic strip? She’s the one helpfully holding up a placard-sized “Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad” card. There’s another unfamiliar face in the crowd, above Dinkle’s head, whose identity will be revealed Friday (as an afterthought; TB’s just giving a shout-out to one of his music friends). Rachel’s been made to don the dreaded red apron but Wally (and his wonder dog Buddy) have been permitted to mingle with the invited guests. I would give Dead Skunk Head John a hard time for showing up in a t-shirt, but hey: we’re in a pizza parlor.
Get ready for another guest blogger: starting Monday, it’s the snark stylings of Beckoning Chasm!
Still working out the glitches with posting…but here is today’s strip.
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