Link to Today’s Strip.
For the third year in a row, we are getting a Pizza Monster special for Halloween. I can only hope that this year is just as exciting as last year, when Funky hired a gynophobic cosplayer to threaten the Pizza Monster with a handgun.
Working late tonight myself, so I’ll see all you fine folks in the comments tomorrow!
The week began with Funky’s kitchen still in complete disarray, and continued with Funky moaning about how long the work was taking. Today we see that the job is suddenly, finally finished. The workers’ tools, and that lawn chair, are going back on the truck. We can’t see the name on the truck, but it doesn’t say “EZ Remodel,” the contractor who came out to quote the job back in February. Narrative sloppiness or plausible circumstance? Anyway, I like that even though we can’t see the entire phone number on the truck, Batiuk prefixed it with the good old “555” fictitious area code.
Naturally, the reason Batiuk has the contractor in panel 1 speaking about Holly as if she’s not standing right in front of him is to provide the hook for another puzzling punchline. “Wifetime guarantee” is a cute enough turn of phrase, but in this context what could it mean? The contractor is basically saying if they want to have additional work done, he’ll gladly take the job. How is that a “guarantee”? I’m pretty sure they’re not doing the job for free. Yet Holly in panel 3 is walleyed with glee, while Funky’s mug reverts to that hapless “oh, shit” expression he’s been sporting all week.
If Funky’s been fortunate at all, it’s when it comes to servicing his business needs for cheap or even free. He got the multitalented Darin to singlehandedly develop a bespoke Montoni’s app. Adeela provides architectural services for a server’s wages (minus tips!), and who needs a sign painter when you’ve got Wally? When finally he is forced to pay an actual professional, the job turns out to be a prolonged nightmare.
What Funky really needs to hire (or take unpaid advantage of) is a hospitality designer, an interior decorator for restaurants. Just look at the tablecloth in today’s strip. That acid green, buffalo plaid tablecloth that looks like it’s made out of the traveling green shirt. That green does not tie in with the green stripes on the Italian tricolor awning, nor with that grimy, red velour cafe curtain in the window. Behind which sits those late 80’s “dusty rose” colored walls. On second thought: instead of that hospitality designer, I’d think I’d like to see chef Michael Irvine give the pizzeria the Restaurant Impossible treatment.
Leave it to Batty to give a line about “going insane” to the character who’s famously struggled with mental health issues. Funky may not be going insane, but this extended reno clearly has taken a toll. He’s had that bemused look on his face all week. Everything happens to Funky!
So today we get the strip that probably should have run Monday. The good news is that in today’s strip, Batty’s setting up an actual joke. The kitchen reno drags on with no end in sight (and remember: this all started out with a quote on a bathroom renovation and turned into a package deal; we don’t know if they’ve even started the bathroom). Funky dimly recalls that Rachel’s “studying to be a lawyer” and, in classic Funkman form, sees an opportunity to cadge some free legal advice. Funky doesn’t understand how adoption works? Isn’t his son Cory (like most other Westview millennials) an adoptee?
This is what happens when you break your contactor’s balls for taking a lunch break. The reno’s still not complete: there’s lumber and ladders everywhere and the electrical outlets are still exposed. But somehow, Sandwich Guy took the time to gather some colorful, empty tin cans–did he root through Funky’s recycle bin?–and hang them randomly from the ceiling with squiggly string. I mean, this has got to be a prank, right? Or did Funky hire the most cut-rate contractor he could find, one who actually thinks that these are the type of “cans” one would install in a kitchen ceiling?
A tip of the SoSF turban to Comic Book Harriet, who never fails to spin enlightening and entertaining gold from Tom Batiuk’s dreary dross.
The usually exposition-happy TB cuts us a little slack today: without any kind of setup, we rejoin the interminable Kitchen Reno, already in progress. Maybe “progress” isn’t the right word…Funky and Holly’s kitchen is still a complete shambles. But what a lovingly depicted shambles. Clearly, Tom “Write what you know” Batiuk (or maybe Chuck “Really just the penciler” Ayers) must have experienced a kitchen renovation a couple years ago, and was “inspired” to subject Funky (and us all) to a similar ordeal. I’m surprised the FW blog hasn’t been featuring “reference photos” of a gutted Kartoon Kastle kitchen. Willya look at all the details! Every outlet cover has been removed (I thought the bare outlet in the upper left was emitting sparks, but that’s just today’s date). Tools and extension cords are strewn about, plastic sheeting hangs in the doorway, and the floor is covered with a (poorly taped!) dropcloth.
Whether or not the St. Spries choir will ever sing a note under Dinkle’s direction will have to wait for another day, for today’s strip returns to (what I assume is) TB’s latest writer’s block go-to: domestic scenes with the Winkerbeans. Hey, that rhymes!
Did you forget that Funky and Holly were having their kitchen
“reno”-ed renovated? I don’t want to brag… but I did! And now Holly’s trying to spend the cataract surgery that Funky’s other eye still needs on a table they don’t need… such timeless humor. Wives, they’ll do it every time! What, there wasn’t a tip of the Hatlo Hat at the bottom of this strip? Guess my brain’s filling in missing visuals again.
Hey, thanks for putting up with me through two more weeks of this mess. I genuinely appreciate it. Steering us all through the swamp starting tomorrow will be the one and only man of space named Spiff, Spaceman Spiff. May you see no Les or Dinkle story arcs on your journey, good sir.
Link To Today’s Strip
Oh those WIVES amirite? Always wanting their faucets not to leak, and their tub seams not to be stained black with mildew. Needing grout that hasn’t been haphazardly sealed with crazy glue, drywall not patched with bondo and tempera paint, linoleum sans the packing tape, light fixtures with actual covers still intact. What a bunch of absolute spendthrift divas.
Or maybe the Winkerbean bathroom and kitchen isn’t in such a state yet. Maybe it’s just my poor parents who have been putting off a kitchen/bathroom remodel since the Clinton administration because it’s easier to fantasize about the dream kitchen they’ll put in, forever perfect in its nebulousness, than it is to bite the bullet and finally rip out the Brady Bunch orange counter tops.
Anyway, this strip is either a tolerable lead in to a new arc of Funky misery, or the start of a very unappealing adult film. The dialogue says the former. But Holly and the Handyman’s bedroom eyes tell a different story. And what kind of real contractor just wanders around with a giant ‘EZ’ plastered on his hat and shirt. I’ve seen sexy nurse Halloween costumes with more believable ‘names’ on the lapel.
It’s been a fun couple weeks. The Dinkle arc was a bit of a slog to end on, but it’s not every shift that I get to talk about Batman. Thanks to everyone for the kind comments! TF Hackett will be taking over the exciting renovation action tomorrow. Please remember to thank him and Epicus for giving us all our cozy, internet safe-space where we can join together in mocking the final death throes of the slow entropic decay of a fictional universe.
Stay warm and Funky everyone! Comic Book Harriet signing off!