February 26, 2021 at 11:43 pm
I can’t believe I’m writing this, but I almost want there to be a complete tour of the new and “improved” Chateau Winkerbean tomorrow, just so our six days of sloughing through (apparently) one very repetitive day-long conversation won’t have totally been in vain.
Hate to spoil it for ya, J.J., but I have a feeling that today’s strip is about as close as we’re gonna get to seeing the actual reno in progress. Throwaway panel 1 is a lovingly detailed rendering of a gutted kitchen, chock full of the kind of details–the orange extension cord, discarded sheetrock and wood, exposed studs and electrical–that have me thinking Batty snapped some reference pix during the real-life reno of his own kitchen that inspired this arc.
Also in panel 1, to the left of the FW text, we see Holly’s profile, which tells us that they’re sitting in a room that’s just off the kitchen. Which makes me wonder how she could forget that the ice cream and everything else has been moved to another location.
All good things must come to an end; so too must all excruciatingly dull things like this week’s reno convo. As Funky Winkerbean has pivoted from “depicting contemporary issues affecting young adults” etc. etc., we see more situations that are likely drawn from what’s been happening in Batiuk’s life the last couple years. Having one’s home renovated actually does hold some comic potential, and this arc got off to a promising start Sunday, where we saw Funky and Holly interacting with the contractor at their house. It might have been kinda fun to see the job actually being done, and maybe have Holly finding ways to continually and inadvertently drive up the price tag, adding to her husband’s consterenation. Instead, the rest of the week’s been taken up with these two commiserating.
Let’s just leave aside today’s weak gag. I want to talk about what’s going on with Crazy Harry’s head.
As a teenager in Act I, Crazy was never seen without his trademark hat: an olive drab, military style fatigue cap, similar to those worn by Fidel Castro or Beetle Bailey. As an Act II young adult, Harry ditched the cap, but kept his Crazy cred by sporting a beard and ponytail. His forelock was noticeable but not distracting. In Act III, he complimented his postal uniform with a jaunty snap-brim cap over longish, but not ponytail length hair. After getting dumped by the P.O., Harry went mostly hatless, and his hair and beard began to gray. After Chuck Ayers reunited with Batiuk, Harry’s hair at last went totally gray, and that forelock has taken on the appearance of a casque, the bony, keratin-covered protuberance on the head of a cassowary:
Holly Winkerbean’s not the only Westview wife who’s been watching HGTV. According to Crazy Harry, Donna “seems plugged in and aware” of kitchen design trends. Too bad she’s married to a man who squanders his postal service pension checks on rare Tarzan comics.
I’m pretty sure that Crazy doesn’t get the nesting urge; if he did, it would mean he was pregnant. Crazy’s just saying he “gets” it. I didn’t: I had to look up “nesting urge”. Anyway, what’s not to get about the desire to “reno the nest” (and hoo boy, there’s another turn of phrase that you will hear nowhere in real life)?
February 21, 2021 at 11:00 pm
Every time a strip features Funky being nervously anxious about the cost of something I will be motivated to write here to say, yet again, as I did yesterday and before, that FUNKY LIVES IN A GOD DAMNED MANSION OF A HOUSE THAT WOULD HAVE A VALUE OF AT LEAST ONE FUCKING MILLION DOLLARS IF IT EXISTED IN THE REAL WORLD…
Exactly. The Winkerbeans live in a spacious home (that I suspect closely resembles Batiuk’s “Cartoon Castle). Funky clearly should have the wherewithal to spruce it up just a bit. He’s just bent out of shape because Holly’s taken charge of things. But she spends at least as much time running the family business as does Funky. Doesn’t Holly deserve the kitchen (and bathroom) of her dreams?
Such a weird joke today. I’m thinking that this “momentary lapse” Funky mentions was in November ’19, when he mused aloud about installing a shower in the guest bathroom for Holly’s mom. But that conversation took place face to face, and not over the phone. Does Holly surreptitiously record all their conversations, for use as leverage to get her way? Apparently there are third-party apps that allow you to record phone calls, but it’s not a feature of iOS. At any rate, Funky knows he’s been hornswoggled, and is none too happy about it. Even though profanity standards have become pretty lax, “damn” is still kinda salty language for any newspaper comic strip not named Doonesbury. And does Funky/Batty realize that Steve Jobs has been dead nearly ten years?
Maddest of mad props to ComicBookHarriet for carrying us through the last couple weeks!
“Kitchen Reno“? I had to read today’s strip a couple times before I grasped that “reno” in this case is short for renovations. The weird alignment of type didn’t help. What’s with Funky’s stricken expression in panel 2? Home improvement is typically something guys like to talk about. Of course, all that Funky cares about is what all this is going to cost, especially with Holly out there sourcing materials. As the owner of a business that seems to have more employees than regular customers, he’s right to be concerned as to what this is going to cost.
Link To Today’s Strip
Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!
To celebrate the holiday of love and romance, Batiuk has graced us with a touching strip of an ommetaphobic man who has completely lost his mind after days of being forced to self-apply eye drops.
Remember this is a guy who had to be physically restrained a month ago by multiple people to have drops put in.
That explains his increasingly erratic behavior since the surgery. And the slow decline of his joy since Monday. Every single day, hour after hour, forced to pry his squinting eyes open with trembling fingers. Forced to carefully drip chemicals into the waiting lids, staring up at the nozzle of the dropper, the fear and nausea triggering a flight or fight response that he can’t let his body obey.
Our drip torture is about to end though. As I’ve peeked into the future and it seems the cataract saga is finally drawing to a close. At least, I hope it’s ending. I suppose we could be up for a repeat in a month, when Funky goes in to have his other eye done. I wouldn’t put that past this strip.
So relax, everyone, tomorrow is a brand new day! A day filled with Dinkle.
Here’s another in the long line of Batiuk’s insults to the expanded space comics get on Sundays. Literally copying one panel and repeating it four times is pretty sad. (You can tell since that little line above the coffee mug is exactly the same). I don’t think the strip would have suffered at all if there had been a little variation-snow falling outside the window, a bird landing on the windowsill, a TV on in the background, or even that little line above the coffee cup changing. It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen a Sunday strip in either this or Crankfshaft that couldn’t have been told just as easy in one or two panels.
Oh, and having cataract surgery clears up your vision. Expect Funky to start cheating on Holly just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Thanks for having me! Taking over tomorrow is Comic Book Harriet. I hope Cayla gets COVID or something, just so CBH has something to write about.
“Humor is how I deal with tragedy“. I bet Batiuk has used that line a lot at book signings and when newspapers inexplicably interview him. And I’m sure the response he gets more often than not is “Humor? What humor?”.
I really don’t get what “tragedy” Funky is referring to here. The tragedy of successfully having a routine surgery that lots of people get? The tragedy of having to age when you’d rather stay ten in your parents’ attic reading comic books forever?
Oh, and Funky’s joke isn’t funny and really doesn’t work. It doesn’t really sound at all like what it’s supposed to, I don’t think. It’s a pity it’s one of the last things that poor guy pushing the wheelchair is ever going to hear, since he’s clearly about to drop dead.