Harry motherf*cking Dinkle…the one FW character who sends a shudder of total disgust through every SoSF guest host, each and every time he rears his ugly, cackling head. “Band director”…the two most demoralizing words in the Funkyverse. And he’s with that other band director, you know the one I mean, that guy who’s based on someone, I think. It’s gonna be a long week, people.
And what’s with Funky’s alcoholism coming up all the time lately? Isn’t he anything else? I mean, the guy quit drinking a long time ago, he’s Westview’s number one businessman and the head of the local chamber of commerce. Plus his step-son just got married. So why can’t he talk about anything else?
Meh. This is exactly the kind of trite, sappy drivel you’d expect from such an arc. Time keeps on slipping slipping into the future and all. Very cute and very observant. I was unaware that Westview had a merry-go-round. I assume it’s right next to a roller coaster that only has drops and a waterslide slickened with the tears of Westviewians, but an assumption is all it is.
Earlier in the week, I touched on how utterly bizarre and insane it is that Boy Lisa, of all people, is Cory’s best man. Nothing could possibly explain this, as there’s just no way it could be possible, but there he is, waving goodbye to his dear ol’ chum Cory and that girl he married. Interesting how Boy Lisa, Licensed Cartoonist, made the poster all about Cory and not the bride, but given what we know about Boy Lisa’s marriage, that shouldn’t surprise anyone.
Way back before he became Boy Lisa, Darin was a fairly major Act II character, more or less the WHS “new generation” male lead. Along with his girlfriend Jessica and his best pal Pete, Darin was involved in all sorts of zany WHS hi jinx and shenanigans. I can’t remember any of them now, but trust me, something happened. Then we discovered he was adopted as an infant and everyone immediately knew he’d end up being Lisa’s surrendered love baby from THAT whole thing. And sure enough, five or ten years later, Darin met Lisa, his birth mother, not long before she died. And when they met, Lisa grabbed Darin by the forehead and transferred some of her superpowers to her long-lost bio-son, including bland geniality, and, well, bland geniality. And henceforth he was known as Boy Lisa.
Right after that, Boy Lisa and Jessica got married, went to college, and became Big City MBAs. Or at least he did, as Jessica’s backstory is less important, what with her being a girl and all. So that went on for five or seven or fourteen years or thereabouts, at which point This Economy f*cked Boy Lisa over, pretty hard in fact. So he packed up his robin’s egg blue car and returned to Olde Westview Towne, where he showed up unannounced at the door of his long-lost bio-step dad and bio-half-sister (avoiding his adoptive parents for reasons unclear), asking for a place to stay.
Les agreed, then got Boy Lisa a job at (surprise) Montoni’s, where he became some sort of pizza app developer and breakfast pizza pioneer. Then he discovered he had an adoptive half-sister, did the illustrations for Les’ cancer graphic novel and knocked-up his wife, although I’m not sure in what order that all was. Then Pete offered him a cushy storyboarder gig on the “Starbuck Jones” movie and he took off for Hollywood, minus Jessica, who stayed home and attended to her various womanly duties. Then he came back and ended up riding Pete’s coattails again, this time snagging a job at Atomik Komix, where he toils to this very day.
And this brief recap of his entire character arc makes it seem WAY more eventful and interesting than it actually was. In my opinion, his number one strip highlight was when he sneezed all over Summer right before the Big Game, as the illness somehow activated her natural grit and brought home the basketball title to WHS for the very first time. Or it might have been when he threatened Frankie and Lenny that time, although that was more Jessica. Anyway, it’s a really, really bland legacy when you look at it objectively, or even if you don’t. If Boy Lisa was Halloween candy, he’d be those terrible Necco wafers no one likes.
Yeah, I’ve used that title before, but so what? Another single paneler…this thing isn’t just running out of momentum, it’s actually rolling backwards now. As much as it pains me to admit this, Les’ barely-veiled disgust is probably the funniest moment of this arc so far. I’ve always wanted to see Dick Facey go in that direction and become a full-time, no-holds-barred asshole, all the time, instead of just occasionally. But alas, the bearded dick with ears can’t even do that right.
Two things really stand out here. First you have Summer, who’s becoming less and less recognizable by the day. Please, just ship her back to KSU and let her prepare for her triple junior year already. And then there’s Holly’s “muscatel memory” gag, which has to be one of the bottom ten all-time FW gags ever. I mean yikes, man, that’s just awful.
And what a shitty wedding. Awful, awful pop-culture gags, no one taking it seriously at all, Summer lurching around making wisecracks and a pile of shitty pizza…if I was a guest I’d seriously consider stealing my gift back.
Good God, man. While this may seem like a typically stupid and innocuous FW gag, it’s not innocuous at all. It’s actually one of the worst gags ever written by anyone, ever, and BatYam ought to be ashamed of himself for having dreamed it up in the first place.
First, you have the joke itself, which (as far as I can tell) is that the minister the happy couple found online speaks only in technology references, because he’s an “online” minister. But the thing is, he isn’t “online”, he’s right there. You can go online without becoming “online”, which seems like something you shouldn’t have to point out to anyone, regardless of how rooted in the past they are. It’s just a TERRIBLE joke on that level alone.
But then, on top of this already-abysmal gag, he uses “Bill Gates” and “Twitter” as his “online” references, as they both have something to do with “internet” and “computers”. And I mean yeah, they do and all, but it’s REALLY a weak, weak reach. If he said “by the powers vested in me by my local ISP, Megalith Cable” or something like that, it’d be a little closer to being a joke, albeit barely.
Then, the icing on the cake. It’s Summer, the young, with-it child of technology explaining the reference to Cayla, the old, out-of-touch fogey who always struggles with this internet thingie. And then there’s Boy Lisa’s absolutely baffling presence, too. Seriously? HE’S Cory’s best friend? He couldn’t even draw up some random anon-o-army guy to be Cory’s best man?
This one stinks on ice on every possible level. In fact, I’d go as far as to say this one, right here, is one of the one hundred worst FW strips of all time, maybe even bottom fifty. Just look at that terrible post title I resorted to using today, I am NOT a man who shies away from a terrible, lousy, no-good gag every now and again. But this strip is aggressively bad, the kind of bad that just grabs you by the shoulders and screams “LOOK HOW SHITTY I AM!’ right in your face, and in my opinion there’s just no call for that.
“Who cares about my son getting married, I’m hungry!“. Get it, everyone? Funky is fat, and apparently doesn’t give a crap about his family. Did Batiuk just skip right over the actual ceremony, or is everyone just posing for the photos beforehand? If that’s the case, then Funky isn’t eating any time soon.
I really hope Funky is blurting this all out really, really loudly, just stealing all the focus onto himself. I also like that Holly ask to ask for clarification about Funky’s comment, rather than just assuming the wedding is his dream come true, like any rational person would.
Well, I guess Funky’s okay after being caught au naturel by his soon to be daughter-in-law. Apparently something interesting happened this weekend worth taking pictures of, and we missed that, and got to see a lot more of Funky than we wanted instead.
I do love strips like this, where the writer is referencing modern technology but really doesn’t seem to know how it works. Apparently this filter only took effect once the photo was actually posted on Instagram, and Funky never noticed it when he took the picture or when was selecting it to upload. It is more amusing than most gags in this strip, which is a nice change. And I’m very glad we didn’t get a sideways single panel repeat of the shower scene.
I do think it says a lot about this strip that in a storyline about two young people getting married, the focus here is on two old people trying to use technology. Which makes it the second day this week where the focus is on old people and technology.
Hello everyone, and welcome to the image that is going to haunt your nightmares for the rest of your life!
Here we are again with another classic sitcom trope, where one person walks in on someone else in the shower when they’re visiting their house. I’m extremely confused about the setup here, because every single time I’ve seen this elsewhere, one person things their loved one is in the shower and walks in to surprise them, and then they get surprised.
But here, apparently Rocky had no clue at all someone else was using the shower? I’m not sure exactly how big the Winkerbean house is supposed to be, but in every house I’ve lived in, you can hear it when someone is showering. Somehow Rocky didn’t hear that at all, and didn’t think it was odd that the door was closed, and didn’t think of knocking first.
This really has be a new low for the art. I wonder if it was Ayers’ idea to prominently highlight Funky’s crack and part of each cheek, or if that was in Batiuk’s directions? Either way I’m deeply creeped out.
And today we’re back with another installment in Tom Batiuk’s “modern technology stinks” series. I really would like more details about what’s going on here. Did the five of them just record a podcast right there, while they were standing around? Why did Cory and Rocky wait until they were with their parents to do these things, which they didn’t need their parents for and they clearly had no input in?
I’m always amused by how petty Batiuk’s gripes with technology are. This is basically exactly what hashtags are meant for, and it’s a great use for them. To react “oh no, people uploading pictures of one of the best days in your life in a way that you can easily find them, Skynet has won, why couldn’t we have stopped with dial-up and Netscape” is a really weird take. (Not sure if it’s as weird as a week long rant against song suggestions, but it’s close).
This does not seem like a great hashtag, apart from just being way too long and using up most of your characters. I’m sure we can come up with better ideas. Mine is #mrandmrsrhodessincethereisnowayiambecomingrockywinkerbean.
Yup. Batiuk doesn’t even have the decency to end this on a Sunday Strip. And has instead given us six panels of pointless nonsense. It’s like ending a contentious divorce arbitration with a pie in the face.
So let’s ignore it, and move on down memory lane.
Just a reminder, as we continue the saga of Jefferson Jacks.
I already have a retraction to print!
Cuban League professional baseball was definitely a thing. Up through the abolition of professional sports in Cuba in 1961. Since it was played in the winter, American players, black and white, often participated. It was one of the first baseball leagues to be completely integrated. There were usually four or five teams, including, Almendares Alacranes ‘Scorpions’, Petroleros de Cienfuegos ‘Oilers’, Habana Leones ‘Red Lions‘, Tigres de Marianao ‘Tigers‘, and the Havana Sugar Kings.
I wasn’t able to find any evidence that Fidel Castro and Che Guevara paid the Havana Reds to play against them in a sugar cane field in the early 50’s though. Maybe I was searching the wrong sources.
Following the Jefferson vs the communists story, we next see Jefferson Jacks in June 2010. Crankshaft and various other former Toledo Mud Hens are invited to play an exhibition game at a Mud Hens reunion.
Cute right? Or Schmaltzy? Depends on how jaded you’re feeling or how manipulative vs genuine you feel the writer’s intentions were. While it seems Jacks decided to help Bushka around the bases after seeing how frail his old tormenter had become, a few months later, in August 2010, we’re given a little more depth into their détente.
I’ll just re-repeat my comment from the last two threads: “Cayla’s whole presence in this arc seems to be adding up to, ‘Yeah kids, but whaddaya gonna do, right?’” (This time with better punctuation.)
Cayla says, earlier this week, “Frankly, I don’t know how we’re going to change things.” She says this to two young kids who had baited a confrontation with a woman they didn’t know because they didn’t like how they were treated different for looking different.
And I just want to slap Cayla.
Because there are dozens of avenues to change. Some less contentious than others.
And one of those roads is the road of forgiveness. Not silent forgiveness, but an open hand presented. Offering a human connection to someone on ‘the other side’ and hoping that the relationship can be the key that releases them from their cage of prejudice.
It’s a more contentious road than you’d think. There are so many who see the weight of ignorance and hate as a burden that people deserve to be crushed by, because they willingly chose to carry that hate. They want to shut those spiteful people away in the dark prison of their own malice, and throw away the key. Because hateful people have not earned our efforts. Because they have not yet received back the pain they’ve inflicted.
And to withhold forgiveness is their right. No one should force the wronged to reach out.
But I feel that pure, healing change comes from batting away the fingers that pry into scars and want to hold open wounds. The past is prologue, but it is also a mirage we can’t visit, and revenge is an illusion because it destroys to pay for something already gone. What matters is now, and the future, and what will make things better there, whether it be punishment or mercy.
Sometimes change can’t be so kind. But when we can, isn’t better to convince people that the change we want makes things better for everyone? To convince people that the world you’d like to see has a place for them too?
And someone at their back to protect them, who will help push them home.