Tag Archives: gazebo

Snark and Gripes Forever

Will ya get a load of Dinkle’s friend’s wife? Talk about “hair in a color that only yarn comes in“! “Busy Harry” Dinkle has taken a break from writing books that no one reads, and has squeezed into his old uniform to conduct the annual July 4 concert. Sadly, the music ensemble from Bedside Manor has been decimated by Covid-19, leaving only Mort Winkerbean on trombone and some new guy on sousaphone who, judging from all the notes above him, is really wailing.  It is here in the park that this guy casually informs his wife of his decision not to retire.

Miscellany: Does anyone else see Act I Les and Lisa in the audience? Has the time pool opened up again?


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His Motto’s Always Been “When It’s Right, It’s Right.”

Link To Today’s Thing

You know, this whole “young lovebirds just starting out” arc would have made more sense if a) Boy Lisa and Jessica were fifteen years younger and, you know, young lovebirds just starting out and b) Jessica had moved back to Ohio with Boy Lisa THEN went out to California to film the Buckner Brigatoni documentary. BatGak STILL never bothered to explain what Jessica was doing out there, but at this point it doesn’t really matter anyway. They’ll be perpetually “getting their burgeoning careers on track” for the rest of FW’s run, whether that’s three years or three hundred (don’t put it past him). The truly scary part is that the Bucket Briquette arc HASN’T EVEN STARTED YET which means he’ll be flogging the Boy Lisa & Jess thing for months, if not years. Sigh.

And on that note allow me to step aside and turn the microphone over to TFH, our SoSF king of kings!


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Marred, Mangled Manner

Hey! Didn’t we see today’s strip back on July 1?. Please don’t let this become a running gag…
Carl is not in view in panel 3. We can only hope he survived the performance.

The United States is now 240 years old, only a couple years younger than Funky looks these days. Have a safe and happy 4th of July everyone!


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Old Tyme Rock ‘N Roll

Well, I guess today’s strip provides some semblance of continuity to Morton Winkerbean’s uh… dream (I guess that’s what it is) of being a “rock star”, lining up with Thursday’s strip about drugs and groupies and whatnot. That does seem like an odd dream for a nursing home resident, even today as the stars of the rock ‘n roll era approach nursing home resident age. Still, it actually kinda makes sense that a wannabe rock star would name his son “Funky”.

This also lines up relatively well with the Mort we first met back in 2011, still not fully lucid and irritating the folks around him with bad dad jokes. Today’s Mort is less somber and churlish than the on we saw at Christmas five years back, but we’ve only ever seen him like that around Funky. Perhaps we can chalk that up to Mort simply not liking his son… another reason he might have named him “Funky”.


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Low Blow

Today’s strip reminds me of an episode of 50s/60s “animated” series Clutch Cargo, “The Ghost Ship”. The episode starts off with Clutch’s ward Spinner wondering aloud if the fishing boats in the harbor ever move.
A rare moment of self-awareness in an “animated” show that consisted almost entirely of still images (with creepy filmed lips placed on top of them) or a pure coincidence? I leaned toward the latter but was never 100% sure.

Similarly, I’m pretty sure today’s panel 1 is unintentional, but not fully sure. It could be a sly call back to that time in late Act II when Harry’s hearing loss forced him to hand his baton over to Lefty, meant to poke at us beady-eyed nitpickers who have noted on many occasions that TB completely ignored this maudlin mess once Act III began. I concede that is possible, but likely? Ha!
TB ignores precedents set in his own work and retcons things more often than Tom Armstrong draws Marvin soiling himself.

Poor Carl, he was doing so well when we last saw him on Christmas day. I admire his dedication to playing the trumpet


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Friday, July 1

Sorry folks, we’ve got one of those occasional instances where today’s strip is not available for preview twice in a row.

So to fill some space in lieu of my typical 20/20(0) insight on today’s new strip, we’ll once again hop in to the WABAC Machine. This time we’re traveling back 30 years (or is it 40 in strip time? maybe 44?) to July 1, 1986. Wonder what was going on back then?

Dinkle? Really? What a terrible coincidence…

Or is it? The story arc for the week of the 4th in 1986 involves Dinkle learning that the Westview High School marching band has been chosen to perform in New York City for a 4th of July celebration. This necessitates coming up with a replacement band for the Westview town square performance on the 4th. Dinkle, naturally, choses the only other “band” in Westview at the time, Crazy Harry’s air guitar group. On top of that, John Darling AND Crankshaft also show up.

Looks like TB is going back to the well in 2016.


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Bleaky Friday

More of the black void that is a Westview winter night in today’s strip, where Mason is obligated to answer a telephone call from his agent. Mason’s agent, “Rip”, quickly remembers that Mason is out of town, possibly in one of those mysterious time zones out east where people are huddled next to their heaters and catching Letterman’s monologue while he’s still laying on the beach getting a tan. I like how Mason hums a little tune before telling Cindy “Sorry, it’s my agent…” I assume that’s what is happening, I mean, the two things share a dialogue box.

Mason’s punchline, such as it is, rings pretty hollow when you consider that “last century” ended all of 15 years ago. When the last (20th) century was the current century, references to the “last century” were typically idyllic and wholly unrealistic nostalgia about the Victorian era and the Gay Nineties. With the gazebo looming in the background, this seems to be what Mason’s line is going for. After all, the 20th century was when TB’s frame of mind for such references was formed.

Then again, perhaps Mason does indeed mean that Westview reminds him of the 20th century’s “Gay X-treme! Nineties”, what with the town’s continued interest in VCRs, Toyota Paseo “Batiukmobiles”, and unfounded comic book price speculation. I imagine he’ll be disappointed when he learns that everyone in town threw out their “Ross for Boss” buttons, Zubaz pants, and Pogs years ago… Or did they?


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Where the sidewalk should have ended

Today’s strip sees Mason and Cindy continuing the evening stroll they began yesterday, traversing Westview’s snow-covered central square park with its trademark gazebo. Despite the implications from the past couple of strips that he has a thing for Cindy, Mason reveals his real interest is not her but the town of Westview itself. Yes, Westview is definitely a change from Hollywood’s economic opportunity and operating post office.

With Westview reminding him so much of his hometown, one can only guess where Mason grew up. Centralia, Pennsylvania is a good bet.


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Oh Tree Oh My

Your genial host TFH returns to guide us all through the holiday madness! My sincerest thanks as always to DavidO, Epicus Doomus, Beckoning Chasm, Oddnoc, and billytheskink for their guest contributions, and most especially to you, the reader. While it seems odd to some that we daily read and analyze a comic strip that makes us mad, it’s always good to commune with those with whom we share something in common, especially around the holidays.

At first glance, today’s strip seems to depict Holly and Funky about to be abducted by aliens. No such luck: it’s just another “taking things to the extreme” gag involving the gazebo tree. Query why, if the lights are so uncomfortably bright, the Winkerbeans are drawn like moths to it, standing so close to the light that it blinds them. Even Batiuk’s Medina neighbors must be scratching their heads over this one: the gazebo’s real-life counterpart is much more tastefully appointed.


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With a mighty CRAAAACK!, the Universe lets the assembled witnesses know exactly what Its objections are to this union—hey! Wait a minute!

All the guests are gone, delivering the inexplicable continuity failure I promised you. The director forgot to have the congregation congregate for the big lightning scene. Because it doesn’t make a lick of sense for the two principals and the officiant to hang out in the rain alone. No human beings would do that. I guess the Batominc Quarter-Inch Reality Generator Mark 4 is on the fritz again, because it really shanked the plot on this daily basis.

The Blonde Rachel Character Unit fails to see “any reason to leave now.” Yeah, well, I’ve got about a dozen, not counting the inclement weather, and—dollars to doughnuts, cancer to Alzheimer’s—they’re huddling at Montoni’s, wondering where the hell these clownbots are.

You’ll see.


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