Tag Archives: gazebo

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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