Tag Archives: Halloween

It’s Always the Quiet Ones.

Click Here to See an Anatomically Incomprehensible Funky

I’m sorry Jimmy. A broken sarcasm meter is one of the most common injuries suffered by SOSF commenters. We’ve been trying to pioneer a new treatment that involves carefully grafting sarcasm from other sources to the site of the meter injury.

But Wally Winkerbean is a name I’ve seen mentioned again and again, both in our comments and in the comments on Comics Kingdom. So I spent way too long over the last few days pondering the character of Wally Winkerbean, an exercise nearly as psychologically damaging as the actual act of BEING Wally Winkerbean.

And the whole time, I was asking myself, is this man the Pizza Monster?

Suspect: Wally Winkerbean.

Observations:

1.) Wally could fit the physical description. He is nearly always drawn equal to or just a shade shorter than Funky. He is physically fit.

Suddenly Rachel’s interest makes sense…

2.) Wally has former military friends and connections. While he probably lacks the funds to hire a helicopter, maybe a pilot buddy owes him a favor.

If they’re willing to help him move a couch upstairs…they’re willing to to anything.

3.) Wally is familiar with helicopters.

Sometimes, they’re all he can think about.

4.) Wally is a manager of Montoni’s, and lives above the store. He is very familiar with the building. This works against the Mason Jarre theory. Would Mason have known about the roof ladder? Would he have had a key to the side delivery door? Would he be able to plan his interior getaway through the upstairs apartment? Did this require a key? Wally would have all of these things.

Is this the only time we see Wally smoking? Weird.

Motive:

And here is where things get hazy. What motive would Wally have to do this? Who is Wally?

Pretty much…

I don’t even think he really knows. He’s like a dog that’s been kicked around one too many times. He’s so guarded. He lingers at the edges of panels, letting other people do the talking, smiling benignly. He’s always trying to be helpful, always aiming to please and not cause a fuss or make trouble. Like he’s apologizing for existing.

Because he is.

Wally used to be an underachieving, pseudo delinquent who spent his days goofing off at band practice and dragging a frozen turkey around on a string.

And yet, the band room sign is still taped to the door.

And then, right after high school graduation, when he was joyfully confessing his drunken love, he caused a horrible car accident that maimed his girlfriend and ruined her music scholarship. He didn’t speak to her for more than a year and joined the military. To atone? To escape? Both?

Hello, Uncle who is actually my cousin….
Cut to panel of Wally buying beers and kissing Rachel.

The car accident sets Wally off on a spiraling cycle of trauma and atonement. He is in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan, presumed dead (for the FIRST time) but escapes captivity and returns to Westview to marry Becky.

Spoiler Alert: He doesn’t get over it.

But the trauma of Afghanistan weighs on him, and he returns to the country in an attempt to atone for that. Both he AND Becky are nearly exploded, and adopt an orphaned girl.

I can’t promise I’ll remember to invite you to my second wedding though…

Wally is unexpectedly redeployed to Iraq. When he gets there he learns that his wife is pregnant and he misses the birth of his son. During the time skip wally is exploded by a roadside IED, and held captive for years. The only face he can remember during his long imprisonment is the face of his beloved Becky.

And when he’s finally reunited with her, she shows him her second husband, takes him to his own grave, hands him a trombone, tells him Dinkle said hi, and LETS HIM WALK TO FUNKY’S HOUSE.

“But the car is already in the garage for the night, so he can walk.”

And you know what? He takes it all. We barely see him complain. He just accepts it. He gets angry and loses it ONE TIME to a random guy at a traffic light. He has a panic attack at a basketball game. But he doesn’t want anyone to make a big fuss on his account. When he can’t minimize, he apologizes. When someone helps, him he thanks them. He resists help only when he sees it as fruitless or too much of a hassle.

It’s no big deal guys, honest. But thanks for caring.

Eventually, Wally get’s his wonder dog and his wonder wife, and things have mostly turned around. He’s happy now. But he still seems happiest when he’s pleasing others, or when he’s doing good. That’s what the Adeela thing turned out to be. She reminded him of his sins and trauma, so first he tried to run away. Then he tried to please her. He offered her a job, helped her get her license, worked to keep her from being deported, just another bit of atonement for the fact that poor Wally still doesn’t really think he’s worth the hassle.

Why would this sad sack of a man be the Pizza Monster? Why would he torment the one person who was there for him when even his own wife had abandoned him?

And so again: Motive:

1.) Similar to a Mason theory, Wally believes that this yearly prank is somehow good for Funky. Either as a distraction from grief, or a catalyst to shock Funky out of his usual ennui. He believes this helps Funky so much that he is willing to go through a dangerous stunt that would likely trigger his PTSD.

2.) When you peel back the layers and layers and layers of guilt and trauma, there is something inside Wally that craves the boy he used to be. A prankster. A fearless daredevil. And that buried side of himself has responded to his life’s trauma by craving first the anarchy of anonymous pizza theft, and then the danger of this year’s stunt. Even Wally seems to realize that he is repressing something.

“Would it sound like a pizza box?”

At what moment in Wally’s life did he feel the most joy? When did the art show us he was completely free of the weight of all his guilt and inadequacies?

“Hey I survived a landmine. Neat.”

The adrenaline pounding in his veins, the rush of air in his lungs, the unbridled cry of triumph. Yes, I am alive! I have done the impossible! I have stood at the precipice of death. Yet everything I love awaits me in safety! I have broken the rules of this dark universe!

What would Wally do to recapture that moment when every thought in his tortured brain was blanked out by wordless, animal joy?

Would he become….the Pizza Monster?

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Squaring the Circle, Cylindering the Cube.

Link To Today’s Pointless Strip.

Yesterday we ruled out some possible Pizza Monsters based simply on having an ironclad alibi, and we got some interesting guesses in the comments based on the evidence. Today I want to take a deeper look using geometry…see if we can cross a few more names off the list.

First of all the dimensions of an average large pizza box are as follows.

Now lets look at the dimensions of the Luigi’s Pizza Monster. It is made up of at least two different sizes of pizza boxes though they seem to have a similar height.

So the Luigi’s monster would be, at a very minimum, 66 inches tall…and probably a little more. Somewhere between five and a half and six feet tall.

More importantly, this monster is only about 18 inches from front to back, even though it is 32 inches wide. Assuming a human torso is roughly elliptical, and using the equation to find the area of an ellipse. A = πab. With a as the minor radius of 9 inches, and b as the major radius of 16 inches, we get an area of roughly 450 square inches, and an estimated perimeter of 80 inches, However, that is an ellipse twice as wide as it is deep, most people with an 80 inch waist would not be that flat. Unless they were some kind of horrific softshell tortoise human.

🎃Elle-O-Ween🎃 on Twitter: "FLORIDA SOFTSHELL TURTLE (Dec 22-Jan 19)  You're either all the way out there or entirely withdrawn. There's no  in-between. You're a case study in extremes. You try your best
Pictured…not the Pizza Monster.

Point being. The Pizza Monster probably isn’t very fat. As can be seen in the bits of wrist or ankle we can see in various shots.

Also, did you know that the Pizza Monster this year has a different construction technique for the arms? I’m guessing it allows for better helicopter clinging and ladder climbing action.

It’s Evolving….

So, I’ll say we can safely rule out DSH John. Even though it would fit his cheap nature to use the dozens of old Montoni’s boxes he no doubt has stashed around his comic shop in order to steal yet more pizza. And even though it would have also suited his underhanded and duplicitous side to offer the services of the cosplayer Mr. Monster last year, and then use his knowledge of that friend’s cootie allergy to steal the aforementioned pizza. Poor Dead Skunk Head is just too fat and out of shape.

By the same token, we can rule out Tony, Donna, Dinkle, Harriet, a magically rejuvenated Crankshaft, and Chester Hagglemore. They’re all just too portly, old, or both to make this costume work. Especially since, on average, the Montoni’s Pizza Monster seems to use less boxes than Luigi’s.

This pointless, boring, and unreadable chart took an hour of my life I will never ever get back. No, I don’t know why I did it, but I decided that you have to know that I did.

From the hands we can also tell that Pizza Monster has a lighter skin tone, ruling out Cayla, Principal Nate, and Bernie’s two friends who maybe have names I guess.

So our culprit is white, not fat, still limber, knows Montoni’s, knows Funky, and has such a strong desire to mess with him every Halloween that they’re willing to do all of this.

What do you guys think? Any more names we can add to, or take off, of the list?

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That Brown Mush on the Plate is Disturbing

Haha, can you imagine? An actual(?) superhero man is petrified just at the thought of being near a woman! Hilarious! Can you imagine if maybe an actual superhero was a woman, and not just this evil supervillain(?) Pizza Monster? The entire multiverse would collapse! They’d have to invent new words like “superheroine”, probably! Ha, total fear just from being near someone who merely suggests they might be a woman, truly this is the epitome of hilarity and quarter-inch from reality writing.

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Unmanned

So I guess some guy dressed as Mr. Monster (who is actually a character not created by Tom Batiuk, so I do feel bad now about making fun of, but really, if you’re doing a “tip of the felt tip” to another artist, maybe don’t do it super tiny in between the panels of a daily strip?) really did just bust into a crowded (ha) restaurant and pull what sure look like two real guns on somebody, just because they’re dressed up in pizza boxes? Just to find out their identity? And this is supposed to be funny? Wouldn’t it have been easier, and safer, if Funky and Harry and just pulled out bats and started beating the Pizza Monster, or maybe set the boxes on fire so the Monster would have to remove them? That seems much simpler than arranging for someone to hold somebody at gunpoint in the middle of your restaurant.
Putting aside the “haha, he never thought it could be a woman” angle, which is weird since Funky also referred to the Pizza Monster as a he earlier in the week, shouldn’t it be obvious who the Pizza Monster is, just based on the voice? Only like five people, at most, are ever shown eating in Montoni’s anymore, and it would be very weird (although much creepier) if this was just some random person with no ties at all to Montoni’s. Or is there a voice changer under the pizza boxes (that also have no eye holes, but that’s another issue)?

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Mr. Lame

Mr. Monster“? And he’s just a guy in a goofy looking spaceman outfit, and nothing remotely monster themed? Batiuk is really scraping the bottom of the barrel with his fictional superheroes here. Which probably means he’ll still have fifty more, before his strip finally ends. Each somehow worse than the last. I thought for sure this guy’s name was “McMonster”, which makes as much sense as “Mr. Monster”. Again, I can’t imagine how that would be at all legible in the newspaper.
Also, I don’t think Batiuk understands how to properly honor a beloved local tradition, or whatever he’s attempting to do with these “Pizza Monster” strips. Drawing attention to how silly it is is not the way to go.

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The Westview Horror

Yep, the Pizza Monster is here. Just like he was yesterday. Not sure why today’s strip couldn’t have just taken place yesterday, other than just to waste time. But of course that can’t be Batiuk’s reason, so I must have missed a subtle nuance yesterday.
I really, really do not like the sideways daily strips. But making them multiple panels is even worse. I can’t imagine what a nightmare this would be to read in black and white in an actual newspaper.
Do you think the PM has been standing motionless in the doorway for long enough for Funky to notice and make a phone call, or did Funky have nothing better to do at work than stand around with his phone ready for the PM?

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Pizza Monster Monday

Strips like today’s, where whatever value there might be in the strip would come from the audience being familiar with the recurring “Pizza Monster” and being excited to see it in the strip again, are among the most baffling to me. Even as out of touch as Batiuk is, it seems hard for me believe that even he thinks there are people out there who think Halloween is Pizza Monster in Funky Winkerbean season and are dying to see it come back. It’s not the Great Pumpkin. And most other strips with recurring “gags” like this actually do something different with it each time. With Batiuk’s recurring gags (especially in Crankshaft-Lena’s bad at bowling! Lena’s coffee is terrible! Lena’s brownies are terrible! Crankshaft is buying gardening supplies again!), he thinks that just repeating something over and over is enough.
So, yay, the Pizza Monster showed up again, everyone can relax now.

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Hollow E’en

Link to today’s strip (eventually).

Today’s strip was not available for preview, but thanks to Fearless Leader’s diligence, we got a tiny glimpse of it.  Looks like the pizza monster has obtained his yearly token of appreciation and left in a hurry.   And there’s some speculation as to the identity of the fiend, with guesses of Crazy Harry and John, and a request for the monster operator’s initials.

Again, presented sideways–because Art has to Hurt or it isn’t REAL Art.

Looks (from the “preview”) like tomorrow’s episode will show Funky exerting himself, and…that’s all my eyestrain can take.  Seriously, I already have ailments, I don’t need vision-related ones based on a gag.  A gag, I note, that started out with a bit of promise, but as always with this strip, soon succumbed to the author’s inexplicable need to lower all standards.  Can’t he tell a single stupid joke?  Apparently, at one time, he was able to, but that ability was traded away for some magic beans labelled “Respectability.”   And we all know what beans are best at producing.

Happy Halloween, everyone!  Here’s hoping you enjoyed the holiday.  It’s sometimes fun to be scared, but never fun to fear what comes next in Funky Winkerbean.  Because the abyss is always looking back.

(I bet trick-r-treaters have learned to avoid the Batiuk house, since all he gives out are copies of Lisa’s Story.  With the flourish of a felt-tip and an offer of an autograph.)

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