Tag Archives: hand-lettered sign

And he just can’t hide it…

Let’s all bid a hopeful farewell to Batton and, especially, Les in today’s strip. Les will sadly and undoubtedly return (please not for a good long while!), but what of Batton? This week’s story arc served to make him even les relevant than he seemed when he first appeared, and that’s saying something.

Not that doing interesting and relevant things is really a requirement to appear in Funky Winkerbean these days, but unless Batton gets cancer or (a year from now) the COVID-19 it is hard to see what else TB has for him to do. He’s appeared at Free Comic Book Day and he’s stood in front of Les’ class. What else is there? Well, if Batton ever does return, it’s a sure bet it will be during one of my stints writing this blog. I’m two for two so far, lucky me.

Now if Tom Batiuk himself is excited about writing this strip, he sure can hide it. He lost control years ago, and he probably likes it…

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He’s A Capricorn And She Had Cancer

Link To Today’s Strip

Get a load of Pulitzer (nominee) Boy, shamelessly using Christmas to plug his dusty old cancer book again. Who are the people at this event? Does “Lisa’s Story” have some sort of weird cult following or something? And assuming that these weirdos are die-hard “LS” fans, wouldn’t they have already heard this cheesy gag dozens of times? I know I have.

This is Dick Facey at his most dick faciest. Smug obnoxious gloating, sub-moronic wordplay, a snide remark AND that f*cking “Lisa’s Story” banner…he touched all the bases today. I wish I could bludgeon him with a “Trilogy” then strangle him with that conveniently-placed wreath. I don’t think this sudden year-end burst of Les bodes well for 2020 at all, my friends. We’ve been very, very fortunate over the last few years regarding Les arcs but I have the sinking feeling that run is coming to an end soon. It’s gonna be horrible, too.

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Kahn’t Stand Losing You

Link to today’s strip

Little known factoid: Chapter 18 bankruptcy is only available to Westviewian business owners. You are forced to sell off any comic book assets you may have and you must sit there in court while your creditors point and laugh at you.

So the “going out of business” sign WAS correct…Citizen Kahn’s is no more. That leaves two active businesses on Main Street…not coincidentally the two key businesses in town. Actually, this dopey “chapter” gag probably would have worked better during the Mr. Booksmith arc a few years ago, but it’s way too late for that now I suppose, as I’m sure Mr. Booksmith is long dead by now.

I’m still kind of stunned to be snarking on an actual Kahn arc…it’s like being a bird watcher and spotting one of those ivory-billed woodpeckers or something. I do remember when Citizen Kahn’s opened…it was the final panel in a “grab-bag” arc from a few years back, and I remember he was in attendance at Les & Cayla’s super-trashy front yard wedding but all in all Kahn is one of the least-used characters in the entire FW canon. Other than all those missing children, of course, but there’s no proof that they even exist anymore.

Finally, let’s take a moment to give good old Kahn some credit where it’s due: for a non-native Westviewian who grew up in a far-off land, that is one hell of a hand-lettered sign. It’s kind of strange how a guy who was able to pick up on that aspect of the local culture so quickly was unable to realize that selling sandwiches in Westview was basically business suicide. I mean seriously, I don’t even see a comic book rack in that place either, what was he thinking? I’m picturing a Westviewian family sitting around the table, staring at one of Kahn’s sandwiches like it’s some sort of alien artifact…”so what do we DO with this thing? There’s no crust, no cheese, no sauce! Must be some sort of ethnic Afghani delicacy. Shang-wich….am I saying that right?”.

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Culture Schlock

Link to today’s strip

Sigh. A completely played-out premise masquerading as a “beloved running gag”, featuring the usual half-assed and really bad “punchlines” that make less sense the more you ponder them. Otherwise known as “a Wednesday in August” in FW parlance. Hearing Bull whine about a “culture” of losing is like hearing Lisa complain about how sickeningly goody-goody everyone in town is, or Les bitching about someone else constantly speaking in bad puns. Part of me wants to believe that maybe the joke is at least partly that Bull is just too stupid to realize that he IS the “losing culture” at WHS but I know better. This strip doesn’t have any subtexts like that and whenever it appears that it might it’s pretty much guaranteed to be just an accident. Nope, the “gag” here is what the football gag always is: some variation on “we suck” and that’s it. Forty years in a row. Sigh.

Everyone here knows that I’m a big fan and admirer of Westview’s long tradition of making hand-lettered signs and banners and hanging them with haphazardly placed, non-symmetrical pieces of tape. I always wonder about that, as it’s one of the most consistent things about the artwork from year to year. Every time you see one of those hand-lettered signs, it’s always taped to the wall all crookedly and randomly. I think it’s because TB feels it lends an element of “down home” folksiness to it, but I like to believe it’s because all Westviewians suffer from some sort of strange tape dyslexia that prevents them from doing it right. Anyhow, nice job with that today, Batom Inc. Nice cinder block wall, too.

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