Tag Archives: Harriet

Candy-scam

The “new year” is about 10% over, but today’s strip doesn’t care.

So Dinkle has a basement full of unsold band candy… but just last year he was flown to Belgium and received an award for being the Van Houten chocolate company’s all-time biggest purchaser. That might seem odd, but I’ve actually seen something similar before. I believe the prosecutor called it “money laundering”.

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This Year in the Funkiverse

Hello, snarkers, your genial host TFH here to ring out the same old same old. I could never have gotten through this past year without our staff of volunteers: SoSFDavidO, BeckoningChasm, BillytheSkink, Charles, ComicBookHarriet, and most especially my aidedecamp EpicusDoomus.

2017 saw many developments in the Funkiverse. Sadly, in the real world, this was also the year the syndicate stopped posting new strips online before midnight Eastern time. So while we wait for Sunday’s strip to drop at midnight, let us recap some “highlights” of the Funky Year just ending.

So much for depicting “contemporary issues affecting young adults.”

Story arcs this year included: the engagement and wedding of ostensible nonagenarians Cliff Anger and Vera Nash; Funky and Holly flying to a clinic in Dallas (!) for their annual physicals; Darin crossing paths with an elderly comics legend (who’d be dead a couple months later); Crankshaft crone Lillian McKenzie pestering Les at a book signing; Phil the Forecaster unceremoniously being put out to pasture; and an orchestra comprised of senior citizens traveling to Memphis to cut a record, led by crusty Harry Dinkle.

Dinkle Raisin the Bar

Speaking of Dinkle, though he mainly was just along for the ride during the Memphis caper, Batiuk’s favorite “breakout character” figured prominently in other arcs, even flying to Belgium to be feted by the company who makes all that band candy.

In other “funds raising” news:

Band candy (and turkeys) have been supplanted by mattresses, which are improbably hawked door to door. Ha! Ha!

More old people stuff

Funky’s dad Mort Winkerbean, depicted as helplessly senile five years ago, has inexplicably become livelier and more engaging than his son, while Bull Bushka continues his decline, and Ed Crankshaft is the very picture of decrepitude.

Promotional consideration

As he’s done for years, TB used his strip once again to publicize the real-life Lisa’s Legacy Run. This year, Batiuk introduced us to Batom Comics artist Phil Holt, before killing him off and auctioning off his work, as a weak tie-in to the real-life auction of faux comics art created by other artists and featured in the strip. At least this, like the Lisa Run, was for charity. Less altruistic was having Les blowing off his teaching job to flog his latest literary offering: a three-volume boxed set identical to the one Batiuk was offering for sale IRL!

Starbuck Jonesin’

After considerable buildup, we never did get to see a single frame of the Starbuck Jones movie blockbuster. The epic franchise exists only to serve as a plot engine, providing jobs for Darin and Pete, rescuing the Valentine Theater, sending the gang to Comic Con, and occasioning a guest appearance by Conan O’Brien.

Rick rolled

Batiuk must’ve figured he’d need a little help dragging Funky out another four plus years to get to that Gold T-Square award. In May of this year, he introduced comic book artist Rick Burchett as his “penciller” on Funky (and Dan Davis performing similar duties for Crankshaft), somehow leading to an even more poorly drawn product.

Friends, on behalf of Team SoSF and myself, I wish you a peaceful, prosperous, safe and happy New Year! Thanks as always for reading and commenting.

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Raisin The Bar…Lowering The Standards

Link to today’s strip

For what seems like the thousandth day in a row I have no idea what the gag here is supposed to be. Are the background anon-o-characters supposed to be characters I’d recognize? “Immaculate metro stations”…huh? There’s no “joke” here, again. And not only that, there’s no “story” either. Color me totally baffled. I even visited the official FW blog just to see if maybe something there would shed a little light on whatever the hell is going on here but (of course) there’s no help there unless you’re looking for way, way too much information on fictional comic book covers. All in all one of the most pointless FW arcs ever and that includes the band box arc AND the Food Film scam.

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Uniformly Awful

Link to today’s strip

Speaking of uniform, every single Dinkle strip is exactly the same. Premise, premise, sub-moronic Dinkle punchline delivered with grotesque cackle as background characters look on bemusedly. Yeah Harry, if this Van Houten guy hadn’t discovered how to make chocolate more palatable you wouldn’t have been able to sell chocolate to raise money for (sigh) band uniforms…what an incredible lucky break for you. And if early man hadn’t discovered how to kill, behead and eat large birds you’d have been shit out of luck on Thanksgiving too. Who the f*ck THINKS this way? Does this man EVER think about anything other than marching bands and fundraisers? I guess that’s supposed to be the joke, I think. But it’s not funny enough (at all) to be the joke, unless of course you think band fundraising is inherently funny, which almost no one does. I can’t even begin to imagine what someone unfamiliar with FW would think upon reading this. Fortunately though, that scenario rarely comes up.

Coming this fall: Harry’s scheme to create band uniforms MADE of band candy is thwarted when his clarinet section goes down with a near-fatal peanut allergy. Attempts to design peanut product-free band uniforms prove futile.

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Unlike FW And Humor, For Example

Link to today’s strip

What? I have no idea why this is supposed to be funny. Totally irrelevant punch line, no wordplay, just a strange inexplicable statement that, based on the reactions of the characters, is apparently supposed to be a joke of some sort. “Candy and culture go hand in hand”…I suppose his daffy marching band antics might pass for “culture” in Westview but even that’s a real stretch. And it still doesn’t make this a real joke either.

That third panel is definitely one of the more bizarre FW panels of the year so far from an artistic perspective. Harriet and Prince Chocula manage to muster polite smiles as a clearly deranged and out-of-touch Dinkle makes an ass of himself within seconds with his bizarre babbling. He looks completely insane there, it’s the drooping eyelids that really send it over the top IMO.

Culture. Candy. Hands…nope. I still don’t see how this is a joke. Apparently the mere concept of band candy sends BanTom into hysterics, but that’s a discussion best saved for another day.

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O2 Stupid

Prepare to re-enter the Funkyverse. Return all brains to the “off” position

Ho-ho-ho! Take THAT, airline industry! Always nickle and diming the hell out of the little guy, amirite? Luggage, peanuts, oxygen…is there anything those vultures don’t charge you for these days? Why I remember back in the day when flying was fun and glamorous and the sexy stewardesses would hand out food, booze, smokes and candy like it was candy…back before technology stole our souls and turned us into a nation of chullo-wearing….(zzzzzzzzzz).

Ooops, drifted off there. Yeah, it’s probably not the worst FW gag ever (as if) and the always objectionable Dinkle doesn’t say anything or contort his face into an obnoxious cackle, so there’s that. It’s pretty rare, so savor it.

Coming on Monday (minor spoilers): A distraught Becky stumbles into band practice. A student reminds her to sterilize her trombone mouthpiece.

“Band Director For Life Harry Dinkle’s plane was shot down over a large pig feces retention pond in North Carolina. It spun in…there were no survivors.”

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Adventures In Chocolateering

Click here to find the fruit

Well, he’s resuming one of FW’s twenty thousand dangling plot threads, so that’s something. Unfortunately, though, it’s this one. Dinkle and his perpetually-ignored wife are traveling to Belgium to cash in big-time on Dinkle’s outrageous WHS band candy scam, but unfortunately for both Harry is a complete imbecile whose devotion to marching bands has left him totally unable to perform simple everyday tasks like a regular person. And because this is FW and he’s dealing with a government agency (at the airport no less), incompetence, annoyances and non-stop hassles are in store for everyone…including FW readers…assuming there are any, of course.

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