Today’s strip marks one week since we’ve heard so much as a peep from Amicus Breef, and yet he is still there like he did anything at all to help Adeela or anyone else. He doesn’t even get to bluster to the ICE agent, Funky fills that role today. Things ICE should have to show if they are going to arrest Adeela should be Amicus’ wheelhouse, not Funky’s. And yet, ICE backs off at Funky’s incomplete demand (seriously, what was he demanding to see?) while they never wavered when confronted by Amicus, making Funky a far far better immigration lawyer than Amicus, who is literally an immigration lawyer.
Son of a gun, TB remembered the insulated bag! Before we praise him too much for this, it should be pointed out that the insulated bag officially spent more time in ICE custody than Adeela.
Today’s strip is filler. Total filler. In fact, it is possibly the filleriest filler that ever filled four panel borders. Filler filler filler filler…
The idiocy of Winkerbeans here is wearing the same clothes they were back before Wally and Amicus visited Adeela in jail, so it is presumably the same night/day that Adeela was arrested and President Clinton was called. Why are they all so resigned? Just how quickly do these people think Federal agencies work? And they expect a call back from Mr. Clinton himself, assuming failure when that doesn’t happen within an hour? Between yesterday’s strip and this one, there is probably a long list of right-leaning organizations that have more trust in the Clintons than these five.
This guy still doesn’t look anything like Bill Clinton, but at least he’s game to help the gang in today’s strip, which means we’re probably closer to the end of this idiocy (and the start of a new idiocy). A President Clinton junk food joke? Really, TB? Did you write this in 1994 or when people stopped laughing at the thought of the President eating French fries (which was 1995, I believe)?
Well after today’s strip, Amicus’ moronically repeated “subpoena their evidence” idea looks a LOT better… Never mind trying to get Mr. Clinton to intervene in Adeela’s predicament, just the suggestion to call up a former POTUS is, at best, a pretty awkward fit with this:
“Any cartoonist takes things from their life to put into the strip and Funky is so close to real life. I’m only a quarter inch removed from real life so I pull everything.”
“Batiuk lets real life play out in both of his strips with serialized stories, drama and time jumps mixed in with the gags. A Batiuk character can live, laugh and die in the world he’s created. He says both his strips are ‘about a quarter inch removed from real life.'”
“I’ve found you really have to reach inside yourself and try to pull out your experiences. But what I have found is the closer you get to your real, true experiences, the closer you get to the real, true experiences of your audience.”
Does today’s strip really take place right after yesterday’s? Amicus and Wally left the box office window presumably just a few minutes prior to go bother the supervisor and in that short time Adeela has already been put on the 3:45 AM flight to Baghdad? I see nothing that really indicates otherwise except for Adeela’s speedy departure, so I guess we’re still in the middle of the night of Adeela’s arrest.
I suppose this was inevitable, though. Westview has seen several immigrant refugees move to town over the years, and none have wound up ultimately staying. Let’s look at their fates:
Lu Lin and Zhang Li – escaped detention in communist China for their role in student pro-democracy protests and opened The Jade Dragon, a Chinese restaurant, next to Montoni’s:
Kahn (or is it Khan?) – immigrated from war-torn Afghanistan, founded a deli, and even became a US citizen (despite having been a known Taliban-affiliated arms dealer):
Rana – orphaned by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan and the adopted by Wally and Lefty and raised in Westview by Lefty and DSH:
What’s better than four white saviors? Five white saviors of course! That’s the gist of today’s strip, it seems… as *groan* Amicus Breef emerges from the walk-in freezer brimming with fantastic legal advice such as talking to Adeela. Preferably by phone, no need to go down to the clink and talk to her in person if you can help it, right? I mean, jails are full of criminals after all and you can’t be too careful.
Oy! Amicus Breef?! Amicus? Stupid punny names are nothing new for this strip, but they usually at least involve a first name human beings might actually have. Well, at least he works in a profession relevant to his stupid punny name. What if Mason Jarr(e) was really into making homemade preserves or holding iced tea at restaurants known for their cucumber salad, or if Cliff Anger was actually a solo climber? Or what if Ruby Lith’s job was to illustrate schlocky no-budget Silver Age comic books? Oh wait…
After spending more than a month on this insipid story arc and these irritating characters, today’s strip offers some much welcome relief… I’m speaking, of course, of the Green Pitcher, far and away the best character in Act III Funky Winkerbean (and probably Acts I and II as well, to be frank). By the way… hello there, I’m billytheskink and I’m… uh, I guess I’m going to talk about the Winkerbeans as they talk about Adeela.
FASCINATING! (In my best Merv Griffin voice)
More interesting than Funky’s understandable concern for his restaurant’s assets or the icy glares of his family members is his continuing transformation into Gasoline Alley mainstay Slim in both attitude and appearance. Less interesting, of course, is Wally’s inability to use his phone to tell Funky that Adeela’s arrest had to do with her (mistaken) immigration status.
Normally, a Funky Winkerbean reader would see today’s episode as one of those typical Sunday “filler” strips that has nothing to do with anything, but is just supposed to be lighthearted and fun.
But Tom Batiuk can’t resist tipping his heavy hand when he’s about to get serious. I guess it’s his way of saying “Polish off those awards, boys, the Batiuk shelf is ready for ’em!”
So we see Adeela all happy and carefree, just before the mean ol’ USA comes crashing down on her, for no reason at all (I’m guessing; there could be a reason that will turn out to be incredibly stupid). Maybe she has a brother who’s bombed here and there, and she’s guilty by association. Or it might be something we’ve never guessed (because it has never been shown.) As I mentioned yesterday, whatever it is will be so inaccurate and poorly thought-out that it should win awards–just not the good kind. The point is that Batiuk will make her life living hell, for no other reason than that’s the only kind of life available in this strip…and, for that, he should win an award. A good award, too. He thinks.
Seems odd that we had to go through nine years two weeks of talking about driver’s licenses to get here, but there you go in Batiukland.
And that’s all from me for now. Thank you for your indulgence; I appreciate your comments and your insights, and I also appreciate those who read but do not comment. And now, please welcome back reigning champion Epicus Doomus, who returns tomorrow.
Today’s strip was not available for preview; I guess that’s a Wednesday thing now. Les is, presumably, still antagonizing over the terrible horrible no-good very bad fate of making a 6 word cameo in a major motion picture. ¡Qué mala suerte!
While we wait on that, why not take another trip in the WABATIUK machine with me and check out a particularly disgusting Act II scene with Les Moore, the Midwest’s greatest monster, and his legendarily thin skin. Here, less than 3 months into their marriage, Lisa made the mistake of offering up some constructive criticism of Les’ in-progress and all-stupid John Darling book manuscript. Les acts like Les and Lisa complains about it downstairs in a conversation with co-worker Funky (EVERYONE in Westview has worked at Montoni’s at one time or another, it’s like compulsory military service in countries that have that). Lisa has Les pegged perfectly…
This rare moment of seeming self-awareness from TB about the monster that Les truly is proves fleeting, though. The very next strip, Lisa regrets not giving Les ten thousand words of well-reasoned adulation. Funky and Tony convincer her to bring him a pizza, and for good measure she stops by Komix Korner on her way home as well. Seriously, Les’ oversensitivity is rewarded with pizza and comic books and… an “apology” from Lisa.
This man must be stopped! This film must be stopped! This strip must be stopped!