Tag Archives: hatchet face

Flash has reached end of life status

Today’s strip gives us our first glimpse at a young Batton Thomas… back when he had the hair of a newscaster, the jaw of Rob Riggle, and the neck of something that doesn’t have a neck. Quite a contrast to today’s sad-sack Batton, who looks like he could be Pete’s dad (he’s not, John Darling program director Reed Roberts is). Trading that plaid seersucker jacket for a blue Members Only was a good call, though.

So The Flash #123 inspired Batton Thomas (and, most definitely, one Thomas Batiuk as well) to become a cartoonist, eh? How, exactly did it do that? If we are lucky we’ll get that answer in 6-10 business days. Or just visit the official Funky Winkerbean blog, where TB writes more about The Flash than he does about his own creations… Haha, yeah, you all go do that. I’ll wait.

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Nothin’ But Reruns

Many apologies for the late and short post. Unfortunately, I was in a situation that was unavoidable, much like a Funky Winkerbean strip about comic books…

Today’s strip dares to ask the musical question, what’s a comic book doing in a comic book store? The answer may not at all surprise you.

Many of you beady-eyed nitpickers eagle-eyed commenters noticed that this is not only The Flash #123, but one of a series of recent reprints of the issue. You think Batton Thomas is going to try to pay DSH a dime for it?

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This is the farmer sowing his corn

Link to today’s strip.

Good grief, look at that word zeppelin in panel one.

This the dolt who made the call
To schedule the audition
To fill the position
To be the organist
Down at the church that Tom built.

Presumably Harriet was right there the whole time and knows what was going on; of course, given the writing in this strip I’m surprised she didn’t repeat his words verbatim in her panel five frog-face. After all, she outlined all his other accomplishments and (of course) concluded that he was the best thing evar. In probably the fastest 180 I’ve ever seen.

The reason being, this entire episode is Tom Batiuk publicly patting himself on the back. “Look at this terrific character I created! Is this award-winning or what?”

As mentioned yesterday, unless this church has a single Sunday service, Dinkle will be spending a lot of time there. Most churches I’m familiar with have several Sunday services, a couple on Saturday and at least one every weekday. Let’s not even bring up holidays. That’s going to cut into a lot of Dinkle’s other activities. (Come to think, how does Lillian manage to run her bookstore? Answer: it’s magic. Dark magic.)

All of which promises what could be could be an interesting twist: what if Dinkle failed the audition? I think it would be the first time in the strip when he didn’t get everything he wanted. It might humble him and make for a rounder character.

And of course it will never happen. The strip is now total wish-fulfillment and trivial observations. Where every “hero” character is Superman.

And with that, I am out of here. Please welcome the always erudite and entertaining Epicus Doomus who will be your host for the next couple of weeks. Exit, stage left!

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The Old Die Rich

Link to today’s strip.

I’m not sure God appreciates being mentioned in Funky Winkerbean, especially in connection with Harry Dinkle, but his “at our age” remark raises a question.

When the organist died in Crankshaft, the immediate substitute was ancient crone Lillian. Here, Batiuk is going to reward the equally ancient (and equally loathsome) Dinkle with the position. Why wouldn’t the church try to find a younger person, one who could be expected to helm the organ for many years to come (before dropping dead)? I don’t think it’s especially rigorous physical work (I’m not an organist), but unless the church only has a single Sunday service, the organist is going to be spending a lot of time there.

Perhaps the job is a voluntary one, and there’s little (or no) pay, and a younger person would need a salary. A retired person wouldn’t have this worry.

But…I’m starting to think Tom Batiuk just hates young people. Whenever they appear, they are invariably shown as worthless idiots completely out of clues. Think of the youngest characters he’s shown us (Skyler, Bernie, the other high schoolers) and tell me I’m wrong.

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A Paltry Substitution.

Link To Today’s Strip

Dinkle’s back. We’ve had to suffer through an inordinate about of Dinkle this winter. From piano lessons to turkey shenanigans to OMEA. It almost seems like Batiuk is intentionally giving us a break from Lisa’s Cancer Movie Extravaganza. Is he trying to reset our sensitivity to the storyline? Like letting a prisoner stew in the hole for a few weeks before bringing them back out for another round of enhanced interrogation.

Had a moment of confusion on my first read. Who the heck is Mrs. Howard? You mean One-Armed-Becky? The wife of Dead-Skunk-Head? I’m so far removed from thinking of either of them having surnames. I can barely remember DSH is named John.

I don’t think that this is a Dinkle strip that’s going to get cut out and pasted on many doors. The joke is anemic, but tolerable enough. Shrewd old teacher is down with substitute pranks. But this must either be a Freshman band class, or Dinkle hasn’t substituted for three years straight, otherwise the kids should be wise to his wisdom.

The real thing holding this strip back is the atrocious art in panels one and three. What is that hand in panel one? I could draw a better hand left handed. All the poor kids have horrible receding hairlines. I half expect that panel two was changed to black outline after the fact. After Ayers drunkenly turned in a scribbly panel of twenty mangled high school students as seen through a cracked funhouse mirror.

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R.I.P., Funkman

So ends the epic OMEA 2021 Signfest (I hope). This is an awkward strip. I guess the first two panels are designed to be redundant in case the newspaper cuts them off, but having Harry ask if Funky is nervous about the surgery (and naming the type of surgery again) right after he’s told Funky isn’t looking forward to it is just awkward. Fear of death as a punchline is also awkward but totally normal for this strip. It’s funny how whenever something bad happens to Les or Lisa it’s portrayed as high tragedy, but with Funky it’s always for a lame joke or making fun of him.
Funky giving away all of his clothes is funny to me, only because I assume his wardrobe is 99% Montoni’s t-shirts and aprons.

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What reams are made of

Today’s strip begs the question, if Lefty has to print 47 pages of things not to do for her band students, why is she taking them all to Columbus for the Ohio Music Educators Conference? Or rather, why is she taking any students at all to the Ohio Music Educators Conference? I guess they make preferable company to her typical OMEA companion Dinkle, but so does a moldy dish towel. I would take bets on whether or not the kids’ presence at the conference ultimately gets explained, but I cannot find any casino willing to give me odds on “yes”.

And don’t forget to tune in tomorrow, same time… same station, as spacemanspiff leads us all through what is hopefully something other than a return to Funky at the eye doctor. Frankly, I hope tomorrow’s strip is something other than a lot of things, including but not limited to: Les, Lefty and Dinkle, the Lisa movie, Cindy complaining about her looks, and Batom comics remembrance.

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Eye Do Not Care Anymore

Is Funky telling the truth in today’s strip? Last time we saw him get a physical was in early 2017, when he and Holly flew to Dallas (sure…) to visit a so-called “superclinic” (sure… again) for physicals. Well, Holly claimed it was an annual physical back then, so maybe the Winkerbeans’ annual January Dallas superclinic physical trip just recently happened. Not sure when that would have been, we’ve seen Funky and/or Holly every single week so far this month…

Oh wait, none of that matters. Nurse Scrunchie doesn’t care about Funky’s physical health, she just needs to know if he can afford to pay for his cataract surgery. What a scathing and original commentary on the American healthcare system! Groundbreaking stuff!

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Eye am about out of eye puns

And eye (ugh) *s-eye* (no no no) *sigh* (that’s better) sorry… I am about out of patience with this anti-majestic glacier of a story line. Every single thing in today’s strip happened in yesterday’s strip as well. I’m not sure even Garfield or Family Circus recycle at this level… I don’t know if this will help, but I have cut the 62 words in these last two strips down to 20 in an attempt to make this never-ending story stronger and more concise.

Dr. Droopy: Cataract surgery is pretty common nowadays.  It is quite safe and not especially complicated.
Funky: I'm worried! WORRIED, I TELLS YA!

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Frisket Business

Whew! I am so very happy to report that today’s strip doesn’t take place at the optometrist office, we’ve instead moved to a world where two Northern Ohio-based nonagenarian comic book legends are somehow meeting for the first time. It is, remarkably, a welcome respite.

Are we really supposed to believe that Flash and Ruby Lith, alleged fans of each other’s work, are meeting for the first time? Ruby Lith (hired in September 2019) wasn’t in the office during Flash’s last visit, when he dropped by to kvetch about “Turtle Thompson” (wait, was “Thompson” part of the guy’s nickname?) back in December 2019? Yes, Ruby Lith’s Miss American was a Capitol Comics title while Flash worked at Batom, but these two have both presumably been alive since the Coolidge administration working in the same industry in presumably a similar geographic area… they never met at a convention? Trade show? Art supply store? Comic book store? 3:30 PM dinner buffet?

While the plot seems a stretch, the puns today, however, are… well, they certainly are present. Though I incorrectly guessed her relation, I knew Amber Lith was coming. Really, I think we all knew Amber Lith was gonna be a gag in a Ruby Lith strip at some point. Didn’t see the dog’s related punny name coming, but it feels incredibly uninspired and unsurprising nonetheless.

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