Tag Archives: holidays

Meh-Moore-ial Day

Big hat tip to billytheskink for a great fortnight of Funky analysis and haiku. And my eternal gratitude to the generations who’ve fought and died so that we might enjoy our liberty. We honor them today and every day.

From the FW blog:
As I discussed in a previous post, Batman animated artist Rick Burchett is coming on board at the end of this month to work with me on Funky.

So the Batiuk & Burchett era is underway, and if not for the tandem signatures on today’s strip, you’d be hard pressed to notice the transition. But let us, with our beady eyes, nitpick this panel by panel:

Les and Cayla celebrate the holiday at their wedding venue (outside the Taj Moore-hal). Les’ smug expression refuses to so much as wilt, even over a hot grill. Speaking of which, don’t those, um…burgers? look tasty?

Looks like Burchett got the memo about drawing bricks, although it’s a 2-D view and not a perspective rendering…but look how many he gets into that little space! ++++

Burchett’s depiction of outside corners on wooden siding, however, displays none of the verisimilitude of his bricks. Les retains his Paulie Walnuts hair color scheme, and is smirking hard enough to give himself dimples to rival those of TV’s Pioneer Woman.

I actually like this panel 3 tableau of the Moores looking into the distance; though if the perspective is true, Les’ giant wheelbarrow is leaning against his two-story garage. Apparently Westview and Centerville are separated by a lush, wooded shire (and of course, “ten or so years”). Notice Cayla, though: while she’s her usual, bland gingerbread cookie self in panel one, here Burchett has given her a perceptible backside and the appearance of hips. This gives me such hope.

While we can expect the draughtsmanship to marginally improve, Batiuk will still be the one “writing” the strip. So don’t get your hopes up over plotline hygiene, more humor, and less gloom: this is still Funky Winkerbean in the 21st Century. But even a little visual polish couldn’t hurt. Welcome aboard, Rick.

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Marred, Mangled Manner

Hey! Didn’t we see today’s strip back on July 1?. Please don’t let this become a running gag…
Carl is not in view in panel 3. We can only hope he survived the performance.

The United States is now 240 years old, only a couple years younger than Funky looks these days. Have a safe and happy 4th of July everyone!

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Old Tyme Rock ‘N Roll

Well, I guess today’s strip provides some semblance of continuity to Morton Winkerbean’s uh… dream (I guess that’s what it is) of being a “rock star”, lining up with Thursday’s strip about drugs and groupies and whatnot. That does seem like an odd dream for a nursing home resident, even today as the stars of the rock ‘n roll era approach nursing home resident age. Still, it actually kinda makes sense that a wannabe rock star would name his son “Funky”.

This also lines up relatively well with the Mort we first met back in 2011, still not fully lucid and irritating the folks around him with bad dad jokes. Today’s Mort is less somber and churlish than the on we saw at Christmas five years back, but we’ve only ever seen him like that around Funky. Perhaps we can chalk that up to Mort simply not liking his son… another reason he might have named him “Funky”.

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Low Blow

Today’s strip reminds me of an episode of 50s/60s “animated” series Clutch Cargo, “The Ghost Ship”. The episode starts off with Clutch’s ward Spinner wondering aloud if the fishing boats in the harbor ever move.
A rare moment of self-awareness in an “animated” show that consisted almost entirely of still images (with creepy filmed lips placed on top of them) or a pure coincidence? I leaned toward the latter but was never 100% sure.

Similarly, I’m pretty sure today’s panel 1 is unintentional, but not fully sure. It could be a sly call back to that time in late Act II when Harry’s hearing loss forced him to hand his baton over to Lefty, meant to poke at us beady-eyed nitpickers who have noted on many occasions that TB completely ignored this maudlin mess once Act III began. I concede that is possible, but likely? Ha!
TB ignores precedents set in his own work and retcons things more often than Tom Armstrong draws Marvin soiling himself.

Poor Carl, he was doing so well when we last saw him on Christmas day. I admire his dedication to playing the trumpet

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Friday, July 1

Sorry folks, we’ve got one of those occasional instances where today’s strip is not available for preview twice in a row.

So to fill some space in lieu of my typical 20/20(0) insight on today’s new strip, we’ll once again hop in to the WABAC Machine. This time we’re traveling back 30 years (or is it 40 in strip time? maybe 44?) to July 1, 1986. Wonder what was going on back then?

Dinkle? Really? What a terrible coincidence…

Or is it? The story arc for the week of the 4th in 1986 involves Dinkle learning that the Westview High School marching band has been chosen to perform in New York City for a 4th of July celebration. This necessitates coming up with a replacement band for the Westview town square performance on the 4th. Dinkle, naturally, choses the only other “band” in Westview at the time, Crazy Harry’s air guitar group. On top of that, John Darling AND Crankshaft also show up.

Looks like TB is going back to the well in 2016.

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Thursday, June 30

I am happy sorry to say that today’s strip was not available for preview.

Instead, please enjoy a trite Throwback Thursday Funky Winkerbean strip!
What was going on in the Batiukverse on June 29, 1996? Only one of the Funky Winkerbean-iest strips in the history of ever!

It’s everything that has made this strip what it is since the middle of Act II except for cancer and comic books, all masterfully worked into just 3 panels:
Lisa, Les, Les being insufferable, a woman being unfathomably interested in Les, writing, Lisa, Montoni’s, bricks, John Darling, Lisa, smirking, Les smirking, Les’ face being punchable, Les’ face being punchable while smirking, and even LISA.

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Auld Lang Shite

What the hell is in that bottle? I thought Funky only “toasted” with real toast these days. Well, the last strip of 2015 will certainly lend credence to the “Tom Batiuk is trolling the hate-readers” theory. Why else would he have the titular character grinningly offer such a grim salutation, even ironically? And if Funky is trying to be funny, he’s the only one in on the joke; everyone else looks either surprised or dismayed.

To be fair, Funky’s entitled to his gloomy outlook. After all, Les has his inflated ego and submissive wife to indulge him. Crazy Harry’s underemployed and loving it. This year, Darin, Pete and Cindy all lucked into exciting careers on the West Coast, and Cindy (Funky’s ex-wife) is engaged to a movie star. Cory Winkerbean’s back stateside and is also planning to get hitched. Bull’s Scapegoats enjoyed a perfect football season. The only arcs involving Funky dealt with his sending Montoni’s band box out to be repaired, and having him relive the Montoni’s bowling team’s victory (a decade ago) over Crankshaft’s team. The rest of his life consists of running the pizza parlor, jogging with smug Les, chauffeuring Cory to and from the airport, doctor visits, and humiliation at the hands of his personal trainer. Our slow shuffle to oblivion indeed. Pick up the pace there, Funkman.

Well, dear friends, as 2015 draws to a close, please accept once again my well wishes on behalf of the team. Cheers and Happy New Year!

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