Will ya get a load of Dinkle’s friend’s wife? Talk about “hair in a color that only yarn comes in“! “Busy Harry” Dinkle has taken a break from writing books that no one reads, and has squeezed into his old uniform to conduct the annual July 4 concert. Sadly, the music ensemble from Bedside Manor has been decimated by Covid-19, leaving only Mort Winkerbean on trombone and some new guy on sousaphone who, judging from all the notes above him, is really wailing. It is here in the park that this guy casually informs his wife of his decision not to retire.
Miscellany: Does anyone else see Act I Les and Lisa in the audience? Has the time pool opened up again?
More like National Sneak Up Behind Your Favorite Guy and Startle the Shit out of Him While He’s Working Day, according to the motion lines alongside Darin’s elongated head.
“This is a Cintiq, a 3D drawing board. I’m actually more comfortable working at my old drawing board, which I bought in junior high school for $25. At the time, it seemed like a lot of money. It’s where I do most of my work.”
Tom Batiuk, February 2016
Good enough for Tom Batiuk, good enough for Darin, who sits at a rather small, inclined drawing table under a vintage “floating” draughtsman’s lamp. Very old school and analog, and it makes me wonder how Mindy is able to do her coloring (remember, she thinks Dr. Martins is a brand of footwear).
Link to today’s strip
Went on a weird journey for today’s post. At first I was just going to point out bad art. Like Dinkle touching his face with a tiny little prop hand. Then it occurred to me that Dinkle has touched his face in shocked contemplation no less than three times this week, which is gross and not something you want to be doing during cold and flu season.
But I stopped when I noticed that Becky mentioned practicing music for the Christmas Concert…because Westview doesn’t have a Christmas Concert. They have a Holiday Concert, so as to not offend those who do not celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, and/or a night where the undead soul of a fourth century Turkish bishop breaks into people’s homes. I had vague recollections of an entire Holiday Concert arc dealing with Principal Nate becoming a somehow more exaggerated prototype of South Park’s PC Principal. So I dug into the archives, and sure enough there was an arc from December 7th through the 13th in 2015.
My trip took me farther back, because I decided to review some of the tired old Band Turkey gags, and I discovered that Dinkle himself assisted Becky in selling something other than turkeys back in 2014.
Then I looked up, and right there, November 2014, I found the arc where Bull had been offered a college coaching position, only to have it snatched away from him when the college’s first choice called back. And I was stunned to see that, five years ago, Batiuk thought to include a strip where Bull and Linda include their children in life decisions. Probably the last time Jinx has spoken in strip.
Reading that arc again, after everything, had me genuinely sad. And also kind of grossed out. Because Batiuk wrote Linda as incredibly horny back then.
Link to today’s strip (eventually).
Today’s strip was not available for preview, but thanks to Fearless Leader’s diligence, we got a tiny glimpse of it. Looks like the pizza monster has obtained his yearly token of appreciation and left in a hurry. And there’s some speculation as to the identity of the fiend, with guesses of Crazy Harry and John, and a request for the monster operator’s initials.
Again, presented sideways–because Art has to Hurt or it isn’t REAL Art.
Looks (from the “preview”) like tomorrow’s episode will show Funky exerting himself, and…that’s all my eyestrain can take. Seriously, I already have ailments, I don’t need vision-related ones based on a gag. A gag, I note, that started out with a bit of promise, but as always with this strip, soon succumbed to the author’s inexplicable need to lower all standards. Can’t he tell a single stupid joke? Apparently, at one time, he was able to, but that ability was traded away for some magic beans labelled “Respectability.” And we all know what beans are best at producing.
Happy Halloween, everyone! Here’s hoping you enjoyed the holiday. It’s sometimes fun to be scared, but never fun to fear what comes next in Funky Winkerbean. Because the abyss is always looking back.
(I bet trick-r-treaters have learned to avoid the Batiuk house, since all he gives out are copies of Lisa’s Story. With the flourish of a felt-tip and an offer of an autograph.)
Link to today’s strip.
Looks like we’re in for a whole week of sideways strips. And once again, the format is pointless. Does Batiuk think New York Times readers will enjoy his daring staging? OOOoooOOoooOOooo…so avant garde! Expanding the boundaries of the comics page!
Or does he think they enjoy stretching their necks? If so, at least reward them with something worth the effort.
Which this decidedly is not. I thought the week started out well, as noted a tiny bit whimsical, but now it’s just more revenge porn against Funky. Yes, we are supposed to believe that Funky is so stupid he thinks this is a real monster, and he’d better cater to its wishes…or else. I mean, the damned thing is weaponless. Any sudden movement would send it to the floor in a heap.
Sigh. Heaven forbid you were the popular kid when Batiuk was in your high school class. How dare you be popular, and well-liked, and generally normal! Don’t you know Les’ wife died of cancer twenty years ago!!
In fact, the more I think about it, the more it seems that the “Lisa’s Story” garbage was thrown into the strip to point out to “new” readers that, yes, Bull died…but that’s not the death you need to concern yourself with. Just imagine the panic that must have gone through his mind when he realized people might say, “Funky Winkerbean? Oh, yeah, that’s the one where the coach died.”
Link to today’s strip (eventually).
Today’s strip was not available for preview…hey, remember when I said that about six times in a row? Ah, memories.
I assume that we’ll get the “pizza monster” shambling around some more, and raising, well, noise levels if nothing else. Still have one more day before we can reveal the scamp behind it all!
Of course, Batiuk could throw us a curve ball–it’s not unknown for him to suddenly break, say, an arc dealing with CTE and suicide so that he could, say, shill his book for the billionth time.
I guess we’ll all find out later!
Link to today’s strip.
I suppose I should be thankful that Halloween allows Batiuk to indulge his more whimsical side (a side otherwise kept carefully suppressed). And bravo to Tom Batiuk for trying something light. Especially considering that some of those New York Times readers might still be around.
The concept of a monster costume made out of pizza boxes is somewhat unique, I’ll give him that, though he has to admit in turn that it’s kind of stupid. In a kind of amazing twist that only happens in this strip, it’s very creative and yet short-circuits itself by its own blandness.
And why are those two lamebrains gaping in fear at this spectacle? Do they think it’s real–even for a moment? Do they feel threatened? Are they worried about how it will impact business? (Speaking of which, I have the feeling when it turns out to be Cory, Funky will just berate him for wasting resources.)
Whether it’s fake or a real monster, the worst thing this creature could do to you is fall on you. It doesn’t even have a mouth! See, a pizza box opens at a hinge, just a like a giant mouth, but this feature couldn’t be worked in. Its hands could wield pizza cutters, or a cutter and a spatula…Jason Vorhees did a lot more with less.
The lack of these things kind of dampens my initial interest in this story. I have this awful feeling it will wind down in the most boring way imaginable.
Finally, the vertical style should have been skipped. The artwork is too damned crowded together. Spread out over a typical horizontal strip, it might have made a more impressive tableau, but I guess Batiuk spent all that time lettering the boxes and was damned if anyone could escape that detail.
Link to today’s strip.
First, hats off to SpaceManSpiff85, who had to suffer through one of the strip’s worst storylines in recent memory. Glad to see you lived through it.
As for today’s offering, well thank whatever gods frown down on us that “Lisa’s Story” is no longer the focus. I’m not sure what’s beginning here, but it almost looks like…whimsy? Can Tom Batiuk do whimsy? I’d have thought that he felt such things were beneath him, but who really knows.
At any rate, looks like someone’s build a costume out of pizza boxes. I’m guessing it’s Corey.
Was not expecting today’s strip to be a standalone gag, but I guess we should be grateful for some respite from Bull’s swan song. And it’s been a while since my high school band days, but we didn’t start practicing Christmas music until football season was almost over. Speaking of football, we’ll get back to Bull’s plight on Monday; the good news is that your guide will be Epicus Doomus!
Link To Today’s Strip
Mother-in-laws….amirite? I mean come on. What’s a fella to do? One dame at home is plenty and I already have a dog to fetch my pipe, slippers and tumbler of scotch, thank you very much. What an old bag and so forth. And now the Copa is proud to introduce…Mr. Henny Youngman!
So another three hundred and sixty-five FW strips are in the bag. It sure looks like a lot when you spell it out like that. I mean you can say the same thing about any Act III year but man, 2018 was a real shit pile, even by FW standards. Exactly four things happened in FW in 2018.
Pete and Boy Lisa left Hollywood and began working for a whimsical Ohio-based komix book company. Mindy later joined them. They presumably still work there.
Wally, who may or may not be over the worst of his PTSD, invited his apparently estranged daughter Rana to Thanksgiving dinner. She accepted.
Bull’s rushing record was broken.
Funky’s mother-in-law visited Westview for a band competition and may remain there until she dies.
Pete and Boy Lisa’s unholy alliance with Chester was by far the dominant story arc of 2018 but even so, after all that time and all that toil he’s still only at the “they work there now” part of the story, which is exactly where it’ll resume and exactly where it’ll end next time as well. And what did we learn about our old pal Wally during his nearly two month long forced march of an arc? Well, apparently he’s “almost” about to graduate and he “seems” to be “doing better”, which is hardly news. He did invite his apparently estranged and seldom-seen daughter to dinner, though, which is where the story left off. Yup, that’s some real compelling character development right there.
Pervert Mort made a late run there at the end but the RRRRRRRR thing in the Wally arc was probably the single dumbest FW moment of the year in my opinion. 2018’s SoSF Most Reviled Player award (the “Les Moore Award”) goes to Les Moore, obviously, although the overall lack of Les was 2018’s sole bright spot. Pete and Boy Lisa are co-runners-up, though. It’s easy to forget now but that AK idiocy went on for freaking months.