Tag Archives: holidays


Let us address Bull’s “CTE diagnosis:” From Wikipedia:

Currently, [Chronic traumatic encephalopathy] can only be definitively diagnosed by direct tissue examination after death…

…though according to my light research, this past fall it was reported that a diagnosis had been made in the case of a still-living, since deceased, unidentified “old baller.” Naturally, Batiuk couldn’t have known this when he wrote this strip a year ago, so we still get to call “Bull” -shit.



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Gentleman Baller

So, how’s Bull doing?” How rude to have Bull’s wife discuss his condition with Buck literally right behind his back. And how cruel of Batiuk to go through the trouble of rehabilitating bully Bull’s Act I persona, only to set him on a track to a sad, addled existence: first suggesting that Bull’s high school abuse of Les was staged (it wasn’t), and having him serve as trainer to Summer following her knee injury, and to Les as he prepared to climb Kilimanjaro. Thankfully his health is still good, so he’ll have plenty of time to sit in the basement and savor his “victory.”


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Dewey Defeats Truman

Yours truly is fighting a nasty cold, and by the time I dragged myself to the computer to update the placeholder post for today’s strip, y’all had done my work for me.

spacemanspiff85: “…I know, I can have a frame taken out of that decades old video tape someone shot from the stands of a high school football game and have it printed on a giant fake newspaper for him!”

I’ll just add my 2¢ here to point out a retcon of a retcon: the picture on the fake sports page has Bull reaching to extend the ball over the goal line; it’s debatable, whether or not his knees were down, if this counts as a TD. In panel 1, his head, shoulders, and the football are over the line as he is tackled. Hard to see how this is not a score, even if the defenders subsequently dragged him back out of the endzone.



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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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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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