Tag Archives: Holly

Nuclear Whiner

Link to today’s strip.

I’ll admit I found today’s strip amusing.  What’s interesting is that Tom Batiuk actually took the trouble to build to this punchline, both by portraying Holly as increasingly anxious and angry, and by using yesterday’s strip as a direct lead-in to today’s.   The payoff is nice; it shows Holly being self-aware enough to know she was overreacting, and it de-escalates things (for now).  It also shows that Mr. Batiuk is (or was, as this week was likely made up of old standby strips) capable of creating something that is at least funny.

The pacing is still off–it would have been better to cull the “fat-fingering” episodes and reformat this arc as a single Sunday strip–but it’s been obvious for some time that Tom Batiuk is just running out the clock.  Ya can’t make that ol’ 50th by being briefer, after all.   Still, the week showed some nice craftsmanship; the humor, instead of coming completely out of the blue like most of his “wit,”  was planned in advance.  Bravo.

The craftsmanship in the artwork is 50/50.  The drawing of the scene is quite good, showing some nice perspective and giving a sense of “place.”  The characters, on the other hand, are rendered as slap-dash, sketchily-defined blobs–and I’m aware that they are slap-dash, sketchily defined blobs; it would just be nice to see some consistency panel-to-panel.

It would also be nice to see the non-author avatar characters drawn with a bit more sympathy.  Holly looks like she steps on puppies for fun, and Funky looks like someone exhumed him from a shallow grave somewhere.  But none of that will change; it’s also obvious that Tom Batiuk just loathes Funky with all his heart.  Still, there’ve been worse weeks here; considering we had no Les and no comic books, I’d put this episode in the “plus” column.

Congratulations Mr. Batiuk.

 

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Baby Got Back

Link to today’s strip.

I have to admit I found today’s entry amusing.  For Funky Winkerbean, it’s actually funny.

Good on commentor Double Sided Scooby Snack for catching that Chuck Ayers was the artist for this week’s, um, “effort.”   Also, to Gerard Plourde for divining the reason for this:  this is something that Batiuk wrote and Ayers drew months, if not years ago, and it’s been sitting in a drawer ever since.  I assume the idea was that readers would explode from happiness if there was too much Les or comic books, so a week-long interlude with Funky texting his stepson ought to calm those passions.

I do like the art here.  The perspective in panel one is very well handled, and the sidewalk bricks done nicely.

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The Half-Hour of Reckoning

Link to today’s strip.

Not much to say with this one, except confirmation that Funky is indeed left-handed.  I don’t know if that was established in the strip before…and what difference it would make if it were.  After all, this is a strip that can’t even get one of its main characters’ last name right.

So, Funky’s got a texting app that lets him delete a text with one keystroke?  No confirmation or anything?  I’d actually like that.  Admittedly I’m not a prolific texter but if I think better of sending something, I’ve got backspace over it until everything’s gone.  There’s probably a more efficient way of doing it, but like Tom Batiuk, there are some things about which I really can’t be bothered to research.  See also my lawn, and why you shouldn’t be on it.

And you’d think Funky would use a better epithet than “Shoot!”  That sounds an awful lot like an invitation in Westview; only the fact that it would be interesting keeps it at a figurative level.

“Shoot!” John Darling said to Plantman.

“Blast it all!” Lisa said, arriving at the post office.

“We’re so screwed!” Pete and Darrin yelled as the police broke down the hotel room door.

“What in blue blazes!” Les yelled when he was trapped in an industrial blast furnace.

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Flying Fickle Finger of Fat

Link to today’s strip.

I wasn’t around, in Funky Winkerbean terms, when “Darrin Opens A Letter” famously played.  As such, I’ve only seen it in the archives here–everything at one go, rather than stretched out over days.

The pacing there seems positively riveting and action-packed compared with what we’re presented with now.  Yes–Funky is going to take an entire week to send a text message.

In fairness, unlike the Darrin story, this one at least doesn’t involve Les or Lisa in any way.  That puts it about 50 points ahead.   Just like the Darrin story, though, this one lacks anything resembling a punchline, or humor of any kind.  Par for the course these days.

 

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Speech to Text

Link to today’s strip.

The signs are in; this is going to be a s-l-o-o-o-w week.  Today we have another sit-com level gag, although I think even the laugh-track would refuse to perform for this one.

I can see how this one was constructed–Holly’s last line is supposed to be the punchline, and Batiuk just worked backward from there (assuming I can use the word “worked”).  But Funky’s dialogue in panel one, and particularly the emphasized word “you” seems to imply that Funky’s the one doing all the texting, while Holly’s riposte–again with “you” emphasized–implies that she’s been doing all the texting.  Which is it?

I mean, if you cannot establish a simple premise (who does all the texting) in a single comic strip without stepping all over said premise, well, then it’s no wonder continuity, character and history are such a tangled, unaddressed mess in this strip.

I do appreciate the attempt at humor, though.  It’s not funny, but the fact that there’s a joke lurking in here is at least an improvement worth acknowledging.

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Mr. Lucky

Link to today’s strip.

Greetings, folks, BChasm back in the control room.  Many thanks to Comic Book Harriet for excellent guest hosting the last two weeks.  Well done.

As for today’s strip, yeah, I do feel lucky.  The last few hosts have had to feast on stupid comic book schemes, Les’ eternal book tour or Pete’s love life; today I get one of the few characters in this strip that I don’t want to strangle, Funky himself.  (Though with Funky’s life outlook, he’d probably beg me to.)

Don’t misunderstand me, he’s not a good character, but compared to the rest of the cast he’s a positive breath of fresh Spring air.  His main drawback is his insistence on viewing everything in the most negative light possible, which gets very tiresome, but at least he’s not coasting on a giant cloud of (unearned) smugness, convinced of the magnificence of his (nonexistent) talent.

Anyway, what do we have today?  Holly wants to micromanage the Cory/Rocky wedding, and Cory refuses to comply.  Myself, I thought they were already married but, considering that unless the subject is comic books or Les Moore, Tom Batiuk cannot be bothered, I’ll assume they aren’t.

I don’t seem to have much to say here.  I guess I’m just too relieved that we’re spared more comic books and/or Les.

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If I Should Die Before I Wake

Glad Easter tidings, everyone! For the most part, Sunday-only newspaper subscribers who read Funky Winkerbean have been missing out on the Atomic Comics saga. In the month just ended, instead of advancing the Pete and Darin arc, Sunday strips have alternated between out-of-season football gags and one-offs involving the aging titular character. Whom we visit again today in what will either turn out to be one of TB’s red herrings (it really is “just heartburn”) or the beginning of the Very Specialest Very Special Funky Winkerbean Arc Ever. Don’t forget, Batiuk’s killed off a title character once before, though John Darling wasn’t the cash cow that Funky has turned out to be over forty plus years.

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