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.
Ugh, this is one of my least favorite parts of this strip. Something ostensibly good happens to someone (Les is getting paid money to make a movie out of their book, meaning there’s at least a chance a story he cares about will speak to people in a new medium, and at the very least more people will read the book, also MONEY, how does that not mean anything to a public school teacher with two daughters in their seventh year of college), and he reacts to it like he just sat on a turd and he’s too crushed with despair to do anything about it but moan.
Even if you want to look at it Les’s way, where he’s worried his beautiful story will be ruined (How exactly do you glamorize “woman dies of cancer”?), he has to just sit around like a wimp about the whole thing, like he’s still the nerd who had his lunch money robbed by Bull (since Batiuk is so clearly still obsessed with high school). Grow a spine and say no if it’s so painful, Les. Especially since you’ve been down this exact road before. “Gosh, I guess three people who have no real role in my life thing I should do something I’m dreading, well okay, what can you do.”
I know Campbell’s idea of the Hero’s Journey can be cliché often, but it’s worlds better than the Batiuk Method. Here’s some famous tales, as redone by Tom Batiuk;
The Aeneid-Aeneas loses his home of Troy, then sits in the ashes of his home until he dies from lung cancer.
Paradise Lost-Lucifer is cast from heaven, then spends eternity laying where he fell moaning “Why me?”.
Star Wars-Luke whines about the droid he bought blowing up, shrugs and just figures that’s how life is and goes home without doing anything about it.
The Lord of the Rings-Frodo hands over the One Ring to the first Ringwraith because clearly he wants it, and it’s a long walk, and he tried his best, but sometimes things just don’t work out, but he does plan to go home and write a bestseller about it.
Wow, if Holly uses her one line for the year to endorse Lisa’s Story Done Right, then it must be real important to her. I mean, yeah, her story might be interesting too, since it’s a story of raising a kid by yourself, overcoming cancer, and finding love again and remarrying, but this is all about Lisa.
Actually Holly’s story is way better than Lisa’s, to be honest. Lisa’s story is “Lisa got cancer and died”. Holly’s is about overcoming something horrible and finding new life. Which really does sound like it would make a much, much better movie. I really don’t get what’s so important or inspiring about “a fairly unlikeable woman gets cancer and dies from it” where everyone thinks it would just be amazing movie and cultural touchstone, but whatever, it’s all Lisa Lisa Lisa. Lisa. Lisa.
Can someone please explain what the deal is with Montoni’s and coffee? Cindy and Mason don’t have coffee so it’s not breakfast time, and I don’t think Montoni’s even serves breakfast anymore. I’d say the majority of what Cindy and Funky do there is carry around a carafe. I think it’s just Batiuk’s way of showing “hey, these people are in a restaurant” without actually showing any real work. Really though, “Let’s go to the pizzeria for some coffee” sounds kind of gross to me.
If there’s one skill Batiuk has, it’s always finding a new rock bottom. It’s like he listened to everyone making fun of the original Lisa’s Story Movie Storyline and his reaction was “Oh yeah, jerks? You think the Lisa worship was bad before? You got sick of Les being idolized years ago? Just you wait, you beady-eyed nitpickers!”
And the dialogue is just hideous here. Mason wants to take a selfie of him wearing what? The idea of playing Les? When exactly did Cindy come up with that idea? If you really don’t want to sleep anytime soon, let’s just assume it was in the bedroom.
“Oh, Mason, I’m getting kind of tired of you dressing up like Starbuck Jones. How about tonight you pretend to be a real hero, Les Moore?”
Honestly that’s probably less sickening than what’s actually going on in this strip. Going back to the comments recently about the incredibly minor role religion plays in this strip, if things keep going the way they’re going we’ll end up with literal Les worship soon. That’s essentially where we are now. Tomorrow could just be a single panel of Mason and Cindy bowing before Les and kissing his feet and it wouldn’t seem out of place at all.
Today’s strip wasn’t yet available for preview. I have a feeling it’ll be the greatest Funky Winkerbean ever though, when Mason tells Les he’s totally kidding about doing a Lisa’s Story movie, Lisa was boring and Lisa’s Story is terrible, and he’s actually doing a Bull movie and is just giving Les a heads-up that there’s a full thirty minutes of him getting beat up and wetting himself.
Who am I kidding, we won’t get anything near that good. We’ll probably get Les dancing gleefully on the table in Montoni’s while Mason throws $100 bills at him and Cindy tells Les she should’ve married him instead of Mason.
Oh hey, look at that, the title character of this strip and his wife died, totally off panel. I wonder if it was a murder-suicide pact after their grief over losing Bull. Or maybe their grief over hearing there was going to be more “Lisa’s Story”. Or maybe just a bizarre artistic choice or coloring error that would make an already poor follow-up to last Sunday even stranger.
What on earth is the right way to do Lisa’s Story? True to life, where it just focuses on Les’s reaction to everything, and skips right over the really difficult and interesting part of how he adjusts to life without her? Or focusing on the ridiculous medical paperwork mishap that anyone who saw it in a movie (or a comic) would say is just laughably bad writing?
Actually I think it’s pretty clear what “the right way” means. Lisa Must Die. Because serious art requires beloved characters to die in a very serious, very profound way. Except Bull. Bull you just knock off as quick as possible so you can get to Lisa. Again.
That “Cindy…?” is hilarious to me. “Formerly hot girl I used to stare at in high school and have no real meaningful relationship with, do you think I should make this beg life decision? Because yours is the only opinion that matters to me, way way more than my secondary wife’s.”