Tag Archives: improper use of retcon photo album corner things

In The Garage

Link To Today’s Strip

“Cars”? You might be able to squeeze ONE Batiukmobile in that garage, but plural? No f*cking way. I can’t tell if that’s supposed to be sepia-toned Cory or Funky or what, nor can I tell how it relates in any way to the premise here, or why this wasn’t just a one-paneler, but at least it’s already Thursday which means this is hopefully almost over.

That’s a pretty decent house by Westviewian standards, definitely a home befitting the local pizza kingpin. Nice size, nice lawn, nice garage…it’s certainly better than Moore Manor, with its dead trees and weird detached office. Chester’s place is nicer, but than again he IS a renowned comic book collector and all. I’ve always wanted Batiuk to do a map of Westview and the surrounding area so I can see where everything is in relation to everything else, as this fascinates me to no end. Given his obvious refusal to put anything more than significantly less than the bare minimum into this thing, I assume I’ll be waiting for that for some time.


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Sick Degrees Of Separation

Adeela finally gets to use the photo album corners in today’s strip. I think so, anyways. Is that her as a child or is that her with the child?  Or is that her at all?

Wally was in Afghanistan long enough ago that a young child then would be old enough to go to college now, especially when TB treats his 10 year time jump as that, a time jump, and not just an age jump to make his Act I and II characters older (well… Cindy in mind only, not body). HA! OK, scratch that last part then, the “time jump” has never been more than excuse to age his characters.

Still, the story of a Afghan war veteran and an Afghan refugee struggling to feel comfortable enough around each other to complete a college project could well prove interesting. Now, if only we could find someone to write that story… If only.


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Today’s strip is the kind of maudlin slop that TB believes makes his comic strip stand out from the strips that people actually enjoy. Why is Holly telling Funky this now? Was this supposed to run before Funky and Holly left on their ridiculous road trip? Why wasn’t this a week long set of flashback strips instead of one of TB’s unloved trademark walls o’ text? Did Holly’s mom really go to prom with her daughter? Do I really care about any of this?


Edit post script:
I had to write this on a telephone in a car and neglected to thank you all for putting with me for two weeks. Our fearless leader TFH takes the helm tomorrow. Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend SOSFers.


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The Fan-Tom Empire

Cowboys, thunder riders dressed in quasi medieval armor shooting futuristic weapons, robots with flamethrowers— The Phantom Empire viewed genre boundaries as mere inconveniences rather than limits…I became fascinated with the idea of taking what was considered to be a low art form and creating something of substance within those confines, of trying to take what others considered junk and turning it into something more. That thought continued to inform my cartooning choices for the next fifty years. It’s hard to overestimate the impact that The Phantom Empire has had on my developing brain.

From the introduction to The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume One

So today, Batiuk’s “writing what he knows'” sharing with us readers a space opera that influenced his creative vision as a youth. At the same time he’s writing about something about which he has no idea: how today’s Hollywood motion pictures are made. “I think seeing that old serial is really going to be helpful with our movie.” Mason might as well be talking about a campfire skit or routine that they are preparing for a middle school talent show. And I’m waiting for the day when Darin snaps at his old buddy Pete: “Shut the fuck up already about ‘back in the days of Batom Comics!'”

Anyway, snarkers, it’s good to be back in the SoSF wheelhouse as we approach the 6th anniversary of Son of Stuck Funky! Stay tuned for a special announcement of the first contest around here in awhile. Details to follow! Happy Easter!


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While I Ponder, Weak and Weary

Link to today’s swill.

It gets increasingly difficult to bother with the content of this strip.  I think I spent more time writing that sentence than Tom Batiuk spent on the last month’s worth of strips.  The strip above…I can’t in all honesty say that it was written at all.  He overheard some five-year-old’s joke in the comic book store, and thought I can put that in the strip.  Doesn’t matter where.  It’s a space filler, a time waster, one more step toward that magical 50th anniversary when we can all go home.  At least he knew enough not to make it a Sunday strip.

The other content is what makes today’s entry utterly pathetic.  You just know that never in the last five years has Tom Batiuk worked himself into weariness like these two.  That he would extol such dedication while avoiding it himself is one of the things that makes this strip so terrible.

That and the artwork.  Seriously, this crap is just dismal.  Pete in particular looks like he was drawn by a drunk with two broken hands, riding on a freight train in 1934 in the middle of major earth tremors.  Panel three is an excellent illustration of “quality control” since you can see what you get when it is entirely absent.


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On The Vast Historical Significance Of Doodles

Link To Today’s Strip

These comic book fantasies of his are getting weirder all the time. Didn’t think that was possible. Today we learn that retro Pete once visited the Superman creator’s (sigh) cousin’s house where he was shown an old piece of paper with incredibly vast historical significance, if you’re totally obsessed with comic books, that is. I guess those bubble corners in panel three signify that this is an old memory within a purely speculative faux-reminiscence-flashback, which tells you how convoluted and nonsensical this mess has become. Does BanTom seriously believe anyone anywhere is interested in this? And if so, why?

It’s just all over the place too. He has to once again mention Superman’s ties to Cleveland, another one of those mundane things that he finds fascinating for some reason. Then he segues into the Superman doodle via the dumbest segue of the week, some bullshit story about retro Pete knowing some guy’s cousin. Uh yeah, retro Pete, sure ya did. At look at that retro Pete smile, he looks like he’s struggling to remember exactly how to do it. Brutal.


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Stupor, Man

Link To Today’s Strip

Incredible. Somehow, just out of nowhere, this nonsensical arc has become a comic book history lesson. Never saw it coming.

So, was Starbuck Jones an obscure cult classic or was it a huge sensation? Don’t ask Batom, despite it being his own personal fantasy he has absolutely no idea anymore. Maybe he should have created his little SJ universe BEFORE he started doing FW arcs about it, but the cat got out of that bag a long time ago. And now it’s all a big ugly mish-mosh.

And how does any of this relate to modern-day Pete and Darin’s situation? They didn’t create SJ, they were merely hired to work on an already-developed project. If Pete wanted a situation where he was in full control of his own creation, why did he leave his Mister Sponge gig in the first place? And as far as Boy Lisa is concerned, he’s fortunate to be involved with this idiotic movie at all. I’m not sure what the point here is supposed to be or even if there is one anymore.


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Why So Blue?

Link To Today’s Strip

What the hell went wrong with the inking here? Why does it appear that Mopey Pete is wearing some sort of blue veil and glove combo? That crack Batom Inc. quality control team is something else again, eh? Nice work, you boobs.

I assumed they’d be jabbering about Jupiter Moon all week, but nope, instead it’s yet another remarkably clumsy segue into yet another pointless retro-pseudo sepia faux-flashback, this time featuring Cigar McBalding’s googly-eyed new car. I seriously doubt there will be ANY merchandise loot at all if these two imbeciles don’t finish writing that goddamned movie already. Now I’m no expert or anything, but I doubt the “Starbuck Jones” license holders will be too interested in sharing the wealth with a couple of whiny work-slacking goof-offs who wearily complain every time they’re given a task to complete. Just a few months ago Boy Lisa was slinging pizza in Westview, now he’s a Big City storyboarder working on a “red-hot” new superhero film, yet all he’s doing is bitching about it. Typical Westviewian, nothing’s ever good enough.




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See You On The Dull Side Of The Moon

Link To Today’s Strip

Jupiter Moon, Jupiter Moon, Jupiter Moon…OK Tom, understood. There’s a new female character in the ever-evolving Starbuck Jones mythos and her name is Jupiter Moon. See, I (sometimes) know how the guy who writes this strip operates and in his imaginary comic book-addled mind the idea that SJ includes a character named (sigh) Jupiter Moon is so fascinating and hilarious in and of itself that it needs no further embellishment. That name IS the premise here. Nothing will happen, the characters will merely repeat (sigh) JM over and over again. And that will be it, guaranteed. To be polite about it, the guy who writes this thing vastly overestimates the entertainment value of his weird little comic book fantasies as well as his own cleverness, by a degree of around infinity squared.


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Kancer Komix

Previously on Funky Winkerbean:

I don’t know about you, reader, but I was so sure that yesterday’s postmortem, backhanded “I love you” to Cayla would serve to finally close a number of plot threads: the existence of the Lisa tapes, Les’ perpetual grief, and even Cayla’s second-class second wife status. I expected today’s strip to be a wacky Sunday throwaway: a Scapegoat football gag, perhaps, or hijinks with Cody and Owen, before Monday we maybe check in with Pete and Darin in Hollywood.

But Lisa’s not done with us, folks. And while I am loathe to deliver spoilers, and try to dissuade my fellow authors from doing the same, I must warn you: this goes on into tomorrow and this week. The story of a woman who, faced with a lingering, wasting, terminal illness, feels compelled to spend her last days on this earth recording messages for those she will leave behind. Lisa on Les: “He’s filled with great wit…” Certainly Les thinks this to be so. The rest of us see a pretentious douchebag. No wonder he misses this woman so.

For what it’s worth: Batiuk continues his laxity when it comes to using the photo album corner visual cue to depict events in the past. Could he be signaling to us that Lisa is in fact, somehow, still alive???


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