Tag Archives: Jessica

Shooting Gallery

Today’s strip

Greetings, folks, BChasm temporarily in the captain’s chair for the next little while.  What’s this?!  The viewscreen shows a sea of hostiles–ready photon torpedoes!   We must annihilate this threat before it spreads across the galaxy!

I’m going to skip over Mason’s “movie we filmed here,” comment, because while I don’t think any of the film was shot in Centerville, I honestly don’t remember the “school bus drives into shot” bit well enough, and–Tales to Astonish–I have no desire to look and see.  So I’ll give him that.

What else?  Well, we’ve got a crowd shot of almost everyone, including Les–which sets our Les Watch back to zero, damn it.  At least he’s not saying anything, and is both poorly drawn and partly covered by a word balloon.  Funny, though, I’d have expected both Comic Book John and Imbecilic Harry to be there, but I guess they got their exposure in at Comic Con, so no need to feature them any longer.  But who is that between Jim KibblesNBits and Marianne?  It looks like they flew Marianne’s mother out there after all!  I guess?

The fact that so many of the cast and crew are in the audience–and sitting right up front, too–makes me wonder if Tom Batiuk believes that the first time anyone involved with a movie actually gets to see the finished film is at the premier.  In the real world, the director would have seen the film dozens of times by now, and there’s almost always a screening for the cast and crew.  So all these people would be backstage, or at the back of the hall, gauging audience reaction–pacing, room for laughs, people getting bored at certain parts, and so on–and looking for “oohs” and “aahs” for the cast members.

But not in the fantasy land that is the Funkyverse.  Here, everything happens the way a five year old imagines that it happens–it’s all just magic, and friendship, and comic books and pizza, and it works every time!  In a way, that sounds like an attractive world…for a few minutes.  But after those few minutes, I’d want something of substance, something that would stir the imagination rather than just “be” everything forever.

Poorly thought-out as the Lisa stuff is, it’s at least an attempt to address adult concerns–something that a comic strip aimed at “contemporary problems of young people” should attempt more often.  Because I’m pretty sure the contemporary problems of young people aren’t that they wish there were more comic-book movies.

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Sneezy ‘n Dopey

Hard to believe, but today’s strip is the first in over a month (a MONTH!) to be built around a sneezing blond man. That Comic-Con arc (or “crud”, I’m gonna start using crud) makes it seem like years…

I’m not a doctor, but Durwood, sick with a contagious disease he picked up at Comic-Con, attending a birthday party thick with toddlers and their developing immune systems seems like a bad idea. I guess Jessica can’t take Skyler because she has another engagement… Ha ha ha! Sorry, I crack myself up sometimes.

Thanks for sticking with me for another two weeks of Funky Winkerbean being especially Funky Winkerbean-y. El Jefe himself, TFHackett, takes the helm tomorrow. May his tenure be devoid of Starbuck Jones and Les (it won’t be, almost assuredly, but it would impolite not to wish so).

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La Vida Patetico (Extended Disco Remix)

Link to today’s strip.

Oh. My. God.  Pete and Dullard are pathetic beyond my ability to measure.

Well, I guess working as a storyboard artist must pay pretty damned well.  The shipping and insurance alone on that garbage is probably going to be over two hundred dollars…especially if the treadmill is a fully-functional model that is being shipped fully assembled.  Although I doubt the treadmill “works.”  Museums don’t really tend to sell that kind of thing.

And when we last glimpsed Dullard’s house or apartment or whatever, it sure looked small–where is he going to keep that monstrosity?

Maybe they can turn Skyler’s room into a Flash Treadmill Room.  A phone call to the local orphanage would be the first step.  The orphanage in Westview is just bursting with inconvenient children; in California, I’m sure they’ll have no problems finding something similar.

As for the “dolly,” again I can’t comprehend the idea of wanting something like that.  It just seems (to me) like a huge waste of space, unless you’re running a comic book store.  Or unless you’re Chester the Chiseler and live alone in a giant mansion.  In that case, superhero statues are your best friends, and lord knows you can’t have too many of either, especially if one column has a big fat zero in it!

I originally was going to say that this whole arc reads like something from a huge Flash fan who happens to be five years old, but that just seems too mean, even for me.

I understand being a huge fan of something which has made you profoundly happy, and the urge to share that happiness by trying to share the fandom.  But there are ways to do that which work, and there are ways to do that which actually turn people off from the “something” you’re always on about.  This story does a good job of showing that Tom Batiuk is the world’s biggest fan of the Flash, and that he has no way of transmitting this enthusiasm (bordering on unhealthy obsession) to anyone else.

Note:  personally, I always thought that the Flash was a pretty cool superhero.  I only rarely read his comics but it seemed to me that they went out of their way to be scientifically plausible, and as a callow youth I appreciated that.  He’s even better in the animated Timmverse; the previously mentioned episode “Flash and Substance” is very entertaining.  Even better is “The Great Brain Robbery” where Flash and Lex Luthor switch minds.   Should I mention the best line in that episode?  No…cause I’m evil.

So, don’t let Tom Batiuk give you the idea that the flash is only for cretins, dimbulbs and creeps.  The Flash is one of the good ones.

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Flash in the Brain Pan

Link to today’s strip.

LOOK, EVERYONE!

YES!!  Dullard has had enough of Blondie, and is shoving her out the window!  I hope he immediately regrets this and throws himself out as well!

I was looking over the previous strips this week and thinking, You know, if these characters were likeable, this wouldn’t be so bad.  It’s not funny but it could be tolerable.  Maybe I’ve been too hard on Tom Batiuk.

And then, Tom Batiuk ends the week like this.

Jesus wept.

I understand there are people who really like comic books, and are excited when a new issue comes out, or there’s a comic book convention they can attend.  But the idea of a grown man being thrilled beyond measure to go to a museum celebrating the Flash…that’s just one of the saddest things I can imagine.  What the heck can they possibly have there?

In comics, I know the Flash Museum in Central City is a thing that exists, because it was the basis of a very entertaining episode of the animated Justice League Unlimited series.  There’s a huge difference, though, between the worlds of Justice League Unlimited and Funky Winkerbean.  I know I don’t have to point this out, but in JLU, the Flash is a real person who accomplishes real things, his rogue’s gallery are real people (and a gorilla) who commit real crimes, and superheroes in the real world is something people take for granted.   So, going to a museum devoted to the Flash and his exploits could be quite interesting.

In Funky Winkerbean, the Flash is not, repeat not, a real person.   Despite how hard some people wish that he was.  I can’t imagine how they could make a Flash museum interesting.  A museum of comic books, or of superheroes in general, sure, that might work.   If a friend told me, “Hey, let’s go to the Flash Museum,” the first thing that would come to mind would be a cement-brick basement with a single naked bulb in the center.  A constant sound of water drops.  A fat surly guy would wave me over to a corner to start the “tour.”   And I would think, So this is how I die.

“Let’s not,” I’d say.  “Let’s go bowling, or get a pizza, or – better yet – I hear the local high school is having a graduation ceremony.  That would be more fun.”

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She Who Laughs Last

Link to today’s strip.

I think that summarizes today’s strip pretty well.  It has irrelevant images, repetition, and a genial yet cutting accusation.

But if we want to make it more specific, we can.  We can change the focus to a soft blur, or sharpen it to crystal clarity.

This illustrates the entire problem with this week’s “story.”  These people aren’t likeable; we wish to see them harmed.

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Owl Stretching Time

Link to today’s strip.

Do any of you folks remember Silly Putty?  It was a strange, malleable plastic that could bounce, stretch in various ways, and had other interesting qualities.  And one of the things you could do was…well, I’ll let Wikipedia tell the tale:

“When newspaper ink was petroleum based, Silly Putty could be used to transfer newspaper images to other surfaces, potentially providing amusement by distorting the transferred image afterwards. Newer papers with soy-based inks are more resistant to this process.”

So, you could transfer the image of a single comic strip and, with a little patience, you could stretch that image out so that it was the size of an entire week’s worth of strips!  I can imagine how excited Tom Batiuk must have been to discover that Silly Putty is still being made, and that its adaptive process is only slightly dimmed with time.

I mean, last week with Dinkle, recording a CD had been decided, ways to raise money for this discussed, and frail elderly people were sent unsupervised into dangerous neighborhoods to hawk funguous and noisome confectionery offal.  If Dullard were in charge of that venture, we’d only now be deciding on what recording medium would require the least amount of work (yet would allow the most complaining).

I don’t want to delve back through Dullard’s scenes, but don’t they always play out this way?  It takes him weeks to open a letter, pack a van, invite a lost sister inside, or scowl about having to work.

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And It Feels Like This!

Link to today’s strip.

(Credit to Atkinson, Byrne, Chaney, Ellner and Michalski)

This is like watching a movie where a character is confronting the antagonist, but you already know it’s a dream sequence so it really doesn’t make an impact.  We already know Blondie isn’t having an affair.  We’re just watching stuff get stretched out mercilessly.  On the plus side, the art is okay, the positioning of the characters is nicely done, and the faces look natural (aside from Psycho Woman)

And I can actually believe that the Dullards have a chest of drawers that appears to be about five feet tall and three inches deep.  It’s for all the pencils, you see!

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