Link to today’s strip
As usual, the Sunday strip wasn’t available for preview. Normally I would try to tough it out till midnight, just to make sure whatever horrors Sunday brings are properly commented on. However, the strain of trying to find amusement in drying paint has finally broken me, and I’ve come down with the Westview flu. Not as deadly as the Spanish flu, maybe, but virulent in it’s ability to sap me of energy, leaving me with a headache, and slightly nauseous. So pretty much what you would expect after spending two weeks with Les Moore.
Here’s hoping that it’s not able to be transmitted through the interwebs, because Beckoning Chasm is taking over for me tomorrow, and I’d hate to think I had contaminated the controls.
Goodnight, and Good Luck.
Link to today’s strip
Now I am really really disappointed we didn’t get to see any of this water balloon competition. Because it sounds like it was a no-holds-barred water war waged both inside and outside the school. Can you imagine the water damage? Even if they were barred from classrooms and computer labs, all those corkboards and vaguely inspirational posters on the walls are toast. And those tile floors would have gotten dangerously slippery, I imagine everyone who participated has bruised tailbones and skinned knees.
But I’m guessing there isn’t anything in the student handbook preventing the teachers from running through the halls with firehoses, water pistols, and, balloons. Nate’s hands were tied.
Why is Les still grilling hotdogs? We see food in front of these people, so they’ve mostly all gotten all they were going to eat already. Unless there’s going to be a hotdog eating contest later. Billytheskink was joking at the beginning of the week about Dinkle being able to eat a banana sideways. Now I’m picturing him shoving hotdog after hotdog into his mouth sideways like a machine, lips closing over his entire fist down to the wrist every time and sucking the digits clean.
But more likely Les just doesn’t want to listen to anyone elses’ speechifying.
Link to today’s strip
They had a water balloon competition this morning, and instead we’ve been saddled with a week of bland speechifying?! I would LOVE to see the faculty of Westview in a no-holds-barred water balloon fight. My church growing up used to have a water fight every summer, and one year it ended with our pastor on the roof of a van with a super-soaker screaming “TASTE AND SEE THAT THE LORD IS GOOD!” and hosing down the first-grade Sunday School class.
Water Balloon competition sounds so much more banal though. I’m guessing it was a series of water balloon egg-tosses. Followed by bland science-type experiments involving water balloons with parachutes being dropped from the second floor windows. Of course STEM would win over the arts. The arts probably tried to protect their balloons with committee designated ‘safe-spaces.’
The ‘Super Soaker Six’ is either a reference to DC’s The Secret Six so obscure only I got it, or I’m too much of a basement dwelling nerd to figure it out. Please let me know in the comment what this is referencing.
June 1, 2017 at 11:27 am
…[S]houldn’t “Ms. Lopez” be “Mrs. Bushka”? Did Bull die off-camera or something?
Here’s another unanswered question: is Jim being witty or does he just not know what a credit union is? Another question, and this one’s for any teachers out there: are you required to pack up and schlep home all your belongings at the end of every school year? Linda’s got but one box but it looks to be loaded with books; Jim’s got two boxes but still manages to get a hand free to push open the automatic door. Burchett gets to introduce another new character: that janitor who vowed to one day kick the ass of the guy whoever the hell peed in his closet 40 years ago.
Here’s the one Westview teacher who makes Les look like Mr. Chips, getting his first spoken lines in a year. Burchett’s Jim Kablichnick still resembles Mark Twain, though he’s lost his suspenders (and he used to favor colorful dress shirts). Today’s gag, of course, is lifted from Sunday’s “Name the Canadian Provinces” strip (and from every comic strip that’s featured a kid sitting at a school desk), right down to name-checking another Golden Age Disney character. Smirk it up, Bernie: there can be no incorrect answer (“Write down what you think…”). On the other hand, Kablichnick’s enough of a douchebag to find a rationale to mark every student’s answer incorrect anyway.
Given Rick Burchett’s animation background, it’s weird how statically he’s rendered Jim here: propped up in front of the classroom, pointing his finger at the ceiling. Like Batiuk, Burchett uses some unusual “camera angles.” But unlike TB, RB (let’s just start using that abbreviation) puts his characters in actual, defined space, and not silhouetted in a crosshatched, encroaching black void. Three of his four strips so far have been set in a classroom, the angular walls and neatly tiled ceilings of which loom claustrophobically on all sides. I recognize the books atop the cabinet in the corner of Jim’s class, but am still trying to figure out what those diagonal planes in the left foreground of yesterday’s panel one. All the crazy angles lend some sort of tension to the settings. Kind of like how in the old Batman TV series, the camera shots inside the villians’ hideouts were all tilted askew.
Link to today’s strip
How very touching. See Cliff, they never forgot about you…except for that brief sixty year period between your final Starbuck Jones film and right now, that is. Just a few months ago these crappy old Starbuck Jones films were so obscure that even Pete, the nerdiest nerd who ever nerded, didn’t know about them (and he whined about having to see it in the first place). Yet now throngs of weirdos (all male, coincidentally enough) are pouring out of their hovels (and the WHS faculty lounge) to chant banal old catchphrases at a ninety year old guy in a spaceman suit. Did the films suddenly become popular again or did dozens of people suddenly remember they were the cornerstones of their childhoods or what? It’s all so typically Batiukian, something is, then suddenly it isn’t, then it’s both and sometimes neither.
What a weirdly specific-looking big-headed crowd, I (sort of) wonder who they’re all based upon? Those creepy big heads are just way too detailed to be accidental. Friends and associates is my best guess. Lucky them.
Boy, the Batiukverse is really in chaos now, particularly the timelines. FW is featuring an arc about an old 1950s B-movie star, which means these dorks are all agog over a guy whose “heyday” was over sixty or (if we’re still pretending it’s ten years from now) seventy years ago, long before the majority of them were even born. And nothing that’s happened in the strip would indicate why this is so.
Meanwhile “Fallen Star”-era Les Moore is talking about old books in Crankshaft, which I assumed was happening in the present day. So if it’s 2016 in the Crankverse and it’s 2026 in FW, the CS Les should be Les from ten years ago, when the strip was rolling along with its very special all-cancer format as we slowly waited and waited for Lisa to finally die. Even if it’s “now” in FW and ten years ago in CS it doesn’t add up correctly.
“In a spirit of generosity”, Tom Batiuk really should put down his Funky felt tip, retire “Funky” and “Crankshaft”, and free up some real estate for some new talent in the fading genre of daily newspaper comics. TB waited almost a month to squander another Sunday’s worth of ink, newsprint, and Photoshop effects on a followup to Kablichnick’s Ursa Major “joke”. In today’s retelling, however, “Jim Twain” goes with our bobanero’s (funnier) punchline. Not so fast, teacher! Even dim Owen realizes we’ve heard this one. And it sucked. “But no, my friends,” teases Jim, in French to be extra condescending; he then recites the joke and delivers the punchline like a steaming turd before smirking blissfully and hitching his suspenders (the science teacher’s “mic drop”). Cody is appalled by this microaggression; deadpan Alex declares Jim to “comedically on fire” while visualizing him to be literally so.
Your genial host is “comedically extinguished” after serving as your host these last two festive weeks. Thank you, readers and contributors, for visiting and supporting the web’s premiere source for Funky Winkerbean snark, Son of Stuck Funky. I’m pleased and proud to preside over one of the smartest and funniest online communities I’ve even partaken in. The comedically sur le feu Beckoning Chasm takes over Monday. Happy 2016! —Votre ancien assiette en porcelaine, TFH