Link to today’s strip
Huge news today, as in panel one we see that Funky has apparently hired some really strange looking kid (Wally Jr. perhaps?) to help out around…oh, wait. LOL, that’s just supposed to be Wally. My mistake.
I’m trying to recall a time when “things” WEREN’T “tough” in Olde Westview town…and I’m drawing a complete zero. It has nothing to do with “this economy” or the “times” in which we currently live. No, the reason every business in town struggles mightily to eke out a meager unfulfilled existence is because Westview is a remorselessly sucking black void, a vortex of failure, pain, human misery and soul-murdering realizations followed by weary, listless acceptance and total surrender to whatever dismal fate “the universe” happens to have in store for you next. A “successful” business in Westview would blow the entire FW paradigm to complete shit, as it would mean there IS a flicker of light and hope in that twisted hellscape and, as we know, that isn’t going to happen.
Well, it took him a while but Batom finally has his fictitious little town exactly where he wants it to be: devoid of any businesses other than a pizzeria and a comic book store. Utopia realized, not a deli or a grown-up (as opposed to “adult”) bookstore anywhere in sight. Perhaps they can find an oncologist willing to move into Khan’s old space, but I suppose that might just be too on the nose, even for TB.
Link to today’s strip
So, after completely and totally ignoring their old buddy Kahn for several years, they bid him adieu with some jaunty, obnoxious banter, just so he’ll have something to remember them by. What a couple of swell pals. I like how Wally’s little joke suggests that FW readers are familiar with Kahn’s (they called him Khan back then) sketchy past even though he only appears once every decade or so, as well as Funky once again establishing his “if you can’t say something witless just babble like a moron instead” philosophy that’s served him so well through the years. And credit where’s it’s due, I love the look on Kahn’s face, that bemused serenity….it’s almost like he’s planning something, know what I mean?
As far as I can remember, Kahn is the first character to be written-out of FW since Susan Smith was snidely dismissed maybe three or four years ago. Coach Stropp died, but that doesn’t count. One has to wonder why Batom Inc. felt compelled to eliminate a seldom-seen character like Kahn in such an “official” way. I mean would it have killed him to just keep him where he was, just to give the impression that Westview isn’t a complete ghost town? Was getting rid of Kahn necessary for the sake of an upcoming arc (Funky expands the business, Cory accidentally kills Kahn) or was it just random? And what was with that peculiar conversation yesterday about “inquiries” into the place? This reads like it’s a set-up for something, which probably means absolutely nothing is forthcoming. And the name thing (Khan/Kahn), it’s all just so freaking weird.
Link to today’s strip
Prime retail space right in the heart of Westview’s famed Montoni’s District AND it’s adjacent to the town’s two surviving businesses…you have to pounce on that property, Funk-Man! That space is going to fetch a pretty penny per square foot…possibly even two or three of them. Someone savvy enough to open a 1940’s-50’s comic book-themed pizzeria in Kahn’s old spot would own that entire town within a few hours.
So Kahn has had enough of Westview, eh? Can’t say I blame him there, herding goats, avoiding drone strikes and scoring poppy pods sounds a hell of a lot better than standing around all day in an empty bankrupt deli while a bunch of rude fat annoying jerks completely shun you for some unknown reason. I can’t believe he actually BOUGHT his retail space as opposed to merely renting it, though. Man, did he get snookered, even if it was free.
As was pointed out in the comments yesterday (props to SoSF snarker bad wolf), TheAuthor has mysteriously changed and/or forgotten the spelling of Kahn’s name since his last appearance. Suddenly Khan has become Kahn, leaving snarkers everywhere as baffled and confused as they were when Les scampered down Kilimanjaro to race home and help Funky (Funkie??) name his ugly blue car. Perhaps it was all just a stupid mistake, however it definitely lends credence to the various theories regarding TB’s overall lack of interest and /or quality control in his long-running little saga. It’s going to be a while before he lives this one down.
Coming next week: Less, Kayla, Sumner and Key$ha enlist Darrin and Jessyca’s help when they discover Volume Two of Liza’s secret diary where she recounts her heroic (if ultimately futile) battle against lupus. Featuring Buddie the dog, Nutty Harry, little baby Schuyler and the Goodfairs, Anne and Ted.
Link to today’s strip
Little known factoid: Chapter 18 bankruptcy is only available to Westviewian business owners. You are forced to sell off any comic book assets you may have and you must sit there in court while your creditors point and laugh at you.
So the “going out of business” sign WAS correct…Citizen Kahn’s is no more. That leaves two active businesses on Main Street…not coincidentally the two key businesses in town. Actually, this dopey “chapter” gag probably would have worked better during the Mr. Booksmith arc a few years ago, but it’s way too late for that now I suppose, as I’m sure Mr. Booksmith is long dead by now.
I’m still kind of stunned to be snarking on an actual Kahn arc…it’s like being a bird watcher and spotting one of those ivory-billed woodpeckers or something. I do remember when Citizen Kahn’s opened…it was the final panel in a “grab-bag” arc from a few years back, and I remember he was in attendance at Les & Cayla’s super-trashy front yard wedding but all in all Kahn is one of the least-used characters in the entire FW canon. Other than all those missing children, of course, but there’s no proof that they even exist anymore.
Finally, let’s take a moment to give good old Kahn some credit where it’s due: for a non-native Westviewian who grew up in a far-off land, that is one hell of a hand-lettered sign. It’s kind of strange how a guy who was able to pick up on that aspect of the local culture so quickly was unable to realize that selling sandwiches in Westview was basically business suicide. I mean seriously, I don’t even see a comic book rack in that place either, what was he thinking? I’m picturing a Westviewian family sitting around the table, staring at one of Kahn’s sandwiches like it’s some sort of alien artifact…”so what do we DO with this thing? There’s no crust, no cheese, no sauce! Must be some sort of ethnic Afghani delicacy. Shang-wich….am I saying that right?”.
Link to today’s strip
Welcome to Main Street, Westview, Ohio…where the “American Dream” goes to wither and die a slow, painful and agonizing death. Where do I even begin today? Let’s go panel by panel here…
First of all…Kahn! That in and of itself is quite noteworthy. Take a look at Wally aka Master Of The Obvious…yes Wally, that “going out of business” sign really DOES give one the impression that Kahn’s deli may indeed be closing! How someone with those keen observational skills ended up working at a crappy pizza place is a real mystery. The fact that Kahn’s is right next door to Montoni’s makes their shock and surprise even funnier. Then again, when it comes to pizza these folks are nothing if not focused.
Panel two: Check out that look of total horror on Funky’s face as he realizes that a) he’s getting a glimpse of his own not-too-distant future and b) his position as president of the local chamber of commerce is even more of a sham than it was yesterday. And look at Wally, who appears to have just realized that if he’d said nothing he’d probably be back inside already.
Then in the final panel we see Funky roaring into “heart attack” mode, as if shoveling a never-used sidewalk will somehow fool the locals into believing that their pitiful “downtown” area isn’t an abandoned desolate death-hole, a monument to failure, disappointment and shattered dreams. Actually, knowing what I do about the typical Westviewian, that could work. I mean no one ever actually enters any of these places so who’d notice the difference?
Goodbye, Citizen Kahn’s…we’ll always remember you as an especially stupid bit of Batominc wordplay. Poor Kahn, he had pretty much everything working against him from the start: dopey cutesy business name, nothing to do with pizza or comic books…you know, everything.