Hey, remember when this story arc was about Bull?
Today’s strip sure doesn’t.
Look, I’m just going to gloss over the fact that Dinkle was actually introduced well over a year into this strip’s existence and just give TB credit for remembering that Funky Winkerbean itself is 47 (and a half) years old… And with that out of the way I’ll go right into wondering what the heck this has to do with Bull, his condition, his life, or anything. I guess if you twist your neck 117 degrees and squint until you experience sharp pain in your temples it appears the notoriously egotistical Dinkle (or is that Buck?) is paying Bull a compliment by saying they were equals despite his long and incessant history of considering all things inferior to himself and his marching band. But really this is just TB repackaging his biggest hit.
Dinkle is the only thing about this strip that has ever moved merchandise. His “football fields are for band practice!” bit covers books and t-shirts, and even serves as his character’s introductory line in the stage play Funky Winkerbean’s Homecoming. Dinkle’s shtick has sold band posters (“Dinkle wants your horn to twinkle”) and shoes, and no less than 9 Dinkle-specific collections of FW strips have been published! No, seriously, there have been 4 Lisa books and 9 Dinkle books.
Football Fields are for Band Practice!
Harry L. Dinkle Live at Carnegie Hall
I Never Promised You a Rose Parade
Gone with The Woodwinds
Would the Ushers Please Lock the Doors!
Attack of the Band Moms
The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side of the Football Field
Music is Worth it… Music is Worth it… Music is…
This is nothing more than TB pushing his most-recognized character/cash cow into a story the New York Times inexplicably gave him ink for. Ugh!
It’s back to the WABAC machine in today’s strip. No, I’m not talking about the flashback to “five years ago…”, I’m talking about Bull’s funeral, which has itself moved two-and-a-half years backward in time in order to accommodate a five years ago flashback featuring players Bull last coached in the spring of 2012. Well, at least we are getting something that is actually about Bull in this one… that’s so damning with faint praise that it could keep an ocean at bay. (“Billy was a special blogger”, they said at his funeral.)
Also, I tagged both Keisha and Linda in this, because I’m not sure which one of them is standing next to Summer in panel 3.
Are you wondering how Bull’s wife and children are mourning his death? Maybe how his former players and fellow coaches, whose lives he surely had a large impact on, have reacted? Well, too bad for you, for the art of storytelling, and for general decency… because today’s strip is focused on four schmucks, only one of whom even knows Bull moderately well (and one who has NEVER once met the guy) and none of whom have talked to Bull in at least 3 full years. Heck, they aren’t even talking about Bull, they are awkwardly reminding us that Cindy was popular in high school.
Bull’s death only made page 2 of the Westview Gazette? This is a town with only five employers and Bull was the most decorated employee in the history of the largest of those. What could possibly have made the front page?
Today’s strip continues this week’s dumb one-off jokefest by having Logan Church join Progressively-Lumpier Black Guy and Preschooler Bernie Silver. Batiuk shows his lack of range by putting Logan in the now Westview woman uniform colors of magenta and black. Make her vest a cardigan and she’s stolen the elderly Holly’s wardrobe.
Anyway, dumb joke about mandarin oranges and Jello, which, for the record, I have only seen together sparingly in my many years on this planet, and none of those times in a school cafeteria. That Lumpy finishes Bernie’s punchline only underscores how labored this joke is.
And one wonders why Logan, who was introduced as savvy enough to have a business blog “picked up by ABC News”, would be hanging out with these two goobers. Perhaps her status nosedived when she switched her ethnicity.
Today’s strip shows Batiuk at his most daring – a strip about how cafeteria food is terrible! Who else but Batiuk would have the fortitude to take on this controversial, multitudinous topic?
Anyway, he blows it by having the cafeteria lady herself refer to the slop in front of Bernie and the random lumpy black guy who hangs around with Bernie as “Mystery Meat”, “Cafeteria Cod” and “Leftover Drum Rolls”. That kind of defeats the whole purpose of Bernie and Lumpy commenting on it, doesn’t it?
“What are you serving for lunch?”
“Wow, you’re serving something terrible for lunch.”