Mar. 23-Mar. 31, 2010 In the big game, the Lady ‘Goats go up against Our Lady of the Cedars, and get their asses kicked for a change.
From back when Summer was actually a main character in the strip; the “sporto” that her father never was in his high school days. The Lady Scapegoats are seeded vs. Our Lady of the Cedars, who are to Westview’s girls’ basketball squad what Big Walnut Tech is to the football team. The girls are intimidated even before the game starts, and even the duo of former rivals Keisha and Summer are not enough to propel the Westview team to victory. This arc is notable for a couple of reasons: it’s one of the rare occasions when our protagonists do not succeed. It also contains one of my all time favorite Act III FW panels: the dejected Westview team seeing their reflection in the winners’ trophy.
Not sure why the OLC girls are still in uniform while Summer’s team has already changed into their street clothes. Nor why the winners are showing off a huge trophy when this is supposed to be a first round game.
It follows almost perfectly, doesn’t it? The story could have skipped this entire week. When it wasn’t redundant, it was confusing. Yesterday’s auction scenario now seems like a bizarre non-sequitir as we flip back to Summer’s insipid story. And next week apparently won’t be about either of these things.
I have to give today’s strip credit for moving the story along. The strip could have easily spent a month unpacking all the repetitive backstory Summer is hearing about today. Maybe her author arc won’t take as long as I thought. Batiuk probably just wants to get Summer her book tour, movie deal, and Nobel Peace Prize for Literature faster. But I’ll take the positive side effects where I can.
There’s still a lot to complain about, though. The intellectual bankruptcy of Summer’s stupid “oral history” is on full display. She asks her father’s friends about things that aren’t remotely history-worthy, and which she should already know anyway. Harley the janitor, a character so irrelevant that Linda and Kablichnik talk about him like he’s not there, gets his second mention in three days. Dinkle and the Eliminator get two panels each, even though the strip rehashes both stories constantly. No doubt this dross will be enough to make Summer the greatest historian since Pliny the Elder.
Is she interviewing people during the auction? I know I asked why she and Harry weren’t at this event, but isn’t this kind of rude? And how are you going to have a conversation while this is going on the background?
And with that, my guest hosting shift is up! This was one confusing fortnight in the Funkyverse. Though I had a blast, as always. My esteemed colleague BillyTheSkink is on deck.
The Eliminator, who has been presented all week as an important figure in Westview’s history, walks through the front door. Funky proudly tells Summer “but here comes the person you really need to talk to! A man!”
This is like when Ruby Lith was elected to the Comic-Con Hall of Fame, and the strip replaced her with Phil Holt in the middle of her own press conference. Tom Batiuk thinks he’s an advocate for women with his showy, award-grubbing, phony empowerment stories. But Funky Winkerbean‘s day-to-day treatment of women is very different.
Donna’s sarcastic expression is perfect. “Oh, don’t mind me, I’m nobody important. I’ll just turn my head to look at my own pictures on that ‘history wall’ you’re studying. Which I earned at age 12. You want a real insight into Westview’s ‘social dynamics’? Ask me why I hid my gender from these people.”
That’s it. I’ve got nothing else to say. Today’s strip speaks for itself.
Now THIS one is just totally, wildly out of nowhere. The odds on EVER seeing a daily strip where Maddie and Keisha interact, only with each other, had to be a billion to one…until today, where Maddie (!) grills a recalcitrant and oddly hostile Keisha (!!) over Summer’s love life. This will undoubtedly fuel speculation over Summer and Keisha’s relationship, whether intentionally (I seriously doubt it) or otherwise. Until proven otherwise, everyone will still assume that Summer was the prom scenery of “uncertain sexual orientation”, let’s call it. And Keisha’s bitchy fronting over Maddie’s seemingly harmless query will do nothing to squelch that theory.
There’s a non-zero chance that this is the last time we’ll ever see either of these characters, which makes the whole thing even more mysterious and wildly random. And speaking of bitchiness, why are Westviewian women so notoriously catty? They’re fine while they’re in the background, setting up punch lines for the boys or making observations re: how dumb the men are, but get a pair of Westviewian women together and the claws come out. Someone obviously hurt BatYam a long time ago, but the less I know about it, the better off I am.
But anyway, circling back to the strip again, yeah, this seems to be a real sore spot with Keisha, for some mysterious, never-to-be-resolved reason. And why is BatNutz doing a strip about Summer’s love life (or lack thereof) anyhow? Was anyone clamoring for this? Has anyone ever clamored for this? What is it about single characters that makes him so uncomfortable? Why the incessant need to pair everyone up? Huh?
Oh, hey, Maybe-Summer speaks again. I kind of hope that isn’t actually Summer, just because it would be hilarious to me that someone who sort of looks like Summer has had more lines in two days than actual Summer has had in probably five years.
And look, it’s Maddie! Or possibly a random redhead, who knows. What’s funny is that she’s at this wedding but apparently doesn’t know the couple was in the military, which is one of the two character traits they have anymore.
I’m also not sure what the two figures in the first panel are for, since they sure don’t seem to be favors. The little green army men are at each setting and seem to be the favors. It looks more like a centerpiece or cake topper, which makes it extra funny, to me at least, that both of the figures are apparently male. There are female G.I. Joes, after all. It maybe would’ve been nice to have one of them be used, since the bride served in the army and all. Heck, he could’ve had Rocky talk about how she was inspired as a child by one of the female G.I. Joes. But that would’ve taken a little more effort than apparently Rocky’s character is worth.
Unlike other initialisms, which were invented and grown on the internet, “your mileage may vary” goes back to the 1970s and ’80s in the U.S. During that time, automobile manufacturers frequently promoted their estimated mileages to compete…However, due to the variations in driving conditions, they had no way of guaranteeing the exact mileage customers would actually get. Therefore, these ads would feature the disclaimer, “Your mileage may vary.”
What Does “YMMV” Mean, and How Do You Use It?, Vann Vicente, howtogeek.com
It’s true: we boomers love to brag about having survived a childhood in which auto seat belts were not standard equipment, and among our childhood playthings were polonium rings, hot miniature ovens, and Lawn Darts. I’m just not sure why Maddie would take the existence of a kid’s helmet made of “off-gassing” plastics and extrapolate that to everything being dangerous in the old days. But I do like Maddie’s gleeful grin at the thought of living in the dangerous old days, and for once you can believe she’s her Act I father’s child (whatever happened to the other two?).
Sourbelly April 23, 2022 at 10:53 pm
Passing out from wearing a cheap stupid helmet 18 sizes too small may have had more of an impact on Kwazy Harry’s boring, stupid, pointless psychotic embolism. Whatever. It’s over, right? On to the next thing!
If only. If only! Ya know, snarkers, I was secretly kinda hoping that Tom Batiuk would drag Funky across the fifty year goal line, accept his Gold T-Square (to put with his Inkpot Award), call it a career, and live off the (surely massive) proceeds of the Complete FW volumes he so incessantly flogs. If only! Instead, the comic strip creator who crowed about allowing his characters to age and even to die, has given himeself carte blanche to run around tying up his strip’s countless loose plot threads. And in the cheapest way possible: “it was all just a dream/coma/toxic fume induced fainting spell.”
“There, there, lie quiet now. You just had a bad dream.” Yep, it had to be the “off-gassing of the plastics” in a helmet that’s sat in the attic since 1980. In addition to her prowess at video games, Donna’s also some kind of an expert in plastics chemistry.
Um, Harry, shoehorning “Lisa’s Story” wherever you possibly can is the absolute least weird thing in this strip. It happens constantly. It should’ve seemed inevitable that Donna reminiscing about her glory days would lead to the Lisa Bench.
So I guess Harry has travelled back in time (again). Which makes this all even less weird, since this is now the second time that Harry has “travelled back in time”. Or, since he’s seeing the Dead St. Lisa Cancer Death Memorial Bench, it’s possible he just died. Which would make Donna’s insistence that he wear the helmet instead of her very interesting. Really, the only weird thing today is that a helmet his wife wore as a young teen fits old man Harry perfectly.