Link To Today’s Strip
In case you missed yesterday’s strip, Linda has at long last opened the mail. And, as a helpful service to his loyal readers who he obviously respects and adores very, very much, he thoughtfully repeated the last two panels of yesterday’s installment in the first panel today! You know, just in case you happen to be a total idiot who can’t remember something you just read less than twenty-four hours ago. What a novel way to pad a story and make it appear to be much more substantive than it actually is. Sigh. Ten weeks. Sigh again. It goes from annoying to comical to annoying to comical over and over again.
Coming next week: After re-re-re-reading the letter fails to make the contents of said letter change, Linda elects to put the letter down and walk to another room of her house. Tension builds. Weeks pass. Nothing happens.
Link To Today’s Strip
Nothing spells “storytelling” like using no dialog at all day after day after (sigh) day. Turns out the letter is from (peppy marching band music) the National Football League, America’s preeminent and benevolent Fun Time Sports League, the league that once gave an already-ruined and addle-brained Bull Bushka a shot at the big time, a shot he of course totally botched. Why, my guess is they’re going to give Bull a retroactive fifty million dollar “Nice Try, Local Sports Hero, Get Well Soon!” grant that he can use to beat this CTE thing once and for all! So what is she WAITING for? OPEN THE LETTER LINDA, OPEN THE LETTER!
No, because a CERTAIN SOMEONE who just happens to have a lot of extra Pulitzer space around the house decided to give away the entire outcome of his big Prestige Mega-Arc weeks ahead of time, we know the letter is actually from the non-fictional and maliciously malevolent (ominous scary music) NFL (trademark!), the heartless and amoral pro sports concern that cruelly turned Bull’s brain into putty and now laughs at his feeble prayers for help as it sacrifices billions of dollars a day to Lord Satan himself upon its blackened altar of young broken men’s ruined bodies. Otherwise she wouldn’t have brought it upstairs to her bedroom to open it, because in every cornball sitcom scenario like this one when a female character gets bad news in letter form she must have pillows handy in which to throw herself upon reading said news. Don’t lie, ladies, we all know this stereotype is 100% true, otherwise they wouldn’t be allowed to do it on TV. Anyhow, it’s a near certainty that the letter will utterly destroy Linda and turn her into a humorless wad of wryness (it’ll be tough to tell sometimes, though) and viciously mock Bull, his life and everything he ever believed in while coldly sneering at his pitiful plight. Or something similar but less dramatic.
The next installment of this thing isn’t dropping til midnight tomorrow. Not that it matters much, as we all already know what’s going to happen thanks to a CERTAIN SOMEONE who just couldn’t stop yapping and flapping his gums about it. There were a dozen ways to go about it without saying “and then the lead character kills himself” followed by actually running the climactic strip a MONTH ahead of time, but in all the excitement a CERTAIN SOMEONE couldn’t be bothered to care about shit like his dumb stupid readers or their “opinions” of him. Man, I’ll never forgive him for that blunder, it would have been the biggest day in SoSF history since that prom scenery came out as gay. I really hope that pillar eventually found someone, you know?
Link To Today’s Strip
“Hey Bob, you like comic strips?”
“Why sure, who doesn’t?”
“And you love reading mail, right?”
“Oh, you bet I do!”
“THEN YOU GOTTA SEE THIS!”
Sigh. Bull went for a stroll (and apparently came back already), Linda got the mail, so naturally the Great Story Ruiner had to slam on the brakes and slow things down by spending an entire mid-week one-paneler on Linda dramatically looking at a letter. Nicely done, Spoiler Boy, nicely done. Obviously this is a BIG DRAMATIC MOMENT where Linda is about to receive LIFE-SHATTERING NEWS right there in her WEIRDLY HAIRY LIVING ROOM which makes me seriously queasy to look at. We get it, it’s fabric, a standard sofa and carpet component. This is a comic strip that often forgets it once jumped ten years ahead, I doubt any longtime FW readers would wonder to themselves “hmmm, I wonder if that sofa and that carpet is made of a fabric-like substance?” if the gross hair-indicator squiggles were omitted. It’s like those coffee steam lines, there’s no reason to specifically note that the beverage is hot unless that’s actually part of the story, which it almost never is. It’s one of the most annoying things about FW in my opinion.
One of the other (sigh) most annoying things about FW is how stupid it is, an example of which BatYak helpfully provides each and every day. Everyone knows the letter will contain bad awful no-good news that will condemn Bull to a fate so brutal he’ll see no other choice than to throw himself into death’s cold grim embrace once and for all, probably within a few weeks or thereabouts. This waste of time might have have some impact on a dullard or two if the guy who writes this thing didn’t go ahead and deliberately ruin his most interesting story arc in ages, but he did and it won’t. Idiot. Lords knows I’ve seen plenty of stupid things in the Funkyverse in my day but this debacle takes the prize.
Link To Today’s Strip
No artist, whether living, dead or in-between, captures the excitement and suspense of opening mail quite like Batiuk does. In one sense it’s kind of ridiculous that he’s resorting to this well-worn FW trope again, but on the other hand it’s entirely expected. I’d expect a professional educator to be a somewhat faster reader but Linda does have a lot on her mind. Bills, bills, over-laundering, bills…that’d have a negative effect on anyone’s cognitive abilities. Of course the fact that Battyack already spoiled the story makes this even more annoying and unnecessary, which I’m afraid will be true until this thing finally plays itself out a few (sigh) months from now. Boy that was a dumb, dumb f*cking move, I still cannot believe he did that. If there was any doubt that he doesn’t respect his readers at all that was all the proof you needed right there.
In any event, the opening has begun. Perhaps she’ll use a letter opener, perhaps she’ll just use her finger, but whatever the case may be, this train has left the station and there’s nothing left to do but patiently wait as Linda reacts to the mail. Good thing the artwork is in such capable hands, as dialog would only slow things down even more, as impossible as that may seem. I find it very interesting and very odd how she makes two piles despite there only being four pieces and one category of mail to sort. Is it like bill pile A and bill pile B? Very confusing. I mean come on, Batiuk, you already ruined the story and it’s not like this is your first arc involving opening mail, so let’s get the details right here, OK?
Link To Today’s Strip
Thanks TFH! It’s great to be back at the helm for what promises to be the most intense and trauma-packed FW arc since Funky crashed his car. It’s like my entire SoSF tenure has been leading toward this moment. Who knows what kind of roller coaster-like thrills this week will hold and…
Uh-oh. Long time FW readers know that mail delivery in the Funkyverse spells big, big trouble. Once again he’s bizarrely trying to cram wry whimsical banter into this arc for no discernible reason other than habit. I don’t really understand the gag here or why any interaction with the mail carrier was necessary to move the story along, but it goes without saying that whatever news this mail contains is definitely not good. My guess? The NFL mixed up Bull’s brain scan results with another dying player, leading to some sort of grim hilarity. In any event, steel yourselves for day after day after day of Linda sorting through mail, as I’ve seen this movie before and I know how it goes. And don’t forget, then she has to actually READ the mail, which is a whole other process. The Earth’s poles could very well shift before this plays out. Sigh.
In the glacially paced Funkiverse, we’ve learned to appreciate anything that passes for actual plot advancement. Linda has decided to retire, and the first one with whom she shares this important news is, naturally, her work husband Les. I’m wondering what Bull’s “maxed out” CTE is going to look like. So far, it’s merely turned him into a passive, mildly dumber version of his already dumb self. He definitely has depression, and his grasp on reality isn’t helped by well-meaning friends who retcon his past failings into Hall of Fame accomplishments.
I just had to share a remixed FW strip that appeared a few years ago at the comics blog Snark It Up, Fuzzball, which depicts a much happier outcome for Bushka Family.
Thanks for having me back here. I can’t guarantee I’ll be as entertaining as BeckoningChasm, but I think I can manage topping Funky Winkerbean itself.
And here we return to a Batiuk Classic, someone opening a letter silently. I’m kind of amazed he has the letter actually being opened in one day, rather than dragging it out forever like he did with Darrin back in the day. This might be the only time his writing has gotten better since Act 2.
My prediction for what the shocking letter is: a note from Bull’s doctor explaining that they got his test results switched up with someone else and Bull actually doesn’t have CTE after all.