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!
Today’s strip was not available for preview. One can reasonably assume it will involve Lefty continuing to torture the poor folks who agreed to play in this alumni band.
So, without the current strip, let’s take a quick look back at Lefty in late Act II, who had just been named Westview High’s band director. Dinkle tries to get her killed for the sake of a bad pun. He is a monster.
I do not even want to know what Lefty and Dinkle were doing in the band office prior to today’s strip that alumni band practice so rudely interrupted. Whatever it was, it was surely negative amounts of interesting, and we are better off having missed it. If only that could have continued for three more panels…
I’m amazed that TB hasn’t hatched this alumni band thing before. It is full of his favorite FW comfort foods: Dinkle, Lefty’s pinned-up sleeve, old old old people, wistful reminiscence about high school band, petty high school grudges, more Dinkle… Just throw in cancer, comic books, and Les smirking a couple times and you’ve got the complete FW meal.
I suppose it is too much to hope for an appearance by Jon Glaser’s “Score Settler”.
Alas, there is no gold to be found here… there’s not even a creek.
Thankfully, today’s strip see’s the end of Funky and Holly’s ridiculous and pointless road trip. Unfortunately, panel 3 seems to be foreshadowing a fate worse than Montoni’s pizza for dinner… alumni band practice, no doubt involving Lefty and Dinkle. This relatively innocuous strip is, unfortunately, a likely calm before the storm.
Sometimes with this strip, you think there can be nowhere to go but up. That is NEVER the case, though. Never allow yourself to think that this strip cannot get worse. It has too deep bench of characters and recurring settings that you fear seeing to ever expect improvement, the immortal Dinkle and his non-retirement being chief among them.
It continues in today’s strip… “it” being history’s longest drive from Florida to Ohio. Or maybe it is a chronicle of the most unbelievably boring competitors to have ever taken part in The Cannonball Run.
I don’t know if this is the best of this week’s miserable set of strips or the worst. One one hand, everyone gets a rare moment of positivity: Holly’s mom is certainly enjoying her reminiscence of Holly’s childhood, Holly seems to be enjoying it as well, and even Funky is spared TB’s wrath for one panel. On the other hand, this strip also rips each and every one of those positive bits away because TB long ago decided that Funky and anyone in his orbit are not allowed to have nice things. Yep, this is the worst… nothing worse than a tease.
Dinkle appears in today’s strip.
No “spoiler alert” tag… this is not a spoiler, it is a warning. You have been warned. Read at your own risk. Or don’t, your life will be better off.
You know what, I’m going to focus on just one small little part of this strip and let our great commenters take the rest of it apart. I’m going to deal only with the first four words that appear in the strip, “Speaking of band candy”.
“SPEAKING OF BAND CANDY”?!
NO ONE was speaking of band candy! No one other than Dinkle is ever speaking of band candy! No one in their right mind wants to speak of band candy! I suppose Dinkle is correct in “saying “speaking of band candy” because that is a 100% accurate description of what he proceeds to do… thus, he most assuredly wanders around uttering “speaking of band candy” whenever he wants to speak of band candy. There is no other possible explanation. I’m typing “speaking of band candy” over and over again in desperate hope that this will be last time those words are ever written. Please. Please.