Tag Archives: mattresses

And when the door was opened, there was nothing standing there

Link to today’s strip.

Let me just say  that my mention of “hospital” yesterday was just errant speculation due to the recent shuffling of artists.  I, and I’m sure I speak for everyone else in the SoSF community, sincerely hope nothing bad has befallen Tom Batiuk; I have never, ever wished anything  but good fortune to him personally.  As I’ve mentioned from time to time, from all reports he’s a genuinely nice guy who enjoys meeting his fans; I hope he continues to be so, and do so, for many years to come.

That said…today’s episode is…well, I was going to say “beyond awful,” but I’ll go with “inexplicable” instead.  There’s no joke, there’s no good drawing, no wit, just…nothing at all.  It’s impossible to imagine a new reader coming across this strip and saying, “Hey, this is a comic strip I’m going to read from now on, with relish!”  It’s very possible to imagine a long-time reader saying, “Okay, this is it, I’m out of here.  From now on, it’s BC Classic for me.”

The only positive bit at all is the fact that Dinkle is there, and he’s completely silent.  I bet he hates that.  He’s not even drawn fully, he’s just a menace in a left corner.

It’s also another avenue for speculation.  Ordinarily, it would be Dinkle saying all this stuff, while Becky gazed at him in full worship mode.  (Heck, I think the last time we even saw Becky, she was a silent potato at Wally’s wedding.)

Why this obvious scenario was flipped, we’ll probably never know.

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Every Day Is Like Sunday

Link to today’s strip.

The above link goes to the NJ link since, as is traditional, the Sunday strips are too precious to drop on the unwashed.  So you’ll have to wait until midnight to taste Tom Batiuk’s genius.  (Yeah, I know–ewww!  Total doubleyuck!)

I’m guessing we’re going to get more Dinkle, because what better way to spit in the face of your readers than with Harry Dinkle?   I’m not really asking for alternative answers to that question, but feel free in the comments to describe Batiuk’s ultimate expression of disdain.

Les Moore and Darrin Undesirable are equally awful characters, but at least they can be defeated–in the first case, by having to meet his public, in the second by denying certain pens, but Dinkle…how does one defeat Dinkle?  Near as I can remember, in the diminishing brain-space left to me, Dinkle has always been praised and has never suffered a setback.

I think it’s well past time for that lack to be addressed, but I suspect that will never happen.

One more thing to regret too late on this year’s Anti-Thanksgiving’s Black Weekend.

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Dinkle Dinkle, Little Hell

Link to today’s strip.

A smoldering dump, an overflowing toilet, and a cretinous idiot walk into a bar.  The bartender says, “What’ll it be, Mr. Dinkle?”

It’s hard to convey how much I loathe Dinkle, but today’s episode provides some evidence as to why I do.   Normally, this strip would end at the second panel, with Becky’s pun (admittedly far superior to anything offered by the students).  But no, Dinkle has to have a panel to explain how he, in essence, “allowed” Becky to have her joke, but she shouldn’t get any ideas about how she “got” him.

I find it surprising that Dinkle wasn’t the one to deliver the pun.  Maybe Tom Batiuk realized that Becky was, in the main, a pretty worthless character and he ought to have her do something, even if it’s not much of a something.  Bonus points to Rick Burchett for not showing the pinned-up sleeve at all–a first, I think–and for giving Dinkle a really bad profile in panel three.   I mean, look at that!  He looks like a someone drew a face on a pinto bean.  Maybe Burchett is learning to hate these characters as much as normal people do.

If Batiuk had Dinkle die horribly in a fire, I would lobby the Pulitzer Committee so hard…I mean, that would actually deserve the award.

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The Case of the Case of Scotch

Link to today’s strip.

You know, if I saw a couple of teenagers hauling a mattress toward my house, I’m not sure I would deduce that they are 1) high school students and that 2) they are selling mattresses to raise funds.   (I’m not sure what I would make of it, to be honest.)  That this guy has correctly deduced all this makes him much more of a detective than either Bernie or Thatsnought; thus, he has every right to ignore the “wit” offered, pivot on his heel, and slam the door in the faces of these inept salesmen.  Something I’d honestly like to see happen more often to the regular cast, followed of course by dumping vats of boiling oil over them.  I’ll stop there, because I could probably go on for page after page of Funky Winkerbean cast humiliation, and I’d never get any work done.

Is it my eyes, or is that mattress getting smaller and smaller?  They should just sell them as pet beds, because no human being over the age of six is going to spend a comfortable night on one of those.  That is, if “comfortable night” is a possibility in this strip.

I…I’ve got nothin’

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Hope Springs Eternal

Link to today’s strip.

Serving the turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!   May you look fondly upon the year to date, and may fortune smile on you in the coming months.  And yes, that includes you, Tom Batiuk.

Have you ever watched a comedian start a bit, and it just sits there and dies?  And instead of moving on to something else, the comedian just keeps going on with this bit, determined to persevere, and it just never gets funny, but more and more desperate?  And the audience goes from unamused to slightly hostile, and then gradually starts feeling embarrassed for the guy, and finally goes straight into concern for his well-being?

Yeah, that’s what I’m seeing this week.  None of this has been funny by even the most generous measurement, and throwing in terrible semi-puns just makes it more and more cringe-worthy.

I can kind of see the process here–“What would be funny for band members to sell?”  And Tom Batiuk thought “Mattresses, of course.”  And I’m sure someone–possibly–could make that into a funny week or so.  But there’s that problematic word again–“funny.”  Coming up with a funny premise is just step one–step two is to turn that premise into a funny joke.  Otherwise you’re stuck with a bit that never gets funny and makes your audience feel embarrassed for you.

That might, might get that comedian some sympathy the first time around.  But if he persists with that bit, thinking that sympathy is enough, he’s going to find his second audience consists of a few sleeping drunks, an irate bartender, and a scowling janitor anxious to start cleaning up.

There won’t be a third audience.

PS: If the “springs” bit is supposed to be a pun, I don’t think it works.  I may be mistaken, but mattresses don’t have springs, it’s the box springs beneath the mattress that are loaded with springs.  But I’ll admit I’ve taken a leaf from the Batiuk Book and not researched the Hell out of this.

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Careering and Caroming

Link to today’s strip.

I guess the joke, if that is the correct term, is that Thatsnought never thought being a musician would entail heavy lifting.

It’s quite possible that, in the myriad of universes parallel to our own, this joke is considered quite a knee-slapper.

In this universe…not so much.

It strikes me that there’s someone who might start to rethink a career in cartooning.

 

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Everybody Had Matching Towels

Link to today’s strip.

Wow, it looks like Bernie and Thatsnought are determined to make this sale!  In the second panel, it appears they are physically forcing the mattress against that lady, shoving her back into her own home!  “Buy this mattress or we will kill you with it!”  Wow, that eleven dollars is as good as theirs!

Many folks have pointed out the idiocy of this arc–you don’t lug the damned mattresses around, the same way you don’t carry around turkeys that are becoming dangerous by the minute as they thaw and incubate.  No, you show pictures to folks and take orders, then you order the stock, and then you deliver the orders.  But that’s not the way things work in the Batiukverse.

Okay, fine, comic strip rules are not the same as real-world rules.  But here’s my question, specifically about what we’re seeing here, with Bernie and Thatsnought shilling a mattress.

What happens if they sell it?  Are they done for the day, or do they have to go back and get another mattress, come back and start again at the next house on this street?  Is there a flatbed truck just out of sight that has a dozen or so more mattresses for them?  Has this arc been poorly thought out?

Uh, I mean um *cough*

Well, I’m sure there are at least half a dozen people saying, “Hey, you wanted him to do more funny strips and he’s doing them!  There are jokes!  You people are ungrateful and should be thanking him!”   Well, okay, but honestly, this strip doesn’t give me much to be thankful for.  The problem is, as far as “funny,” that ship has sailed many years ago.  Tom Batiuk has no idea how to be funny.

And if you’re not going to be funny, at least get the logistics right.

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November 20, 2017

Link to today’s strip.

Greetings, all, BChasm back again for a spin on the Devil’s Tricycle.  First of all, shout out to Comic Book Harriet, whose hosting last week was outstanding.  Great insight and great humor–two things Tom Batiuk wishes he still had.

Today’s strip was not available for preview, but if I’ve learned anything, it’s that Tom Batiuk’s ability to generate boring and uninvolving content easily beats my ability to predict what will appear.  What will we get?  More Lisa auction?  Les on his book tour?  Bull reliving his high school football career?  Funky’s failing health?  Why, it’s like some kind of monstrous game show, where the only prizes are terrible!   IT’S A TORTURE DEVICE FOR THE MODERN AGE!

(Felt tip to Red Letter Media, from which much of the above was stolen.)

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