Tag Archives: misplaced nostalgia for things that weren’t all that great to begin with

Hey Is For Horses

Link To Today’s Strip

“Hey!”…that’s some mighty fine foreshadowing there, Pulitzer (nominee) Boy. As always, the master craftsman builds the suspense one panel at a time, very, very slowly, over the course of many days and weeks and sometimes even months. I sometimes think it would have been pretty cool if he’d have just made the entirety of Act III into one ultra-mega prestige arc, which he’d wrap up with a Saturday panel three word balloon full of wry expository dialog at some undetermined future date.

“A physical memento”…as opposed to what, a mental memento? A metaphysical memento? An ethereal memento? And again, if Mitchell is going to be so standoffish, why did he bother with letting them in to begin with? Is this a Midwestern thing, where you’re obliged to invite strangers into your home even if you’re all hostile toward them? We don’t really do that out here, back east.

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Haiku Dive

Today's strip still has
That chair jammed in the ladder
And also two shmucks

So what's with the chair?
Is that really going to
Keep folks off the dive?

Les can dish it out
"Memory lane is now closed"
But he can't take it

Not some great mem'ry
Les scared to jump off high dive
A weak Act I gag

More memorable
Was Les and the climbing rope
A low bar to clear

Les and the rope, though
Had the off chance that he might
Wind up hung to death

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With a capital P and that rhymes with D and that stands for… uh…

The real star of yesterday’s strip finally gets top billing in today’s strip!

Like certain parts of the comics page we are too polite to mention here at Son of Stuck Funky, the old pool sits sadly: unused, unloved, overgrown, and falling apart. Unlike certain parts of the comics page we are too polite to mention here at Son of Stuck Funky, the old pool has actually been replaced.

Les is one to talk about “Summers* slipping away”…. At least Funky is willing to admit his memory lapses.

*It has been 43 days (and counting) since Summer’s most recent appearance in this strip. The three gaps prior to that were 145, 408, and 107 days.

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The Saga Of The Stinging Sword

Link to today’s strip.

It’s hard to believe I once thought this bitter, hateful story would be “a love letter to something Tom Batiuk likes.”

This story had almost nothing to do with Prince Valiant, except for trashing its real-life artists. Three of the four from that era were slighted in some way. Hal Foster was depicted as unscrupulously plagiarizing someone else’s art; Gray Morrow’s name was gotten wrong; and John Cullen Murphy was conspicuously omitted. And since “King Features Syndicate” was proudly displayed on the office walls, Tom Batiuk even implicates his own employer in this fictional misdeed. And couldn’t even bothered to explain why. Continue reading

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Dej-UGH Vu

We can only hope that today’s strip marks the end of this story arc and the depiction of this unhealthy and unsettling Melinda-Holly relationship for some time (infinity is a time, right?).

With that, I will focus my commentary on Holly’s use of term “EMS Vehicle”. So, did TB just not like the way “ambulance” fit in the word balloon or does he have a thing for using awkwardly bland language? I mean, its not an incorrect term of course, but if Holly calls an ambulance an “EMS Vehicle” then Melinda ought to have said “medical facility” or something like that yesterday instead of “hospital“… y’know, to maintain this strip’s reputation for exceeding consistency.

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Grosstalgia

As someone who has ridden in an ambulance with a parent after breaking a bone while competing in a sport, I found there to be nothing at all redeeming about today’s strip. At least yesterday we had some America’s Funniest Home Videos visuals, solid work from Chuck Ayers for once, but today… today… just get out of here with this tripe!

No one wants to see Holly apologize to her mother for, um, for breaking her ankle?! What?! No one wants to see this whole cruel and miserable experience turned into a nostalgia trip. No one wants to know what kind of hairspray Holly uses that has kept her terrifying hair claw intact despite spending extended periods in a driving rainstorm.

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Thoughts and Ayers

Hope you all enjoyed yesterday’s respite from the boringly toxic (or rather, toxically boring) Melinda-Holly relationship, because we’re back for (checks calendar) WEEK 3?! of it in today’s strip. Things between these two are so bad that Holly will ignore good advice that is widely known by nearly every adult who has ever engaged in athletic behavior just to spite her nagging mother.

This strip has everything! Needless exposition! Falling leaves! Absolutely nothing likable! References that would have been topical 3 decades ago! References to death! And more word and thought bubbles than you can shake a baton at!

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Boredstrom

The department store nostalgia in today’s strip is pretty innocuous as Funky Winkerbean goes. I am enough of a retail enthusiast to know that department store nostalgia is totally a thing, by the way… but I’m not sure it manifests itself in wistful disappointment when receiving an Amazon package.

But since Amazon’s logo is clearly visible on present day Holly’s package, let’s talk about THIS:

There are several, actual historic and defunct department stores in the greater Cleveland-Akron area that TB could have pulled up: O’Neil’s, Polskys, May Co., the one that Dinkle named his daughter after, the particularly famous one that had the previously-referenced-in-this-very-comic-strip Silver Grill [sic] in it.

Nope, we get Holly’s memory of shopping at DS, which by all indications stands for… Department Store. DS. Department. Store. This is Herb & Jamaal-level non-specificity. Look TB, if you can reference Amazon specifically, you can reference an actual department store specifically. The strip loses nothing if you get Ayers to write “Higbee’s” on a couple of shopping bags instead of DS.

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Flaming Batom Schtick

Apologies for today’s short post, but this story arc has gone about as well as my week at work has… And today’s strip doesn’t do much to improve matters. It doesn’t do much period.

The insurance companies Dinkle may have put a stop to the flaming baton trick, but don’t you dare think he is losing his touch. He has happily proposed maiming senior citizens with fire in recent years.

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Healing fact-or fiction?

Oh sweet Sousa, it’s HIM! I guess we all knew his appearance was inevitable after Holly brought up band alumni yesterday, but I think we were all hoping he wouldn’t show up as soon as today’s strip. But now he is involved AND he is tossing around comic book/video game terminology like he‘s DSH or the other guy in this strip named Harry, making this story arc go from insufferably bland to straight up insufferable in three panels flat. And now we know Holly wasn’t the only majorette he routinely maimed…

Holly really shouldn’t be surprised he remembers her, though. After all, he named his shoe brand’s majorette marching boots after her. I guess that means he is being sincere then telling her she was the best majorette he ever had, though I’ll also bet he‘s been keeping her royalty checks from the sale of those boots for the past 29 years too.

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