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

That Almost Imperceptibly Grinning Guy From Room /Z/

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Crankshaft’s fondest-ever possession and the one thing he secretly pines for the most…an old gardening catalog from the 1950s. Such a deep and complex character, no wonder BatStrips felt he merited an entire spin-off strip to himself. I like how Mort and Funky are completely indistinguishable from one another now, which will make things a lot easier for Batom in the long run, continuity (guffaw) be damned.

One can easily imagine a young Ed huddled in the attic with his catalog, some cookies and a glass of milk, engrossed in comparing rake prices and marveling at the innovations in wheelbarrow technology that made the entire post-war boom possible. Or one could continue to ignore Crankshaft, as I prefer. Whose heart is warmed by this drivel? Who’s been waiting years to see Ed crack a dreary dying grin? Do people who read Crankshaft but not FW even know that this is supposed to be Future Ed? Are FW readers who don’t read Crankshaft trying to figure out why Funky is in a nursing home and/or what the f*ck is going on here?

One can safely assume that Funky is eventually footing the bill for this idiotic gesture, probably without even knowing about it too. Funky essentially paid for the SJ collection Cory later pawned (and he’ll be paying for and hosting the wedding too, bet on it) for Rocky’s engagement ring, then he financed the Dick Tracy collection that’s keeping the Korner afloat. And now he’s buying Chester’s already-flailing comic book company some time via his dad’s impulse purchase which also impacts Pete, Darin, Jessica and little baby Skyler. Plus he supplies the town folk with pizza. The guy is the backbone of the entire Westviewian economy and he doesn’t even know it.

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The Price Is Wrong

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Unfunny premise + unfunny characters = unfunny gags. Connie wryly equates Morty’s sudden burst of altruism with a prescription drug mix-up, which strongly indicates she’s a born ‘n bred Westviewian too. The wryness of her delivery is a dead giveaway, like how New Jerseyans use “f*ck” as a noun, verb and adjective, often in the same sentence, typically while driving.

Now I don’t know whether Morty’s insurance covers it or if Funky’s footing the bill for it or what, but this Bedside Manor seems like a DELIGHTFUL place, all brimming with vitality, life, wisecracks and zany wholesome schemes courtesy of some of the most adorable old coots you’ve ever seen. It makes even regular Westview look like even more of a dump in comparison and it’s gotta be costing someone somewhere a pretty penny to keep housing the totally recovered Mort and his sidekick Connie there when there’s quite clearly nothing wrong with them at all. These are the things you find yourself wondering about when that day’s FW characters are talking about ordering an old catalog from the internet. Sigh.

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Batty Batom Baloney

Welp, turns out the Batom Bullpen is actually BS, as Chester learns in today’s strip. Six panels of explanation about how working at Batom Comics in the 1950s was just like Pete and Durwood’s fever dreams and one panel of Chester getting the vapors after learning that Pete and Durwood’s fever dreams were true to life. It’s… it’s almost like we’ve seen all of this actually drawn and didn’t need any of this exposition.

Poor, poor Holtron has to witness this whole sad, sad scene.

And with that, the skink is out until next time. $10 sez this story arc is going to continue uninterrupted until my next turn at the wheel.

No takers?

None?

Yeah, I don’t blame ya.

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Starstruck Jones

Well, at least today’s strip doesn’t contain any Wayne’s World shtick so fantastically lame and over exposed that it took me hours to recognize it, like yesterday’s did… The gag is still extremely rote, though. Could we at least get a “Mr. Freeman is my father” bit? I actually kind of like that old groaner.

According to the official “Untold History” of Batom Comics, Flash Freeman created Starbuck Jones as an adult in 1954. He looks pretty good for 136.

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Why, just why?-day, April 20

Today’s strip was not available preview, so it is time to dive into the archives to find answers to the questions that YOU, the loyal and hearty SOSF readers, want to know!

Today’s question comes from B.D. Idenitpicker from Picher, Oklahoma.

When did Pete get those bags under his eyes? Was he born with them?

The answer, obviously, is yes. Pete’s eye bags were visible on ultrasound. But, I know you all are here for archival evidence, so lets see some, shall we?

FW9-2-98
Here’s Pete’s first appearance in the fall of 1998 and… what? No bags? Or are Pete’s eye bags all we see here around his nose, not his eyes themselves? I subscribe to the latter theory.

FW9-4-98
Pete’s bags are on clear display in this strip, where much-missed Act II arsonist Mooch Myers takes Durwood’s property with no intention of returning it. I would like to see more of this, actually.

FW9-10-98
Pete’s bags grew considerably here in this strip, where he creepily pines for his best friend’s future wife.

FW9-11-98
And they grow further still when talking about his parent’s divorce, because Act II was all about EVERYONE having a personal raincloud.

There you have it, sports fans. Pete has never gotten enough sleep, or learned about antihistamines. Until next time, keep sending in those post cards!

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Does This Spell The End?

Having been informed in today’s strip that the name of his newfound comic book company is already trademarked, Chester decides to employ the strategy of phonetic misspelling that made the TurboGrafx-16 the number one name in video games.

I find this strip to be fairly discordant because of the use of “Grandpa Google” combined with the revelation that an Atomic Comics already once existed. First, “Grandpa Google”… please stop trying to either make this a thing people say or pretend that it already is a thing people say. It is not and it never will be. However, stupid as it is, I can allow that it is some kind of in-universe slang. But that brings in the second point of discord. If this is a fictional universe in which people say “Grandpa Google” without being blackmailed then why does “Atomic Comics” have to be an unusable trademark? Skirting a real-life trademark is a spectacularly uninteresting story arc, not to mention that “Atomik Komix” isn’t likely to stave off a lawsuit that “Atomic Comics” would invite anyways. This makes the set up of The Phantom Menace look like Macbeth.

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Drivel Of Dreams

Is today’s strip really about circa-2015 Billy Joel visiting one of those closed factories he sings about in “Allentown”? Oh don’t we all wish it was…

I would guess that the T-square nailed to the wall is supposed to tell us that this office has been unoccupied since the “Batty Batom Bullpen” (ugh, there are more endearing nicknames found in early 70s Harvey Comics) moved out in the spring of 1972. Real endorsement of the Cleveland economy there… I’m amazed this building is fit for occupancy. I mean, the Pontiac Silverdome was condemned after sitting idle for all of 3 years. Anyways, if you missed Monday and Tuesday’s strips, today’s is a near-verbatim restatement of their contents.

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