All good things must come to an end; so too must all excruciatingly dull things like this week’s reno convo. As Funky Winkerbean has pivoted from “depicting contemporary issues affecting young adults” etc. etc., we see more situations that are likely drawn from what’s been happening in Batiuk’s life the last couple years. Having one’s home renovated actually does hold some comic potential, and this arc got off to a promising start Sunday, where we saw Funky and Holly interacting with the contractor at their house. It might have been kinda fun to see the job actually being done, and maybe have Holly finding ways to continually and inadvertently drive up the price tag, adding to her husband’s consterenation. Instead, the rest of the week’s been taken up with these two commiserating.
Tag Archives: Montoni’s
Let’s just leave aside today’s weak gag. I want to talk about what’s going on with Crazy Harry’s head.
As a teenager in Act I, Crazy was never seen without his trademark hat: an olive drab, military style fatigue cap, similar to those worn by Fidel Castro or Beetle Bailey. As an Act II young adult, Harry ditched the cap, but kept his Crazy cred by sporting a beard and ponytail. His forelock was noticeable but not distracting. In Act III, he complimented his postal uniform with a jaunty snap-brim cap over longish, but not ponytail length hair. After getting dumped by the P.O., Harry went mostly hatless, and his hair and beard began to gray. After Chuck Ayers reunited with Batiuk, Harry’s hair at last went totally gray, and that forelock has taken on the appearance of a casque, the bony, keratin-covered protuberance on the head of a cassowary:
Holly Winkerbean’s not the only Westview wife who’s been watching HGTV. According to Crazy Harry, Donna “seems plugged in and aware” of kitchen design trends. Too bad she’s married to a man who squanders his postal service pension checks on rare Tarzan comics.
I’m pretty sure that Crazy doesn’t get the nesting urge; if he did, it would mean he was pregnant. Crazy’s just saying he “gets” it. I didn’t: I had to look up “nesting urge”. Anyway, what’s not to get about the desire to “reno the nest” (and hoo boy, there’s another turn of phrase that you will hear nowhere in real life)?
February 21, 2021 at 11:00 pm
Every time a strip features Funky being nervously anxious about the cost of something I will be motivated to write here to say, yet again, as I did yesterday and before, that FUNKY LIVES IN A GOD DAMNED MANSION OF A HOUSE THAT WOULD HAVE A VALUE OF AT LEAST ONE FUCKING MILLION DOLLARS IF IT EXISTED IN THE REAL WORLD…
Exactly. The Winkerbeans live in a spacious home (that I suspect closely resembles Batiuk’s “Cartoon Castle). Funky clearly should have the wherewithal to spruce it up just a bit. He’s just bent out of shape because Holly’s taken charge of things. But she spends at least as much time running the family business as does Funky. Doesn’t Holly deserve the kitchen (and bathroom) of her dreams?
Such a weird joke today. I’m thinking that this “momentary lapse” Funky mentions was in November ’19, when he mused aloud about installing a shower in the guest bathroom for Holly’s mom. But that conversation took place face to face, and not over the phone. Does Holly surreptitiously record all their conversations, for use as leverage to get her way? Apparently there are third-party apps that allow you to record phone calls, but it’s not a feature of iOS. At any rate, Funky knows he’s been hornswoggled, and is none too happy about it. Even though profanity standards have become pretty lax, “damn” is still kinda salty language for any newspaper comic strip not named Doonesbury. And does Funky/Batty realize that Steve Jobs has been dead nearly ten years?
“Kitchen Reno“? I had to read today’s strip a couple times before I grasped that “reno” in this case is short for renovations. The weird alignment of type didn’t help. What’s with Funky’s stricken expression in panel 2? Home improvement is typically something guys like to talk about. Of course, all that Funky cares about is what all this is going to cost, especially with Holly out there sourcing materials. As the owner of a business that seems to have more employees than regular customers, he’s right to be concerned as to what this is going to cost.
So now we’re back to “Funky’s Body is Failing, Chapter 43”. Is that supposed to be Corey in the first panel? I hope so, because it’s legitimately hilarious that he’d have no clue that his dad is about to have surgery. Years ago, somebody must have told Batiuk that the way to get readers up to speed on what’s happening in your story is to have one character ask another what’s happening, because he sure does it a lot, and it’s super awkward every time.
Oh, and Funky is still nervous, in case you didn’t know. I really don’t know why Batiuk thinks “someone is nervous about surgery” is comedy gold, but he does.
So ends the epic OMEA 2021 Signfest (I hope). This is an awkward strip. I guess the first two panels are designed to be redundant in case the newspaper cuts them off, but having Harry ask if Funky is nervous about the surgery (and naming the type of surgery again) right after he’s told Funky isn’t looking forward to it is just awkward. Fear of death as a punchline is also awkward but totally normal for this strip. It’s funny how whenever something bad happens to Les or Lisa it’s portrayed as high tragedy, but with Funky it’s always for a lame joke or making fun of him.
Funky giving away all of his clothes is funny to me, only because I assume his wardrobe is 99% Montoni’s t-shirts and aprons.
Today’s strip almost comes off like an apology for yesterday’s. I’m sure it’s not, since that would be a surprising amount of self-awareness for him, but following up “women can’t be geeks, and geeks can’t stand women” with “we welcome everyone” is an odd clash. Especially when today’s strip continues the long pattern of women in Batiuk’s strips doing nothing but walking up to their menfolk and asking what they’re doing. Even when the sign is clearly done and it should be obvious to Rachel.
It’s also kind of weird just on its own merit. Yay, Montoni’s doesn’t discriminate. We can all rest easy and be inspired now. I also don’t know why an entire Sunday strip had to be spent on this, when a single panel of the sign would’ve been enough.
The thing finally happened, on a Sunday no less, which of course means it’ll happen again tomorrow. Perhaps they could deport Adeela to a city in dire need of architects, as the idea that this self-made immigrant is somehow supporting herself by being fifth in command at a failing local pizzeria gets dumber every time I ponder it, which is rarely.
I think the arc should just end right here. Adeela just disappears and is never heard from or mentioned by name again. Then in a few years Wally could do something stupid and quote her out of context with that annoying snide-yet-dunderheaded look on his dumb face.
“My old Muslim friend whose name escapes me always used to say that mozzarella is the saffron of the common folk.”
“Wow, your Muslim friend must have really been quite a character!”
“She was, Rachel, she was!”
I mean who would even care? Maybe forty people in the world even know who the hell Adeela is and if you were to poll those forty people and ask them they would unanimously not give a shit. She’d be like the Russian in “The Sopranos” or Becky’s mom, an enduring mystery for die-hard fans (chortle) to forever ponder.