I’m sure Epicus Doomus is happy to not be blogging about old men having boring conversations for the first time in months weeks (tip of the Funky felt-tip to you for your endurance), but neither I (billytheskink, hello there) nor the readers are going to be so lucky. Nope, today’s strip offers a change of venue but not of subject, old men just won’t stop blandly contemplating the decline of themselves and their worlds… and our venue may well shift back to last week’s graveyard by the end of the week if Crazy can’t name that tune in 12 notes.
Yep, Crazy’s a goner. Dang, and I had Frd Fairgood in the death pool.
Today’s strip is just unpleasant. I mean, that could be said for a lot of Funky Winkerbean strips, including yesterday’s, but rarely is this strip so overtly nasty… and over such a trivial thing too.
Melinda looks to be going hard after Rose Murdoch for Batiukverse mother of the year, though. I know, I know, “Rose is dead,” you’re thinking, “so Melinda should have the title locked up easily.” Yeah, well, Phil Holt and Lisa were allegedly dead too… and there’s still time for them to make a run at mother of the year.
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.
Nice to know that the Sunday teal and salmon colors have been washed off the walls, and we’re back to horrific fleshcave known as weekday Montoni’s. I don’t know where you would buy a skin colored coffee maker, and I don’t want to know.
Did you find Sunday’s joke amusing? I sure hope so! Because today we get the same joke again, told to a different person. I can’t wait for tomorrow where Wally will enter and they can tell HIM all about Crazy Harry’s crazy salad dressing idea.
We don’t even know if the salad dressing is a bad gift, because we know almost nothing about Donna. For all we know she loves salad dressing, and will be thrilled by this present. She’s as much of a faceless cypher as any Funky Winkerbean background character at this point. The last time she was given any significant speaking role was a single week back in 2014, where she talked to Holly about how comic books ‘aren’t just for boys.’
I jumped into the archives to revisit that particular arc. Maybe it would give some insight into Donna’s personality. And WOW, there is an entire Pandora’s box of unfortunate implications to unpack here. Whatever Donna may seem on the outside, inside she is one messed up chick.
1.) Donna sees the world as men against women, with men as destructive mutants, and women as humanity.
3.) So Donna, as a girl liking video games, saw herself as ‘half-boy’ because of her interests, and identified with Hunter. Hunter was a character who straddled both worlds, half-human, half-mutant. In her analogy, half-woman, half-man.
4.) She saw video games as, ‘the boy’s turf’ and thus felt she needed to hide the female side of herself in order to participate. And saw participating in disguise as a form of battle against the fully mutant male.
5.) Now that she is a wife and mother, she expresses no nerdy interests and has become identical to every doudy Westview hausfrau.
None of this furthers the assertion that comic books are for girls too. They are still ‘boy’s turf’ and a girl must be part male if she wants to enter.
This just feels like a sad little girl’s internalized misogyny manifesting itself in unwarranted gender dysphoria.
Oh good. I was getting worried. We hadn’t seen Montoni’s in what feels like FOREVER and I was starting to wonder if Batiuk had forgotten about it, just like he forgot about Wally Jr or Crazy Harry’s children.
I said once that I thought Lisa’s Legacy was the Axis Mundi around which this entire universe turned, and while Dead St Lisa is certainly the spiritual heart, the physical center of the Funkyverse is this stupid little pizza joint. Monk’s Cafe in Seinfeld, or the Central Perk in Friends pale in comparison to this monolith.
As many of you know, Montoni’s is based off of the real restaurant Luigi’s located in Akron, Ohio. So, today’s strip instantly raises the question, does Luigi’s sell salad dressing. After a little digging using that internet Dinkle loathes so much, I found out that yes Luigi’s does offer bottled Italian salad dressing for sale in store. Seven-fifty will buy you this little number.
Really, looking at Luigi’s, they should be insulted by the Montoni’s comparison. Sure, they share a band box, and a counter with stools, but Luigi’s looks like a decent place, with a much more inviting and charming interior. By all the accounts I read, this place is almost always packed, and with a line waiting outside.
They do have weird idiosyncrasies, like not accepting credit cards, instead having an ATM in the back that doesn’t print out cash, but prints out a receipt to use up front. And the monstrosity below is their interpretation of a salad.
Weirdest of all, while scrolling through pictures of Luigi’s looking for salad dressing, I found what must be the inspiration for another old Montoni’s friend. See if you can spot it.
Did you know President Bill Clinton likes to jog? I sure didn’t, at least not until today’s strip… and when I say “today’s strip”, I mean “when he was first elected President”. Does TB think calling him “President Clinton” is not enough of an identifier for readers or did he just recently start watching a DVD box set of 1990s Saturday Night Live episodes?
What’s with all the Eeyores in the first panel? Funky just dialed up BILL CLINTON on a whim, got the former POTUS to answer directly, and was told by the man himself that he would help. Why is Rachel even questioning this?
Better yet, why am I questioning this? Any of this? It’s been a fool’s errand for decades.
While most of the now-reassembled idiocy of Winkerbeans mopes at a Pete-level in today’s strip, Holly is taking charge! How, exactly, she expects a photo of Act II Funky with the mayor of Centerville to help Adeela remains to be seen…
Before we get into the explanation for this bit of Batiukverse history, let’s take a minute to appreciate the magnificent uselessness of Amicus Breef, who today is repeating the exact same legal vernacular he spit out two days ago… like a 14 year old who just learned the phrase “subpoena evidence” and keeps saying it because he thinks it makes him sound smart. It has been some time since TB introduced such a remarkably incompetent character, which is saying something.
OK, now for the tale of the time Funky and his mullet met President Bill Clinton. It was the summer of 1993 and the Westview school district was facing its latest challenge in getting voters to approve yet another school levy (or “tax issue” as Fred and Nate referred to this one). Dinkle decided the best way to drum up support was to get the recently elected President Clinton to appear at a rally headlined by his WHS band. Being a well-known former band geek, the President actually showed up, endured the band’s performance, and finished things off by playing a saxophone duet with Dinkle. On his way out of town, President Clinton demanded pizza and Dinkle recommended Montoni’s. Thus:
Dinkle also gave the President a gift for showing up at the rally… *sigh* It was a box of comic books, of course.
Normally, a Funky Winkerbean reader would see today’s episode as one of those typical Sunday “filler” strips that has nothing to do with anything, but is just supposed to be lighthearted and fun.
But Tom Batiuk can’t resist tipping his heavy hand when he’s about to get serious. I guess it’s his way of saying “Polish off those awards, boys, the Batiuk shelf is ready for ’em!”
So we see Adeela all happy and carefree, just before the mean ol’ USA comes crashing down on her, for no reason at all (I’m guessing; there could be a reason that will turn out to be incredibly stupid). Maybe she has a brother who’s bombed here and there, and she’s guilty by association. Or it might be something we’ve never guessed (because it has never been shown.) As I mentioned yesterday, whatever it is will be so inaccurate and poorly thought-out that it should win awards–just not the good kind. The point is that Batiuk will make her life living hell, for no other reason than that’s the only kind of life available in this strip…and, for that, he should win an award. A good award, too. He thinks.
Seems odd that we had to go through nine years two weeks of talking about driver’s licenses to get here, but there you go in Batiukland.
And that’s all from me for now. Thank you for your indulgence; I appreciate your comments and your insights, and I also appreciate those who read but do not comment. And now, please welcome back reigning champion Epicus Doomus, who returns tomorrow.
We’re only on our second day with Isaac the Robot Manservant, and Funky is already tired of the tin can. Look at his poor face in panel two. He was briefly excited at the idea of conversing with a sentient android of unknown origin. But the robot is just another smarmy asshole. Like everyone else in Westview.
Which is too bad, because robots make the best smarmy assholes. Marvin, Bender, HK-47, L-Ron, Lore. The only robot type more popular has to be the wide-eyed innocent Johnny Five type. Unfortunately for Isaac he apparated in the universe of insufferable twits, where his personality is only so much white noise and static.
Thank you to everyone who pointed out yesterday that our metallic mirage is supposed to be a Starbuck Jones side character who was shown on several of Batiuk’s prized commissioned comic covers he loudly auctioned off for roughly the price of a used car. I guess it explains why Funky would hallucinate him. The bulbed-headed desk lamp is probably rattling around in his subconscious from seeing him on the covers of comics when Holly was collecting.
Comic Book Harriet here; stretching out her snarking muscles to warm up for this marathon of nonsense.
A long long time ago, when the world was young and Bush was president, I decided to join the Cross Country team. I wouldn’t call what I did on that team ‘running’, because that is an gross insult to the vital skill set that allowed our ancestors to chase down game and flee sabertooth tigers. If we are being extremely generous, we could call my half-hearted efforts ‘jogging’. Just like you could be generous and call the multicolored scribbles of a toddler ‘art’.
As my oxygen deprived brain would send gasping signals to my leaden legs to shuffle forward in a jerky shamble, my entire torso was consumed in the effort of sucking in air and huffing it out like I had swallowed a miniature iron lung.
Sometimes, when one of the more naturally athletic teammates would approach from behind to lap me, (again), they would attempt to engage me in conversation; but a few painfully wheezed one word replies were all I could ever manage.
Never in a million years would I have taken the effort and energy and oxygen to laboriously explain to myself, on an empty track, self-evident and pointless facts OUT LOUD.