A very Merry Christmas to you all, SOSFers! Your Christmas will likely be merrier if you don’t read today’s strip, but linking to the latest Funky Winkerbean strip is kind of what we do here. Apologies.
Tag Archives: Mort
Today’s strip is pretty inoffensive, as these things go. It might border on “nice” if we liked a single one of these characters.
Not sure why Funky and Holly look so surprised to see Morton playing the trombone. They know Morton is in this band. They know the band is playing at St. Spires. They walk into the Christmas Eve service hearing the strains of “Silent Night”. Put two and two together…
OK, sure, most of the churches I’m familiar with place both the choir and orchestra in front of the congregation rather than behind, but such a slight difference wouldn’t floor me like a character from the late They’ll Do It Every Time.
Today’s strip might not quite be at the “Somehow Palpatine returned”-level, but “Luckily, one of the residents at Bedside Manor overheard that the band was playing here at St. Spires” is certainly on the list of history’s worst narrative solutions via exposition.
I think Funky and Holly must have gotten turned around driving on those snowy roads. Judging by the looks of this lady waving sheet music at them, I’d say they shot clear past Centerville, through a multiverse portal, and straight into Whoville. Specifically, the Whoville from the live-action Grinch movie. Fitting for this strip, I suppose.
I cannot decide which is more egregious:
- The colorist’s decision to color both Funky’s and Morton’s coats blue (probably because they are just as confused by Morton and Funky’s converging ages as we are).
- The Bedside Manor staff not knowing where five of their residents are.
If you are one of the 17 folks who own a copy of Roses In December or just a really really big Crankshaft fan, you may recall another story where a nursing home lost track of one of its residents. That time the nursing home had an excuse, as Ralph Meckler had kidnapped his Alzheimer’s-stricken wife and took her to Sotheby’s in New York to see his collection of vintage movie posters auctioned off.
Over the river And through the woods, to Morton's Nursing home we go Funky knows the way As he skids on through Copley In the driving snow
But wait, he's not there?! As we learn in today's strip No, he's got a gig Kinda surprising That blonde has not mistaken Funky for Morton A front desk message? Who communicates like this? They're father and son! OK, to be fair This weirdness is typical For this comic strip If he has a gig Does that mean we won't have to Endure skeezy Mort? Morton the creepster Has become a Batiukverse Christmas tradition
Well, it may be the 26th and all but yuletide festivities are still in full swing over at Winkerbean Manor aka The House That Tony Built. Apparently Holly’s mother has been staying there this whole time, as that whole “band reunion” thing appears to have been nothing more than an excuse for Holly’s mom (does she even have a name?) to make Funky’s depressing life even more of a living hell. Despite it being a pretty tired old trope (mother-in-law gags are as trope-y as it gets) I was not altogether un-amused by Funky’s reaction there in panel two, nor by his sidewards comma eyes in panel one for that matter. Maybe it’s my misguided Christmas cheer, but IMO this is at least a baby step up from seven week PTSD arc or watching a befuddled amputee bumble around haplessly for a week, so there is that. I mean sure, it isn’t “good” by any measure but given how abysmal 2018 was overall, I’ll temporarily take it.
Twas the night before Christmas
With Holly’s mom and Mort
Not a creature was stirring,
And no wry retorts!
I suppose a wordless strip on Christmas Day is sort of like BatNard’s gift to his faithful readers. I hope they both really enjoy it. Yep, it all comes around full circle all right. Holiday greetings and much thanks to the SoSF staff and of course our loyal and hilarious army of snarkers, have a Merry Christmas and may your whiskey stones come with a receipt so you can exchange them for something better, like actual whiskey.
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.
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.
Mort has really exceptional hearing too, as he apparently overheard every morsel of Mindy’s tiresome maudlin babbling. The fact that he’s in a band makes his excellent hearing that much more remarkable. I wonder if Fred Fairgood ever stares from his window forlornly and wishes he was stricken with the fun, zany kind of debilitating illness Morty got instead of the shitty one he ended up with. I’d say it’s a near certainty.
Anyhow blah blah blah, multiple days of characters talking about using the internet…let the wry times roll, eh? They’re gonna buy this rare old catalog, give it to Crankshaft…and then what? Does he die happy (ha)? Does he drool all over it? Given how decrepit Act III FW Ed is, I don’t see many other possibilities there. No one can romanticize old junk quite like BatSnore can. Shitty old comics, decoder rings, VHS tapes, old catalogs, I bet his garage is a real mess.