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.
Tag Archives: Mort
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.
At least demented, Alzheimer’s-ridden old Morty had a unique FW personality all his own, uninteresting and un-entertaining as it may have been. Now, alas, he’s just like the rest of them. Sigh.
Note to Tom: “Grandpa Google” is never, ever going to catch on, mainly because it doesn’t make any f*cking sense whatsoever. Perhaps it’s almost time to stop carrying on as if The Internet is some sort of newfangled marvel and just allow the characters to use it without acting all incredulous about it.
Coming tomorrow: Mort’s three-hundred pound box of old catalogs arrives and is unfortunately dropped on Ed’s oxygen hose. It crimps and he dies. Entire generations of comic strip readers shrug and/or say “what the hell is a “Crankshaft”?
See, if you never fully commit to the crossover it’s not shameless self-promotion, it’s just wry Tomfoolery. Everyone remembers the psychotic old school bus driver but no one in the Funkyverse can remember his name…which is Ed. Har-dee-f*cking har-har. After Mindy (shudder) marries Pete and they rent some “young couple just starting out” shitbox in the Montoni’s district will she still remember her grandfather’s (Ed, BTW) name or will she refer to him as “that grandfather guy”? Will Pete call him “your grandfather guy”? The mind reels.
Good ol’ Morty Winkerbean…BatWards’ worst retcon job ever. Those of you with short memories might not recall the “Funky puts his dementia-stricken father in a nursing home” arc of whatever year that was (2010, maybe 2011?) or how it led to Funky’s near-fatal car wreck or how that arc birthed (sigh) the Starbuck Jones phenomenon. Back then (and until he started smoking cigarettes several years later) Mort was gone, as in all the way. He’d show up on Father’s Day, Funky would wheel him around, he’d mutter a little and that was that.
Fast-forward to mid-2018 and that very same Morton is as sharp as the point on BatNard’s head and twice as witty. Hatching feel-good schemes, cutting records and performing live (only a few years after learning to play the trombone, mind you) AND he’s online too! Why, a reader who didn’t know any better might assume that this “Mort” fella is a brand new character but nope, he’s the same guy who was reduced to drool-cup status a few short (actually extremely long and tedious) years ago.
So I guess what I’m saying here is that BatWrite wasted years and years creating his little stories and creating a fictional universe that not only never went anywhere, it actually grabbed itself by the tail and ate itself. And I didn’t even mention how Crankshaft is somehow way older in FW than he is in his own strip, which is something I’m not even going to comment on as I don’t read “Crankshaft” and never will.
The single dumbest FW/Crankshaft crossover arc ever continues today, as the Power Couple Of The Century continues to drone on and on about some old catalogs in front of a decrepit and slowly dying Crankshaft, as an increasingly aware and mentally sharp Morty eavesdrops and schemes in the background. It’s difficult to believe BatWad needs TWO daily comic strips to spin this yarn but then again it’s difficult to believe he has two daily comic strips at all.
Springtime…a time of rebirth, flowers blooming, leaves sprouting (as opposed to falling), sunshine, mailboxes full of junk mail…yep, a time when a psychotic old bus driver’s fancy turned to the ol’ mail order catalog. No wonder everyone hates him and/or can’t ever remember his name.
Then there’s Pete, who understands ol’ Crankshaft all too well (and has to make the conversation all about himself and comic books, of course). Apparently HE sat on pins and needles waiting for the new “Starbuck Jones” to drop even though it may or may not have already run its course ten or thirty years before he was even conceived. WHY are these two talking about old mail order catalogs at a nursing home? What prompted this completely random old memory? Why is Morton lurking suspiciously in the background? Is he going to buy Chester’s old catalogs for his ol’ pal Crankshaft?
Of course he is. Crankshaft sold his catalog collection to Chester who’s going to sell his catalog collection to Morton who’s going to give them to Crankshaft, because that’s how things always work in the Funkyverse. Then Crankshaft will die and some cold unfeeling health aide will unceremoniously toss his life’s work into the dumpster and the circle of junk will be complete. I mean just look at ol’ Cranky…what the hell is he going to do with two hundred pounds of old catalogs? No one sentimentalizes old garbage quite like BatNut does. Just look at how he keeps re-packaging that stupid old Lisa story…ZING!!!!