Presenting the last panel from Wednesday’s, Tuesday’s, and today’s strips:
Funky cannot seem to shake his morbid delusion. Once the discussion switches over from pizzeria humor to the somber minutiae of trusts and probate law, the gravity of the business at hand preys on Funky’s feeble mind until he’s convinced that he’s already died. And that’s not even the bad part: it’s starting to sink in that his afterlife will be spent in this room with a lawyer and his wife.
Well, Groundhog Day was a week ago, but readers will be forgiven if they feel like they’re re-reading yesterday’s strip today. Panel one, Anono-Lawyer uses a legal term; panel two, lawyer guy turns it over to Funky and Holly. Panel three–the payoff!–Funky says something pitiful.
Since I said everything yesterday that could be said about this setup, I’ll use the remainder of my time to share a couple hunches. First, that building we see out the window in panel 2 seems rather lovingly detailed, especially in light of Mr. “Halftone Gradient” Batiuk’s usual disdain for drawing scenery. Perhaps it is a Real Place in Ohio?
Secondly, as this blog nears its seventh anniversary (thanks to every one of our readers and contributors!), Funky Winkerbean is coming up on forty-five years. I would not put it past Tom Batiuk, assuming he plans to mercifully retire FW at the fifty-year mark, to end with a drawn out “Funky Dies” arc, in which every single abandoned plot line is resolved. Better get to work on that now, Tom.
Do you suppose, dear reader, that ’round February of last year, Batty’s wife reminded him that it was time to finally plan their estate? After which TB tiptoed 1/4″ away to craft this week’s arc while such terms as irrevocable trust still danced in his head?
Wow! Hell of a Super Bowl, huh guys? Greetings, snarkers, and a tip of the SoSF coonskin to Beckoning Chasm for his fine stint. The flight back from Dallas has given Mrs. Kidneycyst, I mean Winkerbean, plenty of time to ponder mortality. They’ve not even put down their luggage when Holly brings up the contemporary issue affecting young adults that is estate planning. How’s that for setting the tone for a week of strips? Having stated his thesis, Batiuk has one panel left in which to lighten things with his trademark wordplay, but can only manage another of his patented, head-scratching punchlines. The Winkerbeans’ home is apparently pretty spacious, but I wouldn’t say they live on an estate. Or did Funky mishear “planning” as “planting”? Still makes no sense.
Link To Today’s Strip
Well, if you’ll recall my baseball talk from yesterday, I think we’ve got another single. It’s funny, goofy in a non-realistic way (wouldn’t a blood-pressure band around the neck kind of kill Funky?), and I do get a kick out of the last panel–Funky’s strangled panic combined with Nurse Greenhair looking at us like, “If it’s not one thing, it’s another.” Maybe it’s a double. I really do enjoy that last panel.
So…it’s a good strip, it continues in this week’s surprising “humorous” vein, and it is to be applauded for that reason. It’s just not the topper to the run. (“Topper”? OMG, I’m starting to use Funky Winkerbean terms without even noticing!)
And I have to complain about two things–Nurse Greenhair, for one. At first I thought, “When did Trainer Greenhair find time to get a haircut? She was just pouring oil on Funky’s treadmill not two minutes ago!” I know that Tom Batiuk couldn’t use blue hair, because Superman, but maybe red? Purple? Burnt Sienna? Raw Umber?
Secondly, Mr. Batiuk, when sending out a casting call, you need to emphasize that the actors need to resemble the character. Hiring Jimmy Durante for panel one was not a good idea.
Still, this is another funny one, as far as I’m concerned. Bravo!