Tag Archives: Morton Winkerbean

Merry Squick-mas

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.

I guess the jury is finally out (citation needed) on Morton’s “moves” (citation needed) and “charm” (citation needed). Bedside Manor needs to change the locks.

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Slowly they turned…

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.

Maybe Funky has an excuse, he thinks churches are places to practice driving, but Holly has been depicted as at least a somewhat regular churchgoer.

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Later On We’ll Inquire, While We Sing At St. Spires

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.

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Take off, eh?

Hey, do you remember that sketch on The Muppet Show where Florence Henderson played the teenage son of a Ronald Reagan Muppet? I sure don’t, and I’ve seen The Muppet Show episode with Florence Henderson, but apparently Funky does, if today’s strip is to be believed.

I certainly can’t blame Morton for wanting to avoid these two bores the way a teenage avoids his parents. Given that Funky and Holly are back in the car driving who knows where instead of talking with the authorities about locating Morton and about Bedside Manor’s gross negligence, I guess the feeling is mutual.

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Grossest In December

OK, I was kidding yesterday about skeevy Morton becoming a December tradition, but today’s strip takes my meanderings seriously. Who is the audience for this? OK, Greg Evans I guess, but who else?

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.

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The Gig Haiku-nomy

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


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It’s A Privilege, Not A Right

Link To The Next One

I remember that arc. It went something like this:

“Dad, I’m really sorry but I simply can’t allow you to drive anymore. It’s just not safe.”

“Beer nuts! Mom? Happy Arbor Day! Huh?”

“Now dad, don’t be that way. You know I’m only looking out for your best interests.”

(Morton lights up a Marlboro Light)

“Ah, that’s better. While I respect and appreciate your concern, I am also offended, as I obviously still have the cognitive and physical abilities required to operate a motor carriage.”

(Black panel)

Although perhaps my memories are a bit hazy, as there was a lot going on in the strip at that time. Good thing Funky didn’t entrust Linda with Morton’s keys, as he would have easily found them while Linda was on the phone complaining, then driven himself into Westview Gorge like how Bull did. And right now Morton is WAY sharper than Bull was near the end of his run.

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The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Elderly Jazz Band

Link To This One

It’s funny, because just a few years ago Morton didn’t have an imagination at all! At least they’re still both clothed and for that, we should be thankful. Obviously BatYam caught part of some rock band biopic and thought it’d be “very funny” if yadda yadda yadda and so forth. At least Morty finally stopped with the demonic sex offender leering, at least for now. The whole “aren’t depraved randy old coots hilarious?” thing is around 98% less funny than BatNard thinks it is and I really wish he’d leave those gags for his other, lesser known (chortle) comic strip, as I don’t read that one.

It’s funny how usually FW characters are heavily into pop-culture references from thirty years before they born, but today Morton is referencing rock and roll tropes from seventy years AFTER he was born. It’s amazing how his advanced dementia didn’t seem to affect his memory at all, which is, uh, highly unusual, I guess you could say. The way he just totally blew off that early Act III Major Prestige Arc remains one of Act III’s greatest and dumbest mysteries.

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If This Van’s A-Creakin’, Don’t Come A-Peekin’

Link To Today’s Strip

“No, no. no. He still looks too friendly and cheerful. I want the reader to see Morton as a malevolent sex machine who’s going to force himself on Lillian whether she consents or not!”

“Uh…OK, I guess. Here, let me cock up that eyebrow by 40% or so and add more sneer…and how’s that?”

“No no NO! MORE sneer! MORE eyebrow! And Lillian should appear frightened, like she knows she can’t say no!”

“Hmmm (sigh). OK (sigh).”

Once again Morton is inexplicably leering in unrestrained lustful malevolence, but what really sends this one caroming over that fine line between gross and disturbing is Lillian’s line about needing to go to confession, which is just completely unnecessary. The guy is supposed to be an “elderly ladies’ man”, not a coercive sex offender. Doing an arc about Morton trying to score a “date” is one thing, but having him luring old ladies into vans is, uh, something else entirely.

I can’t believe he’s actually doing a sub-arc about Morton trying to bang Lillian in the Bedside Manor van. I’m not sure which is more disturbing, the artist’s decision to draw Mort with that demonic leer of unbridled lust or BatYam thinking this is “cute”. In fact, this one is so far “out there” it might be the highlight of the entire year so far. It’s almost like he did this one as a test, to see if anyone was still paying attention.

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