Tag Archives: non-pizza foodstuffs

Enjoy Every Sandwich

A tip of the SoSF turban to Comic Book Harriet, who never fails to spin enlightening and entertaining gold from Tom Batiuk’s dreary dross.

The usually exposition-happy TB cuts us a little slack today: without any kind of setup, we rejoin the interminable Kitchen Reno, already in progress. Maybe “progress” isn’t the right word…Funky and Holly’s kitchen is still a complete shambles. But what a lovingly depicted shambles. Clearly, Tom “Write what you know” Batiuk (or maybe Chuck “Really just the penciler” Ayers) must have experienced a kitchen renovation a couple years ago, and was “inspired” to subject Funky (and us all) to a similar ordeal. I’m surprised the FW blog hasn’t been featuring “reference photos” of a gutted Kartoon Kastle kitchen. Willya look at all the details! Every outlet cover has been removed (I thought the bare outlet in the upper left was emitting sparks, but that’s just today’s date). Tools and extension cords are strewn about, plastic sheeting hangs in the doorway, and the floor is covered with a (poorly taped!) dropcloth.

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Ding Dongle

Oh yay, more obsolete technology for Batiuk to fetishize through one of his characters. Was Funky’s record player or eight track player broken? Crazy Harry will be so sad. And this seems like one of the silliest possible times to be using a Discman. The whole point of the things is that they’re portable. Listening to one when you’re by yourself in a room in your own house seems to defeat the whole purpose. Does Funky somehow own a Discman but not a stereo that can play CDs? This strip is mind-boggling sometimes.

Oh, and apparently there are still several companies that make portable CD players you can buy, at least on Amazon.  They’re not Sony Discmans, but still.  I also have a strong feeling that when Discmans debuted, Batiuk probably loudly proclaimed that his portable tape player was way better.  And knowing him he probably did comic strips about it.

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Trolling the Depths

That guy in the first panel sure looks happy. I hope he hasn’t discovered a new addiction to donuts.
Is it just me, or is that sentence in the second sentence super unwieldy? I can’t really think of a better way to phrase it, and it doesn’t really lead into the third panel at all.
Haha, “news that’s unfit to print”, that’s never been done before. I guess “Troller” is supposed to be a play on “Twitter”? Except it doesn’t sound at all the same, and I’m positive Batiuk has already made up a spoof of Twitter.
But yeah, reading the news is stressful and can lead to a relapse into alcoholism. True, but not really great material for a comic strip.

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Swollen Funky

Today’s strip is a bit weird for multiple reasons. It’s odd that Batiuk is highlighting that there’s a pandemic going on, and yet neither character is wearing a mask. And the whole punchline of the pandemic making meetings more crowded seems to be the exact opposite of what the pandemic actually did. Unfunny, uninteresting, and baffling-it’s the Batiuk Way!

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If only there WAS a substitute for experience…

You are looking liiiiive at St. Spires Church and its odd, grass-covered exterior wall in today’s strip

At least the choir ladies are asking follow up questions now. The last two times Dinkle pulled his “a little” shtick no one pressed him for specifics. I’m half-surprised Dinkle doesn’t carry around a printed resume to hand out to the mere mortals who aren’t familiar with his life story, that really seems like something he would do.

At least we get that brilliant salmonella pun again4 and a half months was just too long without it. It’s a true TB original too, you won’t find it anywhere else.

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Cripes, What a Black Hole!

How bad was the past week of Les strips? Bad enough to make today’s appearance by Mister Kablichnick feel like a refresing palate cleanser. I was ready to add “doughnut of doom” to the Batiuktionary, figuring that the term was coined by TB to set up the “punchline.” But Grandpa Google turned up this April 2019 New York Times article that uses the phrase, as well as the image Jim that is showing the students.

It’s been a pleasure sharing the pain with you lo these last two weeks. Beckoning Chasm steps into the wheelhouse starting Monday!

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We All Scream

J.J. O’Malley
February 26, 2021 at 11:43 pm
I can’t believe I’m writing this, but I almost want there to be a complete tour of the new and “improved” Chateau Winkerbean tomorrow, just so our six days of sloughing through (apparently) one very repetitive day-long conversation won’t have totally been in vain.

Hate to spoil it for ya, J.J., but I have a feeling that today’s strip is about as close as we’re gonna get to seeing the actual reno in progress. Throwaway panel 1 is a lovingly detailed rendering of a gutted kitchen, chock full of the kind of details–the orange extension cord, discarded sheetrock and wood, exposed studs and electrical–that have me thinking Batty snapped some reference pix during the real-life reno of his own kitchen that inspired this arc.

Also in panel 1, to the left of the FW text, we see Holly’s profile, which tells us that they’re sitting in a room that’s just off the kitchen. Which makes me wonder how she could forget that the ice cream and everything else has been moved to another location.

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Neither can we, Marian… uh, I mean, Lisa

And we’re back to Les’s cameo in today’s strip. I dunno what that golf thing yesterday was about, but it will probably be awful and unsatisfying if it is ever revealed at all.

Having seen more of this scene, I really hope Les’ fear that his cameo will elicit knee-buckling laughter from his friends, family, and assorted other acquaintances comes true. What better time in Lisa’s Story to bust a gut than this maudlin bit where Les recaps a phone conversation Lisa had with her insensitive doctor? That’s the first and only thing about this Lisa’s Story flick that makes me want to watch it.

This strip is a nice reminder that Lisa’s second battle with cancer was full of bumbling and insensitive doctors: always mixing up important cancer charts and exhibiting awful bedside manner. What timing TB has… I cannot think of a time in my life when fewer Americans would be interested in fictional depictions of incompetent and unpleasant doctors.

And that’s it for me. I cannot say I envy spacemanspiff85, who takes over tomorrow. Good luck to you. You won’t have it, but it seems the right sentiment to express.

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Cut It On The Bias

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?! After a week of setup for this cameo and its single, six word line, Les flubs it in today’s strip? Who could have possibly seen this coming?

At least the narrative has inched along despite wasting 14 panels on reusing the most cliche gag about acting in history. Mr. Director himself, Martin Johns, confirms what we all suspected since we first saw that laughable park bench set being put together… this film has next to no budget. Unless he’s just being dramatic about the tire fire that Les has turned this scene into, in which case we’ve gone no where on this story arc in a week and a half.

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Order Up-chuck

Today’s strip was done better some 36-and-a-half years ago by one Charles M. Schulz. Les is echoing the more-likable Sally Brown’s Hark! Hark! Hark! Hark! from Christmastime 1983…

Unlike Lisa’s Story, those strips were worked into an actual film, It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown, which I got on videocassette for the price of a tank of gas in my parents’ Mazda at a Shell filling station back in 1993.

And frankly, “Les says things and bothers innocent bystander(s)” is not new ground even within the history of this strip either. Let’s move on.

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