Writing facial recognition software in the Batiukverse has got to be the ultimate fool’s errand. While I was not able to find any source for Amicus’ 20% of the time figure here in real life internetland, in Westview I would think the figure would be well above that. WAY well above that.
Fortunately, today’s strip stays in one time line. It also quotes one of Bob Dylan’s best-reviewed songs. Well, that’s two positives to the… end-ish? of this very maudlin special story arc. FYI: A donation has been made to the Boston University CTE center, presumably so readers will remember what this story arc was about last month.
So was Bull a member of the local Dylanist congregation or is that the only house of worship in Westview anymore? Both?
And with that, I am relieved… both to be done with my posting stint and, come tomorrow, by the incomparable Spacemanspiff85.
Hey, remember when this story arc was about Bull? Today’s strip sure doesn’t.
Look, I’m just going to gloss over the fact that Dinkle was actually introduced well over a year into this strip’s existence and just give TB credit for remembering that Funky Winkerbean itself is 47 (and a half) years old… And with that out of the way I’ll go right into wondering what the heck this has to do with Bull, his condition, his life, or anything. I guess if you twist your neck 117 degrees and squint until you experience sharp pain in your temples it appears the notoriously egotistical Dinkle (or is that Buck?) is paying Bull a compliment by saying they were equals despite his long and incessant history of considering all things inferior to himself and his marching band. But really this is just TB repackaging his biggest hit.
Dinkle is the only thing about this strip that has ever moved merchandise. His “football fields are for band practice!” bit covers books and t-shirts, and even serves as his character’s introductory line in the stage play Funky Winkerbean’s Homecoming. Dinkle’s shtick has sold band posters (“Dinkle wants your horn to twinkle”) and shoes, and no less than 9 Dinkle-specific collections of FW strips have been published! No, seriously, there have been 4 Lisa books and 9 Dinkle books.
Football Fields are for Band Practice!
Harry L. Dinkle Live at Carnegie Hall
I Never Promised You a Rose Parade
Gone with The Woodwinds
Would the Ushers Please Lock the Doors!
Attack of the Band Moms
The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side of the Football Field
Music is Worth it… Music is Worth it… Music is…
This is nothing more than TB pushing his most-recognized character/cash cow into a story the New York Times inexplicably gave him ink for. Ugh!
Today’s strip was not available for preview. I considered waiting for it become available to post, but with the possibility of more Les on the table… I am sorry but I am not willing to burn the 11:00 PM oil potentially posting about a despicable character in a despicable situation.
However, true believers, just so I don’t send you to the comments section empty-handed… here, in honor of the late Jerome Bushka, is Bull’s very first appearance in Funky Winkerbean:
Oh, sorry, that’s the first mention of Bull, May 3 of 1972, in classic TB tell-don’t-show style. Here’s his first appearance, on September 23 of 1972 (Wait, why doesn’t Funky have CTE too, being a football sporto?):
And the first time he appears and is named, on September 26, 1972 (Until 2013, this was the canonical reason Fred Fairgood was estranged from his daughter Kerry. No, really!):
Please feel free to add any that I and Merriam-Webster may have missed. Thanks.
Also, just to remind anyone who wasn’t reading back in 2011, or those who have had the good fortune to forget, Bull’s bullying of Les in high school was an act to protect Les from real bullies. It’s like Les doesn’t even read this strip…
It’s back to the WABAC machine in today’s strip. No, I’m not talking about the flashback to “five years ago…”, I’m talking about Bull’s funeral, which has itself moved two-and-a-half years backward in time in order to accommodate a five years ago flashback featuring players Bull last coached in the spring of 2012. Well, at least we are getting something that is actually about Bull in this one… that’s so damning with faint praise that it could keep an ocean at bay. (“Billy was a special blogger”, they said at his funeral.)
Also, I tagged both Keisha and Linda in this, because I’m not sure which one of them is standing next to Summer in panel 3.
Are you wondering how Bull’s wife and children are mourning his death? Maybe how his former players and fellow coaches, whose lives he surely had a large impact on, have reacted? Well, too bad for you, for the art of storytelling, and for general decency… because today’s strip is focused on four schmucks, only one of whom even knows Bull moderately well (and one who has NEVER once met the guy) and none of whom have talked to Bull in at least 3 full years. Heck, they aren’t even talking about Bull, they are awkwardly reminding us that Cindy was popular in high school.
Bull’s death only made page 2 of the Westview Gazette? This is a town with only five employers and Bull was the most decorated employee in the history of the largest of those. What could possibly have made the front page?
Long time readers are probably wondering why this state trooper is reenacting the second most memorable thing about “The Electric Company” with Linda instead of hauling off her baked meteorite, as the disposal of dangerous foodstuffs is the historical role of the Ohio State Police in Funky Winkerbean. I’m right there with you, as I honestly don’t know.
Linda takes a break from baking a meatloaf? a potato grown under the power lines? you know, let’s go with a small boulder in today’s strip to… call Bull on his cell phone. Is… is that really what is happening here? What the everwhating what?!
If Linda thought Bull was inside the house, why did she not walk 17 feet to try to find him instead of calling him on the telephone? If she knew he was out, where did she think he was and who did she think he was with (Buck?)? Was she really letting him go out on his own? This is her behavior as a caregiver? Even murderers after life insurance money would say she’s trying too hard.
While Bull didn’t survive his trip off Nobottom Road, his cell phone sure did. Much as how folks in our universe wonder why airplanes aren’t made out of the material used to make black boxes, one would think there are folks in the Batiukverse wondering why they don’t make cars out of the material used to make cell phones…
I know what you’re thinking, “How can today’s strip be any worse than this past week?”
Les. The most dreaded name in the newspaper. The name that even alone evokes the most dire of thoughts. “Les” is the sound that a rattlesnake makes before it dies in a brush fire. It’s the Florida State Police code word for a sinkhole. It was the name of Francisco Franco’s pet canary. It is far and away the worst part of the title of Les Miserables.
I don’t know what possessed this poor poor child to wander near Les’ table, but I do know that if he winds up reading Lisa’s Story he is not going put it down disappointed that only one person dies. No, he’s just going to think that the wrong person dies. And he would, of course, be right.