Tag Archives: palm trees

Second Hand News

Ooooooooooooooo! Rumors! Swirling rumors! Each one far too interesting to be true or even explored in Funky Winkerbean. Enjoy them now, because today’s strip is probably the last time they will ever be mentioned.

It really is too bad too… the most interesting aspect of celebrity mystery deaths are the wacky conspiracy theories obsessively promoted by space cadets with more imagination than TB has ever had. They can be disgusting, demeaning, profiteering, and otherwise awful, but interesting they really so often are. Otherwise, this Brinkel story is just terribly sad… which I guess, to be fair, is TB’s wheelhouse. It’s a really boring wheelhouse.

In true Batiukverse fashion, the police are having to hold people back from attempting to join Valerie Pond in the back of that ambulance.

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Carousel of Dull

Other than the fact I was able to enjoy a small side-line cottage industry in collecting option checks, Funky and my other work have always managed to avoid being exploited or stained by Hollywood as if the strips had been Scotchgarded against the very possibility.

Tom Batiuk, from The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume Six

“Butter” Brinkel had his own carousel and a pet chimpanzee?  He’s coming off less like Fatty Arbuckle and more like Michael Jackson. Brinkel’s also got the world’s largest gun collection.  Could this be foreshadowing? Does that collection include Chekhov’s gun? Does “the starlet Valerie Pond” meet her demise by gunfire?

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The Stupid! It Burns!

So at long last, here we go into the “Butter” Brinkel arc. Those readers of the dead tree editions, the ones who run only the truncated, bottom-panels-only version of the Sunday strips, are missing out on a classic bit lifted from Buster Keaton’s 1928 silent comedy Steamboat Bill, Jr. Now that they’re finally ready to start work on the documentary, Jessica is literally throwing up her hands saying she doesn’t know where to begin. What does Cindy even need her videographer for, if they have a ton of archival footage?

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Readers React

Link to today’s strip.

Okay, today’s thing is actually kind of funny, in a “Family Circus” kind of way…by which, it isn’t actually funny but you can at least see that a joke was intended.

And who among us here has not said the dialogue in panel one, after reading Funky Winkerbean or Crankshaft?

 

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The HoRRRRRRor, the HoRRRRRRor

Gerard Plourde
October 30, 2018 at 1:25 am
…I have no idea what “RRRRRRRRRR” is supposed to represent. A turboprop airplane? A siren? A lawnmower?

Other readers of this blog have suggested it could be a tornado alarm or a pirate…but at any rate, because this is Act III Funky Winkerbean, the big reveal is a few days away. WhateveRRRRR it is, it’s got both parties, the non-hand-shaking locals and the GI’s, scrambling for cover. While we wait for the inevitable anticlimax, your typophile host would like to point out that the RRRRRR sound effect appears to be typeset in ITC Pioneer, most famously used in posters for the blaxploitation film classic Shaft.

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It’s Just the Wasted Years So Close Behind

Link to today’s strip.

So:  this makes a walloping four times a strip has been unavailable for preview during my latest hosting period.  That’s gotta be a record of some kind.

Of course, two of those times were Sundays, and Sunday’s strips are always unavailable for preview.  Because why should he give us time to point out the shortcomings practically leaping all over his work?

Over at Shankcraft, for example, Apple Annie is about to sign her first author:  Lillian.  But–

–didn’t Ann have Les as a client?  It seemed only a short eternity ago that Lillian was hosting Les’ launch party for his book about John Darling, who was murdered.  I thought the story was, Les, seeing as he and his book were both garbage, tossed his manuscript into the trash (where it belonged, and where it was happy*).  Ann, then a bag lady, fished it out (making it unhappy) and got it published (terrifying it), thus leading to the greatest display of egomania ever shown on the comics page.  Way to go, Ann.  Thanks (said all sarcastic-like).  But no, apparently continuity is for losers if you can score cheap points about schizophrenia.  It’s supposed to be touching, but it shoots right past maudlin and treacly and lands right in the middle of gorge-rising.

Why is it that Tom Batiuk is completely incapable of creating sympathetic characters?  Does he think, “Well, she’s got a terrible mental condition, readers will love her, because they won’t dare not!”?  Someday I’d like to ask him about his methods, and I don’t mean that as something nasty.  I’m honestly curious about how his mind works.

Anyway, based on what’s coming next week (trust me, it’s not a superpower anyone wants), I’m thinking Sunday will be a stand-alone strip.  I’m going to take stab and guess Funky’ll be in it.  But who knows?  All we can really say is that it will be uninteresting in every aspect.

And speaking of next week, my time in the chamber of horrors has come to an end, for now, so please give a warm welcome to your next host, snarker extraordinare Epicus Doomus!

*I have an idea about a children’s book, about a manuscript that knows it’s bad, and wants to be thrown away, but it keeps getting passed from hand to hand until it’s published.  It has a happy ending, in that no one buys it and the author never tries again.  Does anyone have Ann Apple’s phone number?

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A Big Pick-Me-Up.

Link to Today’s Comic.

Once again stayed up late waiting for Sunday’s strip to drop. Les and Cayla are in LA, getting picked up by the world’s worst Uber. Mason has always been portrayed as a dingbat. I would not feel safe with him behind the wheel of a Hummer/Hearse Hybrid during LA rush hour.

It seems that ‘Comic-Con’ this year was completely summed up in one panel of nerdery last Sunday. The awards show might as well have been a poorly attended wedding reception for all the excitement and industry flavor we got.

I’m pretty flabbergasted by it, really. We did get plenty of tone deaf ‘nerdy’ humor last year, and the year of the great Holly Winkerbean Starbuck Hunt. But the idea that Batiuk would have nothing more to say during a Comic Con, that he’s both out of new ideas and not interested in recycling his old ones, it’s not like him. It’s almost worrying. Lack of interest in activities that you once enjoyed is a classic hallmark of depression. Can someone check on him?

Well it has certainly been an interesting couple weeks at the helm. I interpret this awards quickie as TommyBats realizing that while the IRL ‘Lisa’s Story’ was nominated for a Pulitzer, the ‘in-universe’ book has never been similarly rewarded. The Eisner nomination, but not win, is a way of giving his opus similar accolades both within his world and without.

Beckoning Chasm is up tomorrow, to see us through the sights of LA. If Cayla is impressed with Union Station, wait till she sees the Scientology Building.

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