Hello folks, I’m billytheskink… but you don’t care about that. You’re here for the grisly details about the award-winning (pending) suicide of one Bull Bushka. So here you are: Today’s strip in all its g(l)ory!
Here comes the state police to 10-50 PI (code for accident/personal injury) the smoldering remains of Bull’s subcompact. This’ll undoubtedly take all week, so pack some snacks. Even so, one day in and it’s better paced than Linda and the letter at least. High praise, I know.
Also, big kudos to @tauycreek on Twitter, who pointed out Bull’s TB’s inspiration for this vehicular mayhem…
Yep, back in the summer of 1998, an intoxicated Wally drove himself and Becky right through a guardrail and off a ledge. Not sure why those two only lost Lefty’s arm and Bull lost his life, but that’s the Batiukverse for ya.
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.
What powers would ‘soggy superhero comics’ give? I don’t get it.
On Friday, commentator Erdmann made the guess: “Anyone else suspect there’s a comic book cover Sunday strip headed our way?”
To which Bobanero replied: “It would be the longest lead up to a Sunday Comic Book Cover strip in history.”
Kudos for both the prediction and the comment. Indeed this entire meandering, yet linear, arc over the past three months seems to have been building to this end.
And by ‘this end’ I mean Batiuk establishing some of his protagonists in a new comics related field so he can keep getting his precious commissioned covers whenever the mood strikes. He obviously had gotten all the Starbuck Jones covers he wanted, and is preparing to branch out.
Interesting that we don’t get a tip of the Funky Feltpen directly on the strip. The name on the bottom of the line art says Fairgood. Honestly interested in who drew this.
Link to today’s strip
Too bad there wasn’t a self-destruct button. That’s a fairly advanced feature for an Estonian surplus car, I have to admit. Funky’s parallel parking skills probably come in real handy when navigating Westview’s bustling downtown area, or when he enlists a couple of moderately-sized people to push that thing off the road when it breaks down again. Sweet mother of God I hope this means he passed, got his license back and this thing ends already because he’s entering “book-launch-tour” territory here with this solid month of Funky’s boring antics. You know things are challenging when you’re yearning for a week of Wally or Owen or ANYTHING but more Funky.
Link to today’s strip
“In a world of hurt”???? Sorry, officer, he was already like that when he arrived at the BMV. “I have to get back there”…yeah, wouldn’t want to miss that huge dinner rush or anything and it’s doubtful that the “staff” (aka half the town) could handle it without the fat, shiftless, stupid Funky on the premises.
“Your pizzas are my favorite”….favorite what? Pizza? Rat-killing method? Fertilizer? The list is endless. As is this arc, which apparently will just go on and on and on until literally everyone stops reading FW thereby fulfilling BanTom’s fondest wish…complete and total anonymity.
And you know, in spite of Funky’s incessant whining, this fictional Ohio BVM is actually quite an efficient operation. Funky lets his DL lapse for a year, shows up with all the wrong documents and somehow manages to re-take the road test all within a few hours. In NJ that would take seven separate visits and a minimum of several months, at a minimum. So really it just makes his endless griping seem all the more petty, obnoxious and stupid.
Link to today’s strip
A funnier premise would have been to simply have Funky get nabbed parking in a handicapped spot, then pouring forth his litany of woe to the cop who eventually (weepingly) agrees that yeah, Funky Winkerbean is definitely “handicapped” all right. It’s a pretty ham-fisted gag that will probably annoy way more people than it amuses, unless it’s taped to the door at traffic court or something, as nothing spells out “I’m a real dick” better than blithely parking in a handicapped space. Maybe tomorrow he could operate heavy machinery while taking prescription drugs or block the intersection at every red light.
Normally Les is the “total jerk-off” character, Funky was always more of an affable-yet-eternally downtrodden sad-sack. Suddenly though, we’re seeing a pissier side of the Funk-Man, going back to Bull’s retirement game where Funky sat in the crowd disinterestedly cracking wise about WHS’ beloved brain-damaged football coach. And I don’t like it one bit, either.
Today’s strip tells us literally the same thing that Friday’s strip did. Marianne’s fate will remain a mystery for another day… that day quite possibly being Christmas Day. We are in color again, but I’m not quite getting that infomercial tonal shift feeling I described a few days back.
I feel it my duty to point out that a story about an actress who is driven to suicide (possibly) by cyberbullies is not “hardboiled” It’s pretty much the exact opposite of hardboiled, actually. It can be many other things: sad, appalling, educational (or in TB’s hands: implausible, maudlin, and preachy), but a word meaning “tough, cynical, unsentimental” as hardboiled does? No.
Us beady-eyed nitpickers may notice that Tom Lyle’s signature offers additional proof that TB works a year ahead, not that we really needed it.
You can see the conception of this comic book cover on the official Funky Winkerbean blog
Here is Funky’s idea of showing his father a good time on Fathers’ Day: schlepping him to the food court at Mammoth Mall. What do you expect from the cheap bastard who celebrated his wedding anniversary at Montoni’s? Hell, Montoni’s would’ve been a nicer place for lunch than the crowded, noisy food court. Their “nice chat” consists of poor Pa’s persistent proffering of his too-big sandwich, and Funky’s polite refusals. Batiuk might have used today to have Funky at least attempt a conversation with his father, and given the reader some kind of insight into this relationship, rather than using the old man as a prop to make us feel sorry for Funky.
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Fishstick Annie has completely taken over the helm at this point, and Bull (“I thought I told you to sit! Sit!”) is reduced to just standing around, arms akimbo, looking like he even has a clue what’s going on. I’m surprised Ann doesn’t make him carry her clipboard. Meanwhile Owen (or perhaps his “Clowen”) looks on pensively.
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