The Duck of Death December 19, 2022 at 8:22 am
Guys. Guys, is he gonna have the whole freakin’ cast from both comics in this church and pan over the crowd while the ensemble sings the Hallelujah Chorus?
Is this how it’s all gonna end?
baeraad December 22, 2022 at 1:52 am
I… think Batiuk thinks he’s going for a heartwarming all-the-lovable-goofballs-come-together-in-a-church-on-a-snowy-Christmas-night sort of thing for his ending…
Sourbelly December 22, 2022 at 10:56 pm
Batdick has spent days establishing the fact that every Westview citizen who matters is driving to the Jazz Messiah Nonsense in dangerous weather. He has spent zero seconds explaining why.
As confounding and confusing as this strip has been over these final months…you can’t say that a lot of effort wasn’t put into today’s strip, the last-ever Sunday panel of Funky Winkerbean. Nearly seventy people (and one cat) are packed into St. Spires. I was even able to recognize most of them…but there are a couple head-scratchers. Continue reading →
Let’s all take a deep breath, and go over today’s strip one panel at a time, shall we? There we see Funky and Holly, Wally and Rachel (with…her son? Robbie? Billy? Who knows?), Tony, and Adeela. But what are they doing in the pizzeria? Two months ago, we learned that Funky had decided to close the place and auction everything off. But in the spirit of the holidays, let’s be charitable, and suppose that the auction has concluded (would’ve liked to have seen some of that), but the lease runs through the end of the year. Since these folks, except that little kid, all work there, maybe they’re putting the last touches on closing up shop…though, that pink neon sign still hangs in the window, and the TV still hangs on the wall. And there are Christmas decorations on the wall that weren’t there when the auction began. Well then, I suppose they’ve gathered for one last nostalgic employee gathering…
Then we get to panel two, and there’s the Montoni’s delivery fleet, parked right out in front. With “brand-new snow tires“! Of course this doesn’t make sense. And after all the other BS that Batty’s shoveled our way, particularly in the past month of strips, this incongruity comes as no surprise. You win, Mr. Batiuk. You’ve spent fifty years establishing these characters and their universe, and have certainly earned the right to throw logic and continuty down the toilet. Our nitpicking nation turns its beady eyes to you. Woo woo woo.
A lot of you predicted this development, and today we get it as the “memorabilia auction” starts. This is the kind of detail Funky Winkerbean never gets wrong. Characters fluctuate between being dead and alive, and their surnames randomly change. But it would never forget the memorabilia preferences of a comic book artist!
Beyond that, this scene raises so many questions. What’s in all those boxes? It looks like framed pictures and rolled-up posters. Is Funky selling memorabilia that wasn’t even good enough to put on the walls? “Now up for sale, this historically relevant artifact we took off our history wall to make room for a third picture of Tony Montoni. The bidding starts at $10,000.”
How – and why – did Montoni’s con Lillian out of her tiffany lamp? That anecdote has more story potential than anything we’ve seen all week.
Where are any of the regulars? Where’s Les, who wanted to buy the sign? Where Summer, who’s supposed to be recording all this history before it’s lost forever? Where’s Crazy Harry, who spent so much time at Montoni’s he forgot to do his job?
Is “Ferris Wheeler” the best punny name Tom Batiuk can come up with anymore? He doesn’t sound like an auctioneer, he sounds like a carnie played by Matthew Broderick. At least “Amicus Brief” got his profession right. And when I’m holding up Amicus Brief as an example of how Funky Winkerbean used to do something better, there’s a real problem.
I feel like I’m watching Funky Winkerbean deteriorate in real time. It can’t even be bothered to follow up its own self-serving story points, which it just introduced last week. Did Tom Batiuk forget he has to make Summer famous? Or does he think he did enough already?
The strip’s laziness, lack of focus, and emphasis on all the wrong things, are getting worse.
I guess calling Becky the “current band director” would have bruised Dinkle’s ego a tad too much. By the same token, I guess having John putting on a normal shirt would render his character unidentifiable. And I guess Rana is still a Muslim, Billy is still alive and Wally Jr. joined the circus or the army or something. And why didn’t Wally arrive with the rest of the Winkerbeans? Why was he relegated to the B-team? My God, what a slog.