As someone who has broken a bone after slipping on wet grass, I must admit that I briefly chuckled at today’s strip… briefly.
And that brief chuckle is the sole redeeming payoff of a story arc that began (checks phases of the moon) three weeks ago?! That’s… better than a lot of TB’s story arcs to be honest.
But what of Dinkle and the alumni band? OK, I don’t care one iota what Dinkle is doing, but the alumni band has been waiting three YEARS to perform! Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot until today that TB did this whole alumni band thing, complete with majorette performance, pretty much three years ago on the dot. I forgot about how it all started with Holly and her mom reminiscing (though then it was on a car trip from Florida). I also forgot that Holly and Melinda were told “no” on the flaming baton trick back then too. I forgot that it all ended (after taking up a whole MONTH), not with a performance, but with this. And worst/best of all, I forgot all about all of this despite being the blogger on duty when it all happened.
I was going to say “you’re welcome”, but I had to go and remember all of this today.
The day of the big
alumni band Holly and Melinda Budd vanity performance has arrived in today’s strip, and the nastiness continues. No, I’m not talking about the weather, though most of us are aware that monsoon rains during band performances are quite possibly the longest still-running gag in this strip (predating even Garfield and lasagna/Mondays, though far far less accessible).
Good crowd on hand, considering the weather, probably the biggest since Bull retired. Whoever replaced him must be doing a good job, crowds were pretty thin when Bull’s teams were struggling.
Sorry, scratch that last paragraph. This is Funky Winkerbean, so I’m sure the crowd is really here to see Holly…
Link to today’s strip.
Normally, a Funky Winkerbean reader would see today’s episode as one of those typical Sunday “filler” strips that has nothing to do with anything, but is just supposed to be lighthearted and fun.
But Tom Batiuk can’t resist tipping his heavy hand when he’s about to get serious. I guess it’s his way of saying “Polish off those awards, boys, the Batiuk shelf is ready for ’em!”
So we see Adeela all happy and carefree, just before the mean ol’ USA comes crashing down on her, for no reason at all (I’m guessing; there could be a reason that will turn out to be incredibly stupid). Maybe she has a brother who’s bombed here and there, and she’s guilty by association. Or it might be something we’ve never guessed (because it has never been shown.) As I mentioned yesterday, whatever it is will be so inaccurate and poorly thought-out that it should win awards–just not the good kind. The point is that Batiuk will make her life living hell, for no other reason than that’s the only kind of life available in this strip…and, for that, he should win an award. A good award, too. He thinks.
Seems odd that we had to go through nine years two weeks of talking about driver’s licenses to get here, but there you go in Batiukland.
And that’s all from me for now. Thank you for your indulgence; I appreciate your comments and your insights, and I also appreciate those who read but do not comment. And now, please welcome back reigning champion Epicus Doomus, who returns tomorrow.
Let’s have Peter Gabriel sing us out of here…
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… or July 11th’s strip? YOU make the call!
This time warping stuff is getting really really old, especially when it makes negative amounts of sense. At least with Tuesday’s “five years ago” mishap you could chalk it up to the strip’s time simply not matching real time even while matching real time’s seasons (not an uncommon thing at all in comic strips). This strip has long done that, though not in a consistent way – Summer’s generation was in high school for 5 years, Pete and Durwood’s for almost a decade, and the Act I gang was there for 20 of course.
Today, though, we’re at “three months ago”. That places this flashback in early July, and yet both Buck and Bull are wearing coats? I mean, this is presumably still an October funeral, right, what with the falling leaves colored a bright orange hue? Heck, this doesn’t even line up with Buck’s mid-September visit, where he and Bull stroll out to Jerome T. Bushka A&L Automotive Stadium, as neither man is wearing a coat then.
Is this beady-eyed nitpickiness? Maybe, but when there are little errors like this in nearly every strip it starts to add up to genuine distraction. This is especially true when the story hops all over the calendar, which *gasp* makes invested readers hop through the calendar with it in an attempt to understand what is going on.
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?