…starts today, as Westview High School’s CCTV news program announces Bull’s retirement to the student body. I don’t know what to call it anymore, though, because apparently either Tom or his Sunday Artist Intern is spelling the title “The Bleet” nowadays. So, what do you think? Is T-Bats slipping in mistakes like this intentionally to screw around with the snark community, or is he just going a little soft in the noggin?
Since we’re talking about The Bleat/Bleet, say hello to Bernie Silver who seems to have inherited the anchor’s chair from Owen. And since he reports that the official retirement sendoff will be on Friday, we can probably expect the entirety of next week to depict =- or at least talk about – said ceremony.
So, we’ve got Bull’s retirement, a new anchor, and a stupid typo. Other than that, this is pretty much your typical mediocre Sunday throw-away, just like last week with Funky’s leafy hairline. I can’t help thinking, though, that Tom is setting Bull up for a fall. Look at Les in panel three. That filthy, squint-eyed, lifted-eyebrow smirk. He knows something, that smug fuccboi. I’m starting to hate Dick Facey as much as Epicus Doomus does.
September’s a good time for Batiuk to revisit the place where the Funkiverse began: the high school classroom. We’ve seen the original Westview students grow into middle age, and some of them become teachers to the students who succeeded them. Now that Cody and Owen have finally graduated (and seemingly vanished), TB must come up with “fresh” teen characters to serve as foils for the insufferable Mr. Moore. So far all he’s come up with is the blonde mannequin Logan Church, seen in the last panel giving side-eye to Bernie Silver, who seems to be an amalgam of Owen’s clueless slacker and Cody’s dark hair and glasses.
It’s been a privilege bringing you the snark for the last couple weeks, folks. Billytheskink steps in for the next fortnight. Stay Funky, y’all!
If only Tom Batiuk trusted his characters to inhabit their own stories. and his readers to follow along. We’ve long since established that poor Wally can barely function in 21st century Westview. But in a story arc where he’s the main character, we must listen to Wally’s wife and
uncle cousin boss narrate the “action”. In the case of today’s strip, this is done in order to set up the wordless third panel punchline, where we see “focused and ready” Wally sitting intently, surrounded by his younger peers whose attention is anywhere but on the lesson. This marks quite a change for our Wally in the six years since his first community college go-round (see below), during which time he was not merely distracted but actually asleep in class. It’s gotta be those glasses!
Having exhausted the roster of cartoon cavemen, TB revisits a couple tropes from past Wally strips. First, the “Hey, you can’t bring that dog in here” guy, as seen in a restaurant a few years back. Wally explains that Buddy is “my service dog.” But according to the “Dogs and PTSD” page on the VA website:
A service dog is a dog trained to do specific tasks for a person that he or she cannot do because of a disability. Service dogs can pick things up, guide a person with vision problems, or help someone who falls or loses balance easily.
What you’ve got there, Private, is an “emotional support dog”:
An emotional support animal is a pet that helps an owner with a mental health condition. Emotional support dogs help owners feel better by giving friendship and companionship…In most states, emotional support dogs do not have special permission to go to all public places like service dogs do.
Fortunately for Buddy, he does wear that swell little vest and has a winning smile. Not to mention he’s a “chick magnet.” Perhaps Rachel’s come to accept that aspect, but when Wally brought it up a few years ago she sure gave him the stink eye.
Again with the friggin’ cartoon cavemen! I’ve tried to use restraint when it comes to judging Wally’s behavior on the chance that this might be a true-to-life depiction of life for an afflicted vet. But folks, Wally’s been back Stateside over seven years now. And sure, his wife and everyone in his hometown mostly left him to fend for himself. But seven years. This fish-out-of-water act is really getting old. Fortunately, the day is saved by a young lady so unconcerned about campus security that she cheerfully unlocks the door for a gaunt, older stranger in military fatigues.
Link to today’s strip.
I actually laughed at today’s episode. Not because of the “joke” or anything, but because of the way Bull is drawn in panel one. With his oversized head, he looks like a giant, enraged baby.
And the idea of a giant, enraged baby running out onto a football field, arms a-flappin’, all red-faced and colicky, is funnier than anything seen in this strip in a long, long time.
Other than that, now that we’ve gone from three full days of talking about Bull to actually seeing Bull in action, nothing’s really changed. All this has happened about a hundred times before. Bull is a terrible coach who hates his players and is certain the season is doomed. I almost put myself to sleep just typing that out, it’s so boring. Maybe Tom Batiuk has a point in having characters discuss things off-stage; it saves him having to draw action.
Of course, we’d miss out on the giant, enraged babies dashing out onto the field. Personally, I’d miss that a lot.
Is Tom Batiuk really going to be doing this for another five and a half years? Jesus wept.
Good Thing Watch: that giant, enraged baby. Every time I look at that, it makes me happy.
Link to today’s strip.
(Wikipedia: A humidor is any kind of box or room with constant humidity that is used to store cigars, cigarettes, or pipe tobacco. Just so you folks don’t have to look it up.)
This is definitely a “What?” strip. As in, “What kind of thought process arrives at this end?”
Is this in reference to yesterday’s strip, about freshmen in the lake? Now they use bottles for water, instead of a lake? If that’s the case, I can’t even. I mean, the lake thing was just last night, and now everything’s awesome?
Has The Odious Dinkle’s blathering on about himself actually solved the problem of band camp hazing?
Or is this another example of hazing–these girls are forced to drink bottles of water, because hazing? If that’s the case, why isn’t Becky stopping it, if she’s so goldurn concerned?
Sigh. I know the answer. Tom Batiuk saw the word “hydrating” and noticed that both it and “hazing” begin with an “h” and have a couple of vowels in common. But this isn’t a pun, or even amusing in any way. It’s not even a malapropism.
If Crankshaft thought of this, even he would not say it.