Tag Archives: random students

Cripes, What a Black Hole!

How bad was the past week of Les strips? Bad enough to make today’s appearance by Mister Kablichnick feel like a refresing palate cleanser. I was ready to add “doughnut of doom” to the Batiuktionary, figuring that the term was coined by TB to set up the “punchline.” But Grandpa Google turned up this April 2019 New York Times article that uses the phrase, as well as the image Jim that is showing the students.

It’s been a pleasure sharing the pain with you lo these last two weeks. Beckoning Chasm steps into the wheelhouse starting Monday!

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Why Are Students at an Educators’ Conference?

Link To Today’s Strip

It’s a very good thing the side of the room on Becky’s right wasn’t already crowded. It would have been very awkward for her to have to point in the other direction.

I had to think about this for several seconds before I realized there wasn’t anymore of a joke to this then the “young people are morons” beat that Batiuk’s been hitting over and over for years now. Although it really is Becky’s fault, since she’s telling them to wait “here” and pointing right in front of the door, apparently.

Also, why is the welcome sign on the inside, so people will only see it when they leave? It’s amazing how often Batiuk does that kind of thing, like having classroom numbers taped to the insides of doors.

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My Dinkle-ing, My Dinkle-ing…

Twenty Twenty One may be just getting blessedly underway, but Our Winter Band Banquet is drawing to a close. I’m praying for Covid to finally reach Westview, Ohio soon, so that all those dopey, knowing smirks will be obscured by masks. Continue reading

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Run the Joules

Tom Batiuk’s got a decade-plus on me, but I reckon my high school experience had more in common with his than with that of today’s high school student. In my days, the only “device” a student might carry would be some kind of orthodontic implement. Any phone calls a student made would have to be from the principal’s office or the corner malt shop. Logan Church and her peers are never without their cellphones, and thus, are never without access to all the world’s knowledge. No wonder the unpleasant Jim hates teaching a class. When Logan correctly answers a physics question, Jim’s initial surprised reaction immediately shifts to narrow-eyed suspicion. She couldn’t have known this answer without Googling it, because Jim believes, as does Les, that these students never even open their textbooks. The thought that he has actually taught a student something brings Jim to actual tears. Unless that teardrop in the corner of his eye is a prison tattoo.

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Monday Morning Church

Welcome back from what I hope for you was a wonderful, long holiday weekend. Also back at work this Monday is Les Moore, after a weekend in Hollywood that started back in June. Les’ harrowing experience during the wildfires there have left him a little bit on edge: so triggered is he by the loud PA announcement that the sheaf of blank paper he was holding flies from his tiny hands. Easy to see why Mason wants to make a movie about this hero. Even Logan, the one being summoned by this booming voice, is more calm. Harder to gauge the reaction of the anono-kid in the red shirt, who is likely high AF and whose stage direction for this scene is “(looks on).” Tuesday: Logan pauses in the doorway and, without even getting Les’ Spinal Tap reference, blankly inquires of Mr. Moore, “Why don’t you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?”

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As Alike as Two Bothers.

Link To Today’s Strip

Only now, at the end of the week, do we get a name for our little future Motzart. Robbie even has a brother. A brother in Mopey Pete cosplay.

I wonder if Alex and Robbie are intended to become recurring characters? I mean, regardless of intent, we probably will never see them again. Because even when Batiuk seems like he’s carefully introducing another actor into this slice of life drama, he invariably forgets about them. But it would be interesting if Batiuk figures piano lessons are a good way to milk the remaining Dinkle market?

As for the art, Dinkle’s huge flesh-toned couch is hideous. The little specks on it give the appearance that the furniture has been molded from sand.

But Dinkle’s face in panel 3 makes this whole week worthwhile. The man is scrumptiously morose; hunched over, tired , his lips pursed into a thin line as he tastes the bitter defeat coating his tongue. Never has disdain looked so exhausting. When Ayers delivers, he delivers, and he always puts that effort into envisaging misery.

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Dull and Duller

Link to today’s strip.

So, after a few weeks of movie-making, doddering infernos, a visit to a sci-fi kingdom and a Lisa run, what does Tom Batiuk have in store for us now?

Rachel and Wally having a date night.  Which of course will take place at Montoni’s…where they both work.

Good grief.  I think I’d slit my wrists.

I guess married couples can still have “date nights” but I would think that would mean doing something different from what they always do.  I mean, they not only work there, they also live above Montoni’s.  They can probably eat all the pizza they want, until they stop wanting to eat pizza ever again.  (With Montoni’s pizza?  Couple of bites, tops.)  It’s Montoni’s, Montoni’s, Montoni’s practically all the time for them.

And this is “special” to Rachel?  Yikes.  The relationship these two have reminds me of a scene from “Sleepless in Seattle,” when Meg Ryan’s fiance says “I don’t want to be someone that you’re settling for. I don’t want to be someone that anyone settles for. Marriage is hard enough without bringing such low expectations into it, isn’t it?”

It sure looks like they “settled for” each other.

Of course, it’s entirely possible that Tom Batiuk has forgotten that Wally and Rachel are married, and this is just a regular date…since “continuity” for him is like garlic to a vampire.

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Meeting the Four Hundred

Les just continues to mock Batton in today’s strip. Sheesh, whadda jerk! Apparently newspaper cartoonists were the original social distancing champions, which you probably would be seeing memes about if you were Facebook friends with one. Unfortunately, gags this terrible are not a rare sight in Funky Winkerbean

Emily or, uh Amelia… whichever one wears pink and doesn’t act like what TB imagines a Hot Topic shopper to be, asks a perfectly reasonable question for a “kids these days” kid. Seriously, it is a good question and it demonstrates a knowledge of what a comic strip is, how it is distributed, and its primary measure of success. Batton, of course spins this perfectly fine question into a self-pitying humblebrag so deftly that even Les seems impressed. Newspapers may be dying, but his comic strip is in EVERY SINGLE ONE of the ones that remain! What’re you gonna accomplish in your life, Blondie?

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The Thousand Panel Stare

Kids don’t read newspapers or newspaper comics these days… Boo hoo, so sad, this generation is killing the papers and the cartoonists, blah blah blah yackity smackity… Sorry, don’t care. I’ve heard it all before, and in better comic strips to boot.

Today’s strip is bland, rote filler in a dumb, overplayed story arc, but… that second panel. Chuck Ayers artwork since taking over duties in Funky a couple years ago has taken a good step back from the solid work he did for many years in Crankshaft I would argue, but the second panel in today’s strip is a genuinely excellent piece of cartooning. The beady eyes, the nonplussed expressions, the unrealistic density of students packed into every millimeter of the panel… you can practically hear the crickets chirping in background of this non-reaction. It is an extremely rare and truly good thing to see in Funky Winkerbean. What a pity it isn’t in the service of a better joke.

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Ultima Thulame*

*(Pronounced “Too Lame”)

Link To The Sunday Strip

What’s with the “pronounced Tor” gag there in panel four? Another sly dig at Hollywood? In order for something to be an “inside joke” someone else needs to get it, so I don’t know.

So poor, poor Klabichnik is annoyed and frustrated by his sub-cretinous students…there’s a theme FW rarely touches upon. It might make more of an impact if it wasn’t the punchline of every single FW teacher/student gag, but then again probably not.

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