Like certain parts of the comics page we are too polite to mention here at Son of Stuck Funky, the old pool sits sadly: unused, unloved, overgrown, and falling apart. Unlike certain parts of the comics page we are too polite to mention here at Son of Stuck Funky, the old pool has actually been replaced.
Les is one to talk about “Summers* slipping away”…. At least Funky is willing to admit his memory lapses.
*It has been 43 days (and counting) since Summer’s most recent appearance in this strip. The three gaps prior to that were 145, 408, and 107 days.
If you really break down what Crazy is saying here, it seems to imply that when he was sixteen he was attracted to an eleven year-old-child he assumed was a boy.
Unfortunate implications aside, all we have here is a restatement of the week’s plot. The only thing of note is that the Sunday colorist managed to depict a redhead character correctly for once.
March of last year Tom let us know this arc was incoming, when he posted the book cover that inspired his Eliminator helmet, and said this:
I saw this book on a spinner rack at the Captain EZ Confectionery a few blocks from our first apartment. Couldn’t resist the cover. Picked it up and later “borrowed” the Hunter helmet for a character I’d just created in Funky called the Eliminator. Said helmet, coinkadinkily enough, will show-up in a Funky story arc next year.
Cover Me 143 posted on MARCH 20, 2021
I want to thank Banana Jr. 6000, none, Charles, Mela, as well as others for providing some background on the arcade game Defender. I didn’t grow up with video games, only picking up the habit during college, so the context was great. I hunted up a few short YouTube vids that cover the development and just how unique and challenging the game is.
Today is the last day of my shift. It has been a real treat celebrating 50 years of Funky Winkerbean by going back in time to see what a 25-year-old Tom Batiuk was capable of. Thanks everyone who enjoyed it with me!
But what did I really think of the first four years of Funky Winkerbean?
It was alright.
Not usually laugh out loud funny, certainly capable of being bad, but amusing enough. Certainly not out of place squeezed between Hagar the Horrible and Wizard of Id.
But I easily found strips where the seeds of what would grow into Batiuk’s thorniest issues were germinating.
And, as I’ve said before, I think we’re sometimes too hard on modern Batiuk during those occasions when he dips his toes back into gag-a-day humor. It might not be as good as his best was back then. But his best now is as good as his average was.
There were a couple strips I stumbled across that made me cringe or shudder, knowing where the strip would eventually go.
But despite all that, there were strips that had me genuinely laughing out loud. So here they are, my favorite strips from the first few years of Funky Winkerbean.
So that’s it for me this round! The esteemed SpacemanSpiff85 will be taking over the ship tomorrow, asking the hard hitting questions.
Like, when is the strip ending? Will Wally Jr. ever return? Will Mindy and Mopey ever marry? Will Summer ever graduate Kent State? We’ve reached 50 years and we’re still chugging along. Maybe someday, we’ll know, but it doesn’t look like it’ll be this year.
Oh, so Melinda wasn’t thinking of entering Holly in a pageant! No, as we learn in today’s strip, she was thinking about hijacking Westview High School’s homecoming and subjecting the crowd to Holly’s flaming baton trick and its subsequent collateral damage. Duh. I don’t know where Holly got the idea that her mother was trying to get her to enter a pageant, it’s not like Melinda led into this homecoming performance idea by talking about pageants or anything…
It was smart of Holly to suggest inviting a bunch of band alumni into this scheme. Not because making this an actual alumni event rather than a single woman’s vainglorious showcase means the school would likely be more accommodating. Not because it will place anyone not related to her who might be interested in seeing her performance out on the field instead of up in the grandstands. Not because it will give Wally a chance to break out his trombone again. Not even because it seems to deflate her conniving mother.
No, it was smart because Holly knows as well as anyone that misery loves company.
Oh, so we have another week of this… How, exactly, can Melinda Budd tell when the photo in today’s strip was taken? It looks like every other old photo/Act I flashback/actual Act I appearance of Holly.
I guess Holly figures her pageant days are over now that she’s looking more like Gloria Daze… but we all know that’s not going stop Melinda or TB from stretching this story concept so thin you could toss an Oldsmobile Bravada through it.
Baituk is really desperate to sell some books, eh? First he tells all his Beady Eyed Nitpickers on his blog that in order to truly understand the difference between a ‘retcon’ and ‘direct flashback’ we need to buy and read The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 9. Now he’s referencing some obscure bit of titillation, as if to bait us into buying and scouring Lisa’s Story for the infamous ‘Snow Angel’ incident.
I’ve only got the vaguest recollection of Les spilling this sordid tale to someone else before, and I couldn’t find the moment in the archives. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping our Skinkmeister can give some context to the readers who’ve only been able to religiously follow this strip since the end of the Bush administration.
It’s weird that, whatever the dirty little something was, Marianne is flat out refusing to say it on screen. A slice of life drama like this movie, which seems to be going for, ‘A Marriage Story, but ending with cancer and not divorce’ lives and dies on the simulacrum of realism, and if we’re getting the horrible ‘playground closed for repairs’ bit, then this must be something next level nasty.
Batiuk is probably imagining that we’re picturing kinky, like what Pepper Potts whispers into Tony Stark’s ear in the first Avengers movie. But cute and kinky would make it into an adult movie, as an important establishing moment of vivaciousness and young love. There is nothing a Hollywood starlet wouldn’t say or do if she thought it would increase awards potential.
Except something like:
But what do you guys think? I’d love to see some of your takes on Lisa’s forbidden dialogue.
First of all, YOU CRAZY COMMENTERS! I haven’t seen our comments section this lively since Bull pulled an Aldo Kelrast off Nobottom Road. You make it incredibly difficult for me to find something to say that hasn’t been said, but I bear that cross gladly.
Second, when I saw yesterday’s strip I knew that our personal Winkerpedia, BillyTheSkink, would be able to provide the deets, and he did. Thanks Billy! He gave a great breakdown of The Great Montoni’s fire of ’97 yesterday, so if you didn’t read his comments, go back and take a look. The most important details seem to be:
1.) Wally Winkerbean saved both Lisa and Les from the fire when he crawled through the smoke to wake them up.
2.) The fire was arson and was probably started by a guy called Plantman who was attempting to destroy evidence of the murder of Jess’ father, John Darling, who was murdered.
3.)Les ran back into the apartment to retrieve a floppy disk containing his research and draft for ‘Fallen Star,’ a book about Jess’ father, John Darling, who was murdered.
4.) Les did not save Lisa.
5.) Crazy Harry committed mail fraud for insurance purposes.
6.) Les is a selfish prick who has forgotten that he didn’t save Lisa.
Yesterday’s juxtaposition of past and present made sense; young Les ‘saving’ Lisa versus old Les extra bonus saving pretend Lisa. Today’s series of panels make it a little more difficult to parse out the symbolism.
But today seems to show that while Les and Lisa were poor newlyweds devastated by losing their crappy apartment along with nearly everything except each other, Masone and Cindy are rich and so don’t really care about one of their houses getting torched. They’re gonna go to their fancy boat, sail out into the bay, and sit on the deck sipping wine. It’ll be a fun date night to watch the plebs flailing and drowning in the shallows, trapped between waves and flames, like the peasants of Pompeii.
Wow, Les has really manned up in the last couple decades. He’s gone from passively handing his standing wife off at the door to another manlier man, to bridal carrying his wife’s avatar over the threshold at a brisk jog; effortlessly hauling all 110 lbs of Hollywood starlet in his arms with the wiry strength natural to a fifty year old English teacher.
Just kidding. This is the dumbest attempt at trying to make something look more dramatic I’ve seen in this strip. Unless Marianne fell down the stairs off panel, she should be perfectly capable of walking out the door. What is this strip trying to convey? The weakness of Marianne, or Les’ overprotective instincts? An excuse for an upskirt shot? We don’t know what the situation was like in the house, or how the women were reacting to it. Apparently the sight of fire turned them into whimpering passive objects unable to move or think without the firm touch of a man guiding them.
They must have lost the car Marianne drove in one of the THREE CARPORTS this McMansion is rocking.
Seriously, what happened to this car? Is it a self driving car? Did it drive itself away from this nonsense? Good for it.
Please feel free to add any that I and Merriam-Webster may have missed. Thanks.
Also, just to remind anyone who wasn’t reading back in 2011, or those who have had the good fortune to forget, Bull’s bullying of Les in high school was an act to protect Les from real bullies. It’s like Les doesn’t even read this strip…
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.
Today’s strip was not available for preview. If this week’s trend holds true, we’ll be seeing another Les-Lisa milestone. The most likely possibilities:
– Les’ European adventure from 1995 – Where he chased Lisa across Europe to propose to her after Susan sabotaged his original audiocassette proposal.
– The post office bombing that injured Lisa in August 1996 – You can read the whole thing right here on SOSF.
– The Halloween 1996 wedding – With Funky Winkerbean as Spider-Man in the DC-Marvel crossover no one asked for!
– The strip that launched TB’s opus – You know the one…
In case my guesses are totally off, and so no one visiting SOSF today leaves empty-handed, here is Lisa’s very first appearance in Funky Winkerbean:
And as an added bonus, I regret to inform you that you will be able to own your very own hard copy of the strip above (and many others) come October with the release of Prelude: Lisa’s Story Begins, available for pre-order NOW on Amazon!