If TB is going to procrastinate until 5 minutes before his deadline, as was surely the case with today’s strip, then why can’t I? Yep, I began this post at 10:25/9:25 CT and finished this up right at 10:30/9:30 CT.
Does Crazy even know who Santa Claus is? He seemed genuinely baffled that anyone would mistake him for Santa while wearing a Santa hat and Skyler has had to browbeat him into doing Santa Claus things all week. This is the fourth time in six days.
The great Christmas gift-giver strikes again in today’s strip. No, I’m not talking about Santa Claus or Crazy Claus (or Pete… I would never talk about Pete in this way), I’m talking about the nerd with the polecat on his scalp.
Dead Skunk Head John has a long long history of giving his wares away for free, and not just at Free Comic Book Day (which allegedly put him near bankruptcy). DSH pulled this exact same bit back during the yuletide of 2013 too, and that time his crazy skunk head did it in front of other customers! And that wasn’t the only time he gave Holly a break during her Starbuck Jones quest. Heck, he even murdered Tony Isabella for her. Seemed a little much to me, but he’s a generous guy.
Generous to a fault, it would seem, as Komix Korner has been depicted in financial peril many times, going as far back as the Clinton administration. DSH’s inability to pay his rent once almost sunk Montoni’s and the Winkerbean family as well… only the sale of a mint condition copy of Starbuck Jones #1 saved both businesses (even if DSH’s greasy hands devalued the issue).
I guess “sitting!” didn’t last long, and neither did the standard practice of letting the kid tell Santa what he wants. Crazy and Skyler are up and about in today’s strip, and Crazy is shamelessly shilling his employer’s wares. Really? That’s where we’re going with this? Even Hollywood was mocking this exact practice way back when Tom Batiuk was in diapers.
Speaking as someone who was once whatever age Skyler is supposed to be today: expensive static collectible figures made to sit on a shelf, as this “Spidey-Man” appears to be, are not great gifts for children. Kids want something posable that can be thrown back and forth across the living room. A Spider-Man figure that is actually fun to play with has got to be able to punch over some stacked cups, body slam Doc Ock (sold separately), and ride the Spider-Cycle (also sold separately).
So… um… uh… OK, I had a point to make about today’s strip, but I keep getting distracted by Skyler’s unnervingly tiny hands. In the first panel they look like Lyman from Garfield‘s mustache and the one in the second panel looks like Donald Trump in profile. Look, I get it, hands are hard to draw. I draw hands especially poorly, to be honest, but I really try not to make them creepy and distracting.
OK… OK, now I remember where I was going on today’s strip. Skyler might want to get his senses checked. In addition appearing clearly baffled by who this “Santa Claus” character is, Crazy surely reeks of the timelessly off-putting combination of musty newsprint and salad dressing. And yet… Skyler happily agrees to play ventriloquist dummy. Well, at least that third panel image has me thinking about something other than Skyler’s hands.
Et tu, Skyler? Crazy being baffled anyone would think he looks like Santa Claus while wearing a Santa Claus hat was bad enough… but today’s strip sees Skyler puzzled that Santa Claus spends time away from the North Pole? Has the kid never been to a mall? A store with a Salvation Army bell-ringer out front? A December Rotary Club fundraiser?
Actually, Given Westview’s general economic and retail landscape, that may be believable. The inquiry “North Pole?”, however…
As pretty much every single one of us beady-eyed nitpickers noted yesterday, Skyler was born in 2013, eight years ago (in fact, his birthday was November 22, just a few weeks ago), and has demonstrated his ability to speak in complete sentences on multiple occasions in the past. His regression to the verbal ability of a two year-old is a puzzling and insipid development, but no less so than a number of other things that have happened in this strip in Act III. Tomorrow may well find Kevin Garnett (no, not that Kevin Garnett, this guy after a visit to the Pete Reynolds New Last Name Store) correctly shouting “Anything is possible!” It’s true, we’re all living in Phil Holt’s world now.
Hi, I’m billytheskink and I love Christmastime. A lot. So folks who find me insufferably cheery at this time of year can take some solace in knowing that this year I have volunteered to take time away from playing holiday novelty records just a bit too loudly and dumping sprinkles on yet another batch of cookies to read AND write about Funky Winkerbean.
Crazy, you’ve had a beard for decades… no one has ever compared you to Santa Claus when you wear red? Not one time? Reading today’s strip, you would think Skyler is the first person ever to make the connection between a bearded man in a red hat and old Kris Kringle.
Skyler’s smarter than he looks, though. He knows that with parents like his, he’d better go straight to Santa to make sure he winds up with something good this year, and not (Starbuck Jones-themed) clothes again… or the coal that Durwood and Jess are sure to find in their stockings.
Link to today’s strip.
Here we have the quintessential “tell, don’t show” strip as everyone stands around marveling at a display of which we, of course, get barely a glimpse. Instead, we get to look at a quintet of imbeciles.
The real treat is panel three, where Tony speeds out of Montoni’s with a huge ladder, that was apparently just sitting around somewhere. Funky looks puzzled, Wally looks at the floor, and Adeela’s face is almost covered by a crucifix! There, that’ll show her! Based on what we can see, she’s either amused or about to throw up.
Holly’s face is that of sheer terror. Tony’s face seems to say “Ha ha, fooled you!” and I think Holly is about to yell to Funky, “Stop him! That grotesque old gnome is stealing our only ladder!“
But no, he’s just using one of the non-black Santa hats to plop onto the Montoni’s mascot. Giving us, in the process, another unneeded look at his fat ass. Something tells me that hat won’t survive the first gust that comes along, but at least someone actually tried to do something without bemoaning the oncoming failure.
I will say this: the street in that last panel is very well presented. It looks like it’s wet from freshly melted snow, so good on whoever was responsible for that detail.
And that’s it from me for this go-round. Tune in tomorrow when Epicus Doomus sits in the center seat. See you on the Funway!
Link to today’s strip.
“What should I do with this Santa hat? It’s red and kind of cheerful. Should I throw it in the trash?”
I hope K-2SO is suitable mortified to appear in Funky Winkerbean. I’m not sure why he’s making an appearance at all, other than Batiuk recounting his re-reading of Isaac Asimov’s “robot” stories. Which begs the question, why isn’t this Isaac from the Starbuck Jones comics? It’s one of Batiuk’s own creations, and he certainly hasn’t let up on the Starbuck Jones horn much since that was introduced. Maybe, as Red Letter Media would say, Batiuk is subverting our expectations.
Of course, K-2SO is not an Asimov robot, he’s a Star Wars droid. Who appeared in a movie, not in a comic book*, but I guess John’s shop is just an emporium for all kinds of pop culture ephemera. I wanted to say “garbage” but in the spirit of the season I’m being nice.
*Yes, there probably was a comic book adaptation of Rogue One, but considering how far Star War‘s fortunes have fallen since 2016, I doubt a lot of people are hunting it down…especially if the so-called “time jump” means that Rogue One opened fourteen years ago. And double yes, there are far older properties that are still celebrated, but I don’t think Rogue One is going to join that list. It’s a decent film in a franchise that has better entries. Funky Winkerbean should aspire so high.
Link to today’s strip.
First off, those are the blackest “Santa hats” I’ve ever seen. I guess the band is going to play at Santa’s wake.
But really, in what way is this a “long story”? Funky appears to be able to tell the entire thing in a single sentence. But they had to make coffee and settle in a booth so he could do this?
This makes me think Funky’s “That’s a long story” is his way of saying “Stop bothering me.” So Adeela went off and made coffee and came back and said “I made coffee” and Funky responded “Oh okay.”
And then he got bored and told the story in the dullest way possible, rather than trying to make it interesting. Hey, if his creator can’t do it, what chance does Funky have?