Tag Archives: Scapegoat Mascot

Snarkocalypse, Soon!

today’s strip

Before I mock Summer and her new, sleek, angular, pointy appearance, a few words on the looming heat death of the Funkyverse. Obviously, without a daily strip, we will not be doing daily posts anymore after December 31. The site will remain alive for the foreseeable future, and we do hope we get new FW material to complain about. It’s not going to shutter right then and right there. But this is Batiuk we’re talking about here, so there’s just no way of knowing how it’ll actually go. He might drop 365 new FW strips on his blog on January 2, or he might do a feeble, one-off comic book cover eight months from now, or anything in-between. There will not be a re-read from the beginning, nor will we switch to “Crankshaft”. The daily strips are the engine that runs the whole thing and without those, it’ll never be the same. I’m not sure how or if sporadic posts will work, but that’s a bridge to cross at some later date.

From here on out, TFH and I will be sharing SoSF hosting duties. We are bandying around some ideas, and we very much want to give our beloved guest authors, both present and past, AT LEAST one more shot before the end, and see what happens after that. We likewise hope our faithful readers will remain entertained and engaged to the end, and we’ll do what we can to make that happen. For TFH and I, it marks the end of a long, long road. While Lord knows it wasn’t “hard work” by any means, it did require a daily commitment, and by “daily” I mean DAILY. FW runs literally every day, without fail, and we have always ensured that our loyal readers had a working link to the stupid strip, as well as a place to clown on it. We never missed a post, ever. We feel we owe it to ourselves and SoSF itself to ride it out to the very end, and savor it while we can. For me, SoSF is part writing exercise, part deranged personal vendetta, but mainly it’s been a labor of love. And I’ll be touching on that a lot more in the coming weeks.

So anyway, yeah, how about this new, aerodynamic, de-shaggified Summer, huh? I’m assuming that he brought her back upon learning that FW would be ending, as he didn’t seem to care too much for the last ten years. And, interestingly enough, I don’t care now! It’s just like Batiuk to be wasting time on Harley the janitor when he has barely six more weeks to go. The strip is jammed full of long-running characters, it’s winding down to the end, and he’s focused on Ruby and Harley.

And now, from the SoSF arc recap archives, a Great Moment In SoSF History:

Dec 27, 2010 – Jan. 2, 2011
Les hosts a New Year’s Eve party. Susan announces that her divorce is final. At the stroke of midnight, Les is smooching Lisa’s Ghost.

Man, that was a real humdinger. Easily one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever seen. Les was furiously making out with himself, while a horrified Cayla and Susan looked on in revulsion. That was Cayla’s second hairdo, her “dreads” look she was sporting for a while. See, back then, Les was still only “seeing” Cayla, and Susan was still lurking around, shamelessly throwing herself at Les at every opportunity. Meanwhile, Les was still madly in love with Ghost Lisa, who was a constant presence back then, despite being dead, which happened in a story arc you may have heard about once or twice. When you look back on that period now, it’s amazing how action-packed it was compared to, say, 2020 or something.

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The Moore I See, the Les I Know

Y. Knott
October 14, 2022 at 11:19 pm
Someone…could cobble together a pretty good Sunday strip using the strips of just the 10th, 13th and 15th. Just put ’em together in that order, and you’ve actually got something.

Switching from spectacles to a monocle actually would not make Les any more pretentious.

Three days setting up Funky and Les taking on some teens in a game of tackle, then one day depicting actual play, followed by three days of Funky and Les walking away, bruised and bettered. Still, this goofy but harmless football arc actually was…well, pretty tolerable. Certainly, no one doesn’t like seeing Les in serious pain. And I’ll say it again, the art this week has been above par…BatAyers even went to the trouble of creating no fewer than eight distinct, diverse Anon-o-Teens. But how did we get from “Let’s fix that!” to “Can you fix your glasses?”

If the plan going in was “to show these kids how it’s done,” I guess that’s been accomplished, even if these kids clearly were not impressed. Of course, what this really was all about was righting a fifty-year-old wrong by Funky allowing Les to finally “feel more a part of things.”

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I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass(es)

Banana Jr. 6000
October 14, 2022 at 11:19 am
On Monday, Funky said “Let’s fix that (meaning, throw Les the ball) and show these kids how it’s done!” They did exactly that. So why are they suddenly beaten down and laughed at? We’re left to guess. Batiuk basically makes you write the story for him. He thinks he’s being subtle by not telling you anything.

“Let’s fix that!” strikes me as a mantra for the latter half of Act III Funky Winkerbean. As this 50-year old comic strip approaches its twilight, Batiuk is busy retconning (and/or outright forgetting) established themes. Bull never really beat Les up; he was actually protecting his nerd friend from the real bullies. Yeah, the kids all picked on Wicked Wanda, but as adults they would be made to seek her forgiveness. Continue reading

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Truly Badly Deeply

That was a perfectly executed pass, and it had to have been good for at least a first down. So why are the opposing teens laughing and pointing at Funky and Les?

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Very Necessary Roughness

be ware of eve hill
October 10, 2022 at 2:48 pm
I’m not sure what’s going on with the Les face in the SOSF banner, but I hope it means seeing Les gang tackled by a stampede of teenagers.

Rusty Shackleford
October 10, 2022 at 3:29 pm
The banner promises some good strips…who wouldn’t want to see Les get obliterated in the most painful way possible?

I do have fun updating the banner on this page each week. But that image of Les’ fearful mug from today’s strip is so hilarious, I was almost tempted to feature it permanently. Funky, who just weeks ago struggled on the tennis court wearing orthotics on his wrist, elbow, and both knees, positively drills a pass, the trajectory of which somehow becomes an arc, which spirals right into the birch-branch arms of terrified Les. At the instant the ball arrives, so do two defenders, to deliver a punishing tackle.

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Deep Fake

He may not have been a punt return man, but in high school, Funky had the chutzpah to wear the same jersey number as legendary Cleveland Browns QB, Otto Graham, He does appear to know what he’s doing today as he takes charge of the offense. I have to give props to Batiuk and Ayers for the artwork in today’s strip. The scene boasts an actual, richly detailed background. The offensive squad huddles in the foreground, while the defense waits to line up. These teenagers look and dress like actual teenagers. The postures of Funky and Les create a nice visual symmetry: both men are angled forward, but Funky is focused and aggressive, while Les is meekly and weakly caving in. And do you want that “quarter-inch removed from reality”? Check out the sweat stains under Funky’s armpits!

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Los Dos Abuelos

The two grandpas,” that’s a good one. Now that Cory and Rocky have tied the knot, Funky at least has a shot at seeing grandchildren. But I just can’t see Summer becoming a mom (unless she and Keisha decide to adopt), and besides, she’s in her what, tenth year at Kent State? At least the boys don’t refer to Les and Funky as the “old-o’s.”

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How Do You Do, Fellow Kids?

Epicus Doomus
October 3, 2022 at 10:17 am
Actually, one of our esteemed guest hosts (I’m not saying who) just returned from a trip to a far and distant land, where they took part in various rituals and whatnot, and they needed some recovery time before they were physically and mentally prepared to deal with six days of Batton Thomas’ inane drollery. And that’s all I’ll say about that.

Now it can be told: Epicus was talking about me, folks. After a week’s vacation in Jamaica (not all that far and distant), I was feeling so irie that I couldn’t bring myself to dwell on Funky Winkerbean. But it is my turn in the barrel, so let’s roll.

Though he has earned renown as an author, Les still carries around hurt feelings from his awkward teenage years. So when Funky recalls the pickup football games of their youth, Les has to morosely recall that no one would throw the ball his way. But what’s gotten into Funky? The last time we saw these two playing tennis, Funky’s play was embarrassingly poor, and he sported braces on both knees. Today he appears ready to tangle with a pack of spastic Westview teens.

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Creepy Harry

Of course, you can’t have a time travel story without Lisa. It’s inevitable.

It’s already creepy enough for sixty-ish Harry to be walking up to a high school girl who doesn’t know him and address her by name, but telling her he’s been to the school before doesn’t help. Lisa really should know better than to stop and engage some random old guy who’s approaching her, but this is Lisa after all, she clearly has bad judgment when it comes to men.

I’m positive someone Harry’s age is bound to have friends or family who aren’t alive in 2022 anymore, but apparently he doesn’t care at all about seeing them. All he cared about was himself (literally), and visiting high school again, which is so typical of characters in this strip. Honestly, I wouldn’t be shocked at all if he somehow enrolled in high school again (it turns out he’s missing a credit!) or becomes a teacher, and that lets Batiuk reboot everything.

It’s been great being able to comment on one of the weirder recent arcs. TFHackett gets to take over tomorrow, when Harry probably tries to make Les and Lisa get married as teenagers or something.

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Harley Holey

“There are gaggles of geese, pods of whales and murders of crows. What term would do justice to the special nature of black holes?…The question was crowdsourced on Twitter recently as part of what NASA has begun calling black hole week…Among the many candidates so far: A crush. A mosh pit. A silence. A speckle. A hive. An enigma. Or a favorite of mine for of its connection to my youth: an Albert Hall of black holes.” –Dennis Overbye, “What Do You Call a Bunch of Black Holes: A Crush? A Scream?”, New York Times, April 22, 2021

Thankfully we’ve survived the week-long shipwreck that is Tom Batiuk’s imaginary Hollywood, to find ourselves in the more familiar confines of Westview High School. Jim shares his dismay over his students not picking up on his referencing a fifty-five year old Beatles lyric. Which would be akin to 1970’s high school kids recognizing an Al Jolson reference. Which, come to think of it, we 1970’s high school kids might’ve picked up on, so maybe Jim’s pupils are deserving of his disdain after all.

Today we learn the name of Westview High’s janitor. Is Harley his first name or last? It Harley matters…

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