And today’s strip is on from insulting Flash Freeman to… this… whatever this is is supposed to be.
I get the self-referential bit, of course, but what is its purpose? Is this lamenting the declining popularity of newspaper comics in the most confusing way possible? (maybe) Is this based on TB’s experience being ignored at real life comic convention functions? (definitely) What is Thatsnought’s reference to “the original guy who did that strip” all about? (probably nothing)
And Three O’Clock High? Is that supposed to be a stand in for Funky Winkerbean? Just Act I Funky Winkerbean? TB’s first published comic strip (the anti-Archie) Rapping Around?
Is it an intentional reference to the lightly-remembered 80s teen comedy of the same name that starred the guy who played the 3D glasses-wearing guy from Biff Tannen’s gang in Back To The Future? (unclear)
Whatever it is… it stinks. (apologies to Jay Sherman)
Link to today’s strip.
It’s hard to think of a Funky Winkerbean character more boring than Funky himself. It’s also hard to think of one for which Tom Batiuk has such obvious loathing.
I’ve mentioned a theory before that the fortunes of the Funky cast rise and fall with how their real-life counterparts interact with Batiuk himself. Bull, for example, once the hated bully jock, now enjoys a fairly elevated status in Westview. Oh sure, he’s overworked and the teams he coaches lose every game, but recall how this is presented. The overwork makes him heroic, and the losses are always, always the fault of the players–those damn kids again.
Funky seems to be an especially sad example. Once the star of the strip as a bright-eyed and observant teen, since his real-life counterpart obviously had a massive falling out with
Les Moore TomBatiuk, he’s now a sad sack of failure and ennui. And we’re going to watch a week of him talking about how impossible it will be for him to improve his lot.
Imagine if this arc would be about Les instead. Why, on Saturday, Les would be extolling his newfound healthy regimen, preaching to all who could control their impulse to punch his face in. Remember, it was Les Moore who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, and Funky Winkerbean who collapsed a few feet into the last Lisa’s Legacy run.
How have the mighty fallen.