Tag Archives: sepia-tone

How the Other Half Burns.

Link to today’s strip

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.

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Carry On Baggage.

Link to today’s strip

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.

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In The Garage

Link To Today’s Strip

“Cars”? You might be able to squeeze ONE Batiukmobile in that garage, but plural? No f*cking way. I can’t tell if that’s supposed to be sepia-toned Cory or Funky or what, nor can I tell how it relates in any way to the premise here, or why this wasn’t just a one-paneler, but at least it’s already Thursday which means this is hopefully almost over.

That’s a pretty decent house by Westviewian standards, definitely a home befitting the local pizza kingpin. Nice size, nice lawn, nice garage…it’s certainly better than Moore Manor, with its dead trees and weird detached office. Chester’s place is nicer, but than again he IS a renowned comic book collector and all. I’ve always wanted Batiuk to do a map of Westview and the surrounding area so I can see where everything is in relation to everything else, as this fascinates me to no end. Given his obvious refusal to put anything more than significantly less than the bare minimum into this thing, I assume I’ll be waiting for that for some time.

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Cousin Effect

So long Atomik Komix! Not sad to see you go.

Today’s strip moves us on to the greener pastures of… *sigh* Montoni’s.

Yep, nephew cousin Wally is having one of those newfangled January college graduations. He is also too cheap to spring for (recently-increased) postage it would seem, having Rache hand-deliver invitations and putting the savings toward paying Wally Jr’s ransom.

Meanwhile, uncle cousin Funky is wistfully wondering when Wally, who began high school the year after Funky graduated from college, became an adult. Probably sometime during the the time he joined the military, became a POW, got married, volunteered with a minesweeping organization, adopted a child, had another child, became a POW again, spent over a decade in captivity, came back to the US, got a job at Montoni’s, started going to college, got a service dog, got married, and qualified to graduate from college.

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Friend or Photo?

I suppose today’s strip indicates that Adeela was the mother and not the child in last Sunday’s strip, which makes her fairly close to Wally in age.

No, that wasn’t obvious. Wally has been back in Westview for 9 years now. He was taken hostage in late 2007, BEFORE the time jump*, so he hasn’t patrolled an Afghan street in about two decades (heck, it is still a decade plus if you ignore the time jump). Adeela easily could have been that child and, oy… piecing together this strip’s timeline makes my head hurt. Still, I gotta say that Adeela has aged better than anyone in this strip except for maybe Cindy.

* Back in early Act III when Wally had apparently disappeared from the strip after the 10 year time jump, TB stated in a blog post (the infamous “it’s called writing…” post, in fact) that a “clue” in regards to Wally’s whereabouts appeared in the October 11, 2007 strip, in the immediate aftermath of Lisa’s death and just before the Act II to III time jump. That clue being the newspaper in the newspaper box that Les slumps past before he is pickpocketed by a couple of hipsters. It reads, muddily, “Soldiers Taken Hostage”.

Wally remained a hostage until July 2009…

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Nyuk-lehead

Wally goes full-on “Doug Funnie talking to Patty Mayonaise” in today’s strip because… that’s what this story arc requires?

Adeela is not exactly winning Miss Manners’ stamp of approval here either though. She also seems to think she has already introduced herself to Wally (or expected him to eavesdrop when she introduced herself to Professor Forehead, I guess). Is she just not a Three Stooges fan or is she one of those people who prefer Shemp to Curly?

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Pair-able of the Sour

Fair or unfair, the military briefing-college class parallels continue in today’s strip. Wally and Adeela are bad at engaging others in conversation. Professor Forehead makes Ralph from Sally Forth proud by assigning a group project on day one so he doesn’t have to spend any time at all lecturing these students. Buddy may have disappeared… I’m sorry that I am just recapping the strip, but I don’t know what else to say here.

What will happen when Wally and Adeela finally speak to each other (presumably) three and a half weeks from now? The suspense is mildly irritating me.

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Syllabuster

It is not really fair for me to question the comparison of a military briefing to first day of an unidentified community college class as in today’s strip. While I have my suspicions about how appropriate the comparison is, I have only experienced the latter situation.

I will, however, point out that both Colonel Crew-Cut and Professor Forehead are awkwardly stating what both their audience in the room already know and what newspaper comic strip readers could reasonably infer without such clunky exposition. It is like TB leading off each strip with a drawing of him saying:

The following is a comic strip I wrote. It carries the weight of substantial ideas. Silver Age Flash is also important literature.

Uh, maybe I shouldn’t have thrown that idea out there…

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Route Canal

Dinkle appears in today’s strip.
No “spoiler alert” tag… this is not a spoiler, it is a warning. You have been warned. Read at your own risk. Or don’t, your life will be better off.

You know what, I’m going to focus on just one small little part of this strip and let our great commenters take the rest of it apart. I’m going to deal only with the first four words that appear in the strip, “Speaking of band candy”.

“SPEAKING OF BAND CANDY”?!
NO ONE was speaking of band candy! No one other than Dinkle is ever speaking of band candy! No one in their right mind wants to speak of band candy! I suppose Dinkle is correct in “saying “speaking of band candy” because that is a 100% accurate description of what he proceeds to do… thus, he most assuredly wanders around uttering “speaking of band candy” whenever he wants to speak of band candy. There is no other possible explanation. I’m typing “speaking of band candy” over and over again in desperate hope that this will be last time those words are ever written. Please. Please.

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One Nation Under A Groove

Les finally remembers his creepy Centerville contemporary in today’s strip, something he lied about just two strips ago.

While this comic would like you to believe that Les’ memory was jogged by this girl’s foolish belief that she was going to meet George Clinton and Co. on a school-arranged trip to Washington DC, let’s be honest here. Les really remembers her because she looked like a proto-Lisa back then.

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