Tag Archives: silhouette

Claim Jumpers

Oh hey, Mitchell Knox is unpleasant, who could have seen that coming. And he’s also overweight and bald, just like every other “bad collector” character Batiuk has had in this strip. I still really don’t get how or why Batiuk thinks some collectors are good and some are bad, but he clearly does.

It’s funny that Jessica just says “we were told” without any more details, and Mitchell doesn’t care at all about who told these strangers what he owns and where to find him, which is what my concern would be if I were him.

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Memento of a Murder

Link to today’s strip

Is it just me, or does it seem a little weird that Jessica is apparently only now thinking that she wants a souvenir of the John Darling show? I feel like she would’ve maybe thought of this sometime before, just because she lost her dad at such a young age. Or that it maybe would have occurred to her in the dozens or hundreds of hours she spent creating the documentary about him. I mean, she had to have watched some footage of him when she made that, I would think. But it took stumbling across random reruns of the show to make her think about wanting a piece of the set or his chair or something.

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I guess that’s why they call it refuse

Les continues to set Funky up for this tiresome Crankshaft schtick in today’s strip. Why? Why is he doing this? Is.. is he enjoying this? He’s even more monstrous than I thought!

The real story behind the name of pickleball is (not-widely) debated, though all of the purported origins clear the low bar of being more interesting than the one put forth in this strip. I’m surprised, actually, that pickleball has not caught on in Westview, given that it was invented by a guy* who died of cancer

*apologies to the late Joel Pritchard

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Making Book

Chuck Ayers’ name is misspelled here. Discuss.

Kudos to the our newest bullpen addition BananaJr6000 for a stellar debut. Is it too late to hold him over for another week? Because I was hoping that by the time it was my turn in the barrel, this Phil + Flash + Kitch arc would be concluded, and I would get to write about something, anything else besides Batty’s imaginary comix universe. Continue reading

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Why Is There A Raccoon’s Ass On Your Shelf?

Link to today’s strip

I don’t know why Phil’s bringing up that anecdote about Picasso moving rather than cleaning his studio. Apparently he moved to Ohio less than a year ago, and his new home has become this cluttered in that little time.

One of Tom Batiuk’s favorite tropes is on display today: elderly men acting like teenaged boys. Phil Holt is ancient, and he’s also an analog to one of Batiuk’s real-life comic book heroes. And this is how he gets portrayed? Like a 15-year-old who’s had a girl show up at his house unexpectedly? But of course, she thinks it’s cute and endearing. Ugh.

This doesn’t feel right for either character. Phil seems more like a neat freak to me. Like he stores all his pencils in the box they came in. Kitch runs a highfalutin’ art gallery. She might be used to the eccentricities of artists, but she wouldn’t find them charming. This is a great example of how all 300 characters in Funky Winkerbean are all the same person, differentiated only by gender.

Seriously, though: why does Phil Holt have a raccoon’s ass on his shelf?

That’s not a cat or dog. Phil doesn’t seem like a pet owner anyway, and he’s certainly not Ace Ventura. It’s the kind of detail that doesn’t belong in a quarter-inch-from-reality strip. If you want to make Phil messy (and ignore all the problems with that I already mentioned), then he should be messy in ways that make sense for his snippy personality. A random raccoon is the kind of detail you see in Animal House, to show how bonkers the frat party was. Or in Bloom County.

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Unfiltered Funky

Well, I guess Funky’s okay after being caught au naturel by his soon to be daughter-in-law. Apparently something interesting happened this weekend worth taking pictures of, and we missed that, and got to see a lot more of Funky than we wanted instead.
I do love strips like this, where the writer is referencing modern technology but really doesn’t seem to know how it works. Apparently this filter only took effect once the photo was actually posted on Instagram, and Funky never noticed it when he took the picture or when was selecting it to upload. It is more amusing than most gags in this strip, which is a nice change. And I’m very glad we didn’t get a sideways single panel repeat of the shower scene.
I do think it says a lot about this strip that in a storyline about two young people getting married, the focus here is on two old people trying to use technology. Which makes it the second day this week where the focus is on old people and technology.

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So your Haiku is stuck somewhere between Chipmunks and early Springsteen…

Hip hip hip hip hip
Today's strip more of the same
It just never ends

Chipmunks to Springsteen
Crazy's music tastes cover
'58-'80

Only now Crazy?
How hip did you feel during
The last 40 years?!

"You can become hip,
Just listen to new music"
- Captain Funkvious

Funky's bald advice
Somehow smartest thing in years
In this comic strip

Funky's silhouette
Recognizably human
Crazy's, not so much

Listening to this
No wonder no customers
Are at Montoni's

Make it stop make it
Stop make it stop make it stop
Make it stop oh please

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YMMV

Unlike other initialisms, which were invented and grown on the internet, “your mileage may vary” goes back to the 1970s and ’80s in the U.S. During that time, automobile manufacturers frequently promoted their estimated mileages to compete…However, due to the variations in driving conditions, they had no way of guaranteeing the exact mileage customers would actually get. Therefore, these ads would feature the disclaimer, “Your mileage may vary.”

What Does “YMMV” Mean, and How Do You Use It?, Vann Vicente, howtogeek.com

What a weird taunt. “Beat that!” is sufficient…adding “your mileage may vary” suggests that you can score as well or even higher than me, but maybe that phrase was just coming into vogue. Batiuk’s been getting considerable mileage out of sending his Act I characters back in time. It’s been nearly 12 years since Funky’s car accident sent him back to the town square of late ’70’s Westview, where he would encounter his teenaged self as well as his future mate, before checking out the comics spinner rack. Five years later, the entire gang got to meet their middle aged selves (except Lisa LOL)  during another month-consuming story arc that was the Time Pool Reunion.

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Funky Pops

So we’re now in day two of Young Harry being baffled that a thing such as “comic book store” exists. And we also have Old Harry naming John Howard to someone in the past, which is extra funny because he still hasn’t mentioned having a wife or daughter.
And it’s also just a terrible thing to do if you’ve travelled back in time to the past. I expect tomorrow that he’ll tell his young self about the collapse of the USSR, 9/11 and COVID-19. Who am I kidding, I doubt Harry cares about those or even noticed they happened. This week will probably just end with the two of them hugging and consoling each other about the Death of Superman.

I feel like Batiuk missed a major setup for a Funko Pop related joke, given that one of Harry’s closest friends is named Funky.

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That’s a Strange Way to Tell Me You Love Me…

Link to a today’s strip.

Um. Okay.

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.

No Boku No Pac-Man, please…

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
“Hunter” – Art by Paul Neary and written by Rich Margopoulos, Budd Lewis and Bill DuBay. Six parts in total, appearing in issues #52-57. Set in a near-future world devastated by nuclear war, it features Damien Hunter, a half man/half demon who seeks to destroy all the demons on Earth, including his father Oephal. As a half-breed consumed by self-loathing, Hunter frequently moralized on racial issues in contemporary America.

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.

Preachy Nihilism.
Recycled Jokes
Observational Non-Humor
Vaguely offensive portrayals of women
I mean women WANT to be sexy and hate not being sexy and hate other women for being sexy amirite?
Dinkle writing AWFUL puns.
Worshiping Les. (Okay, this one is actually funny.)

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.

So sue me, I liked this one.

There were a couple strips I stumbled across that made me cringe or shudder, knowing where the strip would eventually go.

Baby Wally was born fearing death.
Alcoholism runs in Funky’s family.
Les hopes his future wife will make him money…
Uhh…
Uhhh…..

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.

Act I Crazy Harry is my spirit animal.
I have literally done this.

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.

Comic Book Harriet, signing off.

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