May 24, 2021 at 11:48 am
There are few things in the world I’m less interested in than Tom Batiuk writing about the plight of women in the comics industry sixty or more years ago.
As a member of our very own “bullpen” here at SoSF, spacemanspiff85 knows not just the pain of reading Funky. Winkerbean. Every. Damn. Day. Periodically, Spiff is called upon to write something interesting about it to share with the rest of us. For two weeks, after which another SoSF guide host/guest author takes over. We limit our authors to two-week stints for the sake of their psychological well-being. Were that not the rule, I’d turn the helm back over to Comic Book Harriet, whose bailiwick these “Women in Comics” arcs have become. SoSF trauma protocol dictates that CBH must rest on the sidelines (while killing it as always in the comments), and it falls to me to get us through this arc.
As a male, I must tread lightly, but here goes: editor “Stogie” Butz’ “pretty good for a girl” remark barely qualifies as a microagression, given the times. Whatever midcentury decade Batiuk’s trying to recreate here (and it could be anywhere from the 1940’s through 60’s), calling a woman “girl” in the workplace wouldn’t be automatically out of line. He’s just busting her…chops, as would any cigar chomping, no-neck cranky boss.
So today Batiuk takes a shot at PBS for being obsessed with the pandemic, for some reason. I’m guessing it’s solely because it was low hanging fruit for what qualifies as wordplay to Baituk. it I would have gone with “Coronavirus News Network” myself.
This is very odd too, because it seems to be implying that the news was covering the pandemic too much? I mean, maybe some were, to a certain extent, but the vibe of “Stop talking so much about the pandemic that’s brought the entire world essentially to a screeching halt for over a year” is very strange to me. I really think Batiuk wrote this in early March last year and assumed the virus would blow over in a month.
The first panel is kind of hilarious to me. “I tried to avoid the news as much as I possibly could…but it just kept chasing me down and forcing me to watch it!”. If you don’t want to watch the news, don’t watch the news.
This arc really makes me feel that “recovering addict” is the perfect character type for Batiuk’s style of melodrama. You can milk a ton of cheap drama and pain out of it without anything really having to happen. Funky will never drink again, because that would be drama, and that doesn’t happen in this strip. But he will moan and complain, you’d better believe it.
That guy in the first panel sure looks happy. I hope he hasn’t discovered a new addiction to donuts.
Is it just me, or is that sentence in the second sentence super unwieldy? I can’t really think of a better way to phrase it, and it doesn’t really lead into the third panel at all.
Haha, “news that’s unfit to print”, that’s never been done before. I guess “Troller” is supposed to be a play on “Twitter”? Except it doesn’t sound at all the same, and I’m positive Batiuk has already made up a spoof of Twitter.
But yeah, reading the news is stressful and can lead to a relapse into alcoholism. True, but not really great material for a comic strip.
Link To The Thing
Organ, organ, organ…it’s like he’s making sausage here or something. “Our current organist wants to stop playing the organ and the previous organist died.”
“Shhh! You’ll scare off the organist and we’ll still need someone to play the organ as our new organist!”
“So, Mr. Dinkle, will you take over as our organist and play organ music on the organ?”
The way he just consistently beats selected words or phrases into the ground just drives me nuts. It’s really hacky too, it reads like dialog a child would write just to pad the word count on a homework assignment. I’m sure my fellow SoSF contributors would agree, there are times when you just can’t believe you’re typing “band mattress” or “Xaxian” or “Lisa’s Story” again. By the end of this week I’ll be able to type “organist” in a millisecond, which will never, ever come in handy again.
Link To Today’s Thing
Get ready for a shitload of organ puns, folks. I’ve been trying to work “skin flute” into a Dinkle arc post title for years. Maybe this is the one. Fingers crossed.
Anyhow, why the f*ck was that flashback necessary? It’s not like he’s applying for a real job here. And man, that’s some really crappy flashback art in panels one and two, that doesn’t look like Old Dinkle at all. It looks more like Ed McMahon trying to channel Elvis.
It’s already Tuesday and he still hasn’t even finished climbing the stairs. When I think of “most hated” FW characters I always overlook Dinkle for some reason, then he re-appears and I remember all too well that he’s right there, heroically battling for the place and show spot behind Les-retariat, who’s already lapped the field twice. I never really minded Old Dinkle but New Old Dinkle is like fingernails on a chalkboard, with his wry cackle and endless reserve of crappy band gags. He was better when he was a weird marching band fascist, as Act III Dinkle has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
Link to today’s strip.
Day three of Jessica hanging up her coat and getting more and more worried about her marriage, only this time her worry is stoking over into rage. Let’s try spitting, that’s a good trick!
It reminds me of this video of a person using her dog’s favorite words. The dog reacts each time one of them pops up. It’s very cute and it’s basically the polar opposite of today’s thing. Jessica reacts to anything Dullard says with increasing puzzlement and anger–when he’s not talking to her.
This is not a healthy marriage. This is the portrait of a neurotic who is rapidly becoming psychotic.
He may be the only Westviewian who’s not enthralled with comic books. But for someone who dreaded high school gym class, Les is…not uninterested in sports. He plays tennis (but only against easily defeated, out-of-shape opponents like Bull and Funky). He’s not real good swinging a bat (except in his mind), but he raised a basketball phenom, and we know he watches hoops on TV with his current wife. Never pictured him as a football fan, though. But Les being Les, he and St. Lisa saw no mere game, but rather “a model for dealing with and overcoming adversity“. Assuming he’s watching the Cleveland Browns, like everyone else in Batiuk’s realm, that actually begins to make sense.
Holly Winkerbean’s not the only Westview wife who’s been watching HGTV. According to Crazy Harry, Donna “seems plugged in and aware” of kitchen design trends. Too bad she’s married to a man who squanders his postal service pension checks on rare Tarzan comics.
I’m pretty sure that Crazy doesn’t get the nesting urge; if he did, it would mean he was pregnant. Crazy’s just saying he “gets” it. I didn’t: I had to look up “nesting urge”. Anyway, what’s not to get about the desire to “reno the nest” (and hoo boy, there’s another turn of phrase that you will hear nowhere in real life)?
February 21, 2021 at 11:00 pm
Every time a strip features Funky being nervously anxious about the cost of something I will be motivated to write here to say, yet again, as I did yesterday and before, that FUNKY LIVES IN A GOD DAMNED MANSION OF A HOUSE THAT WOULD HAVE A VALUE OF AT LEAST ONE FUCKING MILLION DOLLARS IF IT EXISTED IN THE REAL WORLD…
Exactly. The Winkerbeans live in a spacious home (that I suspect closely resembles Batiuk’s “Cartoon Castle). Funky clearly should have the wherewithal to spruce it up just a bit. He’s just bent out of shape because Holly’s taken charge of things. But she spends at least as much time running the family business as does Funky. Doesn’t Holly deserve the kitchen (and bathroom) of her dreams?