Link To Today’s Strip
* Nope, not letting it go.
Linda reading Batiuk’s NYT interview.
“And then I asked my cognitively impaired husband for a bite. So he bit me! (rimshot)”. Apparently Linda’s online support group is all about one-upmanship and exchanging daffy anecdotes about who’s got it worse. Sounds real helpful. No wonder she’s so miserable all the time, even her “my husband is so cognitively impaired…” gags aren’t that good. Leave it to Linda to find the wryest support group on the internet. In any other support group she’d undoubtedly be the wryest by far, but not this one.
“Take my CTE-afflicted husband…please! Why did my CTE-afflicted husband cross the road? He doesn’t remember! But seriously folks, is this thing on?”
This weird mix of weak sad gags and unbearable human misery has always been FW’s stock in trade but man, it sure does take a terrible toll on the readers. Perhaps he feels that by zany-ing things up a little it’ll increase the dramatic impact when Bull dies. And maybe it would have, if he didn’t go and spoil the whole story for no good reason like an imbecile. But alas, we’ll never know.
Was not expecting today’s strip to be a standalone gag, but I guess we should be grateful for some respite from Bull’s swan song. And it’s been a while since my high school band days, but we didn’t start practicing Christmas music until football season was almost over. Speaking of football, we’ll get back to Bull’s plight on Monday; the good news is that your guide will be Epicus Doomus!
I want to thank the commenters who’ve shared their very personal stories about cognitive dysfunction and depression. It looks like Batiuk has once again drawn a response from his readers by addressing another thought-provoking and sensitive topic…and getting just about everything wrong.
The North Carolina reference in today’s strip led me to Grandpa Google: I read about a study, being conducted by UNC, of 2,500 former NFL players, investigating “the potential long-term neurological effects from concussions.” Maybe Bull’s “cup of coffee* with the [St. Louis] Cards” qualifies him for such a study, but the majority of his “repeated concussions” had to have taken place during his high school and college playing career. One could hardly fault the NFL for refusing to pay for his care.
* “A ‘cup of coffee’ is a North American sports idiom for a short time spent by a minor league player at the major league level. The idea behind the term is that the player was only in the big leagues long enough to have a cup of coffee before being returned to the minors. The term originated in baseball and is extensively used in ice hockey, both of whose professional leagues (MLB and the NHL) utilize extensive farm systems; it is rarely used in basketball or American football since neither the NBA nor NFL have implemented a true farm system.” —Grandma Wikipedia
Link to today’s strip.
Okay, so apparently the documentary is done now. If last week really was the conclusion to the Butter storyline that’ll be pretty amazing.
I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen a coffee shop that served ice cream. And does anyone else feel like Batiuk has been pushing that Darin and Jessica are in love with each other a little too hard lately? I kind of feel like maybe he took the comments about Darin and Pete’s relationship and is trying to prove everyone wrong. “So what if Darin and Pete ran off to the Flash Museum together to buy dollies, look how horny Jess and Darin are for each other! And Pete has a girlfriend now!”
Again-this didn’t come up in the previous documentary about Cliff Anger? The fact that he literally lived with a monkey? This is honestly the most interesting thing about him. And was this before or after he took off on the tramp steamer? Did the monkey live with him in his crappy little apartment? Did Zanzibar testify before Congress on his behalf? Is the fact that Cliff lived with a convicted murderer’s pet monkey maybe contribute to his being branded a communist, or living as a bachelor for sixty years?
Also, how in the world was there “no way of telling when Butter would be back, if ever”? Does Cliff/Batiuk not know that people are sentenced to jail for specific lengths of time, and not like “whenever Williams/Wilson Bellows Inkpot feels like letting you out”, or whatever is supposed to be going on here? It says a lot that Batiuk can botch a storyline with an actress being murdered and a monkey so incredibly badly.
And is it me, or does Cliff look disturbingly like Frankie in the last panel? I’m sure it’s just supposed to be a “cool” expression but it always comes off way more creepy to me.
Honestly, I kinda dig the newspaper montage in the throwaway panel of today’s strip… such famous banners as the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Herald (known as the Herald-Express in the 40s), San Francisco Call (known as the Call-Bulletin in the 40s), and… uh, the Oxnard Daily Courier (known as the Press-Courier in the 40s). The “His Famous Smile Is Gone” headline is actually a pretty upper-middle shelf bit of stupidly maudlin 1940s newspapering. What I like ends there, though…
WILSON BELLOWS INKPOT?! Are you kidding me, Batiuk?! “Butter Brickle” was too silly a name, had to be changed to the essentially nonexistent surname “Brinkel”… but some William Randolph Hearst-Snidely Whiplash mash-up robber barron (oh, there’s a 1940s trope, not an 1890s one… no sir!) named “Bellows” AND “Inkpot” is kosher?
Why, that’s almost as asinine as Jessica, who was in the same high school class as her husband Durwood (born in 1986) comparing yellow newspaper journalism with modern online sensationalism as if she didn’t grow up with supermarket tabloids and Les Moore writing a book about her vapid TV host father’s murder. Almost…
Ooooooooooooooo! Rumors! Swirling rumors! Each one far too interesting to be true or even explored in Funky Winkerbean. Enjoy them now, because today’s strip is probably the last time they will ever be mentioned.
It really is too bad too… the most interesting aspect of celebrity mystery deaths are the wacky conspiracy theories obsessively promoted by space cadets with more imagination than TB has ever had. They can be disgusting, demeaning, profiteering, and otherwise awful, but interesting they really so often are. Otherwise, this Brinkel story is just terribly sad… which I guess, to be fair, is TB’s wheelhouse. It’s a really boring wheelhouse.
In true Batiukverse fashion, the police are having to hold people back from attempting to join Valerie Pond in the back of that ambulance.