Tag Archives: silhouettes

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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Well, I’m Convinced (But How to Prove It?)

Link to today’s strip.

Yeah, Les, it has to be Lisa’s ghost. To paraphrase Peter Venkman, no human being would be able to fill the bird feeder like that.

We all have our pet peeves about what we hate in this strip. I, like many of you, hate the restatement of the previous strip as a question. I know it’s a holdover from when comic strips were exclusive to newspapers, thus someone might miss an episode and need to be brought up to speed, but to quote John Howard’s clumsy phrase, “Those days are long gone in the rear view mirror.”

Still, the zeppelins have to be filled somehow.

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Chain of Events

DON’T FORGET TO VOTE FOR THE 2021 FUNKY AWARDS!

When I first saw today’s strip, I thought, ‘Isn’t that kind of racy for kids to be playing?’

But that is, of course, because the song ‘Unchained Melody’ has for more than 30 years been chained to a certain famous, and much parodied, pottery making scene in the movie Ghost. To the point that playing the first few notes of the Righteous Brothers cover of the song instantly cues many brains to expect slow motion montages of wet, spinning clay.

But the song was created 35 years before Patrick Swayze ever slid his hands over Demi Moore’s while Bobby Hatfield crooned. American composer Alex North, (most known for scoring Spartacus and the jazz infused soundtrack to A Streetcar Named Desire,) wrote the melody that has no bonds for the movie he was currently scoring. A completely forgotten 1955 prison pic called Unchained. (Which was based on a real experimental reform prison in Chino, California.)

Unchained (1955) - IMDb
EVERY REVELATION THAT CAUSED A SENSATION IN READER’S DIGEST!

North asked lyricist Hy Zaret, (famous for later writing children’s educational songs such as ‘The Sun Is a Mass of Incandescent Gas’) to write the words. The producers had requested that the word ‘unchained’ be used in the lyrics. Zaret refused, so instead the whole song was called ‘Unchained Melody.’

The first singer to record ‘Unchained Melody’ was African American opera singer and actor Todd Duncan, who had a bit part in the movie as an unnamed prisoner singing a shortened version of the song.

Since then “Unchained Melody” has reached number one on the UK four times with four different recordings. It is currently one of the highest grossing royalty earners for it’s copyright holders of any song.

Was that a great musical education? Maybe not. I mean, I stole most of those facts off of the internet and I knew NONE of this before I looked it up today. But I guarantee you it’s a better musical education that Lefty usually provides. And I suspect Batiuk doesn’t care at all about the song, its history, or if it would be appropriate, or even possible, for a high school band to play an arrangement of it. He just heard a song title and thought, ‘Heh, I can make a quick band joke outta this.’

Thanks everyone for the warm reception to the Funky Awards! Tell your family! Tell your friends! Voting will continue through January 16th. VOTE HERE!

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Merry Squick-mas

A very Merry Christmas to you all, SOSFers! Your Christmas will likely be merrier if you don’t read today’s strip, but linking to the latest Funky Winkerbean strip is kind of what we do here. Apologies.

I guess the jury is finally out (citation needed) on Morton’s “moves” (citation needed) and “charm” (citation needed). Bedside Manor needs to change the locks.

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Flaming Batom Schtick

Apologies for today’s short post, but this story arc has gone about as well as my week at work has… And today’s strip doesn’t do much to improve matters. It doesn’t do much period.

The insurance companies Dinkle may have put a stop to the flaming baton trick, but don’t you dare think he is losing his touch. He has happily proposed maiming senior citizens with fire in recent years.

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The Taking Of Boredom 123

Today’s strip goes beyond TB’s regular “tell, don’t show” philosophy into, well, “tell, don’t tell” territory I guess. We get a couple of 35 cent metaphors and learn NOTHING. Not a thing. In fact, you could swap the order of yesterday’s and today’s strips and it would make exactly as much sense as the present order. The Flash #123 made this big impact on this author avatar who went on to become a cartoonist… yeah, we knew that yesterday (or, 12 years ago, if you’ve ever read TB’s blog). Shouldn’t we be on to the why? The how? No, don’t bother with that, we need to hear a few more flowery words that restate what has already been restated ad nauseam.

This is beyond Herb and Jamaal‘s dopey non-specificity, which muddied the gags but didn’t keep the reader from recognizing that they existed. This glacial garbage muddies a complete lack of any substance to begin with. There is nothing here. Nothing. At all. No conflict, no suspense, no character development, no dispensation of information real or fictional. We’re waiting for a man to pay for a comic book. WE ARE WAITING FOR A MAN TO PAY FOR A COMIC BOOK. I’ll put up the $5.99 or whatever the #123 reprint costs just to get Batton the heck out of there.

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How Much Is That Dummy In The Window?

Does today’s strip really take place right after yesterday’s? Amicus and Wally left the box office window presumably just a few minutes prior to go bother the supervisor and in that short time Adeela has already been put on the 3:45 AM flight to Baghdad? I see nothing that really indicates otherwise except for Adeela’s speedy departure, so I guess we’re still in the middle of the night of Adeela’s arrest.

I suppose this was inevitable, though. Westview has seen several immigrant refugees move to town over the years, and none have wound up ultimately staying. Let’s look at their fates:

Lu Lin and Zhang Li – escaped detention in communist China for their role in student pro-democracy protests and opened The Jade Dragon, a Chinese restaurant, next to Montoni’s:

Kahn (or is it Khan?) – immigrated from war-torn Afghanistan, founded a deli, and even became a US citizen (despite having been a known Taliban-affiliated arms dealer):

Rana – orphaned by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan and the adopted by Wally and Lefty and raised in Westview by Lefty and DSH:

Bye, Adeela…

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Match Game

This ICE supervisor has got to be quaking in his Johnston & Murphy’s, Amicus Breef is finally breaking out the lawyering talk in today’s strip! And he’s doing it with righteous indignation too! What a lawyer this guy, keeping supervisor Ed O’Neill off of his Facebook feed for 4… maybe even 5 minutes by threatening to do something that would have been more useful had he done it before he showed up at the detention facility.

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Deafinitely Dumb

Hey, remember when this story arc was about Bull?
Today’s strip sure doesn’t.

Look, I’m just going to gloss over the fact that Dinkle was actually introduced well over a year into this strip’s existence and just give TB credit for remembering that Funky Winkerbean itself is 47 (and a half) years old… And with that out of the way I’ll go right into wondering what the heck this has to do with Bull, his condition, his life, or anything. I guess if you twist your neck 117 degrees and squint until you experience sharp pain in your temples it appears the notoriously egotistical Dinkle (or is that Buck?) is paying Bull a compliment by saying they were equals despite his long and incessant history of considering all things inferior to himself and his marching band. But really this is just TB repackaging his biggest hit.

Dinkle is the only thing about this strip that has ever moved merchandise. His “football fields are for band practice!” bit covers books and t-shirts, and even serves as his character’s introductory line in the stage play Funky Winkerbean’s Homecoming. Dinkle’s shtick has sold band posters (“Dinkle wants your horn to twinkle”) and shoes, and no less than 9 Dinkle-specific collections of FW strips have been published! No, seriously, there have been 4 Lisa books and 9 Dinkle books.

Football Fields are for Band Practice!
Sunday Concert
Harry L. Dinkle Live at Carnegie Hall
I Never Promised You a Rose Parade
Gone with The Woodwinds
Would the Ushers Please Lock the Doors!
Attack of the Band Moms
The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side of the Football Field
Music is Worth it… Music is Worth it… Music is…

This is nothing more than TB pushing his most-recognized character/cash cow into a story the New York Times inexplicably gave him ink for. Ugh!

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Tempo Of Doom

Today’s strip… or July 11th’s strip? YOU make the call!

This time warping stuff is getting really really old, especially when it makes negative amounts of sense. At least with Tuesday’s “five years ago” mishap you could chalk it up to the strip’s time simply not matching real time even while matching real time’s seasons (not an uncommon thing at all in comic strips). This strip has long done that, though not in a consistent way – Summer’s generation was in high school for 5 years, Pete and Durwood’s for almost a decade, and the Act I gang was there for 20 of course.

Today, though, we’re at “three months ago”. That places this flashback in early July, and yet both Buck and Bull are wearing coats? I mean, this is presumably still an October funeral, right, what with the falling leaves colored a bright orange hue? Heck, this doesn’t even line up with Buck’s mid-September visit, where he and Bull stroll out to Jerome T. Bushka A&L Automotive Stadium, as neither man is wearing a coat then.

Is this beady-eyed nitpickiness? Maybe, but when there are little errors like this in nearly every strip it starts to add up to genuine distraction. This is especially true when the story hops all over the calendar, which *gasp* makes invested readers hop through the calendar with it in an attempt to understand what is going on.

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