Tag Archives: single panel

Knox Landing

Mitchell Knox will obviously want the picture of John Darling, Jessica’s father who was murdered.

erdmann

Maybe Mitchell Knox will make some outrageous bid on the John Darling photo that will be enough to bail Montoni’s out of whatever supposed financial straits they’re experiencing.

bobanero

I wonder whose photo they’re removing to make room for Summer’s. John Darling’s? Somebody call Mitchell Knox!

be ware of eve hill

Winners, please come to the pay window!

A lot of you predicted this development, and today we get it as the “memorabilia auction” starts. This is the kind of detail Funky Winkerbean never gets wrong. Characters fluctuate between being dead and alive, and their surnames randomly change. But it would never forget the memorabilia preferences of a comic book artist!

Beyond that, this scene raises so many questions. What’s in all those boxes? It looks like framed pictures and rolled-up posters. Is Funky selling memorabilia that wasn’t even good enough to put on the walls? “Now up for sale, this historically relevant artifact we took off our history wall to make room for a third picture of Tony Montoni. The bidding starts at $10,000.”

How – and why – did Montoni’s con Lillian out of her tiffany lamp? That anecdote has more story potential than anything we’ve seen all week.

Where are any of the regulars? Where’s Les, who wanted to buy the sign? Where Summer, who’s supposed to be recording all this history before it’s lost forever? Where’s Crazy Harry, who spent so much time at Montoni’s he forgot to do his job?

Is “Ferris Wheeler” the best punny name Tom Batiuk can come up with anymore? He doesn’t sound like an auctioneer, he sounds like a carnie played by Matthew Broderick. At least “Amicus Brief” got his profession right. And when I’m holding up Amicus Brief as an example of how Funky Winkerbean used to do something better, there’s a real problem.

I feel like I’m watching Funky Winkerbean deteriorate in real time. It can’t even be bothered to follow up its own self-serving story points, which it just introduced last week. Did Tom Batiuk forget he has to make Summer famous? Or does he think he did enough already?

The strip’s laziness, lack of focus, and emphasis on all the wrong things, are getting worse.

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Get The Funk Out

Today’s strip.

If comic strips can have clip shows. I guess they can have voice overs, too.

No characters are visible today, as (presumably) Funky rambles about how great Montoni’s history wall is. It’s the same irrelevant junk we saw Sunday, except that Mason Jarre is up there now. It’s not even drawn with much more detail.

And it feels out of order in the narrative. Summer has spent the last two days interviewing Tony about Montoni’s history, so she doesn’t need to be convinced Montoni’s has a lot of history she should investigate. Was this supposed to be Monday’s strip?

It even has another rewriting of its own history, calling John Darling a “TV celeb.” Oh, come on! The man’s dying words were a lament that he never got to become a celebrity:

On top of that, we saw John Darling being equated with these ancient fossils barely a month ago.

“Much of Westview’s history has passed through Montoni’s doors.” Yes, it’s amazing that prominent people in a small town have eaten in the town’s only restaurant. Sheesh. Get over yourself.

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I Am Serious, And Stop Calling Me Deadly

Link, Please Click Here For Strip

“Bummer Batton”…LOL, I get it. Batiuk is always at his weirdest when he tries to get all “meta”. Once again he’s gently poking fun at himself in that wry, self-effacing way of his, and once again, it just sets my teeth on edge and makes my fillings hurt. Making fun of FW is OUR thing, Tom, so either do it right or stay in your goddamned lane, you big, overly-sincere lug.

It bears repeating to once again mention how, once again, TomYam deftly avoids the whole “climate change” kerfuffle by a) calling it “climate damage”, which no one else does, and b) never really taking any kind of concrete stand one way or the other. He acknowledges that it exists, but that’s it. He knows who butters his toast, and he’s not going to risk generating a tide (half a dozen) hand-written letters to the editor complaining about those damned hippie comic strips that bumped “Gasoline Alley” from the local funny page. Better to be incredibly vague, thus dodging that whole issue entirely. He’s kind of good at that, actually. In another life, I bet you that BatHam would have made quite a cunning local politician, like a state assemblyman or something, carving out an unremarkable but incredibly long-lived career by deftly straddling both sides of every issue, and that’s it.

“Assemblyman BattonTom! Channel One News. Where does your office stand with the controversial “Books For Orphans” program and the controversy swirling around it ever since the allegations were made public.?”

“It’s something I’ll need to look at. We might not have many tomorrows left, you know. I think voters should be hearing about this.”

He’d have been really good at it. And he’s real sincere and self-effacing too, in case you failed to notice. One can’t help but wonder what might have happened if BatYarn had put this unique talent of his to some kind of good use, instead of squandering it on a f*cking comic strip, of all things.

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Climate Damage Inc.

Link To Strip

Back-to-back single panel strips in a garbage dump arc…for shame, Tom, for shame. More wry self-deprecation AND a malaprop, too, plus, as an added bonus, Batton Thomas just inexplicably standing there, grinning stupidly. Maybe his dumb comic strip wouldn’t be in “the last row” if he’d go home and, you know, work on the damn thing instead of loitering around a comic book studio all day.

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Armageddon Outta Here

Link To Click On If You Dare

Christ on a cracker, not THESE assholes now. And they’re STILL working on those imbecilic “Elemental” comics (or komix, in the Ohioese). God, I hate these motherf*ckers, man. Sorry, but it’s true. They’re in the strip all the time now. And apparently, to add insult to injury, this is a Batton/AK-themed garbage dump arc, where he’s just using “ideas” (for lack of a better term) he couldn’t squeeze in anywhere else, like wry Batton Thomas gags and old comic book references. Unless it’s the last week of the year, garbage dump arcs are just inexcusable. And single panel garbage dump arc strips are just the lowest of the low. It’s the comic strip equivalent of always wearing sweatpants with a small-but-growing hole in the crotch.

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Take Another Pizza My Heart Now, Baby

Link To This One

Yeah, I’ve used that title before, but so what? Another single paneler…this thing isn’t just running out of momentum, it’s actually rolling backwards now. As much as it pains me to admit this, Les’ barely-veiled disgust is probably the funniest moment of this arc so far. I’ve always wanted to see Dick Facey go in that direction and become a full-time, no-holds-barred asshole, all the time, instead of just occasionally. But alas, the bearded dick with ears can’t even do that right.

Two things really stand out here. First you have Summer, who’s becoming less and less recognizable by the day. Please, just ship her back to KSU and let her prepare for her triple junior year already. And then there’s Holly’s “muscatel memory” gag, which has to be one of the bottom ten all-time FW gags ever. I mean yikes, man, that’s just awful.

And what a shitty wedding. Awful, awful pop-culture gags, no one taking it seriously at all, Summer lurching around making wisecracks and a pile of shitty pizza…if I was a guest I’d seriously consider stealing my gift back.

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Take The Vow With Son Of Holly, Fa-la La La La, La La La La

Link To This One

Good God, man. While this may seem like a typically stupid and innocuous FW gag, it’s not innocuous at all. It’s actually one of the worst gags ever written by anyone, ever, and BatYam ought to be ashamed of himself for having dreamed it up in the first place.

First, you have the joke itself, which (as far as I can tell) is that the minister the happy couple found online speaks only in technology references, because he’s an “online” minister. But the thing is, he isn’t “online”, he’s right there. You can go online without becoming “online”, which seems like something you shouldn’t have to point out to anyone, regardless of how rooted in the past they are. It’s just a TERRIBLE joke on that level alone.

But then, on top of this already-abysmal gag, he uses “Bill Gates” and “Twitter” as his “online” references, as they both have something to do with “internet” and “computers”. And I mean yeah, they do and all, but it’s REALLY a weak, weak reach. If he said “by the powers vested in me by my local ISP, Megalith Cable” or something like that, it’d be a little closer to being a joke, albeit barely.

Then, the icing on the cake. It’s Summer, the young, with-it child of technology explaining the reference to Cayla, the old, out-of-touch fogey who always struggles with this internet thingie. And then there’s Boy Lisa’s absolutely baffling presence, too. Seriously? HE’S Cory’s best friend? He couldn’t even draw up some random anon-o-army guy to be Cory’s best man?

This one stinks on ice on every possible level. In fact, I’d go as far as to say this one, right here, is one of the one hundred worst FW strips of all time, maybe even bottom fifty. Just look at that terrible post title I resorted to using today, I am NOT a man who shies away from a terrible, lousy, no-good gag every now and again. But this strip is aggressively bad, the kind of bad that just grabs you by the shoulders and screams “LOOK HOW SHITTY I AM!’ right in your face, and in my opinion there’s just no call for that.

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Shooty Now For The Future

Link To Today’s

Keen observation there, Boy Lisa. Insight like that must be why they keep him around, in spite of his overwhelming blandness. Not that it would have helped or anything, but it’d have been way more in character if Chester had said something like “find out what next’s year’s hottest titles will be so I can buy all the first editions” or something that was, you know, related to comic books in some way. Because he’s Chester Hagglemore, the man whose entire life revolves around comic books.

But instead he just had him say the most generic thing possible in that situation, rendering the strip (and the Chester character) totally pointless, instead of just mostly pointless. This is a really, really bad premise, even by FW’s lowly standards. Usually the premises are semi-believable and it’s the execution where they all go hopelessly awry, but this one is just complete dog shit. He couldn’t think of any other way to work some “Flash” gags into the strip? “I know! I’ll have Batton Thomas inexplicably use the Flash treadmill at Atomik Komix”…I mean that’s really out there, man. Half the strip takes place in a comic book store and a comic book factory, and this was the best he could do?

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He Blinded Me With Word Balloons Pertaining To Science. Blinded Me, With Word Balloons Pertaining To Science!

Link To Today’s

Wow, what an ugly, ungainly mess this one is. The vertical single-paneler is possibly the most annoying FW gimmick of them all, but cramming it full of TWENTY word balloons takes this debacle to a whole new level of stupid. As usual, the gag here (“it’s all already been done”) is fine in and of itself, but the execution is botched, bungled and mangled beyond belief to the point where only hardcore FW readers will “get” it and even then it’s iffy. Thus far in 2022 there’s been a noticeable decline in the quality of the strip’s wry banter, to a point where you have to seriously wonder if perhaps there’s some sort of legitimate cognitive impairment involved. Or maybe it’s just the shittiness of the premise, it’s tough to tell one way or the other.

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