Tag Archives: Skyler

And I’m Free… Freeloadin’

I am only going to focus on the positives in today’s strip.

Yessiree, just the positives today. Things like… uh… hmmm… well… Darin using “mom” to refer to the woman that raised him instead of Lisa. Yeah, that’s one! There is also… ummm… these two shmucks getting themselves soaked to the bone walking back to the Eaton Building because they naturally forgot to bring their umbrellas in perpetually sunny Cleveland.  I can dig that.

So yeah, I’m only talking about the positive things today. You won’t see me mention any negative aspects. Nope, not a single one. I won’t mention at all how Durwood appears to have brought “Sky” back with him to Ohio solely so he could take advantage of his aging mother for free child care. I also won’t mention how he has put both his young son and disabled father in danger by working the only caregiver in their house to exhaustion. Nor will I mention how disingenuous it is for Durwood to talk about how important it is for “Sky” to be cared for while he is working after he just shot the breeze with Pete for who knows how long at an offsite coffeeshop on company time. No, I will not mention any of those things, only the positive stuff… the sunshine, lollipops, rainbows, safety, laughter, and skip to-and-fro.

Funny, I thought focusing on the positives would improve this strip. But alas, no such luck…

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Low ‘Rents

Like so much of Funky Winkerbean, today’s strip invites reasonable questions that have stupid and unsatisfying answers. Use the Q&A below to guide you as you take part in the frustrating experience that is reading today’s strip.

So when is Jessica moving back to Ohio?
I thought she had, but I was apparently wrong and she is still in California doing documentary work with Cindy. Durwood believes that she would not mind moving back to Ohio, so there’s that.

Wait… Jessica is doing documentary work for Cindy?
Well, she certainly was. If you didn’t have to blink back in November 2016 (the nerve of you!), you would have known this.

So Jessica is still working on Cindy’s Cliff Anger documentary 19 months after shooting the interview with Cliff and Vera?
Well… Cindy’s Cliff Anger documentary was nominated for an Emmy award in April 2017, so it is presumably complete. Either Jessica works so slowly that she has entered a time warp, an incomplete documentary was nominated for an Emmy award, or a certain writer forgot what he wrote 14 months back.

Why did Darin move back in with his parents in Westview instead of finding his own place in Cleveland, where he works?
Because he is a notorious freeloader who deserves to be nicknamed “Mooch” more than his old high school pal Eric Myers ever did. Recall his and Jessica’s previous residences in Act III, slumming with friends until getting kicked out (free), living with Les and Summer (free), and finally getting their first “real place” in the apartment above Montoni’s (technically not free, but Funky owned the unit and paid Durwood’s salary during this time).

Isn’t it hard on his senior-citizen mother to have him and Skyler living in the house on top of having to care for her stroke-crippled husband?
Of course it is, but Durwood is all about Durwood.

Does Darin not get along with his parents?
That seems to only be implied, but given that he has spent far more time beatifying his “bio mom” and “step dad” in Act III than spending any time at all (pleasant or otherwise) with the couple that loved and raised him from infancy, it is a very strong implication. Durwood is awful.

Why did Skyler move with Durwood, who is starting a time-intensive new job, into Ann and Fred’s cramped old house instead of staying with his mother, who is still living in a whole apartment that he was already comfortably living in?
Because Jessica is awful too.

Is Darin the worst?
No, Les is the worst… but Durwood is making a genuine effort at sinking to his depths.

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Another Saturday Night and I Ain’t Got No Preview

Link to today’s strip.

Well, so far Pete’s learned absolutely nothing of value from John, which isn’t even a little bit surprising.  I’m guessing that in today’s episode we learn even less, but as it wasn’t available for preview, we can all be disappointed together.

By the way, did any of you notice that Chester has a mutant super-power?  I’m a bit red-faced that I only recently saw this.  Observe:

He has the power to hitchhike whenever he wants!

Actually, let’s improve this.

Much, much better.

A couple of days ago, commentor Charles asked this:

“And why does it always have to be someone like Crankshaft and his daughter? I swear to God when I first made the observation that “There are 200 people in the Funkyverse and they’re all within two degrees of separation” I was joking.”

Many others have asked the same.  (And it’s almost always Crankshaft characters appearing in Funky Winkerbean, rarely the reverse–though I do remember Les showing up the used bookstore.  Les Moore?  Double-yuck!)

My own theory is that Tom Batiuk is trying to create some kind of Funky Winkerbean Extended Universe; the idea being that someone reading this would learn of Crankshaft and think, “Wait, there’s MORE like this?  Wow, I have to find that!”

Which is exactly the reaction he gets nowadays.  Oh, except the word “find” is replaced by “avoid.”

 

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Everything’s So-So

Link to today’s strip.

Ah, the perils of drawing your comic strip, word balloons and all, a year before you write the dialogue.  I feel certain Tom Batiuk wanted to have some reference to “medication” in Dullard’s word balloon, but alas he couldn’t make the word fit.  Too bad, as it would clarify the mysterious “they” in Ann’s balloon (supposed to be “medications” I guess) and make her reference to a “booster shot” tie it all up neatly.  It still wouldn’t be funny or good, but one could point to it as (at least) well constructed.

Oh well, can’t stop now!  Onward, ever onward, toward that 50th!

I try to point out things I like whenever I can, and I like the shadow pattern of the window on the far wall.   Somebody took his time applying craftsmanship to make that, and it is appreciated.  And unless I’m mistaken, the picture on the wall looks a little like “Christina’s World” by Andrew Wyeth.  It may not be, but I like to think someone tried to slip something of quality into this dreary waste.

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Nuke It From Orbit

…It’s the only way to be sure.

Link to today’s strip.

I’m having a hard time grasping the fact that Tom Batiuk, the most depressing comic strip author of all time, thinks that there are some things that are depressing that shouldn’t be*.  Seems to me he’d be okay with children’s books getting darker and darker, as that’s his own game plan searching for respectability (i.e., award nominations).  Shouldn’t children’s books be reality-based and reflect contemporary problems of young people?

Perhaps he’s ticked off that children’s books would follow along his chosen path.  Perhaps he thinks I’ve earned this…stupid children’s books haven’t.  Stop poaching my territory.  Seems like a case of wanting it both ways, but perhaps there’s an alternate explanation in that last panel.

In his offscreen presentation, Tom Batiuk loves him some comic books.  But what he loves most is old comic books, the ones he grew up with.  Whenever he mentions anything positive about contemporary comic books, I don’t think he ever goes past what a “striking” cover this or that issue has.  But he can go on for hours about silver age Flash comics.

So what more natural than, when he wants entertainment, he wants the entertainment he enjoyed as a kid.  Absolutely nothing wrong with that.  But he should be self-aware enough–at least I hope he is–that while he can say Things are terrible and dreary now, they were so much better years ago, that others can say the same about his own work.

*Though what seems to be distressing Ann here is actually just a description of the Sun.

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The March of Mediocrity

Link to today’s strip (presumably).

Thursday’s strip was not available for preview, but I’m betting March will begin with a titanic explosion, followed by millions of multi-tentacled aliens descending on the town, their hearts twisted with evil and their minds bent on enslaving the world.

But first, we have to guess whether yesterday’s episode exhausted Tom Batiuk’s observations about grandparents and toddlers, and he’ll thus quickly pivot to his real interest (hint: it has to do with comic books), or if he figures he ought to squeeze out a few more pearls before getting to the good stuff (which has to do with comic books).

I guess we’ll all have to wait!

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The Postman Always Rings Twice

Link to today’s strip.

Isn’t it amazing how every time these characters hear a joke that they did not concoct, the reaction is always anger, weariness, or in the case of Dullard here, utter befuddlement?  And yet when they tell a joke, the entire earth should fall off its axis from everyone laughing.

Look at Dullard’s utterly doltish face in panel 3.  There’s a clod who knows he’s just been insulted, he just can’t figure out in what way.   Is…is someone else Skyler’s dad? 

That’s the face of someone without the slightest hint of a sense of humor (or intelligence), who does not know a joke when he comes across one.

It’s kind of the opposite of Tom Batiuk, who finds jokes all the time, when they actually aren’t anywhere in the area.  Or at least that’s what I see happen.

One thing here that begs a look at the continuity is the fact that the Fairgoods live in Westview.  Skyler was (presumably) conceived and born in Westview.  And yet…the US Postal Service closed the Westview PO some years back.   Remember how Harry had to scramble to find a job?

Westview has no mailman.  Think about that for a moment.

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