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.”
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.
…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.
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!
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.
Link To Today’s Strip
No preview…stay tuned. My guess: Boy Lisa drops by one of Les’ “Lisa Trilogy” book signings to drop off the Batom Comics covers for the big “Lisa’s Legacy” cancer charity auction while wearing a Kent State sweatshirt and everything at long last comes full circle.
UPDATE: There’s a lot of information packed into this little gem. I got the impression that Phil was bitter and angry, mainly by how bitter and angry he was acting, but today Boy Lisa verifies it. What a surprise, as the usual one-shot FW character is normally all full of rainbows and light and all.
Then things take a typically sappy turn as Darin’s Lisa “gosh darn helping people” gene kicks into overdrive which, strangely enough, sends Jessica into another craven display of wanton desire, this time sexual instead of financial. Man, this woman is just a ball of “help me I never signed up for this” energy, isn’t she?
You know what gang? It’s a lovely summer’s evening as I write this. The missus and I are sitting by the pond watching the koi swim over the lights. I am enjoying the peace, quiet, and sanity of my backyard and came into the house just long enough to put up a placeholder for you, dear readers, to snark away at today’s strip.
August 10, 2017 at 11:52 am
this is very depressing even by the standards of this strip – I’m half way convinced that Boy Lisa is going to take Mr. Holt home once he sees the conditions that he’s living under.
They arrive at Phil’s humble abode, a small studio apartment which is mostly taken up with an enormous old drawing board. There has got to be a crooked lampshade somewhere in this room. Darin’s attention is drawn to the picture frames that cover the walls and which are all…empty. Something isn’t right here. He decides to stay calm and just play along, humoring the crazy old man until he and his son can get back to the car.
Whatever else new artist Rick Burchett brings to this strip, he knows how to draw a realistic, modern looking car. And he can draw the occupants seated comfortably inside, not pressed up against the windshield. Good job!
While the artwork’s (marginally) improved, the writing hasn’t changed. Phil Holt is such a comics legend that he’s instantly recognizable; quite a feat for anyone not named Stan Lee. Yet he bitterly dismisses his life’s work as “just junk.” “Now there was this young fella back in the day, walked in off the street…’Tom’ something, ‘Tom…Batty-yuck’. From Ohio. Showed me his portfolio. Great stuff, much better then my work. Told ‘im thanks but no thanks! Shit, he’d have had my job!”
Of course it’s up to Darin, the high school newspaper comics legend, to cheer up Mr. Holt, and it seems to work. Hopefully he’ll omit the part about the Comic-Con attendee who called Phil’s namesake “an old-fashioned piece of junk.”
Looks like the party’s over, and Darin’s spent the better part of his time pestering “Mr. Holt” rather that getting to know the other parents. There’s the purple mom in the background…she spotted Jess-less Darin at the party and swooped in to chat him up, only to be left standing there once Darin spied his idol. Now she looks on from a distance, arms akimbo, before resignedly gathering the drab blue and slate gray party balloons. Meanwhile, as if having ol’ Phil reduced to working children’s parties wasn’t pathetic enough, Batiuk has him bumming a ride home.