Tag Archives: smirk

Bird Up!

Contrary to popular legend, there is no evidence that Benjamin Franklin ever publicly supported the wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), rather than the bald eagle, as a symbol of the United States.

You know who else suggested that the wild turkey, not the bald eagle, should be the national bird of the United States? Not Ben Franklin, according to Auntie Wikipedia. Perhaps Dinkle knows this, and he’s delivering the “national bird” remark satirically. This is supported by the fact that he’s smirking so hard when he says it that his mouth threatens to escape his face. But wait, here comes the punchline and…it’s…Butterbald? Hell no, I’ve never heard of a Butterbald Eagle. Or a “Butterbald” anything! Did Batty feel that the good people at Butterball® LLC wouldn’t be OK with a free mention in 400 newspapers right before Thanksgiving? Batiuk’s propensity for coming up with jokey, soundalike “brand names” once again tramples what would have been a borderline decent gag.

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Galling Gabbing Gobblers.

Link To Today’s Strip

For Pete’s sake, look how absolutely smug Dinkle is walking into the band room in panel one. Since his retirement, Becky has tried shilling mattresses, books, and selling the turkeys online. But here she is, stuck again in a chilly band room full of cardboard coffins of rapidly thawing poultry corpses. He knew she’d go crawling back to Sam’N’Ella’s finest, just like she always does. There’s nothing the elderly love more than seeing innovation fail.

I don’t know how long Batiuk has been patting his back over his Sam’N’Ella turkey pun. But, the earliest November in our archives shows the bacteria riddled band turkeys stacked to the ceiling.

November 20, 2007

I hope all of you aren’t tired of Dinkle yet! Because November is DINKLE AWARENESS MONTH, and our glorious leader, TF Hackett, will be making sure you all are aware of Dinkle for the foreseeable future.

But, before I sign off from my shift, I just wanted to take a moment for a little early Thanksgiving sentimentality. This week wasn’t just Donna and Harry’s (early) anniversary, it also marked my third anniversary of guest hosting this blog. I can’t say how much having a warm and inviting place to snark means to me. A place where I can stretch some disused writing muscles to a cozy, appreciative, audience, and even feel okay if I need to slack off on a few posts where the stress of real life or the paucity of the material gives me little to work with.

So I give thanks to TF Hackett and Epicus Doomus, for making this little place chug along, and giving me the opportunity to drive the bus every few months. And thank you everyone who comments, either with praise, or details, or your own hilarious takes on this strange comic universe’s Kafkaesque parody of a Hallmark Channel movie. Remember, your impotent rageposting makes the world a brighter and funnier place.

Stay Funky my friends.

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Mr. Whole Note Takes a Week.

Link To Today’s Strip

Thanks to our glorious leader TF Hackett, who brought up yesterday that “Mr. Whole Note.” is, in fact, a song/training exercise for learning piano students. The excerpt he posted of ‘The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 2.’ is simultaneously infuriating and fascinating. So, I’ll let you all expertly dissect Dinkle’s non-joke in the comments, and look forward to your hilarious analysis. I’m going off on a tangent again.

Like a lot of mouth breathing nerds, I am a huge Tolkien fan. Like, I’ve read The Silmarillion more than ONCE kind of Tolkien fan. If you really start digging into his work, you find out that the man was a persnickety and easily distracted procrastinator who created reams and reams of unfinished material that his son, Christopher, carefully collated and annotated into multiple volumes. The famous Silmarillion is just the tip of the iceberg.

Reading through something like “The History of Middle Earth” series, and seeing his son deconstruct the evolution of his father’s work in parallel to his father’s life is to get a window into the creative process of a man. The single world that Tolkien invented is so complex, with thousands of years of history and dozens, if not hundreds, of complete stories and sagas he never thought finished enough to release. And his son spent his whole life studying and writing about his father’s work, carefully breaking down the evolution of concepts and characters. I feel like all the weird asides, and life commentary, written in the margins of The Complete Funky Winkerbean attempt to achieve the same thing for Batiuk’s massive world.

But, unlike Tolkien, who hid his unfinished material away, and really didn’t like the idea of psychoanalyzing authors to find parallels in their own work, Batiuk is compelled to write the deconstruction himself. He has to be the one to break apart and explain this weird, paper-paste, universe he’s spent his life creating, and tie it together with his own experiences. Writing paragraphs on his musical education and family life with serious self-importance, probably because there is no one out there obsessed enough to do it for him.

It’s really kind of sad. Tolkien was a deeply religious man, assured of his own immortality and humble in his act of subcreation. Even if you don’t share his belief, you can tell how his faith comforted him. His only self psychoanalysis of his work is a wonderful short story, ‘Leaf by Niggle.’ In it he writes a parable of painter that ends with the realization that even if the massive work of art he was trying to create was never finished, and never appreciated, and ultimately never remembered by anyone on this Earth, that somehow it would exist forever and finally be perfected in the world to come.

Tom Batiuk, meanwhile, has the Kent State University Press printing out an entire Midrash of Funky Winkerbean, trying to scrape together enough interest and importance for a hint of earthly immortality. And, it seems, the only ones who care enough to spend any time at all engaging with his world are a tiny cabal of beady-eyed nitpickers who he disdains.

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The Westview Pizza-ccord

This guy still doesn’t look anything like Bill Clinton, but at least he’s game to help the gang in today’s strip, which means we’re probably closer to the end of this idiocy (and the start of a new idiocy). A President Clinton junk food joke? Really, TB? Did you write this in 1994 or when people stopped laughing at the thought of the President eating French fries (which was 1995, I believe)?

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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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Here Comes The Flood

Link to today’s strip.

Normally, a Funky Winkerbean reader would see today’s episode as one of those typical Sunday “filler” strips that has nothing to do with anything, but is just supposed to be lighthearted and fun.

But Tom Batiuk can’t resist tipping his heavy hand when he’s about to get serious.  I guess it’s his way of saying “Polish off those awards, boys, the Batiuk shelf is ready for ’em!”

So we see Adeela all happy and carefree, just before the mean ol’ USA comes crashing down on her, for no reason at all (I’m guessing; there could be a reason that will turn out to be incredibly stupid). Maybe she has a brother who’s bombed here and there, and she’s guilty by association.  Or it might be something we’ve never guessed (because it has never been shown.)  As I mentioned yesterday, whatever it is will be so inaccurate and poorly thought-out that it should win awards–just not the good kind.  The point is that Batiuk will make her life living hell, for no other reason than that’s the only kind of life available in this strip…and, for that, he should win an award.  A good award, too.  He thinks.

Seems odd that we had to go through nine years two weeks of talking about driver’s licenses to get here, but there you go in Batiukland.

And that’s all from me for now.  Thank you for your indulgence; I appreciate your comments and your insights, and I also appreciate those who read but do not comment.  And now, please welcome back reigning champion Epicus Doomus, who returns tomorrow.

Let’s have Peter Gabriel sing us out of here…

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Saved by the Cave

It took all of a month, but at last the Point Dume Fire is finally out. And Jeff is alive. And Skppy is a real boy, and Murania really exists as a city thousands of feet below the earth’s crust. Thus winds up an arc that Batiuk teased last month (with Dan Davis’ much more competent artwork) in Crankshaft. You might also recall a Sunday four years ago when Batom Comics editor Brady Wentworth dragged his staff (retro Darin and Pete) to a Phantom Empire screening for some inspiration.

Today’s strip is likely the last we’ll see of Murania. Batiuk and Ayers could have spent a little time showing Jfff and his youthful alter ego Skppy exploring the fantastic underground city and interacting with the Queen and her subjects. But after all the buildup, the climax has Jeff meeting the queen on Friday and then waking up oustide the cave on Saturday. And as far as what we got to see of the underground city:

Banana Jr. 6000
August 26, 2020 at 8:08 am
Murania just looks like The Jetsons moved to Detroit.

If you want to see a place that looks even worse than Detroit, this week we get a look at what the fire did to Masone’s place in the hills!

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Misery, Golf Style

Oh yay, the totally random unnamed golfers with no context or purpose are back today. He’s done two full strips of these guys without any hint as to why it’s even close to relevant, or supposed to be interesting.  Does he think he’s filling a void by making comic strips about golf?  Because that is totally not the case.  And is just me or do this three just look slightly off versions of Funky, Bull, and Les without his beard?  I don’t know if it’s the directions Batiuk gives the artists, but for a while now almost all the characters look far too similar.

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