Tag Archives: smirk

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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Thought-Les

Les, the humorless shmuck, humorless shmucks around in today’s strip.

Nothing – not cancer, not Hollywood, not even the students he loathes so much – seems to disturb and anger Les more (oy, sorry) than people laughing at him over something utterly trivial. Funky and Crazy found this out the hard way 9 years ago, in the infamous “Children left behind” strip. Despite what they are doing in Les’ imagination, I doubt they would be bold enough to so much as chuckle anywhere within earshot of Les again.

Is this how TB’s family and friends reacted to his recurring role as “Art Professor” (I think that is both his name and his profession) in the ongoing live-action saga of The Cardinal, the greatest comic superhero around who dresses like the Iowa State University mascot?

Yeah it probably is. Also, Les himself exists in The Cardinal live-action universe. *shudder*

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The Wrong Hair-ku-lor

Using every word
Today’s strip‘s whole dialogue
Can make a haiku

“The hair color is
wrong isn’t it?” “I believe
The next line is yours.”

The wrong hair color?
Looks pretty darn close to me
Not that viewers care

Masone’s Les costume!
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!
Good grief that’s funny!

Oh man, that hairpiece!
Did some poor fellow mold it
From latex and tar?

Maybe that’s not it
Maybe that is matte black paint
On Bull’s old helmet…

Why is Les quiet?
He wanted accuracy
Now he’s getting it

Not a good start here
This flick is gonna be bad
Worse than Money Plane

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Book ’em, Dinkle

Just three days into my turn to “make the donuts” around here and I’m ready to throw up my hands…or just throw up. What the hell is today’s strip about, aside from padding this pointless arc out to six, maybe seven days? “Read a book in the morning”? Please tell me he’s not talking about taking a dump. I suppose a retired person has opportunity to read just about whenever they feel like it. What about “in the morning” makes Harry cock his head like that and raise his eyebrows? Where is joke?

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Not the Retiring Type

Nice to see Adeela again, wearing Montoni’s Red Apron of Shame and carrying what’s either a server book or that architect diploma she got from Westview Community College. Dinkle’s unnamed friend continues his musing about retirement. “Long days, short years” does work pretty well as a wry comeback, and we’ll start taking bets now whether Tom Batiuk uses that very same aphorism when and if he ever chooses to retire.

The part of the tablecloth is being played today by Pete’s shirt.

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My Heroes Have Always Been Band Directors

Big ups to Epicus Doomus for the last two weeks of posts. In addition to crafting great posts and post titles, Epicus manages the guest author rotation and is my right hand man around here. Without him, there would be no SoSF.

In a rare bit of Funky fortuitousness, today’s strip involves alfresco dining, an activity that’s more popular right now than it’s ever been.  What at first appears to be an old married couple in panel 1’s aerial perspective turns out to be Harry Dinkle and a friend. Judging from how non-generically the other gent is rendered here, he must also be a real-life friend of Batiuk and/or Ayers.

I donned my PPE and took a deep dive into the Act II archives for a refresher about the circumstances surrounding Dinkle’s “retirement.” Near the end of Act II, Becky Winkerbean, as she was known then, took over as band director  when Dinkle was promoted to WHS’ music supervisor. His actual retirement happened “offscreen,” during the second 10 year time jump. Shortly thereafter, his beleaguered wife Harriet pleaded with, and possibly bribed, the school board president to install Harry as director of the performing arts center that bore his name, just to get him out of the house. It’s doubtful whether that director role entails hanging around the high school and basically serving as Becky’s co-band director. Look at him smirk in panel 3 at his friend’s quip. Harry Dinkle doesn’t know the meaning of retirement. No, seriously…he doesn’t know the meaning of retirement.

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“B” as in “Boring”

Link to today’s strip.

Odd, isn’t it, how much Mason and Dullard resemble each other.   Almost as if, on that night when Lisa was “assaulted,” both she and Frankie succumbed to the alcohol and passed out, and a passing student saw an opportunity…nah, Mason was probably five years old then, and besides, it’s too interesting for this strip.  Wouldn’t it be intriguing to find out that Mason was a completely terrible person, and this was some complicated revenge scheme?  Again, too interesting.

Better to make Mason pretty much clueless about the character he wants to portray, almost as if he’s never read Les’ book or spent any time with him.  Nine hours in a sweltering parking lot, that’s enough research for Mason!

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In a Funk

Today’s strip was, of course, unavailable for preview.

But please, let us discuss poor Funky. When was the last time Funky had an arc that wasn’t pointless filler? There is hardly a character in EITHER Funkyverse strips that is stagnant as this poor lump.

If the arc is dealing with something bordering serious, Funky is the world’s most passive protagonist, reacting to events outside his control and doing what other people tell him to. Alternatively he serves as the distributor of jobs, food, and apartments to whoever wanders by needing them like some kind of slapshod Greek god rising from a rickety machine to fix ‘conflicts’ in a piss poor drama.

If Funky is going to show any initiative of his own, it is to chase down a pizza box monster.

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