Tag Archives: smirk

Scoreless

Haha, because everyone confuses bands and football teams, they’re basically the same thing, right? I’m assuming this is supposed to be a “pun” on alternate meanings of “scoring” (which isn’t funny even if that is the case, a word can mean two things, that’s not automatically funny), but even if Batiuk was determined to do this strip there’s a much better way to go about it.
“Scoring for smaller bands”. “Not with groupies”.
And for all that Batiuk talks about how his strip transcends the stereotypes of the art form, or whatever crap he says on his blog these days, strips like this are just an insult to the art form. Literally no art is needed. This kind of “humor” is appropriate for an AOL email chain. It doesn’t need art at all. When your sequential art gains literally nothing from having art, you’re doing it wrong.

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Take a Long Rest, Tom

Aw, the lovebirds are enjoying a quiet moment together, enjoying someone else’s “pun”. (Is it a pun when you use a symbol? It seems like it could be.). As glad as I am to not have Dinkle or Becky talking, would it have killed Batiuk to have a little more of a joke here? Like maybe have one of them say “What an arresting display!” or something? At least the sign wasn’t crappily taped to the side of the table. I’m kind of amazed by that.

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I Wish He’d DisAPPear

I’m going to ignore the “haha, apps are confusing mystical objects that nobody can understand” “humor” here and just focus on Becky. What in the world is her expression about? The raised eyebrows and smirk look more seductive/romantic than anything else (although in the second panel she looks eerily like Pete and Summer, because for some reason only three or four face types exist in this strip). And honestly, if it was revealed that Dinkle and Becky were actually having an affair, it would vastly improve the logic of this strip.  Because “deaf band director who retired decades ago is constantly shadowing the current band director for no real reason” is stupid. It was the same thing with Linda and Buck. I think it’s a sign of bad writing when totally unintended subtexts actually make more sense than the actual plot.

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Eye vey iz mir!

Oh, so we’re back to the jokez! in today’s strip. If we’ve learned anything in the last week and a half, it is that Dr. Droopy and Funky both are willing to dish out this cornpone but neither is willing to take it (in fact, I would argue that this is quite literally the only thing we have learned in the last week and a half).

Well, as they say, “write what you know”… Certainly no one can claim that TB doesn’t know hypocrisy.

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My Dinkle-ing, My Dinkle-ing…

Twenty Twenty One may be just getting blessedly underway, but Our Winter Band Banquet is drawing to a close. I’m praying for Covid to finally reach Westview, Ohio soon, so that all those dopey, knowing smirks will be obscured by masks. Continue reading

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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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