Tag Archives: snow

Five o’ Clock Shitshow

I was sure Batiuk felt he’d wrung every last molecule out of this motor vehicle story arc. But against Fat Les’ advice, Funky has indeed driven all the way home and back (can you believe Fat Les was enough of a sport not to alert the cops?) and returned with…a copy of his birth certificiate? Why would he not return with the original document? A business owner, Chamber of Commerce prexy, and, well, grown ass man doesn’t know that for most purposes, a Xeroxed birth certificate is worthless?

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Estate of the Unit

Wow! Hell of a Super Bowl, huh guys? Greetings, snarkers, and a tip of the SoSF coonskin to Beckoning Chasm for his fine stint. The flight back from Dallas has given Mrs. Kidneycyst, I mean Winkerbean, plenty of time to ponder mortality. They’ve not even put down their luggage when Holly brings up the  contemporary issue affecting young adults that is estate planning. How’s that for setting the tone for a week of strips? Having stated his thesis, Batiuk has one panel left in which to lighten things with his trademark wordplay, but can only manage another of his patented, head-scratching punchlines. The Winkerbeans’ home is apparently pretty spacious, but I wouldn’t say they live on an estate. Or did Funky mishear “planning” as “planting”? Still makes no sense.

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Meeting Of The Mindless

Link To Today’s Strip

Woe, woe, woe…Merry Funkmas!!! Everything is inexplicably back in living color today as Dinkle bravely forges ahead through typical Westviewian blizzard conditions to visit his old pal…Bull? Sure, why not? I don’t recall ever seeing those two interact, this oughta be really…(zzzzzzzz). I’ll tell you this right now: if Bull is angrily sitting there next to some overturned water cups I’m outta here for the week. Ditto if Dinkle starts with the music-based puns…”passing his baton” and such. This has “dismal and lifeless” written all over it as it is, there’s just no need to pile on.

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Tromboners

The Bedside Manor sign makes another appearance in today’s strip because sight gags get funnier every time we see them, right?

I guess the word “sexism” makes what actually happened, sexual harassment a bit easier to swallow. Adding to the strip’s confusion is that it looks like Dinkle is addressing Funky in the last panel, which raises the squick factor by 100x. Miss Violin needs to get herself a can of bear spray.

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They’re Wafer-Thin

Link to today’s strip.

You know, I don’t think it quite works that way.  When you report to your homeroom that you’ve sold a box or two, but your profits aren’t money but cookies, the folks in charge are going to frown at you.

Imagine the scene when the class goes to the bus station to begin their journey.

“Hi!  So you’re the crew that’s going to Washington, DC!  Great!  Can I have the check, please.”

“Well, we’re not paying with money, of course not!  We have lots of boxes of Girl Scout Cookies, though!  Surely their value will allow us to purchase tickets for an interlude of fun!”

“—”

In terms of actual humor, this reminds me of a “Beavis and Butthead” episode in which they were supposed to sell candy bars, but ended up using the same dollar to buy each others’ bars in turn, ending up with all the bars gone but with only a dollar to show for it.

I’m sure Tom Batiuk would be horrified to know that his work reminds people of “Beavis and Butthead”…but that’s kind of a bonus, isn’t it.

The artwork in this one has a number of nice touches.   I’m sick of seeing that chullo, but it’s quite intricately detailed–obviously, Tom Batiuk put some time and effort into it.  And the girl scout’s badges and sash were clearly drawn with care.  The neighborhood is well-depicted, too; you can actually catch the character of the area.  You know the time this is happening; that’s nicely done.

I especially like the detail of the footsteps in the snow–it’s actually used to tell the story, showing where these two were just moments before.   It also has a sense of, for lack of a better word, ongoingness.  You get the sense that these two have been going from door to door for some time during the day, rather than just starting out.  The only false note in the art is the way Chullo’s hand is bent, but I can chalk that up to Tom Batiuk’s desire to show the front of the box

Things like this are what puzzle me the most about this strip.  Tom Batiuk clearly has the tools to tell stories, and he’s capable of the odd subtle yet important touch.  So why doesn’t he put more effort into the actual substance of the strip?  Why add these things only on rare occasions? Today’s strip tells me that he could make this strip at least readable (if unremarkable), but he’d just rather not.

But the odd touches make me think he still…kind of cares about this thing.  And if he still cares, perhaps he could set another goal, other than getting his strip to that 50 year anniversary.  Perhaps a goal that might, you know, engage him a bit.

I mean, six years is a long way to go on autopilot.

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The Candyman Can

Link to today’s strip.

Wow, well you look at that!  Glasses is so psyched to get a sale, he’s actually going beyond expectations–as if he’s actually trying to achieve something, and improve his lot in life through his own efforts.

Compare and contrast that with Les’ endless whining about Hollywood, Dopey Pete’s endless whining about writing–horrible crybabies who want the world handed to them, and assume a smug self-righteousness when no one acknowledges their needs.  In both cases, it just makes you want to throttle them over and over.

Nice going, Glasses.  It’s possible he may become…gasp…a likable character after all.

(I’m not really betting on it, but there’s always hope.)

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Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

Link to today’s strip.

Well, once again I can kind of see the joke here.  If Owen was slightly likable, it could have worked, though in the main it seems like a joke well past its prime.  I recently unearthed a whole slew of BC paperbacks I’d put in storage, and this seems like a joke BC might have used back in the 70’s.  Peter would be leaning up against a rock painted “Peter’s Popcorn Emporium” and BC himself would ask about flavors and be given the same spiel, with the same response.

Although, I think BC would have…phrased…the final question somewhat better.  “Do you just have any plain popcorn” is really awkward, almost desperate; it would be far better said “Do you have any just plain popcorn” but I guess if you’ve been out of the joke-telling business for a decade or two, the ol’ muscles get a bit rusty.

And yes, I can also see the attempts at humor in the flavorings–sushi, gruyere-porcini, et al.  If Tom Batiuk really wanted to kick it into “funny” territory, the last entry would be “spam.”  But I guess that was a bridge too far.

By the way, those old BC paperbacks were pretty funny.  Amazing what could be done with some rocks, some odd tunics, ants, a Fat Broad, and a Cute Chick.

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