Tag Archives: sports

Bang for the Buck

From the FW blog:
Rick [Burchett]…lays-out and pencils the Sunday sequence. When that’s finished, it’s my turn to jump back in and ink it into a Funky Sunday. The lettering is then done on the computer after which it goes off to colorist Rob Ro who proceeds, as he always does, to turn it into a totally beautiful Funky Sunday.

Colorist Rob can even turn a clump of gridiron turf into a flaming mini-volcano! Well done, Rob! So today we get the big payoff in the Buck Bedlow saga. We wondered why Buck showed up out of nowhere and went to such lengths to overturn Bull’s non-touchdown in the Big Game. What Buck was really doing was getting a preview of his own impending decline. But if he got his “CTE diagnosis” (grrrrrrrrrr!) “last month,” why did he show up back in September?

Well it’s been a pleasure stoking the snark fires these first two weeks of the new year. Tomorrow, guest author Charles takes over the reins. Wear a helmet, folks! –TFH

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Smirk ‘n’ Turf

spacemanspiff85
January 12, 2018 at 2:14 am
I have a strong feeling they’re either:
A. Digging away the snow so Bull can recreate his “winning” play.
or B. Digging up the dirt where Bull “made” his “winning” play so Bull can take it home and preserve it.

And the correct answer is “B”, if by “preserve it” you mean plop it on a shelf where it will wither faster than Bull’s mind. I guess we can remove the quotation marks around “winning” now, as Buck ‘n’ Bull have, by sheer force of will, turned that long-ago loss into a win. And again with the “crazy” talk, though at least Linda means it figuratively. While thematically this week’s arc was nothing to write home about, what interests me (barely) about  today’s strip is Bull’s profile in panel 2. Not because his hair, which three months ago was brown, is now pure white. It’s that as he gazes at the relic of what is now seen as his life’s greatest achievement, he morphs into a bald version of his Act I self.

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Goal Diggers

Y’know, these days, many high school sports fields, even Batiuk’s alma mater, feature modern, expensive, artificial turf fields. So in today’s strip we’re witnessing two clowns causing costly damage to school property. Even a natural turf field would likely have an irrigation system below the surface. And besides that, the ground is frozen. But Batiuk’s not about to let any of these details get in the way of us “earning” whatever “ending” this is all leading up to. Why all this phony closure-seeking on behalf of a man who sadly will soon be unable to remember anything? And if the mission here is to somehow scrape up Coach Stropp’s ashes, they need to move over a little more to the left.

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Shovel Off to Bull-fellow

If you are reading this and your name is not Thomas Martin Batiuk, you read Funky Winkerbean not for its  depiction of “contemporary issues affecting young adults in a thought-provoking and sensitive manner” (because all that ended with Act II). You don’t seek real-life situations, believable dialogue, likable characters, or coherent plotting. You likely were a true fan of this comic back in the days when it did have these characteristics, in abundance. Perhaps you’ve continued reading faithfully ever since, or, perhaps you picked up the funny pages after a lengthy absence, decided to check in on ol’ Funky and his pals, and wondered what the hell happened.

But if you’re reading this blog, you share a very special perspective on the Funkiverse. You keep coming back either to see how incoherent, tone deaf, and awful it can get…or…you cast aside whatever passes for narrative around here, and inject your own. In which case, today’s installment could be right out of a Coen brothers film: repressed midwestern matron Linda gleefully looking on as strapping Buck marches docile Bull out to dig his own cold, lonely grave.

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El Toro Loco

And you thought Batiuk’s handling of PTSD was bad. This is appalling. Not only is the “punchline” offensive, Batiuk has to reverse-engineer the setup, which typically would be “If anyone told me blah blah blah, I’d tell him he was crazy!” You’d think that having to go to such lengths for a gag would make TB pause to think it over. Instead, he doubles down. Buck: “You’re crazy!” Bull: “And forgetful, too! Ha! Ha! Ha!

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Enfee-Bull-ment

Let us address Bull’s “CTE diagnosis:” From Wikipedia:

Currently, [Chronic traumatic encephalopathy] can only be definitively diagnosed by direct tissue examination after death…

…though according to my light research, this past fall it was reported that a diagnosis had been made in the case of a still-living, since deceased, unidentified “old baller.” Naturally, Batiuk couldn’t have known this when he wrote this strip a year ago, so we still get to call “Bull” -shit.

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Gentleman Baller

So, how’s Bull doing?” How rude to have Bull’s wife discuss his condition with Buck literally right behind his back. And how cruel of Batiuk to go through the trouble of rehabilitating bully Bull’s Act I persona, only to set him on a track to a sad, addled existence: first suggesting that Bull’s high school abuse of Les was staged (it wasn’t), and having him serve as trainer to Summer following her knee injury, and to Les as he prepared to climb Kilimanjaro. Thankfully his health is still good, so he’ll have plenty of time to sit in the basement and savor his “victory.”

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