Tag Archives: sports

Bobbleheaded Booby

Link to today’s strip.

Okay, I’m genuinely baffled by what the Hell Buck is talking about.  I mean, I think I’m aware that there are “bobblehead days” for major league teams, where toys are given out in the likeness of one of the star players.  And he wishes he had that kind of fame.  I get that part.

It’s the “not with my own head” that seems to come out of nowhere…that, I don’t get.

If I had to take a stab at it, I’d guess that Batiuk has no idea at all what sportos talk about when they get together, so any errant bit of nonsense is good enough to mail off to the printer.   “What would sports fans do?  I’ll use Google.  Huh, ‘Bobblehead Day’?  That sounds interesting!  Let’s just click–oh, wait, time for Flash comics.  Oh well, it’s probably just a day where they take off their heads and juggle them.”

Now, if it was comic book fans, every utterance would be accurate down to the smallest detail (unless one of those details is spelling Joe Shuster’s name correctly).

All of the above makes me wonder what this arc is supposed to be about.  It’s clearly not about any of Batiuk’s passions; it seems too banal to be award bait; and it isn’t entertaining at all.  Is it supposed to be heartwarming and sentimental?  Because it’s nowhere near that.

That leaves the only remaining answer as “one more week of carp pumped out on the way to that 50th.”

Imagine if the last fifteen years of Peanuts had been panel after panel of Linus in a beanbag chair in front of the TV, Snoopy lying on top of his doghouse, and Charlie Brown with his head in his hands.  No dialogue; just those things, over and over for years.

I suppose it could always be worse.  Linda hands Buck a book.  “I think you would’ve wanted to have Bull’s autographed copy of Lisa’s Story!”  “Lisa’s Story?  Oh wow, I’ve heard that book is supposed to be entirely awesome, uplifting and kind of humbling, at the same time.  Oh, I’ll treasure this–and I can’t wait for the movie!”

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The Helmet of DEATH

Link to today’s strip.

Is that the helmet that Bull was wearing when he died?  That seems like a remarkably tasteless gift, to be honest.

Of course, Buck’s line is rather tasteless as well–“I was one of the guys who gave your husband the CTE that killed him!”

I guess “tastelessness” is a characteristic; it’s certainly better than the boredom and uninteresting trivia we’ve been served thus far.   But you’d think Tom Batiuk would reach for something a bit more positive.  Hey, remember when he used to be funny?  Those days are rapidly receding in the rearview mirror, soon to be forgotten by all.

It makes me wonder why he decided to do this comic strip in the first place.  Did he really want to take uninteresting stories and stretch them to tedious length?  Because that’s exactly what he’s doing.

I honestly don’t know what the point is to any of this.  And really, I could say that about any Funky Winkerbean strip from the past few years, come to think.

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The Buck Stops There

Link to today’s thing.

Hello, folks; BChasm back in the Box.  Shout-out to Comic Book Harriet, who as always did a stellar job of entertaining and educating us…things l’Auteur Glorieux feels are now beneath him.  Well done, especially with such poor material to work with.

Speaking of being back, guess who has returned?  That’s right, it’s nobody’s favorite smirker, Buck Somethingorother.   You remember, the guy who couldn’t resist smirking wryly to both Linda and Bull while reminding them about the latter’s impending death.  And speaking of impending death, Buck is getting his!   “I’m afraid that the news isn’t that good, Buck” says Doctor Flattop,  “You’re a character in Funky Winkerbean.”  Now, I may be stupid, and this strip may be making me more so, but I thought Buck played football.  Isn’t “layup” a basketball term?  Shouldn’t he say, “You always gotta throw the penalty flag, don’t you?”  I guess once you’re a sporto, you’re required by cosmic law to make only sports-related metaphors, even if they aren’t your sports.

I’d really like to know what’s going on with Doctor Flattop’s head.  In panel two, it looks like there’s a second head emerging from the back of his skull.  Is it Voldemort?  Because that could be an interesting development.

Oh, I’ve just killed it.  I used the forbidden word, “interesting.”

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Kitchen Nightmares

Link to today’s strip

Ooooh. Les’ Kent State shirt is back! He used to wear it on the regular but I looked and he hasn’t been seen in it since March 2017. At least, I assume it’s a Kent State shirt. The sloppy way it’s drawn, I had previously took it for some kind of tribal symbol, or a bad Stargate fan shirt.

Speaking of sloppy drawing, there’s a non-sequitur of art in every panel today. In panel one Les hand disappears into Funky’s chest like he’s coping a feel. Or attempting to reenact that famous scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. In panel two Les’ face has melted into a Bell’s Palsy grimace as he hunches over the inky blackness of Funky’s coat, looking for all the world like he’s just grabbed the head of a tiny Nazgul.

Panel three we get a tiny bowl of balls invading the speech bubble atop the fridge. Are they oranges? Who puts oranges on top of the fridge? Are they novelty clown noses, tucked away for some kinky kitchen roleplay? Also in panel three we have the return of our Theme Of The Week: Funky making a horrified shocked face. Today’s offering has the overtones of ‘electric prostrate exam’ we’ve enjoyed thus far, but follows it up with a hint of ‘trousers full of spiders’ for good measure.

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Instant Replay.

Link to today’s strip

Funky and Holly have satellite TV? They’re in town right? Why don’t they just get cable?

I’ll admit, I’m a technological Luddite. When I moved to my own place I hooked up an antenna to my TV so I can watch the three local stations that can still come in analogue. But mostly I bum Wifi off my housemate and use it to watch pirated episodes of Time Team on YouTube from my laptop. I got one of those Roku sticks for Christmas to turn my WalMart bargain flat-screen into a ‘smart’ TV, but I just use it for more YouTube.

So it sickens mean to realize that Funky and Holly are more ‘tech savy’ than me. Holly most of all. In fact, for the rest of this week I am choosing to imagine that Holly just shut off the satellite feed from the remote and pretended like it fritzed out to mess with Funky.

And what is up with Funky this week? Did Ayers lose a bet with Batiuk and now has to draw Funky getting a surprise prostate exam from the Invisible Man every day?

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Buzzer Beaten

Link to today’s strip

Some of you yesterday were wondering about the lack of a punchline. Today we learn the joke. In his desire to prepare some kind of boiling black tar substance Funky has missed a last second Hail Mary shot. And Holly shrieked in almost climactic ecstasy. Was this a playoff game? It’s so Batiukian to either be incredibly specific, (We are at the Ohio Music Educators Conference!) or frustratingly vague. (Our sportsball team is playing a non-specified game against a non-specified opponent.)

By the look on Funky’s face in the last panel, this will be more than just a petty annoyance to him. He looks like a man who has just shit his own pants upon noticing his grandchild playing in traffic while delivering a eulogy at his wife’s funeral.

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Cuckoo for Cocoa.

Link to today’s strip

Comic Book Harriet, back in the saddle again. Taking over spurring this dead horse to flop listlessly forward another two weeks. I want to thank TFH for gallantly riding us through three weeks of absolute comic book nonsense. I don’t know if I had it in my heart to handle the cringe of Chester awkwardly trying to buy Ruby’s affections and/or loyalty.

If you weren’t paying attention to the clothing change, you might think that today’s strip was a continuation of Sunday. But no, they’re just plopped in front of the TV again on another day.

A couple questions. Who is playing? Why do they care so much? Must be an Ohio team. The jerseys of the two giants being shouted at by Danny Devito on the TV are on the red spectrum. Scapegoats matches would not be on TV right? The Cleveland Cavaliers have wine red jerseys. Ohio State has scarlet. University of Cincinnati is red. Youngstown State is cardinal. And Miami University in Oxford Ohio (founded in 1809)is also just plain old red.

Something we cannot question is this strip’s weird fixation on hot cocoa. Look at Funky lurching compulsively off the couch in search of hot sugar water. I mean, I really only drink the stuff once in a blue moon, usually around Christmas. Westviewians seem to use in all seasons it as some kind of comfort currency. I looked around, but this doesn’t seem to be a specifically Ohio or Great Lakes thing.

Batiuk does like to have his characters drinking something in strip. Making and offering each other drinks. Coffee usually, sometimes cold beverages, occasionally tea. I’m guessing it gives them a little something to do at in the panel rather than stare at each other seemingly motionless blathering inane dialogue. And I get it. My parent’s marriage entirely revolves around drinking coffee in proximity to each other.

But Cocoa seems to have a special place in his heart. As the beverage of choice when he wants to make his characters unbearably twee and childlike.

But Funky seems to have a special affinity for it. In a really creepy way.

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Pigging Out.

Today’s strip, when it drops.

As usual Sunday wasn’t available for preview. And I’m too worn out to wait for it to drop.

Ironically, I spent the afternoon and evening at my very first college football game. Iowa vs. Minnesota. It was an absolutely awesome time. Iowa fans were so excited when they won they rushed the field, as the ecstatic team held aloft Floyd of Rosedale, still safe in Iowa’s care.

Floyd of Rosedale is an 80 year old bronze pig the winning team gets to keep for the year. It references the time when the governors of Iowa and Minnesota bet an actual live hog on the outcome of the 1935 game.

What I’m saying is football is a, weird, exciting sport, with rich history and traditions. If enjoying the game today was also spiting Tom Batiuk’s horrible CTE arc, then I enjoyed it twice as much.

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We have Always been Allies with Eastasia.

Link to today’s strip

I hope no one expected much out of me this shift, because I literally cannot see the screen through my seething rage. There’s nothing more I can possibly say that others haven’t said better. In case anyone out there doesn’t read the amazing comments provided everyday by our Funkysnark crew, here are couple that show we know Batiuk better than any New York Times reporter. I promise tomorrow, when I’ve had time to process my anger, I’ll attempt to mold it into something of my own creation, rather than plagiarize the hilarity of others.

beckoningchasm
Oh
My
GOD

Batiuk is going to make Bull’s death All About Les, isn’t he? Good GOD, is there no depth to which this man will not sink to promote The Worst Character In The Entire World?

Banana Jr. 6000
Let’s cut to the chase here… this is going to be about Les getting over being bullied, isn’t it? Even though they had a friendship for many years in adulthood, that extended to Bull helping Les’ daughter rehab her knee, and Bull managing Les’ precious Lisa’s Legacy run. But no, as we saw at the funeral, Les just isn’t over it yet.

It’s creepy how much the town of Westview indulges Les’ bizarre psychological needs. Like with the new Lisa’s Story movie, he didn’t even start it – Mason Jar did! And then a random person came up to say yes, Lisa’s Story is a universal tale that must be seen by all. Now Linda invites him over to show him this picture when he should be the one consoling her.

Les’ life is like the part in Being John Malkovich where John Malkovich takes the passageway into his own head, and all the dialog in the world is just “Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich.” Which should be horrifying, but Les’ ego is so huge it seems perfectly normal to him.

Epicus Doomus
Sometimes I seriously believe that BatYap is writing this shit just for us and amusing himself by our consistently outraged, bored and disgusted reactions. “Heh heh, watch them freak out when I have Bull and Les sharing a water bottle on the football practice field, they’ll lose their minds!”.

See above. Now it’s not only not about CTE or suicide anymore, it’s not even about Bull OR Linda, but LES! Apparently this old and totally implausible photograph that Linda lovingly shared with Les triggers Les’ memories about what a disgusting slobbering animal Bull was, all sweaty and gross and germ-laden. That’s some truly touching and timely stuff right there. I’m wagering that he didn’t share this part of his big prestige arc with the NYT people.

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The first cut is the derpest.

Link to today’s strip

Yesterday our amazing Batiukstorian, Billy the Skink, was able to dig back in his prodigious archives and find us some context.
The horror...the horror...

So Batiuk is, once again, referencing actual past strips and not wildly making up new scenarios set during Act I as many of us had assumed. Which is the niggling pebble in the metaphorical shoe that is Batiuk’s relationship to his ‘canon’.

On the one hand, he’s always ready to wildly re-contextualize the past, or out and out retcon it. Major arcs and characters get Memory Holed and never show up again, even when it would be appropriate. Such as, say, the wedding of a parent.

On the other hand, we have this. Batiuk calling back to an obscure strip that was printed before my parents had graduated high school.

If Les was only on the team for a week, who took this picture? Why was it taken? Who developed it? And who thought to give it to Bull? And why, of all the piles and piles of memorabilia packed in that basement Bull-pen, did Linda think this one picture was significant?

I’m guessing most of us have shoved in a box somewhere an odd collection of random pictures from highschool. Including several standing next to that one kid in choir. That awkward smelling kid, whose name we now couldn’t recall if someone had a taser to our armpits.

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